If you have been bodybuilding for a while, I am sure you have seen what has become infamously known as: “the rebound.” You may have witnessed someone go from a shredded work of art, to a soft doughy looking Water Buffalo in a matter of Days.
This is a trap that many amateur body-builders fall into from time to time. The exhausted competitor has prepared themselves for failure by convincing themselves that after their show is over, they’ll take a week off from training, do no cardio, and consume a long list of treats that they’ve been wanting to try for 20 plus weeks.
This invariably leaves you fat, tired, unmotivated, and most of the time, depressed. By the time you decide to “get yourself together,” the initial post-contest anabolic window will already be passed and you will no longer be in a favorable position to make some of the best gains you’ll make all year.. The body fat has already accumulated and gone straight back to your “trouble” spots and water is back beneath your skin.
DON’T BE THAT GUY/GIRL
The advanced competitor has already experienced the pitfalls of a bad “rebound” and the negative things that go along with it. By the time you close in on the ﬁnal contest of your season, you should have a game plan to execute immediately after your show!
Once your contest season is over, you will need to be careful about ramping up calories too much, too fast. Since you are very low in body-fat, your bodies ability to utilize carbs is greatly increased. Therefore, you actually needless insulin release from your pancreas to push glucose into cells.
Just because you are super insulin-sensitive in this stage, doesn’t mean you should go immediately from 100g of carbs a day to 1,000g a day!
The approach I usually take with my clients the first week after a show is to increase carb intake by 100%. So, to make the math simple, if you had been eating 100g of carbs in the ﬁnal stages of your preparation, you will now eat 300g. From there, I begin to slowly Taper them up. Usually, it’s at Around 25g a week until you reach Homeostasis.(At this point, you will possibly need to consider going on an “Off-season” mini-diet. I am a big fan of the Carb Cycling approach.)
Fats should be carefully monitored during the weeks following a show also. Fats should be restricted to what is naturally occurring in your animal proteins. Fat cells are primed and ready to store when excess dietary fats are ﬂoating around in the bloodstream.
Proteins need to be around the same the most recent phase of your competition diet. As you increase carbohydrates slowly during the weeks post – contest, you will begin to slowly lower protein intake. With Higher carbohydrates, protein intake doesn’t need to be as High as it was pre-contest.
Following this procedure will take discipline BUT it will allow you to make the leanest muscle gains possible.
Gradually bringing body weight up causes you to become anabolic. So, instead of planning out all the junk food you heart desires post – contest, plan your transition into the best off–season ever to make the leanest gains possible.
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