The Nutrition and Science of Natural Bodybuilding

Jan. 22, 2021

Eric Helms, PhD is a New Zealand-based coach, athlete, author, and educator. A trainer since the early 2000s, he coaches drug-free strength and physique competitors at all levels. Eric has competed since the mid-2000s and earned pro status as a natural bodybuilder in 2011 and competes at international level events as an unequipped powerlifter. Eric has also published multiple peer-reviewed articles in exercise science and nutrition journals and writes for commercial fitness publications.

On this podcast, Eric gives us a glimpse into the world of natural bodybuilding, including the cyclical weight loss and regain pattern required for competition in the sport, and the rigorous controls in place to prevent banned substance use amongst competitors. Eric explains why most people should probably not eat like a bodybuilder, and offers tips for athletes interested in optimizing body composition. He also describes the mindset needed to attain sustainable results in fitness and sport.

Here’s the outline of this interview with Eric Helms:

[00:00:29] Mikki Williden, PhD; NBT Podcast: Women Athletes: Nutrition, Supplementation, and Hormones; Mikki’s podcast, Mikkipedia.

[00:00:31] Cliff Harvey, PhD; NBT Podcast: Finding a Carbohydrate-Appropriate Diet for Nutrition, Health, and Performance; Cliff’s podcast, The Carb-Appropriate Podcast.

[00:00:59] Eric’s podcast: Iron Culture Podcast; MASS Research Review: Train Smarter With Science.

[00:02:28] Natural bodybuilding.

[00:09:28] Doping violations; Study: Engelberg, Terry, Stephen Moston, and James Skinner. "The final frontier of anti-doping: A study of athletes who have committed doping violations." Sport Management Review 18.2 (2015): 268-279.

[00:12:23] Questions from Mike T Nelson, Megan Hall, and Zach Moore; Mike T Nelson’s appearances on the podcast: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

[00:12:40] Lifting performance vs. physique.

[00:16:17] Nutrition and exercise for body building vs. healthy body composition.

[00:22:42] Simultaneously losing fat and building muscle.

[00:26:05] Reverse dieting and recovery.

[00:32:16] Eating according to internal cues vs. tracking macros and calories.

[00:37:22] Intuitive eating vs. mindful eating.

[00:38:05] How much to eat to maintain or lose weight to avoid low energy availability.

[00:38:40] Mark Sisson.

[00:42:15] Video: The BEST Home Workout To Prevent Muscle Loss (And Even Build Some!) ft. Eric Helms.

[00:45:30] Find Eric on Instagram and at 3D Muscle Journey.

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