2020 is the year I make my return to the stage. For anyone who doesn’t know, I’ve been in off-season since June 2018. I chose to bypass the 2019 competition season to continue to add on the necessary mass to be a competitive national level super-heavyweight. I believe I have accomplished that goal and then some. How? Having been in the game for over 10 years, what could I have changed in my regimen to elicit such a drastic response?
The answer is simple—do the same thing over and over and expect the same results over and over. For years, I was a high volume, pump-style guy that did a ton of reps/sets. I made sure I always had a skin-splitting pump when I left the gym. While I still love getting a pump, my main focus now is progressive overload. I keep the volume down and the intensity up. I made it a point to eliminate any fluff sets that were hindering recovery time and not involved in the muscle’s warm up. Basically, I just kept in the meat and potatoes and eliminated the extra bullshit.
In addition, I lowered my training frequency from 5-6 times a week to 4 times a week. Again, this is to give my body more time to recover and grow, rather than constantly beating it down. It keeps me fresh and focused, and it also helps me to retain some of the calories that I put in daily.
Lastly, I incorporated a larger quantity of healthful dietary fats. For years, I was a low fat, high carb, and high protein guy. After a consultation, a fellow bodybuilder convinced me to try utilizing a nutrition plan that promoted high healthful fats and moderate carbohydrates. I quickly noticed that my strength skyrocketed, which allowed me to train much heavier and steadier. This lead to noticeable progress. I realized that carbohydrates do not add muscle mass but simply fuel your workouts. You do not need an exorbitant amount of carbs. Slowly increasing protein and fats, however, did have a drastic effect on muscle building properties. I simply thought outside the box and went with an approach that I was not used to, and it paid off in dividends.
If you want to make a splash in this sport, you have to use the off-season in an uber efficient way. This is no time to goof off and jerk about. Champions are made when calories are high and when no one is looking. Anyone can be motivated when the show is next week but what about when it’s next year? All of these workouts and meals add up to create a monster that no one can fathom stopping once prep hits. Are you going to take it easy and have a rest or are you going to strap on your gym gear and head to work? The choice is yours.