Summer is gone so winter is here, depending on your geographic location. Winter usually means the start of the offseason. During this time many bodybuilders like to bulk up their bodies, some go for healthier options and some bulk up through a dirty bulk depending on their game and athletic endeavors.
It is a common practice for many amateur and professional bodybuilders alike. Because of the cutting/bulking cycle, many who follow this routine will usually starve themselves for many months to cut down, and when they begin their bulk, they are overeating on high-calorie foods with little nutritional benefits.
Mr. Olympia champion and the bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger is not a fan of this cutting/bulking cycle eating practice. Arnold is totally against choosing to bulk during the offseason. Take a look at some of Arnold’s views on offseason bulking below:
Arnold: “One hint I can give is not to ‘bulk up,’ or let yourself put on a lot of extra fat weight during your training that will only have to be dieted off for the contest. Bodybuilders are apt to do this because being heavier makes them feel bigger, but this is an illusion— that extra weight is not working muscle and it does them no good whatsoever.”
Some very powerful words against the practice that has been popularized over the years. But Arnold’s experience gives his advice additional weight. He goes on to add:
“Both Franco and I used to prepare for a contest actually under our competition weights, and thus had to gain five pounds or so in the final week. This meant we didn’t have to restrict our diets too much, and we ended up feeling better and stronger, and looking a lot better. Bulking up, I believe, is a mistake, and now that there is a Grand Prix circuit of professional contests, which the pros have to be ready for week after week, the practice of becoming overweight and then dieting severely is getting to be a thing of the past.”
Bulking/cutting potentially a great benefit for bodybuilders, but like everything else, it only works if it’s done right. As Arnold said, if you aren’t making LEAN gains, you aren’t doing it right.