T Nation

Nobody Likes a Natural/Raw Whiner

Natural and Raw lifters often get a bad rap for doing less work for fear of overtraining and brushing off those who see big gains through hard work as “on gear”.

I wanted to see what you guys do for recovery. Please don’t respond with what you hear is good or whatever. What has actually helped YOU train harder than you could otherwise. Basically what has worked for you.
I’ll start out.

I have been taking cold baths post workout. I would like to work my way up to ice baths but I don’t have the courage for that right now.

I do most of my training raw so I’ll toss in what works for me.

Not being a pussy.

Do your prehab, make yourself bullet proof and you can push the envelope everyday.

And if you get hurt, do your rehab and get over it.

I’ve been hurt numerous times, it’s nothing prehab and handfulls of fish oil don’t cure.

Deloading is crazy important, and occasionally even like a week completely off.

-Deloading right before I feel the need…takes time to figure out
-BCAAs (lots)
-Slowly increasing work capacity
-Dynamic warmup
-Psychological factors

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
Not being a pussy.


[quote]KBCThird wrote:
Ghost22 wrote:
Not being a pussy.


This is really number 1 on the list.

As for recovery methods I currently use:

fish oils
Power Drive

contrast showers (I’ve only used these a few time so they’re new, but I plan to continue to experiment with them.)

“No one gets injured undertraining.”

No risk, no gain. Go all out, or don’t go out at ALL!

What I do for recovery:

-contrast showers
-foam rolling
-Fish Oil/Flax Seed
-self massaging

I do all of my training and competing raw (no belt either). Training and competing in this fashion makes me train harder even when I’m in a raw competing class because the other raw lifters are wearing a belt which adds poundages.

I have used a belt in the past but I don’t like to now for a whole host of reasons that I won’t bore you with. My point is, this style of training and competing makes it harder for me which leads to high intensity training with no excuses and whining because I have chosen this path.

For recovery? Sled pulling, deloading periods (5 days), contrast showers, deep tissue massage, Flameout (fish oil), strict diet, lots of supplements, epsom salt baths, visualization techniques, reverse hyper for high reps, incline treadmill walking, pushups, flutter kicks, wheel barrel (with weights) walking, etc., It could go and on.

The above mentioned recovery techniques have helped me a great deal. This, along with regular training focused on pure raw lifting, have given me great results and has gotten me closer to my goals.

My diet sucks ass lately but I’ve been making strength gains every week. I don’t even have to have a solid diet…if I train really fucking hard, and sleep good.

I’m fine. Have a couple shakes, eat a couple meals and I will make strength and size gains. I’m 200lbs now at 17. Every workout has been awesome. I don’t know if this has been part of my success but I train really fucking hard for 3 weeks and I have to deload for 1 week. I’ll do small stuff here and there but yeah.

I also train EVERYDAY. Other than that, fish oil, protein shakes after workouts help and thats bout it. SLEEP is king.


  • Animal pak
  • ZMA

These are the only two supplements I would ever recommend because I have actually felt the difference. I wish I felt the benefits of what I hear fish oil does (4 weeks and still nothing).

  • Foam rolling

Packing down lots of BCAAs helps

I highly agree that sleep is paramount

Food, Creatine, sleep and avoiding alcohol.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:

Do your prehab, make yourself bullet proof and you can push the envelope everyday.


Which exercises do you use for knees, hips, shoulders, elbows et al.?
What set,rep and percentage range?

[quote]Old Dax wrote:
Food, Creatine, sleep and avoiding alcohol.

Can’t agree with that last bit. I love to drink beer - it makes me stronger. Haven’t you heard of ‘beer muscles’?

Can someone explain the science behind epsom salt and how it affects recovery?

Compete in single ply but train raw half of the time. Not so young either.

-Taking every fourth week as a backoff.
-Letting injuries heal.
-Don’t miss workouts unless you are hurt. Broken hearts don’t count.
-Hot baths.
-Cold showers
-Chiro, ART, Massage
-foam roller
-extra workouts:pulling sled, KBs, pushing wheelbarrel, GHR, rev hyper
-Magnificent Mobility CD
-Relax into Stretch and Yoga for regular guys
-JS band stretching
-Limit alchohol when pushing hard
-Hydration and sleep
-Neopreme elbow, knee, and compression shorts
-Knowing exactly what i am working for and having no doubts about it.

I never distinguish myself as natural or raw.

WFT? As if anyone really cares.

I eat and sleep to recover. It works pretty good, too.

[quote]eisenaffe wrote:
Ghost22 wrote:

Do your prehab, make yourself bullet proof and you can push the envelope everyday.

Which exercises do you use for knees, hips, shoulders, elbows et al.?
What set,rep and percentage range?


High reps, low weight. I don’t do anything for knees, never had trouble there.

My hips just got strong with tons of wide stance squatting.

My shoulders benefit from mimicing the movement of the shoulder horn.

My elbows; I don’t do as much prehab as I just make sure to always apply blue heat and elbow sleeves to keep the joints warm when working with big weights.

It was more of a general statement, not so much pretaining to me.

Quick stats 6’0 ft
207lbs as of yesterday.

Well here has been whats working for me.

A good night sleep 8 hours is what i normally get I try to get 10 though.
No carbs at night…
A high protein meal before going to bed.
When I wake up another high protein meal.

Drink about a gallon of water a day and try to get 300+ grams of protein a day.

I always Eat a good meal minimum of 1 and a 1/2 hour before I workout.

I warm up not by lifting weights but by doing agilities, jump rope, jogging, pushups, and ocassionally doing some squats or cleans or pushpress with just the bar.

Depending on the day I do different warmups. Then I STRETCH properly all muscles.

During my workout I drink water or gatorade and im in the gym no longer than an hour and 30 minutes.

Im normally done in about an hour 10 but sometimes people are on the equipment I want to use. And of course lift heavy as possible with good FORM.

After my workout I STRETCH. Then eat within 30 minutes of my workout.

On the following day of a workout I do stretch the muscles I worked the previous day depending on what they were I either run or do pushups.

Every 6 weeks I take 7 days off. During this week I might max once but normally I dont anymore because I dont care much for a max.

Other than that I just run, swim, play basketball etc etc stay active for the week then when I come back after that week I always find myself stronger.

I dont eat protein powder or creatine or any of that other stuff from GNC because I find myself making plenty of gains without it so I dont see a need for it because this has been working wonders for me.

Thats about it for me thats my $.02 I find it works well.


Taking some time off if I know that there will be significant stressors in the future (finals, etc.). Although you might feel like a slacker, you usually gain some mass during that time and come back stronger than before.