Pressured by a desire to acquire, naturals submerge in the muscle game with a heavy enthusiasm that makes the hard seem easy and the impossible possible.
Like a temp working all night accompanied only by the indifferent photons emerging from the dusty lamp in the office, the natties of this world spend their days and nights chasing an ideal resembling a rose holding on to the heart with stab wounds.
Focused on the wrong kind of pain, natties torture themselves until blood starts dropping on the floor in accordance with the blinking rhythm of their wandering eyes unable to see a reward anywhere except in the chamber of false hope that all humans carry since birth.
Enough. It’s time for the self-torture to end. And for that to happen, all naturals have to become aware that they are hurting themselves needlessly.
Below you will discover five of the cruelest techniques naturals rely on to generate self-harm.
1. Obsessive–compulsive disorders (OCDs)
The natty’s cranium often feels like the den of a thunderbolt made of vitriolic and intrusive thoughts toying with the homeostasis of the soul and demanding endless subordination. The psychotherapist says ”just mute them”, but that doesn’t work because the natty’s burning ambition to forge thicker muscle fibers has the capacity to power a nuclear power plant.
If you look closely at a natty’s eyes, you will see a spark of obsession refusing to leave as if it’s an alcohol molecule inhabiting the deepest, almost unreachable, layers of a drunk’s organism whose system is confused what’s blood and what’s whiskey.
Like a clock running on Tesla’s unlimited energy, the constantly unsatisfied demonic voice keeps saying: ”Did you take enough protein, boy? Did you let the weights dissolve your fibers in the gym, you lazy loser? At what time are you going to bed, YouTube binging pinhead? Look on Instagram! They are all better than you! Why are you so silent, numskull? What about PRs? Do you ever plan on improving your one plate bench? Answer me now, for I am the gate to muscle! Ho-Ho-Ho.”
”Where is this coming from,” says the natty, hands covering the ears.
What if I tell you that the voice you are hearing is the result of a chemical reaction between your desires and the bodybuilding ecosystem created by businessmen doing their best to monetize the construction of muscle fibers and the fight against gravity. The process is catalyzed by the physiques of roid users on social media – the place where human souls meet in the age of notifications.
The mainstream explanation how growth happens could be seen as an attractive girl seemingly showing signs of interest in you. ”If she’s winking and touching her hair, it must be love,” you whisper to your imaginary councilor.
It’s a game of deception, my friend. You only see what the label wants you to see. You only hear what the audio engineer allows you to hear. It’s not real love. It’s a business transaction, and you are often on the losing side not because of money losses, but because of the constant dread increasing the pressure in your head.
The human body is not made out of paper. It’s strong and adaptable. 20 grams of protein, an hour of sleep and a few extra sets will neither make you nor break you. Yet the natty keeps drowning in toxic thoughts generated by imaginary guilt.
Surprisingly, the solution to getting rid of your OCD is not to hit it with your fists. OCD powered thoughts are a river created by your brain reacting to internal and external stimulus. The more you fight it, the wetter you’ll get. Instead, just let it run and observe calmly from the shore while the sunlight penetrates through the water and exposes its content.
Thoughts are just thoughts. They neither define you nor own you unless you give them a permission. Let them run. They’ll go nowhere on their own.
2. Blaming Yourself for Things You Can’t Change
”If people don’t succeed, it’s because they don’t work long and hard enough,” rationalize the megaphones of the system.
Once injected into the natty’s head, this criticism triggers the formation of microorganisms transporting profound guilt and self-hatred straight to the heart. The infection intensifies when the social media start spamming the online realm with examples of success stories.
”If so many people are making it happen, I must be carrying a faulty mechanism,” says the natty to himself, eyes controlled by a mixture of perplexity and desire for repentance.
Powered by naivete, the natty finds a new program, promoted by successful people, and restarts the prayer for growth. Despite the five trucks of effort invested into the new mission, the results fail to thunderstrike anyone. Even the oxygen in the room laughs with one hand in front of the mouth when a natty starts flexing his biceps in the mirror until his face turns scarlet. Then, the same cycle and all of its painful phases repeat again and again and again.
Can the loop be broken or is it infinite?
It will be infinite if you make it infinite. The deception works only if you agree to participate.
If you have tried your best, guilt becomes nonsensical and reveals an underlying insecurity.
Why do you feel guilty? Can’t you see that the official instructions don’t lead to the official reward? Can’t you see that bodybuilding is all about genetics and drugs? Protein powder and reps come last, kid.
3. Constantly Looking for Someone’s Approval
”Can I do high bar squats instead of low bar squats, coach,” types the natty with trembling fingers and a soul trapped in future expectations.
”No,” writes back the coach. ”If you do high bar squats instead of low bar squats, you are not doing MY program. And if you are not doing MY program, you might just as well hang yourself.”
”Low bar squats it is, sir,” responds the natty, deeply afraid that he will be IP banned and rejected by the cult.
As humans, we are always looking for a way to join a group and experience the pleasure of being a member, for there is nothing scarier than loneliness. The fear of rejection often turns us into beggars for approval.
I’m sorry, but it’s time to set the beggar mentality on fire. Once you know the basics, you don’t need anyone’s permission to train the way you want to train. There are no perfect exercises routines or rep ranges. Those elements are simply variables designed to change.
Eventually, you have to grow up and make decisions on your own. At first, it will feel weird and maybe even frightening, but after the period of adaptation, you will never look back to the life of a beggar seeking validation.
If you want to do high bar squats, do high bar squats.
If you want to curl in the squat rack, curl in the squat rack.
If you want to train only the left side of your body, do it.
You are the one in charge.
4. Training Too Hard
The natty knights like to think that their attempts to separate iron from the ground represent the greatest work of their lives. It doesn’t matter if the cold outside is turning air into ice, or if the sun is trying to melt the earth – they are always in the gym; bewildered eyes possessed by obsession.
Infatuated by barbell induced adrenaline, the natties invest a piece of their psyche in every rep. Sadly, the madness can only go for so long. Like youth dried by the sword of time, the desire of a natural starts to lose its life juice sooner or later. You can’t mute the mirror and ignore the balance sheet forever. Those with brain cells capable of activation will one day decode the pyramid scheme called bodybuilding.
Gym-slaving is very similar to an ungrateful job – even if you work twice as much, your salary only moves up once every 10 years to account for inflation. What’s the point of killing yourself when your extra efforts do not result in extra rewards? Some may say that they love it, but that’s a lie. You don’t really love all 9 sets of it. You just brainwash yourself into believing your own delusions.
Just like the coins you receive at the end of each month, the mirror’s reports could make the love for what you do colder and colder, my friend. Therefore, you have no choice but to slow down and do just enough work not to get fired. Focus on the essentials and forget about everything else. Reduce the number of exercises, sets and reps to an absolute minimum. If something is not important to you, don’t do it.
5. Trying to Explain What You are Doing
Listen. People don’t take you seriously until the table is covered in green. Nobody cares that you swim unless you’re Phelps. Nobody cares that you make videos on YouTube unless they are crashing the servers. Nobody cares that you work hard when there’s no money on the table. Nobody cares that you are spending day and nights in the gym when you don’t look like you lift. People only care when there are visible, undeniable results. In the meantime, you are alone – a ghost forgotten by everyone except the dust. Trying to explain to your family and friends why are doing what you are doing is a painful waste of time.
When I was in high-school, I wanted to become a pro skater. I invested a lot in the pursuit of this dream. Nobody from my family cared. They thought that I was basically an idiot trying to break his bones, which I did, by doing an activity designed for 5-year-old kids. They didn’t see the struggle because they couldn’t. They didn’t feel my pain, for they weren’t hurting. But before all – they didn’t see results.
I was never good enough to earn a sponsorship from a local skate shop let alone something bigger. The facts are the facts. I wasn’t built for it. But you can be certain that if my plan had succeeded, I would have received respect from my family.
The bodybuilding game is no different. Unless you start earning money or mutate into a beast turning heads on the street, the radar won’t detect you. You are a joke. No one wants to hear how sore you are or how many months it took you to set a deadlift PR. Save it for yourself, and before all, forget about approval, support or applause. You ain’t getting anything until the trophy is over your head. And as we all know, there isn’t a socially accepted trophy when you are 100% natural because people have been conditioned to believe that the bodies on the covers are the product of perfectly timed intake of broccoli and chicken breast.
Just give up. They don’t understand you, just like you don’t understand them.
Everyone’s struggle is invisible to strangers who haven’t tried to walk on the same road.