Is Natural Bodybuilding Really Natural?
The term "natty" refers to natural bodybuilders i.e. bodybuilders that have never used steroids, but may also refer to a bodybuilder that has used steroids in the past but currently have no trace of any type of anabolic steroid detectable in urine and/or blood. The ability to test the many different profiles of different anaerobic drugs is constantly changing, along with the steroids.
Bodybuilders have created very innovative ways of beating this drug tests done at Mr. or Ms. Natural contests. These range from intelligently timing their drug cycles all the way down to old fashioned bribery. "Natural bodybuilding" also has an impressive range of "drugs" they can select from that are either not looked for or fall within acceptable parameters for the tests done at Natural Bodybuilding shows.
These can include all mega-dosing of all water soluble supplements as well thyroid medication including certain growth hormones. Unfortunately the definition of natural bodybuilding is still very vague. Certain purists insist that if you use Creatine you are not building muscle naturally.
All the bodybuilding federations still accept and approve any natural supplements, including pro-hormones which contain certain substances in them that the FDA has since defined as illegal. Things obviously get worse because a bodybuilder will show clean of anabolic drugs after being off a cycle for only 6 weeks. The point is that if you stop an aggressive steroid cycle for 2 months you don't lose all the gains you made if you continue training clean.
The question above which titles this article is based on the assumption that because it's possible to cheat, even when getting tested for a wide range of drug profiles like at a big international Mr. Natural competition, a bodybuilder can still test drug free and yet have the benefits of taking steroids.
Bodybuilders these days compete for a lot of money, including the fame and all the advertising benefits attached. The truth is that the original "gold standard" on which Mr. Natural and Ms. Natural competitions was originally based is now fading into the distance.
A good example is a bodybuilder like Dennis Wolf who won a drug tested competition that gave him his pro card. Just 4 months later he placed 4th at the Mr. Olympia. It is not provable but for the people who know the professional bodybuilding game they'll tell you that Dennis knows how to cycle his steroids correctly.
For the smaller "natural" bodybuilding competitions often just a simple cheap urinalysis is done. A urine test cannot pick up on HGH and a few other illegal anabolic steroids, so you can see the problem. There are countless tricks that bodybuilders use to avoid a true urine test. They range from the women who carry clean urine in their bikini tops and the men fill a condom with clean urine and put it under their balls in their posing trunks.