Bulking Diet: Should You Use One in the Offseason?

New article by Peter Fitschen, PhD over at TigerFitness.com on should you use a bulking diet on in your offseason? To answer this question you have to look at a variety of factors to determine that answer for you. One size does not fit all and Peter does a great job of examining all the factors one should consider before embarking on their offseason.

You just finished your last contest of a very successful contest season. A few days have passed and you are feeling lost. The food, training, cardio, posing, and other aspects of contest prep have taken up a large portion of your free time in the past months.

Through your hard work, your goal has been achieved and the offseason is here, but you are unsure of where to go next. Do you stay stage-lean? Do you gain weight? If so, how much weight should you gain?

Many competitors can relate to this scenario so I wanted to address some of the factors to consider when determining how much weight a competitor should gain in the offseason.

However, before getting into these factors, let’s make it clear that staying stage-lean year round is not healthy or sustainable. When an individual diets down to stage-lean conditioning, there is a reduction in numerous hormones including testosterone, thyroid hormone and leptin with an increase in other hormones such as cortisol and ghrelin.

BodybuilderTaken together, these hormonal changes result in reductions in metabolic rate, increased hunger, and muscle strength and size loss. All of these changes are common and have even been observed in high level natural bodybuilders during successful contest preps.

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