The mainstream bodybuilding manual says that bodybuilders lose weight before a contest. However, things change when we are talking about the druggies. Some IFBB pros actually grow into a show. They don’t simply cut weight. They do it while gaining quality muscle mass.
Less Time On Drugs = a Healthier Body
The main reason why bodybuilders grow into a show is to save their bodies from all the drugs required to be a competitive professional bodybuilder. In the off-season, they reduce the drugs so that the body can recuperate. Then, right before a contest, they load up everything and enjoy the transformation. While this period is not particularly easy on the body, it’s healthier, cheaper and more tolerable than being on all kinds of drugs the whole year. In addition, this method prevents an early burnout. Kevin Levrone used this strategy successfully.
The current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath also prefers to grow into a show. Truth be told, he does not look as impressive during the off-season as one might think. But prior to a contest, he blows up and acquires the modern Mr. Olympia look.
Here’s Phil Heath on May 20, 2014
And here’s Phil Heat on August 20, 2014
Why naturals cannot grow into a show
Naturals can never grow into a show because losing fat and gaining muscle mass simultaneously is borderline impossible for the natural competitor. You can’t gain muscle naturally while getting down to 5-8%% body fat before a show.
When you are on tons of drugs like Phil Heath, the situations changes. Anabolic steroids alter the natural synthesis of protein and preserve muscle mass during the cutting phase. Moreover, there are drugs that help a lot with recomposition.