In the 1970s, bodybuilding had major publicity thanks to the appearance of Arnold Schwarzenegger , Franco Columbu , Lou Ferrigno , and others in the 1977 docudrama Pumping Iron . By this time, the IFBB dominated the competitive bodybuilding landscape and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) took a back seat. The National Physique Committee (NPC) was formed in 1981 by Jim Manion ,  who had just stepped down as chairman of the AAU Physique Committee. The NPC has gone on to become the most successful bodybuilding organization in America, and is the amateur division of the IFBB. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the decline of AAU-sponsored bodybuilding contests. In 1999, the AAU voted to discontinue its bodybuilding events.
A great deal of what we know about steroids is derived from competitive bodybuilding; all of it, of course not but there is a debt that is owed. Moreover, as we have discussed, what we know and understand of anabolic hormones has in many cases led to a better understanding of how our muscles work, how our hormonal structure and function is laid out and in within these understandings we have found ourselves wiser in-terms of general health and fitness. A great deal of what we see today in popular culture is owed to steroids and competitive bodybuilding and since the two go hand-in-hand many aspects of fitness can trace their roots to competitive bodybuilding.
Thanks to competitive bodybuilding we have seen an explosion of a more health and fitness aware society; the gyms where we exercise were built by competitive bodybuilders, the exercises and routines, the basic nutritional principles we understand were all first discovered and perfected by competitive bodybuilders; without them there is no fitness craze. Nevertheless, because of the negative attention they are given and the manner in-which they are often perceived, steroids have always been viewed as a major sore on the competitive sport yet without them the competitive sport would not exist as it does and we wouldn’t understand the things we do.
The truth of the matter is competitive bodybuilding represents the base and root form of many things admired in popular culture. The bigger than life action heroes of the silver screen, they owe their existence to bodybuilding; professional wrestling, how we utilize training for sports such as football and baseball, boxing and for the most part all competitive sports, they owe much of their existence in their present form to bodybuilding. The macho muscular identity many men aspire to, its roots are largely founded in bodybuilding and what’s perhaps most interesting of all is in each of these aspects steroids are a major part of the game. Our desire for things that are bigger than life, in all aspects of life, while some of them are unique unto their own many have roots that run long and deep in a connection with bodybuilding and steroids as a whole.