Seeing as how Arnold is the PI today, I was wondering if he or any of the other bodybuilders of that time(Franco,Zane, Ferrigno, etc.) bulked? Every picture of Arnold I have seen he has been at less than 10-12% bodyfat and never above. Just curious.
I remember reading an article one time where Ferrigno bulked for a year one time and gained about 80 lbs(Don’t quote me, I don’t remember the number, but it was a lot). When he got down to contest shape he had gained 2 lbs of LBM.
I’m not positive that he did it right.
Off-season is a time of extending and improving your skills, gain more strength, and/or add muscle mass, depending on which your sport is.
How much weight should you strive to gain during this period? Some athletes limit themselves to an increase of about 10% in weight, but others have a tendency to bulk up to enormous proportions, well beyond their competitive weight. They consume much more food than they presumably need for optimal growth.
Bluntly put, they risk becoming clinically overweight, which may jeopardize their health. Men are considered clinically moderate at a level of 18% - 20%, and obese in excess of 25% body fat. For women the figures are higher, 25% - 30% is moderate and more than 32% signifies obesity.
Frank Zane, a Mr Olympia title-holder and well known to most bodybuilders believes that weight change throughout the year should be limited. “Most bodybuilders”, he says "… are extremists, who bulk up during the winter (many of them gain as much as 70 or 80 pounds [approximately 30 - 40 kilos] above their competitive body weight) and then lose it all back for their contest the following year.
I’ve fallen into this trap myself several times … I learned that to make long term progress, my best strategy was not to gain more than 5% of my competitive body weight and to spend the winter working on my weak points … Gaining just a few pounds of muscle per year in the right places every year looks really impressive."
The same piece of advice is given by Tim Kimber and colleagues of Gold’s Gym: “There is one cardinal rule in bodybuilding when you are attempting to gain body weight: Be sure that you increase muscle mass instead of merely fattening yourself up …”
Lou Ferrigno- “The Incredible Hulk” -learned the hard way. He recalls much of the same mistake that Frank Zane warns aspiring athletes of: “For nine months I trained like a madman on all basic exercises and ate everything that wasn’t nailed down. At the end of the nine months, I weighed 303 pounds [138kg] … The next four months were devoted to dieting and training down to reach a peak for the show I’d lost a year before. It was grueling work, but I managed to reach peak shape, only to lose badly again. Unfortunately, I weighed only 202 lbs [101kg], a trivial two pounds [one kilo], more than the previous year, despite all of the work! That experience convinced me that the process of bulking up and training down is worthless for serious bodybuilders.”
Ferrigno was about 6’5". Whenever this was when he competed at 202lbs must have been one of his first contests considering he was later tipping the scales around 270lbs in contest shape. If anyone believes he reached a 70lbs gain later without ever bulking up again to any degree, they have a lot to learn about how the human body works.