Natural bodybuilding means gaining muscle without using accessories like drugs or dietary supplements to bulk up.
For centuries, bodybuilders have pushed the envelope in their quest for bigger, stronger muscles. Some were even willing to risk safety and health by using drugs and supplements to add bulk to their physique, without caring about the long-term effects of such practices on their body and health.
In the modern era, this trend still remains but has been overshadowed by the move towards safe and healthy bodybuilding. Natural bodybuilding happens without the need for drugs that enhance performance or food supplements that alter metabolism.
So what are the staples of natural body building?
There is no role in this model for injecting materials that are the substrate for muscle development, or taking hormones like anabolic steroids that assist the body in diverting the building blocks of muscle growth to the appropriate areas that the bodybuilder wants to develop.
Natural bodybuilding is a rather exclusive term with strict definitions. Let’s say one starts out with exercise and good nutrition alone, achieves muscle gain, and then hits a plateau. If that person now resorts to a brief period of dietary supplements or other artificial aids to further muscle gain, the term “natural body building” no longer applies. They are disqualified!
Are no aids or accessories allowed?
Equipment, tools and machines that will help build muscle are a part of natural bodybuilding programs. Training routines often require specific kinds of equipment for exercising. That doesn’t make it “artificial” bodybuilding. Even certain kinds of “supplements” are allowed without violating the rigid guidelines that determine if a program is natural or not.
What matters is adhering to the principle of developing muscles without having to seek artificial aids or unhealthy performance enhancers along the way.
Why is all bodybuilding not natural?
There are different reasons for wanting to gain muscle. In many cases, it is a competitive instinct. Whether bodybuilders workout as a sport, to participate in contests, or just to look better than their peers, this competitive instinct drives them to seek results. And in professional bodybuilding, such results translate into financial advantages because prize money that’s at stake in contests and competition is often significant.
When natural attempts at building muscle stall at a certain point, there is a temptation to try other methods to accelerate growth. Of course, persisting with the natural approach will eventually achieve this same goal, but it takes time, persistence and sustained effort. The lure of taking a pill or injection or drink that will help get over the bump often seems attractive.
There are several body building workouts and diets designed specifically to help those devoted to the natural approach. And the extensive use of these resources indicates that there is still a sizable number of bodybuilders who continue to shun artificial boosters for muscle gain.