One of the oldest and most effective ways of being a bodybuilder is to eat like the bodybuilder you are trying to be. So, it means, if you measure 140 lb and you are trying to be 150 lb, then you should eat like a 150 lb bodybuilder. The likelihood is that, at first, the extra calories will not all be used in growth, repair and maintenance, and some of it will be put away as fat for use later.
What is fat and its necessity?
Fat is one of the three main micronutrients and is important for many forms of life. It serves both structural and metabolic functions. A lot of fat is not anabolic, far from it, it creates an oestrogenic environment that is the antithesis of the metabolic environment for optimum muscle growth, but some body fat is essential for optimum body performance and hormonal support.
Fat in female bodybuilders
If you want a dramatic demonstration, then female bodybuilders provide an example. When a woman diets down and loses her body fat drastically for a show, her periods stop. It is a normal hormonal process that is shut down, no one is exempt from this, and goes to show the basic need the body has for fats.
Fat in men
In men, if your body fat gets too low, testosterone production is compromised. In severe cases, you can have a complete loss of libido.
How fat is essential for bodybuilding?
Fat provides a cushion and brace for your body that allows it to lift more. Sure there is a Pudzianowski, the two-time winner of the World’s Strongest Man title, with his abs and bodybuilder like physique, who doesn’t look fat. But look closely at a professional bodybuilder off season and compare with him, and you’ll see they are not much different. He is leaner than most strongmen but he is not super lean. Look at powerlifters and the picture is clear – a little bit of body fat is essential for lifting heavy weights. Now, you might say that you are a bodybuilder, not a strongman or powerlifter. Yes, but weights are the stimulus for muscle growth, the heavier the weight the greater the stimulus.
Staying lean, which means really lean, is not concurrent with optimum muscle growth. It does not mean that you won’t grow any muscle, but the point is staying lean while trying to add muscle is making your job extremely difficult, to the point of setting yourself up for failure and disappointment.