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Bodybuilding, Natural.....To Be or Not To Be?

Updated on July 16, 2017

Natural Bodybuilding , Is It For You?

I have been a lifelong natural athlete.

The governing body for the competitions I enter require all entrants to havebeen drug free for a minimum of seven years to create an even playing field for all involved.

The thought to be anything other than a natural drug free athlete has never crossed my mind, sure I have had plenty of opportunity to take performance enhancing drugs, but it’s just not me. I want to find out how good I can be without distorting the result.

As I have said before there must be plenty of people who think eating four or five chicken breasts a day and leaving the house at 4 a.m. as unnatural, so I guess it could all come down to perspective.

The word steroid has become a broad term for all performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) but they are not all the same, some are hormones some are diuretics, some are stimulants and so on. I am not going to go in depth as to what each does and will use the term PED to cover them all for convenience sake.

Steroids represent an incredibly broad and important class of hormone, and there are hundreds of variations in plants, fungi, and animals. If you eliminated steroids from your body, you would die.

I am neither pro or anti PEDs, I choose to be PED free and that’s my choice, I do notjudge anyone who takes them, that’s their choice. As long as they are not used to cheat or gain advantage in a drug free environment or sports event then I have no issue with them.

If you enter a “natural” or “drug free” competition that’s exactly what you should be and should have only used anything you can buy off the shelf in your local pharmacy or health food shop. Even this has some grey areas though such as caffeine which is banned bysome sports authorities at certain levels and not others.

There are some who would argue that protein shakes are a PED but I disagree with this as I could achieve the same amount of protein with a normal diet. The same argument could be used against multi vitamins too but you would never find anyone to agree.

I have friends who take PEDs and if you go into any gym in the world you are almostcertain to know someone who does too. They will be using them for competitive reasons and or aesthetic purposes to achieve a large muscular look, some are regular users and some periodic,depending on their goals. I have no problem with that at all, it’s their bodies and can do what they want with them.

PEDs have been demonised and still in some circles have a stigma attached, whohasn’t seen a tabloid headline screaming “ATTACK FUELLED BY ROID RAGE!” In my experience users never get anything remotely resembling roid rage and it was always in the perpetrators DNA to be aggressive regardless of their chemical intake.

I do not condone or excuse their use but there are far greater problems seen on the streets of any city or town nightly from alcohol abuse and yet we never see headlines like “BOOZE RAGE KILLER”. But that’s another social discussion for another day.

Some drugs are safer than others, but almost anything will kill you at a high enough dose. It’s the dose that makes the poison. Never forget this, and don’t confuse the effects of moderate use with those of outright abuse.

The only thing that bothers me is the increasing amount of users in their late teensand early twenties who have barely lifted a weight taking them.

I wish there was a way of controlling their use and that it was compulsory to have trained 4-5 days a week for three years naturally. If then and only then after you have shown commitment and were still interested in them should you be allowed take them.

Unfortunately that would take control and regulation and I don’t see that happening any time soon.

What PEDs aren’t, in a even playing field, is a short cut, whether you take them or not the work ethic and lifestyle required to compete as a natural or not is the same...HARD!

Those interested in looking into this subject further could do worse than watch the award winning documentary Bigger Faster Stronger. It is an honest, entertaining and informative film by Director Christopher Bell that explores America's win-at-all-cost culture by examining how his two brothers became members of the steroid-subculture in an effort to realise their American dream.

Bodybuilding, Natural be or not to be? its up to you.


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