The "Natural" Bodybuilding Controversy

Information and my thoughts on the “Natural” Bodybuilding Controversy. This will be the first, only and last video I ever make on this topic. The purpose is to provide information about natural bodybuilding to give people the ability to have educated opinions and to thus encourage a more educated discussion. This video is intended to make the debate more positive and intellectual.

1) The Team Universe drug testing policies have changed over time. Originally, all competitors were polygraphed to be 1 year drug free (consider that this means those who compete annually end up being tested for multiple years drug free) and top 2 were urine tested. However currently polygraph tests are not used. Also, you have the choice of either accepting the IFBB pro card OR competing in the IFBB amateur world championships which is also urine tested. If you fail a drug test you cannot compete at Worlds.

2) The drug testing policies of MuscleMania is not 100% accurate. MuscleMania competitors can be polygraphed after competing in some cases. From their website: “at the discretion of each regional event promoter, the Top 5 Finalists in each Division or Weight Class may be subject to a drug test by urinalysis and/or polygraph methods immediately following their performance at the Finals.”

3) FFMI of 25 is NOT a hardline limit to natural development. Rather just the highest reported among 72 sample athletes in a study. To contrast, the average NOT max of 20 pre steroid era Mr America winners was 25.4. It is not at all inconceivable that very gifted natural lifters could surpass a 25 FFMI.

*If you watch this video out of respect for me and its purpose please do not use it to attack anyone or to do something negative.
*Also, this video is NOT an attack on anyone.
*If I misrepresented a quote, a study, or a fact about you, an organization you are involved with or it’s policies please contact me and I will edit the video.
*This video is the opinion of Eric Helms.
*This video ONLY addresses my view on drug use in “natural” bodybuilding, not other sports or nontested bodybuilding.

Resources discussed:

The WeighTrainer – Your Maximum Muscular Bodyweight and Measurements by Casey Butt, PhD

Lyle McDonald’s review of Fat-Free Mass Index in Users and NonUsers of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids

Fat-Free Mass Index in Users and NonUsers of Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids – Research Review

original article

Natural bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery: a 12-month case study.

OCB/NANBF/IFPA Drug Testing Guidelines

The Natural Athletes Alliance

Meta-analysis of mock crime studies of the control question polygraph technique.

Official Website:


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