In the literary sense the word ” bodybuilding ” means to build one’s body, but in a figurative sense its true meaning is, in my opinion, something much deeper.
The construction and improvement of one’s external envelope, or rather one’s physicality, is the result of habits and behaviors matured and consolidated over time; this also positively influences the internal part of our casing, so as to create a close relationship between the two components.
Bodybuilding is nothing more than the ability to shape one’s body but also one’s mind, over the years, through study, logic and constant intrapersonal work.
The natural bodybuilding to all this adds an imperative condition, which concerns the ban on the use of substances considered to be doping today.
The natural or “drug free” athlete represents the one who, through the sole planning of his training, his nutrition/sports supplementation and his general life context, manages to revolutionize his body composition over the years.
Doping acts as a “card picker” to put it mildly and plays such an important role in our final result that very often it does not give the possibility of having a realistic reading of all that external part of it.
Excluding it from the beginning, in addition to decreasing the risks and damage to general health, and this should already be enough, it is possible to appreciate the improvements obtained along the way in a more profound and meritocratic way in my humble opinion.
To obtain results of a certain type in the natural field undoubtedly it takes more time and in part, even more, study and application, it is certainly a more tortuous and long road but which I consider the most fascinating under various aspects and clearly safer. in the chronic.
Does natural bodybuilding exist or does not exist?
If we talk about natural bodybuilding in general, we can certainly say that among all the enthusiasts who attend gyms and train with a view to muscle hypertrophy, most of them do not use doping substances.
In percentage there are more natural than doped (for the sake of luck I would add), taking a world statistics.
The situation is different when we look at the competitive context of bodybuilding, which shows us how much doping is preponderant and how small is the part of athletes who compete without using illegal substances.
Competitive natural bodybuilding is really a small niche, it is slowly growing but will never reach the same levels as doped.
However small I can assure you that it exists and how, and there are federations that aim to guarantee, with the means at their disposal (very often limited), the absolute naturalness of the competitors who take the stage.
For those who today want to get involved as a natural athlete, unlike perhaps years ago, they can do so, relying on much safer environments and proponents of bodybuilding that bans any type of substance considered doping from the current WADA list.
Nutrition and diet in natural bodybuilding guidelines
For the natural athlete, and by athlete, I do not necessarily mean those who compete as an agonist, the power supply must be set on specific parameters.
We provide below some general guidelines of absolute importance:
- The protein intake should be set between 2gr / kg and 3gr / kg, keeping it more towards the low value in phases of overeating and more towards the high one in phases of hypoalimentation.
This intake should be equally divided into at least 4 daily intakes, which implies having at least four meals a day in which there is a certain protein intake.
In the daily protein intake, it is also necessary to include foods that have an incomplete amino acid spectrum (which do not provide all the essential amino acids), and not only those with a full spectrum (noble protein sources).
- The fat should never drop below 0,5gr / kg, the reference range can go from 0,5gr lipid/kg to 1,5gr / kg, in hyperalimentation phases is more plausible to move ‘towards the upper extreme and in those of hypoalimentation more towards the lower one, all possibly gradually.
As the caloric deficit advances, a strategy to be taken into consideration could be to cut fat as a priority to maintain higher carbohydrate intake.
For some subjects, moving too much towards the lower end of 0.5gr / kg can generate negative responses in terms of mood, satiety and aesthetics, so beyond the guidelines and the various tips, it is necessary to thoroughly examine the subjective response.
- The carbohydrate, fat and protein once set up, simply represent the difference in calorie level to achieve the daily quota of energy input.
In phases of overeating, the general advice is to not fall below 4g / kg and not exceed 7 g / kg (if there is a need to further increase the calories and carbs are already at 7 g / kg, do this by increasing fat)
in phases of hypoalimentation the ideal would be to keep the carbohydrates as high as possible but without bringing the fats below the minimum value of 0.5gr / kg
Concentrate 60-70% of the daily carbohydrate quota in pre-workout and post-workout meals ( timing peri-workout) could bring benefits for some subjects, but it must all be contextualized
It is also good to pay attention to the amount of dietary fiber introduced. A guideline could be to introduce 10-15 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal or 38gr (die for men and 25 gr/day for women (IOM).