T Nation

What is 'Maintenance' in Bodybuilding Terms?

I think around 2002, I heard Arnold Schwarzenegger say he was just in maintenance mode. I’ve heard others say this since.

I know it means to maintain what you have, without a goal of growing, etc. But what does it mean as far as a program? How would lifting for maintenance be different than for bulk, weight loss, power, etc? Is it just lower intensity, or are there specific tactics (like pyramid or reverse pyramid, circuit training, etc.) that help?


Maintenance as a word could mean also eating enough cals to cover your BMR plus activity needs, and no more. The program may vary man, that is just obvious; some people will have to train harder to maintain what they have. I think genetics and level of training/development are main factors for that.

No focus on upping or increasing the weight and reps on a lift.

No decreases or increases in calories per day just eating enough to maintain current size.

Combat pyramids.

Like meymz said, I think it has more to do with not eating a caloric surplus then it does how your training is structured. If your not eating a surplus, you most likely wont be making any significant gains in strength and therefore wont be gaining much muscle.