Da Big Boyz
I remember when I was a kid, and the first time I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger I was literally blasted away. I was a small pencil-neck back then, who wasn’t into sports at all except for an occasional game of soccer with the neighbor kids, and I had never SEEN anyone so huge before in my life! Right there, I knew I wanted to be BIG! Alright, now raise a hand everybody who’s heard this story before..?
Yeah, I thought so. We’ve all been there. Eventually you picked up a barbell yourself, and off you were into the world of bodybuilding. But still, even after many years, I believe all of us can remember that first picture of an awesome bodybuilder that so thoroughly rocked our little world.
However, insane as it may sound, our heroes of yesterday wouldn’t even place top-10 in a pro competition nowadays. A guy who raked home about every trophy there was 20 years ago would be booed off stage today, and for every passing year we see the giants grow even larger, even more ripped and even more unhealthy. Not saying ALL are, but of the pros, most have obtained a rather unhealthy look by enlarged intestines, “bitch tits” and acne. Between competitions, they swell to huge, moon-faced balloons and nearly kill themselves to get in shape for, perhaps two competitions a year.
And why do these professionals do it? Because they need to win! A guy preparing for a contest can easily blow tens of thousands of dollars on drugs! There’s a “winner takes all” attitude in professional Bodybuilding, meaning the lot of the competitors leave with nothing but defeat and the memory of lost money. Only the top-guys get endorsement-contracts, and unlike football, pro Bodybuilding doesn’t have a big TV audience so the sums are usually pretty meager. The competitions are won by the biggest, heaviest and most ripped guys (there ARE exceptions where smaller guys surpass the giants thanks to perfect symmetry, but it’s rare).
The result? Of course, everybody tries to become bigger, leaner, and meaner than the next guy! And they succeed, as the guys with less than ideal genetics are weeded out right away, and the rest are involved in a death-spiral of ever-increasing drug use. There just doesn’t seem to be any physical limits any more…
What these guys are into is, like I said, a spiral of death. They stack several drugs together, increase the dosages, experiment with substances which have side effects virtually unknown to man and follow the principle of “whatever the next guy is taking, I gotta take twice as much so I don’t get behind!”. With a few exceptions, they can’t hold ordinary jobs. Many slings drugs to finance their own use. And most are never gonna make it.
What the heck is this? “Ban Bodybuilding”?
Is this supposed to be a major anti-Bodybuilding speech? The answer is NO!!! I love Bodybuilding for what it is, what it can do and absolutely hate to see young guys buying the latest issue of their favourite BB-mag, only to compare themselves to the genetically supergifted, steroid-enhanced monsters. OF COURSE the conclusion here becomes “one has to do drugs to get anywhere”! But let me tell you, comparing yourself to the top-10 in the world (who’s cheating!) is just as bad as any teenage-girl comparing herself to airbrushed & computer-altered pictures of anorectic supermodels!
You can make great gains without drugs, and there are plenty of examples of people who’ve achieved MASSIVE physiques without them! Look at people like Skip la Cour, Mike O’hearn and Anders Graneheim. Take a GOOD look at them. Then tell me if you, possibly, could settle for that, or if you really want to push yourself those last inches and embrace the huge bunch of troubles that comes with steroid-use.
All Natural Muscular Development is one of my favourite mags, even though I buy other, non-natural mags as well. It interesting to read both – as it’s like two different worlds. The natural mags aims on teaching proper nutrition, breakthrough supplements and sets up sound training programs for – note this – NATURAL athletes. The pro-drug mags recommends programs suited for roidtakers, that would kill a natural.
Example: “Natural” side usually suggests 1-6 sets for biceps. “Druggies” side often talks about 15-20 sets. If you’re loaded on roids – sure, you can take 20 sets. A natural would be overtrained for weeks afterwards. Apart from that, “druggie mags” put the giants on a pedestal as example of the ultimate bodybuilder, while “naturals” turn their backs on them and views the possibilities of getting results WITHOUT compromising your health. And it works!
Sure, you can look at Victor Richards and go: “Oooh!!”, which is a pretty natural reaction to seeing the human equivalent of a T-Rex, but feeling bad about how small YOUR arms look compared to his is not only pointless but downright stupid.
So, bottom line: Go ahead and read them mags, but don’t compare yourself to those who don’t even play the same ballgame as you do. You can only be yourself. Be all you can be.