Q: I just read an article on a “natural” Web site that claimed that there’s no way you’re drug-free. The writer based his argument on a comparison between your contest height and weight and Frank Zane’s height and weight when he won three consecutive Mr. Olympia titles. Have you seen it? And have you ever been accused of using steroids before? If so, how do you handle it? I’m a masters bodybuilder, and after years of pounding the iron, I’ve finally built enough muscle that people are accusing me of using drugs. I just wanted to get your take.
A: Yes, I did see the article that you’re referring to. I found out about it because my 77-year-old mother Googled my name, and that was one of the first things that came up. Needless to say, she knows me better than anybody, and she was really pissed! My family knows how hard I’ve worked and how committed I’ve been to the natural-bodybuilding lifestyle over the past 33 years. To have someone who doesn’t know me or know how much heart and soul I’ve put into natural bodybuilding make that kind of indictment—I’ll just say that my entire family and all of my friends are very upset.
This is not the first time that I have been accused of using steroids. People look at photos of me taken over the past 10 to 12 years and with no other information assume that I’m using drugs. Usually they are guys who are natural and haven’t come close to achieving my level of muscularity, or they’re guys who have used drugs and are still not as good at bodybuilding as I am.
It doesn’t bother me much when people talk about it with their friends, but, it does get under my skin when people write articles and post them for the public to read. The particular article you refer to is especially troubling because it was posted on a so-called natural Web site. The author does his best to defame me (and other famous drug-free guys), but he doesn’t have the guts to attach his name to the articles or the Web site in anyway. His M.O. is to take a current drug-free bodybuilder or physique competitor, find a golden age star who has similar height and weight stats and then say, “This bodybuilder from the ’70s admittedly used steroids. There’s no way that this current star can be this big without using drugs.”
He compared my stats to Frank Zane’s and Mike Mentzer’s. He likes to inflate the contest weights of current stars and under-report the weight of the golden age stars. Anybody looking at the photos should be able to recognize that this writer is full of crap. My guess—and I told him this via e-mail—is that he’s a wanna-be bodybuilder who just couldn’t cut it, and when he sees natural stars who are bigger than he is, he automatically dismisses them as steroid users.
I told him that it took me 20 years to put on 30 pounds of muscle. That’s an average of 1 1/2 pounds of muscle per year. For those of you who have the patience to train like a fiend and eat clean for 20 years, I’m sure you can build just as much muscle as I did. Most people can’t stick with the training and diet that long. It takes a tremendous level of commitment and dedication, and the average lifter just can’t hang.
Here are the points he argues in his article:
“Dave Goodin is old.” Yes, I’m 55, but I’ve been training for bodybuilding for 33 years. The longest I’ve ever gone without lifting was six weeks. The next longest stretch was two weeks. I built 30 pounds of muscle in 20 years. For the past 13 years I’ve trained extremely hard to maintain it.
“Dave Goodin has the Photoshop look.” Okay. Thank you! But make up your mind, please. Am I not really that good and I only look good because my pictures are Photoshopped—or am I really that good? If you think it’s Photoshop, then on what basis are you accusing me of steroid use?
“Dave Goodin is bigger than former Mr. Olympia winners.” Put Frank Zane’s photo next to mine. It’s obvious that Frank Zane is dramatically better than me. Okay, my arms are bigger—but other than that Frank Zane blows me away. Also, you didn’t get my stats correct, so your whole argument is blown.
“Dave is a professional bodybuilder.” Okay, I’ll give you that there are almost no other IFBB pros who are drug-free. Now that I’m retired from the IFBB, there may not be any; however, I never won a dime as an IFBB pro. In fact, in my two appearances in IFBB pro shows I was 15th of 15 in 2010 and 13th out of 15 in 2011. If you look at my WNBF drug-free pro bodybuilding career, from 1994 to 2006, you’ll see that I’m the leading money winner in the history of drug-free pro bodybuilding. There’s a dramatic difference between being an IFBB pro and being a pro in a drug-free organization.
So, yes, it bothers me when people level these kind of accusations on a public forum, but I try not to dwell on it. Thankfully, I have a column in IRON MAN magazine so that I can publicly defend myself. You’re probably wondering which natural site the article appeared on. I’m not going to give this guy the publicity, especially since he wouldn’t reveal his own name. One of my clients who is an Internet expert said that he probably writes this drivel in an attempt to attract traffic to his site. He told me that the site has only 281 followers. That made me laugh out loud!
If someone accuses you of taking steroids, take it as a compliment—then defend yourself with an account of how long and how hard you’ve trained. Just keep fighting the good fight!
Train hard, and eat clean!
Editor’s Note: Check out his new Web site at Shredderbuilt.com. To contact Dave directly, send e-mail to [email protected]. IM