HomebodybuildingThe Most Inspiring Fitness Posts & Writing of 2020

The Most Inspiring Fitness Posts & Writing of 2020

Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts & Writing of 2020

Instagram is a platform primarily for photographs, but as a writer at heart, it has become the soapbox for most of my motivational writing. It’s been a bit of a success as many have heralded it as some of the most inspiring fitness posts online for 2020. Rated by engagement and popularity, here are some of our most inspiring fitness writing pieces from my Instagram account (@naturally_intense) and from Naturally Intense team members, Erika Citrin, (@erikacitrin) and Tiffany Menges (@tiffanymenges)

I hope it inspires you and do be sure to follow along !


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #1

Our most inspiring fitness writing for 2020

Natural Bodybuilding As Art Imagine one day you decide to paint a work of art. You get brushes and paints and start your masterpiece. You know exactly what you want it to look like, and are eager to see it, but there’s a hitch. The brush strokes make no visible impression on the canvas. Puzzled, you press harder against the canvas, hoping to see some glint of color or some semblance of shape, but there’s nothing. You leave and come another day, and it’s the same. The brush still makes no impression. Perplexed, you turn to leave when you glimpse a hint of color. It’s not much, but it’s something and you expect more. But only seldom do you see small splotches here and there as months go by, and often not in the places where you worked the most. So, you come to a crossroads. It’s not very rewarding without immediate feedback and you fear it will take ages to be completed, if ever. So you must decide if you will continue. Most quit. Weary of near blank canvases, they give up and figure painting isn’t for them. Some turn to technology to speed up and enhance the process, using artificial screens. Eschewing traditional canvas for a medium that gives more timely feedback and allows you to do more than what brush and paints ever could. A few, however, will keep painting. Learning to stop looking at the canvas and focus instead on improving their brush strokes. They persevere, working to become masters of the brush, rather than masters of finished art pieces. Until that day, years later, stepping back from the canvas, there is the surprise of a remarkable piece of work that is uniquely yours, and beautiful in the timeless sense of the word. That’s the what it feels like to be a natural bodybuilder, and the reality for all who strive to change their bodies through diet and training.

So don’t stop painting!


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #2

best fitness writing natural bodybuilder image
Photo by Denis Lee

In my 20’s, dieting was a nightmare. This shot was taken the day after a show by the incredible Denis Lee and I felt like an extra from The Walking Dead. I had cut down from 240 to 205lbs in 12 weeks and felt awful. That wasn’t my record though, for my first show in the U.S., I started at 252lbs and walked onstage at 211lbs exactly 3 months later. Back then I believed suffering was a requirement for getting into contest shape, but there was always a conflict, as I’d never have my clients diet as hard as I did, and it contradicted the idea of health that attracted me to natural bodybuilding in the first place.

So after this contest, I stopped dieting hard. Removing myself from the Sisyphean cycle of bulking up and cutting down and avoiding the inevitable, (and often uncontrollable) weight gain that came after dieting so hard. I was told you can’t be really lean all the time and that you must bulk up to make gains in strength and size, and no one could really eat clean all year round. I had heard similar refrains before; it was impossible to train for 20 minutes or less 3 times a week and build muscle, it was impossible to get ripped without cardio and it was impossible to build significant amounts of muscle without using drugs. But “the impossible” was often what I did to achieve success. So, I ignored convention and embarked on a path towards trying to eliminate processed foods entirely from my diet. Since then every contest and every photo is a result of trying to stay lean through proper diet and all out intense training all year round. It took years, but in time eating well and wanting to eat well becomes one and the same, and there is no real effort. It just becomes the way.

Give it a try.


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #3

I wish I could say my path as a natural bodybuilder was always an easy one, but it wasn’t.

The quest for excellence is only real if there are periods of hopelessness. Times walking hand in hand with Sister Despair and you feel your efforts are all for naught. Days you look in the mirror and see only what hasn’t been accomplished, and the path to your goals stretch far out into the lonely sands of a seemingly endless desert. Often tears of anguish and frustration will be the only water in this barren landscape as there is no calling oasis in the distance. No signposts. No markers. No guiding stars. Just the growing dread that makes want to turn back before the wind covers the footprints that mark how far you have come. Back to where it’s safe. Where you aren’t the only traveler lost and wandering.

This is how I often felt in my quest to build a champion level physique without drugs and we often feel that our hopelessness on the path to improvement is unique. But it isn’t. I walked the decay of these sands so many times, and the only way out of it is through it. You just have to keep going.

Easy to say, but not easy to do, especially on your own, but you aren’t alone. Every man and woman I ever met who achieved excellence in their field walked through these sands, and it’s the crossing that defines them. You don’t need signposts, constant positive feedback or instant gratification. You need to keep going and just because you can’t see the millions of us standing alongside you, feeling equally lost and alone on the path, doesn’t mean we aren’t there. Because we are. So keep the faith and keep doing the work. That desert you are crossing will only make the achievement more meaningful. Keep walking and I will always be cheering you on!


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #4

Inspiring fitness writing BEFORE AND AFTER

32 years later… When I started training, I knew it was going to take time. Having decided that I was not going to use drugs, I was resolved to work as hard as I could for years on end with no illusions of how much time it would take. It took years, and I am truly grateful that it did. Back home we would plant corn, and sometimes one plant would sprout too soon. The roots wouldn’t have enough time to take hold and the stalks couldn’t handle its own weight. The corn that came from it would inevitably be sour and in a way, that’s how I see the fast track approach to any fitness endeavor. Sure, you can use drugs to get there faster, and be bigger and more defined, but what you miss in the process was what I was after. Which was the personal growth that comes from a lifestyle based approach to self improvement through hard work and dedication. It wasn’t always easy watching others sprout up and there were times when it did bother me to have people ask when was I going to “start getting serious about bodybuilding” and “go all the way.” But I always kept my head down, stayed in my lane and kept my eyes focused on MY path ahead. In a way, it was a bit of a blessing to grow up without drug tested competitions, as it gave me the freedom to focus on the pursuit of personal excellence, rather than trying to match an artificial ideal. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t glamorous, and it didn’t happen overnight, but with the body that I was given, this is what I was able to do. To those who say it can’t be done, my experience has always been that not one of them ever invested decades of their life 110% to training hard and being completely on point with their nutrition. Because those who believe in themselves enough and do the work for years on end, all look truly incredible!


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #5

most inspiring bodybuilding writing for 2020

“With great power…”

Whenever I train my clients, I always wear a superhero themed outfit, and those who ever saw me in the gym can attest that it’s pretty much all I wear and a different one every time. As a kid, comic books were my introduction to art and literature and I was reading them voraciously on my own by the time I was four years old. To say that the heroes in those pages were an inspiration in all aspects of my life, would be an understatement, but it’s not the only reason why I wear superhero clothing.

I wear it to remind people of just how much they can accomplish, to be a reminder that there is no such thing as an “ordinary person” and that excellence beyond imagination is attainable for anyone who puts in the work.

I wear it to remind people that they can fly, but that flight comes only to those brave enough to jump and risk falling. And that falling is how you earn your wings.

I wear it to remind people to not give up on themselves when they stop training, slip on their diet or doubt that they can accomplish their goals.

I wear it to remind people that you don’t need anything outside of yourself to accomplish your goals and that what we were born with is as good as any superpower ever could be.

I wear it to remind everyone that I won’t ever give up on you. I will always be there to help, always there to cheer you on and always there to put a hand out to help pull you up if you are down.

That’s why I wear it, and I am thankful to my Mom and all those who showed me by the example of their lives that you don’t need powers to be a superhero. Excelsior!

Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #6

Top motivational fitness writing post photo
Photo by Denis Lee

Waist measurement here: 29 inches. In one of the most ironic twists, the fact that I was painfully thin to start off at 125 lbs and 6 feet tall, meant that I naturally had small joints and a small waist. Was it an advantage? It’s hard to say, as it took the better part of eleven years of brutally hard training and meticulous attention to my diet to get to where I am in this photograph. In terms of structure, yes. But, I don’t know if any natural bodybuilder who needed eleven years to achieve enough size to be really competitive would be considered as having an advantage. Especially if the average natural bodybuilder is competitive, size wise, within three years or less, and I have personally worked with some who were ultra competitive onstage within just two years of picking up their first weight! The moral of the story is that in the real world there is no such thing as an advantage or disadvantage. It’s mostly a focusing illusion that blinds us to the reality that everyone has strong and weak points. Strong attributes where things come easy, and weaker attributes where some things will only come in time after much effort. But, you can only know what your unique genetics will create if you put in years of consistent hard training and proper nutrition to unlock your potential.


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #7

Erika Citrin Natural Female Bodybuilder

The 2019 INBF/WNBF World Championship was quite the experience for me. It was the largest line up I had gotten to be in of 7 incredible women. Yet, I get told stories of height classes and weight classes for female bodybuilding that I fear will never be a reality again. The truth is, I see figure, fit body, and yes sometimes even bikini competitors, who are more conditioned and more muscular than me and ask, why don’t you do bodybuilding? And I mean that very literally, I’ve asked, and the answers all vary. I don’t think the spirit of the sport survived as well as it should have. But maybe, just maybe this young bodybuilding competitor, known for her absolute silliness and dancing backstage before going on, can help inspire a new generation of bodybuilders. That used to be the only category that existed, and it didn’t matter what stage of muscularity you were at, everyone understood that it was a process and they were all going through it together. So to my women, and men, natural bodybuilding is one of the hardest things you could do, but it is also one of the most beautiful and rewarding. I hope more can continue to see that.

Follow Erika @erikacitrin


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #8

Tiffany Menges inspiring fitness post for 2020

I love when work allows me to live out my nerdy dreams of being a superhero. But honestly, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through working with Naturally Intense is that being successful doesn’t require anything superhuman. Commitment to growth (even through change and discomfort), unwillingness to accept less than my best, and genuine love of the process in which I get to serve others are my “super powers”. What are yours? 💪

Follow Tiffany @tiffanymenges



Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #9

fitness writing post photo

This is my mask… We all wear masks. Sometimes as shields protecting the vulnerable aspects of ourselves from a harsh world, and in the fitness realm, chiseled bodies are the quintessential mask. A mask that can convey strength and self-assurance to onlookers (and social media audiences) when inside there is weakness, anxiety, fear and insecurity. Many use body transformation to obscure underlying issues, building a mask of abs and muscles to conceal perceived inadequacies. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Changing your body should be a step towards learning how to work towards being your true self, not fixing a problem. A mask doesn’t always have to be a shroud in the Western sense. In traditional cultures, masks are less about hiding identity, and more path of self-development. You don the mask of an entity embodying strength and resilience, and temporarily personify that image. A practice that aids you in understanding what it is to be strong and resilient, and one that provides an internal clarity about the work you need to do to realize those qualities when the mask comes off. That is how I use my mask, and it doesn’t need to come off. In training, the mask is fully on. I am strong, resilient and seep in the idea that limits are far beyond the imaginable. There is no distinction between who I am and who I want to be and there is the realization that my strength comes from being truly myself. It’s not armor protecting the softer parts, but a tool that helps me be more of myself at all times. A mask I wear not to hide who I am, but to help me become better at being who I want to be. That’s how we should all approach physical improvement, more as a way of working towards being your best self rather than a veil to hides your worst self. Excelsior.

Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #10

anchor point fitness motivation

Always have a solid anchor point.

In archery, if you want to hit what you are aiming at, you need a solid anchor. That’s the spot on your face you pull the string back to, and for any semblance of accuracy, it must always be the same position. Accuracy in any kind of shooting requires the same form with each shot, everything aligned and held the same way, all centered around a solid anchor. If your anchor creeps upwards, you’ll miss low, if it creeps down, you will miss high. If you place it more forward on your face, the amount of tension on the string will be reduced, the arrow will receive less energy and you will miss low. With a contrary high miss if you pull the string past your regular anchor point, as the increased energy to the arrow will make it go further and faster.

Now what does any of this have to do with getting into better shape? Your diet is your anchor, and as it’s all over the place, you will never be able to consistently do much of anything. The idea of eating a wide variety of different foods every day is appealing, but unless you have a structure of consistent food intake, any progress will be based on chance rather than solid practice. For example, if you eat the same structure of foods at all times, you can make subtle changes and over time be able to predict with unerring accuracy, how much body fat you will lose or gain based on those changes. With regards to increasing muscle mass, you can’t tell what intake is optimal if your diet is all over the place. Like any scientific method, the only way to determine what works in an experiment, and what doesn’t is by having controls. And a consistent diet is the first control. It can get boring sometimes, as there is little in the way of glamour when it comes to structured eating patterns, but if you really want to hit your target, it’s the solid anchor you need to have.


Follow Kevin @naturally_intense


Our Most Inspiring Fitness Posts #11

Photograph by Stephanie Corne and Miranda Maher

The importance of a healthy self-image…

There was a time when I shuddered to look at photographs of myself and it’s only fairly recently that I find myself able to see rather than judge. I remember after contests I’d avoid looking at any shots or videos, as all I could see were flaws. What muscle groups needed to be improved, how much more detail I needed, how much deeper I needed my abs to be and the list of perceived shortcomings would stretch out in my head ad infinitum.

The fact is, in the time frame of physical achievement, my 20’s and 30’s were my infancy, and it takes time to grow both physically and spiritually. Some self-criticism is normal, but we ultimately derail true self-improvement if motivations spring from wells of negativity. While many mine negativity as an inexhaustible resource that powers their physical achievements, but make no mistake that spiritual growth is impossible without learning to see and be content with ourselves as we are, and not as we wish ourselves to be.

You can’t let the numbers, the layer of fat or the muscle you have yet to build stop you from seeing the REALITY of the progress that you have made. It was a struggle for me, and I have nothing but compassion for all who grapple with these demons, but it does get better in time, if you work at it and are patient.

On the path towards true self-improvement, we must strive to always be travelers and not tourists. Travelers see what they see. Appreciating every step that leads to a new viewpoint on their journey. While tourists only see what they have come to see. Don’t be a tourist on your own path, cultivate and nurture the traveler you were meant to be. Excelsior. #naturallyintense

High Intensity Bodyweight Training: Ballistic Pushups & Dips!

This was a tough one!

Starts out with ballistic push ups (like clap pushups but without the clap as my wrist is still not 100%) nonstop for 20 reps, then all out on dips for 10 reps.

To say it was painful would be an understatement, but you just have to push through and keep on going.

Still training, hope you are too and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#hometraining #homeworkout #homeworkout #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #chestday #chesttraining #naturalbodybuildingtips #pushups #dips #bodyweighttraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #calesthenics

13 2

Kevin's Unconventional Biceps Training- 3-6 Minutes a Week!

In this video I go over my biceps training using the Naturally Intense High Intensity Training protocols that helped me go from having arms measuring 11.5 to 12 inches to 18 inches drug free!

It's an unconventional approach for certain, but it's one that's helped my arms grow and the hundreds of men and women I have trained over the past 30 plus years.

Now, my success isn't due to being genetically gifted, as it took me the better part of 11 years to get my arms up to those measurements.

Which is significant as it works and been been proven time and time again to work for the average man or woman trying to grow their arms without drugs.

It's my hope that these high intensity training protocols can help you as much as they helped me!

Click on my bio link to see the full video on my YouTube channel and thanks as always for taking the time to look at my work!!! Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #armworkout #bicepsworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #biceps #armtraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #barbellcurls

55 8

At the Lancaster Classic Day 2 Elimination Rounds Against European Champion, and World Record Holder Leo Pettersen @leo_barebow_archer

I don't talk much about it but I'm also a competitive barebow archer (surprise!) and last Saturday I had the honor of making it to Day 2 at the Lancaster Archery Classic in the Barebow Division, as I made the top 64 out of 267 competitors and had a chance to shoot with some of the greatest barebow shooters on the planet!

I didn't make it past Leo, but it was a real rush to be there and a huge thanks to my coach, Joe MyGlyn @prolinearchery for helping me get there.

Thanks as well to my good friend @sean_chan33 for all of his help from the very start, to my line buddy Aaron Shea for taking the shot and showing up to support!

My thanks as well to rob_kaufhold for putting on and promoting one of the best archery tournaments on earth!

Thanks also to to everyone who took the time to send a supporting word and I am looking forward to next year!!! #naturallyintense #barebow

#lancasterclassic #lancasterarcheryclassic2024 #lancasterarchery #archery #fitover40 #barebowrecurve #targetarchery

38 9

Dumbo, Brooklyn circa 2004

This shot was taken as part of the promotion for my Naturally Intense DVD and was about a year after my last bodybuilding competition.

It was a grueling photoshoot.

We started at about 10 am and finished around 4pm and I was completely spent, but the more we shot the sharper I looked, so we kept on going.

It's nice to look back from time to time and as tired as I was, we all had a blast!

My thanks to @stephanie_corne_artwork, @https://pulse.ly/itgnag2dec and @ftaz1 for taking the shots!!!

Thanks for watching and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #throwback #fifthavenuegym #5thavenuegym #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildinglifestyle #gymlife #gymmotivation #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #bodybuilding #blackandwhite #instablackandwhite #bnw

223 12

Can You Build An Impressive Physique Training Only At Home?


I stopped training in commercial gyms as of March 2020 and have been training at home ever since.

Initially I was admittedly worried that I might lose some of my gains or not make as much progress, but that certainly wasn't the case.

I've consistently continued to improve with my high intensity workouts and muscles have no idea where they are training.

As long as the criteria of adequate intensity and overload are met, there will be an adaptive response and your muscles will get bigger and stronger.

So don't worry at all about where you train, focus instead of what will be the best way for you to always be training!

Thanks for watching and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

97 3

Kevin's Three Day Training Spilt!

For the past 33 years I have trained three times a week with Naturally Intense High Intensity Training workouts lasting 10, 15 to 20 minutes max.

It's a training split tried and testes not only in it's helping me realize my goal of becoming a successful natural bodybuilder, but it's also helped hundreds of men and women over the past three decades.

I have tested just about every possible training split imaginable and for this particular style of high intensity training, this particular grouping consistently yields fantastic results.

I hope it helps you as much as it's helped me over the years and thanks so much for taking the time to look at my work.

Keep training hard and Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#trainingsplit #3daytrainingsplit #threedaytrainingsplit #naturalbodybuilding #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuildingvideo #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #naturalbodybuildingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #bodybuilding #highintensitytraining #highintensitytrainingtips

147 26

405 Stiff Leg Deadlift for 7 Reps! High Intensity Training.

First leg workout of the year and already pushing it!

I haven't done a stiff leg deadlift over 315lbs for about 3 years at this point, and I did my last set with 315lbs and comfortably got to 10 reps and decided I had far too much gas left in the tank and that I should go up in weight.

So I did.

I figured I might get a solid 6 reps in, but I made it to 7 and I think I could have gone on to get a full 10 reps BUT that's when good judgement prevailed.

As a bodybuilder having not trained this heavy for so many years, the shock of this much weight would be more than enough to stimulate muscle growth, and doing more reps wouldn't yield any greater returns, only increase the likelihood of injury.

It's not about the numbers, it's about training to a point where you achieve your goal, and it's important to have a goal in mind as a bodybuilder based on increasing muscle mass rather than hitting a particular number.

Besides, if in my 20's I never did more than 405lbs on a stiff leg deadlift, it doesn't make any sense going heavier than when I am almost 50!

Could I deadlift more at this point?

Absolutely but just because you can doesn't mean you should!

So keep those weights in a good working range, keep it safe and as always Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#hometraining #homeworkout #homeworkout #roguerack #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #backworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #backtraining #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding #fitoverforty #deadlift

71 20

Turning 50 in a few months...

Not much of a big deal for me as I still feel pretty much the same but I hope that my example helps show what can be done with a lifetime commitment to eating well and training consistently!

Thanks for coming along on the journey and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #healthylifestyle #fitover40 #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #natty #fitness

242 41
This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.

Please note that all material is copyrighted and DMCA Protected and can be reprinted only with the expressed authorization of the author.


Click for a free copy!



Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, Kevin Richardson’s Naturally Intense High Intensity Training have helped hundreds lose weight and transform their bodies with his 10 Minute Workouts. One of the top natural bodybuilders of his time, Kevin is also the international fitness consultant for UNICEF and one of the top personal trainers in New York City.

Kevin Richardson
Kevin Richardsonhttps://www.naturallyintense.net
Featured everywhere from the Wall Street Journal to CBS News, celebrity Personal Trainer NYC and with over 2.6 million readers of his blog, Kevin Richardson is the creator of Naturally Intense High Intensity Training, one of the top lifetime drug free bodybuilders of his time, the first International Fitness & Nutrition Consultant for UNICEF, 2020 and 8 Time Winner of the Best of Manhattan Awards for Personal Training and a world recognized authority on high intensity training. Kevin has helped thousands, from celebrities to CEO's over the past 30 years achieve their fitness goals with his 10 minute high-intensity workouts done just three times a week in conjunction with his holistic nutrition approach. You can learn more about about his diet and training services at www.naturallyintense.net

Most Popular

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap