Reigning seven-time Figure Olympia queen Cydney Gillon took a detour during her off-season to provide natural bodybuilders with a few essential tips. In a recent YouTube video, Gillon offered advice on dieting, supplementation, training, and recovery for those competing without performance-enhancing drugs.
“I don’t talk about it because I personally don’t think it matters in the grand scheme of things. I’ve seen natural people do really well and I know a good bit of them in the IFBB Pro League and I’ve seen people who are on everything under the sun not even be able to get their Pro card,” Cydney Gillon shared.
As a dominant Figure division competitor, fans have adored Cydney Gillon since her emergence in the IFBB Pro League. In 2017, her X-frame, tight waist, taper, and bubbly muscle fullness led to her winning the sport’s most prestigious honor. Since that fateful night, Gillon has refused to take a step back on the big stage, having registered seven Figure Olympia titles with her latest triumph coming last November at the 2023 Mr. Olympia.
But Gillon is known for more than her on-stage bodybuilding efforts, as she continues to offer her audience on YouTube useful advice on bettering their physiques. In her latest endeavor, Gillon opened up on how natural bodybuilders can reap the most from every prep.
Cydney Gillon’s Tips for Bodybuilders Aiming to Prepare for Contests Naturally
- Worry about yourself
- Properly adjust your preps
- Prep length
- Regulate stress levels
- Maintain adequate workout intensity
Gillon began by advising natural athletes to be wary of coaches who may not have the necessary skills or knowledge to train them effectively.
“If you’re going to go this route in the industry in general you are going to run into a bunch of coaches. I’ve seen them myself. I’ve heard it myself because all these people come to me. You’re going to run into coaches who one, don’t know how to prep natural athletes, don’t want to prep natural athletes, okay.”
“It doesn’t require you when you get to a sticking point, you can’t be like ‘Oh, we’re just going to do this.’ No, you got to figure out some things and really really coach coach to kind of find what’s going to work for your athletes that is in the realms of how they want to run their preps.”
Gillon stressed that preparing for a show is never a one-size-fits-all solution.
“Tread lightly when you run into coaches that say you have to do A, B, C, and D,” adds Cydney Gillon. “Genetics play a very very large role in this sport. It’s a genetic sport. It is what it is. But people, it depends on too, when you’re thinking of genetics what are you thinking about? Does that person have naturally a wider clavicle than their hip ratio that gives you more of that X-frame based off bone structure?”
In addition, Gillon spoke on the importance of supplements for recovery after working out.
“You’re going to need to take supplements in order to help your body recover as much as you possibly can. So it’s about those attention to details and making sure that you’re doing what you need to do. Outside the gym as well to make sure you’re maximizing your potential for growth.”
“If you’re not making sure you’re getting enough sleep, if you’re not making sure that you’re not stressing, not making sure your gut health is okay, you’re not doing everything you can. You can’t afford to as a natural athletes competing in non-drug tested shows. You can’t let anything slack off. You got to be on it, on it, on it and really push yourself to the max.”
Specifically, Gillon shared that creatine and glutamine are essential for anyone aiming to prep for a show naturally.
“My main go-to was creatine. I took a lot of creatine almost every day. Only thing with that when you take a lot of creatine you’re going to have to make sure you’re drinking a lot of water too at the same time.”
“I always have my glutamine in hand at all times [an amino acid important for muscle growth] that way I wasn’t burning my muscle off because I was doing way more cardio. It didn’t go with the bodybuilding per say.”
Aside from supplement pointers, Gillon explained why taking a longer prep is important if you wish to take a lengthier improvement season.
“I always say what I used to do is I would have six months between shows. The longer your improvement season is the more likely your going to gain more fat than you think you have.
If you’re going to take a longer improvement season you probably also want to take a longer prep so that way you’re not crash dieting at the end.”
Gillon also says it’s vital to have a healthy relationship with food.
“That means you need to still work on your relationship with food and work on your relationship with the sport and see if this is a sport for you especially if you’re going to be a natural athlete. You’re going to have to kind of give that time to your body.”
This wasn’t Cydney Gillon’s first time using her platform to advise bodybuilders. From self-love to instructions on how to lean out the midsection, Gillon offers competitors and fans alike easy-to-understand lessons on making the most inside the gym.
As one the most dominant Olympia champions of any division currently, Gillon’s advice is backed up with plenty of trial and error. For natural bodybuilding, Gillon underlined the importance of clean dieting, quality sleep, intense training, and proper supplementation.