Natural Olympia Champ Paul Krueger Lists the 5 Pillars of Bodybuilding

Paul Krueger Natural Olympia champ
Image via Instagram @paulkrueger

Natural Olympia champ Paul Krueger names the 5 pillars of bodybuilding to conquer any fitness goal. 

To be an elite professional bodybuilder, nonetheless a champion, there are certain principles every bodybuilder must adhere to. These strategies you must follow are even more critical as a natural bodybuilder since physique enhancement from drugs is banned. The 2021 Natural Olympia Professional Natural Bodybuilding (PNBA) Men’s Bodybuilding champ, Paul Krueger, names the 5 pillars of bodybuilding if you want to be successful in the sport. Krueger stated:

“Focus on the five pillars of bodybuilding day in and day out and you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself. 

What are the 5 pillars?

In no specific order because they are all equally important:

1) training 

2) nutrition 

3) supplementation 

4) recovery

5) mindset

Think of these things in a circular pattern rather than a list. Each one is connected to (and overlap’s) the others and influences the outcome.”

You can see Paul Krueger’s full post on Instagram below. 


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A post shared by Paul Krueger (@paulkrueger)

Krueger won Natural Olympia weeks after earning his pro card, joining the lists of other Natural Olympia champions, such as Kiyoshi Moody and Meshack Ochieng. And he plans to retain his Natural Olympia title this year. 

5 Pillars of Bodybuilding

According to Paul Krueger, the five pillars of bodybuilding are training, nutrition, supplementation, recovery, and mindset


Training as a natural bodybuilder is similar to bodybuilders using steroids, except there’s a vital difference. The volume and recovery time is less. Natural athletes can’t train with as much volume and must allow more time for recovery. 

Depending on the athlete determines how much volume and recovery time each athlete has. For example, Philip Ricardo Jr. trains hard 6-7 days a week. Although, he structures his split routine in a way to allow recovery. But other natural athletes may only train 3-4 days a week to allow more time for recovery. 


Although every natural bodybuilder’s nutrition varies, one thing’s certain: they follow a strict diet to hit their nutrition targets. And are even more stringent during contest prep. However, some natural athletes are vegans, and others do keto or fasting. Moreover, some athletes are pretty flexible during the off-season and enjoy more of what they want to eat. 


The supplements part of natural athlete’s nutrition varies. But natural bodybuilders in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA)/PNBA league must vet their supplements for any ingredient that may be banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited drug guidelines. Natural bodybuilders’ popular supplements are creatine, whey protein, fat burners, BCAAs, vitamin D, fish oil, and ashwagandha


Recovery is paramount for natural bodybuilders since they can’t exploit anabolic steroids, which can speed up recovery time between workouts. Therefore, natural athletes take more time off from movements, do less volume, and structure their plan to allow their muscles to recover before targeting them again entirely. 


It takes tremendous discipline and hard work to build the physique of bodybuilders. These athletes train hard and follow a rigid diet every day. Skipping the gym because you’re tired or caving in to indulge in a cheat meal is not an option for professional bodybuilders. Of course, your mental fortitude must be incredible to live this lifestyle. 

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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 American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.