What is Natural Bodybuilding?
Natural Bodybuilding is an alternative to Enhanced Bodybuilding, the more commonly known version of the sport. Natural bodybuilding is the sport of training with the goal of sculpting your physique to reach certain goals without the use of any performance-enhancing substances such as steroids.
Benefits of Natural Bodybuilding
So, why choose to pursue natural bodybuilding rather than enhanced bodybuilding? There are countless benefits to choosing natural bodybuilding, but the main and most obvious reason is the health benefits. Steroid usage is rife in the traditional form of bodybuilding and so natural bodybuilding is a movement aiming to rid bodybuilding of its dangerous and unhealthy name. Taking steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs is incredibly dangerous, harmful to your health (especially in the long-term) and addictive.
Choosing to become a natural bodybuilder may be the more challenging option as there are no shortcuts but it is unarguably a more admirable decision for your own well-being. It is a commitment to your health as you will focus on fuelling your body correctly and exercising consistently to strengthen your body. Another benefit is that the physique you build will be a natural shape and stature for your body-type so natural bodybuilders tend to have nicer aesthetic results, too. Finally, you also get much more personal satisfaction out of your results knowing that it is all thanks to your own hard work and dedication to yourself and the sport.
How to get started and get results
Starting out on this journey can be a daunting task with so much information out there and so many different things to learn about. It is best to start with the basics and learn as you go, rather than overwhelming yourself with more information than you can process. The first thing to do is come up with a workout plan – and stick to it! Sticking to your plan and not changing is important, it offers you landmarks to measure your progress. Ease yourself into your new routine and don’t burn out too quickly. Start off with a few workouts per week and focus on lifting light weights to ensure you have good form and to adapt neurologically and mechanically to the movements. You should then go heavier and get stronger.
Another thing to plan before getting stuck in is your diet. You will need a good balance of macronutrients. It will help you to repair and build your muscles and also to provide energy for your workouts. As a beginner, the goal is to build muscle and burn some fat. Eat at a maintenance level (consuming the same number of calories as you burn each day) to begin with. The beginner phase usually offers to build a significant amount of muscle and staying at maintenance while exercising will set you at a small calorie deficit which should allow you to lose some fat. Consistency is key for bodybuilding so make sure you set yourself achievable goals to begin with.
How to keep getting results
Once you have made your initial progress, it will be time to reevaluate your current exercise and diet plan to ensure you continue to make steady progress. In terms of your workouts, you will need to start aiming to increase the weight you are lifting. Learning about your body morphology and specializing with exercises that are optimized for you is key.
As for your diet, once you have made your beginner’s gains, we recommend entering a gentle bulking phase. This means increasing your calories so that you are in a small calorie surplus (consuming more calories than you are burning each day) so that you can begin increasing muscle mass.
Don’t be disheartened if your progress seems to slow down – this is completely normal. You sometimes have to be patient and trust the process, keep pushing through!
Thank you for reading our brief introduction to natural bodybuilding and we hope it gave you a good insight into the sport! It is truly an incredible sport to participate in and we strongly encourage you to give it a try. Too many people believe it’s not possible to achieve a great physique naturally, but it is, with the right methods and consistency. Feel free to be part of the natural bodybuilding movement and to encourage a healthy bodybuilding practice around you!
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