This is sometimes referred to as a form of body modification, which refers to the deliberate alteration of the human body for non-medical purposes, such as aesthetic reasons, and self-expression. However, it is more commonly referred to as a version of bodybuilding in which body enhancement, using banned substances, is expressly forbidden. Such substances generally refer to the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs, the most notable being:
Anabolic Steroids – These are a class of steroid hormones (which are steroids that act like hormones) related to the hormone testosterone (which is the principal male sex hormone that plays a vital role in health and well-being). Such steroids increase protein synthesis (which is the process in which cells build proteins) within cells. The result of this is the buildup of cellular tissue, especially in muscles, called anabolism (which is the set of metabolic pathways that generate molecules from smaller units). Anabolic steroids also have androgenic (which stimulates or controls the development and maintenance of masculine characteristics) and virilizing (refers to the biological development which makes a male body different from a female body) characteristics, including the development and maintenance of masculine features, such as the development of the vocal cords and creation of body hair.
Human Growth Hormone – This is a protein-based hormone that initiates growth as well as cell reproduction and renewal in humans. Within the last few years, replacement therapies with human growth hormones (HGH) have been successful in weight management. Typical outcomes include a reduction in body fat, an increase in muscle mass, bone density, and energy levels, together with an improvement in skin tone and texture, increased sexual functioning, and an improved immune system. With its anabolic characteristics, HGH has been commonly used in a variety of sports from as early as the 1970s. Not surprisingly, it is on the list of banned substances by the IOC and NCAA.
When considering Natural Bodybuilding, the classification of the title “natural” is dependent on the organisation responsible for the competition. In this way, the I.N.B.A., or International Natural Bodybuilding Association, is the largest bodybuilding and fitness organisation worldwide and is the strictest in terms of its drugs free policy. The INBA adheres to the banned substance lists advocated by the I.O.C., or International Olympics Committee, and the W.A.D.A., or World Anti-Doping Association. Even at the amateur level, all athletes are comprehensively tested using the technique of urinalysis (which consists of a collection of tests performed on urine of the athlete, and is one of the most common methods of medical diagnosis. One part of a urinalysis procedure can be conducted using urine dipsticks, whereby the results of the test can be read by way of a series of colour changes.
However, not all of the organisations maintain such high standards as the INBA. As a case in point, the N.P.C., or National Physique Committee, only tests for Anabolic steroids, Pro-hormone (which is a precursor to a hormone although, in fact, offering minimal hormonal effect), and prescribed Diuetics (which is any drug that increases the rate of urination, and therefore offers a means of forced diuresis. All diuretics increase the expulsion of water from the body).
Body Building – How To Succeed