There are some secrets to natural bodybuilding that easily get missed or even overlooked in the never ending bombardment of information through the net, magazines and gym gossip. So where do these gems really lie?
The secrets for the most part, get missed or left out because they're obvious and in plain sight, as a natural bodybuilder, you need to come to grips with training smarter, harder and be more patient with yourself from that of a drug-induced bodybuilder.
Choosing this path over that of being pharmaceutically enhanced will present challenges, but... many rewards come from being patient as a natural bodybuilder. So let's look at some of the biggest secrets to natural bodybuilding.
Hands down, your first year, if you’re training properly with enough intensity is going to be your best year in muscle and strength gains. Don’t kid yourself, many are fooled by this first year thinking that they can make these results repeat.
The fact is: the body has limits, knowing yours is an intelligent way to approach bodybuilding.
Natural bodybuiding's does and don'ts
Other secrets reside in your ability
to understand your body better than bodybuilders that dope. You have to
carefully listen and feel the movements using poundage’s that challenge you...
Feeling and focusing on each movement, stepping well out of your comfort zone squeezing and contracting like hell, to increase the burn and pump is all about one thing...
Stress... and how much your body can take! Only you will know your limits, there’s a fine line between completely overdoing it, and doing enough and calling it quits and heading home to heal.
Journal progress, to Show progress:
This very small, but a largely overlooked piece of information that came the hard way for me personally. Keep some simple, but decent accurate records of what you eat and how often.
Keep track of the days you train, including poundage’s, rep range and body parts trainined. Every few weeks; add a photo or two to monitor progress.
Measure your joints and the thickest part of your muscle bellies. I know, keeping a small diary might sound useless, but...
The reason this works so well is: it shows you what’s working and what isn’t, unknowingly it draws a straight line to your goal. If you look at only entering the basics, this becomes a planner, and without a plan, you’ll never get to your goal!
Focus on increasing strength with cycles of 5 to 7 weeks with smaller inner cycles within the big cycle. Meaning: train for strength and include all the major body parts once a week, for two or three weeks with loads that challenge you.
Then give the joints and muscles a break for a few weeks by focusing on higher reps of 10 to 12 to increasehypertrophy stimulation.
Finding the secrets to natural bodybuilding has a lot to do with the process of continually changing and cycling everything that you do.
The natural guy has to learn to continually keep his body and central nervous system off balance and guessing. The more you implement this strategy, the greater success you’ll have.
Sleep: is one of the most over looked secrets to natural bodybuilding; so many miss the fact of how important a solid eight hours of sound sleep is.
As the body reaches a deeper hibernated state of sleep, growth hormone; is released in abundance, which repairs worn and damaged tissue from that days workout.
Keep this in mind if you plan on staying up late on Friday or Saturday night after a tough leg workout, proper rest and muscular recuperation will be nonexistent. Sorry guys, I don’t make the rules when it comes to muscular reconstruction… I just live with em!
Nutritional secrets to natural bodybuilding # 1
Building bulk for overall bodily size is the first priority for the natural bodybuilder, if you’re going to train big, you have to eat big don’t worry about seeing your abs, especially; when you’re in a mass or constructive building phase, but don’t focus on trying to gain 30 pounds of fat either.
Keep your eating in line with your efforts; a safe place to start with quality calories is around the 3 to 3,500 mark, per day. If your body type is slim or ectomorph, you may have to ingest as much as 4 - 4,500 cal. a day, monitor this progress with photos, the tape measure or the mirror is your best freind, the weigh scale is not.
Secrets to natural bodybuilding # 2
Learn your macros and control you’re eating habits to quality calories, you can increase calorie consumption by:
A good weight gain supplement or Drinking whole milk 2 to 3 glasses per day, if your not lactose intolerant. 4 to 5 eggs cooked 3 or 4 times (half yolks), throughout your day.
Increasing calories and nutritional value can also be found in almonds, cashews and other nuts, these contain solid calories that are nutrient rich and provide healthy fats and protein.
High-protein smoothies If you’re actively training for size and strength and pushing the limits as a natural bodybuilder, you will need these supplementary higher dosages of protein in the form of 2 to 3 drinks/protien smoothies throughout your day.
Be sure to always eat a solid post workout meal within 25 minutes of your workout, glycogen stores are very depleted at this time, you only have a small window in which they are most receptive to being restored.
Secrets to natural bodybuilding Changing cycles and routines # 3
If you are heaving and throwing the weights all over, you probably aren’t concentrating and focusing to the degree that you need to - to become a solid natural bodybuilder.
Whether you’ve chosen natural bodybuilding to compete, or as a lifestyle; laying the right foundation is the same, focus on compound exercises to build strength.
The secrets to natural bodybuilding, ultimatly and inevitably bring us to the topic of free weights: barbells and dumbbells! Weight machines support and stabilize resistance through-out exercise motion, this can result in less unchallenged fiber recruitment.
The secret to using weight and cable-based machines in natural bodybuilding
Weight and cable-based machines have their place in bodybuilding, especially for legs and upper back, just beware; that machines unless you’re at a very advanced stage, take the guesswork and effort away from the body.
Approaching weight machines:
I approach each weight and cable-based machine differently from free weights: so what do I mean by this?
Machines make life easy, natural bodybuilding has little to do with easy! the central nervous system strain and stabilizing efforts are greatly reduced by using machines, hell; this is why everyone loves them! Getting your head in the game for each lift on machinery should be approached differently.
Getting and taking advice:
Be careful and aware of where you get free advice, talking to other pharmaceutically enhanced bodybuilders, watching their videos or reading their articles can derail your efforts.
Training on a serious drug program is far different than training natty. The effects from performance enhancing drugs actually allow you to train heavier, with more volume and faster recovery times.
Be progressive, but only as your body allows it, # 4
Be progressive, not excessive. If you can’t handle the weight for a solid 5 to 7 reps in each set your spinning your wheels, muscular gains will cease.
Challenge each body part with this repetition range for 3 to 4 weeks at a time, to increase strength, then back off for a week or two to slightly higher reps.
This gives the body a break from this intensity or over training can set in. Take slightly longer breaks when strength training, add an extra 30 or 40 seconds at least to your overall rest between sets at this rep range.
Other secrets to natural bodybuilding to make muscle bulge is: every second week perform a challenging set to increase strength...
At the end of the fourth set for each body part on each work out, perform one extra set, approx 90 to 95% Of your (ROM) for 2 to 3 reps, really pushing the strength and muscle recruitment boundaries.
Note: the reason for the extra set coming at the end of each of your 3 or4 maintenance sets, is to encourage muscle growth and discourage injuries, by being well warmed up. This is more specific to body parts like shoulders, back, knees, elbows etc.
Overtraining, secrets to natural bodybuilding, # 5:
Overtraining can come in different forms, going to the gym and continually killing yourself as a natural bodybuilder will not help you arrive at your goal. The more is better is a false assumption.
With Natural bodybuilding, you need to improve strength first; reckless volume and form will only increase chances of training burnout, injury or both. New Muscle size is a by-product of you increasing your strength, not overtraining it.
Increasing strength should be viewed as a lower gear that if used properly; with controlled, deliberate movements, greater rest periods, lower volume, reps and sets, gives the muscles time to recuperate.
The secrets of natural bodybuilding, as I have been one for over three decades are always in the same place, as each new generation comes along to experience bodybuilding for the first time, are often their found in plain sight...
What is meant by plain sight? It’s the place that nobody wants to look at, challenging yourself, educating, building discipline, keeping nutritious eating habits, setting a goal and making a plan with rewards to that goal, is a lot of hard work!
Some naturally think they know what hard work entails... not everybody does! But if you are willing to commit to natural bodybuilding competitively or as a lifestyle; you have to look at yourself truthfully in the mirror and visualize your goal completed.
I see so many that train hard and willingly commit themselves to the lifestyle of natural bodybuilding. But often stop before the set is finished, meaning: they have a couple more reps left or they could squeeze much harder on each rep to make the set more effective, or...
Perhaps the rests are too long or too short. I don’t share advice very often in my gym because most don’t want to hear it, everybody assumes and believes that their right. If your goal is to get stronger and build muscle size, you have to focus specifically on that effort.
If you know you’re only going to do 10 to 12 sets for chest, legs, back, etc., then try to aviod leaving anything on the table, the secrets to natural bodybuilding lie in pushing the limit, your limits, intensity can be defined many different ways.
You can perform drop sets, Supersets, Tri-sets, Body weight sets and occasionally Giant sets, changing rep rhythm and rest times.
Aviod looking at the big picture of the intire workout as your training, instead: focus on each repetition and each set individually to get as much as you can from them.
It is only after months and years of dedicated training and never giving up, that your muscles will finally give in and grow... and they do grow if you don’t give up! For the most part, I see many struggle with the secrets to natural bodybuilding simply because; most don’t want to see them.
I hope you have seen some of them here and use them in your workouts. If you do, you will see results. DWT.