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!


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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.


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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!


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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!


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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!

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.


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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

Dumbo, Brooklyn 2004

This one was taken towards the end of an hours long photoshoot for my DVD and I remember being utterly exhausted!

Photoshoots can be tougher than competing as with a competition you are only onstage for maybe maximum of a half hour, whereas with a shoot it's hours on end of having to be on point.

Thanks for tuning in and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

My thanks to @miranda_maher and @stephaniecorne for the shot!!!

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #throwback #fifthavenuegym #5thavenuegym #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildinglifestyle #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #bodybuilding #bodybuildinggym #dumbo #brooklyn

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Don't Train To Maintain, Always Train To Excel!

I am 49 years old.

My last bodybuilding competition was 19 years ago and yet I train with the same intensity and focus towards results as I did in my teens, my 20's and my 30's.

I don't believe in "train to maintain" and I think it's a massive mistake!

In my experience, most people take their foot off the gas way to early in life and as a result never realize their full potential.

In many sports getting older is associated with decline, but take a look at natural bodybuilding and you'll see men and women peaking in their late 40's to 50's.

Natural bodybuilding legends like Carmi Smith, Dwayne Broadway @
https://pulse.ly/crdg43u5ec and Yvette Arthur, @https://pulse.ly/m2iwofkkqz all won World Championship titles in their silver years and my friend and mentor, the late Kenny Hall competed with a ridiculously impressive physique into his late 60's!!!

Ever since I was a kid that's what I have been striving for and it's a central tenet of my personal training practice.

The passage of time is not an adversary you surrender to, it's an ally that can help you get far further in life than you might imagine, but only if you keep pushing!

So don't train to maintain, train to grow, train to improve, train to excel and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

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5th Avenue Gym circa 2009- 5 years out from my last show.

As you can see, trophies and competitions were NEVER the driving force behind why I train the way I train and why I eat the way I eat.

It's always been my passion to see how far I could go as a natural athlete and perhaps even more so, to show what can be accomplished without using drugs.

And 5th Avenue Gym was the perfect place to do it.

I really miss that gym.

It was a place where legends came to train and while it wasn't pretty, it had everything we needed to do the work we needed to do.

And boy did we work!!!

5th Avenue for life as they say!!!

Hope you are still training hard and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

And thanks @pit_bulls_67 for snapping the shot!!!!

#naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #throwback #fifthavenuegym #5thavenuegym #drugfreebodybuilding #naturalbodybuildinglifestyle #gym #gymlife #gymmotivation #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #bodybuilding #bodybuildinggym

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Why Are Pull Ups So Hard For Some But Not For Others?

Pull ups are an exercise people love to hate!

They love to hate it because in my experience, most untrained men or women can't do one pull up and those who train can often struggle to do 6 or 10.


Because pull ups are hard!

And yet people like myself can easily do as many as 20-25!

So what's the reason for this discrepancy?

Is there some secret that allows me and others to do pullups so easily?

There isn't, and in this video I go over exactly why I can do as many as I can and why it can be so much harder for others.

I also go over my #1 pull up variant that ANYONE can do, even if you can't do one pull up.

And yet it can build strength and muscle size in some cases even more so than regular pull ups!

So click the link in my bio to see the full video on YouTube or go to my channel by looking up naturallyintense!

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

#pullups #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #backworkout #pullupworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #backtraining #highintensitytrainingtips #hometraining #trainingtips #bodybuildingtips

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Maximize Biceps Growth With High Intensity Arm Blaster Hammer Curls!

50lb Dumbbells For 20 reps!

The Arm Blaster is a fantastic piece of equipment for a home gym or any gym!

It doesn't take up much space and allows you to add variety to your biceps training.

It locks your elbows in place, thus increasing training intensity, and by doing a hammer curl, you can use more weight (thus increasing intensity even more) and target your brachialis muscles which help add density to your biceps!

This was my last set and I couldn't go any heavier as I am still nursing a wrist injury, but the 50lbers were more than enough to do the job!

Try them out next time you train arms and let me know how it goes!!!

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

#hometraining #homeworkout #homeworkout #nuobell #highintensitytraining #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuilding #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #armworkout #bicepsworkout #naturalbodybuildingtips #biceps #armtraining #bicepsworkout #highintensitytrainingtips #drugfreebodybuilding#powertec #armblaster #hammercurls

108 12

Injury-Proof Your Training: The Power of Workout Variation!

One of the main reasons why I can still train heavy and intensely at 49 after 35 years of nonstop training without any training related overuse injuries is the fact that I vary EVERY workout!

Overuse injuries come from doing the same movements over and over and by always changing your routine, you radically lessen the likelihood of chronic injury.

Squats, deadlifts, barbell curls and bench presses are great exercises, but if you do them all the time, you do increase the odds of getting injured.

And as a natural athlete, it bears mentioning that it takes years to realize your full potential, and so it's crucial to have a training program that is sustainable, and one that will allow you to train injury free for as long as I have or longer!

Thanks so much for tuning in and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilding #naturalbodybuildingtips #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuildingvideos #injuryprevention #fitover40 #workout #gymlife #workouttips #trainingmotivation #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #drugfreebodybuilding #highintensitytraining #injuryfreetraining #longevity

88 19

High Intensity Training Leg Extensions To Failure!
And as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilding #naturalbodybuilder #highintensitytraining #highintensitytrainingtips #hometraining #homeworkout #fitover40 #naturalbodybuildingvideos #naturalbodybuildingtraining #naturalbodybuildingtips #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #legextensions #legday #legworkout #powertec #legdayworkout

119 16

This Is What 35 Years of Natural Bodybuilding Looks Like!

So as you know, As you may know I recently turned 49 and every year I do a photoshoot to show my progression.

In the hopes of showing that you can not only maintain a level of excellence as the years go by, but that you can do it without steroids, TRT, drugs or even pre-workouts and protein shakes!

(I’ve never had a pre-workout or energy drink and haven’t had a protein shake in decades!)

You don't need it as all it does make you forget tht excellence doesn’t require anything outside of yourself.

You already have all the tools you need!

Not a huge fan of taking photos of myself, (I much prefer being behind the camera) but I humbly try to be one example of just how much you can achieve with proper training and an uncompromisingly proper diet!

So here I am again at 49 and I am looking forward to seeing what you accomplish over the years as well!!! Thanks so much for tuning in and as always, Excelsior!!! #naturallyintense

#naturalbodybuilding #naturalbodybuilder #naturalbodybuildingvideo #naturalbodybuildingmotivation #naturalbodybuildingtips #highintensitytraining #drugfreebodybuilding #nodrugs #fitover40 #fitoverforty

368 36

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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

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