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Less is more

A hectic schedule has prevented regular – or even semi-regular posting. That doesn’t mean nothing of interest is taking place though! Far from it… even if it is of interest mostly to me.

On the ‘holding myself accountable’ tab my cutting saga continues. This morning the scale read off 223.5 and 10.5% bodyfat. That means in the span of around 5 weeks I’ve lost 17.5 pounds, or between 3 and 4 pounds a week. Hardly biggest loser style but a sane person would be an idiot to complain. Especially since that’s roughly 2% of my body weight. For most people I’ve put through this particular diet, 2% / week is a typical rate.

On the upside, my numbers in the gym are going up – mostly. I’m up to 4 sets of 225lbs on the bench for 8 reps each as of last night, supersetted with 225lb barbell bentover rows (6 reps each set). There’s 20 – 30 seconds of rest between those, then 45 – 60 seconds of rest before I start the next superset. Still a potential far cry from my glory days when I could bench 385 without a shirt for a rep or two then follow it up with 20 reps of 225, but this is about the journey – not the destination.

Been having troubles with my thighs hurting on a lot of lower body stuff (Squats, deadlifts, and even leg presses). Some advice from a therapist who’s also a friend (physical, not mental / emotional), has me stretching out my hip flexors and that seems to be doing wonders. About the same time I managed to get a minor groin pull while leg pressing. I thought it was behind me, but attempting some squats last night it let me know that going heavy on them might not be in my best interests. This getting older and wiser stuff really sucks.

I also ran into a guy at the gym last night who was doing 405lb deadlifts. I was shocked – it’s rare I see anybody other than myself doing real lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts, especially that heavy. I asked him what his best pull ever was and he admitted he wasn’t sure, but he thought it was around 575. Damn big number, if it’s legit. Then I asked him how much he weighed because this kid looked good – nice and lean and had a real good build to him. He’s only around 170. I then told him in a combination of four letter words what I thought of him! That’s guy / gym – talk for good job, by the way. He walked away with a smile on his face.

170lbs deadlifting 575lbs? Seems pretty damned impressive. 510lbs would be 3x his body weight, so that’s damn near 3.5x. Is it possible? Sure! Is it possible if a person is natural? Mmmm…well…maybe. I won’t deny the guy his claim, but it is only natural for anybody with aspirations towards an achievement like that to want to cheapen the success by making claims of “cheating”. Except the thing is, the only way it’s cheapened is if he didn’t lock it out properly or otherwise lifted it in a non-legitimate way. It’s hard to cheat a deadlift, incidentally.

Does using steroids cheapen an accomplishment like that? I say no. Sure, it potentially puts the user in a different league than a non-hormonally enhanced lifter, but numbers are numbers. It’s quantitative, not qualitative. 575lbs is 575lbs, whether it’s picked up by a man or a forklift. I did 565 once in my basement gym but it was ugly and probably wouldn’t have counted in a competition due to the lack of smoothness of the lift. 550 is my best competition lift. In both cases I weighed over 50lbs more than that guy did. I should also mention that I’ve got some pretty good genetics for strength, blood tests have shown that my body likes to convert the natural juices in my system to raw power – but I’m nowhere near to being in that elite class of natural genetics that makes the top class of power lifters and strong men in the world. I may be in the 1% of the male population that can bench their body weight + 100lbs or more, but it’s that .1% of the male population that sets the records and gives the rest of us goals to shoot for.

So steroids don’t cheapen the results, in my opinion. I say that because where should the line be drawn? No protein shakes? No creatine? No red meat? No protein at all? Hell, why not outlaw food – it’s not part of what occurs in the body naturally, especially if you eat regular genetically modified food versus organic food. Or cattle that are given antibiotics versus all natural grass fed cattle.

No, I firmly believe that the choice is up to the athletes and the leagues they perform in. Untested federations for powerlifting, for example, are probably poor places for a natural lifter to compete with hopes of winning his or her weight class. Similarly competing in a professional league such as the NFL, NHL, or NBA is a bad place for a person who wants records, success, and large paychecks but is unwilling to swallow “special” pills or bare their cheeks to needles. For those natural people there are different venues – tested federations and minor league sports (yet still professional). Of course the money and fame is nowhere near as good…

So tell me again who’s fault it is that anabolic steroid use is considered a problem? It can’t be because the American public wants to watch these “cheaters” do incredible things and are willing to pay the inflated prices necessary to support them?

Wow, not sure how my update on weight loss turned into a discussion on anabolic / androgenic steroids, but it seems viable none the less. I say make the stuff legal and allow people to use it under a doctor’s supervision so that it can be studied, tested, researched, and made safe. Besides, that turns a very large market that is currently under the table and cash based into something the government can get its hook into and tax, raising money for local and federal governments to help out the economy. People are safer, there’s more honesty in the world, and it’s a drop in the bucket to help out the economy – good thing we’re turning a blind eye to the problem and letting the media burn witches at the stake instead.

Categories: Weight Lifting
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