IFBB Natural Pro Division?
IFBB Natural Pro Division?
We all dream of the day when the IFBB will have a Natural Pro Division, that would give natural competitors at the NPC level, a place to go. By natural, we don't just mean "tested" (e.g. NPC Team Universe), we mean natural - free of AAS; however, the next hurdle involves, what exactly do we consider "natural."
I, for one, believe that a natural bodybuilder, taking pro-hormones, should have no issue competing as such. Prohormones, while very potent, are no where near as powerful as the pharmaceutical agents flooding most NPC shows (beyond Level 3) and throughout the IFBB. Additionally, assuming that any pro-hormone could mimick AAS, a person would have to be popping pills non-stop day and night to get up to the dosages that some bodybuilders shoot up -- not only is it unlikely, it's not practical. If you take prohormones, you're still 100% natural in my book.
I think there are many genetic freaks walking around the gym that would love to compete, but don't want to get annihilated in terms of size and definition [in "open" or "untested" shows]. It used to be, that a natural could upstage a juicer if he came in FREAKY DRY, but even those days are becoming much fewer and far between. I see NO EVIL with AAS - I think they have a far more legitimate claim to be decriminalized and made available to the public (under medical supervision) than Marijuana (any day of the week). However, I'm also keen to the fact that it's just NOT FAIR to have a line up with guys taking roids to grow, then diuretics to get ripped, while the poor bastard that trains off of a bump of creatine and who's living off asparaus to get every last drop of water out of his body is dying because he feels bloated and tiny.
I think companies like IronMagLabs offer the poor bastard (above) some options, which is great news for naturals, but it's still not enough. Another issue, probably the most important (for the promoters), is one that IronMagLabs Nat'l Spokesperson, Aaron Singerman, discussed in his recent interview for StrengthAddicts ( Aaron Singerman of RxMuscle.com - Speaks to - StrengthAddicts.com ).
We should figure out a solution -- one day. The naturals I know, do not want to compete in a crazy federation that has a Wall of Shame (an online, musical list of people that "fail" their ridiculous test). They also don't want to compete in organizations that ban Prohormones, Ephedrine, and even DHEA. DHEA, seriously?! What's next, creatine? Dextrose too?! There's natural and then there's stupid.
Everyone wants to compete on an NPC stage - it's the biggest, baddest show on Earth. Take a champion like Shiloe Steinmetz (NPC Natural Mr. Ohio), he's not only won his state's top title, but he's also won the Heavyweight at Team Universe. Where would Shiloe go if he actually won the TeamU overall and went pro? Has Jeff Willett won any IFBB titles since going pro? And why did Skip LaCour qualify several times at TeamU but never applied for Pro status? In fact, one of the only TeamU winners winning Pro shows, is Kai Greene. I'm sorry, but I have a hunch Kai is no longer NATURAL, lol.
The NPC has a natural circuit, which I believe are essentially feeder shows for Team Universe; however, the Pro ranks offer nothing for those natural champions. These guys (and ladies) are NPC veterans, they don't want to skip out and do battle on a WNBF, MuscleMania, or IFPA stage! We have bodybuilding and physique, why not have a natural division?
Sadly, we need to come back to reality as well. Aaron's point in StrengthAddicts' interview is on point. Will Natural Bodybuilding pay for itself? If not, the last thing the promoters want, is another division that requires subsidies in order to survive.
I believe that in time Natural Bodybuilding will provide sufficient interest to warrant gutsy promoters to take a healthy risk on it. The real deal is getting that MARKETING that only the NPC/IFBB have been able to develop - as being the top dog for so many decades.
The natty federatons (and there's several of them) have taken care of some of the guess work for us. They have proven that natural bodybuilding on its own, can fuel shows, keep a national magazine afloat, and garner interest from the supplement companies for advertising. Now it's a question of whether the Big Fish in the pond wants a bite?
Finally, I believe that Ben Weider's vision for bodybuilding as an Olympic sport, continues to be echoed by many of the sport's most respected champions, journalists, and fans. If and when the NPC/IFBB decides to make this a priority again, it will be a guy like Skip LaCour representing the United States, not Ronnie Coleman. Cheers!
Last edited by StrengthAddicts; 02-08-2012 at 07:44 AM.
Great article, however wouldn't creating a natural division be admitting that their other athletes were enhanced?
No way they will ever make that admission.
IronMagLabs 15% Off Coupon Code = Curt15
I think that question is no longer adressed? The diueretic piece IMO is the main thing of question, which seems to be no longer a issue due to the way athletes are shredded..Im not sure, but wasn't Jay the last pro to fail the diueretic test..After that debackle, I haven't heard? And even with jay failing, he did get a lawyer and got his trophy back and $$
Originally Posted by Curt James
Good point! I can see that perception though
Curt makes a great point; however, I think they'd be able to get away with it (as is done with TeamU), without having to address the issue.
I think most people that go to shows and read the magazines know what's going on between the lines. I don't think it would come to any great shock that you can't develop 24" biceps with 2-3% bodyfat on stage - naturally.
Certain federations are great at ignoring the steroid issue, and the top champions are masters at deflecting the point. I think having a Natural Division wouldn't really compromise anyone.
But it would have to be a no nonsense Natural division, one that allowed ph's and ephedrine. Like I said in my article/post/w/e/lol, some of these natty groups go off the deep end. Ph's work, but they're not AAS.
And some natty federations say 7yrs natural. WHAT?! I don't any tomato SAUCE that lasts longer then 90 days, some I've heard could have effects for up to a year - maybe, but 7yrs? That's another instance of stupidity.
I think a lot of these guys, from Shiloe Steinmetz to Skip LaCour to Jeff Willett to Michael Lockett, they're all the best. For them to go get their pro card is a death sentence. They have nothing, no where to go in the IFBB. And for them to go to a natty federation's stage (from the NPC), that's a HUGE step down (no offense to the natty's but they're no NPC/IFBB).
Here's what Natural Mr. Ohio and Team U champion Shiloe Steinmetz wrote on my wall in response to my article. I'll let his words close me out.
"I think that would be a dream come true! I had been hoping for that and pushing it for years. They just tell me that's what the Team U is for. Kinda disappoiting for sure. Some day it will be a reality. If I did get my pro card that's the end of the line anyway. The sport needs it for sure! God bless."
Last edited by StrengthAddicts; 02-09-2012 at 10:30 AM.
- Rep Points
Good article! I've been competing in Natural Bodybuilding for a little over 4 years now. I do see how it can be frustrating for competitors that want to step on the 'Big Stage', cause its not a level playing field at that point. However, I've been able to keep that frustration out of my competitive outlook, because there are Natural Shows out there, and that gives me the opportunity to push my physique to it's absolute max, NATURALLY. That's the challenge and drive that keeps me going, and hungry for more, 'How far can I go Naturally'. ...Now, I've stepped on stage at an NPC Show that was untested, and you can definitely see the difference. Going into that show I knew what was gonna be up there. I simply did that show because wife was doing Bikini, and I was prepping for my Natural Show. So, with that, I only competed in Novice, and was easily happy with that, cause I knew not to expect much. On a good note, I did place 3rd in the Novice Heavyweight Division, so I was ecstatic, but my motivation was to gear up for my Natural Show a few weeks later.
All in all, my goal is to obtain my IFPA Pro Card next year, and from then on hope to qualify for the Yorton Cup one day. When I see what's up on stage at the Yorton Cup, that's what drives me! ....The type of guys I get motivation from are guys like Doug Miller & Philip Ricardo Jr. These guys could go into any show they want and do well, tested or not.
good for you i like to see this.I competed about 15 years in drug tested contest.
Originally Posted by Gandy33
I disagree 110% with your mention of prohormones. If you take anabolic hormones then you are not natural, Igf, gh, AAS whatever. Also the vast majority of "prohormones" on the market are not prohormones at all, they are anabolic steroids. If you take steroids you aren't natural. I don't know how anyone could argue that point. Even if one were to use a true prohormone, I'm sure there are some already or that could easily be developed that would be very very powerful. One could easily grow to be larger and leaner than naturally possible for you with their use.
I think there should be a natural division of IFBB, just to give the top NPC guys somewhere to go. But "tested" is as good as it gets. There's no way to say for sure that someone hasn't used in the past, and lie detectors are not 110% certain. I would say the majority of "natural" competitors at the top levels have used some AAS in the past, and very few true "naturals" are in the top ranks, if any. I'm not sure the pic posted in the original post was meant to be an example by the way, but I would bet a pretty substantial amount of money that that guy is not natural by any stretch of the word.
a guy who i sold juice to competed in a natural show
prohormones and diuretics have no place in natural bodybuilding. You're basically forcing people to use them to be competitive. And as for jeff willet, skip la cour, all them. Ever see them in person? They have the same gigantic craniums that all the pros do. Loads of hgh and insulin in there. I don't think real naturals should have to compete with them. We need to stop putting unrealistic expectations into peoples heads. Fake naturals/people doing ph's to compete natural undermine everyone's efforts in this sport. I mean who would want to take loads of drugs for the extra 20 or so lbs of muscle mass separating guys like skip from an IFBB pro? How are these guys competing so much bigger and drier than naturals I know? Are they that much more dedicated? Do they eat 25 perfectly portioned and timed meals per day? Have they all been lifting for 90 years? Yea I don't think so. They should be much stricter in natural bbing. It's unfortunate that there's no way to test for GH or IGF abuse and that so many can get away with juicing and competing natural.
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