As anyone in the strength community knows Iron Sport has a long standing tradition of putting out champions in the strongman arena. We have had this reputation since we opened up our doors back 1995. But what most people do not know is that ALL of our strongmen and women compete DRUG FREE. Now I’m not one to run around waving the anti-drug flag for the purposes of throwing it in anyone’s face. And I certainly don’t try to villainize anyone for using PEDs (Performance Enhancing Drugs) the point I’m trying to make here is that IT CAN BE DONE drug free!
This whole story has been inspired by Iron Sport’s newest member of the pro strongman ranks Jimmy Dart of Havertown PA. Jimmy won his pro card at an ASC strongmen event in Shreveport LA yesterday against very stiff competition. After I heard this it made me startÂ thinking about all the members of our gym that have competed on that level and the several qualities they all had in common. Going back to strongmen like myself, heavyweight pros Walt Gogola and Reggie Barton, lightweight pros Kirk and Kevin Nowack, Adam Keep and now Jimmy Dart as well as a top 200lb strongman Dan Falcone, even a couple women top level strength competitors Maya Winters and Nikita Halterman. We have all had long and very active strength careers, trained very hard and put a fair amount of blood, chalk and sweat into our training all drug free. It’s not even something that we ever even talk much with each other, it’s just something that we have always done.
Now you might be thinking “yeah right Steve, how the hell do you know these people were drug free, nobody ever comes right out and admits it”. Yeah, that’s pretty much true a lot of the times but I know these people well. I have known them and seen them all grow as athletes, none of thesm just popped in here one day as great strongmen they were all home grown members who I have gotten to know very well throughout the years. We also have something in common it seems, our attitude regarding competing. Yes, we are fierce competitors, yes we love to push ourselves to the limit in the gym but we all knew that these athletic contests were not really worth messing with drugs over. I know for myself and I’m sure it is the same for the other guys and girls. I liked winning but if I did my best and performed as good as I could that dayÂ and was beaten by a better person that day that I didn’t for one second ever think, “Well if I had been using steroids like him I would have beat him.” The thought never crossed my mind. I would just go on and do the best that I could like always.
We all probably have our own reasons that kept us from using PEDs as well. Kirk and Kevin were both well respected engineers, Jimmy Dart is a physical therapist, Maya is a college professor so these people aren’t just meat heads, they have many good qualities other than being strong that enrich their lives. Although they strive to be strong their strength careers are not on the top of their list of life priorities. As for me I was a father and took care of my family from the age of 21 and never really had much disposal income. The thought of taking food money away from my children’s mouths to buy drugs to put a few pounds on my bench seemed absurd to me.
Getting back to the original point of the article though. Achieving your strength goals drug free CAN BE DONE. As much as your gym bros try to tell you it can’t it most certainly can. It just takes hard work, a solid plan, a shitfuckton of desire and most of all patience. Steroids are merely a short cut but it’s not the only route to strength.