First of all you need to clarify the goals of a bodybuilder, that is, someone who tries to induce massive muscle growth, and also tries to keep his body fat to a minimum. To achieve this goal, these athletes usually make a combination of weight training, proper diet, dietary supplements, aerobic exercises and, sometimes, certain drugs.

These drugs can be steroids, insulin, human growth hormone and other substances that play an important role in today’s bodybuilding, especially the competitive. The effects of these modern products are truly amazing. Anabolic steroids to boost testosterone are by far the most popular drugs among bodybuilders, whether for recreational, amateur, competitive or professional use.

The vast majority of bodybuilders champions in bodybuilding championships have used anabolic steroids, at least at some point in their life. And most likely during the last few months and weeks before the competition.

What is natural bodybuilding?

Natural bodybuilding was introduced in the mid-1990s. Fans of this option want to improve their physique by bodybuilding without using drugs. There are thousands of young men and women who want to take their bodies “to a higher level”, but not at the expense of using “drugs” or breaking the law. They simply want to work out, eat healthy, take natural supplements, and compete on a level where their bodies can take them without “hormonal manipulation.”

They were probably motivated by the desire for acceptance from the general public, as an alternative to weight training without doping. Or, at least, natural bodybuilding was meant to inspire people who did not want to become as big as a competitor Mr. Olympia, the world’s premier category championship, which secured several titles to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Thus, if the athlete chooses to “give up drugs” and wishes to compete, he must be aware of the rules of each championship.

The competitive bodybuilder should always check the List of Prohibited Substances for competition between competitors. If you meet the requirements of the sanctioning body, then you may consider yourself a “natural” bodybuilder.

On the other hand, many events do not test drug use. If you know beforehand that you are competing in an untested event and then see a very advanced suspect athlete, you have no right to complain. You chose to compete under these conditions. Thus, natural bodybuilders must understand their own genetic limitations and understand that their fitness and physical competition goals should be reasonable and achievable. Anyway, if your goal is to eventually be a winner of Mr. Olympia, unfortunately you need these substances.

Pros and cons of natural bodybuilding according to the practitioners themselves:

There are attractive advantages of being a natural bodybuilder:

  • You do not have to buy and use illegal drugs;
  • You will not run any health risks;
  • You are saving a lot of money;
  • You do not have to lie about using drugs;
  • You can really be proud of your results. They only exist thanks to their own efforts, not as a result of pills or injections.

Already its challenges in front of those who opt for the use of growth hormones, insulin and etc. will be:

  • It will take a lot of hard work and a lot of patience to achieve your goals;
  • Natural bodybuilding will never bring the same results as bodybuilders who use drugs;
  • Natural bodybuilders will also not be able to compete in professional contests because there will always be a doped bodybuilder who is bigger and more muscular;
  • You will always have to deal with the temptation of the quick results achieved by drug use;
  • You will never know how successful you have been as a doped bodybuilder.

The controversy

Many critics of natural bodybuilding attack the modality by claiming to be a farce. According to them, there are certain hormonal limits that can not be overcome in these competitions. But those limits are already higher than a normal person. Thus, athletes would be using illicit substances yes, but not in the amount normally used in free competitions. So, this concept of natural bodybuilding, drug-free, in practice does not exist in competitions. Some supporters say that even if this is true, it also happens in Olympic modalities. There is a limit to doping and athletes make use of substances to reach this limit.


Becoming a natural bodybuilder is feasible from the moment the athlete understands and respects their own genetic limitations as well as their long term health. It is still important that your physical goals are attainable. Your training, nutrition, supplementation and recovery program should reflect your goals.

He should be aware, however, that the selection of the valid drug is expensive and that changes caused by the use of them occasionally go unnoticed in the competitions. This is a sad fact about this sport because natural athletes need and deserve equal conditions. Still, once caught, a doping test is usually not enough to prohibit a competing athlete.

Although this issue is controversial in some quarters, it is important that natural athletes do not try to take moral superiority over the improved ones. The bodybuilding has not yet received full recognition from the public and the rivalry between natural or will not slow this achievement.