Every bodybuilder struggles when winter hits. The nights get longer, and energy levels fall as the body produces less vitamin D. Some steps can be taken to boost your motivation and help you build muscle in winter but, as always, trying to keep gaining through the colder months takes some serious work, sweat, and dedication.
As Seasons Change, So Do Gains
Winter, more commonly referred to as off-season in the bodybuilding world, is only made for one thing – gains. While not competing or working in cutting cycles, the professional lifter will use this wintertime wisely. Usually, bodybuilders go through winter with only one thing in mind, and that’s getting bigger before the next season starts.
While Spring brings the start of the competitive season, and summer sees every pro athlete pushing themselves to perfection, the off-season is seen as a time to make a severe impact on size. The long nights offer the perfect opportunity for gathering in the calories, while the earlier mornings spent chasing those few short hours of daylight are the best time to be indulging in some pre-work gym sessions.
The fundamental trick to surviving winter without losing your hard-earned shape is to keep at it. Winter nights can be long and miserable, and your motivation can fade quickly. Keep the vitamin uptake high to fight back against the winter blues and give yourself the best chance at success.
Off-Season Is For Mass Gains!
The critical thing to do is to stick to your schedule. When you go into off-season, your training regime should be reasonably similar to that which you use pre-competition. The difference in the off-season is that you are working on all those deep muscles; the supportive muscles, and the ones that you aren’t typically judged on.
Many bodybuilders like to work on a seven-day rotation of muscle groups. This means that they might spend one day on their abs and cardio training, the next day on their legs, the following day on their chest and back. They also tend to focus on diet as a means to make those mass gains.
The Off-Season Bodybuilder’s Diet
You want to gain mass muscle and minimum fat at this time of year, so the key is to put on quality weight. We do this by eating healthy fats and staying away from empty calories. Typically, bulking in winter works in cycles just the same as it does the rest of the year.
As a rough guide, try to stick to bulking for between 8 and 10 weeks, then cutting for between 4 and 6 weeks.
A bulking stack is a necessary part of any bulking cycle. Legal alternatives to steroids provide some of the best bulking aids available for winter gains. Focus on products like D-Anaoxn to add muscle and mass without unnecessary weigh, D-KA for speeding recovery, T-Bal 75 for extra strength and Testosteroxn to naturally boost your testosterone levels. You can read about the ins and outs of each type of legal supplement by visiting our blog.
Bulking stacks are usually taken alongside breakfast or at specific times throughout the day. It is crucial to eat properly and healthily while you are bulking. Diets rich in eggs, rice, cheese, lean meats and fish, whole wheat, fresh fruit, and vegetables is recommended. Try to vary the food as much as possible and research other diets before you begin. For an excellent example of a bulking diet, follow this link.
Cutting stacks are taken in a similar way to bulking stacks, but they are aimed at having a different effect. During winter, your cutting stacks refine your muscle work, tone you up, and get rid of any excess fat. When cutting you should opt for legally safe supplements such as Testosteroxn to boost strength and energy, P-Var to cut down fat fast, Clentrimix to make fat burning even faster, and Winnidrol to help you tone up. You can read more about each of these products by visiting our blog.
When you are cutting down your diet should differ to accommodate those changes. When planning your meals for cutting focus on fiber content, nutritional value, and the number of vitamins and minerals in the food. Cutting is a chance to stop stacking fat and high protein foods, and start replacing them with seeds and nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, mushrooms, yogurts, berries, oats, and all the natural things you can think of to keep your body lean.
The fruit is high in natural sugars, so be wary about overeating it. Likewise, many cutting diets feature smoothies as a means of getting five portions of fruit and veg per day; but a smoothie will only count for one or two portions no matter how much of it you drink. Be wary of this.
Focus on the work you can do in the confines of the gym. Back squats, front squats, lifting until you can clear every dumbbell weight in the building, and vertical pull-ups are all recommended as ways to make muscle mass gains in winter. Benchwork is all well and good – but don’t forget about that cardio. Try to mix your abs and your cardio workout with squats and high-intensity training as a feature in your plans.
Take care to warm up properly, especially if you need to work outdoors. A muscle cramp is a severe threat of winter, so always be sure to wrap up extra warm when you leave the building. Muscle gains are made more easily when working on specific and isolated muscle groups, and in winter, you have the chance to work on every one of these. As we mentioned in the beginning; the key is to keep sticking to it. Motivation can be hard to find when it comes to the holiday season. Stick it out, don’t give up, and think of how good your form will be when the season starts again in Spring.
Get prepared for your up and coming off-season with our cutting and bulking stacks, available now from the CrazyMass online store.
We are a team of bodybuilding experts and fitness coaches who thrive to educate others on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. CrazyMass helps bodybuilders around the world build muscle mass, increase strength, cut fat, and reach their workout goals. Our all-natural supplements are made in the USA and only use high-quality, certified ingredients.