This debate could quite possibly make your head spin – as it has thousands upon thousands of other dedicated gym goers ever since the inception of gymnasiums around the world!
What’s the cast iron truth of the situation? How far can the human body really go without turning to anabolic steroids for further assistance? Can natural supplements mimic or even come close to these compounds? Do they even work? What kind of size, shape body fat percentage or strength level can you attain using purely your own mind and a barbell?
To give a concrete answer is absolutely impossible. I say this because, just when you believe you may have seen what you deem to be the absolute maximum in terms of genetic natural potential in an individual at your local gym or anywhere else in the world, I guarantee it wont be long before you meet someone else who entirely shatters this image and sets a new bench mark. There is of course a debate over whether these people may have been natural FOREVER, but to give credit where credits due, it’s absolutely fair to say that some of them truly have – and you’d find it incredibly hard to believe too.
Genetics is a word that often crops up when trying to decipher just how certain physiques are formed – for instance, natural mesomorphs (those who find it relatively easy to gain muscle mass) who play sports from a young age are immediately pre-determined to have muscular physiques that others would have to train for years to attain. Take one of these individuals, add in bodybuilding when they reach the age of 16 or above, and you’ll more than likely see a physique that would absolutely make you scream falsity… except it’d be entirely natural.
Equally, if you were to take an endomorph (someone who naturally stores excess body fat more readily than others), put them through the same upbringing, then get them onto bodybuilding at around the same age – then believe it or not, the outcome would probably be entirely different. It seems almost scientifically impossible that you could put two people through exactly the same training regimen and in many cases even eating process too, and produce two entirely different body types, but the truth is that, well… It’s true! This is precisely the reason that even those who train with the assistance of illicit substances are so vastly different to one another in size and symmetry. It’s all about the genetics.
Stranger still when it comes to individual appearance are the precise locations on an individual that develop fastest when compared to others – I’m sure you’ve seen “that” guy in the gym with the enormous deltoids, or the “dude with the legs” breaking out squats in a dark corner, and you’d be entirely accurate when stating that, yes, those particular areas really ARE enormous. This is also a result of genetic coding…each of the three body types (mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph) seem to have pre determined areas that develop at a faster rate than others. Depending on who you are, this is either an enormous gift or a terrible curse.
For instance, mesomorphs tend to develop absolutely fantastic legs, chests and backs – in many ways you could say that they were gifted in every area. The catch? You’ll often find their abdominal sections are fairly wide and undetailed, as are their arms…in fact, without appropriate conditioning; they simply lack the finely sculpted appearance that others are able to attain more readily. Ectomorphs, whilst never naturally adept at gaining serious mass, often have very finely sculpted deltoids and mid sections naturally – this means that when they DO gain, you can often see the fruits of their labour VERY clearly. They resemble the classic fitness model look.
Endomorphs are a strange entity, because their body’s natural fat storage potential is almost off set by the fact that they are able to develop muscle in a rather well -balanced manner underneath. You may see an endomorph in training and think they look relatively underdeveloped proportionate to their efforts, but once they start to cut you’ll see very good all round development with the only set back being that they cling onto fat in stubborn areas such as the arms and stomach to the bitter end.
Of course, none of this really matters unless you take good nutrition and supplementation into the equation too – it’ll always be hotly debated as to whether or not natural supplements really work as well as they are marketed to, but one definite truth is that those following a strict nutrition and supplementation program are 100% more likely to achieve their goals compared to those who don’t. In many ways, taking supplements reduces guess-work and guarantees you are hitting your minimum nutrient requirements on a daily basis.
Sure, you could do it all through whole food, but if you have a busy schedule or you’re not too clued up when it comes to what to eat and when, then the risk of failure is always going to be far higher as your mental energy will be stretched to its limits. Supplements are simply a convenient and proven way to hit you’re calorific and vitamin-based requirements and for that reason they’ll always be worthwhile.
If you’re training naturally, supplementing naturally, showing the necessary level of determination and more importantly training in the correct manner, then you’ll absolutely be in the best position possible to achieve your NATURAL potential. You might be thinking that you want to hold up to an Olympian, and you can’t be blamed for your desire either – but you need to accept that the CHANCES of you developing that level of muscularity and symmetry, not to mention detail are slim to none. Nature is against you, and even forgetting the assistance professional bodybuilders have from anabolic compounds, they almost always come from a mesomorph / sports back-ground and had amazing growth potential to begin with. They were quite simply ALWAYS going to get big if they wanted to. But what does that mean for YOU?
To be honest, not necessarily a lot.
Here’s the truth of it – if you’re willing to take a little longer, be a little more patient, use a little more tact – not to mention train properly, then you’ll find that with a little genetic luck, you’ll achieve a physique you didn’t think you could. Then, after a couple more years, you’ll do it again.
If you’re willing to dedicate every training session to your continuous evolution and adhere to a strict nutrition and supplementation program, all the while never letting your impatience get the better of your curiosity for substances, your hard work will slowly pay off. When I say pay off, I mean you really can achieve a physique that millions of others would have to turn to anabolic steroids to achieve – unnatural is absolutely achievable naturally, whether or not you could reach the lofty heights of an Olympian hasn’t been proven YET through any official body building federations as of today, but there are some incredible examples of natural specimens who are currently shying away from the limelight as we speak, with no interest in competing, but proudly owning a body that, frankly, you wouldn’t believe was natural at all.
It’s largely in the mind!