Either you’re eating to gain weight or to lose weight. Either you’re trying to gain muscle and lose body fat. There’s a competition weight and an off season weight. It’s a vicious cycle when you compete in Bodybuilding.
Many novice competitors eat as many calories as possible to increase their weight. Hopefully they learn a valuable lesson when following this kind of no-win program. When you gain weight quickly, it’s all body fat.
It’s so hard to gain muscle and it takes years to see the progress. Yes, you feel bigger when your weight increases, but for the most part, it’s fat. Building muscle has to be strategic and you need patience. Also, you need a great diet to repair the muscles you break down during your workouts. I could never understand the “off season” diet. To me, it’s basically a free ticket to eat junk food and consume more calories.
I make it a rule to stay within 15 pounds of competition weight. This way, when you start cutting calories and picking up your cardio, you won’t lose too much of your muscle that you’ve worked so hard to get.
An “off season” diet should only consist of more cheat meals, but clean eating with 50% protein, 30% carbohydrates and 20% fats will be the key to a successful “off season”.