Think it’s impossible to become the biggest natural bodybuilder at the gym? Learn how to do natural bodybuilding properly and sculpt large muscle mass without using performance-enhancing drugs!
RELATED: Best Workout To Gain Muscle
In this article:
- What Is Natural Bodybuilding?
- Does Natural Bodybuilding Work?
- What Supplements Can Natural Bodybuilders Take?
- What Are the Best Exercises for Natural Bodybuilding?
- Who Is the Biggest Natural Bodybuilder?
- Is It Possible to Get Big with Natural Bodybuilding?
What Gym-Goers Should Know to Be the Biggest Natural Bodybuilder
What Is Natural Bodybuilding?
The term natural bodybuilding is a widely debated topic in the fitness industry. Some gym-goers have differing opinions about the definition of “natural.” However, the most basic and generic definition of a natural bodybuilder is one who doesn’t take performance-enhancing drugs.
Competitive bodybuilders often use anabolic steroids such as dianabol and clenbuterol to maximize their gains. Gym-goers who want to go natural should avoid these.
It takes three things to succeed as a natural bodybuilder: regular training, healthy dieting, and proper supplementation. Gym-goers need to optimize these three factors to maximize the results from their training.
Does Natural Bodybuilding Work?
Contrary to popular belief, gym-goers who don’t use anabolic steroids can still achieve a sidewalk-cracking physique. In fact, supplementation is just one part of the three things it takes to build massive muscles.
While natural bodybuilders don’t have the edge competitive ones do, they can still progress by using the right strategy. For example, fitness buffs can compensate by increasing their nutrient intake and utilizing the right supplements.
Plus, the creation of legal steroids in modern times allows natural bodybuilders to build an even more massive physique. Similar to anabolic steroids, legal steroids increase muscle mass, burn fat, and boost energy levels. Legal steroids, however, have no side effects and are perfectly safe for use. These supplements started to gain traction in the early 2000s.
What Supplements Can Natural Bodybuilders Take?
Lifting weights isn’t the only thing athletes need to do to become the biggest natural bodybuilder at their gym. They also need to analyze what supplements they should take.
Anabolic steroids only make up a fraction of the supplement industry. There are dozens of supplement combinations to help gym-goers achieve size.
One shouldn’t blindly believe that taking banned substances is the only way to build muscle mass. Some of the best supplements natural bodybuilders can try include:
1. Weight Gainers
These supplements feed the body all the carbs, calories, and fats it needs to pack on muscle. Gym-goers can take weight gainers during meals or after working out.
Protein is an essential part of any nutrition plan. The muscles need enough protein to recover after a workout. Not taking enough of it might lead to some seriously missed gains.
Tip: Taking the same protein supplement every day might bore some people. To mix things up, fitness buffs can explore the different protein shake recipes available.
3. Testo-Max by CrazyBulk
Competitive bodybuilders who want to boost their testosterone levels often take Sustanon, but natty bodybuilders can’t take these. Instead of Sustanon, they can take CrazyBulk’s Testo-Max.
It stimulates the luteinizing hormone to trigger maximum testosterone production. Higher testosterone levels mean bigger muscle mass and faster recovery periods.
Trenorol is a natural alternative to trenbolone. Its main purpose is to increase size, muscle strength, endurance, and vascularity. Trenbolone does this by feeding the muscles extra oxygen in an attempt to produce extra red blood cells.
5. D-Bal Max
Many competitive bodybuilders take dianabol to increase muscle mass and improve endurance. However, since natural bodybuilders can’t use anabolic steroids, they can opt to supplement with D-Bal Max instead.
It’s a legal steroid that supports protein retention through increased nitrogen production. By feeding the muscles with more protein, athletes can recover from a tough workout faster than they ever have.
Without performance-enhancing drugs like anabolic steroids, it may seem impossible to bulk up without building fat at the same time. This leaves natty athletes struggling to achieve a bigger size without increasing their body fat percentage.
If one were able to maximize their human growth hormone levels, building mass without fat may be possible. Gym-goers can naturally increase the body’s HGH production with CrazyBulk’s HGH-X2.
It’s a legal steroid that consists of an inimitable blend of amino acids that promotes higher hormone production. This supplement is ideal for bodybuilders who want to bulk up under limited time.
Gym-goers know how difficult it is to work out when the body is extremely sore. Sadly, proper nutrition and regular stretching can only go so far with muscle recovery.
To speed up the body’s recovery time, start taking CrazyBulk’s Decaduro. It’s a natural alternative to the anabolic steroid and growth hormone deca-durabolin.
Decaduro consists of a unique, advanced, and research-based formula. It helps the body with protein synthesis, red blood cell production, and nitrogen synthesis. With this, natty athletes can work out harder for longer periods of time.
Gym-goers can only get so much nutrients from their food sources. Plus, it’s almost impossible to increase nutrient consumption without taking in more calories as well.
If one wants to succeed in natural bodybuilding, they need to find other sources of nutrients such as multivitamins. These supplements are affordable and very easy to find.
In fact, almost any local convenience store has a few packs of these. Pop a few every day to increase the nutrients you consume exponentially.
Overall, the best way to find the right supplements for natural bodybuilding is to explore the options available. A weight training beginner can seek advice from his/her personal trainer to find out what to use for lean muscle mass development.
Also, skip the brands that don’t disclose what ingredients they use in their supplements. Athletes should be very careful in regards to what supplements they consume.
What Are the Best Exercises for Natural Bodybuilding?
In natural bodybuilding, gym-goers should aim to hit all muscle groups every single week. Divide the workout week into different muscle groups while combining various compound and isolation exercises.
For example, on Mondays, one can do some resistance exercise routines that would target the biceps and chest. Then on Tuesdays, he or she can focus less on muscle gains and do some full-body strength and conditioning or cardio exercises.
Tip: To get maximum results fast, one should aim to increase the number of reps and volume that they lift. Gradually increase this amount as time passes.
Upper Body Exercises
Ready to become the biggest natural bodybuilder around? Well, here are some of the best exercises to get a massive upper body:
1. Bench Press
The bench press is a great exercise that targets the pectorals while working the shoulders and triceps as well. Try to get a deep stretch by letting the bar get as close to the chest as possible. Also, remember to push the weight up as high as one’s arms allow.
- Lie down on a flat bench press with the feet flat on the ground and bar hanging in front of the face.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip, lift the weight off the rack, and then lower the weight down until the bar is only a few inches away from the chest. Don’t let the elbows flare out.
- Push the weight back up. This is one rep.
2. Seated Rows
To build a larger back, one should incorporate seated rows into their workout regimen. It’s a great exercise that works the lats, traps, rhomboids, and deltoids.
One should always pull the cable back as far as they can. Remember to contract the lats while doing seated rows.
- Sit down on the machine with the legs straightened out, feet flat on the platform, back straight, and then grab the hook with a neutral grip.
- Pull the cable toward the body but let the arms hang straight and relaxed. This is one’s starting position.
- Then, pull the cable as close to the waist as possible while pulling the shoulder blades back as well.
- Pause and then release. This is one rep.
3. Shoulder Press
View this post on Instagram
Here’s a quick tip from CrazyBulk Athlete @SiponSunshine. Get out there and give it a try. . “If you have access to a Hammer Strength Shoulder Press, then give this a try to smoke your traps!!! Always stay creative in the gym to find new ways to use machines in unintended ways to get unexpected results!! 💪🏽💪🏽 . Grinding hard!! 4 weeks out!”
If one wants to build big, natural shoulders, they need to do some heavy should presses. Gym-goers can opt to do this with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells.
The goal is to push the weight up as high as possible from the starting position.
- Stand inside a squat rack, grab the barbell with an overhand grip, and remove it from the rack.
- Next, push the weight upwards until the arms are straightened out.
- Pause and then lower the bar back down. This is one rep.
Pull-ups are possibly one of the best workouts to build a strong and wide back. They don’t require barbells or dumbbells, only a pull-up bar.
The key to performing great pull-ups is to create a combination between a loose, relaxed state and a strained, contracted form. Loosen the body while hanging down from the pull-up bar. Meanwhile, contract the back muscles while pulling the body up.
- Hang from a pull-up bar with the hands wider than shoulder-width apart and an overhand grip.
- Slowly lift the body up while pulling the shoulder blades back.
- Pause and then lower the body down. This is one rep.
5. Barbell Bicep Curls
When doing bicep curls, heavier doesn’t always mean better. The main trick to get bigger, well-sculpted biceps is in getting the proper form.
While curling the weight up, make sure to flex the biceps as tight as possible. This helps one achieve that glorious bicep pump curls provide.
- Stand upright with a pair of dumbbells in each hand hanging at the sides. The palms should be facing the body.
- Slowly curl the weights upward while keeping the upper arms stationary and elbows tucked in at the sides. Also, remember to twist the wrists so the palms end up facing the body.
- Once the weights are at just below the shoulders, pause and then lower the weights back down while twisting the wrists again. This is one rep.
6. Triceps Extensions
These are great isolation exercises that solely target the triceps. When doing triceps extensions, make sure not to put any unnecessary stress on the other body parts. Try to shift all the weight on the triceps.
- Grab a dumbbell with one hand and lift it up behind the head. The upper arm should be parallel to the wall and elbow bent.
- Then, push the weight upward while keeping the upper arm stationary.
- Pause and then lower the weight down to the starting position.
7. Lateral Raises
It’s best to perform lateral raises on the same day one does shoulder presses. These are great isolation exercises that define and sculpt the shoulders.
The trick here is to use dumbbells one is comfortable with. Using heavy weights may compromise the form.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand and let them hang down straight in front of the body just below the crotch. The palms should be facing the body.
- Lift the dumbbells up while keeping the arms straight. Stop when the arms are at the height of the shoulders and parallel to the floor.
- Lower the weight down. This is one rep.
Lower Body Exercises
Along with deadlifts and bench presses, squats are one of the three best compound movements for strength and mass. No bodybuilder can build a solid pair of legs without doing squats.
Try to go as heavy as the body can, but never sacrifice form for weight. Also, be careful not to go too low when squatting. One can stop descending once the knees bend at 90 degrees.
- Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands wider than shoulder-width apart, and place the barbell behind the head across the shoulders and traps.
- Keeping the back straight, lower the body down by bending the knees until the knees hit 90 degrees.
- Pause and then push the body back up. This is one rep.
2. Leg Press
The leg press is a great machine exercise to supplement squats with.
Remember: when doing the leg press, do not fully extend the legs when pushing the weight up. Doing so might lead to a leg or a knee injury.
- Sit down on the leg press machine, press the feet flat against the platform, unhook the safety bars at the sides, and then lower the weight until the knees are bent close to the chest. This is one’s starting position.
- Push the weight up until the legs are almost fully extended.
- Pause and then lower the weight back down. This is one rep.
Doing lunges is a great way to build a solid pair of glutes. One can use barbells and dumbbells to perform lunges.
- Stand upright, feet shoulder-width apart, grab a pair of dumbbells, and then let them hang at the sides.
- Place the right foot forward while slowly bending both knees to lower the body.
- Stop when the right knee bends at 90 degrees and the left knee hovers just a few inches above the floor.
- Push the feet through the floor to get back to the starting position. Alternate between the left and right leg.
4. Leg Extension
The leg extension is a great machine exercise that isolate the quads. After busting out some heavy squats, hitting the leg extension machine will further work the thighs.
At first, it might be difficult to do these two exercises consecutively, but a little bit of practice will let the body adapt to it right away.
- Sit down on the machine and place the feet against the pads at the bottom. The knees should be at 90 degrees.
- Then, push the weight up while keeping the upper legs stationary.
- Pause once the legs are parallel to the floor and then return to the starting position. This is one rep.
5. Hamstring Curl
One mistake many gym-goers commit is ignoring the hamstrings. Squats and deadlifts aren’t enough to make the hamstrings grow. One needs to perform isolation exercises such as the hamstring curl as well.
- Lie face down on the machine with the ankles pressed against the pads. Grab the sidebars for stability.
- Then, curl the weight up while keeping the upper legs stationary.
- Once the knees cannot bend deeper, pause for one count and then lower the weight back down. This is one rep.
6. Calf Raises
Never ignore calves when training legs. Some gym-goers forego these since they find it boring. Skipping these resistance training exercises will have a huge effect on your body’s symmetry.
Remember: as the thighs grow, the calves should grow proportionately as well.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells, stand upright, and keep the feet about hip-width apart.
- Slowly push the body up using the balls of the feet until one is on his or her toes.
- Contract the calves and then slowly go back down. This is one rep.
Who Is the Biggest Natural Bodybuilder Ever?
Natural bodybuilders are proof of what the human body is capable of. They show what genetics, dieting, training, and supplementing can do.
Keep in mind that people have accused some of the athletes on this list of taking steroids. But despite all the claims, no evidence proves they actually took performance-enhancing drugs.
Here are the top natty bodybuilders in the world today:
1. Donte Franklin
Despite his unbelievable size, Donte Franklin the bodybuilder is 100% natural. In fact, he regularly competes in natty competitions such as the INBA and NANBF. Analysts say that genetics play a big role in Donte’s growth.
2. Simeon Panda
Simeon Panda started bodybuilding at 16. What makes his journey remarkable is his consistent growth throughout his four years of training.
At no point did he shock the world with unbelievable growth. Rather, he grew at a steady pace every year. In fact, these changes might be unnoticeable to some people.
3. Sadik Hadzovic
For Sadik, bodybuilding is a part of his lifestyle. Before Sadik decided to debut on the bodybuilding stage, he was a model. Analysts say that Sadik was already large before he started entering natty competitions.
If he were taking steroids, Sadik wouldn’t be able to participate in these events. They hold random drug tests throughout the year to see which athletes are doping.
Plus, Sadik shows no signs of steroid use. In fact, his tight, vacuumed stomach would be impossible to maintain if he was juicing.
Is It Possible to Get Big with Natural Bodybuilding?
This is perhaps the most common question gym-goers ask: is it possible to get big without using steroids? The answer: yes.
Many people underestimate the power of hard work, training, and dieting when it comes to bodybuilding. Similarly, others indiscriminately label large athletes as steroid users.
However, natural bodybuilding is possible. It may be a bit more difficult than if one were to use drugs, but it is not impossible. Also, some prefer the results of natural bodybuilding rather than drug-infused training.
What is natural bodybuilding? Check out this video from Brown GetFitWithKB about his natural look and how he achieves it:
Natural bodybuilding is not an impossible feat to achieve. All it takes is a research-based fitness plan.
One should find a balance between training, dieting, and supplementation to achieve the body they want.
What are your bodybuilding questions about natural bodybuilding? Post them in the comments section below!
- How To Build Muscle Mass That Lasts
- 11 Tips To Get A Ripped Body
- Quick and Easy Vegetarian Meal Prep Recipes [INFOGRAPHIC]
Editors Note: This post was originally published on December 7, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.