I have no interest in pharmaceutical steroids, testosterone, or human growth hormone. I do not have very much interest in powerlifting or bodybuilding either. I did have my own idea about what I wanted for my own physical strength and health.
I wanted to have useful strength, for the work that I did, and the things that I was involved in. But once I became over 27 years old, I did not want to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day. Partly, I no longer had time in my schedule to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day, and the other part was that it was no longer important to me to be overly strong or overly big. Getting my work completed and making money was more important to me.
In my mid 30s, after I moved away from the city and had more free time, I began lifting weights again. I was putting in good effort, but I was careful not to damage my knees, back, elbows, or shoulders by trying to lift too much weight. Again, it was not important to me to be overly strong or overly big.
In my early 40s, I began trying harder to improve my strength, and it was something that I looked forward to, to try to make gains in the gym. I was pleased with my bench press, dumbbell press, overhead press, lat pull downs, triceps dips, triceps curls, biceps curls, pretty much all my lifts and exercises, considering that I was now in my early 40s.
When I had to leave my home in Idaho in 2011 to begin working in the oil fields in North Dakota, Utah, and Texas, my life was disrupted in many ways. One of the worst things that happened to me, was getting my back hurt so bad in 2011, that I couldn’t walk for several months. But other things that were always a problem working in the oil fields, were lack of normal housing, and general chaos in just about everything else.
Working in North Dakota, for a couple of years I had to sleep in small campers on company property, and sometimes take showers at the Tiger Truck Stop. There was a shortage of housing, and housing was extremely expensive. Once it gets to be below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and you live in a small camper, just staying clean and warm, and not dying, is what you are paying attention to.
It has only been in the past couple of years, once the oil boom ended in North Dakota, that I have had the time and opportunity to begin trying to go to gyms on a regular basis again. The West River Community Center in Dickinson, North Dakota where I live is one of the nicest gym facilities in the United States. However, it is a community center with men, women, children, and the elderly.
I never had a problem with the elderly people in the WRCC, they were not a nuisance at all. The men were typical of what you would find in a gym anywhere. But the women and the children in the WRCC were a nuisance, annoyance, and a distraction to me: sitting on equipment and not using the equipment, placing belongings on equipment that they were not using, taking up equipment that they did not need for that exercise, getting too close and not understanding that they could get hurt, and fooling around being a distraction.
This year, I thought that I had found a small gym with only heavy duty power lifting training equipment, a place that would not have any women and children in it. There was nothing in this small gym to be of any interest to women and children, I thought. A couple of days ago when I was in this gym, everything that I hated about the West River Community Center, happened here in this small gym.
A couple of women came in, and were talking, socializing, fooling around, placing belongings on equipment, sitting on equipment that I wanted to use, and me having to worry about hitting them with a weight bar because they were close to what I was doing. I was angry, and I wrote a blog post about what happened. The owners of the gym and I got into a dispute over this, and they told me not to come back.
During the argument about women being in the gym, and in comments to my blog post, the gym owners, power lifters, and especially women, were telling me that there were women who could kick my ass in the gym. I doubted this. There were claims made about what weight women were lifting, so I looked it up.
I looked up the USPA 2017 Montana state records for women, which showed something like 238 lb bench press, and 315 lb squat, which sounded about right to me. Then I looked up a specific woman who was given as an example, and her bench press and squat were maybe 268 lb and 400 lb in 2015, which still sounded about right to me.
When commenters began citing even higher numbers for female power lifters, and higher numbers for some of the women power lifters that I had already looked up, I checked more records as was suggested to me, and suddenly I realized what was going on.
For adult women who were power lifters, who had been training for several years or more, who had entered and won power lifting competitions, there was a record of what their bench press, squat, and dead lift were for each meet. After several years or more of focusing on diet, nutrition, supplements, training, exercising, and working very hard, these numbers for bench press, squat, and dead lift represented a peak or plateau that they had reached, after several years or more of work.
Then in less than a year, their bench press, squat, and dead lift all suddenly increased by 40%, after they had already reached their physical plateau? They had been working for several years to make gains of 10% to 20% per year, reaching their physical plateau, then all of a sudden all of their lifts increased by 40% in one year. What was going on?
Let me put it this way. Does a college senior baseball pitcher enter Major League Baseball and begin throwing 40% faster, No. Does a college track athlete ever begin running 40% faster one year later, No. Does a college swimmer ever begin swimming 40% faster one year later, No. Does a college high jumper ever begin jumping 40% higher one year later, No.
So how could an adult athlete who has been training for years, suddenly have a 40% increase in strength?
Remembering What I Forgot About Steroids, Testosterone, And Human Growth Hormone
Reading the records of the women power lifters, this started me thinking about everything that I knew about steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormone. I will give some examples.
#1. When I was in junior high school, about 8th grade, there was a school assembly in the gymnasium, where a 30 year old man was going to perform a demonstration. This man named Chuck, he was from this town, he had joined the Navy, and he had taken up power lifting. He had achieved some kind of powerlifting record, and today he was going to give a talk, and then bench press 500 lb. At the time, I didn’t think that this was worthy of a school wide assembly, but I was glad to get out of class.
The point of this demonstration and school assembly, was that the school principal had been convinced that this was motivational, that this might give some kids an inspiration to get involved in power lifting, to put effort into something positive, rather than getting into trouble. To Chuck, this was partly an opportunity to get publicity for the new gym that he was opening in town.
However, within about a year of Chuck’s gym opening, it was shut down, by the Police. Chuck, his gym, and his gym members were found to be using, bringing in, and selling steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormones. It turns out that Chuck’s above average strength, was primarily from steroid use, etc. Within about a year of this drug bust by the Police, where Chuck was prohibited from using steroids as part of his probation, Chuck’s appearance changed, he became just a normal looking, average sized guy.
#2. When I was in high school, our high school hired a strength and conditioning coach for the football program. One of my friends named Bob, who was on the football team, his older brother played professional football. Bob was only about 5’-10” and 180 lbs, and he knew full well that he was not going to be able to play professional football.
Bob had a brother named Todd, who was two years younger than Bob. Todd was even smaller than Bob. In elementary school, junior high school, and high school, Bob and Todd lifted weights together. Bob tried to push Todd to do more weight, but Todd could only do what he could do. For instance, when Bob was a junior in high school, he could bench press about 210 lb. His younger brother Todd could maybe bench press 180 lb at this time when he was a freshman.
After Bob and I graduated from high school, when his younger brother Todd was a junior in high school, Todd was all of a sudden bench pressing 365 lb. Within a year Todd went from bench pressing 215 lb, to bench pressing 365 lb. Bob was really mad about it, because his younger brother was using steroids, and his physical appearance totally changed. He said he told him, Todd, you are only 5’-7”, you are never going to play professional football, probably not even college football, so why are you doing this to yourself taking steroids?
There were several kids who were high school football players, who weighed about 135 lbs their sophomore year and were skinny, who within a year went up to weighing over 200 lb their junior year. There were so many cases of steroid, testosterone, and human growth hormone use by the high school football players, that an investigation was done, and it was found that these pharmaceuticals were being administered by the strength and conditioning coach, who was then fired.
#3. When I was a college student, some of my friends became involved in powerlifting and bodybuilding. Even though they were training regularly, and working hard, there came a point when they quit making advances in their strength and muscle size, so they began experimenting with steroids and other drugs such as GHB.
One of my friends began ordering veterinary and ranch pharmaceuticals through the mail. One of the things that I remember him receiving, were “feed lot heffer” cattle implant pellets, which were used by ranchers to implant in cattle ear flaps, to slowly release steroids into the cattle to make them put on weight. He would grind these pellets up using a mortar and pestal, add linseed oil or propylene glycol to make a solution, heat it up in the microwave to make it dissolve, draw the solution into a hypodermic needle, and then inject the solution into his buttocks muscle.
One college student got arrested for receiving veterinary pharmaceuticals in the mail. My friend passed out a couple of times, once inside of a gym, and he was very nearly arrested for various drug charges. One of our friends who was a successful personal trainer and competitive body builder died at the age of 25 from drug complications.
My friends were using Dan Duchaine’s books, “The Underground Steroid Handbooks 1 & 2” as a reference manual on how to obtain and use steroids and other substances. Dan Duchaine was arrested and put in prison twice for his involvement with selling steroids and GHB. Dan Duchesne later died at the age of 48 from kidney disease.
#4. My friends’ idol or role model were people like Dorian Yates, a British bodybuilder who was known not just for winning bodybuilding competitions such as the Mr. Olympia six consecutive times, but because he trained with very heavy weights, almost like a power lifter would use, and he was very strong, large, and well defined.
This was in the 1990s, and the professional bodybuilders were becoming so outrageously large in muscle size, and the professional powerlifters were making such enormous increases in weight lifts, that it was obvious that steroids and other pharmaceuticals were being widely used. Very few competitors would admit this at the time, but now, many of these competitors who are now retired are coming out and admitting to their drug use, and are giving details about what went on.
Most of the competitors that are telling about their experiences now, said that they used drugs in order to be someone, in order to be a champion, in order to be successful, to be able to have things in life that they would otherwise not have had. They said that the risks were worth the reward to them, at the time, in their mind.
These competitors also described the kind of psychological addiction to steroids and other drugs, the drugs that enabled them to lift enormous weight, have a huge physique, and stand out in a crowd. Once they had to quit taking steroids due to health problems, they became depressed and wanted to withdraw, because they could not live up to the image of themselves that people had become familiar with.
This first video does not have any commentary. It shows the contrast between Dorian Yates when he was using steroids during his professional bodybuilding career, and what he looks like after he retired and ceased using steroids.
This second video is a discussion where Dorian Yates explains his steroid use during his professional bodybuilding career.
The problem is, that once people begin taking a serious interest in bodybuilding or powerlifting, begin training seriously, working hard, reading and learning more, keeping a record of their work out weights and repetitions, after several years of making gains they will realize that they have reached their physical plateau, where they are no longer making gains, and may even begin going backwards.
From what they have read, learned, seen, and heard by this time, they have to choose whether they are going to stay where they are, or are they going to try to make further gains by using steroids, testosterone, human growth hormone, or other substances. Women are no different than men now in their willingness to take steroids, testosterone, and human growth hormones. I think that some women are even more likely to use these drugs not solely to make gains in their weight lifting or muscle size, but to try to have equal or greater strength than men.
This last video, gives another person’s perspective on his steroid use, who was not a professional bodybuilder or powerlifter.