Monday, May 18, 2009

I Swear, All of This is Au Natural, Baby!

Fresh off the Belgium presses: Doping officials showed up to the Belgian bodybuilding championships to test for steroids and other controlled substances.

And the bodybuilders fled rather than face testing.

Every single one of them got dressed.

And ran out the door.

It was a shocking event for the doping officials. Shocking... even though last year, 22 of the 29 bodybuilders tested positive for steroids.

But is it really shocking that bodybuilders use performance enhancing substances to look the way they do?

Judging from the picture above, I don't think so.

I have intimate knowledge of bodybuilding. For roughly five years, I was a serious bodybuilder. In the beginning, I made quite a few fast gains. But eventually, I plateaued - reached a level of strength and size that I just couldn't get beyond without help.

What'd I do? Not steroids. I took creatine to aid muscle growth and retain water. Swallowed horse pills of amino acids to help my muscles rebuild after workouts. Gulped down glucosamine and chondroitin to strengthen my joints. Jumped on the androstenedione bandwagon after Marc McGwire admitted to using the stuff as a steroid like substance to aid growth and strength. Forced down 3500 calorie Weight Gainer to gain weight during power cycles. Chewed Ephedrine and caffeine pills to cut down during tone cycles. Day and night, ate like a beast.

Oh yeah, and I took protein. 90 plus grams during my power training cycles - way more than recommended for proper liver and kidney function.

I plateaued many times, and I'd take more stuff and change my workout routines to get out of those ruts to meet new goals. But eventually, my weight topped out at about 190 pounds. I stopped making gains in the gym. I'd come to that point where steroids were the next logical step.

And I had more than a few friends willing to help me take that leap.

But there, I balked. Suddenly, I wasn't so enthusiastic about being the most jacked 5'8" dude at the party.

OK. So, this decision coincided with a very attractive girl at a bar saying she was scared of me because I looked like I'd just gotten out of prison. And I'd reached a crossroads at college. Basically, it was spend 3 hours a day at the gym to look like a hardened criminal, or spend an hour at the gym and the other 2 studying and writing to get a college degree.

Long story short, the gym lost out. I just wasn't willing to devote everything to bodybuilding. And since I wasn't planning on doing it professionally, I made the right decision.

What I'm getting at here is talent, genetics, and training only gets you so far. The human body just wasn't meant to carry 300 pounds of muscle on a 5'10" frame (that is the size of former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman, pictured above to the left, during competitions. He weighs 325 during off periods. The other, more recognizable gentleman is The Governator himself... another former Mr. Olympia, and no stranger to steroids.) The only way you get to that point is with lots,

and lots,

of help.

It takes a serious commitment to gamble with drugs like steroids, HGH, synthetic testosterone, and diuretics in order to get the build that bodybuilders do.

To recover from injury like professional wrestlers.

To give an aging lineman a little more strength coming off the line.

This isn't a condemnation of bodybuilders or any other athlete. And this isn't a condemnation of performance enhancing drugs.

Far as I'm concerned, if you're willing to go to such extreme lengths for the perfect body, for that home run swing, for the extra kick at the end of a marathon, or to keep that twilight career going a couple seasons longer, more power to you. And if performance enhancing drugs will get you to those greater human limits, why not do them?

OK. There are very good reasons not to do them. They're against the law, and against the operating rules of most sports.

But hey, who cares about rules? Everyone's doing them. So you do them, too.

And get caught.

Whatever you do, don't bullshit me. When caught, don't whine and say your doctor fucked up. Don't blame it on asthma medication or your wife. And, whatever you do, don't run out the door like a goddamned pussy when the federales appear to screen your orange piss.

Have the balls to come out and own the issue, and I'll continue to respect you. Don't, and you're a big, dead-to-me moron piece of shit.

Roger Clemens.


chick.a.dee said...

this was a neat post craig. i doubt that there are many professional body builders out there who DONT take steroids. and i think it's more common in our peers than people think. i've seen male acquaintances suddenly morph into puffed up versions of their former selves, and i have my doubts that protein shakes are solely responsible.

but i agree with what you said about taking responsibility and owning up to it. if it's so goddamn important to have massive delts, (whatever those are) then go ahead and do what you do to get them.

but don't tell me that all you do is swig protein..

Craig said...

ha. delts are shoulders. but agreed.