Bodybuilding has always been the poster sport for steroid use and it will probably always be, it’s true that athletes from a wide variety of sports use them but they don’t really receive the attention that bodybuilders does. People need to understand that steroids are not totally bad, mostly all of them were invented to help treat some sort of disease, Clenbuterol was originally developed to treat asthma, Insulin to treat diabetics, Human Growth Hormone was designed to help undeveloped children and so on, eventually all of these substances made their way into the wrong hands and were used for the wrong reasons, including bodybuilding.
Denying that steroids aren’t involved in professional sports such as football, basketball, baseball, Olympic lifting and even wrestling would be simply ignorant, steroids sadly whether we like it or not are a part of modern culture, regular gym rats and even actors use steroids to better their physiques in short amounts of time while putting both their health and life in danger.
Do bodybuilders use steroids?
One of the most popular questions professional bodybuilder’s get asked during expos or training camps is if they use steroids, most of them will deny it and probably get angry at the fact that the question is getting asked over and over, and it makes total sense. Imagine getting the same question asked over and over throughout the day, it can get irritating, that said, answering or not answering that question in particular can be a double edged sword, if a Bodybuilder tells the teenage fan that he does in fact do steroids chances are the young lifter will want to do them and risk his health, on the other hand if the bodybuilder says he doesn’t use steroids the young fan won’t believe him and get angry for the dishonesty.
The thing is, steroids are a huge part of both amateur and professional bodybuilding but they are not everything, Pro Bodybuilders do use steroids on a regular basis to get the physique they have, it’s not naturally possible to be 5’9 and 270lbs at 3% body fat. Most Pro Bodybuilders have done steroids at one point in their life but then again so do regular gym rats that can’t even reach 200lbs body weight, Pro Bodybuilders can be considered as the genetic elite but we will go into just up ahead. Another reason bodybuilders don’t disclose the stuff they use is because it affects general image, it’s almost like unmasking a super hero, a lot of bodybuilders promote supplements that do in fact work but the moment they admit to steroid use the brand loses popularity and so do they, that’s why a lot of bodybuilders chose to admit their steroid use once they are retired, not that many have done so but you guys get the point.
Do steroids really matter?
Steroids have become an important factor in the sport ever since the mass monsters started being scored over aesthetics, over the years new forms of steroids and hormones have been making their way into competitive bodybuilding. It would be reasonable to say that current bodybuilders use more steroids in comparison to the ones from the 60’s, 70’s and even 80’s but we need to consider the fact that maybe quantity isn’t everything, steroids were just being tested back in the day, science has progressed and current steroids and hormones are arguably more powerful and refined than the ones from decades ago, that said, unless you’re a Pro Bodybuilder it’s not an easy subject to weigh on.
But going back to the main point, anyone can agree that steroids do matter but they are not everything, just think about the amount of competitors in local, regional and national shows that will never step on the Arnold Classic or Olympia stage. Bodybuilding is a lot more than just doing drugs and blowing up, there are guys that go to the gym and do steroids that don’t even look like they lifted a day in their life, they literally look awful but what do they expect if they don’t put the work in? This leads us to the most important question on them all.
How does one become a Mr. Olympia?
A Mr. Olympia is considered the best bodybuilder in the entire planet, the title is currently held by four time winner Phil Heath, and only thirteen people have had the honor of winning the Sandow. Statistically speaking becoming a Mr. Olympia is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in the world, only elite athletes can reach that level of greatness, but what does it really take to get to that level?
Training: No one can even dream of becoming a Mr. Olympia if they don’t train their heart out, a lot of younger guys train like they don’t even want to be in the gym and then expect to blow up with steroids, it doesn’t work like that. Heavy and consistent training is needed in order to grow, nobody can expect to gain muscle in they just sit around waiting and dreaming to get big.
Nutrition: Training is one part of the equation but nutrition is equally as important, training your butt off is one thing but eating the part is a lot different, a lot of guys aren’t willing to eat enough while others don’t want to diet to get into incredible shape.
Genetics: This right here is the main factor of what separates a Mr. Olympia from a regular gym rat, there are guys out there that don’t compete that are huge and ripped but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have what it takes to go to the Olympia stage. Phil Heath has incredibly round muscle bellies, size, definition and so on, the Olympia is the best of the best.
We could add the fact that steroids are in fact needed to compete at this level but it’s already a given, someone could use steroids but without the work ethic and genetics he won’t go anywhere. Steroids will always be a part of Bodybuilding because either we like it or not it’s a cult sport and people want to see giants posing it out on stage, it’s no different than people watching professional football or wrestling.