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  1. #1
    RX MEMBER DR.BB's Avatar
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    Default Masters: off season bulking or stay very lean?

    I am curious to hear opinions from 40+ competitive BBrs on whether they think it is better to bulk or stay closer to contest weight in the off season. I know "clean" bulk is in fashion, and by bulk I mean adding calories, even so-called clean ones, to maximize muscle growth. In your opinion, which approach below is better and why:

    -Bulking, getting smooth (not past 14-15%) but pushing for maximum muscle gain OR

    -staying lean, say, 8-10% and about 10-12 lbs from competition weight?

    I know it often depends on the individual, but I would appreciate people sharing what they do offseason (and why) as I gather some information. I have no problem contest dieting, but at my age (44) I am paranoid about getting out of shape, yet need to target certain muscles to gain size.
    Last edited by DR.BB; 06-30-2013 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Mac's Avatar
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    I hate the time it takes to get lean, but this past year I gained some size that I normally would not have gained had I not bulked this past winter and spring.

    I am 156 now, still have another 5-6 lbs. to go, down from 176 at my heaviest.

  3. #3
    RX MEMBER mrky03's Avatar
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    I am in favor of staying lean year round although I'm not always successful at it! I think it's best for us masters to stay within reason 10-12 lbs of contest weight. I just hate the way I look when I get more than 10lbs over. No reason for me to weigh over 200lbs at this point.

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    Moderator Hoss06's Avatar
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    Default Masters: off season bulking or stay very lean?

    Lean gains; "bulking" is such a horrible, ugly word.

    I'm not in the master group, but I do believe in staying lean year round while making lean gains. I don't understand the point of adding an excessive amount of bodyfat, for what, just a couple of pounds of stage weight? And, you'll have to work much, much harder to get that unwanted fat off.
    Last edited by Hoss06; 06-30-2013 at 10:50 PM.
    Training / Prep / Off-season coach: Kevin McDowell / Extreme One
    Journal: Hoss06 Training Journal

  5. #5
    RESURRECTED! AnglicanBeachParty's Avatar
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    I'm Subscribed to this thread, because I would like to hear others' opinions, also.

    Myself, I think it would be better to stay closer to contest weight, but I've never yet tried it. I always bulk up.

  6. #6
    RX MEMBER greakfreak's Avatar
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    i tried the heavy mass putting protcol in 2012 after worlds, i went just under 98kg running peptides only and low dose test enathate, it may not sound like much but considering i normally compete as a 79-81kg shredded athlete...

    it backfired as i really struggled this yr to reach the conditioning im known for here, but i literally had to do shit load of cardio and finally did it... i got bigger tho, i stepped on stage this yr bigger and rounder with the added 2.5 kg extra.
    but i now am offseason, and hover in 7-10 kg max over contest weight as i feel betta with my look and conditioning espec @ 46 yrs old, i wont do HEAVY bulking again...

  7. #7
    RX MEMBER Rick Prince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.BB View Post
    I am curious to hear opinions from 40+ competitive BBrs on whether they think it is better to bulk or stay closer to contest weight in the off season.... In your opinion, which approach below is better and why:

    -Bulking, getting smooth (not past 14-15%) but pushing for maximum muscle gain OR

    -staying lean, say, 8-10% and about 10-12 lbs from competition weight?

    ... I would appreciate people sharing what they do offseason (and why) as I gather some information...
    Most shows I have weighed in right at 176 and my off-season weight usually maxes out around 206.
    So we are looking at roughly a 24 lb offseason gain after subtracting the 7-8 lbs I lose on the day of weigh-in.
    Masters competitors skin does not have as much elasticity as competitors in their 20s and 30s. For that reason alone, I believe the older we get the better it is to stay leaner. I couldn't imagine doing like Flex Lewis & gaining 40 lbs in the off-season.

  8. #8

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    I always end up going up. If I don't restrict calories and take any hormone, HRT, etc and train heavy, I always gain weight. Note- I am not talking unlimited gorging or pig outs here, just not warching calories real obessively, like well now. I think both Mac and Joel made good points. I am somewhere in the middle- say a McJoel???

  9. #9
    OLYMPIAN masterschamp's Avatar
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    I am right in the range that Rick goes for........compete at 175 and hit 200-205 in off season......this year I had planned on staying closer to 190, but still find myself at 201 as of today.....my body is comfortable there, but if I got much heavier I start to feel sluggish

  10. #10
    RESURRECTED! AnglicanBeachParty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Prince View Post
    Masters competitors skin does not have as much elasticity as competitors in their 20s and 30s. For that reason alone, I believe the older we get the better it is to stay leaner.
    Quoted For Truth!

  11. #11
    RX MEMBER DR.BB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    I hate the time it takes to get lean, but this past year I gained some size that I normally would not have gained had I not bulked this past winter and spring.

    I am 156 now, still have another 5-6 lbs. to go, down from 176 at my heaviest.
    Mac,
    What was your bulk diet? Did you gain a lot of bf? Did it add weeks to the contest prep? I feel stuck between trying to stay lean and needing to gain size in some areas.

    Also, has anyone stayed close to contest weight and made significant improvements in gaining muscle/bringing up weaker body parts?
    Last edited by DR.BB; 07-02-2013 at 09:28 PM.

  12. #12
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    I wish I could really bulk up but worried about health consequences possible increased bp
    cardiac blood glucose levels. Also if I ever do bb again I do not have time to do double or long cardio sessions, so therefore I either need to be either leaner in offseason or a much longer contest prep plan.
    Last edited by ayezer; 07-02-2013 at 10:34 PM.

  13. #13
    Administrator Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DR.BB View Post
    Mac,
    What was your bulk diet? Did you gain a lot of bf? Did it add weeks to the contest prep? I feel stuck between trying to stay lean and needing to gain size in some areas.

    Also, has anyone stayed close to contest weight and made significant improvements in gaining muscle/bringing up weaker body parts?
    I am not in contest prep and yes I gained BF because I ate virtually everything in sight. It would have added 8 weeks to my prep, if there was a contest.

    The contest I have is with myself, that I try to do better than the year before and keep this fuck'n aging at bay.

  14. #14
    RX MEMBER dickiefrank's Avatar
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    I'm thinking that from a practical standpoint it's smarter and easier to get into shape if we stay a bit closer to competition weight rather than bulking up. Speaking from personal expericence and listening to/observing what Frank Zane and Arnold would do, I'd agree with Zane..."do not bulk up"...having said that, it's easier said than done...again, speaking from personal experience right now...lol. My profile pic was from February and I came in at 182...let myself use any excuse handy and now I'm at 207...best case scenario I shouldn't have gone over 190-192 BUT...if you listen to and observe what Zane and Arnold said and did, they would come in to the contest at their heaviest. If we look back on our own experience, I for one can say that after my first show (25+ years ago) I got down too light. Two weeks later I was nearly 20 pound heavier yet more ripped and muscular. I wonder how many of us have experience that too? Logically, if you have the lowest levels of bodyfat and the highest degree of muscle mass the day of the contest, you should be at your heaviest bodyweight. Then, after the contest, training usually scales back a bit as should food intake (if we maintain a sense of some discipline) resulting in a bit of lost mass/weight but...the fat shouldn't pile on quicker than the mass that is lost...therefore we should still actually be lighter in the off-season, gain mass while losing fat up to show time...I for one know it hasn't actually worked this way with me to this point but I want to give it a whirl...your thoughts?

  15. #15
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    I am currently prepping for the 2016 Master's Nat. My last contest (2016 North Amer. over 6- heavy) and I am 17 lbs. away from contest weight. It is much easier on me to eat clean through out the year and not get over 12% bf. My contest weight is usually 215-217 lbs. I have my cheat my occasionally. This year as last the fat is high and the carbs very low.

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