Natural bodybuilding: all about preparation, training and eating

Does the world of bodybuilding catch your attention? Despite the tendency to identify this discipline with the consumption of anabolics, the truth is that it is a minority. Natural bodybuilding precisely advocates the opposite: taking the body to the maximum of its muscular potential from work and effort.

What is natural bodybuilding

Natural bodybuilding is a competitive sport to evaluate both the physical appearance and the athletic qualities of the participants . They are considered as elite competitions here in Spain and internationally.

To participate in these competitions, the athlete must increase their muscles and reduce the body’s adipose tissue as much as possible. In natural bodybuilding, the use of any type of substance to improve these qualities invalidates any of the trademarks that the participant may have registered.

And what are these prohibited substances? This aspect depends on the legislation of each country and the policy of each federation. Not surprisingly, natural bodybuilders pass numerous tests and doping tests before competing.

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Types of natural bodybuilding

There are two main types of natural bodybuilders . On the one hand, the natural bodybuilder for life , which corresponds to athletes who have not consumed any prohibited substance, focusing all their action on nutrition and training to achieve a competitive physique.

The other type corresponds to false natural bodybuilders, that is, they are bodybuilders who use doping and stimulating substances to accelerate the expected results with constant exercise. This type of athlete is easily identifiable, so he would be expelled from the competition.

Natural Bodybuilding Vs Bodybuilding On Steroids

Most of these substances that stimulate muscle gain and the reduction of adipose tissues in the body correspond to anabolic steroids .

What are steroids?

Steroids are synthetically created substances similar to testosterone. Their function is to promote the growth of skeletal muscle , and it leads to the development of male physical-sexual characteristics.

When you take anabolics repeatedly, there are a number of side effects; and the greater the effectiveness of these, the greater the androgyny it will cause (and, by extension, more dangerous for our body).

These anabolic effects are responsible for the body to generate more muscle mass, as it increases the formation of more muscle tissue. On the negative side , using anabolics repeatedly in your bodybuilding career involves these series of negative side effects:

  • Impotence
  • Hypertension
  • Acne
  • Aggressiveness
  • Baldness
  • Hypertrophy of the heart muscle Jaundice (enlarged and painful liver)
  • Cardiovascular diseases

In short, natural bodybuilding is a true philosophy of life around the body , and more specifically the muscles.

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How to train in natural bodybuilding

Next we will explain how a natural bodybuilder who does not use PEDs to compete should be trained. As a first step, we must decide what volume of training we are going to do to reach our goal.

The planned training volume

Training volume is the amount of work that we are capable of performing . Above what is our capacity for work, we will be subjecting the body to a fatigue that is very difficult to eliminate. The most immediate effect is the decrease in the rate of improvement of the workouts.

In the case of natural bodybuilders, they must maintain a low profile training line. Finally, regarding the series that must be worked on to have a musculature according to our objective, it will be enough to plan work series of between 10 and 20 repetitions each.

The frequency of training

Frequency is the number of times we apply a stimulus to the body in time. Consequently, training for a natural bodybuilder gives the possibility of organizing all the training sessions and the exercises that comprise it throughout the week, varying the muscles or areas that we are going to work.

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How much weight to use?

In the simple version, you can make two decisions: do the exercise with failures that will be permanent in time, or arrive exhausted at the last repetition but wanting more.

Natural bodybuilding training should combine exercises with weights, high intensity intervals, and a series of aerobic exercises.

As for the sessions, the ideal would be between 2 or 3 rest sessions, time that we must allow the organism to recover. Good natural bodybuilding training involves working with weights, doing HIIT exercises, and training aerobic capacity in a balanced tandem and always following the rhythms of the body and mind.

Tips to increase muscle gain

As a bodybuilder, the goal is to increase muscle hypertrophy. For this, the specialists make the following recommendations to avoid that the effect achieved is the opposite of the objective pursued. First, control the load that is imposed on the routines. For the gain to be adequate, it is necessary that the muscle itself feels that need to grow to “power” with them.

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And not only the load has to be controlled, but also the Time Under Pressure (TBT) to which we subject the muscle. For this, it is preferable to work the bars, dumbbells or weights, and leave aside the machines.

Another point of great importance: the movement of the exercise must take a complete course and not be tempted to use the inertia of the movement to complete it. In fact, the prevalence of this eccentric phase is what determines the greatest muscle gain.

Finally, concentration has to be worked especially in order to perform each of the movements with the precision they require.

Diet, the key to natural bodybuilding

The entire bodybuilder’s diet is planned to maintain the muscle mass gained, in addition to keeping the percentage of body fat in the lowest possible range. To do this, you must focus on the following nutrients.

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Proteins in natural bodybuilding

They are the basis of your goal: they are responsible for maintaining the muscle and adapting it to training .


They are the fuel of the body, they cannot be neglected, but they must be consumed wisely.

The fats

Here you have to bear in mind that you should consume 30% a day of lean fats and avoid the consumption of polyunsaturated ones.


More important than you think, vitamins and minerals such as iron and magnesium must be balanced for our body to give 200%.

Mistakes to avoid when preparing for a competition

Natural bodybuilding competitions demand continuous and precise preparation. Avoid these typical bodybuilder mistakes.

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The rush is never good

Be realistic with the existing time. Time is what it is. If your body needs more time to achieve a natural result without anabolics, don’t be frustrated. Go ahead and analyze how far you can force the machine in your body.

An excessive caloric cut will lead to a drastic drop in your physical sports performance, and lead to a stuck mood and metabolism. Be aware that each body is a world . There are athletes who require a greater effort to reach the same point (result).

In short, it is always about taking the natural rhythms of the body as a reference and adopting the best strategies to achieve maximum performance. Remember that the higher the physiological rate of fat loss per month, the more muscle you will lose.

Remove the water before the competition

It is usual that in the week before the competition, bodybuilders deplete glycogen to recharge it with a reduction in the consumption of water that they do not drink during the day of the competition or the day before . It is a serious mistake: in addition to the fact that the result is just the opposite, you are at risk of suffering drops in blood pressure, dizziness or the inability to pose for more than 15 seconds.

Don’t panipulate sodium and potassium

It is counterproductive and dangerous. Blood pressure is lowered, which implies that vascularity is lost.

A bad diet

The cuts in the diet do not affect the final result, since many other factors influence, so we risk losing essential components without any benefit. One of the main nutrients that tends to be reduced are carbohydrates, but without these, the water does not circulate to the muscles and their appearance is not the one desired for competition.