First things first. I wish you all a Happy New 2016 and hope that you will reach immense heights of success, a year filled with love and happiness!
Back to the actual topic! Over the past couple of months there has been a wild trend going around called ‘Natty or not’ where various people from the internet are trying to “expose” famous fitness models of their anabolic drug use. One of the most famous ones is the website called Nattyornot.com and the YouTube vlogger Vegan gains with his online series called ‘The worst of the fitness industries’ featuring famous fitness models such as Simeon Panda, Mike O’Hearn, and others. There are also numerous other websites and Forums trying to display the truth to the world about who is natural and who is not.
I totally understand the incentive behind this trend – stop the lies to young beginners who believe that you can get as large as those fitness models claim you can easily just by buying their bullshit fitness programs, which by the way are worth anywhere from 50-120 US dollars. However, I believe that this trend has gotten… out of hand. Instead of aiming to provide the Internet with the truth and allowing less confusion and saturation of information to occur in the digital environment it has turned into a sheer hatred bath full with people who are dissing on bodybuilders, as if they are trying to destroy their career. What is furthermore, most of these natty or not claims use very vague techniques of determining whether or not somebody is an anabolic user or not.
What Is Wrong With Natty Or Not ?
The main method used to characterize a fitness model as a fake or a ‘natty’ is the Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI). It takes into account the amount of muscle mass a person is carrying and relate that to their height. It is also believed that a FFMI of 25 is the upper threshold beyond which everybody is classified as a ‘steroid user’ and 19 is considered as the average of a healthy male. Pretty straightforward, right ? Take the height, bodyweight and body fat percentage of the person you are trying to analyze, which is all available on their BodySpace profile, and if the numbers show anything above 25 then we shame him on the internet through videos and various other articles how the are liars and do not deserve the amount of success they currently have and have worked hard for.
Who is natural and who is not?
To find out what exactly is wrong with using the FFMI, we are going to go way back in the past and take a look at what exactly did bodybuilders used to look long before the anabolic steroid was created.
The first injectable testosterone was first created in 1935 and it becomes available to the general public, so to say, around 1945. In other words it’s safe to say that every bodybuilder before the year 1940 is steroid free. Here are some of the most famous ones:
Very impressive physiques, aren’t they? These men were trying to represent the idea of what a body of a greek god would look like. Even more impressive is the fact that the highest FFMI that was discovered amongst there one hundred percent steroid free bodybuilders was 27.3.
What does this prove ? This proves that the FFMI is not only an indication tool that can be used to clarify who uses anabolic steroids and who doesn’t but it also helps spot the genetic elite of physical perfection, we are talking about the 1 in a 100,000.
Let’s dig a little deeper.
How Has The Human Body Changed In 100 Years?
Keep in mind that those are men who have presented their bodies of art around one hundred years ago. Throughout that time the human body has changed, evolved due to the constant changes that are happening around us.
In a study of British recruits the average height of British men, who had an average age of 20, was about 5 feet 6 inches (168 centimeters). Now they stand at an average of 5 feet 10 inches (178 centimeters). In other countries such as the Netherlands the average height is 6 foot 1 inch (185 centimeters).
Furthermore, there is proof that children do mature at an earlier age now. Before the average year when girls had their first menstrual period was at the age of 17. Now, according to Bogin, that age is 12.9.
Alongside with our body evolutionary transformation occurring over the last one hundred years, we have also experience a number of other changes that would impact our fitness lives greatly.
We have also drastically increased our nutrition spectrum, meaning that we consume food at a higher variety. Different sources of macro nutrients such as protein, carbs and fats, as well as micro nutrients such as vitamins and minerals have given us an opportunity to grow larger and increase muscle sizes and bone density.
We have a wider range of information available. The internet is a pool of lies and deceptions, whoever there are websites and blogs which are dedicated to provide the truth to the masses. If you go to my blog, for example, you can find all of the fitness information your heart desires, various health and fitness articles literally ready for you to read. We are far more sophisticated and knowledgeable when compared to our bodybuilding ancestors. We have much stronger understandings in the field of fitness and health. None of these bodybuilders counted their protein consumption or kept track of their overall calorie consumption or even ate 5-7 times a day because they were unaware of the benefits those things had on muscle hypotrophy.
We have different machineries and weights available at all of our local gyms allowing us to properly train our bodies. Bobby Pandour, in fact, would have trained his legs by carrying his brother through a flight of stairs every single day, something that you would never do because you know that it would not lead to potential muscle growth.
We have various supplements that help us out by lowering our catabolic (muscle destructive) state and maximizing our anabolic (muscle building) state. BCAA, Whey protein, Creatine are the three main muscle building supplements that will really change your body overall.
With such advances in technology it is almost daft to compare a 1900’s bodybuilder with today’s fitness models let alone with today’s bodybuilders.
My point is, even back then when there were no anabolic steroids available in the market bodybuilders were still capable of developing impressive bodies with the littlest they had available. The genetic elite would always exist and they would always be the ones that we watch with amazement and awe. What back then was considered as a genetic perfection (27.3) would without doubt have evolved to something better by now. We are constantly growing stronger and bigger thanks to these constant changes occurring around us. Pointing fingers and saying that somebody is not natural just because you think they are not natural is misleading and quite frankly makes everything even worse. To a certain extent the fact that somebody is taking steroids and you want to achieve a body like his without consuming any will act as a stronger incentive and make young people to train even harder. I still look at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body and say to myself that I am going to reach him, one day, even though I know the harsh truth.
I am not saying that there are no people out in the fitness industry that are hiding the truth, but there are also the exceptions out there that are truly the modern form of genetic perfection.
Quit with this Natty or not bullshit and just focus on training!
FFMI: What it is and how it works
How The Human Body Has Changed For 100 Years: Tallness and Maturity
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You have given some vague statements yourself. First, among the ‘pre steroid era’ guys
is Ernest Cadine whom you prsented with a picture of John Farbotnik who is a 1950’s bodybuilder bearing in mind that his picture among the others is the only one similar to the standards of today’s fitness models and bodybuilders. Second, you just threw in a vague max FFMI of 27.3 for the 100 percent steroid free bodybuilders without giving a single reference to where you obtained that number from. Third, your claim that nutrition is much better nowadays is probably true but the factors affecting muscle growth are more than just proper nutrition, for example testoterone levels have dropped significantly in the last century which should have a significant impact on muscle growth. We might have better understanding of nutrition nowadays but we don’t have any solid information on nutrition for bodybuilders exclusively, everyone makes random stuff like for example you must eat y grams of protein for every x KGs/lbs of your weight or sometimes you must eat x meals a day which is all just bullshit. Fifth, although few simple supplements might come in handy sometimes. The human body didn’t evolve to rely on magical powder for superiority after all. As for the mumbo jumbo bullshit about supplements like BCAA which is supposed to prevent ‘the loss of muscle’ whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, I dare you to find a single study backing the BCAA supplements themselves and not the branched chain amino acids for what they are
and DO NOT give me a link to one of the articles posted on supplement websites those are just a pathetic joke.
Finally, all things aside, the one point we can agree on is focusing on training.
Mike, I genuinely thank you for your comment! Firstly, I have obviously made a grave mistake not ensurring that the individual claimed to be Ernest Cadine, was indeed him rather than John Farbotnik – I will make sure to change that detail later on (thank you for which). Secondly, yes I should have mentioned how I have calculated their the shown FFMI – I gathered some vague information about the athlete’s bodyweight, height and body fat (which Is the most vague number considering how I wrote it down based on visual calculations). Thirdly, I didn’t mention even in the slightest that nutrition is the only element that affects muscle growth and development but simply implied that we nowadays have a much wider selection of both macro and micro nutrition sources which was been linked to assisting with muscle growth and body fat reduction/maintenance. Testosterone levels have truly dropped in millennials and it is considered that one of the main reason for that is the increasing physical inactivity – these statistics are brought up of the total population of a specific country and there can be numerous factors that do in fact affect their testosterone levels, however, this does not mean that a modern-day-individual who does take care if his/her health is the same as the rest who do not do so. The while idea that a person needs to rat ‘y’ grams of protein per ‘x’ bodyweight is just a rough calculation that allows people to have a very vague idea how much should they eat per day – nobody, or at least, I have never advocated any stand-point claiming that everyone should follow it or that it is a quintessential element to a diet plan. Also, most of the information that I consider that such fitness juggernauts possess is that gathered from professional dietologists or, in some cases, gathered manually through extensive research, furthermore, most of us know key factors such as macro and micro nutrient purposes and elements to our diets, something that athletes in “those days”. And lastly, BCAA’s amino acid conjunction works wonders as it prevents muscle loss and boosts muscle preservation – decreases
catabolism and improves anabolism. Whey protein assists with getting out of a catabolic environment and placing yourself in an anabolic one (similarly to BCAA but a bit slower) and filling up the muscle fibbers with tons of valuable micro and macro nutrients for right after your workout. Creatine helps improve training performance – power and endurance. L-Carnitine assists in metabolising lipids and forwarding their use towards a source of energy (improving fat loss). Pre-workout supplements help with energy balance, power and strength and the list goes ok and on. What we have available today and we often take for granted is something that our ancestor athletes had none of.
However, Mike, I genuinely, again thank you for your comment and dedication for writing everything! Will definitely take notes of what you’ve said and apply the necessary alterations to the article ASAP.
I am not against the substances themselves but I am against the idea of creating a supplement for every damn protein known to mankind. Let’s take BCAA again for example it surely does inhibit muscle loss but most of what you eat has a fair share of BCAAs also, all whey protein supplements contain another fair share of BCAAs. Who says that a supplement is needed for them anyway. As I have said before humanity didn’t evolve to rely on magical powders.
You might not view the supplements as magical powders like the majority does but there are people who overdose on them because the recommended dose didn’t get them anywhere near their idol.
Another point I would like to clarify is that research is the main source of information not the dietologists whom are only getting their information from research in the first place and certainly not the gurus/juggernauts. Moreover, there is either a properly conducted, documented and reviewed research to back up a scientific claim or there is not.
You’re a fagget. All the way man.
Your article is filled with lies, dogma, contradiction, and retardness.
Getting bigger muscles is simple. And anyone can do it with hard work. In fact that’s all that’s required. Not supplements. Supplements and 5-7 meals per day have been proven not to work. Their only purpose is to scam people out of their hard earned money.
There’s really only 2 things that work in the real world. Hard work and steroids. Hard work makes you big. Hard work plus steroids makes you even bigger. Not supplements.
Glen, first thank you for your comment snd for letting me know what you think of the subject. However, I guess it would be fair if I did the same thing and actually explained to you the idea behind this article seeing how you did not fully grasp its core. This article is my own personal perspective of the modern day fitness stars and the evolutionary change of the human body and the fitness industry has provided every individual associated with said industry with a perfect environment for growth and development. I am not explicitly saying that any of the individuals mentioned in the article are steroid users and I am not defending their position either.
Furthermore, I have never, literally, never once mentioned in the article that supplements are the only way to grow and develop your body.
But thank you for your opinion, though.
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