It's a simple fact:Everyone makes mistakes. To err is human, as they say, but there's no use crying over spilt beer. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes, drawing conclusions from your experiences that will enable you to avoid making the same mistake again.
This is true for life in general, and it is certainly true when it comes to natural bodybuilding. Let's take a look at some of the biggest mistakes drug-free athletes make and see how you can learn from them.
Don't Use Drug-Based Techniques
This is far and away the biggest and most frequent mistake made by natural athletes. Faced with constant descriptions in the muscle magazines of how professional bodybuilders train, natural competitors often try to emulate their heroes. Yet trying to copy the pros' routines
will get you nowhere. The professional elite are genetically blessed with the capacity for rapid recuperation and muscle growth and, more often than not, take large amounts of steroids and/or growth hormone to boost muscle development.
This lets them train more frequently than natural athletes can. You need to listen to your own body and respect the signals it's sending you. In order to maximize your muscle growth, you need to experiment with your training regimen. You have to learn the frequency and volume
of exercise that are right for you. You have to make judicious use of heavy weight. While you must push the limit in your workouts in order to stimulate growth, too much stimulation will push your body into overtraining. Forget about what the drug users do.
Verify your own parameters for growth. and then stick with what works for you. You also need to control your food intake year-round. Since you don't artificially enhance your metabolic rate with drugs, you must always keep a dose grip on your diet. If you overeat in the off-season,
you'll have to over diet before contests, and without the muscle retaining qualities of steroids you may very well lose lean muscle tissue. You may also need to reduce the amount of aerobics you do to avoid overtraining. So work with your body's natural recuperative powers, and
focus on fully channeling your mental force and power. You may not get a drug-induced boost, but you'll never experience the hormonal letdown that inevitably accompanies steroid use. In the end you'll come out on top.
Individualize Your Training Program
Since recuperative abilities vary, you must modify your training program so that it reflects your genetic makeup. Observe the responses your body makes to the stimuli you offer it, then retain the good and discard the bad. Learn from your mistakes, and alter your training
accordingly. Isolate the factors that seem to work for you, and then adopt the appropriate methods that will enable you to reach your goals.
This process will be somewhat different for each athlete, so be prepared to individualize your training program. Don't be afraid to do something that's different; for only through experimentation can you make progress.
Some machines at the gym will work better for you than others. Machines are designed for some hypothetical average person, with one particular path of movement. This is great if you match the biomechanics of that theoretical person, but if you're taller or shorter, the machine
may not work as designed and may even cause strain and injury. Since one size can't fit all athletes, you have to pick and choose. Diet is another area for personalization. Metabolisms differ, so the number of carbs you need to grow without gaining bodyfat will vary as well.
The amount of dietary fat you can eat without growing love handles also depends on the speed of your metabolism.
Keep Your Confidence
One of the certainties in life is that you'll make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. You need to maintain a solid conviction that you'll excel, not just in spite of your errors but actually because of them. People who don't experiment and take chances will never
learn as quickly as they might. They'll never be on the cutting edge of bodybuilding-or anything else, for that matter, it's a simple truth: no risk, no reward. In order to grow mentally and physically you have to take charge of your destiny and be your own master.
Make change your friend, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water. Be bold in your experiments, yet remember to use your intellect, intuition and common sense. You can't make uncommon gains if you do the same thing that everyone else does. While you'll sometimes screw up,
as long as you don't get negative and short-circuit the process, you'll benefit from y individualized program. Keep your confidence in your ability to grot naturally, and you'll experience the full satisfaction and rewards of drug-free muscle growth.