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Block by Block: Natural Bodybuilding

Mar 27, 2008
In the light of recent steroid scandals, professional sports are under the spotlight. No one likes a cheater, and since many professional athletes are role models for the youth, professional organizations have come under scrutiny for not keeping their players clean, and for defiling the name of athletics in general. However, while Major League Baseball may be testifying before Congress, and while the FBI hopes to investigate the National Football League soon, no sport has a worse reputation for the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs than bodybuilding. The constant pressure to be the biggest and the best, to push the body to its limits and beyond, has left many professional bodybuilders with no choice but to cheat; if everyone else in the competition is pumped with steroids, the only way to win is to pump harder.

Natural bodybuilding is a sport, a competition, but also a movement toward a cleaner, healthier lifestyle. Athletes and organizations involved in natural bodybuilding hope to approach the sport the way it should be approached: legally. Sadly, many of these athletes would be unable to compete with more mainstream bodybuilders, as the use of steroids and human growth hormone does significantly increase the synthesis of protein and the growth of muscle.

Defining Natural

For the most part, natural bodybuilding refers to bodybuilding without the use of illegal drugs, such as anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, prohormones, diuretics or non-prescription insulin. More broadly, however, it refers to the sport of bodybuilding performed the way it has always been intended, with nutrition, training and rest. In natural bodybuilding contests, competitors are always tested for illegal substances; if athletes test positive, they are banned from all future competitions. Testing is performed using urine samples or polygraph tests.

The definition of illegal substances is rather fluid. In the realm of natural bodybuilding, however, an illegal substance is one prohibited by any regulatory body, even if that body is international. In other words, a substance legal in the country of the competition will still be illegal in the competition if it is banned in any other countries.

The North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation, the Natural Physique Association, the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation, the International Natural Bodybuilding Association and the Organization of Competitive Bodybuilders are natural bodybuilding organizations that focus on competition plus a healthy lifestyle, not just simply winning. While the International Federation of Bodybuilders, the largest bodybuilding association in the world, is not a natural event, natural bodybuilding organizations still offer incentives to their athletes. Competitors can earn rankings as natural bodybuilders, along with prize money, sponsorships and endorsements.
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for more information please visit my website at Body Building - Renee O'Neil Bodybuilding
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