On the Juice...

Makalakumu

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It has recently come to my attention that steroid abuse is more rampant then I thought. I guess I knew this when I was in high school. On my wrestling team (and later in kickboxing), I would hit a plateau and other students would get humongous and clean house. I didn't understand it at the time, but I'm looking back and I'm seeing that I worked just as hard.

My question is this...just how prevelent is steriod use among martial artists? Especially those who are geared towards competition! I'm having a feeling that alot of the physiques we are seeing are chemically induced.

upnorthkyosa

PS - Rampant steroid use could really impact how men see themselves. If an "all natural" attempts to compare themselves to a "juicer" it ain't going to be a real comparison...
 

Sin

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I go the all natural way in MA. I do take eccenasia, for immunity, but nothing for strength inhancing. I personally do not know anyone who does steroids, but I know that I steer clear of them they always cause more trouble than they are worth. Most athletes take steroids cause they are pushed. I on the other hand, push myself, and myself alone. I do get the random encouragement from my parents, but I achive my goals on my own, not by some......natural enhancer.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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I'm wondering how many competitive organizations have testing procedures. I was just reading the other day that steroids are easy for athletes to get, so it make sense that an MAist would have just as easy of a time getting them.
 

CMack11

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I don't think there will ever be a way to stop it, ESPECIALLY for those who don't compete in some type of organization.

For organizations, it's somewhat easier. Everybody who competes within an org. has to sign an agreement that states they are subject to random drug tests at any time.

The real problem is $$. It costs a lot of money to both start and maintain an effective program for random drug tests. The tests are expensive. And if you don't regularly test, more people will take their chances.
 

terryl965

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Steroids are all over the place, I believe most MA'ers are a good hearted people and most will stay away from what is not natural, with that being said anything can happen withen any sport or MA.
 

MJS

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upnorthkyosa said:
My question is this...just how prevelent is steriod use among martial artists? Especially those who are geared towards competition! I'm having a feeling that alot of the physiques we are seeing are chemically induced.

I'm sure its a part of the arts, just as its a part of Baseball and any other sport out there. Take a look at the UFC. There are more than a few that have a physique that most likely was not just the results of some hard work in the gym.

Mike
 

bignick

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Although I agree that a there are a lot of atheletes that use performance enhancing methods(not just steroids), lumping everybody with big muscles into the 'roids group is disingenous and discredits those that do live in the gym and and work hard. But that is part of the problem anyways, people that use steroids cheapen and demean the accomplishments of those that dont'...
 

MJS

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bignick said:
Although I agree that a there are a lot of atheletes that use performance enhancing methods(not just steroids), lumping everybody with big muscles into the 'roids group is disingenous and discredits those that do live in the gym and and work hard. But that is part of the problem anyways, people that use steroids cheapen and demean the accomplishments of those that dont'...

I agree Nick. I guess where I was going with this was...look at someone like Mark Kerr or Mark Coleman, compared to Tito Ortiz. Even looking at someone like Ken Shamrock and Belfort. I've seen fights with them where they looked huge, and then others where they appear to have lost a good portion of weight. Looking at any of these fighters, one should be able to tell who is on the 'juice' and who is not. Someone who is doing protein shakes and Creatine is going to have some gains, but nowhere near the body of the others.

Mike
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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I'm thinking that if steroid use is uniform in sports, then, it may be impossible to compete in any higher level MA tournament without steroid use.

For me, I train hard and I'm used to using some of these fellows as bars to measure my ability. Perhaps, in my "all natural" state, this is a very unfair comparison?
 

MJS

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upnorthkyosa said:
I'm thinking that if steroid use is uniform in sports, then, it may be impossible to compete in any higher level MA tournament without steroid use.

For me, I train hard and I'm used to using some of these fellows as bars to measure my ability. Perhaps, in my "all natural" state, this is a very unfair comparison?

You're correct...it is an unfair comparison! Its like comparing a Ford Escort to a Chevy Corvette. Yes, both are cars, but one obviously has much more power. It would only be fair to compare the Vette to cars that are in its same league. That being said, keep in mind, if these guys were not on the juice, what would their performance be??

IMO, the long term effects of the "enhancing" are not worth it. I'd rather keep working hard and get the results that I can being natural.

Mike
 

FearlessFreep

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I'll admit that it comes across like you are trying to build a case for something, steroid use in competitions/competiros, that may or may not be there but for which you have no real evidence. This seems to be either a) to justify not doing as well as you would like in comparison to others since if you compare yourself to others and they do better, it's not fair because they are juiced anyway or b) to justify doing it yourself as the only when you can 'fairly' compete and compare.

To ask 'are steroids use in competitions?' is a good honest question, but you seem to be assuming that is the case and trying to build on from that, which I don't think can be rightfully done with what is known or has been brought up in this conversation, Yea, it's unfair to compare yourself in performance to those on steroid, just as it is unair to compare yourself to eight foot tall four armed aliens, but it's not really a good idea to go from that assumption based on what you see.


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And in another thought; over in the thread about 'strength versus technique' it was put forth and seemed to be consensus that power is generated from good technique and from speed, etc.... and that technique wil win out over strength. If that is indeed the case, then does using steroids really give that much of an edge anyway? Or are we beng inconsistant with ourselves?

Although I think it may depend on your competition. Form/kata competition probably relies on raw power much less than balance and control and focus. TKD sparring probably is based more on technique than strength...UFC sparring seems to be more strength than technique, relatively. On the street...who cares about being fair?
 

Jagermeister

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One way to tell (not always but most of the time) is if I guy seems really bloated. Most steroids promote water retention to a certain degree.

I don't think it is of too great a concern in MA, because regardless of the discipline, I think in MA, technique is so invaluable that it cannot as easily be compensated for by simply adding strength, as it can be in other sports. For example, a comparison - think about baseball and how simply adding strength can turn an average player into a great player. That won't work in MA.
 

Jonathan Randall

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FearlessFreep said:
I'll admit that it comes across like you are trying to build a case for something, steroid use in competitions/competiros, that may or may not be there but for which you have no real evidence. This seems to be either a) to justify not doing as well as you would like in comparison to others since if you compare yourself to others and they do better, it's not fair because they are juiced anyway or b) to justify doing it yourself as the only when you can 'fairly' compete and compare.

To ask 'are steroids use in competitions?' is a good honest question, but you seem to be assuming that is the case and trying to build on from that, which I don't think can be rightfully done with what is known or has been brought up in this conversation, Yea, it's unfair to compare yourself in performance to those on steroid, just as it is unair to compare yourself to eight foot tall four armed aliens, but it's not really a good idea to go from that assumption based on what you see.

While I see where you are coming from, I would have to disagree. Upnorthkyosa's posted clips demonstrate a level of technique that takes more than a couple of years to develop. I think it is fair of him to ask the question as I have no doubt that he put the requisite time in to compete at a high level.

I know from personal experience (not myself, of course) that steriod use is rampant in high school sports on up. The large numbers of athletes who supplement their training with drugs simply are there.
 

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I will admit to having used andro, but not for my MA's. I was using it to help in the body department. I used it for a short time and found the cons to heavily outweight the pros. I had my first real introduction to steroids in college. There were several guys on the football team that were using injectables. They were having massive gains in strength, speed, size, athletic ability, and attitude. They were not cut like a bodybuilder, but they were very large. The attitude portion was the most noticable area of change. They would have major mood swings and were highly aggressive. I don't have any students that currently use chemical enhancement and I hope they will learn from my mistakes and those of others.
 

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It seems that the verdict among doctors and researchers who are doing objective studies on steroids is still out. They still cannot produce any definite evidence that steroids, when taken carefully and in short cycles, cause major health defects. Long term, people that stay continuously "on" or take very little time between cycles - definitely, they say that kind of use is very bad. Steroids put strain on the liver, increase blood pressure, increase cholestorol, and can lead to heart, liver, and kidney disease. It is true that steroids will make a man sterile (not impotent, though), but as soon as he discontinues, the sperm count always returns. So the warnings of longterm sterility are unfounded.

Here's the way I see it. If a grown man wants to do this crap, if he doesn't hurt his family, himself, or anyone else in the process, that's his business. But the real problem is that kids take these sometimes, and if one of them hasn't fully grown, and decides to take steroids, the growth plates fuse, and it's "sorry kid, you're done growing." And nothing can reverse that. And it's difficult to expect kids to deal with the hormonal changes that can affect their moods. "Roid rage" can be especially dangerous with someone who isn't emotionally secure, as is the case with the majority of adolescents.
 
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