If you have followed bodybuilding for any length of time, I am sure that you have read stories of professional bodybuilders—bulking up in the “off season” to try and gain muscle.
The building of the muscles is possible with the best anabolic steroids available in the market. The gaining in the muscle is possible for different people. There is no side-effect available on the health of the people when you will consume the best supplements.
On the surface of it, everything sounds fine.
You eat more calories, train hard and heavy, and, you will (or should) gain plenty of muscle.
Well, unfortunately, things are not that simple.
For the genetically gifted pro bodybuilder, this approach may work fine, but what about the rest of us?
The truth-of-the-matter is that it all depends on your individual make up.
For example, if you happed to be one of those six foot ten guys (or gals) who weighs in at one-hundred and fifty pounds, then by all means—bulking up is the right thing to do.
But on the other hand, if you have always had a hard time keeping body fat off—even if you gain muscle easily—then bulking up, is probably NOT a good idea.
Well, at least bulking up in the traditional sense.
Traditional bulking revolves around basically eating anything and everything that you can, and training hard and heavy—the result being added muscle.
Trouble is, while you may gain muscle, you will also gain a lot of body fat as well.
Not the best idea for someone who has a hard time keeping weight OFF.
BULKING A SANE APPROACH
So what should a bodybuilder do, if he or she WANTS to gain some muscle in the “OFF-SEASON” but does not want to risk putting on TOO much body fat.
For one thing, you cannot just eat and eat and eat—even if you ARE training like crazy.
First, things first, simply up your calories by say two hundred per day—for a week—and asses.
If things are going good, and you are NOT adding TOO much body fat, then try adding in another one-hundred calories—and asses again.
Keep doing this until you start adding body fat, and then back off the calories a little bit and continue on.
Wait, say, several weeks and THEN try adding in two-hundred calories again, and see what happens.
Yes, I KNOW this seems tedious, but again, slow and steady wins the race.
After all, I would rather gain two or three pounds of SOLID muscle in AN “off-season” than thirty pounds—twenty-five of which is fat and water.
One common mistake most bodybuilders make in the “off-season” is to stop doing cardio.
Cardio will allow you to eat more, and is, good for you overall.
Now, I want to clarify, by cardio I am talking about three of four thirty to forty-five minute sessions per week of easy cardio.
No HIIT type cardio.
If you are wondering, do I have to eat strictly clean foods in the off season with this style of bulking—well, yes and no?
If you are TRULY looking to gain solid muscle, then yes, you will have to stick to the tried and true bodybuilding foods.
Of course, you can add in some lean beef, and a few more carbs than normal, but just remember, if you want mainly solid gains in body weight, you need to watch it pretty closely.
Sure on the surface, “bulking up” seems to be solid and heck even fun—after all who wouldn’t want to eat everything in sight, after a summer of careful eating, but as with everything, it comes with a price.
When the ‘bulking season” season is over and you have to diet and do cardio like crazy to “make-up” for your winter of bad eating, you might regret it.
So if you are looking to make gains during your next “off-season” but want the gains to be more of the solid muscle type, give the above bulking plan a try.