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Educated at the University of Western Ontario, Dan employs his degree in Kinesiology as the foundation of his personal training business Elite Physique. He’s also a National level bodybuilder and judge. Dan’s earned a reputation for his knowledge and his tell-it-like-it-is approach to performance enhancement!
The Problem With Nattys
For the past 17+ years, Michelle and I have focused the bulk of our coaching efforts helping natural athletes meet and exceed their physique goals. During this time we have discovered one constant among natural athletes. Do they live the bodybuilding lifestyle and work harder than assisted athletes? Yes, I would say most do. Do they let you know they are natty every chance they get? Yep, they sure do. But that’s not what this article is about. I want to reveal the natural athlete’s fatal flaw and it’s the mindset that they think they can do it all.
We see it all the time. A natty prepping for a show thinking that they can have a smooth experience yet insist on loading up on a tonne of extracurricular activities to the point that what little amount of recovery ability they possess is woefully blunted. This ranges from a mother of 4, working 2 jobs and going to school all while expecting to shred up for a show. Sorry, it’s not going to happen. How about the natty bodybuilder putting all his efforts into gaining hard earned muscle in the off-season but still wanting to play in a Rugby league while killing it on the weekends in road hockey tournaments? Do I have to mention the bikini athlete busting her ass in the gym hoping to move up in the placings but insisting that she has to hit the clubs every weekend for her IG profile updates? Yep, we’ve seen it all. Unfortunately, the only wakeup call that brings them back to reality is a less than stellar placing at their next show.
It’s a simple equation that all natural athletes must realize. Burning the gainz candle at both ends doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, there is a balance to find between physique life and everyday life. However, the natty must understand that during a contest diet phase their focus must switch to prep if they wish to do well. Prep life is a beast. Cooking, eating, training and RESTING all have to be prioritized. Nights out with friends will have to wait. Family functions will be missed. Now, I’m not saying that you should become a hermit but if you can’t handle others eating “normal” food in your presence then that may be the best plan of action if you wish to succeed. Sacrifices have to be made and if you ask any veteran of the sport, they will be more than honest with you – it truly is a sport of suffering.
Remember, a 16-week prep really isn’t a huge amount of time to make some small sacrifices. The treats, nights out, birthdays and family functions will all be there when you’ve completed your contest journey. Next time you’re at a show, take a look at the faces of the athletes in the last callout. You can easily see the look of regret in their faces. Could of…should of. If only I had… It’s all there, written plainly on their faces. If it’s ever happened to you before, you’ll recognize that sickening feeling. A small percentage will use it to motivate them to a more focused approach next prep, but for a high number of others, it will crush them. Trust me, you don’t want to be in the last callout and regret not prioritizing your physique goals. Put ALL your efforts into your show and you will be rewarded. Remember, as a natty you have limited recovery abilities and if you wish to make the first callout, you’ll need to pull back the reigns on the additional activities. If you do, your prep will be much easier, and the results will be much more predictable. If you’re looking for prep coaches who care, give us a shout at www.elitephysique.ca.