You can grow muscle and improve your appearance without using performance-enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids.
However, you have to stop routines built for or by steroid-enhanced weightlifting superstars and begin exercising like the natural you are.
As a fitness trainer with over 10+ years of experience, I've guided many clients into gaining muscle mass naturally with perfect workouts.
In this article, I will provide my expertise and findings on the natural bodybuilding program, macro and micronutrients for natural bodybuilding, and tips for natural bodybuilding.
- You must choose the appropriate workouts to complete. Compound and isolation exercises are the two main types of exercise.
- Natural bodybuilding for a strong and shredded physique is more than possible if you implement an effective nutrition and fitness regimen.
- In natural bodybuilding, you should work out every muscle group two times a week. You'll recover faster because your sessions are shorter, allowing you to enhance your training frequency.
Natural Bodybuilding Sample Workout Routine
Upper Body Workouts:
- 4 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of the bench press
- 4 sets of 5 to 8 repetitions of barbell rows
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of the shoulder press
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of pull-ups or pull-downs
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of bicep curls
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions on tricep extensions
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of lateral raises
Lower Body Workout:
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of squats
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of leg press
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of lunges
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of leg extension
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of the hamstring curl
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of calf raises
- 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions of hanging leg raises
Developing a Natural Bodybuilding Routine
Everyone is different, but how hard and frequently you work out must match how well you recover.
You may go to the gym three hours a day and do strenuous workouts, but you won't become any bigger.
You will, however, be injured.
Regarding training towards a natural bodybuilding physique, two things will help you well in the gym: compound exercises and progressive overload.
Working them into your natural bodybuilding regimen is essential to build muscle naturally.
Progressive stress overload is among the best techniques to pack on muscle naturally.
To build muscle, you must subject the body to increasing stress.
There are three choices for doing so:
- Increase the weight
- Increase the number of repetitions performed with a weight
- Reduce the length of time between sets
All of them will work the muscle harder by challenging it to perform something it has never done before.
The 5x5 method is an example of this.
You execute 5 sets of 5 repetitions of your major compound exercises.
When it involves natural bodybuilding, strength is the first thing to concentrate on.
And nothing develops strength like significant compound workouts.
The squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, and bent-over row are examples of multi-joint motions.
They involve multiple muscle groups, so you will become stronger if you exercise them gradually.
The 5x5 approach is a fantastic place to start since it incorporates all the basic compound motions and is simple to follow.
It's usually regarded as one of the best techniques to increase overall strength when starting in natural bodybuilding.
The Primary Factors in Developing Natural Muscle
Everyone should understand critical basic concepts, whether you're a new trainee or a seasoned lifter.
To properly develop natural muscle, three key things must be considered:
- Proper Nutrition
We have gone through training in the above section.
Let's look at the nutrition and supplementation requirements for building a natural bodybuilder physique.
Natural Bodybuilder's Calorie Guidelines
A natural bodybuilding diet is essentially the same whether you are enhanced or not.
The primary difference is that you'll want to give yourself longer to decrease body fat while maintaining muscle mass.
On that point, you must start at the beginning: calories.
You must determine how many calories you require to lose or gain weight and to maintain your weight at a healthy rate.
You'll want to nail the caloric surplus (the "bulking") and caloric deficit (the "cut") so you don't gain or lose too much body weight.
Depending on your objective, you should eat 200-400 calories more or less than your maintenance calories .
You should target to lose or gain half a kilogram per week, or around 1.1 pounds.
It may appear low, but several studies have shown it is the best sustainable approach to losing weight while preserving lean muscle without losing strength .
When you lose weight, you also decrease testosterone because you lose lean muscle mass.
The goal of bodybuilding is to lessen this impact, which is often done by protein supplementation .
Macronutrients for Natural Bodybuilding
Once you've determined how many calories you require, divide them across the three macronutrients: protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
Protein is essential for natural bodybuilders since it promotes muscle growth when eating in a calorie deficit.
When you lose weight, part of it is fat, and some are lean muscles.
According to research, decreasing total calories can minimize muscle mass loss by eating over 2.2 g of protein per kg of body weight .
Protein provides the building blocks from which muscle tissue is developed.
“Strength training is vital for muscle gain, as is eating an appropriate amount of protein. Protein comprises amino acids, which serve as building blocks for the body's cells and tissues.”
- Catherine Carver, Master of Public Health
Carbohydrates supply the energy that the body needs to put those building blocks (protein) together to form muscle tissues .
These also offer energy, but more significantly, healthy fat aids in normalizing critical hormones (such as testosterone) necessary for steering the muscle-building process .
Micronutrients for Natural Bodybuilding
Micronutrients are the minerals and vitamins in food that assist with bodily processes, from eye-hand coordination to lowering muscle fatigue .
As vital as they are, bodybuilders may be lacking in a few critical ones while dieting, particularly vitamin D, zinc, and iron, which aid in boosting performance in the gym, as they tend to begin cutting meals from their diet to shed weight.
Iron improves athletic performance and is required to produce new red blood cells.
A shortage of iron may also result in nutrient-deficiency anemia, which, in addition to poor performance, can lead to cardiac problems and shortness of breath.
Sportspeople are already at a higher risk of anemia since exercise depletes our iron levels.
Men should strive for at least 8.7mg of iron daily, while women should aim for 14.8mg .
2. Vitamin D and Zinc
These two nutrients are required by your body to stimulate testosterone synthesis.
If you lack these two micronutrients, your body cannot produce the testosterone needed to lift weights and execute other "tasks" .
Natural Bodybuilding Supplements
When it comes to natural bodybuilding, supplements can assist you in gaining an advantage.
Aside from protein, there are a few essential ingredients for everyone interested in natural bodybuilding.
Let's briefly examine a few that might help you maximize your exercises.
“If you don't adequately fuel yourself before workouts or intense exercise, you'll be less energized, weaker, and fatigued sooner than usual. Pre-workout is intended to assist in combating this by allowing you to go harder and longer.”
- Matt Lovell , Certified Sports Nutritionist
Pre-workout supplements are intended to help you get the maximum benefit from each workout.
They mix caffeine, other stimulants for increased energy, and vitamins like agmatine and citrulline to boost blood flow .
While pre-workout supplements provide various benefits for enhancing workout performance, it's important to note that they primarily focus on optimizing physical performance rather than hormonal balance.
In cases where individuals face significant hormonal imbalances, such as low testosterone levels, considering therapeutic doses of testosterone replacement therapy under medical supervision may be necessary.
This approach can help restore hormonal equilibrium and support overall fitness and well-being.
Experts recommend consuming 5g of quality creatine monohydrate daily to maintain optimal muscle creatine content.
Creatine is shown to support muscle growth and strength .
Rest and Recovery
To gain muscle naturally, you must prioritize rest and recovery. Without anabolic steroids, the body takes longer to recover from strenuous workouts.
A two-day rest period is advised for maximum muscle growth .
A standard weekly workout split that offers optimal recuperation for muscle development is the 3 days on, 1 day off, and the 2 days on, 1 day off splits.
Training Tips for Natural Bodybuilding
1. Don't Use Too Much Volume
Volume implies the number of repetitions and sets performed per workout.
While you must perform enough exercise volume to tear down your muscles so they may come back larger and stronger, too much will delay recovery.
As a natural bodybuilder, you should establish how little you require rather than how much you can tolerate.
For most lifters, this means keeping exercises to 6 to 8 sets per primary muscle group and 2 to 4 sets for smaller ones.
2. Train Every Muscle Group Two Times Weekly
Most advanced natural bodybuilding competitions require training every muscle group once every week.
These workouts are often long and hard, requiring a week to recuperate.
Such extensive exercises are inappropriate for natural bodybuilders, and you should instead workout each muscle group twice a week.
Because your exercises are shorter, you will recover faster, allowing you to exercise more frequently.
3. Keep Your Workouts Brief
Natural bodybuilders should limit their exercises to 60 minutes or less.
Long workouts are difficult to recuperate from without the use of artificial supplementation.
Long activities raise cortisol levels.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that suppresses muscle growth .
Shorter exercises result in lower cortisol levels, quick recovery, and faster development.
4. Drink a Lot of Water
Adequate water intake offers a variety of great benefits, such as efficient protein synthesis, good digestion, and waste elimination.
Water allows nutrients to reach the circulation and muscles while removing waste products from the body.
Water is also essential for supplement users.
Many sports supplements, such as creatine, use water and can quickly dehydrate you.
A solid rule for any dedicated bodybuilder is to take at least one gallon of water daily.
How Many Hours Do Natural Bodybuilders Workout?
Natural bodybuilders work out for about one hour every day. This equates to 5 to 7 hours every week.
Can You Be a Bodybuilder Naturally?
Yes, you can be a bodybuilder naturally. By excluding the use of products such as anabolic steroids, insulin, and human growth hormone, you can work out and gain muscles naturally.
How Long Does It Take a Natural Bodybuilder To Build Muscle?
It takes around 12 weeks for a natural bodybuilder to see bigger changes in building muscles. Muscle gain is a gradual process. It might take between three and four weeks to notice an improvement. You'll see some tangible outcomes after 12 weeks.
Supplementation for Natural Muscle Bodybuilding
Establishing a natural bodybuilding physique for natural bodybuilding competitions or personal achievement is not simple.
Learning your way around the gym is essential, but remember that diet will account for 70% of the outcomes you see.
Incorporate the correct exercise program, healthy eating plan, and pre-workout supplements to achieve your desired physique.
These supplements will provide you with the energy and pump you need to complete your sets and reps and get you closer to attaining the natural bodybuilding physique.
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