My Current Natural Bodybuilding Philosophy [The 2024 Natty Patch Is Here]

| by Truth Seeker |

When you browse this site, you can find slight contradictions here and there.

That’s because I’ve been carving this stone for a long time and my opinion may change slightly

[Overall, it’s the same, though.]

For this reason, I present you the latest version of the program:

“How To Win at Natural Bodybuilding” [Patch 2024]

The “code” for this program is desperately simple but effective as all good code is. No fluff.

Every line of code is neat and sweet and results in perfect execution with no errors.


Goals

We can pretend that we are doing this to reach some sort of spiritual ascension, but let’s be real and practical for a second.

The main motivation for lifting weights (or doing bodyweight training) is to gain muscle so that we look better in clothes…and without them.

As I’ve said many times, if bodybuilding didn’t promise hypertrophy, most people wouldn’t even bother.

———- That’s just reality.————

We would still do sports, probably, but fewer people would be willing to spend time in a dusty gym doing repetitive tasks when you can just go for a run.


The main “pros” and “cons” of natty bodybuilding

Pro.  Some muscle is gained. You look better even if you are practically the same size as before. For instance, there’s a visual difference between a trained 14-inch arm and an untrained 14-inch arm. Both are the same size, but one is just better.

Cons. A lot of resources are lost for small gains. The more you train, the more unfavorable the effort-to-gained-muscle ratio becomes.

At one point, you’re simply going through the motions for the sake of it with zero tangible results.


Pro. You release happy chemicals.

Con. You can acquire the same effect by doing more social and diverse sports activities (e.g., playing football, riding a bike…etc.)


Pro. You get stronger.

Con. You will never have “steroid strength”. Also, strength is overrated in everyday life past a certain point. Eventually, it becomes more about strength endurance (e.g., moving carts loaded with bricks all day) than absolute strength.


Pro. You get leaner.

Con. Unless you are on a super strict diet and/or have favorable genetics for leanness, maintaining a visible, shredded set of six-pack abs is a lost cause for most people.


Pro. You improve your eating habits.

Con. You can go crazy over food.


Pro. You get to go out of the house and feel alive again. This is especially true for home office workers (the number has increased tremendously since COVID).

Con. Playing snooker or cards at the local club has the same or better effect.


Pro. You improve your discipline.

Con. You face hard stagnation as you’re repeating the same thing over and over again forever.


Pro. Joint health.

Con. Only if you train the right way for your body. What builds you can also kill you.


Once we’ve determined the pros and cons, we can easily build a winning strategy that gives you most of the benefits while negating the downsides to a large extent.

To acquire similar results, I always rely on a principle known as:

The Point Of Diminishing Returns

This is a seriously gangsta concept that we find everywhere in life.

Wherever you look, you’re going to see it. Whatever you do, you are going to feel it.

It’s always there like a glass ceiling.

So, what does it mean?

The more you do something, the less value it gives you.

One of my favorite examples is a dull knife. A few passes on a sharpening stone make it significantly better. A few more and it almost cuts right. A few more and it’s as sharp. A few more and it cuts like a samurai sword.

This example gives us two important observations:

  • Each pass (unit of effort) is less and less beneficial to our end goal (a sharp knife).
  • As soon as you start using the knife, it quickly loses its top-end sharpness and becomes slightly duller.

Bodybuilding is not different as it exists under the rules of the universe, just like the knife.

  • The first year – you get a lot of gains and smiles
  • The second year – you can sense that the ship is sinking, but the dream is still strong
  • During the third year –  you conclude the inevitable – “the game is rigged” (unless, of course, you choose to remain a dreamer a.k.a. a blue-pill enjoyer.)

What if I told you that you can extract hardcore benefits from this principle? 

How?

By optimizing your input-to-output ratio and enrolling in a specialization course of YOUR choice.

Ultimately, the idea is profoundly simple:

  • Once the gains start to slow down put all the muscle groups that you aren’t crazy about for whatever reason in maintenance mode.
  • Focus on the muscles that you want to bring up (You can also focus on lifts or specific movements like one-arm pull-ups…etc.)

Done.

Ultimate Freedom

Here’s a secret that the industry doesn’t want you to know:

….You can do whatever you want….and no one is going to die.

I am serious. As long as you don’t get injured, you can train any way you want. And besides, you can follow other people’s principles and still get injured (lol).

But somewhere along the line, we all fell for the idea that we must follow some rules written by the big guys who spend most of their time thinking of their next steroid cycle rather than training.

Somewhere along the line, you were convinced that you have to be “functional” by humping a kettlebell for no good reason.

And we all got trapped in that thinking. At one point, we have all believed that we must satisfy some invisible but important requirements.

“You have to squat.”

“You have to deadlift.”

“You need to have a 2:1 pull/push ratio.”

“You have to train your rotator cuff.”

“Activate your glutes properly, brah.”

blah, blah, blah

They all make it sound like you will explode if you don’t follow some scientific formula.

It’s all nonsense.

You are free….if you want to be.

And the more advanced you get, the more this applies to YOU. So, how do you benefit from your freedom?

You only need to do three things:

a. Be honest with yourself.

b. Go for it.

c. If you feel unhappy with your choice, hit rewind and choose a different approach.

This is the only way to ensure longevity in the world of natural bodybuilding.

(Of course, you are also free to become a needle user, but that’s a different story.)

How To Truly Lift For Yourself

You can’t be happy lifting for other people. The more you try to impress others, the more you die inside.

Even if you do something impressive, they will find a way to diminish it.

You can squat three plates ATG? [But his legs are not that impressive, they say.]

You are lean. [But he is so skinny, they say.]

You can deadlift 500lbs. [But his bench is only one plate, they say.]

You can do one-arm pull-ups. [But he is so light and short, they say.]

Ironically, on a fundamental level, most people don’t actually care about you even though it sure as hell feels like they do.

Once you realize that, true lifting freedom begins.

The Blueprint

Let’s finish this post practically.

Step 1: Build basic strength 

As they say, you have to learn the rules before you can break them properly.

Think of this phase as learning how to read and write before becoming a writer.

Why bother doing specialization exercises when you can’t do 2 pull-ups?

[That was me when I started. I could only do 1.5 pull-ups and I had to imagine that a grizzly bear was after me to finish them.]

I recommend spending 6-12 months building basic strength. I won’t post specific numbers as people get too caught up in them.

Just do the basics for 6-12 months.

Step 2: Specialize in what you love

Here’s where things get interesting and dangerously annoying for the powers that be.

As I said before, you’re free to do what you want…

If you want to do an upper body specialization, do it.

Here’s a simple split:

Day 1: Chest +Arms
Day 2: Back
Day 3: Legs
Day 4: Chest + Arms
Day 5: Back
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest

If you want to improve your squat, do a squat routine.

If you want a bigger chest, focus only on the chest.

If you think that your arms are lagging, do an arm specialization routine.

If you don’t care about training anymore and want to only train your grip/forearm and run in the morning, you’re free to do so.

There is only one condition, though – you have to be honest with yourself.

Step 3: Switch to a Different Specialization Model or Simply Maintain

Nothing lasts and works forever.

Sooner or later, you will start spinning your wheels.

Your lifts will stagnate or even go down.

You won’t be able to overlock your CNS to generate a solid contraction.

You will feel distracted.

And there will be no progress.

At that point, you have four options:

a) Switch to a different specialization (e.g., lats instead of chest)

b) Continue the same specialization but with different exercises

c) Maintain and take up piano lessons (recommended if you’re already very close to the end of your genetic limits).

d) Completely switch your priority

Example:

Stop the bulk and go on a cut (or vice versa)

Focus on strength (go back to the powerlifting world)

Focus on developing specific skills (handstand, one-arm pull-up…etc.)


There you have it.

A simple and powerful plan for a Natty Ascension.

As you can see, not much has changed.

The game is still the same, isn’t it? 

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36 comments

  1. GH15 (THE GOD OF HORMONES)

    hahahahaha the little pupil is finally working

    look brah,s,,,, there really isn’t any “natty patch” ….natural bodybuilding is simply a balonie, a s cam, smokes and mirrrors….

    I told others the truth for many many many years…but generation nothingness never learns….

    there is no bodybuilda without steroida …. not matter how training is structurized

    balonie and phoney

    wanna grow. …injections

    1. ex-natty

      100% agree. The guy should just inject like everyone else. Bodybuilding would not exist without steroid. Find another hobby if you arent ready to inject

  2. Guille

    Gracias Maestro…espectacular como siempre…

  3. Aoi

    Hello Truth seeker!
    Can i reach my genetic potential only with – Pull up, Dips, Push up, and dumbbels for bi’s tri’s and shoulders.
    Good to have you back!

  4. Ani

    Truth seeker, how do I know and when I will know I have reached my natty limit?

  5. Nestor Estoté

    It’s all about developing the training philosophy over time, and you’re absolutely right that strength (at least, barbell strength that is) matters very little in the everyday world and to some extents sports as well.

    A lot of bodybuilding and strength sport “fans” (lol) would be surprised how weak some athletes are in the weight room. Although in this day and age, it’s more common place for professional sports teams to get a strength and conditioning coach in and so the weights take a bit more emphasis than they used to do in all kinds of sports.

    It’s extremely unlikely you’ll be in a similar ‘test of strength’ in real life to anything you do in a weight room. I’ve never had to walk up to a perfectly balanced weight in real life and mount it on my shoulders and slowly lower it for any reason.

    That being said, lifting is for most of us is a simple means to end to looking jacked or at least look like we lift, and we know the natty gains dry up and diminishing returns starts after 1-2 years of training for most. The gains can still come but are incredibly slow.

    Once one understands this, it extends to other aspects of life as well.

    The natty limits are fairly well documented such as FFMI limits and bone structure limits to muscular girth.

  6. Juanjo

    Spectacular content indeed. What if I want to specialize for life in arms? Ha ha

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      You can but eventually you will get tired of it and the gains will slow down to nothing.

  7. Juanjo

    Thank you very much and because a very prestigious personal trainer changed my routines every 8 weeks with different progression systems

  8. Unknown

    Two questions:
    1) Do you ever get bored of bodybuilding? Listening and reading the same “hypertrophy, incline bench, squats” keywords over and over again?
    2) Why the sudden comeback now?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      All the time.

      One of the reasons why NoN has so many philosophy articles.

      I just have energy now. Will see for how long…

  9. SamS

    This is really it. Nothing much to add or detract. It’s funny how often things in life begin with simple concepts, then you get more in to it and you become more aware of the subject you are doing. Then things get more complex. But often times what goes around, comes around and eventually you come back to where you started from. I think it’s kind of the same with training and exercise. After trying many thing during decades, I’m now pretty much doing the stuff that I should’ve done in the first place, dips, pullups etc.

    By accident, I bumped into a similar kind of post/short about diminishing returns:

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/JVyAr4tuMmg?feature=share

    Don’t know if Al Kavadlo is that popular guy in this site, but nevertheless he is still talking about the same thing. To me the point of diminishing returns is very interesting, I’m also similarly interested about the so called Pareto or 80/20 principle. In the past I used to always go through a hell of a research about of things I was doing or about to do. Training, investing or whatever parts of life. This often resulted into analysis paralysis or trying millions of things without actually doing something for longer periods of time.

    But nowadays I try to figure out what is the point of diminishing results, and what is the 20% of effort that gives me the 80% of results to get there. So basically, what is the most clever way to get to the point where I really don’t get much out of whatever I’m doing. Or maybe how to keep the level where I’m at. I think that whatever musclebuilding results I’ve ever “achieved” I could now keep pretty much by running 20 minutes couple of times a week, and by doing 1-2 sets of dips/pushups and pullps. And I probably would have gotten the same results by doing the same stuff a little more in the past, which would have saved me a shit ton of time, money and effort. Then again, If I now would like to tap those diminishing returns there still is, or that last 20%, I would have to specialize and put a lot more into it.

    1. Dave

      I’ve always liked Kavadlo and his approach. I don’t train the same way as he does because I’m not looking to do stuff like human flag but the way he encourages people to have fun and a well rounded life and just eat real food etc is a very welcome antidote to the dour “Just put more weight on a bar and eat as much crap as you need to to do this, it’s the most important thing in life” mentality that is so common in lifting/strength circles. People point out that he’s small, which in social media terms he is, but I’d rather have his physique than that of 98% of the population. Hell, I have better shoulders than him but I’d trade that to stay as lean as he does with no apparent issue.

      1. SamS

        He’s a great guy, and the longevity and his attitude is admirable. He’s also very open about the fact that he hasn’t really been after the muscle anymore for years. I’ve done similar things that him for years. Although I didn’t do much of the skillwork either, I was progressing with the human flag at one point, but unfortunately it stopped when I refractured my old shoulder labrum tear (so my other shoulder is completely shit nowadays :D). I managed to get to the point where I was in a diagonal position and I was able to lower myself in between the diagonal and horizontal position.

        I’ve seen Al post somewhere pictures of his bulking gym days and then in comparison pictures of his calisthenics days. Yes he was bigger when lifting weights, but he looks hundred times better after he started to do calisthenics and got ripped. Healthier too. He also has published a video sometime ago where he experimented with weights after a long layoff. And after some time he was able to lift pretty heavy weights, especially considering how small he is.

      2. SamS

        Sorry Dave, I tried to reply to you about Al but it went to the wrong place 😀 But you can find it below.

  10. ex-natty

    Bro, I say this as a long term natty (until recently)
    It’s 2024.
    Everyone, including all those natty youtubers are either on sarms or peptides or straight juicing.
    There is no point working out when teenagers can get bigger than someone with 15+ years of lifting experience in less than a year. No one even cycles anymore, it’s year round.
    Just join the dark side. The natty game is a lost cause. People aren’t so dumb to stay natty. I will be honest, bodybuilding has ALWAYS been about chemicals. Even the bronze era bodybuilders were grinding animal balls to try to get an edge. They used whatever was available (there were many early attempts at creating testesterone people think its a fixed date lol)
    If you enjoy lifting, then just do it. Its literally torture to stay natty today. You are almost lifting for no reason

    1. Aoi

      Let me tell you this.
      Prime women don’t care for big muscles!
      It’s all about ( Face > Muscles )
      You see it everywhere, the skinny boy / man, with the nice face and height ( 180 cm) going out qith the cute girl / woman… big muscles are a cope.

    2. SamS

      He’s a great guy, and the longevity and his attitude is admirable. He’s also very open about the fact that he hasn’t really been after the muscle anymore for years. I’ve done similar things that him for years. Although I didn’t do much of the skillwork either, I was progressing with the human flag at one point, but unfortunately it stopped when I refractured my old shoulder labrum tear (so my other shoulder is completely shit nowadays :D). I managed to get to the point where I was in a diagonal position and I was able to lower myself in between the diagonal and horizontal position.

      I’ve seen Al post somewhere pictures of his bulking gym days and then in comparison pictures of his calisthenics days. Yes he was bigger when lifting weights, but he looks hundred times better after he started to do calisthenics and got ripped. Healthier too. He also has published a video sometime ago where he experimented with weights after a long layoff. And after some time he was able to lift pretty heavy weights, especially considering how small he is.

  11. Elvinas

    TruthSeeker, thanks for quality articles.
    It gave me kinda different perspective, this POST in particular, to concentrate on what I need or train what I see is lacking or I really need, because I think I have been concentrating on too much stuff, because a lot of stuff excites me like lifting weights, arm wrestling, doing calisthenics and all similar stuff but what I find later is that I cannot possibly keep up with everything and be perfect in all aspects, and this is where when I was very young it made sad, realizing that its impossible to master at everything I tried to do that and by failing at something that excitement started to vanish. I realized maybe I need to do at least one thing right, then maybe jump on another thing once I got that right. Being young it was humbling experience learning that nothing is only joy and flowers.

    BTW, do you know any good measure how to know if doing maintenance workout is just enough to keep the muscle to stay the same atleast? I think this could be difficult to find out, since it depends on basically all of factors…

    1. ex-natty

      bro it’s 2024

      Literally NO ONE cares about picking up woman

      Guys are trying to be influencer. Having muscles to show off and ‘aesthetic’ physiques and generating money is what it is all about. Females dont even care about face this much anymore. THey care about status above all. You are detached from zoomers who dont have the same drive for sex that we had, they just dont seem to care. It sounds crazy to the old red pillers but its true. Thats why nattyornot website is not even relevant, his dating advice especially no one cares about

  12. TruthLover

    Hi TruthSeeker,
    Do you think there’s a good reason why many beginner programs or intermediate have you squatting 3 times per week? Or is it a psyop by the fitness industry?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The idea was (and many people me included believed this lie) that:

      – Squat raises test to the max and promotes growth all over the body that can’t be acquired otherwise. Rippetoe has some pretty well (somewhat funny) articulated quotes on that.

      The reality is that:

      – The test boost that you get from squats matters as much as the weather outside for muscular growth
      – The squat only builds the muscle involved in the exercise (“big surprise”). For some people that would be the glutes. I am one of those people because I have very long femurs and the squat game me very muscular glutes but no quads. For quads, I had to do hack squats.

      The squat is good, however, if you’re participating in sports such as wrestling, rugby…etc. But even then dedicated training matters a lot more than weightlifting.

      The squat is a fine exercise in and of itself, but it’s not a miracle. For instance, you can reach your upper body potential without every squatting despite what dogma says.

      1. TruthLover

        I’m the same as you because I was getting a lot of female attention while doing Starting Strength. Not because of my handsome face, but because the girls wanted to know how to get an ass as big and also a hip as wide as mine.

        I just got your ARMS maximization program to try and change my body to look like a real man.

        1. Truth Seeker Post author

          Thank you for the support 🙂

  13. Chess Player

    Man these articles have hints of the classic NattyorNot. Something has changed in your life, I’m not sure what exactly but it has improved your writing. You don’t talk about women as frequently anymore so maybe your love life has gotten better, I could be wrong tho LOL
    I appreciate the articles, keep them coming.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the support. Old Natty is coming back.

  14. Don Eldridge

    Yes I’m liking the training articles.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you. I will try to add other articles too for diversity.

  15. Dave

    Echoing other commenters that I like this return to the fundamentals. Two questions;

    1) Do you think there’s any point in logging workouts?

    2) Do you think nutrient timing matters significantly? My workout time is usually in the mornings but I dislike eating breakfast and prefer my calories later in the day. I haven’t noticed any downside to fasted training but most people say it will kill your gains.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      1. It can’t hurt, but it’s not mandatory. Personally, I just use my memory nowadays. Before I had multiple notepad logs.

      2. Fasted training won’t kill your gains. The overall caloric intake is the most important value.

      However, some people will need something to eat before a hard workout if their blood sugar is low. Ultimately, the body can adapt to almost anything unless you go all in too soon.

      I would avoid big meals before hard workouts, though.

  16. zySupra

    What’s your opinion on crypto? Ik this is about building muscle but money and muscle are pretty much the two most saught after things in the modern world, by men.

    What do you think about engaging in cryptos to try to get rich? After doing some research I’ve come to the conclusion that with just a few thousand dollars down anyone could get a few million, possibly over 10 million dollars if they bought some early projects that succeeded and held for about 12 years. Given only a few thousand in and most readers are under 30, a 12 year hold on that crypto wouldn’t make you too old to enjoy it, and enough to essentially escape the financial matrix.

    Let me know what you think. I’m gonna be sticking to my portfolio either way but I was curious if you think Crypto is really a legitimate way to get rich if you hold for a decade+.

    I just think that if the odds are favorable, and I’m right in that a 1000x is statistically likely with a 12 year hold that everyone should do it?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Well, some people make money, but most don’t. Never trust anyone who tells you that they know whether crypto will go up or down.

      Ultimately, crypto is a scam as it creates nothing and can’t buy nothing unless you cash in. But some people are on the positive end of the scam.

      I can’t give you an advice what to do. Personally, I don’t have crypto, but then again I am not rich either.

      1. zySupra

        Appreciate the reply.
        While what you say is true about it creates nothing and money only goes into it. I think you should consider the fact that fiat money is also a scam. Every year more money is printed than last year was, and the supply just keeps growing. However, cryptocurrencies have a max limit.

        There is more people today than yesterday, and more money today than yesterday. The value of the dollar will always go down. I say this because I believe with this dynamic being the case, some successful cryptos will trend upwards in the long term. So with long term HODLing I think in theory, everyone can win, some much more than others though (a 2x vs a 10,000x over the course of a decade).

        After all, you wouldn’t consider stocks to be a scam, would you? Anyways, take care.

  17. Pedro

    The key as you mention, be honest with yourself. I used to train just to appeal to females, but the reality is though. It takes alot more than a slightly above than average face and a little bit of abs: it takes money, commitment, time, your dignity and some other things that i can’t remember right now but that are just not worth it.

    By admiting that was my goal…what motivation remains? The best thing that ever occured to me through this journey, for good or bad, was to discover your blog, that was the only return of investment i found.

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