The main idea behind this principle is doing what you feel like during your workout, without analyzing anything in regards to your training split.
If this principle was viable for everyone however, the bodybuilding methodologies, that were developed throughout the past decades, would be totally irrelevant and inapplicable.
Elite athletes sometimes use this principle, when they want diversity in their workouts, that are otherwise systemized so that they will eliminate their weaknesses and get better overall.
In reality, the instinctive principle is all about variety and improvisation. What we should point out here, though, is the fact that in order to improvise successfully, you need to have many years of training experience, as well as theoretical knowledge.
That’s the main reason for this principle to be most viable for elite athletes, while beginners and advanced athletes should listen closely, to the advice given by people that have years of experience in the field of fitness and bodybuilding.
The need for individualization, when it comes to your training, turns the instinctive principle in a trampoline for bodybuilding prosperity, but only for those who have a great base of knowledge and willpower.
As your training experience slowly grows, you find out your individual strong and weak points, and, as you work on them, by applying your fundamental knowledge, you reach a higher level of methodological understanding.
All of this allows you to experiment in order to find out what works optimally for YOU.
You CANNOT advance significantly without experimenting rationally.
When a given athlete progress another thing that they develop and progress with is their instincts. This also includes the ability to recognize the signals sent by the brain. An elite athlete is always ready to adequately change the pre-planned workout split, right after they feel the necessity for an instant change.
Unlike beginners, who change their approach to training after the over-exhaustion kicks in, elite athletes instinctively feel the fatigue, and make quick changes in the workout, in order to avoid over-fatigue of the musculature.
The instinctive principle allows trainees to decide which exercises, at which angle, would have the most positive effect. Another thing it helps us with, is deciding which principles we can use at the given period of the yearly training cycle, and for how long.
This principle also helps us determine the most appropriate diet for ourselves, that is tailored specifically to the volume and intensity of our workouts, but mostly with the current goal that is being chased.
One of our main goals with this principle is to objectively analyze our physique, and decide how to target the lacking body parts and physical qualities.
Before that however, the intelligent trainee should answer one question- Which is the defining thing in bodybuilding? Is it the genetics, which we may or may not like? Or is it our work ethic, lifestyle, or the conditions, under which we study, work, train and rest?
Logically, the answers to those questions can not be the same for everyone.
- Height, limb length, body length, skeletal structure and strength.
- The muscle shape strongly depends on genetics, due to the fact you cannot change the attachments of your muscles, no matter how you do your exercises. From here, we can conclude that if you have a short bicep (You have a gap between your biceps and the forearm), you cannot “fill” that hole and make your bicep heads longer.
However, if your training approach is appropriate and made specifically for your individual needs, you will successfully eliminate the muscle disproportion, which, gives us a visual of a positive physical change.
- Metabolism – The genetic factor with this is strong. You probably have friends who don’t really track their food intake, eat a lot of dirt food, but are still lean and athletic, without doing much in the gym or outside of it either.
- Anabolism (Constructive metabolism) – Highly depends on the amount of testosterone, which is produced in the organism on the daily basis. However, the levels of this vital hormone are different and very subjective for each trainee.The good thing to note here, is that an increase in hormonal levels is completely possible through increased food intake (All kinds of meat, fish, eggs, etc.), combined with other nutrients, especially those rich in micro elements. A key role here is the optimally planned workout, that aims muscle hypertrophy.
- We often observe individual differences, when it comes to the hypertrophy of certain muscle groups like calves and forearms, which are a “hard to grow” muscle group for many trainees.
Mostly phenotype factors
- Muscle-to-fat ratio. This factor can be easily manipulated through an appropriate eating and training regimen, as well as rest times. These three things are the strongest weapons in the arsenal of a bodybuilder.
- Optimal nutrition. This factor gives us room to manipulate our body composition and is one of the main things to consider if one of your goals is a healthy lifestyle.
Bodybuilders were the first people to popularize the consumption of more than 4 meals a day (5-8). The reason behind this- Eating often allows a better digestion of the carbohydrates and proteins, hence, a better, faster recovery of the musculature.
Another logical reason to consume less food but more often is the fact that the human body constantly burns energy, but only consumes nutrients, used for energy, every once in a while.
Every living organism, needs to store as much glycogen and fats as possible, in order to survive. From this, we can conclude that if we have longer pauses between meals, our body will strive to create energetic reserves, in other words- Storing fat.
- Mental and intellectual qualities. Planning the process, of improving your physical qualities (optimal training, eating and resting), is impossible without certain mental qualities like intelligence, will power, motivation, etc. Fortunately, the brain is something that can be trained too, in order to improve its qualities.
Interpreting the factors presented above, we can conclude two questions-
- Can someone with perfect genetics become a top-level bodybuilder without intelligently planning an optimal training and nutrition preparation?
- Can a beginner compensate their genetically weak body parts by using a smart approach to training and nutrition to get out the best of it and reach a high competitive level in the long term?
These are two questions that have the same answer- No.
Remember, not everyone can be a Mr.Olympia. There are tens and thousands of bodybuilders, but since 1965, only 12 people have won the Mr. Olympia competition- Larry Scott, Sergio Oliva, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbo, Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson, Samir Bannout, Lee Haney, Dorian Yates, Ronnie Coleman, Dexter Jackson, Jay Cutler and Phil Heath.
Now that we know how hard it is to be on the top of the list with people who are the display of optimal muscular development and proportions, we can point out a couple of things.
Everyone, no matter their genetics and current level of physical development, can use bodybuilding to make themselves feel better than they did yesterday.
Even more to that- We can certainly tell that the lower your starting point is (strength, muscle development, cardio endurance, etc.), the more room there is for progress.
Therefore, you can consider, and work on your INDIVIDUAL training and nutrition in order to achieve optimal, satisfying results for YOURSELF.
All of this, we call the instinctive principle. This principle helps us in our preparation, by interpreting one simple advice- completing all of the things that seem correct in your mind (if, of course, your physical capabilities allow it) first, then accepting the things that exceed our genetic potential, and last but not least, separating the possible from impossible.
We can not link this principle to other specialized principles and methodologies. This is simply because the idea behind this principle strictly depends on our individual capabilities, genetics, motivation, mental qualities, etc.
The instinctive principle points us towards rational experiments and combinations during the training cycle, using every principle, method and skill that is in our knowledge base.