Despite all the evidence to the contrary, there’s still a misconception floating around that natty bodybuilders can’t get massive gains.
Well, it’s time to bust that myth for once and all, because taking a natural approach to bodybuilding will not only let you make amazing gains, you’re going to have better-looking muscles too. Because achieving those results naturally will only happen through hard work and balance, leading to a more symmetrical, defined look.
BUT, what we’re not going to do is tell you what exercises to do and what regime to follow. Everyone is different and you need to get some personalized, professional advice to make sure that you’re lifting safely, challenging yourself, and focusing on the right exercises for you.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to build bulk naturally.
If you’re going to go natural, you need to get real
Three words: Manage. Your. Expectations. Building bulk naturally is only going to be achieved by putting in the hard yards for the long term. It’s going to take time, but at least you’re not going to wind up looking like an over-inflated balloon animal. Real natural bodybuilders are easy to spot: look for the guys and gals who have everything in balance and proportion.
Depending on what condition you’re currently in, you can expect to start to see some changes in the first couple of months (note we said changes, not staggeringly huge results).
There are three stages you can be in with calories:
Calorie Deficit: you consume fewer calories than you expend in a day. This is the basic and ongoing premise of losing weight.
Calorie Neutral: your caloric intake is equal to the amount of exercise you’re doing, ie: you’ll maintain your weight.
Calorie Surplus: you consume more calories than you expend. If you’re inactive, this will lead to weight gain, but if you’re doing moderate to heavy physical activity, being in surplus will help you to be able to build muscle.
It’s simple: you can’t build muscle if you don’t have enough fuel. Consult with a personal or sports nutritionist to help you work out what your BMR (base metabolic rate) is so that you can get their help to calculate how much of a calorie surplus you should ideally be in.
And remember: not all calories are created equal. You should be looking to consume good quality foods, making sure you get enough protein and good carbs. (Yes, carbs. You need to have carbs for your body to burn when you judi slot online jackpot terbesar work out so that your protein stores can be protected for muscle repair and regeneration. Think carbs pre-workout, proteins after.)
Want to know more about which foods are best for natural bodybuilders? Take a look at our article here
Rest and recover
‘You snooze you lose – in this instance, this is completely untrue. When you’re trying to build bulk, you need to get good quality sleep and give yourself time to recover. Tired muscles can’t perform the way you want them to, and you need sleep to aid in recovery. Plus, if you’re working out when you’re too tired, there’s a very real chance that you could lift something the wrong way and injure yourself.
Slow and steady wins the race
We’ve all seen them at the gym – the lifters belting through their reps so fast you’re in danger of getting whiplash just watching them. Say it after us: lifting fast is not going to build muscle any quicker. If you’re going through the process of lifting too quickly, you’re using inertia to do the work for you, not your muscles. SLOW, determined motion when lifting will activate your muscle more. The key is to be mindful when you’re lifting – focus on the muscle and how you’re using it. Trust us, it really makes a difference.
Use a workout routine designed for natural lifters
We go into it in more detail here Find out more but the upshot is that a lot of workout routines aren’t created for people who don’t use chemical enhancement. For a natural lifter, these workouts are ineffective and downright risky. You’re going to be working too hard, potentially hurting yourself and making no gains.
Don’t rest on your laurels
Remember that even though we don’t advocate pushing yourself to the extent of an ‘assisted’ lifter – working out for hours a day, 6 days a week – you are still going to have to push yourself. When you start to find that your increase in strength means your regular workouts stop being challenging, you’re going to need to up the ante in order to keep getting gains. After all, it’s called bodybuilding for a reason, not body maintaining.
Finally, as always, we absolutely don’t recommend undertaking any new diet or workout routine without getting some advice from health and fitness professionals to make sure that what you’re doing will deliver the most benefit.