Let me tell you about a Facebook situation that got me thinking last night. A very well known, young powerlifter made one of his normal twelve posts a day saying whatever it is he’s always talking about. By the way, I usually pay less attention to lifting related posts on Facebook than anything else. As a matter of fact I will watch a cute puppy video long before I watch a lifting video. For accuracy reasons I wish I could copy and paste exactly what he posted here. But after I responded he took it down and replaced it with more mirror selfies of himself. I’m paraphrasing here but his post went something like this,
“Ha ha ha all you so-called natty lifters make me laugh. You talk about lifters on steroids but then you take performance enhancing legal supplements, test boosters and gorge yourselves with protein powders. If you think this isn’t the same as taking drugs you are wrong. All these things raise the test levels to the same extent as any PED drug user and the side effects are the same. I’m better than you, you all suck blah, blah, blah”
I first thought there was a punch line to the post but it seems like he was seriously saying these things. It’s hard to tell though,Â these powerlifters go back and forth on the internet all freaking day on all kinds of websites and forums against one and other. Who the hell even pays attention to it anymore. But it was his next statement that kind of made me laugh, much like he is laughing at the “so-called natty lifters”.
“I can tell you right now, there is not oneÂ naturalÂ lifter who ever bench pressed over 400lbs raw that wasn’t taking mega doses of over the counter supplements, test boosters and who wasn’t on a specialized high-performance diet consisting of an incredible amounts of protein and god knows what else. TRUTH! “
I read that last part and said, “what the hell is this kid talking about?” In this kid’s defense let me give you some of his back story. He is the son of a VERY well known, legendary, multi-world champion powerlifter. My only assumption, and this just MY assumption, is that he was raised around a lot more a drug friendly culture than a lot of us and he just may be naive in the fast that a lot of us were not raised that way. Much like I grew up naive to PED’s, I’m assuming he might have grew up naive to the limits of natural lifters. So when I read what he had wrote I started thinking, “hell, this can’t be true, there must have been some lifter at some point that has benched over 400lbs without all those performance enhancers.” Then I realized, “Yes I know who did it . . . I FUCKING DID IT!” Hell yeah, I did that shit and I bet if I did it a million of other guys did it too! So I responded to the post with something to this effect,
“Truth NOT! I can tell you that in 1985 with totally regular genetics, not one single PE supplement (because there weren’t any yet), no lifter gear, just eating a regular diet of whatever my mom made us for dinner I posted up my first ever 402lb bench as a 265lb lifter in a national meet at the age of 19. A few years later I went on to bench 505 the same way. All I did was live in the gym and train my ass off every single day. And if I could do that I know sure as shit a LOT of other guys did it too. It’s funny, I never really thought that lift was that exceptional or out of the ordinary . . . until you just pretty much admitted that even you couldn’t do it”Â
See, when I was raised in the early 80’s the word steroids was just that to us, a word. Nobody we know actually took them. As far as we were all concerned they were some shady, underground thing that only bodybuilders out in California knew about and used. Normal, teenage gym rats like us didn’t need freaking drugs to build muscle, we were building it just fine without them. In this day and age of the internet, cell phones and information steroids are hard enough to come by sometimes, can you imagine how hard it was back in 1982 for kids that lived in suburban Philadelphia? We couldn’t even freaking buy protein powder if we wanted it, none of the stores around us sold that like they do now. You have to clip the little advertisement out of the back of a muscle magazine and convince your mommy break out the family check book and mail it to some stranger for some magic powder that she knew nothing about. Good luck with that!
Shorty after my response he removed his post. I don’t know why, maybe he realized it was a tad presumptuous and demeaning to a lot of his followers on social media. I posted this up not so I can brag that I was a pretty strong teenager but to illustrate what CAN be done without drugs, special diets and supplements. I truly think a lot of young lifters out there just give up thinking it can be done and go out looking for the magic pill to make it happen.
Teenage nationals 402lb bench 1985. The experts say it couldn’t be done!