Who’s On Steroids?

pumping-ironInteresting workout today…or more accurately, interesting conversation overheard during my workout today.

A couple of drug-using bodybuilders were training beside me, and one was getting ready for a competition. They were talking openly about the steroids he was on and the ones he thought he should be on.

In case you didn’t know, different steroids result in different results. Some cause more water retention than others, some are more effective for building muscle, and some have more side effects than others.

Now I’ll be honest, I’m not educated enough – or interested enough – to know the differences, but I can tell you this: muscleandfitness2

There are way more guys are on steroids than the average person would guess. Put it this way…if you see a guy and he makes you stop and think, “wow, that dude is big”, I’d say 9/10 times the guy is on juice.

Is that prevalent.

Its not rocket science why these guys are so big.

And we are all far too naive about how many people use steroids.

So you might be thinking, “Would I ever use them?”


I’m too vain to use steroids. I want to hold on to what is left of my hair for as long as I can…and of course, I consider it cheating for a young man to use steroids. Oh yeah, and they are illegal. That’s kind of a big deal to me too!

So I listened and learned to the 2 guys training at my gym, but its not something I’ll be doing.

Back to my workout…it went down like this:

1) Deadlift – worked up to 345×3 double overhand and 385×3 alternate grip. Not bad. frontsquat2

2A) Military Press – 3×6
2B) Front Squat – 2×6

3A) Back Extension – 2×12
3B) Bodyweight Row – 30, 20

Not bad, and I’m definitely not getting weaker, even though I haven’t eaten meat in about 8 weeks. But then again, I didn’t expect to get weaker. It’s only food. As long as you get enough calories on a veggie diet, you’ll easily get enough protein by default. You don’t really need that much.

I guess you could say that most people give way too much “power” and credit to protein, and completely overlook the fact that most big guys are just big because they are on drugs. protein

The magazines have done their job! Completely brainwashed the world into thinking protein supplements have a significant effect on our bodies – which they really don’t.

But that’s another topic for another day…

And then after my workout I bought a loaf of multi-grain pumpkin seed bread and make some almond butter sandwiches, and then followed that up with another blender drink.

  • Frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • almonds
  • cacao nibs
  • 1 tbspn peanut butter
  • almond milk
  • hemp bliss

Good stuff.

Unfortunately that will be the last blender drink till Sunday, since I’m heading out of town – to Arlington, Texas – for a few days. Going to a Texas Rangers game on Friday night…should be fun. And getting some business help from “The Barefoot Executive”, Carrie Wilkerson, during the day.

Should be good times,meal plans

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS – Don’t miss the free veggie meal plans that my friend Kardena Pauza is giving away.

If you’ve ever wanted to make the switch to the Vegetarian Lifestyle, she’s got a great starter plan for you!

Click here for your vegetarian diet plan

  • Adam


    as you stated I know steroids aren’t exactly up your ally and field of expertise. Do you have any references, sites, or thoughts about pro-hormones? Are they a tuned down (legal) version of the roids? Are they just a joke like 99.5% of the supplement marketing? 95% of my male friends gobble that stuff down like candy and I find it stupid, but I guess as you said, I don’t care enough to judge, put down, or nay-say what they do unless I truly know the science behind it..



    • Craig Ballantyne

      Hey Adam,

      Pro-hormones are a super-joke. I actually did a research study on the very first version – Androstenedione – that was popular in 1998 with McGwire.

      Check out the conclusion below…however, this is 10 years later and guys will argue my research is not applicable to what is on the market, so I’ll tell you this…you ask any (honest) pro-bodybuilder what he thinks about pro-hormones and he’d laugh in your face. The pro’s know they are a joke.

      Here’s my study:

      The acute effects of androstenedione supplementation in healthy young males.Ballantyne CS, Phillips SM, MacDonald JR, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDougall JD.
      Department of Kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1.

      We examined the effects of androstenedione supplementation on the hormonal profile of 10 males and its interaction with resistance exercise. Baseline testosterone, luteinizing hormone, estradiol, and androstenedione concentrations were established by venous sampling at 3 hr intervals over 24 hr. Subjects ingested 200 mg of androstenedione daily for 2 days, with second and third day blood samples. Two weeks later, they ingested androstenedione or a placebo for 2 days, in a double-blind, cross-over design. On day 2, they performed heavy resistance exercise with blood sampled before, after, and 90 min post. The supplement elevated plasma androstenedione 2–3-fold and luteinizing hormone approximately 70% but did not alter testosterone concentration. Exercise elevated testosterone, with no difference between conditions. Exercise in the supplemented condition significantly elevated plasma estradiol by approximately 83% for 90 min. Androstenedione supplementation, thus, is unlikely to provide male athletes with any anabolic benefit and, with heavy resistance exercise, elevates estrogen.

  • Steve Corso

    I think the notion that anyone who appears “huge” is on steroids is far too much of a generalization. Huge and ripped? Probably. But there are genetic freaks out there, and the notion of “huge” is in the eye of the beholder, so trading in stereotypes gets a bit dicey–to the point where every out of shape excuse maker will simply say, when he or she sees someone with a pronounced amount of muscle tissue “Oh, of course they’re in shape–they’re on steroids”

    Having, unfortunately, succumbed to the temptation way back in my powerlifting days (the middle 1970s) and used some pharmaceutical enhancement, I will tell you this–they work, they are addictive to someone who is already pretty obsessive about being muscular and strong, and they WILL seriously f#$% you up mentally and physically. I’m 5 foot 6 and used to walk around at a pretty muscular 160. I used to wrestle in college and would cut down to 134-sometimes even 126, believe it or not (stupid–VERY stupid). Once the wrestling team was dissolved because of budget cuts, I began powerlifting with guys who were older than I was, and I got into using the d-bol/deca stack that everyone used back then. Long story short, with no appreciable increase in bodyfat, I went from a normal 160 to 192, and my lifts (for me) went through the roof. Anyone who saw me before and then after had to know I was on something.

    High blood pressure and a lipid profile that a morbidly obese person would have finally shocked me into quitting–and deflating back to 160 and going from a 350 bench back down to 275 was NOT easy psychologically, but I did it, and now, 30 years after, I’m still 160, but my bloodwork looks like a 17 year old’s and my BP is well below normal. I still carry a good deal of muscle, probably close to as much as I did back in college, before my misadventures.I’m very lucky.

    My main point is that it is a fairer estimation of who may or may not be “on drugs” to get a before and after look. Any mature adult male who has been training for a good long time and suddenly puts on a ridiculous amount of lean muscle with no appreciable gain in bodyfat is, yes, probably doing the Pharm 101 course, but I don’t think it’s fair to apply that to everyone that someone reading this might see as “huge”

    And as far as vegans go, if anyone tries to tell you they cant get massive AND massively strong on a vegan diet, check out Mike Mahler–he is a BEAST (double presses 97 lb. kettlebells)and he is a vegan.

    • Craig Ballantyne

      Steve, so true, so true!

  • I would raise questions over some who is “Huge and ripped” Steve, however, I think individuals can get quite Big over years of training with the aim of Build Muscle and Size in mind. I mean if your 20 and weight 200lbs it is realistic to put on 10lbs per year for 5 years and as a result weight in at a rather large 250lbs…