For most men of average height (5’7” to 5’10”) who engage in weight training, hitting the 200-pound mark at under 15% body fat marks the transition between beginner and intermediate bodybuilder status. Hitting 200 pounds means you have the foundation built. It’s time to start focusing on the details.
Begin adding things you haven’t tried before to erase deficits which should now be becoming more apparent. The more food you consume, the more important essential fatty acids will become. Glutamine will assist you in dealing with the new joint aches and pain that will come with weighing more as well. Research additional supplements as your new needs arise.
Fiber becomes a worry for many bodybuilders as they shovel down pounds of meat and quickly discover intestinal distress. Water becomes more and more important to maintain body functions. This higher bodyweight will create new needs for baselines in the carbohydrate, protein, and fat departments. You’ll require a baseline of 300+ grams of protein just to keep your gains. Without 750+ grams of carbs per day, you’ll suddenly become flat. You can become ill or injured if your fats suddenly get too low. More than at any other time in your bodybuilding journey so far, it becomes important to maintain these daily minimums.
It’s time to add more isolation movements to your bodybuilding training. You have a solid foundation, barring any glaring weaknesses. It’s time to begin aiming for separation in muscle groups, not just size. Isolate the deltoid heads with cables. Use cable crossovers for more chest definition. Discover new leg movements to make those thighs stand out. The devil is in the details once your foundation of muscle has been built. Examine your physique for flaws and weaknesses, and address them!
The climb through beginner ranks was easy compared to what you’ll face as an intermediate, both in terms of making gains in the gym, as well as what you’ll face onstage. Steroids are a real part of the equation with high level bodybuilding. Do your research and keep in mind the bigger picture of life when making these tough choices.