Bodybuilding Winter Guide To Gaining Muscle Mass And Minimizing Fat
The fact that I already see stores getting stocked with Christmas ornaments lets me know that the Holidays are here. With Thanksgiving coming along at the end of November, the Holidays get officially started. Since this season carries with it a lot of get-togethers, parties, and above all, plenty of food, many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts find it a task and a half to adhere to their bodybuilding lifestyle. This is due to the huge temptations of skipping your bodybuilding routines in favor of attending parties and eating foods that are not part of the typical bodybuilding diet. What is a bodybuilder to do?
With good planning and discipline, you can continue to move towards achieving your bodybuilding goals while you have your cake and eat it too literally.
There are a few things that a bodybuilder can do in order to survive the Holidays and even come out a little bit ahead in terms of muscle mass:
1. The first step is to adhere to an abbreviated, though fully periodized, holidays bodybuilding workout routine so that you still get to gain muscle mass while minimizing the amount of time that you spend at the gym. Please refer to my personal abbreviated Holidays’ Bodybuilding Workout which has you working out only 3 days a week for about 75 minutes at a time.
2. The second step is to plan ahead. Not only look at your December calendar and pencil down which days you will have Holiday activities, but also figure out at what times and days you will be training. I also suggest that you even identify which days you will select for your cheat meals and write them down on your calendar as well. Please refer to my articles on the Top 10 Tips To Staying Fit During The Holidays for more information on this subject.
3. The third step is to know how to cheat properly. By cheating the right way, and at the right times, you will not only maximize your muscle building potential but also minimize any fat gain. For more information on this topic please also refer to my Top 10 Tips To Staying Fit During The Holidays.
As always, in order for these strategies to work, self-control, discipline and determination need to be exercised. When it comes to bodybuilding, this will always be a recurring theme.
What If Motivation Is Low?
If your motivation is lacking, there are a couple of items that I recommend you do:
1. Have A Clear And Concise Goal Of What You Want To Accomplish By A Specified Date: Set a deadline and be specific. For instance, my goal is to be in near contest shape by December 5th which is my birthday. For me, that means being 185-lbs at 5-6% body fat.
A specific deadline will offer you something to shoot for and achieve by a certain date which will put positive pressure on you and prevent you from skipping your workouts or having unscheduled cheat meals on the diet.
2. Get A Training Partner That Is Equally Passionate About Your Bodybuilding and Fitness Goal: A good training partner can fuel your motivation and accelerate gains tremendously. Good partners help you to push harder through your workouts and also inspire you to stick to the diet since you see how they progress. Ideally, get your spouse involved, or your kids if they are old enough. If not, a good friend will work too. I’ve found that the best gains in my bodybuilding career have been made when I train with someone who is equally dedicated to achieving the same goal.
If you apply yourself and implement the simple techniques described above, while everyone around you gains 20 pounds or more of fat and excess water during the Holidays, you will gain a few pounds of muscle and maybe 2-3 lbs of fat at the most. For the most disciplined of us, who actually increase the amount of working out as opposed to decreasing it, and who minimize cheat meals, then fat gain is not even a possibility.
Now you are armed with all of the information that you will need in order to actually improve your shape over the Holidays. It is up to you to put this knowledge into action and choose which person will you rather be; the 20 lbs of fat gainer, the 2-3 lbs of fat gainer with equal or more gains in the form of muscle, or the one who even gains as fat comes off? Choose your destiny. The fact that you are reading this article leads me to believe that you will choose wisely.
May your Holidays bring you tons of health and happiness!