Natural Bodybuilder Only Competes Every 3 Years to Maximize Muscle Growth

Mike Pucci takes 3 years off from competing to maximize muscle growth

Professional natural bodybuilder Mike Pucci takes a three-year-long off-season to maximize muscle growth. 

Growing muscle naturally takes time while consistently implementing the correct strategies. That’s why natural pro International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) competitor Mike Pucci only signs up to compete every three years. Instead, during his long off-season, Pucci works on maximizing muscle growth. He credits this muscle growth cycle for enabling him to add serious mass. On Instagram, Pucci said:

“Competing every 3 years gives me long enough of an off season to gain significant muscle, completely regulate hormones and have them at optimal levels, increase strength, and get hunger levels to where they are basically non existent

For me 3 years is the sweet spot and I usually hover around 35-45lbs over my stage weight for the majority of that time”

He acknowledges that growing muscle naturally takes time, so he implements this strategy. First, however, he believes you should get comfortable holding onto extra body fat to improve your physique for most of the year. You can see Mike Pucci diving into the detail of this bulking cycle and a photo of him during in-season and out of season below. 



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Mike Pucci says he spends 90% of the time hanging on to more body fat. But, because he sees it as imperative for maximizing muscle growth naturally, his strategy works well. And he’s had a successful career after transitioning to the sport from cheerleading. This off-season cycle earned him a top ten placement amongst the most elite natural bodybuilders globally in 2021. At Natural Olympia 2021, Mike Pucci placed eighth in the Men’s Bodybuilding division

Natural Bodybuilding 

As Mike Pucci said, it’s essential to allow your body enough time to build muscle naturally. Of course, this is imperative in natural bodybuilding since exploiting drugs is forbidden. However, drugs such as steroids and PEDs give your body a considerable enhancement in muscle mass, regardless of the possible health consequences. 

That’s why natural bodybuilders train extra smart with their workouts, nutrition, and competition prep. Every inch matters in this sport, and natural bodybuilders curate their regimens to build their physique to peak performance naturally. 

Natural bodybuilding is safer than other bodybuilding federations. Like the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) Pro, Leagues want their athletes to remain safe and healthy; however, they don’t drug test their athletes. So, of course, with no preventive measure in place, it’s challenging to regulate drug abuse

However, the most significant natural bodybuilding federation – the INBA PNBA – utilizes professional athletes’ best drug testing standards – the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Any athlete who disobeys these standards will never earn a chance to receive a multi-media contract with Generation Iron, INBA PNBA, and Iron Man Magazine. They’ll also be banned from competing and ridiculed if caught doping on the Hall of Shame

Generation Iron is eager to see Mike Pucci’s progress over the next few years. We look forward to seeing you back on stage! 

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As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.