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Do you think that it’s time to take another approach to your bodybuilding regime? For years, exercise and diet combined with metabolic enhancements were the way to get to and meet your objectives. And for some lucky folks, the results of this “traditional” approach were truly spectacular. But as we learned in chemistry class, there can be no action without a reaction. Some of these reactions do provide amazing results.
Pitfalls of Traditional Bodybuilding
And for some unfortunate folks, the results of traditional body building have had some very unfortunate reactions. There’s just too much medical data out there now to ignore the negative health effects of performance enhancing substances. These effects include:
- testosterone loss for men
- hair and body changes for women
- increased risk of prostate cancer in men
- menstrual cycle problems in women
- liver and other organs damage
- severe mood swings
Performance enhancing drugs were perfectly legal as recently as a couple of decades ago. That is no longer the case, offering yet another reason to change your training regime. And it’s not just amateur or unknown bodybuilders who are advocating for the switch to natural training regimes. Bodybuilder Rob Riches and actors Chris Pratt and Sylvester Stallone have all gotten healthy and remarkable physical results by following a natural regime. Read on to learn more about making the transition from traditional to natural bodybuilding, and how to get the most from this transformation.
Exercise and Weight Lifting Won’t Be Going Away
Running will no longer be part of your workout routine. But you’ll definitely still be exercising, and working with weights will be your main focus here. What kind of weights? All of them! As a natural bodybuilder, you’ll be working with everything from hand-held weights to bench presses and EZ bars. Avoid cable machines. Remember that you’re trying to build muscle groups up individually with this type of training. Isolation exercises with barbells and dumbbells work best for this purpose. Your routine should include plenty of:
- wrist curls
So, knowing what to expect with a training routine, what’s next?
Make a Plan
Natural bodybuilding is like any other type of training. Before you do a single crunch or swallow a single supplement:
- understand the goals that you hope to achieve
- have a plan for implementing them
- have a monitoring plan in place
Plan on working on all of this with a trainer. It may be necessary to change trainers before embarking on a natural program. The same basic rules apply in a search for a natural personal trainer as for any other one. But make sure that any trainer understands that you are moving from one type of training to another. This is important information to share for both strategic and health reasons.
For the same reasons, it’s important that transitioning from traditional to natural bodybuilding start with a visit to a physician. Yes, you’re moving to a healthier type of training. Yes, you’re already well aware of how to train safely. But a pre-training check-up is important because it needs to be determined if traditional training methods will cause health or training impediments with your new program. A doctor’s visit is a good time to bring up diet questions too, such as what to and what not to eat on a cruise control diet.
This medical input could mean anything from delaying training to avoiding or modifying certain kinds of routines. Such advice can help to avoid training setbacks later on, so it’s important to start here. Just as with traditional bodybuilding, your natural bodybuilding plan should be a balance of diet, exercise, and weight lifting.
Your goals here are to both keep unnecessary weight off while increasing energy and lean muscle mass, just as with traditional training. While’s there’s been little scientific research done, some studies have shown that a natural approach requires a much higher protein intake to avoid muscle degradation. A natural bodybuilding diet should include:
- meats with “lean” fat
- green vegetables
- fruits with high fiber (bananas!) content
- whole grain bread, oats, and other carbohydrates with high fiber content
These help to maintain muscle mass gained with traditional bodybuilding. Many body builders like the “cruise control diet,” which burns body fat and manipulates metabolisms. As this diet both includes and excludes foods necessary to successful natural body building, you will have to do some minor “tweaking” to incorporate it into your own plan.
Finally, given how quickly information of all types is emerging on the natural bodybuilding phenomenon, it’s a great idea to find a good sports site that can provide updates and archived information. This information will part of your successful strategy to effectively and safely make a move to natural body building.