PJ Braun: “You can take all the steroids in the world and you’ll never look like Phil Heath.”
The debate about steroids in bodybuilding has gone on as long as the sport has existed. But while the use of steroids can’t be denied completely, the real question is just how important steroids really are for success in the sport? Can steroids alone help an athlete win the Mr. Olympia? Or is it not a key factor in becoming the best bodybuilder in the world? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, PJ Braun explains the importance of (or lack there of) steroids in winning the Mr. Olympia.
We recently announced the next sequel in our long running Generation Iron documentary series. Generation Iron: Natty 4 Life explores the world of natural bodybuilding and compares it to the enhanced pro bodybuilders that exist in other leagues. There’s no denying that the popularity of natural leagues vs untested leagues has a vast gap. The IFBB does not commit to drug testing – and it’s popularity is massive compared to any natural league.
The reasoning for this – or at least what most people believe – is that natural bodybuilders can’t create that “freak factor.” The mass monsters we see in untested leagues can only be obtained using steroids. If that is true – then are steroids mandatory in order to win the Mr. Olympia? Or more importantly – can steroids be the key factor that takes a bodybuilder from great to Mr. Olympia champion?
During our conversation with PJ Braun, we asked his thoughts on how important steroids are to bodybuilding as a whole and to winning the Mr. Olympia. PJ made it clear that he thinks steroids are what makes bodybuilding entertaining. He wishes that we lived in a different world where doctors can be assigned to athletes and legally allow them to use steroids. This, in PJ’s mind, would be safer and allow for the sport to continue growing it’s “freak factor” status.
But what about the Mr. Olympia specifically? How important of a role do steroids play in becoming an Olympia champion? PJ Braun reemphasizes that steroids are key throughout all competitive bodybuilding. But steroids are not the magic pill to turn someone into a champion.
PJ Braun argues that steroids simply puts an athlete on the same playing field of all the other pros. At that point, it’s about hard work and genetics in becoming the best. PJ uses Phil Heath as an example. As we quoted above – PJ believes that no amount of steroids can take a normal person and make them Phil Heath. Phil Heath is a genetic phenom. His hard work mixed with blessed genetics makes him a unique competitor that hardly anyone can mimic. That’s why Phil will go down in history as a legend.
Steroids didn’t make Phil Heath a legend. His hard work, genetics, and focus made him a legend. The same can be said for any Olympia champion that’s walked away with a Sandow trophy.
You can see PJ Braun’s full comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!