False advertising is something people in other industries get called up on and punished for very regularly. In fitness and wellness however, unscrupulous claims are thrown about left right and centre by fitness competitors clearly on steroids and or cutting agents about a certain supplement from their sponsor being paramount to their gains, or even a poorly constructed guide that simply will not work for a natural trainer. Today, we are going to cut through the cr*p, and help you avoid wasting your hard-earned money!

 

A first, and primary point, is that we would suggest you pick your ‘prep coach’ very meticulously if you do wish to compete. Do your research and you may find that some coaches have a blotted past, or simply produce transformations that are unfathomable by most people on illegal cutting agents- let alone a natural competitor! Ask for their qualifications and experience, don’t simply believe them because they can get a client’s skin ‘paper thin’ with ease. Also ensure there is support on the weeks following your competition- especially if you have dabbled in questionable supplements.

Small claims courts and police very rarely pursue these small-time crooks so they can carry on about their work with little to no consequences. However, for you the financial and possibly the health effects may be more severe. The cold hard facts are that steroids are a class C drug, and thus they’re easy to get hold of for anyone, and very poorly regulated. These compounds change your body shape and affect your hormones- they are not to be messed with, especially in the amounts some prep coaches have been known to administer.

 

Supplements are an absolute minefield, and we at LDNMuscle have wasted a lot of money cumulatively on useless supplements pushed by shredded, ginormous fitness models. I remember buying a rubbish testosterone booster from LA Muscle because their model popped a couple during his leg session and his squat suddenly got super-strong! Looking back I’m embarrassed and annoyed, but have learnt from naïve errors like this. We only stick to instant oats, whey, dextrose, creatine monohydrate, BCAAs and caffeine, supplementing this with vitamin D3 also. Concentrate on a good diet first and foremost, and remember supplements will only contribute (at best) the last couple of percent to your progress (if used correctly).

There are arguably other effective supplements, but don’t believe that 230lb 5,11” shredded, vascular monster got there with solely their unbelievable physique from super ZMA-BCAA-Hyperdrive-X100-All-in-One-MegaMassPowder from their sponsor, or that they’re ‘a lifetime drug free athlete’ either!

 

Your favourite YouTube star may do 90 minutes purely on chest, but do that steroid-free and you will be wasting your time, period. Protein synthesis lasts only 24-48 hours for natural trainers, so training one body part every 7 days means you’re wasting up to 5 days of gains! You may also have such bad muscle soreness (DOMS) and have caused so much damage to the muscle that it will affect your other workouts- bringing down the overall intensity. The solution here is less volume per muscle group per session, and an increased frequency (amount of times you train a muscle per week). Traditional bodybuilding style splits will work for enhanced trainers as protein synthesis lasts for an extended period of time, and they have an increased capacity to recover from the obscene amounts of muscle damage they are causing. For average ‘Steroid-Free’ Joe, completing the same training plan will be increasing his risk of injury, slowing progress and ultimately wasting his time!

Before we get attacked for calling steroid users lazy indirectly, we don’t believe or state that as a blanket belief. However, you can’t argue with the evidence- with some scientific studies are now suggesting even a non-trainer running a course of testosterone will make significantly more muscle mass and strength gains than a natural person who hits the gym regularly over 10 weeks! So before you tweet in anger, give this a read.

 

So, your favourite sponsored athlete, apart from having a bias towards their employer’s products, may not be as nutritionally astute as you believe. Steroids and cutting agents eliminate the need for optimal training, and likewise the need for an optimal diet also, for making impressive progress towards your gym-related goals. Think critically, how do these people who have been training for years get bigger and leaner in the 6 weeks before a show? They’re often a mature adult and experienced trainer who should find gaining muscle very hard and extremely slow, and in a caloric deficit- how do they defy science with such consummate ease?

So again here, the blanket diet plan you bought with no mention of calories and macros specific to your weight would seem a bit odd from a big name who must know so much about nutrition? As would a training guide that works on chest days and biceps days with outrageous volume and odd exercise selection.

 

Are we ‘haters bro’ and just jealous, or speaking the truth about an industry propped up with enhanced athletes setting unrealistic examples for vulnerable fans; young, impressionable girls and boys, or simply someone trying to improve their health and fitness? We think that the unattainable targets are not inspiring, but rather depressing and reduce motivation, given the average natural trainer is as dedicated as possible to training and nutrition within the limits of their job, social and family life. Eventually after getting nowhere near their target physique (usually an idol of their’s) after years of hard graft, even following their guide that made them look how they do, many will simply lose interest in the gym and believe their training and nutrition wasn’t religious enough- when in reality this isn’t the case.

Maybe these people just don’t have the dedication, or don’t post enough lion memes- but we feel fitness would be a lot more honest, inspiring and helpful if companies started using natural athletes to promote their products. This would also help prevent increasing issues associated with body image such as bigorexia and self-loathing in our view.

Please tweet us your feedback!