by Anders JP Eskilsson
After a period of time, many of us who have been training for a while with the purpose of gaining a few pounds of muscles will consider the fact of maybe bringing our training to the next level—the next level which takes us beyond our natural limitations of building muscles, the phase where we are considering doing our first cycle.
As commonly known cycles can, for example, include anabolic steroids and are in no any way isolated to solely the sport of bodybuilding, of course. No, it’s a question for a lot of athletes from various kinds of sporting activities around the world, who are aiming to get the edge and hang with the best of the best in their particular sport.
Moreover, as many of us already are aware, this is what the elite sport world looks like. Like it or not, but it’s a fact, and these supplement enhancers are involved everywhere from MMA, track & field, golf, swimming, bodybuilding, etc. In addition, they include a wide range of drugs, everything from beta blockers and central stimulants to EPO and anabolic steroids.
What’s important to realize from the start, is that genetic factors play a huge role when it comes to the ability to perform on high levels in many sports or not. Genetics are elementary, and most of the time they are the one primary reason why an athlete is the best in his or her sport of choice, both mentally and physically.
Additionally, when it comes to having the ability to be a top athlete, the combination of genetics and supplements are huge factors when it comes to high level performance. In the modern sport society one of the two factors isn’t enough to be the best; no, it’s the combination which will decide in the end if you belong in the highest level in a particular activity.
This leads us the question of the article: should cycles be limited to the athletes with the best genetic gifts?
Let’s say you wake up one day and realize that you don’t belong to the genetic pool where the best in your activity or sport reside; should you continue doing cycles, taking the health risks it may involve, even if you can’t reach the top?
As an example, if you are a sprinter for instance and are using supplement enhancers and are trying to break records to qualify for nationals, but at one point in time you realize that your cycles won’t take you to this level in anyway – you simply don’t have the capacity to become a really good amateur or a pro. It might be hard to recognize, of course, because it involves one person, and that is your person skill set. However, should you carry on doing your cycles anyway?
I mean, what’s the purpose of that? Why take unnecessary health risks just to run 400 milliseconds faster at a local show? This is a problematic issue; however an athlete who is facing the truth should continue to run, of course, but maybe on a different level, a natural one, where he or she competes because it offers great conditioning and the opportunity to enjoy their sport.
This whole principle goes with bodybuilders as well in some sense. I mean, if you figure out after a couple of years that you don’t have the genetic gifts to stand out as a winner in a line and become a good amateur or are being able to win a pro card, should you then continue with cycles, year in and year out, decade for decade?
However, I can understand the concept of maximizing your potential and chasing that dream and a life fulfillment of becoming a great amateur or a pro, if you have the genetic factors needed to be the best. Because then you have what it takes to be on the highest levels on elite sports. Additionally, you have the ability to win titles, and you can put your name in the history books. Nonetheless, if you come to the conclusion that you’re not someone who has the abilities to go all the way, isn’t it better to find a passion that you’re really meant to become great at instead of struggling in the wrong patterns?
When it comes to people with more average genetics, it is also important to emphasize that there isn’t, of course, anything wrong with being a natural athlete either. Take a look at the bodybuilders in the 40’s and 50’s. They looked great, and they didn’t use gear even close to the extent we are seeing today. In addition, they didn’t even have half of the knowledge we have about nutrition that we have today, but they still look really good. You can achieve incredible results in the gym from straight willpower, persistence and a well reasoned diet for your specific purpose in bodybuilding.
In closing, I actually believe there is a line to draw regarding the consideration of doing cycles. Then, of course, it is up the person, but I wanted to shed some light upon this issue because many athletes are faced with making the decision of doing their first cycle or continuing to the next one.
Remember, that you can love bodybuilding and be part of it just as much if you decide to be natural. Bodybuilding is more than cycles. Most of us who have been involved in bodybuilding in one way or another agree that it is possible to achieve a great physique naturally.
Is it really worth it?