Are you a perma-bulker or a perma-shredder? For some in the industry it’s all about chasing those gains, others prefer to be lean and mean year round. Both can have severe hindrance to your big picture goals.
The perma-bulker, is always worried about looking big and round year round. While adding some beef is certainly needed, sometimes too much and for too long can slow progress or keep you from reaching true conditioning during show time. As food remains high, and cardio low. The body begins to slow in its ability to partition nutrient properly. Insulin sensitivity typically decreases and digestion can slow which results in unwanted fat and a lot of those calories not going to build the tissue we need.
With all that added weight mobility becomes severely diminished which leads to imbalances and eventually injury. Also a reduction in cardiovascular health and endurance is going to catch up to you and training becomes less intense.
When it comes to dieting for a show, the process then becomes extremely long and a lot of times that new tissue is lost because such drastic changes need to be made to drop all that extra fluff. Plus the guys who always worry about size are so worried about looking flat in the gym that they tend to cheat on diet and never get into the condition they need on stage.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is the guys that stay super lean all year long. I am known to fall into this category myself. Being too lean and consistently doing higher amounts of cardio and eating at a caloric deficit does not allow for an environment to grow as much new tissue to make improvements. Strong body parts may grow a bit but the weaknesses may never develop properly.
Another issue with being in a caloric deficit for so long is reduced metabolism and less wiggle room to take calories lower to get in true contest shape. This typically means an almost starvation diet and tons of cardio to get to lean enough. Also being very dry all the time can lead to a higher rate of torn muscles and tendons.
Just like almost everything in life you need to allow yourself to be uncomfortable to promote change. That may mean adding a little extra bodyfat or not looking overly round 24/7. The goal to achieve the success that is needed to make improvements in your physique and also remain healthy and productive in the process and just like Goldy Lox….you have to find that happy medium!