Natural Bodybuilding – Everything You Need to Know

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Everyone knows the mass monsters Phil Heath, Kai Greene, and Big Ramy. But off the top of your head, do you know who the biggest natural bodybuilder is?

In an industry where steroids are rampant and new allegations are coming out every day against supposed ‘natties’, the abnormal seems to have become the norm. This paints one hell of a picture for newcomers who think it’s not possible to get huge unless you’re using steroids. Let’s set the record straight:

Yes, it IS possible to get big without drugs.
Yes, you CAN become a natural bodybuilder.

Let’s take a look at what natural bodybuilding is, show you a workout to get you started, and set some dietary guidelines to follow to see those gains.

What is natural bodybuilding?

Natural bodybuilding is the quest to get big, shredded, and head-turning muscle mass without the use of steroids or illegal substances.

For those with their eyes on the stage, there are plenty of natural bodybuilding competitions where contestants are judged on size, symmetry, and overall physique. Again, the catch is that no illegal performance-enhancing drugs can be used to achieve those gains.

This all seems straightforward, but competitive bodybuilders are always looking for an edge in the grey area of performance enhancement.

For example, anabolic steroids are an obvious no-no in natural bodybuilding, but what about other substances such as insulin? Diabetics use insulin, so why can’t a bodybuilder? In general, any substance that is illegal or requires a prescription such as growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin is not going to be allowed in natural bodybuilding.

For a full list of banned substances in competitive natural bodybuilding, check out the full list on the WADA website.

Natural bodybuilding vs. steroids

The question on everyone’s mind is, “Can you get as big in natural bodybuilding as you can with steroids?” Yes, but there’s a catch: You must have one hell of a work ethic.

Bodybuilding demands an insane amount of dedication. When it comes to steroids vs. natural, steroids can’t replace laziness. You can have a giant natural bodybuilder and a small steroid user. The difference between the two is how hard they work and the arsenal they bring to the gym. It all starts with the best natural bodybuilding workout.

Natural bodybuilding routine

To trigger hypertrophy or muscle growth, I recommend training each muscle group twice per week, primarily focusing on compound movements. You can do this by using an upper, lower split workout program:

Exercise the upper body on days one and four, and the lower body on days two and five. Days six and seven can be dedicated to cardiovascular exercise, focusing on those stubborn muscles like calves, and resting.

Here’s a natural bodybuilding routine to get you started

Upper body natural bodybuilding workout:

Back:
· Barbell rows: 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions
· Pull-ups: 2 x Failure

Chest:
· Incline bench press: 3 x 8 – 12
· Cable cross: 2 x Failure

Shoulders:
· Overhead press: 3 x 8 – 12

Biceps:
· Hammer curls: 2 x 10 – 12

Triceps:
· Close-grip bench press: 2 x 10 – 12

Core:
· Cable woodchopper: 3 x 15
· Cable crunch: 3 x 20

Lower body natural bodybuilding workout:

Quadriceps:
· Barbell back squat: 3 x 8 – 12
· Leg extensions: 3 x 12 – 15

Hamstrings:
· Romanian deadlift: 3 x 8 – 12
· Walking lunges: 3 x 8 – 10

Glutes:
· Cable pull through: 2 x 12 – 15

Hip Flexors:
· Cable side leg raise: 2 x 15
· Seated hip adduction: 2 x 15

Calves:
· Standing calf raise: 2 x 25
· Seated calf raise: 2 x 25

Core:
· Captain’s chair leg raise: 3 x 20

Natural bodybuilding diet

Each person has specific dietary requirements, so there is no one-size-fits-all diet; however, there are a few guidelines you can follow to maximize your natural bodybuilding results:

Know your calories: The first thing you should do is use an online calorie calculator to determine how many calories you need to eat each day to see gains in lean muscle mass. You’ll need to eat more calories than you burn each day to promote growth. Only when you’re ready to lean out is it okay to eat fewer calories.

Protein o’clock: A high-protein diet isn’t an option for natural bodybuilders, it’s a requirement. Protein contains amino acids, the building blocks of muscle tissue. A high-protein diet complements muscle building as it promotes protein synthesis and protects muscle from breakdown. Aim to eat around two grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Avoid low carb: While low-carb diets might be beneficial for weight loss, they are anything but for bodybuilding. Carbohydrates provide your muscles with fuel and help you to avoid overtraining. Eat simple carbohydrates such as fruit or candy during or immediately after a workout. Otherwise, stick to complex carbohydrates such as brown rice and sweet potatoes.

Healthy fats: Did you know that healthy fats help to support testosterone levels, protect cells from free radical damage, and burn fat? Healthy dietary fats like salmon or coconut oil won’t make you fat. In fact, they need to be a part of your daily diet to see the best results. Stick to all-natural sources of fats such as nuts, seeds, oils, and fatty fish.

Discover more natural bodybuilding benefits here >

Natural bodybuilding supplements

While banned substances and illegal performance-enhancing drugs are not an option, there are plenty of supplements available that are allowed in natural bodybuilding and they can complement your muscle building workouts:

Protein and amino acids: As mentioned above, amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue. I recommend D-Bal, which is a natural alternative to the steroid Dianabol. D-Bal contains a scientifically-backed ratio of amino acids, whey protein, and the testosterone-boosting Tribulus Terrestris. Check out the real results that D-Bal has helped others achieve.

Nitrogen booster: Nitrogen is a compound that is essential for muscle building, but your body can only produce so much of it. That’s where a nitrogen booster like Trenorol can help. Mimicking the same bulking effects as the steroid Trenbolone, this natural alternative can skyrocket nitrogen levels and promote next-level gains.

Growth hormone booster: Growth hormone promotes muscle recovery while creating an anabolic environment inside the muscle for growth. In other words, if you want to get big, you need to maximize your growth hormone production. Containing Mucuna Pruriens Extract and Maca Root Extract, HGH-X2 can help to take your body’s natural production of growth hormone to the next level.

Short-lived, steroid-fueled muscle glory isn’t worth it. Spare your liver and your long-term health; natural bodybuilding is the only way to go. A kickass workout, muscle-focused diet, and CrazyBulk supplements can help you to achieve real results without the dangers of anabolic steroids. Get big and live large…naturally.

Have you tried out CrazyBulk’s range of steroid alternatives yet? What did you think? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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