Is there a backlash to being fit? From steroid accusations  and other common critiques about being chiseled, is having an unbelievable physique really achievable?

The Backlash to Being Fit

Written by Tim Santoro.

Hollywood has had a long standing presence of action stars with the body of a Spartan warrior. This is so true that in fact there was a movie about Spartan warriors and their amazing physiques. This trend can arguably be traced back to Steve Reeves. Reeves was an athlete and bodybuilder turned actor. He starred in films where he played larger than life heroes with strength and muscle to spare. In fact, he was the inspiration for later action stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger who are of course known for amazing physiques.

No matter the star, from Stallone, to Arnold, even to present day stars like Dwayne Johnson and Chris Hemsworth, they all step on screen ripped, swole, and ready for action. Of course this brings about two interesting conversations. The first is the media trying to exploit their workouts and turn it into the next fitness fad. Why not, telling readers they can look like Thor will surly sell magazines. The other conversation though unfortunately comes from judgement.

Read the article comment section on any website discussing their bodies and workouts and a good majority of the comments posted in response will be negative. They are critical and at times are blatantly offensive. The most prevalent statement will feature the S word. No, not that one. We're talking steroid.

It's no secret that performance enhancing drugs are part of popular culture; just look at the professional sports investigations of the past decade. I'm sure that the same drugs are being used in Hollywood. This is not to say that this is the case with every actor or all of the time. I wasn't training them so I won't say, but I won't just accuse them either.

What bothers me is this ideal that anyone who is in good or great shape automatically gets that steroid accusation tossed at them. Most of the training related articles will feature a workout that is intended to achieve such results. It should be noted that these are usually best guesses designed by the magazine's own fitness advisors. They are rarely the real workout. Why is this? The trainers designed the workouts to specifically fit each individual. Not only are they customized, they are in a sense intellectual property.

Here are some things that the critics, and even the average Joe, might not consider. Don't forget that these actors likely had trainers that cost several hundred dollars an hour. They likely trained six days a week for a few hours a day. Every bite of food, every rep lifted, to every breath of effort was controlled. They didn't just hit the local Gold's for an hour every morning then showed up to the set ready to brawl looking like Spartans.

And thinking about it, who is making these accusations? It is the average media reader with a very limited knowledge of the principals of fitness training.

I once read a statement that said that it is impossible to get into that good of shape without drugs. Well yes it is possible, and if not show me proof to the contrary. Can anyone achieve that? Sadly they can't but there are those who can. Genetics is a strong factor. Some people can put on muscle easily; others can struggle despite doing everything right.

It is also important to remember that steroids or performance enhancing drugs are not a magic pill. They are nothing more than a crutch. I by no means support the use of such substances, but the reality is you still need to put out a massive amount of effort in the gym to benefit from them. There is no shooting up or taking a pill and generating slabs of lean muscle while sitting there.

With that said I just hate to see it when people automatically jump to a conclusion. If you see a guy walking down the street with a well-defined muscular build give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he cheated or maybe he worked for countless hours in the gym and sacrificed his favorite foods to look like that. I'd hate to discredit his work if it was the latter.

Better yet check out some natural bodybuilders. These guys pride themselves on being drug free in their training.

So that right there was my opinion. Take it for what you will, believe what you will. Still, I thought it had to be said.

Tim Santoro

About Tim Santoro

Tim Santoro serves as a fitness consultant and freelance fitness writer having earned certifications in Fitness Training and Fitness Nutrition. He has over eighteen years experience developing film and television projects. Tim Santoro is the founder and president of Terminal CLE, a media development company.

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