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Natural Athlete's Reality Check!

Looking at the pictures of the genetically gifted, drug-induced bodies is most definitely awe-inspiring. It is easy to fall into the trap that maybe with hard work, proper nutrition, rest and the right supplementation program, you too can look that good.

Having been involved in the gym business, either directly or indirectly, for 14 years, I have had the opportunity to hear thousands of different trainees' aspirations and goals. These trainees believe that by reading Flex, Muscle and Fitness, Ironman, Muscle Mag, or any other of the fantasy muscle magazines this will lead them to the mecca of bodybuilding knowledge. Looking at the pictures of the genetically gifted, drug induced bodies is most definitely awe-inspiring.

Reality Shows

It is easy to fall into the trap that maybe with training, proper nutrition, rest and the right supplementation program, you too can look that good. Hey, I have been there. At one point I really thought I could be like Dorian Yates or Ed Coan, but reality put me in my place by showing me I could only be myself.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that one should not have role models and personal goals. The pictures and information that are represented in the main stream muscle magazines are normally about genetically gifted, drug using athletes. If you are not genetically gifted and/or using growth inducing drugs, you will never attain a physique like one of the ones in the magazines. I don't wish anyone to become discouraged or quit training, just re-adjust your goals.

Think back to the bell-shaped curve used to distribute grades in school. Ninety-five percent of the population fall into the normal category, some are better, some worse. While 2.5% fall into the category I call genetically gifted, another 2.5% fall into the genetically handicapped category.

When Dinosaurs Roomed The Earth

Set realistic goals. Take a step back to the pre-steroid era and look at the physiques of guys like Steve Reeves, John Grimek, Reg Park, etc. These men built their physiques naturally with proper training, rest, and sound nutrition.

The goals I suggest to your are only a milestone to shoot for. I will not even address how you should look, because there are such variations among trainees. One of the best all-around training books ever written is Brawn, by Stuart McRobert. Stuart states that a trainee that attains a 300lb bench, 400lb squat, and a 500lb deadlift has done well to push to the upper limit of normal genetics. I believe these are very good goals for anyone to shoot for.

    Remember: This is a long-term goal.

Goals should be set long-term, mid-term, and short-term. Think of Ed Coan, a man that can squat 900 + lbs, bench 500 = lbs, and deadlift 900 + lbs. His is the pinnacle of the genetically gifted. Don't think yourself a failure if you never achieve that upper status. Your goals are your goals. Learn to compete with yourself and not the individuals in the magazines.

Extra Extra!

Look at the magazines. Those athletes consistently blow away the goals that I just put down. Why? They are genetically gifted and they use drugs. The amount of drugs these athletes use would frighten most people. Being in the business, I personally know many pro bodybuilders, national level amateurs and national level powerlifters. Many of these athletes are spending in excess of $30,000 a year for their drugs.