Is Natural Bodybuilding A Waste Of Time?
Natural bodybuilding has received a lot of unwarranted negative criticism over the years that has left a permanent mark on its reputation. As steroid use has drastically grown and become more popular throughout the decades; the true essence of bodybuilding has been lost and destroyed. It's really sad to see how young teens are more interested in starting their first cycle instead of learning how to properly bodybuild.
Ever since competitive bodybuilding went mainstream; everyone now wants to oil up and flex on a stage to win a plastic trophy. People go to insane extremes and use all kinds of Performance Enhancement Drugs to win these contests; with hopes of eventually earning their way to professional status. This has led beginner bodybuilders to mistakingly believe that in order to be a successful athlete; steroid use is unavoidable.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've seen natural bodybuilding being called a joke or a waste of time. The modern bodybuilding community honestly believes that a good physique can only be built on steroids. People are sadly more concerned about their bodybuilding idols admitting to steroids – so they can justify their use themselves- instead of focusing on the dieting and training aspects.
It's very interesting that a pretty big part of the bodybuilding community criticises the lack of bodybuilding's mainstream appeal without even realizing that it has already taken over the world. The “fitness” movement -that hardcore bodybuilders downplay all the time- is nothing more than bodybuilding in its most simplistic form.
Can You Build A Decent Physique Naturally?
A lot of folks mistakingly think that bodybuilding was invented in the early 1900s by Eugen Sandow. It wasn't. Bodybuilding was originally practiced by ancient civilizations throughout history as a way to maximize the human body's strength and performance. It wasn't until Eugen Sandow came along, that showcasing an individual's physique on a stage actually became a thing.
The Weider brothers took it a step further and made competitive bodybuilding what it is today. Although steroids have always played a huge role in the sport; their use has become a lot more prominent over the years. Whereas bodybuilders from the 60s and 70s only used them to add the finishing touches on their bodies; today, they're instead used to build physiques from scratch.
All of this has led society to believe that a muscular physique can only be built by using Performance Enhancing Drugs. But, what about all the people that came before these famous bodybuilders? There are photographs out there of people who built incredible physiques; before steroids and fitness equipment were even invented.
Famous Natural Bodybuilders
Steve Reeves who is widely considered as one of the greatest natural bodybuilders (ever) used to say that he didn't believe in athletes using steroids. He thought that if a man didn't have enough male hormones in his body to build a great physique; he should take up ping pong. As critical as it may sound – the quote makes a lot of sense.
Natural bodybuilding gets a bad reputation because it doesn't yield the results that enhanced bodybuilding does. There's no denying that an enhanced athlete has the potential to look and perform better than someone who's natural. A lot of bodybuilders don't have the patience to slowly build a physique and instead choose the easy way out.
Creating a physique like the ones that compete at the Mr. Olympia every year is naturally impossible. Even though a lot of guys don't have the desire to look like these men do – there are others that dream of attaining these physiques. What a lot of these men don't realize is that not everyone has the ability to look like that – even on anabolic steroids.
In bodybuilding – just like any other sport- the people with the best genetics and talent always win. There are tens of thousands of men and women out there who dream of making it to the Mr. Olympia stage only to be stopped by their genetic limitations.
Although steroids are powerful enough to make anyone transform their physique and become a beast in the gym – a physique's final look is determined by its genetic qualities and structure. In competitive bodybuilding, a physique is judged by its muscularity, definition, proportions – v-taper, fullness, density, etc.
The Truth About Steroids
Steroids have always been a delicate subject inside and outside of the bodybuilding scene. Some people claim that these illegal substances aren't magical and that they don't work like people think they do; others say the opposite and swear by them. So, what's the truth? The truth is that steroids are powerful, illegal, and dangerous.
No matter what anyone says or thinks – they work. How well they work highly depends on the person who uses them and how their body genetically responds to them. As great as they may be – they come at a very high price that -surprisingly enough- a lot of bodybuilders are willing to pay.
Anabolic steroids generate temporary results that fade away as soon as their use is stopped. Once the body quits receiving an exogenous hormone source; it goes back to normal with an added combination of health problems. All steroids are different and generate different side effects – most of which can be found below:
- Water Retention
- Virilization (In Females)
- Night Sweats
- Kidney Failure
- Liver Failure
- Heart Failure
How Big Can You Get Naturally?
There's no sure way to tell how big you can get naturally – but you won't truly know until you try. If you looked up the natural bodybuilders that I named above; you can see just how capable the human body really is. These men and women built unbelievable physiques and set new standards with limited knowledge on training and nutrition.
We've come long ways and have found different methods to train, eat, and naturally enhance our bodies with supplements. If anything, we should be able to build even better natural physiques today. So, why can't we? I think that most of this is related to the negative mindset that thinks that steroids are needed for everything.
Natural bodybuilding is very difficult as it takes a lot more time and effort to build an amazing physique – but it's also a lot more rewarding. At the end of the day, you know that you earned your physique and that you're actually contributing to your health – not destroying it. Unless you want to look like a Mr. Olympia competitor – there's no need to take steroids.
It's time that we go back to how things were in the past and look at bodybuilding for what it really is. The fitness movement that we know today -as obnoxious as it may appear- is built on positive intentions. It's actually gotten people motivated to take care of their bodies by going to the gym, watching their diet, and enjoying life. That's what bodybuilding is truly all about.