Q&ABulking Up”   ♦   “Steroid Weight
♦   “Bulking Up Again
“Bulking Up”

Q. I’m a natural bodybuilder, 5’10” and weigh 180 lbs. I’d like to gain weight up to 220, then cut back and enter natural shows at about 195 lbs. to 200 lbs. I currently have about 16% bodyfat.What do you think?
A. I think there’s a better way to go about it. You already are carrying too much bodyfat, so instead of gaining weight or bulking up, you should actually be reducing your body fat, which will probably result in having to lose weight. Once you’ve accomplished this, then you should slowly try to add lean mass, and keep your bodyfat levels much lower. While it’s good to be ambitious and shoot for high goals, don’t let your bodybuilding be determined by arbitrary numbers such as high bodyweight. Let your appearance be your guide instead.
“Steroid Weight”

Q. I read about a bodybuilder using steroids to gain 50 lbs. He went from 150 to 200 in only a  couple of months, said he worked out maybe once a week, and listed a lot of the drugs he took to get there. Although he doesn’t compete, he wants to add more size, but he complained of having joint pains which he attributes to the weight gain. Given that you are a natural bodybuilder, what do you think of all this?

A. Seriously? I read about this guy also.There are a lot of things to say about this, but I’ll just mention a few. First off, the bodybuilder doing this has made the choice to do what he’s doing, so it’s his responsibility. Second, I would hope that other bodybuilders at least consider the possibility of potential problems before they undertake such decisions.Third, there are alternative choices available, the most obvious one being not to take drugs. And fourth, it no longer surprises me that people will do just about anything. 
“Bulking Up Again”

Q. Why are you against bulking up? Isn’t this how natural bodybuilders gained size in the past? Don’t today’s pros do this?

A. You should look at my answer to the first question.You’re right that bulking up was a common, popular method in the earlier days of bodybuilding and for natural bodybuilders. There are some cases where gaining a lot of bodyweight, for a sport, for example, might be a necessity, but in cases where drug free bodybuilders gain twenty, thirty or fifty pounds over their contest weights in the off-season, then cut down to get a net gain of five or ten pounds, it’s counter-productive. It’s at best inefficient, at worst a complete waste of time, especially since bodybuilders who do this often don’t end up cutting down or cutting down enough. As for the pros, they’re not natural. Some of them with their huge size and extensive drug use can and do add large amounts of bodyweight then cut way down for a contest. That seldom if ever works for natural bodybuilders.

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