Scanning the pages of the various bodybuilding or ‘physique building’ magazines of decades past, you’ll likely see cartoons of a young Charles Atlas having sand kicked in his face. He regrouped, used some obscure exercise band, and consumed magic protein powder mix ordered from a catalog and delivered in 6 to 8 weeks. He became big and muscular and was able to then defend himself against the bully’s onslaughts in the future.
This magic protein powder probably tasted like ash and cost a great deal more than it was actually worth, but it sold aplenty. For many decades, those seeking muscle have been drawn to advertisements for muscle building supplements. These novice and starry eyed lifters would mail in their hard-earned money, and then hold their nose as they swallowed a typically impure and definitely UN-delicious product, day after day. There was surely a bit of improvement from the caloric content, but not much else.
Bodybuilding greats of the 1960s and 1970s swore up and down that these muscle building supplements, and not the D-Bol they were popping by the handful, was single-handedly responsible for their amazing physical transformations. Most people weren’t buying it – but those consumers that were buying allowed the magazine industry to flourish through the nature of these sales advertisements. Today, it’s hard to enter any store in the country and not notice a muscle magazine. And just like in those magazines 50 years ago, over half of the pages contain nothing but glossy ads for virtually identical pills, powders, liquids, capsules and sprays, all promising the same thing: insane advancement in terms of muscular mass and strength.
In the 1980s, supplements continued to grow, but the advent of readily available anabolic steroids meant that once a bodybuilder reached some level of awareness in his realm, he moved on to the super supplements of anabolic steroids. The following decade, the 1990s, saw steroids being banned and supplements re-emerge. Some of the hottest muscle building supplements of this era were surreptitiously spiked with anabolic steroids in order to garner rave reviews from magazine readers and message board surfers. And it worked! Internet posters with an idea for a product quickly became millionaires. Major sports organizations got in on the action as well, as professional football players sold supplements at a much higher clip than their muscle bound counterparts who couldn’t punt, pass, or kick a football.
Today’s supplements are safe, effective, and fairly inexpensive, considering the advantages they can deliver to users. Creatine can allow a lifter to hold more water, leading to greater strength and eventually, more muscle. Mesobolin can lead to greater muscle mass, size and strength due to boosts in testosterone levels. There are many more which are fairly priced and certainly help to make a difference.
Tomorrow’s supplements will continue to become more affordable and more effective. Today you can buy creatine and whey protein in most grocery stores, and protein drinks and bars in convenience stores. In another few years, only the sky is the limit to how these muscle building supplements improve and become more available.
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