Muscle Base Speak with Pro Natural Layne Norton

Layne Norton

Tell us a little about yourself

– Well, there’s a lot about me, but I guess the pertinent information for this interview would be that I’m a pro natural bodybuilder and pro powerlifter with a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences. I also own BioLayne LLC, a consulting company specializing in physique/performance coaching for bodybuilders and athletes.  I also write for several magazines and websites.

What are your daily activities and days like?

– To be honest, it would be pretty boring for most people to hear about.  I spend most of my day answering emails and messages.  I receive about 300-400 emails and messages per day and I try to answer everyone but sometimes it’s impossible to get to everyone who isn’t a client.  When I’m not doing that, I’m putting plans together for clients, writing articles, or trying to work on publishing research from my lab group.

Other than that, I typically train 2+ hours per day and like to watch TV with my wife and just relax.  When I have extra time (rare) I like to play a good video game.

Did you ever have to skip a workout for a long period of time? If so, what do you do when you can’t get to a gym?

– I’ve been sick and had to take time off, but the longest I’ve ever gone in the last 10 years without training was 6 days.  And if I miss days when I just get back in as soon as I possibly can.

As a Natural Pro Competitor, what are your biggest fear during and before Competitions?

– I don’t really have ‘fears’.  I mean the worst outcome in a competition is not life or death.  I want to be at my best, that’s my primary goal if I don’t do that I would be disappointed, but I wouldn’t say I ‘fear’ it.

What are your opinions on Pro Bodybuilders competing in Mr. Olympia who’re using Anabolic Steroids? Aren’t they risking their health?

– I consider myself a Libertarian and so I’m of the opinion that people should have the freedom to choose their own actions and be responsible for their own actions.  I believe that is their choice, I am not interested in using steroids at all, but if someone else wants to if they aren’t hurting anyone else who am I to say if they should or shouldn’t?  That is their choice.  I’ve always said I am ‘pro natural’ I’m not ‘anti-steroids. ’

I just want people to understand that you can build a very good physique without the use of drugs, but I don’t look down upon IFBB pros or people pursuing an IFBB pro card who choose to do those sorts of things so long as they aren’t competing in drug tested shows and trying to beat the tests, I have no issue with it.  

Now if someone is using and trying to do tested shows… then I would say that person is a dirt-bag.

You mentioned in other interviews that you used PHAT, Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training, a training program made by you, yourself. What methods do you recommend for weight progression and how long have you stayed on PHAT for?

– Well, weight progression will depend upon how fast your strength progresses.  But PHAT is NOT a routine or program.  It is a SYSTEM of training.  It can and should be adjusted based on someone’s weaknesses & progressions.  It is a form of non-linear periodization and I really recommend people reading more about NLP and understanding how it works so they can understand how to properly adjust a system for themselves.

Do you have any plans on writing «Bodybuilding books» similar to «Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Encyclopedia»? or training videos?

– I have 2 DVDs out already, Layne Norton Unleashed and Layne Norton Reloaded and both have many of my training philosophies in them.

Do you feel that you’ve reached your Genetics limit or are there still possibilities that you will pack on another 10-20 lb of muscles in time to come?

– 10-20 lbs is not a reasonable expectation.  At this point, I’m happy if I’d add a pound of muscle in a year.  No, I do not think I’m at my limit, but at this point, gains become geometrically slower because I have been training hard over a decade.

You must have some strong grips as you use the «Double Overhand» grip for all your max dead-lifts, do you have any specific grip training routine or tips that you would like to share?

– I use a hook grip where I put my thumb next to the bar and wrap my fingers around my thumb so it’s not a traditional grip and is much more secure than a normal grip.  But to answer your question, no I do not do grip specific training, that has never been a problem for me.

What are your long terms goal and what do you plan to do when you’re in your 40s? Do you plan to continue training?

– As long as I can stand up I will train.  Even if you told me I’d never gain an ounce of muscle or hit another PR I would still train.  I love training and I love going to the gym every day and pushing myself.  I love the journey and I love the struggle, so yes I will train for as long as I possibly can.  My long term goal is to quite simply leave a legacy that I can be proud of when I look back on my life, and that encompasses much more than the gym. That includes the gym, my business, my research, etc.  It involves my family and living my life with integrity and passing that integrity and values onto my future children so that hopefully they can go out and one day make an impact on people’s lives in a positive manner.

Overall, I want to be remembered as someone who did the most with their inherent abilities and be known as an extremely hard worker who treated people right.