5 Strategies To Stay Lean In The Off-Season - Fast&Up


Bodybuilder's have offseason for a reason. No one can stay in contest-shape all year round, it's un-realistic & unhealthy. Off-season is the time where they can pack some new muscle-mass on their frames. It isn't the time for dirty bulk; it's a phase where you'll grow lean muscle that'll serve you for the upcoming competing season.

An average competitor will diet & workout anywhere from 8-20 weeks to prepare for a competition. Consider this: You did everything right up until you stepped on that stage, ended up winning the top prize. What happens next? You take the foot off the gas immediately and assume all bets are off. Now it's time to chill again and hog onto whatever you want. One of the glaring flaws during offseason is that increase in body weight doesn't necessarily indicate an increase in muscle mass, maybe you're just adding fat. It's easy to justify eating whatever you want when you delude yourself into believing that it's all contributing towards getting bigger.

So here’s how you can get the best out of your offseason:

Fast&Up Stay Lean While Gaining Muscle


Sticking to a strict diet isn’t easy when you don’t have a contest or a show to prepare for. Moreover, it’s not easy to stay deprived of things that are delicious but don’t contribute much to your body like cookies, fried delicacies, ice-cream, etc. Having a cheat-meal once a week is good enough to fulfill your cravings. Get your calories under control, set a limit. Have whole foods, eat your greens, fruits & beans. Divide your food in 6-7 meals a day with good amount of protein, moderate complex carbs, and healthy fats.


Putting on size requires your body to be on a caloric surplus, there’s no way around it. If you plan to add muscle, you should consume protein, carbs & calories in a surplus amount. Keep in mind if you exceed your calorie count while bulking, excess will be stored as body fat. 14 calories per pound of body-weight is a good number to start with. From there increase your calories by 10% and keep a record of your progress. If you’re putting on weight quickly & look noticeably soft in progress pictures, drop calories by 5%. If you don’t gain at all and notice no change bump up your calories up by 5%. Don’t be impatient wait for 2-3 weeks before making changes.


We all love weight training, pushing & pulling stacks of iron and getting pumped! Running or cycling on a machine that goes nowhere isn’t thrilling in comparison. Cardio is like final part of puzzle towards finding right balance between bulking & staying lean. However, to aid your bulking/cutting goals, traditional, low-intensity cardio should be swapped for high-intensity routines that burns twice the fat in half the time. It also avoids protein breakdown & damaging effects of cortisol.


Once you are eating clean, you can think about supplementation. In order to meet the daily protein intake, whey protein is recommended. You’ll also need a good quality multivitamin to meet daily requirement of nutrients missing from the diet and a good fish-oil supplement for healthy dose of fatty-acids. Supplementing your body with Zinc & Magnesium helps avoid muscle cramps and soreness, mitigate stress and makes recovery easier. Fast&Up sports nutrition has a range of all such amazing products.

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In order to gain muscle, it must receive a strong stimulus to grow. If you are putting half-hearted efforts in your workout, your bulking diet won’t account to much growth. Keep a track of your lifts and try to beat your previous numbers. In offseason building strength is very important. Compound lifts such as squats, deadlifts & bench-presses are great for building muscle & strength.
Offseason is the perfect time to make desired changes to your physique. Don’t waste it!

Roshan Shinde

-Expert and Writer