We asked Titan Nutrition athlete and heavyweight national bodybuilding competitor Ryan Whitesel to share with us his diet during his off season and now as he is preparing for nationals. While this diet might not be a perfect fit for you, it will give you a glimpse of what it takes year round to be a competitive bodybuilder.
When it come to dieting in the Offseason it’s very easy to become inundated with things that are pulling us away from our goals we have been trying to achieve. It’s in the name itself, “off” -season… which many, I believe, interpret as a time to relax and let the hair down (for those of you who have hair). What the “off-season” should be is your time to demand the most diligence and execution from yourself, allowing you to continually improving each time you step on stage instead of bringing the same physique year after year.
Calories should be exceptionally high in offseason but should primarily come from the same foods you’re used to digesting and work well for you during prep. It can take some serious motivation to wrap your head around the thought of eating the same bland foods but now in amounts that will ensure permanent belly distention throughout the day and train with much less supplemental use, but if you can check your ego enough to not fall for the “I need to gain 40lbs of fat every Offseason, train” you’ll be sitting in a better position with a more responsive metabolism when you start your diet.
Here is the most caloric dense my diet has gotten this Offseason.
Staying on this consistently 6-7 days days a week all through my Offseason only raised my weight to about 20lbs above stage weight so for the vast majority I’ve had enough conditioning to be able to see my body change before my eyes. How else do you know you’re changing for the better if you get too fat to see it?
In retrospect to the Offseason meal plan, my prep diet isn’t a whole lot different. I’m conditioned to staying the course all year so my body makes more drastic of changes with the little tweaks in the diet changes. Responsiveness and knowing the way your body works will always help your situation when preparing for a show. Not forcing the body to go through drastic diet changes out of thin air, will eliminate a huge variable from the equation.
Here’s an example of what my prep diet looks like. This diet has dropped me all the way back To 6.5 pounds above my last stage weight w/ the help of increasing my cardio by 20 min a day as well.
As you can see it is mostly the same foods just in different amounts, primarily the carbs later in the day.
Don’t over think dieting, keep it simple, keep it consistent, eat what works for your body best. If you are wanting to see a change in your physique don’t try to do it overnight. Make small changes in your diet increasing or decreasing calories and evaluate at the end of a week or ten days. This way you can see how your body responds to more or less carbs, proteins or fats and dial it in so you are hyper in tune with how to change your look.
Everyone can have the body they want as long as they’re willing to eat for purpose and not pleasure. Most of the time!