Natural bodybuilding: diet and sport
by Scenit Nutrition on Dec 27, 2022
Natural bodybuilding and a balanced and well-planned diet are clearly associated because this discipline is based on gaining muscle power and hypertrophy without resorting to chemical substances such as steroids.
The diet of a natural bodybuilder is just as important as the level of training and rest. However, giving up certain chemical substances does not imply not making use of some type of supplementation. We will show you below what this modality of bodybuilding consists of , how natural bodybuilders have to plan their routines and why it is gaining interest among many fitness enthusiasts.
What is natural bodybuilding
It is easy to define natural bodybuilding because it was born as a variant of traditional bodybuilding. The practice of this modality consists of promoting muscle development and hypertrophy but basing this volume gain on exercise, diet, rest and positive thinking.
Athletes or athletes who practice it try to increase the size of their muscular system and reduce the level of fat, adipose tissue, as much as possible . The objectives of natural bodybuilders are not so linked to competition, although it is true that there are natural bodybuilding competitions, but to delve into effective formulas to gain muscle volume without having to resort to prohibited supplementation.
For this reason, they focus a lot of their preparation on training, rest and eating habits and routines. Health is also in the focus of these athletes, because when this modality is practiced it is influencing good habits that will improve the quality of life in the long term.
What makes it different from traditional bodybuilding?
Natural bodybuilders renounce the intake of sports supplements designed to improve performance in training and that can be classified as doping. The type of prohibited substances will be determined by national and international laws as well as by bodybuilding federations. In this way, they depend to a large extent on the legislation of each country.
In any case, anabolic steroids, growth hormone, some diuretic supplements and other substances that are considered doping by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) are usually included as prohibited.
Hypertrophy, or volume gain in muscle tissue, always has a limit, there is a limit that cannot be exceeded and that is determined by genetic conditions and the physical complexion itself. Supplementation with prohibited substances can exceed that limit to some degree, but it is not something infinite, and it also does so at the cost of long-term health damage.
Athletes who practice natural bodybuilding want to explore what their limits of muscle growth are by resorting only to natural techniques, such as training, eating and resting . In this sense, natural bodybuilding associations are obliged to include anti-doping rules in competitions that are stricter than in traditional bodybuilding events.
Nutrition and diet of the natural bodybuilder
The nutritional periods of natural bodybuilders, which is not the same as the diet of a natural bodybuilder, are based on two key processes: a phase of caloric excess in the volume stage and a second phase of reduction with increased energy expenditure. to remain as “dry” as possible and arrive at the competitions fully defined.
In this fat loss process, the main concern is muscle maintenance . Thus, optimal caloric intake and combinations with macronutrients are essential to match physical condition with competition preparation.
In natural bodybuilding, as in other sports modalities, nutrition is a very important part of the final success . Specifically in this discipline, three stages can be pointed out that must be followed to the letter both in the period of increasing volume and in the period of staying "dry".
High caloric diet in the volume stage
When you are in the process of muscle growth, you have to increase your caloric intake by around 30 or 35 calories per kilogram of body weight . At this time the body needs energy to promote muscle development and if it is not accessed through food, the body will end up looking for it in existing reserves, that is, in adipose tissue.
This fact helps us to indicate how to act during the definition period . Here it is necessary to greatly reduce this excessive caloric intake and consume only what the body demands at the metabolic level, since it is already interesting to deplete the reserves with adipose tissue . What is the problem of this period? That if the fat reserves are depleted, the metabolic processes will begin to use the proteins, the muscle tissue, to convert them into energy.
Proteins at the center of the diet
Protein consumption during test preparation is essential. Athletes require a higher intake of these macronutrients as they help increase metabolic activity and achieve good muscle growth.
The collective consensus in scientific reviews weeks that a protein intake of between 1.2 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight is sufficient to accommodate training routines. However, in the case of natural bodybuilders this amount may be higher during competition preparation.
Balanced and complete diet
Proteins and carbohydrates are the essential nutrients for a natural bodybuilder . However, the diet must go further because the exclusive intake of these products is insufficient and inefficient to strengthen muscles.
The muscular system and the rest of the organism require fats, minerals and trace elements . Thus, a good nutritional scheme for a natural bodybuilder is the classic 40-40-20; 40% protein intake, 40% carbohydrate intake and 20% fat intake . The vitamins, minerals and trace elements appear transversally in the set of percentages.
In turn, good hydration, two liters of water a day , is equally key, since by increasing protein intake the renal system acts very intensely and the body needs enough fluid to excrete excess protein.
Supplementation in natural bodybuilding
Is supplementation possible in natural bodybuilding? Yes, as long as what the diet is supplemented with is natural. And natural is what is not prohibited by WADA. Anything that exceeds compliance with the codes or standards under discussion imposed by WADA and other regulatory entities is expressly prohibited and is not natural.
Proteins of this type, also called Whey Protein, are a protein concentrate that offers a high availability of basic essential amino acids for muscle development and subsequent recovery after exercise.
At Scenit Nutrition we have ISOHD Zero Protein enriched with creatine and taurine, which is perfect for maintaining muscle mass and maintaining strict weight control.
Creatine in natural bodybuilding
Creatine is another compound that favors the increase in muscle mass. Its function in the body is to promote protein synthesis and deliver energy to the heart and brain. Best Creatine is a good supplement for natural bodybuilders since its correct intake increases physical performance in the short term.
This product is optimal for bodybuilders, runners , powerlifters and crossfiters , among many other athletes.
BCAA Branched Chain Amino Acids
Branched chain amino acids are, after whey, the best supplements for natural bodybuilding. These are compounds that are involved in muscle development, improve endurance and promote recovery.
Usually, BCAAs are presented in proportions of leucine, valine and isoleucine that respond to the 4:1:1 formulas, as is the case with BCAAs from Scenit Nutrition , but we can find different concentrations on the market. In turn, it is common to include glutamine in these supplements.
Training in natural bodybuilding
Training in a natural bodybuilder is different from that of one who uses PEDS ( performance-enhancing drugs , substances to increase performance) . The first assumes that there is a maximum volume of workload that can be supported . Exceeding it implies increasing the levels of accumulated fatigue, something that translates into worsening the level of performance in the long term.
Thus, natural bodybuilders must limit that training volume required to generate positive adaptations. Taking this to a classic natural bodybuilding routine, this is working 10 to 20 weekly series per muscle group and reaching between 40 and 70 effective repetitions.
Regarding the total number of weekly training sessions, there is no universal answer, as this will depend on the moment within the season and the needs in the short, medium and long term.
In the area of the weight to be loaded, there is a simple answer, all the load that you can and that allows you to reach the last repetition exhausted , but always maintaining good technique . To carry out the training correctly, you have to use experience or self-regulation tools.
Finally, it is important to cover the entire range of repetitions and muscle groups to work, leaving the shortest series for multi-joint groups and the longest for individual exercises.
Natural bodybuilding and diet go hand in hand , as do rest and well-designed exercise routines. In turn, in this discipline the intake of sports supplementation is accepted, as long as it is not aimed at doping products.