Christmas, The Most Wonderful Time of The Year?
Does December strike fear into your heart? Scared that you’ll wake up in January fat and skinny after eating too many mince pies?
It’s common knowledge that the holiday season presents a few obstacles to your physique goals. Your boss is on your case to hit year-end goals and deadlines. There are countless parties to attend, shopping to do, and family politics to contend with. This all adds up to a stressful and hectic month where most people let their hair down, skip the gym and eat and drink too much.
‘Inbetweenmass’ (aka the week between Christmas and New Year) is often the hardest to navigate. Making progress this week is practically impossible. You’re out of your routine. You get confused what day of the week it is (or is that just me?). Getting to the gym is nigh on impossible with the weight of family and social get togethers. While you can’t get to the gym your diet also goes out of the window as all there is to eat and drink is leftovers, party food and booze. Not conducive to getting jacked and lean. More like, fat and weak!
What if there was a way to take the week of Inbetweenmass off and still make great progress?
A way to…
…Build lean muscle while hanging out with friends and family while eating the food we love?
Impossible? Pah! Impossible is nothing… (thanks Adidas!).
You can build muscle while doing all the stuff you want to do between Christmas and New Year if you plan properly.
You just have to implement a simple scientific principle of training known as functional overreaching.
Want my #Decembulk – ChristMASS plan specifically designed to help you build pounds of muscle over Xmas? Go here to get YOUR copy
Overtraining for long periods of time is bad. Short-term, planned overtraining, however, can be a massively powerful training tool.
Functional overreaching is essentially short-term overtraining where you have a goal of digging yourself into a recovery ditch. You intentionally push your training past your body’s ability to recover before backing off, super compensating and jumping out of that recovery hole to new levels of strength and muscle. Doing so allows you to benefit from the harder training as your body gets a chance to recover.
Read more about my personal, practical experience with functional overreaching here
Functional overreaching is a result of planned, short-term overtraining. NOT under-recovery. To maximise the benefits your recovery must be optimised. To quote The Scientific Principles of Training by Chad Wesley-Smith, Dr James Hoffman and Dr Mike Israetel…” The better your recovery the more work you can do and the higher the magnitude of response.”
The more training you can do without exceeding your ability to recover the better your results. Functional overreaching takes this concept to another level. It works because when you train more, you gain more, and fatigue, if limited to the short-term is not harmful. If your recovery is on point the temporary hardship will be followed by gains of a level not seen with traditional training.
To do this you just push slightly into overtraining mode so that your body will rebound and create a hormonal environment that will promote lean muscle gains and an increased metabolic rate over the next 5-7 days. As such, during Inbetweenmass your body will partition more nutrients towards muscle to deal with the heightened recovery needs you have created from the intense two-week training blitz you have just endured.
If you time your functional overreaching just right, then you can kick back, relax, eat and drink, catch up with loved ones all the while your body “super-compensates” for your hard work.
LINKLINKLINK Turn yourself into Rudolph the Red Nosed Gaindeer (man I wish I could come up with a better Xmas/gains pun than that!)
Essentially, you’re gonna train until you can’t, then rest until you can.
Doing so will allow you to build the most muscle and strength possible over the festive period and lay the groundwork for a successful block of training in January.
There is method to the madness.
To recover from such demanding training, you will need to take in more calories. What better time to do that than Christmas week?
You should also allow for plenty of recovery. Time off work, avoiding the commute, not being woken by the alarm at the crack of dawn, and relaxing with friends and family fits the bill perfectly.
Your body will be able to make better use of the higher amounts of carbohydrates and increased calories consumed over the holidays this way.
By training to extreme levels the two weeks prior, you can accomplish a prolonged increased metabolic rate and improved nutrient partitioning (more nutrients being stored in the muscle and less in fat) without the need of workouts during Inbetweenmass. In fact, training between Christmas and new year would actually be counterproductive. So, the only exercise you will have to do is to pile your plate full of turkey and trimmings.
Now that you have read the science behind functional overreaching and know what to expect it’s time to get in the gym and grind it out.
Get my ChristMASS plan for here. It gives you 10 different workouts to do, nutrition plan and supplement recommendations. If you follow this plan to the letter you can expect to gain several pounds of lean muscle while sitting on the sofa eating mince pies.
When Father Christmas checks to see if you’ve been bad or good will he be delivering you GAINZ?