Posted By Jamie Do Rego on December 3, 2018
Learn the offseason strategy behind one of the UK’s top up-and-coming bodybuilders, Jamie Do Rego as he chases his Pro Card.
I like to call the offseason “improvement season” because there really is no time to get complacent.
It is probably one of the most important aspects in bodybuilding when it comes to making improvements for the following season!
DO NOT neglect this phase, instead utilise it and make the most of this period because champions are truly made in the offseason!
One of the hardest aspects I seem to see when people are trying to make the most of this phase is staying CONSISTENT and executing the plan in place perfectly!
The majority tend to slip off track and get back into their old ways because during this phase the goal is much different.
Trying to add tissue is NOT easy both mentally and physically, especially when pushing the limits!
Mentally, we see ourselves get softer and look worse, while physically, we are forcing our body’s by pushing the food and pushing the limits in the gym.
It’s all about doing what’s necessary to reach your end goal and that’s the way I always approach my offseason. I know I will have to deal with some of the harsh truths and I won’t look great year round but that’s the reality when you are looking to add good amounts of tissue and improve.
I have never seen anyone stay crazy lean year round and add a huge amount of tissue the following year.
If you look at all the great pros, you will see that in the offseason the got somewhat much softer in order to allow their body to rest, recover and grow.
This is by no means saying get fat because there comes a point where if you push too much and body-fat gets too high it becomes detrimental come time to prep!
You want to stay in a position where you are solid and don’t hold much stubborn fat.
As a rough guide, I would say you should always be able to see your abs – doesn’t mean they need to be shredded but they should be visible!
Consistency in the Off-Season
Food and hard training are in my opinion the most important part of this improvement phase.
Don’t underestimate the power of consistency day in day out, week in week out, because that is what brings improvements.
The only secret out there is consistency: everyone is looking for a magic answer or new method but it really is so simple, it’s about who can stack up the most consistent years of the above!
Anyone who has been training and eating well for 10+ years will have an impressive physique. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so be prepared for that!
My latest Offseason
My personal approach this offseason was a little different to previous years as I feel now it is all about refining my physique rather than a case of I want to put on crazy amounts of muscle on this year.
I feel if I push too much I would end up running my midsection and spoiling my overall look so they key for me was to look at what areas I could bring up to make my physique more impressive.
I never pushed my food crazy high this year. Instead, I kept stable and made sure my weight stayed around 245/250.
I prioritized on muscle groups that needed more attention so I focused on organizing my training split around that.
My focus was to bring more back thickness, increase my outer sweep and develop my inner thighs.
To achieve this, I doubled up on back days: one day I would hit back all wide movements, the second session I would hit back all close movements.
For my quads. I focused on keeping my foot stance narrow and changed the position of my feet to really connect with my outer sweep. Of course I would still go heavy and keep my compounds in but towards the end of my leg workout the focus would be outer sweep.
For my inner thighs I actually hit them every other day post cardio, to keep them stimulated.
I believe my approach has definitely worked and I will see the improvement come the 2019 season on stage!
Food wise. I kept my offseason super basic.
I kinda went off how I felt because I know I’m not chasing weight or numbers – I simply ate 6 meals a day making sure I never missed a meal.
I would generally just make sure my protein per meal was around 6-7oz cooked weight protein and my carbs I would kinda go off how I felt.
Seems pretty crazy because back in the day I would NOT have done this, but that ’s simply because I am not chasing the same goal, it’s about refinement now.
So. my diet would look somewhat like this, but I would sometimes eat more or less carbs depending on how I felt, if I was hungry etc.
1 bagel and jam
12 egg whites
2 whole eggs
6-7oz cooked protein (chicken/beef/salmon)
150g white rice
Pre workout meal:
100g cream of rice
2 scoops whey isolate
Post workout meal:
100g cream of rice
Cheat meal (anything I fancied, sushi, burger, dessert sometimes)
400g low-fat Greek yoghurt
1 scoop whey isolate
This approach, I believe really worked for me but I know back when I held much less tissue I would have never got away with the above. I’d have got fat as hell if I had a cheat meal every night, lol!
Now, I hold more tissue I get away with it, plus I really struggle to get crazy fat in offseason. I go softer but don’t really hold huge amounts of stubborn fat.
You have to take into account YOUR body and how it responds, as we are all different, so what works for me may not work for you!
I think the key is during this phase we are very critical of ourselves, we have to be!
Be harsh on yourself, Be committed to your goal, be consistent, be driven and be prepared to make sacrifices because that’s the only way you will improve.