Hey people! I know for a fact that many of you are still wondering whether or not it’s worth it to stay dedicated to the natural bodybuilding lifestyle.
There’s no magic pill or supplement that will take you to the next level in a very short amount of time.
That is exactly why natural bodybuilders/fitness enthusiasts need to go through YEARS of hard training and dedicated nutrition regimens, in order to yield good results.
Well, if you want to avoid injecting steroids but still carve a stunning physique, this article is for you.
I will get you through my personal 8 years journey, during which I changed A LOT!
Yes, I was skinny. And yes, I was bullied, but I won’t give you that dramatic story of how I started lifting to overcome the stress from bullying.
Instead, I’ll just take you through the progress up until date!
On the picture above, I’m 13 years old and weigh about 43 kilograms.
My main activities were computer games and sometimes riding a bike.
That was just around the end of the 7th grade.
Up until that point, I had just some training background – Gymnastics, martial arts, climbing and basketball.
Not saying I’m a black belt or anything, just some activities that kids in my area and I liked doing.
Once I got into 8th grade, I moved schools and that’s exactly when I decided it would be good to start training.
On the blurry picture above, I was right about 2 months into training. I started re-establishing my habits and it quickly showed, as I gained around 4-5 kilograms and started seeing very little abs definition coming up!
After a year of consistent workouts, gains were visible. 8 kilograms and a lot of good workouts later, I realized I’m finally not looking like a complete skeleton.
By the 2nd year, even though I was still relatively skinny, I could tell that the muscle was getting a more 3D look to it.
I had gained around 18 kilograms (40 lbs) for the past 2 years, which makes it a consistent average of ~2 lbs gained per month.
Needless to say, I didn’t gain all that much fat, which is exactly what created an illusion I’m gaining more!
Consistency was kept and I went through another 2 years of training, up until 2015, when I dropped my arm back with a solid weight on the dumbbell shoulder press.
My shoulder SNAPPED…
After about a month, it recovered to the point where I could lift again, but something was definitely torn.
It wasn’t really bothering and I could train, but it led to imbalances and I injured my elbow aswell.
That took me out of the gym for another 2 weeks and on top of that, my left arm became significantly weaker.
Well, I was kind of ego lifting at the time.
I didn’t really reach to a well-structured course/book about training, which is why I was very instinctive in the gym.
Well, my comeback to training in the end of 2015, was a pivoting point, as I decided that I want to turn my hobby (training) into my work as well.
The fact I made mistakes and hurt myself made me want to help people avoid those mistakes and reach their goals faster.
Around Christmas 2015 I checked out the offers on PT courses of the Bulgarian National sports academy and decided I’d sign up in the summer of 2016.
I started making shifts in my training and nutrition and 7 months later, I reached the PEAK of my shape.
Applying the knowledge I was getting from the professors in the academy, I was able to literally shortcut to progress, during the last 5 weeks of the course.
Then again, I didn’t really make substantial gains in terms of weight, for the short period of 5 weeks.
I just optimized the physique I already had and made it a bit fuller, harder and more separated, with some tweaks to training and nutrition.
10 months back into progressive training, I was building upon the best shape of my life and it was getting better and better slowly!
I also dedicated some time to posing, mobility, posture and how I express my physique as a whole.
Needless to say, that made a huge difference, not in just how I looked, but also how the muscle feels.
That is mainly because flexing your musculature and holding the contraction (posing) can benefit the levels of mind-to-muscle connection
Well, in early 2017, I injured my knee while riding a skateboard. I thought it wasn’t all that bad, but even after 5 months, it still had not completely healed.
I couldn’t do any lower body workouts whatsoever and my knee felt loose and hurt sometimes.
For the next 2 years, I tried literally EVERYTHING, but the knee was just not healing completely!
By the beginning of 2019 I was desparate. The lack of lower body workouts really showed. My legs got skinnier and sometimes, I was having difficulties walking because of my knee.
Earlier this year, I decided to get an MRI scan and the doctors were a bit confused.
All the ligaments, tendons and menisci were intact, but they noticed that the head of my femur had black spots on the MRI image.
Supposedly, that meant I have “Bone sclerosis” which is basically an increase in the density of the bones.
The doctors’ hypothesis was that the bone sclerosis was the cause of the pain, but I decided to just call BS on that and not buy into it.
Well, right when I got out of the hospital where I had an MRI scan done, I instantly felt better.
Doctors had eliminated my concern that either one of my ACL, PCL or Menisci were torn, which is exactly what made me feel more confident with my knee.
For the first time in 2 years, I was able to quickly take on 2-3 stairs at a time.
The knee was still feeling a bit off, but there was definitely an INSANT improvement.
I included more active lower body movements, but was still taking it easy during the next 2 weeks and used no weights.
Then, I decided to consult with a local physical therapist.
The guy literally gave me a verbal placebo!
He made me do a ton of heavy, uni-lateral movements with my injured leg, during which, I felt no pain.
The PT then told me, with a very concerned voice :
“Boy, why do you want me to find an injury that you DO NOT have? Ditch what the MRI says, it is half the truth. Outside, there are adults with ACTUAL problems waiting for my help. Just leave and forget about having knee issues.”
I’m not really sure how it worked, but the next 7 days felt like a full lower-body recomposition, like if my bones just properly aligned.
The pain was completely gone and I could stably squat, lunge and climb stairs, with no discomfort in my knee.
As of now, I’m able to do solid, pain-free lower body workouts, including squats, hack squats, leg presses and isolated movements.
I’m at a height of 184 cm and a weight of 77 kilograms (171 lbs), making this a total of 34 kilograms gained, over an 8 year period (2011-2019).
On the picture below, you can see a comparison between my pre-training shape in 2011 and my best shape from the end of February 2019!
My current goal, besides progressing further personally, is helping people create sustainable habits.
In the modern-day, sedentary lifestyle and the abundance of processed foods, training and good nutrition are a higher form of self-respect.
If you are interested in improving your health, mind and body, keep an eye on broscience.com!.
We’re actively publishing TONS of awesome content on here!
I hope to have motivated you to keep on pushing on! The change I made for 8 years was done ONLY through food & training!
I don’t consider myself to be genetically superior.
If you’re just a regular gym Joe, rest assured you can achieve similar or even better results.
And you can do so in LESS TIME than it took me, given that you have a structured approach and avoid mistakes.
If you have ANY questions, feel free to ask in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you!
Check out the first couple of articles, which I think are the fundamentals of training and nutrition that EVERYONE needs to know.
Soon to be published
- Did you KNOW? The 3 energy systems of the body
- How does the muscle grow?
- Is LACTIC ACID the prime evil for bodybuilders?