Some of you drug-free trainers might not realize it, but often when the drug-using bodybuilders hear the word "natural", they roll
their eyes or shake their heads. To them natural bodybuilders are a joke, not because of their smaller physiques, but because of
their attitude. It is often a negative, bitter stance, where they portray themselves as suffering martyrs in the war against
steroids. Little do the natural guys and gals who think like this know that this very attitude, as well as other factors, is keeping
them from developing the best physique they can. Here are eight ways that natural bodybuilders limit themselves, and how they can
counteract these limits and get the most out of bodybuilding.
Most Common Ways Natural Bodybuilders Limit Themselves
- Many natural bodybuilders seem to think that all the drug-users have it easy. They simply jab that needle in the
ass, pop a couple of pills, and grow to pro proportions with very little training. The truth is, the drug-users, at least the
successful ones, train very hard. While it's understandable to be jealous of someone who trains the same way yet grows to a much
larger degree, this envy is baseless. After all, who's stopping any of us from buying and using steroids? No one! If you have
decided to train without them, why are you whining about it? Using steroids or not is a personal choice, one that you should have
your own reasons for in either case. Natural bodybuilders should stand strong in their decision, not bitch about it.
Training like drug-users
- Luckily there seems to be a revival of common-sense training, as evidenced by the popularity of
Mike Mentzer's Heavy Duty and the P.A.S. training system. Unfortunately many people still comb the magazines for the training
routines of the champs. First of all, most of the champions are so genetically gifted that they could basically look the same by
following any exercise program you'd care to pull out of a hat. I mean really, why would anyone follow an arm routine of someone
who has to avoid training arms for fear of too much growth (DeMayo, Matarazzo and others) or a calf-training article by someone
who doesn't even train calves (Matarazzo)?
To further compound the problem, many natural trainers don't understand that without massive amounts of steroids to help you
recover, you simply cannot train two hours a day, six days a week, and hope to grow muscle tissue. Natural trainers must train
heavy and with great intensity, but briefly, and allow plenty of rest days. Preferably never train with weights without taking
the next day off.
Setting self-imposed limits
- "Naturals can't get striated glutes" "Naturals can't get leg vascularity." "Naturals can't build
arms over 20 inches." These are all very negative statements, and I've heard them all uttered by natural bodybuilders! Can you
imagine curling away, all the while thinking to yourself that your arms can't get any bigger? Of course they won't with a negative
attitude like that!
Many natural bodybuilders have self-imposed limits as to how big they can get, how ripped they can be, or how much weight they can
lift. This is suicide for your gains, present and future. Is it any wonder there are always a few people in natural shows who are so
thin or so fat that they're embarrassing? To these people being natural is like an excuse for looking bad. I've got news - it isn't!
Do you think Skip LaCour or Mike O'Hearn told himself he could never get big? Did Chris Faildo or Yohnnie Shambourger think he
couldn't get cut? No way. If you believe that you have a limit, you will. Maybe a 23-inch arm is beyond the expectation of most
natural trainers, but being satisfied with a 16-inch arm because you're natural and not training hard to grow is a huge mistake.
Get bigger, get stronger, get shredded. The only person stopping you is you.
- Some natural trainers think all supplements are garbage because most are endorsed by steroid-users, who - we
all know - get those inhuman physiques partially from pharmaceuticals. But not using supplements is robbing them of serious gains.
I can personally say, without ever having been paid or sponsored by any supplement company, that I have gotten much greater results
while training with the aid of protein powders, creatine monohydrate, ephedrine, glutamine and other products than when I was not
using them. Supplements can allow you to train with more intensity, recover faster and more completely, and consume more nutrients
than you could ever hope to do on simple food. Of course, eating a good diet of real food is even more important. The point is, in
the l990's any bodybuilder not using supplements is not going to have the best physique he or she could get.
- Many natural competitors are very negative, constantly accusing anyone bigger of being on drugs, and
generally giving dirty looks all the time. They might even mope and sulk that being drug-free is frustrating, but they won't do
drugs. How can such a person possibly be happy? If this is you or you know someone like this, tell him to cheer up. Being strong
and healthy is a gift from some higher power. Not appreciating it for what it is wrong.
Advertising natural status
- Some natural bodybuilders can't help but tell anyone they meet that they're natural. They point out
the differences between what they believe is possible with and without drugs. They will even wear shirts that proclaim the fact.
It's good that they're proud of being drug free, but there's no need to scream it to the world. Those in the know will figure it
out for themselves. If they can't believe you're clean, take it as a compliment. That means they think you look awesome!
Not taking pride in accomplishments
- An opposite side of this mess, but a very real one, is the natural bodybuilder who
constantly compares himself to drug-users and ends up feeling worthless. He just benched 455. Great, right? "Naw GH Gary over there
put 550 up last week." Me1l, look at your quads, man! They're huge! "I wish. Deca Danny has 39-inch quads with cross-striations."
Although you should always strive to improve, you also need to feel good about what you have accomplished. As long as you're improving
relative to your own previous achievements, you're kicking ass!
Not associating with drug-users
- A big mistake, in my opinion, is natural bodybuilders scorning anyone who uses or has used
steroids. Although I have never used drugs, I know some great people - smart, witty, honest and sincere people - who just happen
to use or have used steroids. Many of them are willing to lend a spot in the gym, or give a helpful assessment of exercise form
or physique. I can't imagine how you can discriminate against someone simply on this basis. To me that's as bad as not talking to
someone because of his race or religion. Competitive bodybuilders in the pro ranks or seeking their pro card these days don't have
a choice. They need to use drugs to have even the remotest change of doing well. I too wish nobody would use steroids, but that's
like wishing nobody would drink beer.
As you can see, there are several ways in which natural bodybuilders can change their thought and behavior patterns to get the
most out of their training. Negative attitudes and complaining have never helped anybody accomplish anything. To all fellow naturals:
Be positive, be friendly and be intelligent in your training and nutrition. Build your bodies and be proud of them.