Winter Training for Athletes & Bodybuilders
Winter Training – Bulking Up
Bodybuilders and other athletes should vary their exercise routine throughout the year in order to continue progressing towards their goals and to prevent boredom. For bodybuilders, the winter months are usually a prime time of year to work on bulking up. Come spring, most bodybuilders start working on definition in preparation for the beach body season of summer, when many competitions take place. However, winter training programs usually allow bodybuilders increased caloric intake and a lighter workout regime. Not all bodybuilders take this approach, but it is very common. By taking a break from stringent dietary habits and rigorous workout routines, these athletes allow themselves an opportunity to build up fat stores to convert to muscle in the spring.
In short, most bodybuilder’s winter training provides for bulking up. Spring training provides time for cutting new muscle growth and honing muscle tone. Summer is most often the time when the year’s work is displayed at competitions or simply walking the beach, enjoying the outdoor life. Not only does this routine fit well with natural human habits, it also provides a much needed break for the body. By varying the workout or training routine throughout the year, not only can boredom be avoided, but recovery can be maximized for the best results.
Part of the reason winter training is devoted to bulking is because many outdoor exercise routines are inhibited by the cold. It is much harder to participate in cardiovascular exercises outdoors when the temperature dips. Additionally, with the holidays and the addition of heavier, baggy clothing during the winter months, many athletes find the loose diet need for bulking and the increased weight gain required can be achieved much easier during the winter months. In the summer, most activities will require showing much more of your physique than in winter months, making bulking and added weight gain difficult.
Many bodybuilders may be tempted to allow the bulking that goes with winter training to become an excuse for overeating or unhealthy eating. However, empty calories do not provide the right bulk for the cutting that happens come spring. Diets must still be carefully watched, but not as strictly as during spring and summer months. Extra pounds around the midsection can easily be hidden under heavier winter clothes, but too many extra pounds or too much fat can make spring cutting more difficult. A clean diet is still important, even when bulking during the winter.
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