Jun 24

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Layne Norton – Pro Natural Bodybuilder

Age: 29
Weight on season: 195lb
Weight off season: 230lb
Height: 5′ 10″
Chest size: 48″(offseason)
Waist size: 35” (offseason)
Bicep size: 18.5″ (offseason)
Calves size: 17″(offseason)
Thighs size: 28.5″(offseason)

Layne Norton workout Routine:

I follow a form of non-linear periodization I can power hypertrophy adaptive training ie PHAT.  You can find out much more about it here http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/insidethelife.htm an example is here:


  • Day 1: Upper Body Power
  • Day 2: Lower Body Power
  • Day 3: Rest
  • Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy
  • Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy
  • Day 7: Rest

I read that you started lifting when left school due to being picked on most of your life and not being very big, weighing 130lbs at the start, have you ever had an ideal weight you wished to be?

Not really.  I guess it just depends on when you asked me.  If you asked me when I started I’d probably say 160.  If you asked me when I was 160 I would say 185.  If you asked me at 185 I’d say 200, so on and so forth.  Realistically now if I ever stepped onstage at a stage ready 200 lbs I’d be very pleased with that.

So you went through a bad time in 2008, when you tore your right pectoral in the month of February, while you were doing bench press training for power lifting in which you put down to having your hands not close enough and your elbows not tucked in like a power lifter would do, and this was only because of the habit of lifting like a bodybuilder,  this must have been a big shock to you and your family, I have to say you was one lucky guy to have got this sorted out correctly and from what I can gather fully, as you know it could have been a bit of a setback on your bodybuilding in some ways,  does this ever affect you today when working out?

You are right, it could have been devastating.  Thankfully I had a great surgeon and awesome support system and came back better than ever.  Now it does not bother me at all!

Would you or do you ever plan on doing powerlifting again?

Absolutely!  I plan to compete in powerlifting this year again.

So I see you have never used steroids and have nothing against people that use or have used them, but has the thought ever crossed your mind?  And why haven’t you used them?

No, never really considered it.  I compete in bodybuilding to push myself and test myself.  Right now I can compete against the best in the world in natural bodybuilding and push myself and test myself.  I don’t need to take steroids to do that.  I don’t do this for magazine covers, money, or fame.  I do this because I love it and I do it because I want to break my limits.  It’s the only reason I’ve ever done anything challenging including powerlifting and my PhD.  It’s all about testing myself and seeing what I’m made of.

I see you don’t have a specific daily diet but you make sure you’re getting your daily carbs, protein and fat intake correctly, with this said do you believe in the saying “calories in vs calories out”?

Well not really because how you structure your macro nutrients can make a difference in terms of your body composition outcomes.

Do you change your calorie intake much on a bulk or cut, can you give me an example?

Well of course!  When I was ‘bulking’ I was consuming around 3600-3800 kcals per day.  When I started cutting I was around 2600 kcal per day but by the end of my prep I was closer to 2000 kcal per day.

We all know how much food costs these days, and with bodybuilding things that are high in protein can be costly, how much do you think your food costs daily? And what are the top 3 foods you find yourself eating daily?

Based on my grocery bill, I probably spend about $20 per day on food.  I don’t really eat out more than maybe once per month so I actually don’t spend that much.  It’s really not that expensive.

How much water do you consume in a day and do you think it plays a big part in building muscle?

Well if you are dehydrated it can impair anabolism.  But consuming a super high amount isn’t going to give you super muscle gains.  I consume 1-2 gallons of fluid per day.

Do you eat any of what people call junk food? If so how often?

Not really.  I’ll make a burrito at home but I use whole wheat wraps with chicken and low fat cheese so it’s not really ‘junk.’  I might have some reduce calorie ice cream here and there.  But I can’t remember the last time I ate something like a candy bar just for the hell of it.

Do you drink alcohol? If so how often?

Sure, I might have a beer or two every now and then with dinner.  But never drink enough to get tipsy or anything like that.

If you could pick only one supplement what would it be? (Not protein as you can get that from foods easily)

Xtend for the BCAAs & Citrulline malate

I see you have allot of volume to your workouts you also style your workouts on a Hypertrophy and power day style, I know you have been doing bodybuilding many years, was your workouts high in volume when you started bodybuilding?

Not really.  But as a beginner you won’t need much volume to make progress, but as your progress stalls you will likely have to add in more in order to create more overload.

With such high volume you said that you get asked about overtraining allot, but do you believe in over training yourself?

Overtraining in the typical sense that people think of where your muscle becomes catabolic from training to much is mostly bunk.  I’ve never seen ANY evidence to support its occurrence.  Muscle is too adaptable for that.  Hell there are big time Olympic lifters and powerlifters who squat 5-6 times per week with awesome results.  Do you really think they could gain like that if they were ‘overtraining?’  Every other system will give out before your muscle will.  You would lose the psychological drive to train before you’d ever physically overtrain the muscle.

Is it possible to incorporate your workout style (the Hypertrophy & Power Day style) into just 3 days?

If you don’t mind long workouts I suppose.

We all have some one that we look up to, who do you look up to? And on the days that you really can’t be bothered what gets you motivated?

I am always looking forward to the gym.  I can’t think of the last time I wasn’t motivated to go in and lift hard and test myself.  That might sound like BS but it’s the truth.  I love to train.  Even if I would never make anymore gains no matter what I did I would still train because I love it.  As for people I look up to in life, it would easily be my parents and my grandparents.  They laid the groundwork for the principles I live my life by and showed me the path to walk to live a life that I could be proud of.

So you married Isabel back in may 2008, does body building put a strain on your relationship?

Not really.  When I’m in the final stages of prep sometimes things can get tough with all the cardio and lack of energy and irritability, but we’ve never had any fights that would resemble very very bad disagreements regarding bodybuilding.  She is a competitor herself so she understands.

Thinking of having any children? If so would you hope they did bodybuilding?

Of course.  I definitely want kids.  If they love bodybuilding great, if not that’s fine too, I would just want them to find something that they are passionate about to excel at.  If that’s bodybuilding, baseball, horse riding, chess, whatever.

So I have some random questions now for you, if you could pick only 3 different body parts to put on your body from 3 other bodybuilders, what would they be and why?

Nobody’s.  I’m proud of the physique I built.  It has plenty of weaknesses, but I worked my butt off and I’m proud of what I’ve done.  Wouldn’t trade anything on it, even my worst bodyparts.

Do you have any other hobbies, anything like playing on the Xbox or maybe even knitting?

I’m a fantasy football fanatic and love that when it’s football season.  I also like playing video games when I have time, but usually on the PC as I’m terrible with thumb controls.

So we all have to start somewhere, even I have learnt some new things when reading about you, what kind of advice would you offer to someone just starting out bodybuilding?

Work hard and be patient.  Really as simple as that.  Nothing is going to happen fast when you are talking about building your physique.  You will hit roadblocks, but everybody does.  The people that push through them and persevere are the people that you look at onstage accepting titles when they are in their 30s & 40s.

What is your favourite picture of yourself at the moment on the internet?

I like the pictures of me that Natalie Minh did at our photoshoot in vegas.  People have also edited some of my photos to be funny, some are quite entertaining.  I think one guy had me riding a dragon haha!

With the following

Ph.D.in nutritional science including a specialization in skeletal muscle protein metabolism
BS in Biochemistry from Eckerd College
IFPA Natural Bodybuilding Pro
NGA Natural Bodybuilding Pro
Under your belt, do you feel this helped allot in your bodybuilding or did you learn that to help with bodybuilding?

Sure, I think having to do research myself made me understand other research so much better and made me better able to interpret much of the information out there.

I see you have helped people achieve some goals in bodybuilding, who is the best person you have enjoyed working with to help reach their goals?

I’ve worked with so many amazing people it’s not possible I could point out just one, no way.

So you’re a natural pro bodybuilder now but where do you see yourself in 10 years time from now? (Apart from being the next pro natural champion, this I think you will do with your dedication no problem)

I doubt it will be no problem, and even if I was never champion I’d still be satisfied so long as I gave it everything I had and didn’t hold back, and I don’t plan to.  I have no idea where I’ll be in 10 years, and I like it that way.  I’ve always lived my life one section at a time and focussed on the here and now and I don’t plan to change that.  I’m going to enjoy the ride.

We all do things wrong from time to time and this is how we learn, what was your biggest fail in bodybuilding at the start? (Ie. mine was eating too much rubbish and gaining lots of fat)

Probably getting too scared of ‘overtraining’ and not being willing to try out routines with more frequency.

So you do lots of interviews I see and get asked a high number of questions, some the same as others, this brings me to two questions, first being what is the most often question you get asked? And what is the only question that you haven’t been asked but would love someone to ask it? Please give the questions and answers to both of these.

What is your routine? See Above

What do you love about bodybuilding most?

I love the feeling of going into the gym and pitting myself of today against myself of yesterday.  I love the feeling of hitting PRs, I love the feeling of standing onstage and knowing I’ve nailed it completely and everything has come together.  It’s like writing a 1000 page novel where everything ties together at the end.

Check out my website www.biolayne.com as well as my social media

P.S. Layne Norton has a DVD in the works, but there isn’t a release date as of yet, keep an eye out on Layne Norton’s website for it


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.unleashedbeasts.com/beasts/layne-norton-pro-natural-bodybuilder/


  1. Keith

    Layne Norton is the man.

  2. bodybuilding

    Awesome interview. Layne is a natural bodybuilding icon and sets a great example for younger bodybuilders who want to follow the natural bodybuilding lifestyle.