Take Offseason Seriously! Where Competitors go wrong.
Shows are won in the Offseason!
A common saying thrown around, but is it true?
Well a lot goes into winning a show, and the Offseason is definitely a huge contributor.
Offseason is used to focus your training and nutrition on getting stronger, optimising muscle growth and improving weak points.
With muscularity being an obvious judging criterion, an optimal way to gain muscle is eating at a calorie surplus. This also means fat gain. There are some obvious benefits of having more muscle:
1. It increases your metabolism, so can eat more, upregulate your metabolism so you can have a higher calorie budget for when you start Comp Prep.
2. It makes you look leaner, even at a higher bodyfat %.
3. More insulin receptor sites, makes it easier for the body to regulate insulin levels and minimise excess fat.
4. Makes you look better!
Now people may interject and say you don’t have to gain fat, you can just Lean Gain, gaining muscle with little to no fat gain. A couple of points to understand:
1. It is possible to gain muscle and stay lean, but it’s circumstantial and definitely not an optimal way to gain muscle. Would you rather give yourself the best chance to gain muscle or possibly compromise it at the desire to stay lean? I’m going to do a separate video on why Lean Gains is silly for muscle growth, so I’ll just leave it there.
2. Fat is relatively easy to lose compared to how hard it is to gain muscle. Which also confuses me why competitors hire a coach for their Comp Prep where the goal of losing fat and maintaining muscles is relatively easy in comparison to building muscle, which is done in the Offseason where they don’t hire a coach? A coach in the Offseason is normally cheaper than Comp Prep, meaning it’s a great return on investment.
3. Why stay lean? I ask this question to some competitors in the Offseason and their answer is deeply lined with social pressures and acceptance of others. Some can’t let go of their six pack abs, or they want to be role model of health and fitness to their friends, family and followers, and think that putting on body fat is not an option. This is a psychological battle some competitors go through, but if they want to improve their physique year on year then there has to be a compromise.
A side note on staying lean, everyone has different bodyfat set point. This is the level of leanness at which their body likes to hang around but still be in a position to gain muscle. That’s why some competitors that are taking Offseason seriously might look leaner than you.
Final note on why some competitors don’t take Offseason seriously is they just don’t understand the importance of it, and think all the work is done in Comp Prep. Comp Prep is just unveiling all the hard work you’ve done in the Offseason. It’s unlikely that you’ll make big improvements in muscle growth unless in the Offseason you weren’t following a structured and periodised training and nutrition program.
I really hope this shifts some peoples thinking and they invest in their Offseason. Hire a coach if you feel you need to, and give yourself plenty of time in a productive Offseason before your start your next Comp Prep.