I've covered how bodybuilders prepare for various aspects of competition in past issues of Applied Metabolics. These include articles about natural bodybuilding competition; physique competition; and women's fitness and bikini events. While the information contained in these past articles is useful for all those who contemplate future competition or are already competing, the information is also applicable to anyone who regularly engages in weight training. And the simple truth is that most of those who do work out regularly are not necessarily interested in competition. Indeed, several recent studies show that the greatest use of various anabolic drugs is not among competitive athletes or bodybuilders as you would suspect, but rather among those who just exercise to improve their appearance. Because of the plethora of nonsensical information disseminated over the Internet about training, nutrition, and drugs, many people wrongly believe that using anabolic drugs is an absolute requirement to acquire any degree of impressive muscularity. Many YouTube videos offer ill-informed guidance about how to use the drugs, none of which is based on any actual science. But because some of these individuals have developed some muscle mass, they are anointed "experts" by those who view such videos. Suffice to say here that the notion that a significant degree of muscle mass cannot be developed without drugs is just plain wrong. I know this because I did it myself.
I competed as a bodybuilder from my teenage years into my middle twenties and won a number of bodybuilding contests on both the East and West coasts. During this tenure in bodybuilding competition, I never once resorted to using any type of anabolic drug, none. What I did do was study everything available about bodybuilding and how to succeed in it. I also intensely studied nutrition and learned all that I could about the nutritional requirements to build muscle mass. I then applied all that to my training. The training itself was always intense and highly progressive. I never cut corners, but instead was always on the lookout for new ways to add muscle mass. As such, I tried countless methods of training ranging from high volume to low volume high intensity-style training. All of them worked to a certain degree. Along the way, I began to realize that some techniques worked better than others to build muscle. This was not only true for me, but for all those who used these techniques. Of course, much of the ultimate results you get in bodybuilding depend on your genetic status. I did not have particularly good genes for bodybuilding. The only muscle group in my body that responded rapidly to exercise was my thighs. The rest I had to work hard to build. Despite not having favorably genetics for bodybuilding, I still enjoyed a moderate degree of success in the sport. I retired from competition when I had to make the decision to either continue in competition by . . .