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Low Expectations

You’re probably familiar with the maxim “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Normally, being aware of certain realities is beneficial. That’s not necessarily true when it comes to steroid use in bodybuilding.

You’re probably familiar with the maxim “A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Normally, being aware of certain realities is beneficial. That’s not necessarily true when it comes to steroid use in bodybuilding.

When I became totally intrigued with and dedicated to the sport of bodybuilding in the late 1980s, I was blissfully unaware that many bodybuilders, particularly top amateurs and pros, used steroids and other drugs to achieve the freaky look of extreme muscle mass and definition that I craved for my own undersized physique. Certainly the magazines never discussed it, and Web sites didn’t even exist yet. So I had no idea how much I could achieve naturally. Even without outstanding genetics, I managed to build a respectable amount of size and became quite strong on a number of lifts.

Eventually I did learn of the role steroids played in bodybuilding, but by then I had full confidence that quite a bit was possible without chemical assistance. A few years later, of course, the Internet dawned, and the world as we know it changed.

Fast-forward to today, and every bodybuilding novice has full access to all the information about steroids and their use that anybody could ever want or need. Sadly, expectations of what you can achieve naturally have plummeted to the point that many believe they can’t build even a modicum of size and strength without drugs. Arguments that athletes were building impressive physiques and strength for many decades before steroids came into the culture fall on deaf ears. Now it’s far too common to hear about guys who start using steroids as soon as they start training, as they’re convinced that attempting to make any type of gains drug-free would be futile.

I hate to see that, and not only because a whole generation of bodybuilders completely relies on using illegal drugs long before they have come anywhere near their own natural limits. The impatience of today’s high-speed culture is doubtless also a contributing factor. It breaks my heart that so many newer bodybuilders never give themselves the chance to see what they’re truly capable of with dedication and hard work. I believe that most of them would be shocked to find just how much size and strength can be built, particularly with the advantages of today’s training knowledge—think systems like Power/Rep Range/Shock, Positions of Flexion and DC Training—the solid nutrition information so easily available and the effective, high-quality supplements on the market today.

Alas, most of them will never know. They’ve been brainwashed into thinking the human body is a weak, pathetic organism unless it’s enhanced by powerful muscle-building pharmaceutical agents. If I could ask just one thing of the new generation, it would simply be to open your mind up to the possibilities of your own potential. You are all capable of so much more than you think.

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