T Nation

A Few Things about Natural Training

Hello guys, first of all, i must say its a honor to be here in this forum, and i want to apologize if i say any bullshit…

Heres the thing, in the first years of my training sessions, i always trained each bp twice a week, no intensity methods, just lifting weights, not always reaching failure, and it worked for a time, then i met my friend who is a natural bodybuilder and introduced me to a whole new atmosphere of training, lots of volume, drop sets, giant sets, rest and pause, trianing each bp once a week and no fix routine, i mean, today we do bench presses, dips, flyes but next week i do another exercises…So here am i, 1,5 year later, i dont know if im the right way, sometimes i get really confused and frustrated, its so slow to get something naturally that one little mistake is wasted time, so im here to ask a few questions to you guys that lift weights for years and years …

  • Do you agree on training most of BP 1x a week with higher volume?
  • Do you agree with Non-fix exercises routines?
  • How to measure results beeing natty ?
  • Bulking up as natty sucks?

Thats all guys, i feel i could write a ton of things thats on my mind right now, hope you guys dont get mad at these questions , thanks, thanks everyone

No, I disagree with almost everything your friend believes. While he may have had a lot of success with his methods, they’re far from optimal. Protein synthesis maxes out after 24-48 hours of training a muscle, so if you only train it once a week that’s 4 or 5 days of the week that you’re giving each muscle no chance of growing. And it’s even more important for natural trainees to focus on measurable progression and properly periodized programs, not just winging it and trashing whatever muscle you feel like training that day. As a natural lifter, “stimulate, don’t annihilate”

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
No, I disagree with almost everything your friend believes. While he may have had a lot of success with his methods, they’re far from optimal. Protein synthesis maxes out after 24-48 hours of training a muscle, so if you only train it once a week that’s 4 or 5 days of the week that you’re giving each muscle no chance of growing. And it’s even more important for natural trainees to focus on measurable progression and properly periodized programs, not just winging it and trashing whatever muscle you feel like training that day. As a natural lifter, “stimulate, don’t annihilate”[/quote]

Great response. I made little to no progress on a standard body part split (particularly strength wise). It wasn’t until I started to hit each muscle group 2-3 times per week that I started to get the results I was after. I’m sure plenty of people will disagree.

Hey guys…Thanks a lot for replying.

How long have you been training?
Can you write down for me an example of routine of yours?
You have pictures?

I just dont know…I feel when i hit the muscle to stimulate as you say,i dont do anything special, dont get me wrong, when i go to the gym i also see a lot of people stimulating and they are not big…Im not saying im huge, but ive made progress training this way…When i train and hit the muscle hard, i feel sore for days, for example chest, i hit then on monday and just feel them recovered on sunday probably.

The problem is, i agree with you guys somehow, because most of natural lifters train each bodypart twice a week, i even tried it for a month and i felt horrible on my arms, chest and delts (actually im my actual routine i do about 5 execises for delts lol)…Thats why im asking a good approach of training everything twice a week…I really want to try it again!!

[quote]criature wrote:

  • Do you agree on training most of BP 1x a week with higher volume?[/quote]

It really will come down to your diet, recovery abilities, and what else you’re doing outside of the gym that will also require nutrients to sustain.
When I started training (gym 7 days a week), I was also running a lot (former track guy here), and playing on two intramural hockey teams. Amazingly by going to the gym and eating like I always had (at 150 lbs), I had trouble putting on weight (muscle).

When I trained less frequently, I made progress. When I cut back on the running, I made more progress. When I started eating and sleeping more, I made even more progress. See where I’m going with this? It’s a little more complicated than just how often you’re in the gym.

With that said, years later when I believe my nutrition and recovery were totally on point, I started training more frequently (4 day cycle repeated over and over without any actual planned days off), and made great progress with what some people would consider high frequency.

No I don’t. While I do believe there can be some good rationales for changes exercises from time to time, I think doing it every single workout is just silly. Heck, you can find plenty of guys (competitors, even former 6x Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates) who never changed their exercises in all the years they’ve been training.

Often, changing exercises, even if they’re producing results, can simply be a way to alleviate boredom. Your muscle don’t really know what exercise or machine they’re doing, they just know if they’re being recruited to contract, and to what degree they have to.

The same way guys who are assisted do. Strength gains, mirror, photos, how well you’re clothing fits you. You make it sound like all natty trainers don’t see any type of improvements. Sure the very top caliber IFBB Pros are going to be larger overall, but lemme tell ya, there are some very, very sizable individuals who have never touched a PED.

IMO Bulking is a pretty silly term that came about when the knowledge about nutrition and training wasn’t as far researched and available as it is now. Anyone, and this goes for assisted as well as natties, is going to have a limit on how much muscle their body can potentially build in a given time. Yes, PEDs change the game a bit, but there has to be a cap at some point.

Now, as I’m often found of quoting Mr. Yates who is admittedly a former PED user; he routinely states that even in an ideal situation, the human body can only build at most 2 lbs of new muscle a month. 2 lbs of MUSCLE! So anything gained beyond that can be a combination of fat, water, glycogen…

Most natty competitors I know learned from experience what it’s like to “bulk” up 20-30 lbs in their off seasons, only to cut up a year or two later and have only gained 2-3 solid lbs of new muscle. Now while some people will argue that carrying the extra fat around can help you with your training, I personally maintain that strength and muscle size are not as closely related beyond the beginner level.

This is easily supported by the number of amazing natural BBers who while sporting very impressive musculatures, are relatively weak compared to some PLs who might weigh in a similar range.

S

You don’t necessarily need to destroy your BPs multiple times a week.

It’s perfectly ok to hit a body part really hard one day (9-15 sets depending on your focus and lifts) and then hit it a bit softer 3-4 days later (4-6 sets). Something like that.

There’s a lot of ways to do it, but as previously suggested, I would try to hit a body part at least twice per week, especially ones you are most focused on. It’s easier when you are on a 4/5 day split, but can also be done with a 3 day split.

I might try something like 4 day 2x a week with one day off…

1-Do you guys use hypertrophy methods like drop sets/bisets/rest and pauses?
2-Do you guys hit the muscle til failure?
3- Whats the general volume of your training routine?

Can someone show me a good routine for that?
I train for about 4,5 years, 21 years old and 189.5 lbs probably 16~17% bodyfat

And i dont want to be rude at all, but this is important to me…If anyone of you guys train this way that could post a photo of yours it would be great…

I have a thread in the bodybuilding forum, called Trent’s Contest Prep

I have a thread in the bodybuilding forum, Trent’s Contest Prep. I’ll write a post on my training if my pictures meet your approval :wink:


Here’s a shot from the other day

Congrats on your shape bro…Lean and nice volume.

Steroid free?? How long training?

thanks for the post

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
“stimulate, don’t annihilate”[/quote]

very well said sir! :slight_smile:


Sorry Trent, I am all about the muscle annihilation! Oh and I have always focused 1 muscle group every seven days. But like Stu said, it really depends on a myriad of factors and what nets you results.

But I am also just a fatty who likes to pick up semi heavy things.

But OP, you have gotten some really good advice here, so try things out and see what works best for you.

Haha don’t hurt me Bauber! I do think that for a relatively new lifter, it’s important to focus more on building a base of strength (something I need to keep working on!) than just beating muscle groups to a pulp through the use of a bunch of intensity methods. You should definitely keep training the way you do :slight_smile:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
Haha don’t hurt me Bauber! I do think that for a relatively new lifter, it’s important to focus more on building a base of strength (something I need to keep working on!) than just beating muscle groups to a pulp through the use of a bunch of intensity methods. You should definitely keep training the way you do :)[/quote]

I completely agree with you brother. I just had to rib you a little bit.

[quote]Austinsprodigy wrote:

[quote]pwolves17 wrote:
No, I disagree with almost everything your friend believes. While he may have had a lot of success with his methods, they’re far from optimal. Protein synthesis maxes out after 24-48 hours of training a muscle, so if you only train it once a week that’s 4 or 5 days of the week that you’re giving each muscle no chance of growing. And it’s even more important for natural trainees to focus on measurable progression and properly periodized programs, not just winging it and trashing whatever muscle you feel like training that day. As a natural lifter, “stimulate, don’t annihilate”[/quote]

Great response. I made little to no progress on a standard body part split (particularly strength wise). It wasn’t until I started to hit each muscle group 2-3 times per week that I started to get the results I was after. I’m sure plenty of people will disagree. [/quote]

I wouldn’t necessarily discount a split routine, though I will certainly say that frequency is a really good tool as long as you have the restraint to do modulate intensity correctly. I’ve found that hitting each muscle group several times per week is not ideal for me. Rather, I like to target specific weak points/areas I want to work on and hit those several times per week and hit everything else once and do it well.

As far as non-fixed programming, I think it really depends on what you mean by “non-fixed”. If “non-fixed” means walking in and doing whatever you feel like, then no, it’s dumb. Training needs a purposeful direction. If “non-fixed” means that you have a general well-thought out plan of attack that’s open to reasonable changes depending on how you feel or other limitations (such as amount of time available to train), then yes.

By non fix routines i mean…For example
I always keep the coumpound movements, never change them totally…

Like bauber said (Huge btw), i like to anihilate so i change sometimes the isolation exercises but targeting the same muscle, and changing the way i do it, for example rest and pauses, extreme stretching, drop sets or just do it normally.

I also do low reps (high weight) periods and high reps + high volume periods (8~12weeks of low reps and 8~12 of high reps)…

I do get results (slowly) but im afraid i could doing better stuff you know, cause everyone (most of) say its better training every bodyparts twice a week , as i said, i tried it a couple of times and felt smaller ( but i didnt tried it like 12 weeks or more)

sorry for my bad english bros

The longer I train the more I realize the routine is really NOT the end-all-be-all. Effort trump everything else, For natty’s in particular. You might be able to eek out a few more pounds of muscle or “detail” following a certain kind of routine, but for the most part if you train your balls off you will end up wherever you are going to end up.

If you did a routine that had you train everything twice a week versus one time a week, and the volume was relatively similar (say, 2 exercises for 4 sets twice a week, versus 4 exercises on one day) your body will be VERY similar at the end of a decade.

Again, you might have slightly bigger arms (not talking inches here, fractions of inches) if you had an “arm day” for a decade, but really its going to be almost the same as having an upper body push day where you train triceps, and pull day with biceps.

EVERYONE IS “AFRAID” THEY COULD BE DOING BETTER STUFF, this will never end likely. Everyone gets results “slowly”, Just focus on each workout and give your best effort on that day. Add enough of those days up and thats all you can do.

The realistic advice is thick here. Listen and be patient.

[quote]Lonnie123 wrote:
The longer I train the more I realize the routine is really NOT the end-all-be-all. Effort trump everything else, For natty’s in particular. You might be able to eek out a few more pounds of muscle or “detail” following a certain kind of routine, but for the most part if you train your balls off you will end up wherever you are going to end up.

If you did a routine that had you train everything twice a week versus one time a week, and the volume was relatively similar (say, 2 exercises for 4 sets twice a week, versus 4 exercises on one day) your body will be VERY similar at the end of a decade.

Again, you might have slightly bigger arms (not talking inches here, fractions of inches) if you had an “arm day” for a decade, but really its going to be almost the same as having an upper body push day where you train triceps, and pull day with biceps.

EVERYONE IS “AFRAID” THEY COULD BE DOING BETTER STUFF, this will never end likely. Everyone gets results “slowly”, Just focus on each workout and give your best effort on that day. Add enough of those days up and thats all you can do.[/quote]
Lonnie, i must thank you my friend…You are right.
I will keep doing what i always do