I've covered bodybuilding contest preparation extensively in past issues of Applied Metabolics. These prior articles have discussed in detail methods of contest prep used by a wide range of bodybuilders and fitness athletes, ranging from so-called natural bodybuilders who eschew the use of any type of pharmaceutical anabolic drug, such as anabolic steroids and growth hormone, to professional bodybuilders, where there is no limit on anabolic drug usage. I've also focused on various categories of bodybuilding competition, including the relatively newer types of competition such as Men's physique, Classic bodybuilding, and a few of the female competitions. The value of this information is that, unlike commercial bodybuilding magazines and countless websites, this information is obtained from no-nonsense science journals. I can say this with some authority because I wrote for bodybuilding magazines for nearly 40 years. While I wouldn't say that everything written in those publications was false or simply made up, much of it was. The reason for that relates to commercial considerations. Prior to the advent of the Internet, bodybuilding magazines were a primary source of training and nutrition information. But the goal of such publications--with one or two exceptions--was to make money, not educate. As such, many of the articles contained in the magazines were thinly disguised advertisements to sell products ranging from exercise equipment to food supplements.
Unfortunately, this also extended to the training routines and nutrition practices of bodybuilders profiled in the magazines. During my magazine writing tenure, I made it a point to write only the truth about any athlete's true training and nutrition programs. I hated to be lied to (still do) and thus would not do that to a reader expecting to read the truth. In most cases, my articles were not tampered with by editors at the magazines. The real problem was often the bodybuilders themselves. I had the advantage of being a former competitive bodybuilder myself, so could easily ascertain when I was being told nonsense during an interview. I conducted thousands of such interviews with elite bodybuilders all over the world. Some were more truthful than others. Perhaps the most egregious liars I came across were those who claimed to be drug-free when they clearly were not. While it's true that outliers exist in every field of endeavor who possess inherent qualities that set them apart from their peers, these were rare in bodybuilding. Drugs provided a type of appearance that just wasn't attainable through purely natural means.
Some bodybuilders who claimed to be natural were castigated as being liars by other bodybuilders who didn't possess the superior genetics of these gifted athletes. I recall one such man, Jean-Paul Guillaume. He was originally from Haiti, but moved to San Diego, California in 1989. I met him not long after he had achieved professional bodybuilding status by winning his class at the 1987 IFBB Mr.Universe . . .