USN Ambassador, Rich Gozdecki takes a closer look at Christmas gains without missing out on the festivities…

Mounds of chocolate, plates piled high, Christmas puddings, leftovers on top of leftovers and fists full of pigs in blankets, all washed down with buckets of booze.

Seems like this time of year is a recipe for disaster for the average diet and probably when most see unwanted amounts of weight gain.

I can’t see how all that good living, indulgence and abundance of food can be looked at in a negative way. As a bodybuilder, I’m in the game of eating in excess and only restricting calories when wanting to loose weight for a show. For most, a maintenance phase is employed for the main part of the year so that bodyweight does not get out of control.

So I look at Christmas as a productive ‘mini-bulk’.

There are a couple of key basic points to remember to make the most of the Christmas period.

Keep training. Stick to your gym routine, whether it be 3 times per week or 6. Don’t get out of the habit. Enjoy your weights and have a little rest off the cardio. Spend 60-75 minutes in the weights room and push yourself for volume and weight. You’ll have the sufficient calories to recover after this season.

Plan your meals (and your treats) around your training. Each meal has a purpose, whether it’s recover, energy for workout, or sitting down with the family pig out. If you’re going to have big cheats, why not fuel your workouts. Try having your cakes and chocolate prior to your session. Trust me, you’ll have some of the biggest pumps you’ve ever had in the gym. Same goes for recovery, ram some carbs in ASAP, then focus on those Xmas meat feasts for your recovery meal.

Use those leftovers wisely. Never leave the house without a turkey sandwich or Three. Try to stay regular with your eating. Every 3 hours is perfect for digestion and this will also stop you form massively overeating in one meal.

As much as you’re boozing, you need to rehydrate just as much. Try to stick to at least 3-4 litres of water per day. For most this achievable during work hours, but as soon as we get time off work our drinking habits change. Make a conscious effort to fill up a bottle and keep it with you in your own time.

Get out and about. I’m not talking about cardio. Cardio is going for a run or smashing the stair master at full speed. I mean get out with the family and go for a walk(to the pub). Wrap up warm, get out for an hour, try to cover a few miles and earn that mulled wine upon your return home.

Finally, get enough rest. As long as you train regularly, eat plenty, and get around 7 hours sleep per night there is no reason why anyone couldn’t gain a tonne of muscle this Christmas.

Have a great festive period, enjoy the holidays and good luck in gaining some Christmas Muscle.

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