Mankind has always had those who epitomized physical development.  The ancient Greeks began a trend of formalizing athletics and their artists sculpted the prototypes for the future ideal form of man.  In the 1800s there was a fringe community of those who made it a career to become the exemplars of athleticism, and their contributions grew into the culture of bodybuilding.  Without a doubt, every bodybuilder puts in hard work and effort to sculpt the perfect body.  Throughout history, these athletes have looked for ways of enhancing their bodies, and in the modern world the introduction of steroids changed everything.  This is a historical look at steroids and how they changed bodybuilding.


Eugene Sandow, the father of modern bodybuilding built his body using old-fashioned hard work performing during the late 1800s to early 1900s decades before the invention of Anabolic Steroids in the 1930s.  He and others were able to sculpt a phenomenal physiques without the use of Anabolic Steroids.  The bodies they created inspired generations to come.

Eugene Sandow, late 1800s
John Garon, Circa 1916
George Hackenschmidt, Circa 1900











Notice their builds.  While they are lean, they are well proportioned and all these bodies are attainable by putting in hard work in the gym and kitchen.  These men were building towards the “Grecian Ideal”, which envisioned the perfect body through proportions.  The forefathers of bodybuilding were inspired by ancient statues of the ideal man.

The Farnese Hercules- a Roman copy of the Greek masterpiece by Lysippos – Circa 216 CE





Arnold Schwarzenegger, Frank Zane, Franco Columbu, Lou Ferrigno, Boyer Coe, Bill Grant, Mike Mentzer, Serge Nubret… These are the names of legends in the bodybuilding world.  They were the ones who brought bodybuilding from a fringe element to the mainstream.


Notice they are significantly larger, muscle bodies bulging and more defined than their classic era counterparts.  Many of these men are confirmed to have used large doses of anabolics and other drugs to help build their physiques throughout their careers.




The Modern Era started in the 90s.  Bodybuilders began to look like they were eating classic bodybuilders for breakfast.


Dosages of anabolics are now at ridiculous amounts and the introduction of massive doses of HGH has pushed these men beyond the limits of the normal human.  Some top modern era bodybuilders thighs alone are bigger than the torsos of many pre-anabolic steroid bodybuilders.    Genetic potential means nothing to them.



Without a doubt Anabolic Steroids and other drugs have changed the entire culture of Bodybuilding.  There is controversy surrounding whether or not steroid use is acceptable in bodybuilding, and debates become heated whenever discussing the topic.  Whatever side you are on, we all have the goals of creating the ideal body for ourselves and to display to the world.

For those who are on the side of the drug-free lifestyle, the choice is clear.  The Ancient Greeks and Classic Era Bodybuilders have proven that people are capable of creating amazing bodies with nothing more than diet and exercise.  Steroids are not necessary to create an impressive physique.


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