Natural Bodybuilder Suffers After Foregoing Rest and Recovery

Dan Sutcliffe - INBA World Championships

Dan Sutcliffe learns the importance of rest and recovery the hard way.

Earlier this year (2021), Dan Sutcliffe – a natural bodybuilder – walked away as a World Champion at International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) World Championships in Romania. That was a competition in the late months of October 2021, but it wasn’t until just recently – early December 2021 – that Sutcliffe opened up about what happened the events after winning gold. On Instagram (IG), here’s what Sutcliffe had to say below:

“In the first couple of weeks post Worlds I didn’t give my body an opportunity to rest/recover. This may have contributed to the problems I’ve experienced over the last few weeks.

I recently came down with a pretty nasty stomach virus which lasted 10 days and meant I completely lost my appetite (I know right ) and training became impossible. This is very unusual for me. A coincidence considering the timing? Probably not.”

You can view his complete statement below:



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A post shared by Dan Sutcliffe (@dansutcliffe_fitness)

Dan Sutcliffe plans to use the off-season of 2021-2022 to implement a better balance of rest and recovery. But, he stated, “A little reminder that more does not always mean better!”

Drug Testing

Sutcliffe prides the natural bodybuilding competitions he competes in. Because they require a urine analysis test and polygraph lie detector test to ensure the athletes aren’t doping. Other bodybuilding leagues don’t advocate drug use, but they don’t have a system in place to prevent it. For example, the INBA/Professional Natural Bodybuilding Association (PNBA) requires all athletes to undergo top-of-the-notch drug testing via World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Click the link to learn what that all entails

Importance of Rest and Recovery

Dan Sutcliffe - INBA World Championships

As a natural bodybuilder, it’s even more important to make sure to get plenty of rest and recovery. That’s because drugs like steroids allow your body to handle more volume and loads than you would be capable of lifting without performance-enhancing drugs. 

Bodybuilders and gym-goers alike often forget how important – and for newbie gym-goers, unaware – rest and recovery are for progress. Of course, to compete with the top competition, you’ll have to put in the work and do enough volume and intensity to maximize muscle growth. However, muscle growth takes place while you’re resting. Therefore, weightlifters must have some deload weeks and take some days off to allow their body adequate rest and recovery. 

Dan Sutcliffe has been competing since 2018, although he’s been lifting for about ten years and comes from a sports science background – sports science grad, personal trainer, and performance nutritionist specialist. Immediately after starting competing, he was able to win a British world title and place in the top three of a world final. Sutcliffe plans to spend some time with his family and friends, then work to earn pro status in the upcoming years. 

Whether you’re a bodybuilder or average gym-bro, don’t omit rest and recovery. Rest and recovery are essential for making progress and preventing injuries and illness. 

Generation Iron wishes nothing but the best for Dan Sutcliffe. We hope to see you more in the future! 

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Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.