Solid advice you often hear from competitive bodybuilders is that it is wise to stay within 5 kilograms of your contest weight, but for some it is hard to pack on any extra muscle in the off-season.
Key things to consider:
Gaining muscle and losing fat is a gradual and slow process. When you are in a full-blown bulk-up mode in the off-season 5 kilograms is a reasonable target. Anything over that and you will definitely battle to become shredded while holding on to your hard-earned muscle when you are preparing for a bodybuilding show.
Knowing your body and what you need in different circumstances will help tremendously when your objectives are to add muscle while still keeping in shape. You have to educate yourself to keep on track under different circumstances. Take time to know your body and how you respond to different foods. If you have found what works for you, become dedicated and don’t get caught off guard by obstacles in your way.
2. Whey to go
Whey protein, taken around your workout, is excellent when you want to reach your goals in the gym.
Take 20 grams of whey protein before you train and 60 grams after your workout. Whey protein will enhance your strength, increase your endurance when you need it the most and stop your body from breaking down muscle. After training it will enhance muscle recovery and boost the process of muscle protein synthesis.
3. Carb rules
Slow-digesting carbohydrates keep your blood-sugar levels in check which helps to fight fatigue while preventing insulin spikes.
Bodybuilders who consume slow carbs have the energy to train harder. A good time to eat slow carbs is at breakfast following an overnight fast when your blood sugar and muscle-glycogen levels are depleted. Get your slow carbs from sources like whole-grain breads, rice, vegetables and fruits. It is also beneficial to take between 20 to 30 grams of slow carbs along with 20 grams of protein to fuel your workouts.
Fast-digesting carbs and protein should be consumed after your training kickstart muscle recovery and growth. Good examples are baked potato, white bread and dextrose along with a protein shake.
Cut carbs as the day progresses and you will be less likely to store unwanted fat.
4. Eat more than you burn
To pack on muscle mass you need to consume more calories than what you burn when you hit the weights.
Provide your body with a clean calorie surplus that is perfect for adding muscle without body fat. Don’t get too bulky because fat can easily be mistaken for extra muscle. Learn to lower your calories on the days you don’t hit the weights by making sure you protein intake is relatively high and your carb consumption at its lowest.