Being a successful natural bodybuilder is all about having good muscle size and a low body fat percentage without relying on performance-enhancing drugs. The training plan you use is without a doubt one of the most important factors in your success. While any well-designed, balanced workout performed at a high intensity will produce results, you may be better suited to certain training regimens than others. Depending on your current level, goals, and lifestyle, you can choose from three main types of workouts.
1. Full-Body Routine
Full-body workouts involve working out your entire body in each session, which is usually done three times per week. A full-body training allows you to maintain high-intensity levels, focuses on large, compound movements, requires only three visits to the gym per week, and provides ample recovery time between sessions. However, if you want to train more than three times per week, it will be difficult, and there will be little time for you to focus on any smaller body parts, such as calves and biceps, that you want to emphasize.
2. Movement-Based Split Routine
Full-body training is great for beginners, but Stuart McRobert, trainer and author of “Brawn,” recommends switching to a split routine after a year of full-body training. A movement-based split involves splitting your body into pushing muscles such as your chest, shoulders, triceps, and quadriceps, and pulling muscles such as your hamstrings, upper and lower back, traps, and biceps. Legs are sometimes given their own day. This type of workout is better suited to slightly more advanced natural bodybuilders, as it allows you to vary your sessions more. However, you may still find it difficult to devote significant training time to any lagging muscles.
3. Body Part Split Routine
Body part splits are frequently depicted in bodybuilding and fitness magazines. You divide your body into four to seven different sessions, though the typical bodybuilding split is four days, with back and biceps on day one, chest and triceps on day two, legs on day three, and shoulders and traps on day four. Body part splits are excellent for focusing on specific muscles and allowing you to train at a high volume and intensity. However, because you only train each muscle group once per week, it is easy to over-train, and because you only train each muscle group once per week, some larger muscles, such as your back and legs, may not get enough training.
Any workout plan will get you good results as long as you put in the effort, eat the right foods, and have patience. Whatever plan you choose, limit yourself to a maximum of five exercises per session and allow your muscles adequate recovery time between training sessions.