Top Natural Bodybuilder Philip Ricardo Jr. doesn’t mind being called a fake natty.

As we ramp up towards the release of Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life (available on July 31 and for pre-order right here), a growing controversy has sprung up in the online comments. Mostly, many fans of bodybuilding simply don’t believe that natural bodybuilders are actually natural. Despite the INBA/PNBA drug testing every athlete before a competition, fans still think that athletes are able to cheat the system. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Philip Ricardo Jr. explains why he finds being called fake natural a compliment.

Being a professional bodybuilder takes a lot of willpower and dedication over a lifetime. The same holds true for natural bodybuilders but perhaps even more so. Not only do they dedicate every day towards perfecting their physique, the do so by also carefully avoiding all banned performance enhancing supplements. These athletes don’t only dedicate their lives to bodybuilding, they dedicate their lives to a completely natural version of bodybuilding.

So one could imagine that it becomes frustrating when a natural bodybuilder is accused of lying. Imagine dedicating your entire life to being all natural – only to have a massive sub section of the bodybuilding community just assume you’re taking steroids. Does it make the entire journey a waste?

Philip Ricardo Jr. posing on stage (above).

We asked that very question to one of the top natural bodybuilders currently competing, Philip Ricardo Jr. He appears as one of the leads in Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life and has often faced criticism regularly due to his impressive physique. How does he handle being called a fake natty?

Philip Ricardo Jr. admits that it can be frustrating and that it certainly bothered him in his earlier years. Now that he has an entire career to look back on proudly, he claims that criticism about his all natural status doesn’t affect him much anymore. On the contrary, he finds the criticism to be a compliment.

“I honestly take it as a compliment,” Philip Ricardo Jr. states in our interview. “Because if they think that what I’ve done is so, I guess, outstanding or exceptional that I have to take something to get there, then that makes me feel good. That means I’m doing something right.”

It’s an interesting perspective to take but one that does have its merits. If an athlete truly is natural but fans can’t believe what they accomplished is possible without drugs… in a sense that is the ultimate compliment. It means that what these guys do naturally seems impossible. That’s a big accomplishment in and of itself.

Of course, if majority of the bodybuilding community doesn’t acknowledge them as really natural – does the accomplishment really carry any weight? This is the ultimate question that only each individual can decide for themselves.

You can watch Philip Ricardo Jr.’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.