“Should Be Done After Strength Gains”: With 30 Years of Experience, Bodybuilding Icon Mike O’Hearn Reveals the Ideal Time to “Dry Out”

Published 04/23/2023, 11:30 AM EDT

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Bodybuilding and social media icon Mike O’Hearn has a wealth of training experience. From powerlifting to power bodybuilding and meticulous diets, O’Hearn has been perfecting the craft of sculpting his physique since the 80s. Now 54, after 30 years in the industry, the former Mr. Universe still maintains a better physique than many half his age and is currently in the process of drying out. O’Hearn is doing a dry-out because of an upcoming guest posing gig. In his latest Youtube video, his wife, Mona Muresan, asked O’Hearn to explain the ideal time to do a dry-out.

“Can you tell people when they should be doing a dry out? We get a lot of questions about that,” said Muresan. She also revealed that many people have a misconception as they think bodybuilders do it only before competing.

What does Mike O’Hearn recommend?


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According to the bodybuilding icon, “Dry out in a perfect world is best suited for the end of a program. It’s basically called prep week.” A bodybuilder does the dry out as the final stage of their conditioning. However, that doesn’t mean one has to compete after finishing their program because bodybuilding programs can vary in length.


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“It should be done after like strength gains,” said the power bodybuilder. “After you’ve kind of finished out the function of the body of removing fat and retaining muscle. Then you do a fry out to look just pristine,” said the 54-year-old.

However, Michael O’Hearn also revealed that one dries out even at the start of their training program. “At the end of the day, the dry out is if used at the beginning, to stimulate metabolism. If used at the end, to peak the visual of it (physique),” revealed the veteran bodybuilder. While a dry-out can be done repeatedly, there are some downsides.

Bodybuilding intelligently and giving your body a break


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Drawing upon his decades of experience, O’Hearn said he doesn’t recommend doing dry-out cycles repeatedly. According to the veteran, during the process, the body’s metabolism is “fired up.” Hence, one has to “come out of it intelligently,” said the four-time Mr. Universe. “It’s setting you up to win for the moment,” said the 54-year-old, but repeating it without a break would “fatigue” the body.

Constantly repeating the “dry out, peak week” cycle can also disrupt the body’s metabolism. Besides fatiguing the body, it might “also set it up to rebound. Which we never what to happen,” said Mike O’Hearn.


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O’Hearn recommends doing a dry-out at the end of a program and then “going on a reverse diet,” to maintain the physique for almost a year. What did you make of his advice? Write your thoughts in the comments.


Written by:

Sagnik Bagchi


One take at a time

Sagnik Bagchi is a sports writer at EssentiallySports who specializes in American sports. He has a deep understanding of combat sports, gymnastics, and weightlifting. He holds a Master's Degree in English Literature from a top university.
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Edited by:

Jayant Chhabra