The Dark & Dangerous Side Of Bodybuilding Competitions For Women

There is a dark side to competing and contest prep that not enough people are talking about, or actually honest about, and I want to bring that to the light for you today, because I know there are so many of you out there who probably can relate to this conversation.

When you started to get into the sport of bodybuilding, in your mind, it probably was something that looked like it was fun and super exciting and just inspiring. And I know that that’s what got me into the sport as well.

The Allure of Bodybuilding: From Childhood Dreams to Reality

I loved bodybuilding ever since I was a kid. Picture this little Roxie back in the 1980s watching Saturday morning cartoons and up popped after they all went off these glorious bodies on stage, flexing, oiled up and just looking absolutely incredible. The men and the women.

And then at one point we got cable in the house and ESPN was all the rage, and then when the fitness division came on the scene, these women with these muscle-bound, beautiful bodies flipping and doing all these routines and this artistic strength work on stage, I was hooked.

And I also knew that that was going be my future. That was going be something that I was absolutely going to do.

The Journey to Success: Dreams Realized and Sacrifices Made

Lo and behold, years later, hey, you see the proof of the pudding back behind me? The trophies, images, the IFBB Pro card, and eventually stepping on stage at the Olympia. And I am so thankful for the experience.

I would never trade it for anything in the world, but there is a dark side to it all.

And one of the things that doesn’t get talked about enough is that there is a high prevalence for eating disorders in bodybuilding.

The High Price of Perfection: Eating Disorders and Mental Health

This sport tends to attract men and women who have a hyper vigilance about health, who are super A-type personalities. So we are the type of people who like to stay in control of things. We are the type of people who often can get obsessed about things.

And the thing about bodybuilding is that when you worship at the altar of the sport of bodybuilding, you place that as your guide above everything, you’re willing to sacrifice anything, and you’re willing to do anything to get to the top of it.

It steals your soul just like that.

And I’ve seen it time and again, and it’s really important for you to know and to understand when to draw your lines in the sand and never cross them, because crossing those lines can lead to your death. And that is a literal thing.

Look at how many bodybuilders have died over the years because of competing misuse of drugs, misuse of diuretics, the health implications that come with the sport.

 The Challenges of Maintaining Balance

For many of you. And you lose that sense of balance when the chase in the pursuit for glory becomes more important than everything else. You have made an idol, a God of this sport, and it wants to take your soul. Honey, this stuff is never ending because to fix your addiction is that stage. Those stage lights.

Read This Next  The TRUTH Why You Aren't Getting Fat Loss Results

And that’s dangerous.

The Seedy Underbelly of Bodybuilding

And then there’s the seedy side of the bodybuilding world, a topic rarely discussed: the highly pornographic aspect.

Few may be aware, but a Washington Post series, released around 2022 or 2023, shed light on the dark underbelly of bodybuilding. It revealed how prominent figures within the sport were deeply involved in exploitative practices.

Those of us familiar with the scene understand what was happening. Women and men were exploited, their bodies and souls traded for promises of glory and success on stage.

The Rise of Exploitative Practices

This exploitation continues today, fueled by platforms like OnlyFans. So you have more and more competitors and people in the fitness industry. Instead of relying on their talent and their knowledge as professionals or people who have just been enthusiasts of fitness for years, they find it easier, which it is, to sell their bodies for a price.

$5.99 a month, $9.99 a month. You get to see them in all of their glory.

They’re willing to sell those pieces of themselves for your eyes and money.

And it’s perfectly acceptable in our industry today.

And even if you don’t partake in the whole OnlyFans thing, the only way that people can grow a following on these social media channels is by overexposing their bodies, posting nearly softcore pornography and calling that fitness as a means to get ahead.

That’s where we are in this industry. That’s the side of the industry that nobody is talking about.

The Use of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

And then there’s also the other end of it: the “anything it takes” mentality. It’s astonishing how prevalent drug usage, particularly steroid usage, has become in the fitness world.

It’s not confined to bodybuilding alone; it permeates the broader fitness industry. Many influencers and self-proclaimed trainers rely on supplemental drugs to enhance their performance, physique, and conditioning, yet they remain silent about it.

Questioning Priorities and Ethical Coaching

I frequently hear from women who have been encouraged to use drugs by their coaches, even in their first foray into competition. Rather than focusing on pushing clients to their limits through training and nutrition, some coaches immediately steer them toward drug use in pursuit of victory.

I don’t condemn anyone’s choices, but I do have my reservations about steroid usage. Personally, I prefer working with women who choose to stay natural.

Understanding the Reality of Competitive Bodybuilding

However, let’s be honest: if you aim to reach the pinnacle of bodybuilding in certain federations, steroid usage may be unavoidable. It’s essential to recognize that being entirely natural might not be enough to secure top placements.

Ladies, it’s the truth: without using steroids, you may struggle to compete at the highest levels. Even if you possess exceptional genetics and testosterone levels, the reality is that drugs often play a significant role in achieving success in competitive bodybuilding.

Navigating Bodybuilding Safely

So here’s the question then: What do you do as someone who wants to get into this sport? How can you do it in the healthiest way possible?

My advice to you is this: Draw your lines in the sand and never cross them.

Read This Next  NPC Figure Posing Video: Megan Patrick at 2 Weeks Out

That’s it.

This is the line I will not go past this point. If I have to sacrifice my dignity, my body, and my health just to get on the stage, I’m not doing it. I’d rather take care of myself and find other ways to satisfy my competitive spirit without sacrificing my well-being.

Setting Clear Goals and Realistic Expectations

Another important aspect is to have clear goals. If you want to turn pro, that’s fantastic. I will never discourage you from doing that. I did it myself. But be realistic with yourself. Understand what it’s going to mean, what it’s going to take, and what you’re willing to do to achieve that.

If you want to be even smarter about it, consider looking into other federations with thriving pro divisions. Back in the day, there was only one dominant federation, but times have changed.

You have the opportunity to write your own story and connect directly with people. Your story is what inspires them, not necessarily the federation you compete in.

Choosing the Right Coaching

It’s crucial to ensure that your coach has your best interests at heart. Find someone who is invested in you and your well-being. Avoid coaches who treat clients as numbers, prescribing generic diets and overtraining routines. If a coach suggests illegal drugs before exploring other options, run out the door.

Some individuals in the industry perpetuate harmful practices, but it’s time for a change. We need more voices speaking honestly about these issues. It’s time to wake up and demand better for ourselves and our fellow athletes.

This Journey Should Be Empowering – Always Remember That

I don’t want this video to discourage you from making the decision to compete. I want it to be an honest and open conversation about the things that you actually need to think about in the midst of all this contest prep stuff and deciding which Federation’s going to be right for you, which division is going to be right for you, which show is going to be right for you, and how are you going to go about doing this in a way that’s not going to destroy your mind, your spirit, your health?

At the end of the day, this should be fun. It should be inspiring. It’s going to be hard. Yeah, it doesn’t matter. I’m not saying this is not the hard journey. This isn’t me hard. But it should challenge you to be a better version of yourself and to more importantly, respect yourself. Have a dignity about yourself that no one can take from you.

And if you want to go ahead and continue to do this the smart way, let me tell you a little bit more about this word bodybuilding, what the judges look for in the different divisions.

And you can go ahead and check out that post right over here. I’ll see you over there.