10 Natural Bodybuilding Tips Anyone Can Use
I’ve picked up quite a few bodybuilding tips over the years. You don’t need to be a bodybuilder — or have aspirations to be one — to benefit from these bodybuilding tips.
If your goal is to build muscle, there are a few things you will need to do so that you can build muscle. You’ll need to lift weights and strive to lift more over time, you will need to eat the proper amount of nutritious foods, and you’ll have to get enough rest and recovery so your body can repair and build muscle.
None of these tips are going to be your magical pill to your dream six pack or 405-pound bench… but you can apply these tips to achieve progress towards your goal.
So let’s jump into the tips.
Natural Bodybuilding Tips
#1 – Your Muscles Start at the Grocery Store
You are what you eat, so quit buying crap. There’s nothing wrong with having a reasonable amount of your favorites — just don’t go overboard.
Try to shop the perimeter of your grocery store. This is where you’ll find the produce, fresh meats, and other tasty treats. The center aisles are all full of the processed foods that have added those inches to your waistline.
It is really easy to forget about temptations if there aren’t any. Willpower comes and goes, but if you don’t even have it in your house, you aren’t going to eat it.
#2 – Learn to Cook and Only Eat What You Cook
This has been the best skill I’ve ever learned. Not only do I feel like I have control of my health, but I’m also able to eat some really good food.
The more dishes you learn how to cook, the more flavors you can fall in love with. Buy yourself a nice set of knives, some pots and pans, and get to watching YouTube and reading recipes. It’s really not that hard to cook.
Sure, I can’t make a quiche, but I can make some pretty good salmon or tacos.
#3 – You’ll Need to Train with Intensity
When you train, simply performing reps and going about your day isn’t going to cut it. In order to grow muscle, you’re going to need to train with a certain level of intensity.
Otherwise, your body just isn’t being pushed hard enough to elicit growth or adaptation.
To keep your intensity high, you’ll need to train to near failure, keep your rest periods low, and you’re going to have to dig deep and push yourself. Safety first, but your goal for every workout is to push that intensity as high as possible.
Intensity is the single common denominator for all workouts. There are millions of workout schemes out there, but any of them can work if you train with enough intensity. Push yourself to get quality reps with a challenging weight and keep your rest between sets low.
#4 – Try a Full-Body Workout
Pretty much anyone can benefit from a full-body workout. You may not see a professional bodybuilder using one, but anyone who wants to build muscle and get into shape can benefit.
When performing a full-body workout, make sure you are training all body parts equally. You shouldn’t skip the leg exercises, either.
#5 – Train Legs
I don’t judge anyone for skipping leg day, but I will make fun of you looking so out of proportion. There are a few good reasons to train legs, even if you don’t want to have wagon wheels.
Squats work every muscle in your body and elicit a hormonal response for your body to grow. Try to squat one to two times per week.
Stronger legs mean you have a stronger body. You’ll be able to support more weight, you’ll be more athletic, and you can’t have a good physique without strong legs.
Your legs are huge muscle groups — you burn massive calories when you train them.
#6 – Progressively Overload
I mentioned earlier about needing to train with enough intensity. You need to strive to add more weight to the bar or increasing at least one variable in your workout — your weight, reps, sets, time under tension, and rest periods.
If you bench the same weight, reps, and sets every time you workout, eventually your body will stop responding. Adding that extra rep, an extra five pounds, a slower lifting tempo, or decreased rest periods all help you progressively overload.
#7 – Log Workout
Logging your workout as you go is great, but having what exercises you’re performing, the sets, reps, and weight you will use is better.
Jot down notes and track what you are lifting. If you can record your form, you can use this to note any small adjustments you may need. Experiment, analyze, and improve your training methods to keep progressing.
If you don’t have your workouts logged, you can’t see what is working or not working.
#8 – Quality Reps Over Quantity
Something I struggle with still is performing quality reps over sheer numbers of reps. Think about it — slow, and controlled curls held with a maximum contraction versus swinging your body to perform the reps.
Which do you think will work your muscles better?
Quality reps is what builds muscle, so don’t waste your time with crappy reps.
Even worse, poor reps can end up with an injury — further slowing your progress.
#9 – Use Compound Lifts
Put most of your energy into performing compound lifts. Any exercise that trains more than one joint at a time burns calories and builds muscle.
Isolation exercises have their place in training, but you should put the majority of your efforts into compound lifts if you want to see results.
Here are a few examples:
- Barbell Bench Press
- Barbell Back Squat
- Military Press
- Bent Over Barbell Row
If you don’t have a lot of time or energy to lift, doing a few sets of small isolation lifts just to get in and out of the gym is fine. You will need to use heavy compound lifts if you want to grow, though.
#10 – Try Different Types of Sets
There are a lot of different types of sets over your traditional three sets of 12 reps.
Supersets allow you to train more muscle in less time all while keeping your heart rate elevated. This is great for fat burning and improving your conditioning.
Forced reps allow you to train past your ability to perform the exercise. Use a partner to help push out a few more reps at the end of your set.
Drop sets are great because they really test your mental fortitude. After your working set, grab a lighter weight or strip some weight from the bar, and perform as many reps as possible with little to no rest. Do it again, and again.