So you want to build muscle without steroids do you? Well let me tell you that natural bodybuilding is hard…
Especially since it feels like it’s an uneven playing field in the gym, doesn’t it?
There are some guys where you just know they’re on steroids. Other guys, you suspect, but aren’t really sure.
It’s a sad fact of the matter: steroids are far more common than you’d like to believe and it can feel like everyone is doing them…
But, if you’ve resolved to stay natural and want to build muscle without steroids fast no matter what it takes, you may be feeling a little discouraged at your ability to build muscle.
But don’t worry, you’ve actually made a very smart decision…
In this article, you’ll learn:
When you hit the gym, you might feel like there’s two camps: those on gear and those who are not. If you feel like your group – non-steroid users – is growing smaller by the day, you may be tempted to try a cycle.
I mean, how bad can it really be, right?
Fact is, it can be very bad…
While steroids may give you that initial boost you long for – to feel like you have superhuman powers in the gym, when you get right down to it, you know very well it’s not a wise long-term option.
Be smart and stick to your guns. Staying natural will not only give you the feeling of being able to achieve excellent muscle group without assistance, but will also set you up for long-term health.
Plus, your chances of keeping your gains will be far higher if steroids aren’t involved.
Okay, so now that you’re back on the straight and narrow, let’s talk about how you can build muscle without steroids but so it would actually seem like you are on steroids even though you know (proudly!) that you aren’t.
One product that isn’t illegal that you definitely want to get serious about using is creatine. If you aren’t using this product already, now is the time to start.
Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements in the industry and has been proven to help accelerate the rate of lean muscle mass tissue.
Of course, it won’t do the work for you – you’ll have to bust your ass in the gym each workout to build muscle quickly, but with creatine on your side, you’ll do more each session, thus seeing faster results.
One study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise noted that when test subjects were either given creatine with carbohydrates, creatine with whey protein, or whey protein or carbohydrates alone, the creatine focused groups showed greater improvements in muscle strength as well as size compared to carbohydrates alone.
The researchers determined that up to 76% of the strength improvements in the squat exercise being performed could be attributed to hypertrophy of the muscles involved in this exercise.
Creatine isn’t a magic bullet where you take it and grow muscle out of thin air. But, it may help you do more before reaching that point of fatigue where you have to stop each set.
This in turn is what helps you grow.
Even better, unlike steroids and some other supplements out there, there is no need to cycle creatine either. This is something that can help you get bigger 365 days per year.
You might think that the true secret to getting as big as possible is through hitting the gym as hard and often as you can. But if you’re natural, the real secret lies in the kitchen. What you eat is going to help or hinder your success, period.
Now, when steroid users eat, it’s pretty much a game of eat as much as you possibly can to grow as fast as you possibly can. Steroids ramp up the rate of protein synthesis so that the trainee is able to accelerate muscle building without much body fat gain.
As a natural trainee, you need to be smarter. Yes, you do need to eat big to get big, but timing your food becomes more important.
This is what helps get you big, but keeps you lean at the same time. If you just eat everything in sight, unless you’re a natural ectomorph, you’ll find yourself gaining unwanted body fat as well.
What you’ll want to do is set your calorie intake to around a 600-700 calorie surplus on training days, placing the bulk of those added calories before/after your workout session. This is the time when protein synthesis will be elevated, so when you’ll be most likely to shuttle those calories towards the process of muscle building.
Then on rest days, cut back slightly. Eat in a 100-200 calorie surplus (remember, recovery uses energy too!) and focus on keeping your dietary fat a little higher that day while carbs are slightly lower.
Using this eating style will help you maximize your muscle gain while minimizing additional unwanted body fat.
As a natural trainee, you want to avoid lengthy cutting periods as this is a time when you can begin to lose your hard earned muscle.
As much as it might come as a surprise, as a natural trainee, you might want to consider backing off your training. Now, don’t get me wrong – training is still critical and when you hit the gym, you need to be giving 110% of your effort each and every set you do.
As a natural trainee though, too much training will just lead to slow muscle growth and possibly lead you down the path to overtraining. While steroid users may be doing two-a-day sessions, for you, you’re better off hitting the gym hard once per day and making sure that you have at least two days off a week for rest and recovery.
It’s during recovery that you grow, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
Many natural lifters are already on the verge of overtraining and when they finally do cut back, that’s when they see the best results. If you aren’t getting any gains and you know your calorie intake is where it needs to be, chances are, you’re training too much.
Back off slightly and your results may skyrocket.
Believe it or not, sleeping more will actually help you build muscle without steroids…
Since you aren’t getting the help of external sources of testosterone, you’ll want to do whatever you can to maximize your internal production. This means getting serious about sleep.
I get it…
You’re busy and your to-do list never stops.
But if you want results, you need to be clocking 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
In one study published in the Jama Journal, researchers studied what the implications of one week of sleep deprivation would be. They had test subjects sleep for 8 hours for one week (the washout period) and then spent 11 nights in the lab. The first three nights they slept for 10 hours to really restore any sleep debt present.
Testosterone levels were then recorded to serve as a baseline reading.
After this, they were then subjected to 8 nights with just 5 hours of sleep. After this period, testosterone levels were taken once again. After the results were in, it was seen that subjects experienced a 10-15% decline in free testosterone levels.
Considering the fact that testosterone naturally declines about 1% a year, this means you could be walking around with testosterone levels that are a decade older than you.
Moral of the story?
Get serious about sleep. To do natural bodybuilding, you cannot afford to not be getting the natural boost to your testosterone that sleep gives. As you know your natural testosterone production is vital if you want to be able to build muscle without steroids fast.
Pro Tip: Use one of the Top 3 Testosterone Boosters to help maintain healthy t-levels.
Finally, the last words of advice are to actually up your saturated fat intake.
Chances are, you’ve probably been told that decreasing your saturated fat intake is best for health purposes.
And, if you feast on a half dozen eggs, steak, and bacon daily, then yes, that probably is good advice.
But for the natural trainee who eats a relatively healthy diet?
Adding more saturated fat could actually be key to success. Research suggests that men who consume too much dietary fiber and not enough saturated fat show suppressed testosterone profiles compared to men who eat more saturated fat and less fiber.
So should you swap out your broccoli for bacon?
Not so fast brother.
You don’t want to avoid fiber entirely but instead, make sure you aren’t overdoing it. And then make sure that the saturated fat sources you are eating come from natural sources.
Think lean red meat, eggs, and possibly even some higher fat dairy products.
Stay away from deep fried foods or those heavily processed. While they may contain saturated fat, they contain a number of other things that will do your health harm.
So after this natural bodybuilding guide you now have the key steps to take if you want to build muscle without steroids as fast as possible.
Make sure you:
Work hard, follow this advice, and don’t give in to the pressures to take steroids. You can build muscle without steroids and when you do, you’ll feel far better knowing you did it through strictly your own resources.
Cribb, Paul J., et al. “Effects of whey isolate, creatine and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 39.2 (2007): 298-307.
Leproult, Rachel, and Eve Van Cauter. “Effect of 1 week of sleep restriction on testosterone levels in young healthy men.” Jama 305.21 (2011): 2173-2174.
Dorgan, Joanne F., et al. “Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 64.6 (1996): 850-855.