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Q: Why do you keep harping on drugs and genetics?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: Why do you keep harping on drugs and genetics? To hell with drugs and genetics. I’m going to develop a great physique anyway.

A: That’s how I used to feel when I was young. Genetics didn’t matter, I thought. What really mattered was dedication to training and recuperation. And drugs were just for wimps who couldn’t deliver the training goods in the gym. Still, years of being superdedicated to my training and recuperation—without developing a great physique—finally wore me down, and I accepted the truth that drugs and genetics matter big time for competitive bodybuilding.

That said, I’m not interested in drug-assisted training, and I’m not concerned with the training of genetic phenomena. I’ve always focused on giving guidance to natural bodybuilders, almost all of whom have average genetics.

The pros were born with DNA so favorable for bodybuilding that they inherited freaky genetics—and I don’t mean that in a negative way. For much of my life I’ve wished I’d been born a genetic freak for bodybuilding.

Their inheritance gave them the potential to become bodybuilding superstars. That they realized their potential was the result of their training, compounded by drug assistance.

What many superkeen typical bodybuilders do is try to replicate the dedication to training of the supermen—but without the spectacular genetic potential to go along with the dedication, there won’t be spectacular results. If, however, you use training routines that are appropriate for genetically typical bodybuilders and really dedicate yourself to your training and recuperation for long enough, you will achieve whatever potential for bodybuilding you have. That’s what my columns are about—appropriate, practical training routines for typical bodybuilders who, of course, have typical genetic potential.

While you can make terrific bodybuilding progress and develop a physique that will stun most people, you can’t develop a spectacular physique like the pros unless you have spectacular genetics for bodybuilding and compound that already huge advantage by taking muscle-building drugs.

You could throw caution to the wind, put your health on the line and take drugs to increase your bodybuilding potential, but without freaky genetics you still can’t achieve the development of the pros. As soon as your health suffers, though, you’ll witness the waning of your physique, and you wont be so concerned with your physique because much more serious issues will consume you—health problems.

Don’t follow the examples of others who have sacrificed their medium- and long-term health and physique for some fleeting, short-term bodybuilding benefit. Don’t wait until you’ve lost your health before you fully appreciate the value of good health. Your health is your priority—not just for long-term bodybuilding but for your life in general.

—Stuart McRobert


Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new BRAWN series, Book 1: How to Build Up to 50 Pounds of Muscle the Natural Way, available from Home Gym Warehouse (800) 447-0008 or

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