A few weeks ago Mike posted a video about one of the most controversial, heated, and talked about subjects in all of weight training… Anabolics.
I wanted to address the topic a bit on the blog here too, and elaborate on some of the conclusions Mike and I have both reached after more than 10 years of training, being in the gym, and training around some of the most serious lifters you can imagine.
- Your Physique is Not Affected By Those Who Use Steroids
Coming up in the era I did, the internet was just getting started. I still relied on books like Arnolds Encyclopedia and old magazines… Steroids just weren’t talked about all that much. Sure the idea was there, but the prevalence of talk was no where on the level it is today where almost every single thread on every forum, and every comment on every YouTube video has the word in it.
I must admit I was a bit disheartened when I found out the idols of my youth had almost all taken something. “You mean I’ll never actually get to look like Arnold unless I use drugs?” was a feeling that very much hit me like a mack truck back in the day.
But the more I thought about it the less I cared… I was going to train regardless, and whatever potential I had locked away in my genes was going to get realized no matter what. Maybe one day I would decide to go that road, maybe not… But I was going to train my ass off no matter what and whatever body I ended up with was one that I had earned.
- Your Self Worth Is Not Determined By Your Physique
In my youth so much of my identity was wrapped up in my physique. My entire life revolved around it in fact. Getting to the gym… Eating 6 times a day… Sleeping 8 hours. It all had to get done because it was who I was. It was the outward appearance of what I thought my inner self was. If I could project an image of Power and Discipline with my body, others would respect me because that simply showed them what I was like on the inside.
I now know this isn’t true. Your self worth isn’t determined by your physique, but by your actions and how you enrich the lives of those around you. You have a six-pack? Great. What have you done to better the world in even the smallest of ways? If all you can say about your life is that you made it to the gym 5 times and ate 49 meals this week, no amount of steroids are going to make you a better person.
- Steroids Might Not Get You Closer To Your Goal
This one might sound counter intuitive but I really don’t think it is. When I started training I was 150 pounds and had ribs you could count from 20 feet away. I thought that when I got to 170 I would be as happy as I can be… Then I got to 170 and I felt the same as I did at 150. Maybe 185 was that magic number? Nope, same thing. After many years of training my natural gains seem to come to a halt, and any extra weight gain came in the form of fat… Then my mind got to thinking of doing a cycle.
I thought that maybe if I did just one cycle (like that ever happens…) I could gain that extra 20 pounds that would make me happy with my physique finally. That if I could just be a bit stronger, bigger, and leaner I would finally be done crafting the body I was working on.
Then I thought back on the body I had 50 pounds ago and how I thought I’d be happy at 170…180…190. The truth is for guys like us its probably never enough. Sure, I could do that cycle and get up to 220 lean, but then I’d want to be 230…240…250 and onward it would go. Then instead of that one cycle I’d be doing steroids for my entire 20’s and 30’s and maybe shut down my hormonal system for good, leading me to be “on” for the rest of my life.
I cant make the decision for anyone else, but as I thought about that proposition I decided that it wasn’t for me.
- Figure out why you train, and train away!
The bottom line is that steroids are a personal decision, and the only one who can determine if they are right to use is you. If the entire rest of the world was on them it wouldn’t change your physique or training in any way.
If you train to test yourself, to better yourself, to gain health, to be stronger, to look a certain way, only you can determine if using certain compounds can get you closer to those goals. Maybe your goal is to be Mr O… I think at that point the decision has been made for you.
I think the hyper focus on steroids the last 5-7 years was a back lack from the last 50 years of hush-hush … But the time is now to get over it, and just focus on your own training and your own gains.