Training Routines for Natural Bodybuilders

Being a successful natural bodybuilder is all about having good muscle size and a low body-fat percentage, without resorting to the use of performance-enhancing substances. Without a doubt, one of the most important factors in your success is the training plan that you follow. While any well-constructed, balanced workout performed at a high intensity will get results, you may be more suited to certain training routines than others. There are three main types of workouts you can choose, depending on your current level, goals and lifestyle.

Picking the right training routine can get you on the route to success. (Image: RomanOLebedev/iStock/Getty Images)

Full-Body Routine

Full-body workouts involve training your whole body in each session, usually three times per week. According to strength coach Chad Waterbury, full-body training allows you to keep intensity levels high, has a focus on large, compound movements, means you only have to be in the gym three times per week and gives you plenty of recovery time between sessions. On the downside, though, if you want to train more than three times per week, you will find it very difficult, and there is little time for you to focus on any smaller body parts, like calves and biceps, that you want to bring up.

Movement-Based Split

Full-body training is great for beginners, but trainer and author of "Brawn," Stuart McRobert, recommends progressing to some type of split routine after a year of full-body training. A movement-based split has you training anywhere between two and six times per week, and involves splitting your body up into pushing muscles -- your chest, shoulders, triceps and quadriceps, and pulling muscles -- hamstrings, upper and low back, traps and biceps. Legs sometimes are given their own day. This type of workout is more suited to slightly more advanced natural bodybuilders, and it gives you more room to vary your sessions. However, you may still struggle to devote much training time to any lagging muscles.

Body Part Split

You will often see body part splits laid out in bodybuilding and fitness magazines. You split your body in to between four and seven different sessions, although the typical bodybuilding split would be done over four days, doing 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 great for really focusing on certain muscles and allowing you to train with a very high volume and intensity. However, because of this, it is also easy to over-train, and because you only train each muscle group once per week, it may mean that some larger muscles such as your back and legs don't get trained frequently enough.

Considerations

Any workout plan will get you good results, provided you put in the effort in your sessions, follow the correct diet and have patience. No matter what plan you choose, stick to a maximum of five exercises per session and be sure to give your muscles adequate recovery time between training sessions.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Load comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.