The cycle in a competitive bodybuilder's training year when their main objective is to acquire muscle through weight training and a relatively high calorie diet, without regard for fat and water accumulated in the process. Before 2000, this translated to a gain of 25-45lbs from the day after a show to their peak off season weight, before commencing the second cycle in their training year, namely the pre-contest stage. In recent years, most bodybuilders have attempted to keep their off season weight closer to their pre-contest weight, in order to minimize time spent doing cardiovascular training to lose fat and water retention, and more time training with weights to preserve precious muscle mass. The pre-contest cycle is oriented around gradual fat loss (generally 8-15 weeks out from a show) through calorie reduction and the introduction of cardio training in conjunction with weight training. Different types of steroids, fat burners, and other pharmaceutical aides are used in this period as opposed to the off season.
German bodybuilder Markus Ruhl's off season weight is well over 300lbs. But his contest weight is generally in the 275-280 range, to best showcase his impressive biceps and the detail in his upper back.
Ronnie Coleman, 8-time Mr. Olympia winner, generally took 2-3 months off training after a major show. This would signal the onset of his off season, during which he let his body rest and discontinued dieting until the preparatory phase for the next contest.
A term that has gained prominence in the Western media and Muslim networks (such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabya) since the September 11, 2001, attacks prompted the production and release of audio tapes by jihadists (some of whom are in the terrorist network al-Qaeda, aka The Base) in which Western governments, and their military forces, are referred to as The Crusaders. Presumably, this is a throwback to Medieval times when Christian states in Europe occupied Muslim lands in the name of religion while actually promoting old-fashioned Roman-style imperialism. "Imperialists" and "Crusaders" are interchangeably used in the audio tapes, videos, and published statements of terrorist and jihadist leaders throughout the middle east.
"The crusader war against Islam has intensified. The world is split into two. Part of it is under the head of infidels, Bush, and the other half under the banner of Islam," it said."
“The blockade which the West is imposing on the government of Hamas proves that there is a Zionist, crusaders’ war on Islam,” said the tape, which U.S. intelligence officials think is authentic.