The false choice of bodybuilding and bodybuilding excess
I have been watching probably hundreds of individuals on these forums and a nearly equal number in real life use AAS and other aids to reach higher, run faster, become stronger and look better for many years. When I did the bulk of my experimentation it was pretty much legal or at least these drugs were not scheduled. Things were different in the 80s and earlier. The 90s took a new turn and the 2000s and now the 2010s the whole paradigm has continued to shift.
Three decades ago the accent was still on health and performance. AAS was still more of a dirty little secret and used more sparingly. Most of the guys that I still know from back then are OK health wise. Some that abused, and there are always those addictive personalities, are not so well be it from years of AAS or other drugs of abuse.
Where I am going with this is? There is a way to go about use of these things, or at least some of them, without jeopardizing health, well being and personal growth. What do I mean by personal growth? Answer: there should be enough focus and energy in your life to achieve success in other areas of life outside of the gym, sport arena, BBing stage or mirror.
An example here might suffice. Take a look at our BBing icon Arnold Schwarzenegger. Going strait back to the early days Arnold had goals outside of BBing. He new enough not to bank on a fledgling orphan sport for success in life. He had a construction business he used to generate capital to then buy into the CA real estate market. The rest is his ongoing history. He was able to divide his focus and become the best is his sport and one of the best in Hollywood, public service, and I am certain, what ever he chooses next. There is a man to idolize if there is one.
Now let's take a more common and more modern case. Take your pick. Look over the boards and you can find any number of individuals that have completely immersed themselves into the present bodybuilding lifestyle. There is one individual I have in mind that post regularly on a popular board run by a certain former amateur BBer. This person has no real job outside of likely some illegal activity and maybe a part ownership in a local gym. He injects himself all day long with AAS, insulin, GH, peptides and takes many ancillaries to counterbalance, or so he thinks, side effects of the massive doses of growth factors and steroid hormones. This guy can barely write or speak English intelligibly. He is 255-260 off season at about 5'8" with a huge GH gut and puffs and wheezes after a semi-heavy set of dumbbell curls. Outside of the gym he is a spectacle in life. He, through attitude, physical appearance and a warped sense of success, has placed himself on a path toward a dead end where he will have a series of also ran trophies maybe a small supplement company sponsorship failure and a dead end. At 40 he will be completely burned out with nothing to show for his efforts but a drug ravaged body riddled with arthritis and likely other ailments. What will he do at 41? Probably he will bounce at clubs or work crap jobs, live in a walk-up flat and be surrounded in later life by other losers.
So there you have the two extremes. Both chose BBing as a path. Both had/have focus and determination. Both use/used ergogenic. One had exceptional genetics for the sport but directed his focus and determination towards success in life outside of the gym. The other was not as blessed but bought into the myth that drugs conquer all and placed all of his faith, drive and determination in the unlikelihood of success in BBing as a life goal.
It becomes easy to place one's faith in a life style that presents evidence of success in the mirror over weeks or months. It is more difficult to devote the energy it takes for true success in life that requires mountains of effort and years in time in earned degrees and/or building of a business. The less tangible requires more foresight, more determination, more self confidence and far more effort. One also has to have the stomach for failure and the intestinal fortitude to get back up and run head long into ones goals again and again.
There is no rule that one can not have a level of success in more than one area of life. One can certainly carry a fine physique through effort and become a successful business person, quality engineer, scientist, accountant, etc.. ect... One does not have to sign once's life away to the new religion of bloated GH guts and tunnel vision toward an unattainable lean sustainable 245 lbs at 5'7". That is not success in life by any stretch or measure. That is self delusion and a recipe for a walk up flat by 45 and arthritic knees for the stairs on the way up to the old warped mattress that lies just beyond the crooked door.
Where do you choose to place your efforts?