5 Good reasons not to bulk too hard
Who doesn’t love having carte blanche on what types and of how much food you can eat right? Often times bodybuilders, in their quest to achieve and accumulate as much size as possible, take the “see-food” approach to dieting and gorge on everything and anything in sight. Putting on size in the offseason with the hopes that when dieted back down you’ll see an increase in stage weight isn’t a bad thing. But putting on size and weight at all costs is. I can remember years ago reading an article in which it stated you can’t flex fat and there’s no need in carrying a body fat percentage that hides the movement of the muscle when contracted or flexed. This made a lot of sense to me. In my opinion, if you want to be a bodybuilder then you should look like one, regardless of the time of year. If you’ve fallen victim to overeating and unnecessary gains in body fat while trying to get huge in the offseason, here are five great reasons to re-think your approach the next time you want to put on size.
#1 Makes for a difficult prep
The more fat you put on, the more fat you have to lose when it’s time to get stage ready or even beach ready if that’s what you’re after. That means harder dieting for longer lengths of time, more hours performing cardio and perhaps even multiple sessions with the weights daily. The time before you see any real changes in your physique is also lengthened which has led many to give up their efforts prematurely.
#2 Re-train your metabolism
When you gain a significant amount of weight in a relatively short period of time, this wreaks havoc on your metabolism. In some extreme instances, you can even shut your metabolism down completely. If this happens you have a tough road ahead of you. Before even thinking about burning fat you’ll have to re-train or re-start your metabolism and this is a lengthy process in and of itself.
#3 Energy levels plummet
Yup, that’s right; you’ll get lazy. The foods you are consuming are probably going to be very high in sugars which will spike your insulin levels and send you off into a carb coma. Your workouts will be less efficient, you’ll be less inclined to perform regular everyday tasks such as mowing your lawn and most likely the only energy you’ll expend is when you train; and like I said these workouts will be a far cry from what they should look like.
#4 Two sets of wardrobes
Unless you have endless amounts of money just waiting to be spent, think about the money you’ll be wasting having to have two sets of wardrobes in your closet. One side has your size 40 waist jeans and the other side has your 32’s. A 10-15lb weight gain will certainly snug up the waistband on your pants but a 30-40lb weight gain above stage weight will be sending you to the big and tall store looking for new clothes to fit your new weight gain.
#5 Possibility of more work
If you are serious about being in the fitness industry and want to make a positive contribution to the community then being in relatively good shape is a must. There will be more opportunities for you to do photo shoots, people will take you seriously when you offer advice because people are more apt to listen to you should you look the part. You’ll be able to develop a following on social media where people look to you for help, you can write articles about training and nutrition without people wondering why you’re not taking your own advice and sponsors want someone who looks like they use their products to show the world how great they work.
Bulking up has been misconstrued by many leading to an unhealthy approach to putting on mass. A little fat gain is fine, grossly overdoing it is completely counterproductive to your efforts. My advice would be to stay within 10-20lbs of stage weight, give yourself that extra cushion and joint grease for the heavy pounding you’ll be doing with the weights but practice self- control. Too much of anything is never a good thing.
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.
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