In the off season it’s all about adding those extra pounds of muscle.... and as many as possible! But remember I’m talking muscle; it’s not a pie eating contest. In my opinion even in the off season there is no place for fast food, cakes, chocolate and sweets unless we are talking a weekend cheat meal. But this doesn't mean you have to eat plain boring meals during the week, if you can get satisfaction from correct nutrition... why not!?
Just keep in mind there is no need to go over 12% body fat in the off season (18% for women), you don’t want to add too much body fat and then struggle to lose this pre-comp. Any lower than this and some will struggle to maintain optimal hormonal function and add adequate size.
It’s so important during this time to stay focused, disciplined and on track. Enjoy the extra calories, stick to a cheat meal once a week and eat a clean anabolic diet. Remember the overall net gain of lean muscle when you next diet down will be worth it!
So below I thought I would give you an example of one of my favourite meal plans for a mass building diet. I believe it not only has to tick all the boxes nutritionally but you still need to really.....and I mean REALLY enjoy eating it.
Enjoying the diet to the fullest has transferable benefits for me. I find this satisfaction means I am a more productive, outgoing person. I work better during the day, train harder and to be honest sleep better. I am not saying go away and eat these volumes at these times but take note of the meal suggestions:
- 4 whole eggs, 4 egg whites with 60g oats blended and pan fried using 1 cal extra virgin olive oil into a pancake
- 2 table spoons of 0% fat Greek yoghurt mixed with 1 teaspoon of Walden Farms strawberry jam (pancake topping)
- 1 cup of green tea
- 100g fresh homemade salsa (made from diced tomatoes, lettuce, rocket, peppers, onion, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil)
- 250g homemade lean grass fed beef burgers (using 1 whole egg to bind)
- 180g sweet potato mash (includes a dash of milk, 50g of low fat chilli hummus)
- 50g Granola
- 1 handful of mixed peanuts and cashews
- 250g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
- 1 scoop of whey protein (PhD Pharma whey choc cookie was my choice)
- 2 table spoons of honey
- 50/50 split of Brown rice flower and potato starch mixed with either BBQ grill or Cajun chicken spice. Used to coat and fry (in 1 cal extra virgin olive oil spray) 150-200g of chicken hearts
- 180g of oven baked sweet potato wedges
- 2 table spoons of cool low fat sour cream and chive dip
- 100g Dr Zak’s protein pasta
- 40g of sundried tomatoes
- 1 table spoon of red tomato pesto
- 1 full haddock fillet with cracked black pepper, sea salt and a dash of lemon
- 60g of Moroccan style Cous cous
- 1 cup of baby spinach
- 2 scoops PhD Casein Peptide
- 500ml 0% fat skimmed milk
- 1 table spoon of Walden farms chocolate syrup
- 1 table spoon of natural peanut butter
- 1 handful of ice cubes