So you want to build muscle.
Perhaps you’ve looked at the greats – Arnold Schwarzenegger, Franco Columbu, and Frank Zane, just to name a few.
You aspire to build a physique as ripped as theirs, but you’re not quite sure where to start.
The task is daunting…
… and as you already know, modern bodybuilding is often reliant on drugs such as testosterone, human growth hormone, and anabolic steroids (not your usual whey and creatine powders, as well as preworkout drinks), perpetuating the idea that more mass is always better.
The truth is you could still build the body you want by going natural—that is, by not taking any drugs in order to gain mass and cut body fat.
Let’s take a look at the benefits (as well as downsides) of natural bodybuilding.
Pros Of Natural Bodybuilding
You’ll Have Far Better Health
According to experts, natural bodybuilding protects your health—obviously because you’re not pumping your body full of different drugs and steroids.
Putting on mass and cutting your body fat naturally means you get real health benefits without endangering yourself such as lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and added protection against heart disease.
Not using steroids also means you won’t get the nasty side effects, like the dreaded acne, mood swings (no “roid rage” accusations for you), or endangering your kidney and liver.
Too many athletes have fallen to steroids and drugs, and while you’re not likely as at risk as they are, you don’t need that kind of danger in your life.
You’ll Save A TON Of Money
Of course, because you’re not spending that money on dangerous drugs, you’ve got more money to keep for yourself.
Granted, you’ll likely be spending that cash on proper (and legal) supplements and powders, your gym membership, and your healthy food, but you’ve got to admit…
That’s a far better investment than buying banned substances.
Your Muscles Will Stay For Far Longer, And You’ll Have Stronger Bones
Because you’re building mass naturally instead of relying on drugs to give your body that pump you’ve been looking for, the muscles you gain will stay on longer.
Those on steroids will see the muscle they’ve quickly gained start to disappear as fast as they got them when they finish their steroid cycle.
Your bone strength and density will also go up thanks to your strict training program.
You’ll Protect Yourself From Potential Injuries
Those who don’t go the natural route often try to shoot above their weight class because of all the gains they’re seeing.
Most of the time, however, that’s just plain dangerous—their bodies aren’t really used to the heavy weight, especially if they’re trying to lift too heavy too soon.
If you build your body—and with it, your strength—gradually and naturally, you’ll get it used to the proper learning curve.
Going for a weight that’s heavier than you’re used to puts you at risk for muscle and joint injuries that will only derail your progress.
You Can Be Proud Of Yourself – You Earned This!
Most important of all, if you build your body naturally, then it’s all yours.
You can be proud of the fact that you did it the hard way, the natural way.
It’s a small moral victory, but it’s not any small feat.
You should be proud of the fact that you didn’t have to resort to the shady quick fix in order to look your best.
For a lot of people, that’s a badge of honor.
Of course, there are cons to doing things the natural way.
It’s all a matter of perspective, though, and how much discipline you’re willing to put into your transformation and journey.
Let's Discuss Some Cons
It’s Going To Take Far Longer
There’s just no other way around it.
If you’re going for diet, strict training, sleep, and some legal supplementation, then those results are going to take a bit longer time – maybe just few weeks longer!
You’re going to have to deal with the temptation of getting the body you want faster, by using health destructive drugs.
If you’re a really patient person, then this is nothing to you.
It Requires A Lot More Discipline Than “Cheating”
And it’s not just about the time it takes to build your body naturally.
It means you have to do everything right to get an aesthetically-pleasing body.
Eating right, sleeping enough, no vices—everything.
If you can handle that much discipline in order to achieve your dream body, then great! Otherwise, you might want to work on your willpower.
You MAY Get Jealous Of Your ‘Roid-Taking Peers
Because doping are more commonplace than you think, natural bodybuilders may get disheartened when you see your cheating peers take the easy way out.
You may think that this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but a mental roadblock can derail all your efforts in natural bodybuilding.
Just remember that if you choose to do this the right way, you’re reaping all the benefits that come with putting on mass and getting lean naturally.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of.
People Will Think You ARE Taking Drugs
Unfortunately, this is also a real concern and also a part of mental concerns in your quest of natural bodybuilding.
This is because steroids are so commonplace; if you do get the results you’ve been aiming for, people would quickly assume that you’re on some sort of juice.
Again, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it may also dash your confidence.
If you do hear someone tell you this, don’t listen to them.
So there you have it—the definitive checklist of what you’ll get if you decide to build your body the natural way.
If you’re still on the fence about doing it the proper way, remember that if you’re planning to compete as a bodybuilder and get caught on something you’re not supposed to be on, you will pay the price.
That means either a fine, disqualification, and/or banning from competition.
That’s on top of all the health risks you’ll be taking on.