Bodybuilding is a confusing sport sometimes, there are so many different subsets of the sport that it can be hard to keep track of it all.
And that’s not to mention that everybody seemingly has a different definition of each term.
So, let’s settle the score once and for all. What is natural bodybuilding?
Natural bodybuilding is the act of bodybuilding without using performance enhancers, or PEDs. Natural bodybuilding does let you use supplements like creatine and multivitamins– but draws the line at artificial and illegal things you likely need to inject into yourself.
The best way to say this is- most people are natural bodybuilders. You’d have to basically break the law and jump over quite a few hoops to become an unnatural bodybuilder.
And by the way, creatine and things like that are all a part of natural bodybuilding- contrary to popular belief.
Let’s cover this a little bit more in-depth.
What Is Considered Natural Bodybuilding By The Rules and Regulations?
So, instead of just going off of what some bodybuilder at the gym said- let’s look at the official rules and regulations and see what is considered natural bodybuilding by competition standards.
Basically, we’re assuming that you want to be a natural bodybuilder and you want to make sure you don’t get banned from a competition.
Here are the official rules, according to the Naturally Fit Federation: https://www.naturalfitfederation.com/drug-testing/
- You cannot use Testosterone/Epitestosterone supplementation/injections.
- Cannot use any FDA banned substances or drugs.
- No prescription diureitcs/weight-loss prescriptions.
- No psychomotor stimulants.
- Muscle implants.
- Medication used to deceive polygraph test.
- Clenbeuterol, GHB, DNP (the stuff Zyzz died from)
- Growth Hormones
- Hormone Antagonists and Modulators
- Any aromatase inhibitors or anti-estrogenic substances.
- Over The Counter Supplements**
- Technically. You won’t really get disqualified for something like this unless you’re using a very excessive amount. This is more of a rule that sets up a safety net incase they discover a certain supplement that is being abused secretly. (for example: a new OTC vitamin makes you look super shredded but only a few competitors know about it, this allows them to DQ them)
So that is a TON of information- what does this all mean?
Basically, anything illegal or anything that the general public doesn’t have access to is not allowed in natural bodybuilding.
So, again, you’d really have to go out of your way to get disqualified from a natural bodybuilding competition. It’s not something you do by accident.
If you’re a bodybuilder that’s just been taking a supplement like creatine, that’s completely fine. As I said, it’s honestly really hard to become an unnatural bodybuilder, you’d have to be doing some shady deals on the side.
You Also Have to Follow ‘WADA” Guidelines
So, just when you thought it was over, you ALSO have to follow all WADA guidelines in addition to all Naturally Fit Federation Guidelines.
WADA stands for, World Anti-Doping Agency, and as the name suggests, its goal is to stop doping in sports. Doping is a word that’s not used these days, but it basically means using drugs.
The World Anti-Doping Agency researches and studies different supplements, prescriptions, medications, drugs, et cetera and determines which ones are not allowed for use in the sport.
Now, the list would literally be way too long to even fit on this website. So, I highly recommend you check out their official list here: https://www.wada-ama.org/en/content/what-is-prohibited
But, the gist of it is all going to be the same. You really won’t find yourself in violation of WADA on accident, you would seriously have to go out of your way to break this.
The truth is, they aren’t trying to con you or trick you into getting disqualified. It’s pretty easy to just stay a natural bodybuilder.
So, Yes- Creatine, Normal Supplements, Etc are All Natural Bodybuilding
I really hate the idea that using creatine or normal supplements is considered cheating and/or a violation of WADA or the Naturally Fit Federation.
In fact, if you look on WADA’s website- creatine isn’t even mentioned anywhere.
Creatine is genuinely found in most meats we eat anyways- so would anybody eating a big steak also be considered a non-natural bodybuilder by that logic?
Like I said, you really would have to be doing some sketchy things to become a non-natural bodybuilder. There’s just not a world right now where you can stop at Target and get something that is illegal in your bodybuilding competiton.
Chances are, if you have something banned by WADA or the NFF, you are likely in possession of something illegal by US LAW.
And this is just something I really want to emphasize because I feel bad for a lot of new bodybuilders that feel like they aren’t true natural bodybuilders because they bought some creatine at Walmart.
Anyone saying that creatine is roids is somebody you should never listen to for bodybuilding advice- ever. Any logical bodybuilder knows that creatine is more for aesthetics than results- and is not in any shape or form a performance-enhancing drug.
Now if you’re coming here to ask me if you’re still natural after injecting something the big guy at the gym gave you in the locker room- perhaps you may want to look at WADA’s website.
Conclusion – What is Natural Bodybuilding?
Natural bodybuilding is bodybuilding without using things like roids or performance enhancers. Most things that you can buy over the counter at Target or Walmart like creatine or multivitamins are perfectly fine.
The truth is unless you’re doing something really sketchy and taking something from someone in the locker room after your workout session- you’re a natural bodybuilder. You don’t accidentally lose your natty status.
And no, creatine does not make you a non-natural bodybuilder- ignore your jealous friends!