Today I want to address a little topic that is a hard one to digest for many of us. Especially those who have had the experience of stepping on a competition stage. And that’s one about fat gain, and the necessity of it for growth and progress.
I think that some folks get the term lean building a little confused. Lean building doesn’t mean that fat gain doesn’t happen. It doesn’t mean that you get to stay ripped while putting on size. What it does mean is that you are attempting to put on as much lean mass as you can, given your current programming, genetics etc, all while putting on as little body fat as what’s realistic.
So in essence, you WILL put on fat, you WILL see your abs disappear to a degree. But that’s all a part of the process too. The other thing to keep in mind is that the scale WILL go up. And if you’re on a great lean building plan, your carbs and calories are high, sodium is probably high (which is actually GOOD for growth), and so the body will be storing quite a bit of water with all of this. So it’s going to be important for you to keep an eyes wide open perspective on all of this. Particularly if you want your off season to be a true success, as all of this can derail any plan. Let me show you a few examples of this in progress.
Roxstar Fitness Client Jessica Brooks
Jes came to me looking to improve her physique. She had just done her first ever bodybuilding show, having competed in figure, and she was hooked! Of course the next time she would stand on that stage, she wanted to improve from her last showing. I saw the potential in her right away, and so I decided the course of action would be full, all over hypertrophy. The process took about a good 6 months, but I raised calories to well over 2000 per day, and trained her hard and heavy (yet progressive) 5 days a week.
As you can see from her photos, she did put on a considerable amount of size, but in order for her to completely transform her shape she had to. Here’s the good news though, since we had a very successful off season that gave her this incredible base to work with physically, our next off season we get to stay a little leaner and focus now on bringing up lagging body parts. However this wouldn’t have been possible without a proper lean build, and allowing her body to put on a little bit of fat as she took her physique to the next level.
Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is: Me As An Example
I can’t finish this article without putting myself front center as a point for inspiration for you on this topic. I remember standing backstage at the Olympia in 2014 and looking around at the other competitors in my division. Here I am, standing amongst the best on the world, and I realized there was something I had to do to be competitive… Get bigger.
So the journey began. Operation Roxie 3.0. My goal was to just really build up my entire body in the off season, and to step back on stage with an completely revamped physique.
That off season, I saw my weight climb to 180 pounds! This was the most I’ve ever weighed in my entire life! And realistically probably the last time I will have to get up that high as now my focus can be on lagging body parts.
And to tell you the truth, mentally, it was a real challenge, but I knew the absolute amazingness that awaited once I began my fat loss process. Months later, and about 30 pounds lighter, I truly stand with an evolved physique that’s incredibly strong and symmetrical.
This wouldn’t have happened if I let my trepidations take over. So my message to you is that if true transformation through lean building is your goal, you need to allow yourself to evolve and change, and get just a little fluffy in the process. Once you’re lean and mean again, your body will thank you!