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