Off season is also known as bulking or grow time, it’s also the time you are not prepping/cutting for a show.
Your coach should give you a post competition plan to reverse diet you out of your show plan.
My first show last year was cancelled due to Covid, I was 2 weeks out. My OFF SEASON was straight into isolation in a garden house at my sister’s ( long story ) with very limited food options. Which was beneficial for me to stop me from epic binging however THANK to Amazon prime ( or not ) I ordered 1kg of peanut butter and demolished it in less than two weeks. I was panicking about every kilo I gained, feeling demotivated and frustrated.
Luckily my coach Jodie ( thestronggirlclective) was there for me, kept pushing me and managed to get me back on plan after 2 weeks of feeling sorry for myself.
The thing is, everything happens for a reason, I know NOW I wasn’t ready and I also know now you can’t be scared to eat although you can make muscle gains on a calorie deficit, depending on the situation, that may not be ideal approach. Bodybuilders do better with alternating bulk and cutting cycle before a show.
Anyway, I had one goal to WIN and that was the only thing I knew I have to focus on.
Second attempt my first official show took place last October 2020, PCA ( I did both days so First timers and UK Open) and of course went completely crazy with food afterwards.
Managed to poison myself to a point where I couldn’t train, sleep nor eat for almost a week. Had another show coming up basically 2 weeks after PCA thinking I perhaps won’t be able to do it. Luckily, as stubborn as I am I pulled myself together and carried on with prep. Lesson learned, try to keep the food under control and do not eat everything you can think of in one day.
Post show cravings were crazy. No one spoke about this really before so I had no clue what to expect. I was like an animal, so scared it won’t stop. This was the hardest time for me not the prep not the cardio but post show cravings.
I knew deep down I have to stop eating snacks when I am not hungry. It took good 2 weeks to get it under control and accept the changes to my body ( that took another month ).
So many girls I spoke to eat so little because they are worried about getting bulky. I personally wasn’t scared, I just didn’t want to look like a buffalo. I know we need to gain some weight/fat to improve but I also knew we don’t have to get fat to gain muscle.
I followed my coaches plan, we upped the calories slowly once my metabolism was sorted and pushed it over 4000 at one point. I’m not saying every one can be on such high calories, this was slowly achieved over period of weeks post show and it worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work on you.
Photo of me in my off season this year and also last year, I am super happy with my progress and excited for my next shows.
I do love food and enjoy eating, I cannot imagine to be on tiny portions while I’m in off season. Babies also eat more and more so they can grow, it’s the same with us! I was having 2 cheat meals a week, then reduced to one per week and now weekly refeed. I gained 8kg since last off season back in June which I think it’s manageable especially as I gained more muscle.
Also want to mention my Covid experience in July this year, 2 weeks of no training because all I could do was sleep, lot of pain and constant migrene for 7 days, it wasn’t easy. But as they say “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger!” It’s all about your mindset and people around you. Make sure you are surrounded by Energy Givers, people with similar mindset, who help you to grow and put smile on your face!