T Nation

Training Style, Natural BBing Comps

After my last comp I was thinking of changing my training method a bit. Instead of doing another 4-6month bulk followed by a drastic 4 month cut cycle, I was thinking about trying to keep leaner all year(roughly 8-9% bf @ 170ish). That way I don’t have to do a drastic cut and lose hard earned muscle during the cutting phase.

I was wondering if other people believe in this training style for comps.

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
After my last comp I was thinking of changing my training method a bit. Instead of doing another 4-6month bulk followed by a drastic 4 month cut cycle, I was thinking about trying to keep leaner all year(roughly 8-9% bf @ 170ish). That way I don’t have to do a drastic cut and lose hard earned muscle during the cutting phase.

I was wondering if other people believe in this training style for comps.[/quote]

I’ve never competed and never will, but that sounds too lean to hope for much in the way of gains. LeanER is one thing, but that’s pushing back on contest shape year round.

[quote]Tiribulus wrote:
five-twelve wrote:
After my last comp I was thinking of changing my training method a bit. Instead of doing another 4-6month bulk followed by a drastic 4 month cut cycle, I was thinking about trying to keep leaner all year(roughly 8-9% bf @ 170ish). That way I don’t have to do a drastic cut and lose hard earned muscle during the cutting phase.

I was wondering if other people believe in this training style for comps.

I’ve never competed and never will, but that sounds too lean to hope for much in the way of gains. LeanER is one thing, but that’s pushing back on contest shape year round.[/quote]

We’ve been through that. I think even having this discussion is pointless. If anything, this guy needs to work on building some size for a few years instead of stagnating just so he can jump on stage on a regular basis. This is someone with (what is it now) under two years of serious training? Wanting to compete is one thing. Wanting to compete before you ever put the time in and build some serious size and blaming your relatively less progress on “natural bodybuilding” is a little lame. There are some amazing looking bodybuilders who compete in those contests. Why not try to be the best?

Professor X I have to disagree with you about the size issue. I don’t believe you have to be 200+ lbs to win any of these comps unless you go Pro. The guy that won the whole OCB Spirit of America Comp was only 162 lbs.

I don’t disagree with you about adding size in the off season. The question is what is the most effective way to do that, knowing that I will have to diet down again next year.

Losing 40lbs for my comp I think was too drastic. I did lose a lot of muscle mass. I was curious if staying leaner year round would make it easier to cut bf and retain muscle come comp time.

I have never competed in bodybuilding but I have read articles on numerous bodybuilders who follow the stay in shape year round strategy. They seem too love it.

What about the people you compete against, you guys don’t trade secrets or you haven’t found a circle of training friends? Often times the best knowledge are those that are doing it.
How did you do in your competition? and what was your biggest pitfalls?

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
Professor X I have to disagree with you about the size issue. I don’t believe you have to be 200+ lbs to win any of these comps unless you go Pro. The guy that won the whole OCB Spirit of America Comp was only 162 lbs.

I don’t disagree with you about adding size in the off season. The question is what is the most effective way to do that, knowing that I will have to diet down again next year.

Losing 40lbs for my comp I think was too drastic. I did lose a lot of muscle mass. I was curious if staying leaner year round would make it easier to cut bf and retain muscle come comp time.

[/quote]

Where did I write that someone has to be 200lbs or more to win a bodybuilding competition? What was written is that YOU, no one else, but YOU aren’t carrying all that much muscle mass and could be much farther along by now had you not spent most of your first year training dieting down for a competition.

Who cares if someone else may be able to win a competition under 200lbs? They are more than likely more developed than you are as well regardless of their body weight.

several coaches here say 10% should be your ceiling, meaning bulk up until you reach 10% BF and then cut back to about 6-8%. Repeat again and again.

[quote]whosyobobby wrote:
several coaches here say 10% should be your ceiling, meaning bulk up until you reach 10% BF and then cut back to about 6-8%. Repeat again and again.[/quote]

I feel like newbies are the ones talking about bulking to a body fat percentage?

I never knew that fat gain was the point of a bulk?

Bulking to a goal weight at a given bf% is one thing, but getting scared and calling it quits the second you break 10% seems a bit dumb. I AM NOT advocating straight out “get fat” bulking, but rather that people realize that the goal is to gain muscle. If youve got your stuff in order and arent just getting fat, then you should bulk until you are happy with your weight and then cut down.

I dont see whats so hard for people to understand about this.

The “most effective” way would almost certainly not be to stay at such a low bodyweight. I tried two full years of gaining muscle at probably 10% bf with very, very little to show for it. It is only after I stopped worrying about staying so damned lean all the time that I started to make some actual progress.

Moreover, I have followed your threads from the start, and, my opinion, of course I can’t know you, but the reason you lost 40 pounds (!!! at your height!!!) was that you did not take the good advice you were given. That muscle mass wasn’t ready to stay on and you gave most of it away. What a waste of time. Can you see this?

I’m sure competing was a great experience. That was, if I recall correctly, the reason you gave for wanting to do it in the first place, so long ago. You’ve had your experience. Now you are still talking the same game. Nothing has changed. What is it you want? You always use other shorter guys (damnit if I can’t remember his name) to excuse your own lack of willingness to put in the time and effort the right way in the gym and in the kitchen before stripping away the fat and jumping on stage.

I’ll ask it again. What is it you want? The end result, what are you looking for? Honestly answer that question and I don’t think you will need to start a thread asking the smart people on this board what you already know.

Of course, you will do whatever the hell you want, but, when all is said and done, I mean years, years later, will you really be satisfied at having held back so much for those fleeting moments of short term gratification?

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
Professor X I have to disagree with you about the size issue. I don’t believe you have to be 200+ lbs to win any of these comps unless you go Pro. The guy that won the whole OCB Spirit of America Comp was only 162 lbs.

I don’t disagree with you about adding size in the off season. The question is what is the most effective way to do that, knowing that I will have to diet down again next year.

Losing 40lbs for my comp I think was too drastic. I did lose a lot of muscle mass. I was curious if staying leaner year round would make it easier to cut bf and retain muscle come comp time.

[/quote]

[quote]whosyobobby wrote:
several coaches here say 10% should be your ceiling, meaning bulk up until you reach 10% BF and then cut back to about 6-8%. Repeat again and again.[/quote]

That is absolutely ridiculous and would love for you to find specific quotes where someone is not only saying this but attempting to make some point that everyone over 10% body fat needs to diet down to 6%.

I would also like for you to show me even 3 people who have gained 50lbs of muscle mass or more after they stopped growing in height while specifically staying below 10% body fat the whole time.

[quote]shawninjapan wrote:
The “most effective” way would almost certainly not be to stay at such a low bodyweight. I tried two full years of gaining muscle at probably 10% bf with very, very little to show for it. It is only after I stopped worrying about staying so damned lean all the time that I started to make some actual progress.

Moreover, I have followed your threads from the start, and, my opinion, of course I can’t know you, but the reason you lost 40 pounds (!!! at your height!!!) was that you did not take the good advice you were given. That muscle mass wasn’t ready to stay on and you gave most of it away. What a waste of time. Can you see this?

I’m sure competing was a great experience. That was, if I recall correctly, the reason you gave for wanting to do it in the first place, so long ago. You’ve had your experience. Now you are still talking the same game. Nothing has changed. What is it you want? You always use other shorter guys (damnit if I can’t remember his name) to excuse your own lack of willingness to put in the time and effort the right way in the gym and in the kitchen before stripping away the fat and jumping on stage.

I’ll ask it again. What is it you want? The end result, what are you looking for? Honestly answer that question and I don’t think you will need to start a thread asking the smart people on this board what you already know.

Of course, you will do whatever the hell you want, but, when all is said and done, I mean years, years later, will you really be satisfied at having held back so much for those fleeting moments of short term gratification?

five-twelve wrote:
Professor X I have to disagree with you about the size issue. I don’t believe you have to be 200+ lbs to win any of these comps unless you go Pro. The guy that won the whole OCB Spirit of America Comp was only 162 lbs.

I don’t disagree with you about adding size in the off season. The question is what is the most effective way to do that, knowing that I will have to diet down again next year.

Losing 40lbs for my comp I think was too drastic. I did lose a lot of muscle mass. I was curious if staying leaner year round would make it easier to cut bf and retain muscle come comp time.

[/quote]

Thank you for your opinion shawninjapan you raise some good questions that I often ask myself.

What I want from bodybuilding…

In the broad sense, I do it because I smile again. Increase self-confidence, happiness, all that stuff that people tend to think is cheezy until you don’t have it.

Most of all I want to do this because its something that I have learned to love and share to others.

You and Prof X are both right. I most likely made mistakes on this journey. But show me one person who has not stumbled alone the way.

It is learning threw those mistakes that makes us better as an athlete and a person.

This is why I posted this thread. I was interested in other opinions. What you guys may not realize is that many of the things you guys recommend I have 20 other guys saying all different things. The goal is to sort threw all the information and try to seperate the good from the BS.

One of the great things I learned from this comp is that almost everyone does something different from a training standpoint. Finding out what works best for you body is what is the most important part. This just comes with time in the gym and learning as many theories as you can from places such as T-Nation.

All I’m asking for is for you to share your own experience. I would like to think if I became knowledgable enough in this sport I could also share that knowledge to others by also being humble in my adivice.

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
In the broad sense, I do it because I smile again. Increase self-confidence, happiness, all that stuff that people tend to think is cheezy until you don’t have it.
[/quote]

Am I right in thinking that you want to compete all the time? Sort of irrespective of the progress you make?

The advice everyone here is giving you is to train hard for a good few years and make as much progress as possible and then, if you have made some good improvements to your physique and you compare favourably to the competition, go ahead and compete.

If you keep trying to jump into contest mode every six months, you will be shortchanging your efforts.

But this is already what everyone said at the beginning and is still saying now.

This is not an attack, just trying to clarify if you seek to win a contest, or just want to take part?

[quote]five-twelve wrote:
After my last comp I was thinking of changing my training method a bit. Instead of doing another 4-6month bulk followed by a drastic 4 month cut cycle, I was thinking about trying to keep leaner all year(roughly 8-9% bf @ 170ish). That way I don’t have to do a drastic cut and lose hard earned muscle during the cutting phase.

I was wondering if other people believe in this training style for comps.[/quote]

I think staying at 170ish lbs @ 8-9% bf is a good way to stay 170ish lbs @ 8-9% bf. There is no reason to lose so much muscle during a cut unless you give your body a reason to make it dispensable.

You say that you find happiness in competing, why not find happiness in progress? Would you really be content with stagnation, is it really a challenge to simply present the same package time and again?

Nobody is telling you to get fat, that is not the purpose of bulking. I agree that you should take some time to add some muscle and eventually blow away what you presented at your last comp. If your going to compete why not make yourself stand out from the competition, that’s what I would do anyway.

[quote]Joe D. wrote:
five-twelve wrote:
In the broad sense, I do it because I smile again. Increase self-confidence, happiness, all that stuff that people tend to think is cheezy until you don’t have it.

Am I right in thinking that you want to compete all the time? Sort of irrespective of the progress you make?

The advice everyone here is giving you is to train hard for a good few years and make as much progress as possible and then, if you have made some good improvements to your physique and you compare favourably to the competition, go ahead and compete.

If you keep trying to jump into contest mode every six months, you will be shortchanging your efforts.

But this is already what everyone said at the beginning and is still saying now.

This is not an attack, just trying to clarify if you seek to win a contest, or just want to take part?[/quote]

This was all pointed out in the beginning. It was drowned out by less experienced people who jumped in stating that he should do it “for the experience” as if it was a one time thing. They completely missed the overall implication that this guy seems to ONLY get motivation from competing. That is a problem and he won’t be making much progress at all thinking that way.

Most of us who lift for years do it because we love lifting weights and making progress. Eventually, someone competing “just for the experience” will face the fact that they aren’t winning. If that is where all motivation is coming from, the end result will be quitting. This also isn’t the first time I’ve known someone like this…yet it is amazing how experience gets drowned out on this site by those who think the goal should be “feel good” posts about just doing it.

This guy is a beginner still. He needs to put the time in. The current trend for so many of these guys to skip that and just jump on stage has never made much sense and is backwards. It also devalues the efforts of those who actually worked hard for years to make progress before they competed.

I’ve never seen anybody lose muscle weight when dieting properly. Especially a seasoned bodybuilder.

[quote]John Smith wrote:
I’ve never seen anybody lose muscle weight when dieting properly. Especially a seasoned bodybuilder.[/quote]

You can’t be serious. Please find one competing bodybuilder who claims that losing muscle when dieting is a nonissue. It is a FIGHT to hold onto muscle when dieting. That is why protein is increased drastically and heavy weights remain in the training program.

It is a given that you may lose some muscle when dieting. The goal is to reduce that or prevent it as much as possible, however, I don’t know anyone who would claim it doesn’t happen.

I just dont understand this need to compete out in the bodybuilding/weightlifting world today. People with 1-3 years experience for the most part are not at the point where they should be stepping on stage.

If people compete for the experiece the first time thats fine, the second time I would expect expect to place, if not win the weight class.
So basically what im saying is that I think its time to stay away from the stage a few years. Put on a bit more size.

Mature the muslce that you do have and then diet down and try to retain as much muscle mass as possible for your next competition.
See Ya