If you are a new or intermediate member of the fitness world please be careful. Having realistic expectations is not only important for your health but will help you stay motivated. You may have heard of Jay Cutler or Ronnie Coleman, and definitely Arnold Schwarzenegger. Well guess what, they were and probably still are, on steroids. That’s right! When I was a teenager I remember wanting to be bodybuilder but I was so naive that I thought their bodies were actually obtainable naturally. I tore my body apart trying to bench press over 400 and squat 500. If I had known what I know now I would have never pushed myself to the point of pain.
I would still like to give these guys all the credit in the world because they are still genetically gifted and world class athletes but let’s get real. No protein shake or amino acid in the world is going to make a person look like the guy on the package of the supplements you are buying. That guy on the front of the package is on steroids. It’s not a trick (…okay, maybe a little bit), but instead it’s the competition within the industry and within the business. That is just the way it is and as long as their is money to make, just like professional sports, that is the way it always will be. The industry doesn’t have to change, people should just be educated on what a natural look really is.
What can be done? Be realistic. Putting on 10 lbs. of muscle is a great achievement by any standard. I’m sorry to let you know that few people reach 200 lbs with less than 15% body fat unless you are over 6′ tall and even then it is difficult. Before I get a ton of arguments in the comment section, just remember I wrote few people. I’m 5’9″ and about 180 at around 10% body fat. While I am not a genetic freak I still find that most average people will never achieve these numbers. Just remember though, it’s not about size, it’s about proportion and symmetry. Most women don’t care how big you are but how you look. You don’t need 18″ arms to have a six pack and a great body. Just remember why you started lifting, to be a better you, not the best in the world.