Monday, November 19, 2007

Let The Mass Building Season Begin

This Thursday officially kicks off the holiday season here in the US. To muscle heads, that also signifies the beginning of the mass building season. Starting three days from today and continuing all the way up until January 1st, you will eat more calories than you do during any other time of year. You can try to fight it but it’s inevitable. So why not embrace it?

This is not the time to be trying to get lean. On the contrary, my friends, it’s time to get huge! You will spend a large majority of the next six weeks in a caloric surplus which means you had better be training accordingly and asking for some bigger clothes for Christmas.

While you want to take advantage of all the extra calories and use them to build some new muscle you also don’t want to end up a fat slob come New Years Day. You can avoid this by planning your workouts accordingly and using strategically planned cardio workouts to keep your waistline in control.

If you can do it, I always recommend planning your workouts so that they fall on the days when you are going to be eating the most. It’s always a good idea to follow up the weight training workout with cardio that day as well. This will help ensure that a large portion of the calories are sucked up by the muscles and stored as glycogen and will be used to build muscle instead of stored as bodyfat.

Another way to counteract all of the over eating that could lead to bodyfat accumulation is to try to never consume massive amounts of calories more than two days in a row. You can get away with two days of chowing down like a ravenous animal but anymore than that will definitely lead to fat gain.

If you plan accordingly and eat a lower calorie, lower carb diet for a few days before a big feast like Thanksgiving day, (basically depleting your glycogen stores) you will be even less likely to get fat from all of the excess calories. This is similar to carb depleting and loading that bodybuilders do before a big show (although less extreme and nowhere near as scientific). When you are in a depleted state like that you will be even more likely to use the excess calories to build muscle and less likely to store bodyfat.

My advice would be to lift weights on Thanksgiving morning followed by 30 minutes of cardio before the big feast. If your gym is closed and you have no other options, I would definitely recommend going out and doing some sprints, sled drags, car pushes or even a bodyweight circuit. Just as long as you do something to prepare your body to use the excess calories more effectively that day.

Remember, the next six weeks could be the time when you build more muscle than you will at any other time this year. Make sure you are well prepared and have it all planned out so that you enter the new year bigger and better than ever before.

For a detailed workout plan to follow this holiday/mass building season, go to now.

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