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Bodybuilding: Taking your body into the off-season

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Summer has come and is almost gone and you should be giving yourself a great deal of applause because you've worked your butt off and it's been a great ride. Now, it's time to dial it down a notch in getting prepared for the next summer season. Sound like a backwards plan? Well it's not at all. In fact, it will become your greatest opportunity for new growth and development.

If you are a competitive bodybuilder, you know what this is about. During competition season, your body takes a beating to stay as cut, as lean and as unhealthy as possible to attempt a win. That's right, when you feel your worse during competition stage, you actually look your best. Yet anyone knows that you cannot survive indefinitely on a competition diet and keeping your body depleted of water; you would soon die. This is why bodybuilders tend to gain weight rapidly after competition is over. Whatever they eat after the strict competition diet causes them to put on weight and quickly. This is just the body's natural response to starvation, so to speak.

Going into the off season is a great time to eat very well, especially you guys, packing on the pounds to get bigger than the last show. But it doesn't mean you don't have to maintain a diet plan.

Off-season is the time of year that bodybuilders tend to look like everyone else, because they don't walk around in competition body attire. It's a season, usually leading into the winter months, when not much is going on and more time is spent getting geared up for the next season of competitions. Bodybuilders can actually relax and focus on changing their bodies from what they may have lacked during their last competition season. Sometimes it may all seem perfect but no matter how much perfection spectators see, bodybuilders will always want to push perfection a little further. To the average bodybuilder, it's never perfect. That's just the level of competition in them.

During the off season is also when training can get a little more strenuous. Bodybuilders will focus on building bigger, which will mean lifting heavier and getting stronger. Although you still need to maintain a level of discipline when it comes to what you eat and how much, you are not in a phase during the off-season where you watch your food intake in the same way you do in competition. However, protein intake is still crucial for building muscles, but at the same time, it's a time that you are able to indulge, in moderation of course, in foods you would not even speak of during competition season.

The off-season is definitely not a time to stop everything and just throw caution to the wind, but it is a season that gives you an opportunity to honestly look at your body and rebuild it, like a piece of artwork, to remove whatever obstacle you feel may have been in the way during competition.

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