- Updated on August 3, 2019
By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
Photo: Sergey Dmitriev, Threefold World BodyBuilding Champion, IFBB.
Natural bodybuilding is defined as a process that does not include insulin, diuretics, anabolic steroids, HGH (human growth hormone) and other performance-enhancing drugs. However, even when these substances are not used, bodybuilding can be unsafe and is often health-damaging if a person has low body-oxygen levels, even with a healthy ketogenic diet (more about ketosis for bodybuilding is below).
Bodybuilders are obsessed with diets and use of supplements to increase muscle mass and improve health. This nearly never works. Here are common results that I observed in bodybuilders. These results are in agreement with clinical experience of over 180 Russian and Soviet medical doctors who have been using the Buteyko breathing method and tested body oxygenation in more than 200,000 people.
|Body oxygen levels||Safety of natural bodybuilding|
|Less than 10 s||Nearly always unsafe|
|10-20 s||Often unsafe|
|20-30 s||Can be unsafe|
|30-40 s||Generally safe|
|Over 40 s 24/7||Safe and beneficial for health|
Due to consumption of large amounts of proteins (especially animal proteins), most modern bodybuilders have too heavy breathing at rest and 24/7. As a result, they typically have less than 20 seconds for the body-oxygen test, while many of them have as low as 10 seconds only.
Overbreathing causes greatly reduced blood flow to all vital organs (i.e., sluggish circulation), cell hypoxia, generation of free radicals in cells, the suppressed immune system, chronic inflammation, and other negative effects. Common symptoms are poor sleep, low energy levels, sluggish and slow digestion, and development of chronic diseases. Unfortunately, many bodybuilders (or even most of them) commonly suffer from the same health problems as other people. But here is the solution.
How to make bodybuilding healthy, natural, and safe
Natural bodybuilding requires normal body-oxygen levels. Then physical exercise would not cause health problems. Furthermore, with the achievement of a certain level for the body O2 test, all my students report that they have less than 4.5 hours of sleep (naturally) and start to crave physical exercise. The required result (for the body-oxygen test) is provided right below here as your bonus content.
You need to achieve over 50-60 seconds for the body-oxygen test in the morning to be very healthy.
The person at the top image on this page and in the video below is Sergey Dmitriev, Threefold World Champion (2000, 2001, and 2004), International Federation of Body-Builders IFBB. He is known as a very calm person. The secret of his success and great health is in the application of the Frolov breathing device workouts, which helps him to slow down breathing and increase body oxygenation naturally. The Frolov device also allows him to use dietary proteins more effectively. This page provides his testimonial about the Frolov device and more detail related to breathing workouts for safe and natural bodybuilding: How to build more body muscles with less protein.
An additional great factor for natural bodybuilding is to use a cyclic strict ketogenic diet. During periods of ketosis, they need to target up to 3-4 mmol/l for ketones in the blood. Being in ketosis is great since ketosis dramatically reduces a burden for kidneys in clearing extra proteins. In fact, there are now medical reports that people with nephritis recover their kidney function due to a strict ketogenic diet. An additional benefit of the ketogenic diet is increased blood levels of branched-chain amino acids as a result of diets that are very low in carbs (see, for example, this study).