Enough is Enough

It was around this time last year when I stressed the importance of time and patience through the following video. As discussed within, legitimate strength is not developed in weeks or months. A few weeks are literally a blink of an eye when considering what is necessary to develop truly impressive strength.

Yet, since posting the video, I’ve likely received more questions about it than any other video I have ever filmed. Almost every question comes from a reader who believes that legitimate gains can be achieved in less time. Such opinions highlight the effectiveness of the deceptive marketers in the industry. Their false promises are obviously working.

Unfortunately, the marketers spreading such deception are not always easy to identify. Previously, fitness hucksters were seen as those who talked the talk without getting their hands dirty. One example would be the author who never trained anyone yet wrote about training athletes. More recently, deception is not nearly as obvious. It may come from individuals who are actually very well trained. They may even possess above average strength, which naturally makes their message much more appealing.

For instance, I woke up yesterday to an email from a reader who wanted my opinion on a transformation picture that he recently saw. The picture showed the progress of a new lifter within his first 12 months. I won’t share the image here, but let’s just say that a skinny man transformed himself into a Ronnie Coleman look-alike. The man who wrote to me wanted to know what he could do to achieve a similar physique in that time. He asked about diet, exercise choice, sets, and reps.

Now, assuming the transformation pictures were legitimate (which isn’t always the case), I will start by saying that I am happy for that person. I am not here to hate on anyone. With that said, I am also not naive. I wasn’t born last night. It is not difficult to identify performance enhancing drug use in certain individuals. And I say this not to bash anyone’s decision to use performance enhancing drugs. Speaking as a natural athlete, I do not care what anyone does to their body. Assuming that you don’t compete in a sport where drug use is banned, I don’t care what you do. You are welcome to drink, smoke, and use any performance enhancing drug that you want. What another person does with his body has no bearing on my life. It is not my decision to make, nor is it my decision to get upset about. I honestly don’t care.

My real problem with drug use is the deception that often comes with it. If you choose to use drugs, I will respect you more if you admit to it. Let everyone know exactly what you take so others are not deceived by your example. If you are snapping pictures of yourself to promote a transformation, at least do so with full disclosure. Don’t just talk about sets and reps, but also share the specifics of your supplemental plan (whether legal or not). Don’t mislead others by pretending that such gains can be attained solely through hard work and consistency.

And please note, before the steroid crowd gets upset, I am not minimizing your hard work. I am not here to debate work ethic. The best athletes in the world who use PEDs work as hard as anyone. That’s not the issue. The issue is based solely on realistic expectations. Don’t mislead others to believe that they can attain what you’ve attained without using what you’ve used.

In addition, before anyone comments on legality, I realize that a drug user may not want to incriminate himself by openly discussing what he takes. That’s fine. If you don’t wish to incriminate yourself, stay out of the public spotlight so no one cares what you are using. Once again, my problem is not with drug use, but rather the deception that comes with it. If you promote a program or product, yet lie about the drug use that went along with it, you are deceiving the public. You are no different than any other snake oil salesman who relies on deception.

In summary, I am not here to debate whether steroids should be legal. I’m also not suggesting that a natural athlete cannot make gains. I am proud to be a natural athlete who has developed a fair amount of strength. It has been a process of years however. It didn’t come easy and it wasn’t something that happened overnight. I’d rather be brutally honest about what it takes, rather than misleading you to believe that significant strength lies right around the corner. It is a long and difficult road to travel. Anyone who suggests otherwise either hasn’t developed any real strength or took a shortcut to do so.

I’m sure this rant won’t change any of the deceptive marketers, but perhaps it can at least open a few eyes to their methods. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is…


“A lie that is half-truth is the darkest of all lies.” – Alfred Tennyson

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  1. excellent!
    far too many people put the emphasis on a product/products to achieve a healthy active lifestyle.
    As a natural athlete who only eats real farm fresh food I find that I do not need to take any supplements to compliment my lifestyle and training.

    Hard work gets results.
    one of my mantra’s is this
    ‘your first wealth is your health, invest wisely’

  2. Why doesn’t anyone want to work for it? Do they really think these results come quickly? NOTHING comes quickly especially strength and size!

    It still baffles me to this day.

  3. “If you choose to use drugs, I will respect you more if you admit to it.”

    I like this statement. It baffles me that so many guys try to hide it.

  4. People in America are just so brainwashed by marketers. Honestly, half of the time you have to waste answering asinine e-mails probably comes from those who have been brainwashed by the marketing propagandists. Advertising is a cruel game. I’m no Puritan but the sexualization of everything is another thing that’s just psychological warfare to sell you junk you don’t need by making you feel insecure or perplexed. America has to be one the most full of bullshit cultures around. I think this culture is so screwed like a multi millionaire I knew once said those who have a few million and haven’t got out of this bitch are idiots. Those words may be harsh but, this 1984 Zionist banker Federal Reserve NWO Police State mass marketing double think cess pool would annoy any reasonable human.

  5. I’ve seen people do remarkable things with their body in 12 months especially if they are new to “training” or better yet, new to training and probably in their late teens to early twenties. Surely, someone built like a Ronnie Coleman is using PEDs but I’ve seen 500lb bench pressers that never took anything stronger than a protein shake, some have never even bothered with the protein shake. A lot of people out there now accuse anyone with a 15″ bicep as being a steroid abuser. Most healthy, young adult males of average size or weight, probably are capable of attaining a 225-300lb bench press after a year to a year and a half of regular weight training naturally. Of course this depends on the person’s condition before starting weight training. There have been claims of people walking into a weight room and benching 250-300lbs after having never touched a weight in their life which is pure bullsheet. I don’t care how fit or big a person is, if they’ve never lifted weights the movements will be awkward at first. Herschel Walker and all his pushups reportedly benched 275lbs as a freshman at the University of Georgia the first time he ever attempted a bench press, bullsheet. While Herschel was a physical specimen because of his calisthenic routine, I don’t care if he could pull off 100 one arm pushups, it’s apples and oranges.

  6. Ross-
    Based on your experience what lifting protocol would be best to make someone more effective in a fight- power lifting or olympic lifting?

  7. Its refreshing to hear the truth. Since I’ve started training, I’ve read quite a number of articles on increasing strength, and the general consensus is that getting stronger is a lengthy process like you mentioned, Ross. Its not something that will happen in a matter of weeks or a few months.

    What I don’t get is this… aren’t we admiring the effort, dedication and sheer grit & determination of those who make it there?

    Sure there are different approaches, weights, machines, bodyweight, CrossFit. Sure there are genetic predispositions. However, when did admiration shift away from respecting the blood, sweat and tears ?

    Maybe I disagree with the “Me want, now” mentality, but when I see someone that’s reach a admirable level of fitness, I’m respecting his hard work and dedication rather than getting caught up with the size of his guns.

  8. @Alexi,
    I get your point, but the truth is that most people don’t care about effort, dedication, sheer grit and determination. They just think “Mmmm, nice body!” and that is the end of it.

  9. I used to struggle to get gains or even workout until I discovered this little red drink and sixpackshortcuts by Mike Change. Now I am a beast in the gym with abs…

    Hahahaha sarcasm…

  10. I used to struggle to get gains or even workout until I discovered this little red drink and sixpackshortcuts by Mike Chang. Now I am a beast in the gym with abs…

    Hahahaha sarcasm…

  11. @john
    True, I don’t dispute that point, but often times what annoys me a little is that it undermines not just the efforts of the person who spent all that time and effort at the gym, but also perpetuates the mentality of “something for nothing”.

    At this point, I usually challenge them to do a proper body-to-ground push up with strict form at a moderate cadence (1-1-1).

    The looks on their faces when they struggle to generate the minimum force to get their bodies off the ground always brings a smile & grin to my face.

  12. hi, I have been following your site for years now and I really appreciate your attitude and respect your opinion. I think this is the first time I have posted a question. I have been following the instructions of Pavel Tsatsouline for two years now. His programmes promise to turn you into a “Russian superman” hah! but anyway my question is do you know if this programme is making false promises? all the best. PS. the programs are called. Rite of Passage, Power to the people and Simple and Sinister. Also a singles programme by Geoff Neupert called STRONG!

    1. @Christopher – As I mentioned, people in that situation should stay out of the spotlight rather than pimping deceptive products backed by false claims.

  13. As a person who competes in drug tested powerlifting, I strongly agree with having a spine and staying away if you are using peds. Sometimes they are obvious and sometimes not, but drug users are becoming quite prevalent even at state level meets. National meets are full of them. As a life time natural trainer, getting whooped by a user is a tough pill to swallow, but the love of the game keeps me going back for more. Regarding the big picture, I’m with you 100 percent. If you want to juice then juice. That is your business. Grow some stones and quit lying about it. It effects our upcoming generations and they need sound advice now more than ever! Great article Ross!

  14. Once again, great article Ross. To each his own, but it is refreshing to see important figures in the fitness business such as yourself highlight the fact that persistence over the long haul is key to achieving elite levels of fitness.

    As someone who recently began doing crossfit, I was disappointed by the fact that I couldn’t perform a muscle-up or dead lift 350 lb, but I quickly reminded myself that I must give myself more time in order to achieve these things. I could handle other movements easily (handstand push ups or double unders) because of the vast experience and practice I acquired with those, but not so with some other movements.

    It is always good to be reminded of the importance of patience, persistence and consistency. Keep these great articles coming, Ross!


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