Weight Gain in the off season

This time of year, a lot of athletes will gain between 3-6kg between November and December every year (hopefully not the summer athletes). Many of these athletes are convinced that overfeeding pays off during the following season.

It is important to note that a three to six week period of overfeeding can produce an increase in weight of which 50-60% in lean body mass. However, with a power training program at the gym, this can increase up to 75-80%.

On the other side of this, a period of relative “under nourishment” can produce weight reduction at the expense of both lean body mass and lean muscle mass but this is less pronounced for the athletes who had earlier gone through the overfeeding period.

The same thing happens to hibernating animals……

Overfeeding produces important hormonal responses, with an increase in insulin, IGF-1, and testosterone in both men and women.

A “”CONTROLLED”” weight increase (3-6 kg) in winter is useful, especially in athletes who are slightly lacking in muscle force. These athletes can profit even more, in terms of lean body mass, by combining Overfeeding with appropriate gym workout regimens.

Overfeeding must be balanced. Proteins should correspond to 15-20% of total cal; fats 30-35%; carbs 45-55%.

In a “hypothetical” diet of 3000 cal, this works out as follows:
– 450-600 cal from 110-150 g protein
– 900-1050 cal from 110-115 g fats
– 1350-1650 cal from 340-410 g carbs

Alcohol should be avoided or at least limited, since it inhibits hormonal adaptation to Overfeeding.

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