Despite the fact that natural bodybuilders are by definition athletes who don’t use anabolic steroids and other muscle enhancing drugs, there are many competitors who rely on banned substances in order to get ahead of the competition and develop the amazing muscular physiques you see on stage and in magazines. Just because someone presents himself/herself as a natural bodybuilder or fitness athlete, it does not mean that it’s true. Like every other industry there are a lot of lies the public cannot see and in most cases the average fan is not even remotely aware of what’s truly going on behind the curtains where money is divided and war tactics are elaborated.
Bodybuilding is a cult sport and the views of the general population are usually formed by the mainstream media covering different major events, Hollywood movies and of course – the muscle magazines people see when they buy a newspaper or a pack of cigarettes. In other words, the public only recognizes the so-called freaky bodybuilders who compete at major shows like Mr. Olympia, Arnold Classic or the Nationals of the state in question. When people think of bodybuilding they immediately associate the word with extremely muscular men who have hard time fitting in a car. Therefore, whenever a much smaller bodybuilding competitor presents himself as a “natural” most tend to believe him because of his relatively small size compared to the IFBB professional bodybuilders on TV. But don’t let muscle size mislead you – there is more to the story. Just like there is: rich, richer and richest, there is also: little steroids, more steroids and even more steroids. Bodybuilding, just like fighting and strength sports, has different weight classes. There are competitors who only weight 135lbs/60kgs and yet they still use multiple muscle enhancing drugs to achieve the so-called “Photoshop look”.
Truth be told, most of famous natural bodybuilders and fitness models such as: Skip La Cour, Layne Norton, Lazar Angelov, Matt Ogus, Mischa Janiec, Alon Gabbay, Jeff Seid, Michael O’Hearn and many more to count use anabolic steroids and other “cocktails” of muscle elixirs to get in the shape they show in photo shoots, commercials, muscle magazines, movies and bodybuilding contests. Some of the natural bodybuilders we see are actually bigger than former IFBB professionals from the 70s and the 80s many of who are well known and self-admitted users of anabolic steroids and growth hormone. Despite what the industry wants you to believe the observed evolution of natural bodybuilding is not based on modern, improved training and nutritional strategies because muscle size is dependent before all else on the male hormones in the body. Lifting weights and protein rich nutritional plans can only do so much. For example, a woman who lifts weights will never get bigger than a man who trains with the same intensity and dedication because females just don’t have the testosterone levels required to maintain superior strength and muscle size. You can exercise all you want, you will never get bigger than individuals who have testosterone levels 100 times higher than you. It’s like comparing kids to adults – adults are stronger and bigger no matter what.
Just like rappers, who are gangsters in music clips and regular “dudes” in real life, famous natural bodybuilders are not the pinnacle of health and are no strangers to the “steroid needle” regardless of the official image and reputation the PR company has carefully built for them. You have to understand that the fitness industry is worth billions and when there are billions involved there are no rules and almost anything goes – lies, deception, white collar crimes and all kinds of other dirty tactics.
The bodies of natural bodybuilders are used to promote muscle enhancing supplements, magazines, training methods, coaches, training equipment and everything else that could be sold to the average person on the street. In general, people are well aware that virtually all IFBB professionals are using anabolic steroids. The fans fear the side effects caused by the drugs and on top of that they (the fans) find the physiques of the huge professional bodybuilders disgusting and far away from the desired aesthetics and perfection. That’s why fitness enthusiasts are showing more interest for natural bodybuilding which is presented as a safe alternative and a manly sport built on morals. The companies involved in the fitness sector are smart and can do the math – more people into the natural bodybuilding circles equal more money from sales. However, since bodybuilders who are truly natural do not look very impressive other individuals must be used to promote products. This is the actual role of the famous natural bodybuilders – they are the billboards.
Turn off the TV for a second and think: do you want your billboard to be edited with Photoshop or not? Which one will sell more?