Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Naturalgraham4
6%
bf
185 Lbs.
wt
6'0"
ht
BodySpace Member
Naturalgraham4

How to achieve my physique

Recognize my motivation - The maintenance of overall natural strength. Increase your baseline strength (the lifts you can achieve consistently in the gym every time you're there.


Learn how your body reacts to foods and their micro nutrients. Eat with the purpose of increasing strength or cutting fat. What results you want are up to you to choose.


Build form and control by increasing your knowledge of physical exercises and different forms of training. I find it hard for anyone to ever tell me they hit a plateau in their training. There are so many variations and forms that a lifetime isnt enough to learn and use them all.


Self discipline and self awareness. The ability to stop and re examine your path to your own fitness goals. Sometimes we have to make tweaks to our workout to keep the pace and intensity needed to build it. Self discipline to deny that which may take us off course and to change ourselves in order to succeed.


I could sit her and give you workout tips but if you are constantly learning you wont need me to do that. I rather give you the mindset needed to succeed and believe in yourself as i do. Lets be real the odds are stacked against natural bodybuilder and its our love for the process that has us never giving up on it.



Find a good reason to not give up

Find a positive justification for lifting weights. One that can keep you motivated when you feel like giving up. It can also be used for improving your fitness, health and diet. No one can tell you what your justification might be. Mine is to have consistently high levels of natural strength in every muscle group. So not only am i trying to hit my numbers but also consistently hitting them for as long as I will it.


When you have a reason to lift its always there to remind you why you are making these sacrifices in the name of it. When you pick up that unhealthy food it will give you a reason to put it back down and make a healthy choice.


 I mention this because my friend said he used to diet for bartending at a chippendales type place. He said he hadn't been doing it for awhile and he was losing the reason to go in the gym. This reminded me of when i felt I could never be a bodybuilder, so what was the point. Vanity is not a good enough reason to lift. Find a deeper meaning. Let go of the shallow meaningless reasons and youll never do it the wrong way.


I realized that the quest for everlasting natural strength throughout my entire body was a good enough reason to never quit lifting and continue naturally. I told him he should find a good reason to lift like to be a role model of discipline and self respect for his child he was expecting.

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Getting that last rep and breaking plateaus in the weightroom

Its been awhile since ive posted some new tips. But i always try to give you guys new things ive learned in the gym rather than repeating myself a million times. So here is a few tips to pushing yourself harder which in turn will help break plateaus and achieve your maximum rep.




  • I find when i am doing any power-lift. It's much easier when you enter into your low rep heavy sets if you come in determined, with a quick and controlled motion. You need to be confident and not delay the start of your rep. Think positive and get into the zone.



  • Feel the pump and burst of natural strength and energy that comes with the adrenaline your body receives when power lifting. This can be achieved by achieving inter-focus and putting yourself in "the zone". The zone is an introverted state of mind that shuts out all distractions and pain. It cn take you past your metal exhaustion to physical exhaustion.



  • The quicker you start and sooner you finish, the more likely you are to succeed with your goal reps. However, control and form are key in executing the exercise and reducing risk of injury during. So know your experience level and abilities. Knowing your experience level will give you a better feel for what is going to injure you and how far you can productively push yourself.



  • It's ok to go slower on heavy set days in the gym. You would be a fool to not regenerate your stamina between sets fully. There should be at least 3-4 sets where you put up good number in reps and weight. These are your power sets and require full regeneration of your stamina. Stretching and practicing your form between sets is always a good idea.




  • Somedays I only do 1-3 different exercises. But on most of these type of days I am doing a lot of sets. Its fun to dedicate an entire day to a powerlift. I enjoy doing this with deadlifts and squats. Sometimes i will do 7-12 sets of these lifts, and it will be my entire workout.

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Tips on dieting

Be accountable for everything you eat. This doesn't mean you have to write down everything you eat. I do but just knowing how many serving of high fat, high protein, or high carbohydrates and sugars you have had throughout your day can keep you from under or over eating.


Learn to love dieting. There is a feeling that is way more satisfying and long term than feeding unhealthy desires, and that seeing results in your physique and being confident knowing your healthy and look good.


Consume less calories on days you dont expend a lot of energy. Spend these lazy days focused on other things like preparing the rest of your meals and planning when you are going to eat them.


Find vegetables and a low calorie dressing you enjoy eating. That way you can always turn o these vegetables wen you are having cravings. I love peppers, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers. You can eat green vegetables all day and not gain a pound since they are so low calorie.


How much weight you need to lose should play a big factor in your diet but dont burn yourself out. Ive known so many people to crash diet. They let go of a lot of muscle they couldve held onto. Find a daily caloric intake that suits your weightloss goals.


Know what foods you should be eating sparingly and which you need more of. No point in eating healthy if you are going to still eat unhealthy.


Don't eat after dinner. You can eat green vegetables and drink water. In the morning dont consume a lot of sugar. Better to have plain oats and eggs. Stay away from any sugary drink in the morning. If you are going to consume sugar keep it til before you workout.




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The sport with no rolemodels

Bodybuilding seems to be the only sport in existence with the inability to have role models for young kids and teenagers. It doesn't seem to be an issue with the industry or the sport. 


They lie and lie and lie and try to get that dollar out of your pocket. Giving you false idols as naturally attained goal physiques. Its horrible for the sport of bodybuilding and keeps it from ever becoming a serious sport.


I feel you are either benefiting others by helping them learn techniques to diet and workout so that they may better themselves. Its a positive exchange. So to sell someone a product based on lies a deception, the opposite, a negative effect occurs.


Maybe these people need a new perspective on life. I feel like life is the interactions and experiences you share with others. Ill be damned if i would ever leave a client, customer or acquaintance with a sour taste in their mouth. Life is too short to feed into greediness.


I receive a lot of grief about having natural in my username. It may even hold me back from some nutrition companies wanting to sponsor or work with me. It doesn't bother me much because i feel i can be a role model for those children and young adults. It is endlessly fulfilling and hopefully inspires a new age of natural bodybuilders.


Once all the corruption is removed from bodybuilding, it can truly be a special sport and a test of a mans will, dedication, discipline, and patience. I salute all of you out there that train the proper and healthy way, even if you never reach stage you'll have definitely have improved yourself.

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Biggest mistake i see at the gym!





people tend to ruin their form and posture by favoring their stronger muscles.


bad posture ruins your range of motion and takes away from the muscles compounded with your strengths.


everyone knows bodybuilding is about putting yourself through hell so if
lifts need to be scraped and reformed you might as well start asap!


lighten your weight, check your posture every rep.. use the mirror


leave your ego at the door -people will sacrifice form and posture to try to 1 up other people. I
lift by myself and dont talk to anyone when i am at the gym.. i will
help people that ask even though its annoying sometimes.


Stance and posture for powerlifting - i prefer the rooster look when lift, knees slightly bent ass out chest out shoulder back chin up


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2nd low carb day

meal 1 : banana


workout : ECA/1mr/isopure


meal 2 : kale salad/ 8 ounces of grilled salmon


meal 4 : turkey sandwich, one slice of flax bread


meal 5 : chicken breast/kale salad 


meal 6 : chicken breast/almonds


workout : eca/ ON protein shake


meal 7 : 2 eggs/sausage/cottage cheese 

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Off days should be dedicated to increasing mental strength

When you have a day off from your weight training. You should spend that day thinking about your diet and being extremely strict on these days. Follow a eating schedule and plan on the rest of the weeks diet. This way when the week resumes you are less likely to fallout from your diet. 


If you use a diet plan throughout the week you will run unto less times of the day when you have to resort to unhealthy food to appease your hunger.


Mental strength and physical strength go hand and hand. I find that the more mental strength i have the easier it is to push myself to the max in the gym and get those gains. So by practicing the self control of dieting you have increased your gains in the gym and can advance your level of fitness.


Constant self evaluation and examination will help you stay on target. You may not recognize you are loosening up in the gym or diet. On your days off it is really something to think about. Be resolute, want it! 

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Some Dieting tips from my contest prep.

Now that I have finished my first contest this year hopefully i can take some of the things I learned and apply them to future shows. I worked a lot on my dieting this show and learned a lot about how my body holds water weight. Here's some tips on how to shed a few lbs of water weight to tighten up that physique for the summer.




  1. Be strict with your diet- no cheating and no guesstimating. Be realistic, you either have the will and determination or you don't. Don't sell yourself short on a rewarding way to reach your potential physique.


  2. Count your calories and macro nutrients


  3. Cycle your carbohydrates.


  4. drink a gallon to a gallon and a half of water a day. You wont retain it since you are depleting your carbohydrates.


  5. Your fat intake should be determined on how much muscle mass you are carrying. People with higher body fat and less muscle need to cut a lot of fat out of their diet. 


  6. If you are holding enough muscle you should add enough cardio during your workouts to burn the excess fat and carbohydrate calories. I like to burn around 400 a day doing cardio. 


  7. One serving of complex carbohydrates a day (mid day meal) and one serving of simple sugars (before workout). On low carb days.


  8. Intake less calories on rest days.


  9. I lift 5-6 days a week. People who over train should focus more on dieting outside the gym. Being a strict dieter will benefit you more than being a person who trains too much.


  10. Throw in extra gym work like cardio and abs into your week. Maybe even on a rest day. 


  11. Don't eat past dinner time and avoid carbohydrates when you aren't going to be using them. (i.e. sleep, long periods of inactivity).


  12. I like to spend 10 minutes in the sauna twice a week to help work out the water. But always stay hydrated and consistent with your hydration.

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What Ive learned from my third contest prep


  1. Cutting carbs for too long makes you feel weak and constipated lol.
  2. Cardio is something you build stamina with. Start cardio even before you change your diet for a show, so you are able to build that stamina enough that you can really get that tightness and burn enough fat.
  3. Start dieting a few month out for your contest. But keep it loose. Im glad i cut my carbs a month out and not a minute earlier. 
  4. Eating healthy year round will limit the amount of changes necessary to get ready for a show.
  5. There are definitely ways to stay lean and build muscle. I learned this winter. I was able to stay lean and build without putting on a lot of weight.
  6. Get the macros right for what you are trying to achieve and know what foods have what macro nutrients in them so you don't have to spend an entire day walking around reading nutrition labels and calculating
  7. Working the water out of your muscle is achieved by cutting carbs and increasing cardio. Finding a balance between the amount of carbs you cut and the amount of energy produced by what you dont is the hard part of cutting.
  8. Just another test of my will to succeed.

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New vegan superfood energy salad from whole foods

saladdd.jpg



ingredients: kale, carrots, edamame, lentils, dried figs, red onion, grape tomatoes, cashews, tomato olive dressing



highly recommend this salad for you dieters. 

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Shoulder exercises

press:
seated behind the neck military press BB
standing BB military press
seated db military press
standing db military press

Rows
underhand/overhand/wide grip/various motion Barbell row

Lots of cable, dumbbell and barbell isolation work
lateral raises
front raise
rear delt flys


I also slow down certain exercises and use a slow motion while hitting the muscle contraction as hard as possible.

I think of myself as a stick figure when i lift and imagine the motion of the targeted bodypart and then i switch the motions.. like ill drop or lift my elbows to hit a different angle, switch grips/stances.

I also do about 12 different styles of pullups, three forms a day usually 12 reps, at the beginning of every upper body workout


This isnt one workout. ok so i usually try to switch my workouts about everytime. I dont go in with a set plan. I am just like hey lets make it shoulder isolation day since maybe the last shoulder workout was more focused on compounds. I might even make it half and half or mostly compounds. If i do behind the neck press im probably going to be doing more rear delt isolations.. If I do standing bb military press im going to focus more on front delt isolations. If I am doing seated military db press ill do more medial isolations..



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Some tips for your workouts



  1. Push than pull. I find it easier to do lifts that are the exact opposite motion. Thats why when I am doing a chest routine I warm up with pullups. Then after im done with my chest workout I go back and do three more sets of pullups in which I can usually exceed more normal amount.


  2. Disect the exercises into ranges of motion and focus on a segment of that motion. By focus I mean work on flexing the muscle as hard as possible and slow down. 


  3. Cardio warm up before training is very important. It helps get the blood flowing to the joints and gets your muscles ready for hard contractions. I like to use a concept2 row machine before every workout.


  4. Isolation workouts should be done 8-12 rep and be slower than your compounds.


  5. Give yourself every advantage possible in the gym by enforcing strict self discipline upon yourself and your diet. Like the nike slogan, just do it. Its hard to take that first step but as soon as you do its a culmination of your time and efforts in the gym that will produce results.


  6. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. Not only will this allow you to build your physiques weak points but it will help you disconnect any discomfort associated with weightlifting. You'll become a machine that only stops when fatigue is imminent. 

 

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Ways to increase your level of weight training

I was thinking about this today in the gym. There are a never ending list of ways to switch up and manipulate the exercises you know to increase the gains and keep your body guessing.



Slow your entire motion or a part of your motion during the lift. This helps isolate the various muscles and areas used in compound and isolation exercises. Its a great feeling and builds an awesome pump.


Pause at the beginning or end of your motion without losing the flex. For example on deadlifts or squats, a lot of people tend to go fast to increase the reps they achieve. I like to switch it up and hold the flex and pause for a few seconds. at the top or bottom of my range of motion.


decrease or increase the range of motion during an exercise. This will help build strength in the toughest parts of the motion you are using. Increasing your range of motion is really important part of building full muscles.


Pay attention to your posture, form and control. I see lots of kids at the gym using horrible posture and this really takes away from what you are trying to do because when you don't use correct posture you will leave out targeted muscles and instead your stronger built muscles will be doing more work than you want them too. I had this problem big time a few years ago. I wasn't paying enough attention to my form and posture and my arms were taking over for the muscles i was intending to target.

Switch stances and grips. If you run out of ways to target a muscle you are doing it all wrong.. I could lift for an entire year without doing the same motion and still have not run out of ways of switching it up. As long as your posture, form and control are in check you can do endless things to your one lift to build your workout arsenal and keep your body guessing.



 

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Fitness is a form of discipline...

Everyone has their own physique goals on this site. There is only one route to achieving these goals and thats self discipline. Disciplining yourself is basically taking yourself out of a mindset overwhelmed by temptation.


Discipline is learned. Which is why we see so many people giving up on it after using it for a short period of time. Its better to slowly discipline yourself for long periods of time rather than going full out cold turkey on fulfilling desires and temptation. 


My father told me a long time ago that i need to look at things in life in regards to their productivity and benefits to me as a person. This is really something you can apply to any aspect of your life. Such ass being able to put that cookie down and seeing how eating unhealthy foods are counter productive to your goals and achievement.


Theres lots of reasons people don't want to discipline themselves. Younger guys see it as a waste of their early years. They want to fulfill their desire for fun so they discipline themselves to the extent they are still able to do it. Lots of people with weight issues get overwhelmed about starting and when they hit a rough patch in the road its easy for them to give up. Some have never even been able to see things as productive and counter productive since they have known nothing else.


Im going to tell you right now there is no route to your fitness goals without discipline.. everlasting discipline. You need to form good habits and love the learning process that comes with our journey to our goals. Going full throttle all at once often leads to burnouts and that is a viscous cycle.  


Achieving your goals is a challenge between your mind body and spirit. Knowing how to apply each on of these to help your cause rather than hurt it. Changing to a better diet and a more strict workout schedule is only not fun because thats what you make it. Be positive and enjoy the changes to your body and better healthy feeling you will know when you start.


Ive started coming to the conclusion that most things in life that yield immediate satisfaction are what keep us from achieving our long term goals. It needs to be a lifestyle for you and when things are looking down, continue, have some faith in yourself.



Here are some ways to challenge your will


stand in the cold after a shower


say no when feeling peer pressured


look at everything you put in your mouth as productive and counter productive to your goals


deny little short term satisfactions in your daily life. You never know what makes you happy if you've never tried the high road. 


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