At the start of December we teamed up with Layne Norton to bring you an exclusive Q&A session. We picked 8 questions at random for Layne to answer. For the ones who don’t know, Layne is a well known natural professional bodybuilder. He holds a PHD in Nutritional Sciences, is a member of team Scivation and a sponsored writer on Bodybuilding.com. He recently released a copy of his Power Hypertrophy routine which has hit the natural bodybuilding scene by storm. Layne is currently working on his new DVD ‘Layne Norton: Reloaded’. You can catch the trailer HERE
1.) What keeps you natural?
Well I never really had to decide as to be honest I’ve never seriously considered using. To be honest it’s just not for me. It’s expensive and I’m a guy who doesn’t like to spend money LOL. Whether you agree with it or not steroids are illegal and I don’t relish the idea of having to look over my shoulder all the time and worry about an FBI agent busting in my door. Finally, like any drug they can be addictive; maybe not physically but certainly psychologically as I have seen this first hand. To me bodybuilding is a hobby, I love it and it’s a big part of my life; but it’s not my entire life.
My goal was to be able to compete against the best in the world… now I can compete against the best natural bodybuilders in the world. What’s wrong with that? For me, bodybuilding has always been about pushing MYSELF and trying to push myself to the next level. I’ve never been a person who got really concerned with what other people were doing. You can’t control what others are doing, so why waste time worrying about it? I have absolutely NO ill will at those who choose to take steroids, none whatsoever. That is a personal choice; it is just not my choice. I have quite a few friends that use steroids; we get along fine. It’s not ‘the juicehead’ vs. ‘the snotty natural guy’ like I said, bodybuilding is part of my life; not my entire life… why would I let it get in the way of having friendships with good people?
I’ve had so many people over the years try to put me against people who use steroids or try to compare them to me and me to them and I just think that’s silly and stupid. This is my path, this is what I love and I would expect people to respect my decision/path just as I respect the paths chosen by others.
2.) What are your goal’s and aims for 2012?
Well I’m not competing this year in bodybuilding. This year I’m really focussed on getting my 2nd DVD, Layne Norton: Reloaded out to the market and giving people a chance to check that out. Our first DVD, Layne Norton: Unleashed was a big hit (sold about 1500 copies and received a lot of critical acclaim) so we really wanted to make this one awesome, but not make it the exact same. We wanted to make it different. Unleashed was almost purely educational/instructional whereas Reloaded is more personal and it’s more about my journey and what drives me as I prepared for my first series of Natural Pro shows. It has information, but it’s more so a documentary compared to Unleashed. I hope people like both.
Beyond that I’ll be travelling a lot for speaking appearances at Universities, supplement stores, as well as attending a lot of natural shows and the Arnold & Olympia. I also want to make some waves in powerlifting and post a top 10 total in the 220 lb class for the United States. As of now I’m in the top 20. Finally, my wife and I have been wanting to start a family and that takes precedence over everything else and there’s NO WAY I’m dieting for a show while my wife if my wife is pregnant.
3.) What do you think to the IIFYM craze?
I think it’s funny that people find this to be a ‘new’ concept when I was saying “eat your macro targets” for probably a decade. However, kudos for the catchy acronym LOL. I don’t take it to the extreme that many IIFYMer’s do as I do like to point out that macros are important but so is fibre intake. Fibre is thermogenic and has advantages for digestive health and glycemic responses and thus you can’t just eat pure sugar all day to hit your macros and not get any fibre and still have the same results. So I tend to promote IIFYM as a reasonable way to get results but still enjoy on occasion your favourite foods. But there’s no reason to actively seek out eating sugary high fat foods constantly just as a means to prove a point.
4.) Do you still use your PHAT routine or are you working on something new?
I typically use some form of PHAT I’d say around 60%-70% of the time I just tweak it to make it more suitable towards my short term goals at the time. I also implement other routines such as Sheiko blocks, Smolov, and some conjugate training as well.
5.) Why don’t any PRO’s restrict the blood flow to their muscles with straps?
I know of over a dozen natural pros that use blood flow restriction training. As for the others, perhaps they just haven’t heard about it or are skeptical. That’s fine, I and others will be happy to take advantage of their skepticism LOL.
Blood flow restriction training allows you to use light loads (20-50% of 1RM) and still get a pronounced hypertrophy response. This is through a multitude of pathways including increases metabolic by-product accumulation, increased localized growth factor interaction with muscle receptors, and preferential activation of Type II fast twitch muscle fibres. You can find more info on it here:
6.) What’s the best way for someone to train calves? Mine won’t grow.
That’s a really general question but in general stubborn body parts will require more volume & frequency in order to get them to respond. That said, genetics play a very large role, especially with calves. I have high calves and I’ve put almost 6″ on them since I started training… but they still don’t look that visually impressive because of their structure. So training is part of it, but genetics play a role. That said, I think diversity is needed in rep ranges, sets, and tempo and there is no one ‘BEST’ routine for everyone. You need to experiment.
7.) What is your all time top tip regarding bodybuilding?
Not what you think, my number one tip would be to HAVE PATIENCE! Everyone gets so freaked out that they don’t put 2″ on their biceps in 3 weeks and wonder what they are doing wrong. Changing your body composition takes a LONG time and a LOT of hard work! Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of crap or trying to sell you something. Don’t buy into BS gimmicks and empty promises. Work hard, stay focused, have patience, and put in hard work every single day, day after day, for YEARS and you will get a long way.
8.) What’s your most favourite healthy meal whilst dieting?
Pumpkin Pancakes! Use egg substitute, vanilla whey protein, canned unsweetened pumpkin, a bit of fat free cream cheese, cinnamon, splenda, and baking powder and it bakes up into an awesome pancake with around 40g of protein 15-20g of carbs, and 2-5g fat depending upon how much of each ingredient you use.