The Main Rules Of Natural Bodybuilding

Natural bodybuilding represents a mythical concept.

– unknown

There is no such thing as natural bodybuilding. Since Arnold’s era bodybuilders have been relying on anabolic drugs to break the new barriers and get bigger and bigger. While that may be good enough for the judges, there are thousands of people who are left in the pit. Those would be the average natural bodybuilders who have regular jobs and just workout to look good without competing. Of course, there are also real natural bodybuilders who compete, but they are an extremely small minority.

To shed some light on true natural bodybuilding, nattyornot.com presents you the main rules of natural bodybuilding.

1. Forget about looking like you lift with your clothes on

True natural bodybuilders look unimpressive and slim when covered in clothing. Those who look big and bulky are usually at least 20% body fat, even though they believe they are “shredded” because the first two abs are showing when flexed. I am almost sorry to inform you that fat rolls do not count as abs.


Conversely, natural bodybuilders often look bigger in a lean condition and without clothes because the musculature is actually visible. Having a pump also helps.

Note: True naturals with a high body fat don’t enjoy the benefits of this optical effect. They just look fat.

2. Forget about doing many exercises

In general, exercise variety sucks. It’s better to focus on a few movements and get really good at them. The bodybuilding routines that include 10 exercises per body part are grossly overcomplicated routines designed to convince the noobs that they are doing something magical. Simplicity is where it’s at.

3. Forget about finding a secret supplement that produces steroid-like results

Legend has it that some natties eat bull testicles to boost their testosterone levels.

There is also a large group of natural muscle constructors relying heavily on supplements to achieve magnificence. Those unaware people treat the labels as gospel. Unfortunately, or not, supplements are less effective than food.

4. Forget about dirty bulking

Natural bodybuilders have no business dirty bulking. Gaining weight for the sake of seeing the scale move up is about as useful as jumping on a frozen river just to see how strong the ice is.

Past a certain point, eating more will simply make you fat and kill your aesthetics. Food does not magically transform into muscle mass.

6. Forget about gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time

Unless you are a beginner, you can’t gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. When you are losing fat the body is a state of decomposition so to speak. How are you supposed to gain an appreciable amount of muscle mass when you are in a state of deprivation. What stimulus does the body have to build muscle when it’s already lacking the energy it needs to maintain its current composition? Sorry, but the body only wants to survive – biceps size comes second. There are many programs out there promising you to build “sexy” muscle while losing fat and getting ultra shredded, but most of them are simply soulless marketing.

7. Forget about being full while in a lean state

When true naturals get to 5-8% body fat, they look borderline skinny, malnourished and depleted. Keeping your muscles full while cutting deep into the single digits is a hard task when you are natural. In most cases, natties look flat when dieting.

8. Forget about “getting too big”

If you are a true natural bodybuilder, you can never get too big. I am sorry, but the strangers on the bus won’t ever treat you as an alien. You may impress them since the majority of the population consists of potatoes, but they won’t look at you and say – “Damn. This guy is the Hulk.”

9. Forget about competing in “steroid free” competitions

There is no such thing as drug-free competitions. There are only “drug tested” competitions. And there is a big difference between “drug tested” and “drug-free”. Very often the most impressive natural bodybuilders are not natural at all.

10. Forget about getting shredded while eating bad food

Do you know who popularized the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) diet? Guys on steroids did. You can’t get super shredded while eating Chinese for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch, ice cream as an afternoon snack and pizza for dinner. If you are natural, eating bad has immediate effects on your looks. You don’t have to eat clean all the time, but your overall diet shouldn’t be loaded with junk either.

11 comments

  1. Peter

    Very good and honest info. I am natural at 55 . I may not be huge , but I am symmetrical ,cut and asthetic. 99 percent of ex pro body builders my age or older are bloated and old looking now.I look better now than 10 years ago. How? Cleaner diet and smarter training.

  2. Jim

    yep….i like lifting heavy weights. I like the difference it has made to my physique. I love being healthy and getting attention for the right reasons.

    Never would i want to take or look like a steroid user.

  3. scott

    im 56, go to the gym 5 days a week. i never competed but have many people say i would win easily. My doctor put me on 200 ML of test a week because it was dangerously low. My test level is only 600 which is about what it is for a normal avg 35 yr old according to my doc. i was wondering if naturals take test?

  4. Jasper

    I don’t agree with all the points. I am myself a champion natural competitor for the FNBB. I have seen the opposite of many of these so called limitations as described above. I hope that when people read this they dont get discouraged. Because you can look impressive with clothes on, compete at clean natural shows and look full while being shredded. You just need the knowledge and the work ethic. Just look at the champions the FNBB provide. And they all get tested by WADA, also during the year with surprise controle.

  5. Spicey

    Jasper, so none of those guys are utilizing any PED? not even the short half life enhancers like SARMS or insulin? Come on, all “natural” body builiding is just about good timing…

  6. Nathan

    Narcissism, vanity, homophobia, misogyny, aggression = insecurity.

    That mainly defines bodybuilding today. No one in his right mind would want to emulate such horrible personality traits.

  7. Jeremy

    I just looked at a bunch of extremely juiced up drug tested FNBB competitors after seeing Jasper’s post. Jasper why are you on here lying? Anyone who knows about tested shows knows the drug tests are a complete joke and so easy to beat. An 8 year old could figure out how to beat a bodybuilding drug test. But seriously one of the guys in FNBB is on anabolic minds which is a bodybuilding forum having guys critique his cycle where he’s using over a gram of test. Again you’re either really fucking dumb or lying. I’m going to assume you’re lying. Every single thing in this article is spot on. Quit coming here trying to perpetuate lies. Maybe you competed and won in the lightest class but even then guys are still using peptides, clenbuteral, ephedrine , anavar, etc to keep a full look. Not natural. There are 130 pound guys who are shredded and use steroids but they look natural because they’re so small. Only difference is they have fuller muscles

  8. Jeremy

    Oh and let’s not forget prohormones. You can not use even 1 DHEA or ostarine and claim to be natural. Will you look natural using those compounds? Yes! You’ll definitely look good but people won’t question if you’re natural or not. But if you use those super mild compounds are you natural? No! The answer is no! Even if you use transdermal DHEA you can not call yourself natural. Whenever I talk to competitors they say they take no supplements not even a multivitamin. That’s when you really know they’re full of crap!

  9. Bob

    Some of these rules are pretty silly and it sounds like the author is trying to make excuses for himself. Work out less often, work out way harder, and eat more. Those are the rules for natural bodybuilding.

  10. Orlando Gonzalez

    Just everyone keep in mind that 99% of all those guys out there that say that they are natural are not. Either they ARE on or WERE on gear. They all lie. Its a dirty little secret, just like 99% of men that lie about hand relieving themselves daily.

  11. Kc

    This article is right on. If they aren’t on roids then they are at least injecting testosterone, even at the “natural” shows, and even the women. My friend got her pro card at 20 and also personal trains, it’s her little secret they don’t tell, but tells everyone they are “natural.”

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