Bulking Time! Tips to Maximize your Offseason Gains.

I love my coach (Jon Buettner) form many reasons. One major reasons, he doesn’t BS me and tell me things just because he thinks that is what I want to hear. He’s honest and gives it to me straight.

Just this last week we were talking about future plans and I shared some of my goals with him. I expressed my desire to compete in the Emerald Cup in Bellevue, Washington again next year and win my class in Men’s Open Physique as well as the Men’s Masters division. Goals I thought were realistic, achievable, and setting a high standard.

Jon’s response was, “You can’t get your pro card at that show, why waste your time”? He reminded me of what my overall goal was, and that is to become an IFBB Pro in Men’s Physique. He also pointed out that if I competed in that show I would peak way too soon for the Men’s Physique show in July in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania where I could potentially earn my professional card.

Needless to say after our discussion I decided that I needed to utilize my time now and take a good amount of time to continue to bulk and put on some more muscle before I cut down again.

Each year I have gotten a little better and I have always wanted my pro card, the difference is this year I actually believe I will look good enough that I might actually get it. Another quality I love about my coach, he believes in me and encourages me to believe in myself and go for it.

Thus here I am at a point where I am evaluating how I am going to maximize my growth in the offseason. As I have reflected on how I am going to approach this next year’s off season here are some reminders that came to mind.

Lift Heavy-

If you want to build muscle mass, you have to lift HEAVY! Heavy doesn’t necessarily mean you are lifting more than everyone else at the gym, we are all at different levels. As long as you are lifting the heaviest you can while keeping good form, and hitting your rep range, you will make gains. Generally when I refer to heavy, it means I will need a spot in order to perform the set. I also take longer breaks between these sets because I need more recovery time.

Compound movements first-

Make sure you are completing all of your heavy compound movements at the beginning of you workout when you have the most in your gas tank. Save smaller movements with higher volume reps for the second half of your training and the end of your workout.
Eat More-

A common mistake I see in 99% of the people I work with is they are not eating enough food. I often use the analogy of the construction of a building. Can you build a tall skyscraper without the use of the proper materials? I think not. You need cement, wiring, insulation, and the list goes on and on. Your body is the building, the macronutrients are your materials to build your muscle. Especially post your post workout meal where your body is primed and ready to take in nutrients and spike your insulin levels.

Develop weak areas-

Weak areas or areas where we need to develop are something we all can focus on. Even the best fitness athletes in the world are always looking to improve their physique. It’s a journey were you are striving to be better each day, each competition. My areas of weakness, my back and my abs.  Thus I am hitting my back twice a week, abs 3-4 days a week where I am just focusing on my core.

Get enough rest-

Another key mistake I see many make. They beat their bodies up day in and day out and never take any rest or they are not getting enough sleep at night. Take more than one day off a week.

Your body needs time to recover and you can easily overtrain and have the opposite effect on your body. Supplementation-

Besides a good diet supplements can help you maximize muscle growth. I use Axis Labs creatine, Hypertest, and Sma5h pre workout to fuel my workouts.