As a coach and a long time competitor, one of the biggest struggles I hear is dealing with off season. So many people feel as though there is no goal in sight, so they get lazy and sloppy with their diet.
It’s simply not true.
If you choose the bodybuilding lifestyle, there really isn’t an off season. It’s just a different phase in your prep.
I have seventeen off seasons “under my belt”. Here are my tips that helped both me and my clients to make sure we are progressing every time we step out on that stage.
THE TIPS AND TRICKS
I cut cardio gradually by about 3 to 5 minutes each session.
I increase calories usually by 100-150 calorie blocks a week. Also known as “reverse dieting”.
I get judges feedback. If legs are the weak area, I will make them a focal point in training. If you do a cheat meal weekly, doing it on the day you train legs is a good idea to get those extra calories on that day.
Remember food is not going anywhere.
“I dieted hard for 16 weeks I deserve a treat”
The only place that will get you is dieting for 25 weeks for your next show and being miserable in your clothes. We live a healthy lifestyle. Training is the easy and fun part. Eating is the most crucial part.
Off season doesn’t have to be as strict as a contest diet. Add variety with fruit, low fat dairy and some things you wouldn’t normally have in a strict prep. Have a cheat meal every week or two and enjoy life but keep it in control.
Tammy Patnode is an IFBB pro physique competitor and NPC judge. She is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist. She offers contest prep, general training and weight loss programs for men and women that are customized for each client.
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