Pictured is Mike Ashley, perhaps one of the greatest natural bodybuilders ever. He is best known for winning the 1990 IFBB Arnold Classic competition. He also competed in the 1987 and 1988 IFBB Mr. Olympia competitions, both of which Lee Haney won. Ashley quit competition due to the limitations of being natural and not using steroids, which kept him from winning against many who did take steroids. Today, Mike Ashley is a personal trainer and is still in great shape.
Mike Ashley attributes his 1990 victory at the Arnold Classic to the drug testing that occurred at the event. Because it was drug tested, he did not compete against bodybuilders who had been taking steroids in preparation for the competition. With the size and definition seen in the picture, it seems logical that he would win against many others who had not used steroids. Something else that really sets Mike Ashley apart is that he consumed up to 5,000 calories a day, and in the off season he was never far over 200 pounds. A decent portion of the calories he consumed came from MCT oil, or Medium Chain Triglyerides, which added calories without adding body fat. MCT will be discussed in a future article.
Mike used a technique called periodization in order to build strength and size. Periodization will be discussed in a future article. The basic idea of his periodization training would be to have a strength phase to build up the strength of the muscles, then move to a hypertrophy phase where he would be able to lift heavier weights that during the last hypertrophy phase in order to stimulate the most muscle growth.
Mike Ashley is a perfect example of how natural bodybuilders can still be successful in competition. He may have competed during the late 80s and early 90s, but the point still stands. While he retired from competition due to the limits of natural bodybuilding, he still made a name for himself.
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Mike Ashley Interview: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/michael-ashley-interview.htm