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As you already understood, after the cycle we have a very reduced level of recovery and an increased level of muscle-destroying hormone – cortisol. This is quite logical. When we introduce a large amount of anabolic hormones, the body begins to insure and “adjust” the proportion by increasing the amount of cortisol (catabolic hormone). On the cycle, we don’t care, because the amount of anabolic hormones is very large and we completely cover all the negative effects of catabolism.
However, as soon as you abandon the cycle, the proportion of hormones you get is worse than that of the natural bodybuilder. Add to this the fact that any workout is stress, which further increases the amount of cortisol, and you will understand that you need to do something with the usual training regime. I will say right away that it needs to be reduced both in time and in volume. More often, people do nothing. They are accustomed to train 5-6 times a week, and continue without chemistry, forgetting that the body and muscles cannot withstand this load. As a result: loss in mass and strength.
What to do?
First of all, you need to reduce the number of workouts per week to 3, and sometimes to 2. See how you feel. In magazines and programs about bodybuilders, we always see very difficult training schemes for the average person. Guys torture their bodies 5-6 times a week with a monstrous volume of training load. Unfortunately, thanks to Uncle Joe, this only works for professionals and only on chemistry. Moreover, often even if you are on chemistry, you need to train much less frequently than is considered normal. In general, the first rule is:
- Reduce the number of workouts per week to 2-3.
The trainings themselves have to be very hard to maintain gained muscle mass and strength (what we don’t use – we lose), but on the other hand, the workouts should be short in order not to burden the regenerative abilities of our “tired” organism very much. Hence, we derive two more rules:
- Use heavy basic exercises.
- 2Training should be short (30-40 min).
The longer the workout lasts, the more stress hormones that destroy muscles and the less intensity that stimulates the strength of the muscles.
In order to implement these rules in practice, you have to train the muscle group quite rarely.
- We train the muscle group once a week.
And the number of exercises and approaches should be reduced to the required minimum.
- 1-2 exercises on the muscle group.
- 2-3 working approaches in the exercise.
Our weekly split may look something like this:
- Monday | LEGS
- Tuesday | –
- Wednesday | BACK, DELTS
- Thursday | –
- Friday | CHEST, ARMS
- Saturday | –
- Sunday | –
For especially neglected cases:
- Monday | LEGS BACK
- Tuesday | –
- Wednesday | –
- Thursday | CHEST, DELTS, ARMS
- Friday | –
- Saturday | –
- Sunday | –
Now, as for the selection of exercises.
- LEGS (squats, stiff-legged lift).
- BACK (pull-ups, bent-over rowing).
- CHEST (barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press).
- DELTS (standing bench press, barbell chin raise).
- ARMS (bicep curls, hammer curls, parallel bars, close-grip bench).
As you can see only the most severe base. Isolated exercises can be completely eliminated at this stage because we are not talking about grinding or working out muscles. It’s about saving them. Example:
Wednesday | BACK, DELTS
- Pull-ups 3 × 6-12 (with weight).
- Bent-over rowing 2 warm up + 2-3x 6-12.
- Standing bench press 2 warm up + 2-3 × 6-12.
- Barbell chin raise 1 warm up + 2-3 x 6-12.
In the same way, we make up workouts for each day. In the exercises, try to maintain the strength results that you received during the cycle. To do this you will need to increase the rest between sets. I.e. you will train as a powerlifter, but under an abbreviated scheme. This approach will help you to reduce the level of catabolism, and at the same time, it will help preserve the size of muscle cells.
Much has already been said about the rest. I don’t want to uselessly mill the wind again. Therefore, I limit to the main provisions:
- Eat often and balancedly.
- The metabolism slowed down, therefore less fat (so as not to get fat).
- Also eat less protein, because building is “conserved” (up to 2 grams).
- Sleep: 8 hours at night and preferably extremely 1-2 hours during the day.
- Remove cardio or reduce intensity to a minimum.
- Carbohydrates after exercise and moderate proteins.
Well, I advise you not to give a rat’s tail about the appearance. The fact that you will become flatter and weaker is expected. So relax and enjoy the off-season.