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Natural Bodybuilding Training Routine
If you are trying to build muscle naturally and have tried some of the routines of the top professional bodybuilders as described in the popular magazines or websites you most likely will be frustrated with your lack of results. Or, you may be applying the methods as described and see some improvement but nothing to the extent of the amazing musculature shown in the magazines.
Reports confirm that the use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone and other performance enhancing drugs are rampant in sports today, including bodybuilding.(1) It is very likely that the reason for you mediocre results is due to the fact that you are training without drugs and the routine you are following is meant for a drug enhanced athlete.
The methods for natural bodybuilding vary greatly from those for the drug enhanced physique. A person taking anabolic steroids and/or growth hormone can grow muscle with just about any exercise and nutrition program.(2) However, the resultant muscle grown in a drug supported environment appears abnormal when viewed under a microscope, and it is weaker that muscle grown naturally.(3) Growing muscle naturally requires more precession , which brings up to two very powerful components of natural bodybuilding workouts.
The recuperative abilities of a drug supported athlete are greatly enhanced compared to the natural athlete.(4) It is highly likely that a natural bodybuilder that follows the program of a drug supported athlete will overtrain and his/her development will slow, stop or even deteriorate. Growing muscle naturally during intense training requires 5 to 7 days to fully recuperate.(5) The worlds top natural bodybuilders train a specific body part only once per week.(6) Training more often that this could result in a catabolic state where muscle tissue is breaking down faster than it is built.
It has been shown that muscle growth is a function of generating tension in a muscle. The greater the tension, the greater the potential for growth. It has also been shown that there is greater tension developed in the muscle during isometric and eccentric movements than concentric movements. Studies have been performed which confirm the superior muscle building properties of isometric and eccentric movements.(7) The popular bodybuilding magazines, websites and most of the bodybuilding books and programs developed over the past forty years have focused on concentric movements in their routines. For example, they show a bodybuilder performing a dumbbell bicep curl in the start position with the weight at his side and the finish position with the weight curled. Actually for maximum development the start and the finish positions should be reversed! For the drug enhanced athlete it doesn't matter much because, as we have shown above, they can produce growth doing just about anything. However for the natural athlete these distinctions are crucial to his/her success!
Isometric – muscular force is exerted, however the weight is not moving.
Concentric – the weight moves in a positive fashion.
Eccentric – the weight moves in a negative fashion.
Putting the Information to Use
You may be asking yourself, "This all sound interesting but how do I put it to use and grow?".
If you are an advanced bodybuilder train only one body part per week. Get the weight up however you like and perform each rep in a negative fashion while lowering the weight in 3 to 5 seconds. Perform each set to failure. Failure is where you can no longer perform a reps in 3 to 5 seconds.
If you are an intermediate bodybuilder train only one body part per week. Perform each rep in a positive fashion and squeeze the muscle as hard as you can at the top (the maximum concentric position) for one second. Perform each set to failure. Train in this fashion for 10 weeks that follow the guidelines for the advanced plan.
If you are a beginner follow the intermediate plan for 16 to 20 weeks then move to the advanced plan.
A good cardiovascular fitness level is necessary to support this level of intensity. If you find that you have problems recuperating between sets, or find it difficult to make it through a workout, supplement with Creatine to aid in recuperation.(8) Also, incorporate an aerobics routine into your training schedule to build up your cardiovascular capacity.
The state of the art of natural bodybuilding training is constantly changing. We keep you up to speed with our Free Bodybuilding Magazine (sign up below) we highlight the latest training techniques, supplements and nutrition advice. We also answer any questions you might have. As you can see, we are committed to natural bodybuilding and supporting your efforts as a natural athlete.
1. Bigger, Stronger, Faster. Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1997.
2. Yesalis CE. Anabolic Steroids in Sports and Exercise. Human Kinetics, 1993.
3. Colgan M. Drug-Free Muscle, Part 1. All Natural Muscular Development, February, 1997.
4. Hatfield FC. Bodybuilding – A Scientific Approach. 1984; 200-201.
5. Colgan M. Optimum Sports Nutrition. 1993; 470-471.
6. LaCour S. What is the Ideal Training Schedule for the Natural Bodybuilder? All Natural Muscular Development, July, 1997.
7. Hortobagyi T, et al. Adaptive responses to muscle…Journal of Applied Physiology. 1996;80:765-772.
8. Colgan M. Muscle Up to Creatine. All Natural Muscular Development, May, 1997.
Natural Bodybuilding Workout
The information presented is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding any suggestions and recommendations made.