Tip: Don't Train Like a Pro Bodybuilder, Dummy

Sure, the pros can provide inspiration, but here are 4 things natural lifters need to know.

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Blindly following the training of top bodybuilders might not work well for an average person training naturally. The physiology just isn't the same.

Pros vs. Natties

  • Bodybuilders that use performance enhancing drugs have an elevated level of protein synthesis. Not so with natural lifters. The natural guy has to trigger protein synthesis with his workout, while the enhanced bodybuilder uses his workout mostly to drive nutrients to the muscles to take advantage of the elevated protein synthesis.
  • The high level of anabolic hormones used by the pros can counterbalance an excessive increase in cortisol. In the natural bodybuilder, excessive cortisol release will not only kill protein synthesis, but will also trigger the expression of the myostatin gene, either of which will halt any possible muscle growth.
  • Anabolic steroids increase glycogen storage and thus negate or prevent glycogen depletion. Glycogen depletion in itself is very catabolic and natural trainees are more at risk.
  • Because of these differences, enhanced bodybuilders (especially if they have good genetics on top of all that) can tolerate more volume and can respond better to lighter "pump" work. They can also train a body part less frequently.

Despite these differences, the top bodybuilders often come up with important parts of the muscle growth puzzle, and these elements can and should be used by natural lifters. Like what? Check out the related links below.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.