Modern day bodybuilding is almost mainstream now, with it becoming increasingly popular; which is reflected by the Mr Olympia prize fund constantly increasing.
However, there are also more critics in bodybuilding than ever before, especially when it comes to the aesthetics of IFBB Pros.
I love bodybuilding, but I’m not a fan of the current era, which in my opinion is inferior, compared to the 60’s or 70’s when the greatest were natural-looking Adonis’ – instead of bloated monstrosities.
1) Poor Mr Olympia Contestants
I don’t even watch Mr Olympia anymore. That’s not because it’s predictable or because of the IFBB being corrupt, but because these men (who are supposedly the best bodybuilders in the world), don’t even have bodies I’d like to have myself.
Whereas, if you hop in your delorean and go back several decades, you’ve got Arnold, Franco, Zane or even Reg Park – who people still idolize today. These physiques will still be remembered a century from now, whereas the bodybuilding ‘champions’ of today look unattractive to many.Serge Nubret said he wouldn't have been a bodybuilder if he was born in this era (1).
This isn’t a criticism targeted towards bodybuilders today; they’ve got to do what they need to win and make a living. However, I would much prefer it if aesthetics were rewarded from the judges today, so that bodybuilders like Chul Soon could go down in history; instead of pregnant-looking men.
Below is the type of physique I believe should be winning Mr Olympia (but would be marked down today for a lack of size). Chul Soon is certainly in the same class as Arnold.
In fairness to Shawn Rhoden, he’s more aesthetic than some of the other recent champions. Thus him winning in 2018 could be a good sign for bodybuilding, however I don’t believe he won because of his aesthetics. Instead, it’s likely he won because his conditioning was better on the day, compared to Phil’s, who was uncharacteristically looking off.
In my opinion, if bodybuilding really cracked down on steroid-use in competitions – it would be a lot more popular and entertaining.
Those turned off by steroids would entertain watching the sport, where physiques are attainable naturally and there’s no negative connotations (steroids, lack of drug testing etc). Plus, you’d still get HUGE guys competing because bodybuilding is so popular these days, the genetic potential of the modern-day bodybuilder is constantly evolving.
Genetic freaks like Donte Franklin and Shane Raymond would be battling it out to win the Sandow trophy, instead of guys with an extra 50lbs of muscle…but an extra 6 inches on their waist.
2) EVERYONE is on Steroids
Okay, not every single person is injecting AAS into their butt, but you get the point.
Competing aside, more average Joe’s are taking steroids than ever before. Boys are trying to impress girls with big muscles, due to a vain era and social media pressure.
Thus it’s difficult to stand out as a natural now, and if you are BIG and haven’t taken steroids – people are quick to call you out and label you among those who’ve taken shortcuts.
Due to how rife steroids have become, if bodybuilding was ever going to become a legitimate and accepted sport by the masses, that time seems to have already passed.Stat: Over half of competitive bodybuilders are taking steroids (2). And 1 in 31 men are juicing (3).
Vanity of vanities! All is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
Dorian Yates once stated in an interview that he didn’t understand this generation of bodybuilders selfie-taking and regularly uploading pictures on social media. He said he only felt the urge to reveal his ‘masterpiece ‘ during competition, and until then he would remain covered up.
This was the norm back in the 80’s, however bodybuilders (and gym rats) now are snapping their muscles at every opportunity, in a bid to gain respect from their pals and to attract the girls.
Taking steroids all became the rage for the average skinny teen, when people started worshiping Zyzz (or Aziz Shavershian). He was an anorexic-looking kid, who added a tonne of muscle, got ripped; and then started publishing videos of him acting like an ‘alpha male’ in public. This involved pulling girls, dancing at raves and working out with his friends. In a short space of time, many people could relate to how he looked previously (skinny), and started idolizing the young Australian man. Zyzz’s time on earth was cut short when he passed away from a heart attack, in a Thai sauna on August 5th 2011.
He was a well-known steroid-user, who posted clips of girls injecting needles into his butt. However, despite his passing away, his legacy lives on through young people who hope to emulate the fame he received online – and replicate his alpha lifestyle.
This is why you now see dozens of ectomorph’s in your gym wearing stringer vests, strutting around like they own the gym.
Then a few weeks later you find out they’re bigger than you now, because they’re injecting 200mg of tren a day. (we don’t recommend this).
4) Supplements causing more harm than good
Here’s the truth that no supplement company wants you to know.
You think it’s just a coincidence that your anxiety has been through the roof since you started taking your new fat burner, but it’s actually the stimulants revving up your central nervous system.
You think it’s odd that since you started taking creatine, your blood pressure’s through the roof. However, all lifters should know that any substance causing the body to retain a lot of water will strain the heart. Good luck finding scientific material to support this blood pressure and creatine link (supplement companies can’t afford for this to come out, which’ll inevitably cause a dent in their sales).
The truth is, natural supplements have minimal impact on your body composition. Most of them are not harmful, however a few of them can put you at risk (if your health is less than stellar).
Especially, if you’re buying supplements from brands who have previously spiked their products. Bodybuilding.com were caught spiking their supps, whilst Craze was also guilty of putting an illegal amphetamine in their popular pre workout formula.
Unfortunately, when you buy supplements you’re trusting that it only contains what’s on the label; and some people abuse this position of trust.
I understand that many people want to make a living from fitness and bodybuilding (heck I’m one of them). I also respect that if you’re on steroids, it’s not in your best interest to admit this to the fitness world.
However, I don’t appreciate it when people who ARE blatantly on steroids, deny their using. I’m talking about guys who have every visual steroid side effect under the sun, and have gained 70lbs of muscle in a couple of years. Not just someone who’s jacked.
If you’re a bodybuilder on steroids, don’t lie and say you’re natty. Just don’t talk about it.
When you’re trying to sell people unattainable dreams and lie to keep your pockets filled – it tarnishes the industry.
I don’t even care if you sell placebos for supplements – $50 a piece. That’s tolerable, but if you’re going around saying these pills will transform your physique in a few weeks – this is massively deceptive.
However, in fairness, some supplement companies are honest about the benefits and don’t over-exaggerate claims (example: myprotein). Also some bodybuilders are honest enough to come out and admit they’re taking steroids (example: Calum Von Moger). However, these are rare instances; and the reality is there’s a lot of Pinocchio’s trying to make a quick buck from bodybuilding.