Muscle Evolution :: Editor's Letter
Nov/Dec 2017
   Muscle Evolution

Whatever it takes...

People are quick to discredit something they don’t understand.

In the wake of the recent passing of Dallas McCarver and Rich Piana, certain individuals could not wait to bash the sport of bodybuilding.

All of a sudden we
were hit by a massive shit storm propelled by social media. Bodybuilders were described as “walking pharmacies” and called “chemically engineered science experiments” in a slew of posts online.

In one of the more intelligent comments, IFBB Pro John Meadows blamed the state of bodybuilding on inexperienced coaches who turn to chemical warfare to push through boundaries. He even quoted absurd drug stacks that are commonly used to compete in shows.

While I cannot discount the extremity that exists, I believe competitors do have the responsibility to educate themselves so that they can make informed decisions about what chemicals they put into their bodies.

Most people outside the bodybuilding bubble don’t understand the “by any means necessary” mentality. This is often the attitude one must take if you compete at the highest level.

I believe McCarver and Piana died by pushing things too far. Bodybuilding is an extreme sport, but some people are quick to point out that is now teetering closer to the point of no return than ever before. AAS, hGH, insulin and diuretics. The list goes on.

I am not naïve and will not pretend that extreme drug use is fictitious, but the way people overreacted was as if bodybuilders were suddenly dropping like flies.

Walking around at 130kg plus puts tremendous pressure on your heart and it is definitely not something to do when your goal is longevity. The heart is a muscle and one of the most important parts of the health of that muscle is flexibility and its ability to pump enough blood to deliver oxygen to the entire body. If you are super heavy the likelihood is that you have low heart-pumping capacities and elevated blood pressure, clogged arteries and high cholesterol.

Some complain about the current mentality of “we will do whatever it takes” but it has always been the case since Arnold popped his first Dianabol as part of his “breakfast of champions” on Muscle Beach back in the day. The only difference is that people now are more reluctant to put in hard work and need to see results instantaneously. They have an “I want it and I want it now” attitude. I lifted hard for years before even touching anything other than creatine and protein powder.

A suggestion was made that bodybuilders should have some sort of physical done with blood work and a credible doctor’s examination before they are allowed to compete. The argument is medical supervision will avoid health problems associated with drugs. I doubt whether this will ever work in practice. Bodybuilding is not rugby or football. It is the most extreme sport there is because it influences every single part of your life. Piana’s company is not known as 5% for nothing. It refers to 5% of people who are willing to push themselves to the next level, no matter what.

Taking or not taking steroids is ultimately an individual’s decision. The choice of whether the risk is worth the gain should be left to the individual to make, just as in the case of any other risk taken on this planet.



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