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 secrets.com 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.
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.