What Does Natural Really Mean?
February 13th, 2006. A Bodybuilding Secrets reader wrote: “Tom, could you tell me what supplements you take? I know from reading some of your articles and newsletters that you aren’t really big on supplements, but I remember reading somewhere that you said you believe in a few basic supplements but I don’t remember what they were. I also read something on Jon Benson’s website where he said you are the most “natural” bodybuilder he knows and that you don’t even take aspirin. Is this true?”…(more)
“To tell you the truth, Tom, I do not believe it is possible to obtain 3% bodyfat with as much muscle as you have without drugs or at least supplements. And also, don’t you think that the term “natural bodybuilding” has been abused quite a lot everywhere? No one who uses it on the net is really natural. As natural would mean one eats only what appears in nature and does not ingest man-made stuff from bottles. Right?”
You’re 100% correct – the definition for “natural,” as you pointed out, is vague and open to an individual’s interpretation.
If you take creatine, does that mean you are no longer natural? After all, you can’t get that much creatine out of your food in its natural form (unless you eat half a cow!) Again, it depends on what “natural” means to you.
To me, the definition of a “natural” in the context of bodybuilding means no illegal drugs, prescription drugs or any substances that are banned in competition.
I also use the term “natural” in a different context when describing my food. Natural food is food that has not been “messed with” by human hands. If it grew on a tree, off a plant or out of the ground – it’s natural. If it walked, flew or swam (and wasn’t pumped full of chemicals) – it’s natural.
As for supplements, I use only a multi vitamin and an oil blend of essential fatty acids (or fish oil, although I prefer to just eat the fish). I’ve used creatine in the past with some results. I also use some protein powder almost every day (mainly because it’s convenient and I think vanilla protein powder mixed in oatmeal with some cinnamon tastes good). I also use post workout drinks when I’m working on gaining muscle. That’s it. No other supplements… no drugs.
If you were to stay away from man-made drugs and man-made foods, that alone would take you a long way towards better health and a better body and you’d probably surprise yourself how far you could take your physique. Don’t underestimate what you can achieve naturally… why would you put limits on yourself like that?
If you don’t believe it’s possible to reach low single digit body fat without “fat burning” supplements or drugs, then you never will. As Dr. Wayne Dyer said in the book of the same title, “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Have you heard of “self-fulfilling prophecy?” How about the “placebo effect?” It’s a scientific fact that belief can change biology.
Even if you believe you can do it naturally, you’d better be willing to work for it. Sitting around visualizing, thinking positive and meditating on it won’t give you ripped abs or build one ounce of muscle.
Positive thinking + positive doing = results… not one or the other. With both, you can develop an amazing body 100% naturally, but it takes a lot of work!
Most people not only underestimate the amount of hard work and discipline it takes to reach extremes of low body fat and muscularity, they are downright kidding themselves at the amount of results they expect for the amount of work they put in… Then they complain that “It can’t be done without drugs.”
Most people have been so brainwashed by advertising for supplements and diet pills that they get frustrated and give up at the drop of a hat when they
don’t have six pack abs “almost overnight” like the ads promised.
Forget about drugs and forget about so called fat loss supplements. A great body doesn’t come in a pill – never did and never will. Stay natural (drug free), eat as natural as possible and work your butt off. Pay your dues. Pay your dues!!!
If you’re willing to pay the price in hard work and discipline – and if you have the right information such as
what I provide in Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle – then pick the body you want … pay the price… and take it, it’s yours.