Will natural bodybuilding always remain less popular than enhanced bodybuilding?
While natural bodybuilding has a very passionate fanbase, it’s impossible to ignore just how much less popular those leagues are compared to the IFBB and NPC. When an average person thinks of bodybuilding – they are likely imagining pro bodybuilders from the Olympia or other major IFBB competitions. Whether they know it or not – enhanced mass monster bodybuilders are the “standard” for the sport.
But why is that the case? What makes natural bodybuilding such a smaller sport than untested bodybuilding? In our latest exclusive clip from Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life – we ask both pro and natural bodybuilders why drug testing seems to make the sport so much less popular. We also hear from bodybuilding legends and experts such as Kai Greene, King Kamali, and trainer Don Saladino. Can natural bodybuilding overcome the stigma of drug testing and “non-mass monster” physiques?
As more and more pros chime in, it becomes clear that they believe fans want to see life-changing physiques. They don’t want to see something that looks realistic or attainable. They want cartoon level superhero physiques. Many pro bodybuilders don’t believe that’s possible without the use of performance enhancing drugs. Some even question whether or not the natural leagues are even natural to begin with. Are the tests enough to truly make the sport fair?
At the end of the clip, pro natural bodybuilder Brandon Lirio makes it clear that natural bodybuilding has a lot more to offer than people think.
“I don’t know what started this whole idea that natural bodybuilding is supposed to be unconditioned and boring and smaller guys and nobody comes in conditioned,” Brandon states in the film. “I really hope that this portion of this decade and this time frame in our lives shows people that it’s about the excitement of the sport. It’s not about your lane and our lane is natural bodybuilding.”