Modern bodybuilding can date back to over 130 years ago when a frail Prussian boy from Konigsberg traveled to Italy. The boy was so inspired by the statues of the Greeks and Romans that he returned home and begin training.
For years, the boy trained not only his body but his mind as well. He studied anatomy, learned how the body functioned, and created movements for each body part. The boy would return to Italy over the years, measuring the statues and doing his best to mimic the dimensions.
The boy would go on to achieve global recognition for his efforts and is known today as the Father of Modern Bodybuilding. Before Eugen Sandow traveled to Italy at age 10, many believed that the physiques of the statues were impossible to achieve. After seeing what was possible, Sandow would inspire millions to pursue what is now known as bodybuilding.
Considered to be an alternative to anabolic steroids, selective androgen receptor modulators, commonly known as SARMs, are orally digestible compounds shown to help build muscle quickly, lose fat and increase athletic performance. SARMs have been used in clinical trials as a possible treatment to cancer, sexual dysfunction, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and others as well.
Each SARM compound possesses its own chemical compound that affects muscle and bone structure differently. Synthetic compounds were discovered in the 1990s and have seen a surge in popularity in the last five years.
“I can tell just by looking at the acne that it’s a cheaper testosterone,” Robbins said. “I see testosterone, and I see it being a little misused. I also do see a lot of PCT involved.”
“A lot of it is because they’re still in sports and they want that competitive edge. A lot of them have the same reason for lifting as I did, they were tired of being small or fat and they wanted to get big. There always can be a shortcut.”
Although bodybuilders may never be as big naturally as they would be on PEDs, a solid five years of groundwork may be required before their peak natural physique will show. People hopping on steroids prematurely put themselves at a higher risk of negative effects from steroids and SARMs. They may also risk using much more than needed, causing even more damage to vital organs.
“They’re not a magic growing pill. You still have to put in the effort, you have to train, you have to eat right. If anything, you probably have to eat right and train 10 times harder because if you don’t you’ll get those bad results” Atchley said.
FOOTNOTE: Luke Stuart recently graduated from Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism. This report on a new wave of young steroid users was completed as part of his senior project.