Natural physique athletes, go out there and show em’ what you got!


Friday, February 10th, 2006. Yesterday’s blog, “You MUST be on steroids,” stimulated some healthy comments and discussion, both on the blog publicly and in private emails to me. I replied to one post, and I thought it too important to leave buried at the bottom of the comments page so I have posted it in a separate blog here.

A bodybuilding reader wrote,

Ah… strength of mind – the most important benefit we’ll ever achieve through these killer workouts that you’ve got us all hooked on Tom.
It’s not easy to be strong and say that other people’s opinions don’t matter. Since taking up bodybuilding/competing just one short year ago, I have had two highly respected trainers advise me to take banned substances in the quest for both burning fat and building muscle. My decision to stay clean was not an easy one. You can just imagine what was going through my mind when someone who has been in the business for years tell me that I’ll never be a serious contender on stage unless I do the “stuff” that the other competitors are doing.

I just thank god that I had the strength to hold firm.

These blogs have been a critical resource for that strength. As it turned out – when I got to competition, yes, some of the winning athletes did use but many didn’t. More importantly I now have the confidence and the knowlege that I can achieve my goals without using.

If someone were to ask me if I were on steroids, it would be an open invitation for me to begin my usual excited rant about how building a beautiful breathtaking physique is possible without drugs. All it takes is hard work and dedication. Thanks so much for being my winning role model Tom.

Tom’s Response:

It’s sad state of affairs when certain “highly respected trainers” prescribe drugs in the same breath and with the same nonchalance as they prescribe a workout or a diet program.

In fact, it’s no secret among the well-informed veterans of sport, who have been exposed to harsh reality, that many trainers and coaches are not only drug “supporters” and “drug advisors”, they are actually the “drug dealers” and “drug pushers” themselves.

There are certain athletic venues, IFBB pro bodybuilding being only one of them, where a natural athlete not only has the odds stacked against him or her, but the odds of even being competitive (or even becoming a pro in the first place), are infinitesmal.

That is not a reason to quit or give in to drugs. Train natural anyway. Compete natural anyway. Why? Because in bodybuilding, figure and fitness, there ARE 100% drug free champions who have gone to the highest levels in national competition where they have placed well or won. That is inspiring to other naturals.

There are also plenty of venues today for natural competition – even natural PRO organizations such as the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF).

Perhaps there are many solutions to making drug use the exception in physique sports, and not the rule, but I believe that maybe the best way is simply to train natural, compete natural, go out there, kick some ass and SHOW the world exactly what can be done drug free.

Attacking or criticizing drug users accomplishes nothing and brings us to the same level as the people who accuse natural bodybuilders of taking drugs. A war on drugs simply cannot be won and should not be waged.

Don’t worry about what others are doing or saying. Live and let live. Tend to your own garden. Worry about yourself. Build your own body. Then, don’t hide it under a bushel. SHOW everyone! Don’t just tell them, SHOW THEM THAT IT CAN BE DONE! Visible and vocal role models can inspire, influence, change minds and change lives.

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Comments on Natural physique athletes, go out there and show em’ what you got! Leave a Comment

February 10, 2006

Steven @ 7:49 pm #

It really does take some real dedication to decide to stay natural especially in an organization such as the IFBB. But obviously it can be done. I have heard that a few natural champs have gotten their pro cards and are competing among the “mass monsters”. Derik Farnsworth, Kai Greene, Skip Lacour (mayne retired?), Jeff Willet, Greg Rando are just a few naturals I can think of that have IFBB pro cards and they look tremendous! Their physiques and symmetry are what true bodybuilding is about, not just trying to stick 270+ lbs on a 5’9″ frame. Its only a matter of time before this mass monster thing gets old and organizations get back on the good aestetics bandwagon.

Bud Gibson @ 9:20 pm #

I agree and find it profoundly dismaying when people you respect suggest even things like pro-hormones. I really wonder how they do it in good conscience, particularly when they suggest male hormone treatments to women where the effects are irreversible.
Although I realize bodybuilding is a physique sport, it’s supposed to be about building your body, not destroying it.

February 11, 2006

Moe @ 9:19 am #

If bodybuilding is an art form, using steroids would make it more of a paint by numbers approach to art, would it not?

February 12, 2006

Allan @ 1:56 am #

It is a very subjective topic, and we can’t denied the fact that it does exist. Then how about those who perform surgery to looks lean and fit ?

March 19, 2006

Tatyana Zadorozny @ 3:31 pm #

I am a comptetive natural BBer, and I get asked quite frequently, ‘so you didn’t take anything, your arms are great, you sure you didn’t take anything?’. I take it as a compliment!
I also get asked loads of questions about different pharmaceutical drugs, like clenbuterol! I have had to learn a few bits, like it may decrease your bone density, contribute to high blood pressure and reduce endurance! NO THANKS.
My coach, Lee Williams, is a fanatastic example of a natural BBer who DOES compete in the IFBB. The condition that he obtains is PHENOMENAL!!!!!!!
I just find the mass dominating over the aesthetics, symmetry and condition a bit disheartening!
I am not oppossed to people using steroids, it is just that most who use them are doing so just for a poor self-image of themselves, and they do not take the time to find out how to take them as safely as possible. Or take them too young. So many of the guys on the muscle forums I am on end up with erectile dysfunction, no libido and abnormal lipid and liver functions tests.
My advice, there is NO MAGIC BULLET, train hard, eat well.

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