In light of the (pending) Alex Rodriguez suspension, I have decided to write my next piece on steroids and performance enhancing drugs. This is something that I have written about in the past and continue to stay passionate about, so the timing is right. For starters, I work in an industry where steroids and human growth hormone are huge part of the wrestler’s daily diet. I know, I know, there is a very comprehensive, strict wellness policy and drug testing program in the higher wrestling companies. Sure, unless you have a prescription and you are taking something that is not detectable in normal drug tests (human growth hormone). We saw from the Chris Benoit incident that getting a prescription for quadruple the amount you actually need is not all that difficult. I admit that when it comes to recovery and coming back from an injury, steroids can be beneficial. But, how many people are using them solely for recuperating and recovery? From my experiences – none at all. I have been steroid free my whole life and sure, the temptation was there early in my career, but I did not want to sacrifice any long term health problems just to get a job in wrestling. This is a personal decision everybody must make on their own so I am not telling anybody how to live his/her life. For me, it was simply not worth the risk. Many people will point to several cases of long time steroid users who have lived a long healthy life. Well, I could also point to lots of long time smokers who never got lung cancer or career alcoholics who never had a liver fail. It is simply a game of Russian roulette I never wanted to play.
My ear, nose and throat doctor told me one time that he took human growth hormone and he recommended it. A year later, a cardiologist friend of mine told me that it is extremely dangerous and should not be taken whatsoever. And then, you have the advice down the middle. These are professional trained doctors with conflicting stories. Of course you are going to get the same type of conflicting stories from the general public. In wrestling, most pro wrestlers that I have spoken to refuse to connect steroids or HGH with the list of wrestlers who have died at an extremely young age. Instead, they blame it on the pain killers and other prescription drugs. I admit that these are as dangerous, if not more dangerous than steroids, but to say that steroids have nothing to do with the heart attacks and organ failures would be ignorant. I think more often than not, they refuse to admit that what they are taking may eventually kill them, so they have a defense mechanism of “steroids don’t kill.” It is not my job to convince them otherwise. It always amazes me when someone refuses to put a certain type of oil or gas in their car, but have no problem putting a foreign substance in their body. Very odd.
Steroids are not just used in pro sports or pro wrestling. They are used recreationally as well as in movies. Actors use the juice to bulk up for roles. The argument is, if you were going to make 20 million dollars a film, wouldn’t you? Again, this is a personal choice. I understand the temptation more than anybody. When I graduated high school, I weighed 140 lbs. I may actually be a little generous in my estimate. Becoming a wrestler wasn’t even a consideration given my size. So, I hit the weights at the right time and learned the proper way to diet, and gained 20 lbs in one summer. This gave me a little added weight to try out for the college football team. Over the course of the next 6 years, I added another 50 lbs of muscle on, giving me a grand total of 75 lbs of lean muscle. So, this is proof that you don’t need steroids to gain muscle. All you need is dedication, the right work ethic and most importantly a good workout program. I urge anybody who wants to change their lifestyle and eat a clean diet with a very solid workout plan to check out http://www.incredibody.com/. I tried a lot of workout programs growing up, but this was the only one that didn’t push a supplement to go along with it and actually made you focus on real food. With coupon code RJbrewer1070, you will receive a discount. I will be filming a personal endorsement video for this product over the next few weeks. Without this, I don’t think I would have stayed in top physical condition throughout my wrestling career.
One of the big arguments I get from people is that steroids should be legal. If they were, there would be a level playing field in athletic sports. Well that would be assuming that every athlete in that particular sport would use them. If not, then is it their fault for not taking every advantage they can? What kind of message would we be sending to the children who idolize these athletes? Far too often, father figures are replaced by rappers, actors and pro athletes who aren’t always sending the most positive messages. So many athletes have come out and said they do not want to be role models and I understand that, because they shouldn’t be. But truth is, they are. I believe a certain respect for the law and rules and regulations of the particular sport they are in should be required. Until steroids and performance enhancing drugs are legal, then they should obey the rules and face harsh punishment if they don’t.
I have lots and lots of friends who use steroids, human growth hormone and a whole lot more. They have made a personal choice and for that, I respect their decision. To those considering using them, make sure you study, talk to doctors and make a decision based on your needs and future plans. My advice, stay natural, but my message is to decide for yourself. There is a good chance that I could have made a lot more money in wrestling if I had taken steroids and got a lot bigger ( I was indirectly told to). In the end, I decided against it. I have had no major injuries, I am in the same physical shape and ring shape that I was in 10 years ago, and at 34, still feel great. So, if you think it is necessary, it is not. Will it help you? Very possible. Will it hurt you in the long term? Again, very possible. Just remember, it’s your body and the pros and cons will only be yours to enjoy or regret.
This aricle was republished with RJ Brewer’s permission.