Natural bodybuilding is getting under pressure from many so-called supplements companies that offer gym-goers the promise of quick results with minimum effort.
There are some good supplements on the market but most of them can’t be seen as wonder solutions since the base of bodybuilding is proper nutrition.
What is natural bodybuilding?
Natural bodybuilding refers to muscle development without any hormonal boosters such as steroids. Although some people refer to natural bodybuilding as a purely nutritional approach, without any supplements like protein or Creatine, most people seem to associate naturally with the lack of steroid use.
Natural bodybuilding is the healthiest approach to the sport. It requires constant coordination of factors like healthy nutrition, sleep and exercise routines. To a degree, natural bodybuilding is an art.
Almost everybody has a different approach to it and it makes it unique in its own way. Although many principles are the same for most people, what works for one person might not work for another.
There are certain particularities that make the sport unique to the person practicing it. Whichever approach you take, however, there are certain written and unwritten rules to bodybuilding.
Most people find many excuses like reaching “a limit” of growth to start using anabolic steroids.
When does “natural” stop?
You might be wondering when do natural bodybuilding stop and the unnatural begin? It seems that there is no certain answer unless regulated by competitions themselves.
Steroid users will say they can be natural and so will supplement takers. Then there are the extreme athletes which rely on experimental approaches such as transfusions which can so call themselves as being natural.
In a sense, natural ends when you begin taking your calories from other sources that don’t involve food. Even if some supplements are made from food, they still don’t provide all the benefits of natural foods, like fibers.
Some people have even reported digestive problems from the use of supplements.
How does a natural bodybuilder look?
There are certain characteristics for natural bodybuilders which are commonly accepted by the bodybuilding community. These include nutrition, workouts, and resting.
Natural bodybuilding nutrition
Natural bodybuilding nutrition is quite complex for regular non-gym-goer. This entitles eating large amounts of food, which are most of the times uncomplicated and easy to prepare.
These foods are also generally healthier than other processed foods most people take for granted in supermarkets.
A natural bodybuilder has a diet based on macronutrients. This includes a daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
Protein sources might come from animal origin, vegan origin or from supplementation. Complex animal proteins include eggs, beef, milk, and other meats.
These come with a complete chain of amino acids which are the base for building muscle. Beef proteins are slow-absorbing which means natural bodybuilders can use them before bedtime to get the full benefits and nutritious values while sleeping. Some fast-absorbing proteins involve milk and dairy products.
These types of proteins can be consumed right after a workout to get rapidly digested and fuel muscle growth.
Natural bodybuilding recovery
Recovery sources can vary for natural bodybuilders. They predominantly involve sleeping. Sleep is essential to naturals as they might require 8 hours each night to fully recover. Sleep deprivation has also been associated with a lack of optimal performance in the gym.
This involves the lack of strength and concentration and can be detrimental to your health if done regularly. Evidence suggests that a full night of rest can, however, restore a few nights where full recovery was not accomplished.
This is why so many bodybuilders on steroids might seem they don`t need that much sleep and they are ready to perform at maximum capacity every day.
And then the exercise routine can be a bit of a challenge for most gym-goers. It seems that everybody recommends a certain program which is best.
A perfect repetition range set or a perfect number of sets does not exist. Things can`t be standardized to this level.
What we know is that certain workouts tend to favor naturals. For example, studies show that training the same muscle groups twice per week is superior to once a week for natural bodybuilders.
This means, as a natural, you can achieve an optimal growth rate by training muscles like legs or back two times per week.
Why natural bodybuilders train differently
So how does training two times per week affect natural bodybuilders? In simple terms, it disciplines them and makes them think of exercises ahead of time. It also makes them base their workouts on the compound movements which are essential to building muscle.
Gym-goers which are training without natural means will often times focus on smaller muscle groups.
This is how the whole industry develop People started thinking they need bigger biceps or bigger calves instead of focusing on an athletic approach which keeps the balance above all.
The final example for non-natural lifters is the training sessions per day. It is not uncommon to see these bodybuilders train multiple times per day which is not only hard to achieve by naturals but it is also not healthy.
Even professional athletes with professional trainers behind them can struggle with multiple training sessions per day.
This is why many of these athletes take a few months off each year at the end of a season to fully recover and even so, they might present serious conditions like joint pain in time.
Natural bodybuilding still has its own followers. Many people still want to develop muscle the right way, which oftentimes makes them go from ups and downs either in nutrition, in training or in recovery.
This is, however, the healthiest way of gaining muscle. As bodybuilding is practiced in years, you might really want to consider the impact of what you put into your body in the long-term.
You may also want to consider that many people have done tremendous efforts to achieve muscle development with unorthodox means and have failed either in their goal or with major health damages.