The Lighter Side of Heavy Lifting Culture
The Plight of the Large Man
Wasn't getting my scrawny teenage ass into the gym supposed to make my life easier? I thought the protein shakes and crunches were supposed to ensure me good health and an overly capable body. Why is it that after a decade in the gym and after achieving a body reminiscent of an action hero that I dread working up a sweat walking up a flight of stairs or jogging even a mile?
How in the world did Ronnie look so graceful doing the splits; while I fear for his life as my gym partner is red in the face trying to tie his shoes?!
I've come to the realization that I'll have to leave it to my CrossFit friends to chase down the bad guys and clear a city block in one swooping bound. The fact of the matter is looks can be deceiving. While us traditional weightlifters may look the part of the super hero, I have to give credit where it's due, to the functional athletes of the world as what they do is equally as impressive.
I'm in awe of the few gymnasts at the gym where I train. No matter how close my bench gets to double my bodyweight, I do not, and likely will not ever, have the control of my body that they do.
The biggest thing that I never anticipated though when I first began my quest for muscle was the impact the lifestyle can have on internal health. That said, I am far from an advocate for only staying natural. I am however an advocate for harm reduction, making educated decisions, and understanding the short and long term consequences of administering foreign compounds into your body.
The fact of the matter is, I think anabolics add a whole new dimension to the weight lifting journey. It is a new variable to explore and conquer. And with a never ending array of new anabolics hitting the market, there is a lot of experimenting to be done. The new muscle, mood elevation, all day pumps, and the massive rises week after week in strength really beat the burnout, plateaus and slow progress that we all grow accustomed to when training naturally.
That said, no athlete should be chemically enhanced without hedging their bet. There are real dangers to these compounds that can be mitigated by the use of support supplements and avoiding over usage of the anabolic compounds. While on cycle, an emphasis should be placed on antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and a continuous hunger for knowledge. The decision to use performance enhancing drugs shouldn’t be made haphazardly. A thoroughly informed decision will ensure you can get big, and stay that way. There is no need to place yourself at risk for serious side effects. Always keep the big picture and long game in mind when mapping out your cycles.
Below is a tremendous list of cholesterol and liver support products, as well as a few of the most reputable books for anabolic steroid information.
Lipid Stabil: This formula is high in antioxidants, to help reduce homocysteine, LDL oxidation, and the formation of arterial plaque. With a large body of clinical research backing its individual ingredients, Lipid Stabil is among the most complete daily supplement available for supporting healthy cholesterol levels and heart-health.
Cadence: This is a simple formula comprised of two patented extracts. Capros and Astareal (Astaxanthin). It uses the clinically studied dosages of both and is a product with great blood work supporting it's cholesterol lowering effects.
Aqua Red: Joey Rodrigues is a name synonymous with bodybuilding success and supplement genius. He was a great mind behind the thriving days of brands such as Syntrax, SAN and MAN Sports. His new company HALEO is no exception to his legacy of excellence. While it may sound like I'm really kissing this guy’s ass, he is one of the few who deserves the accolades. Aqua Red is a fish and krill supplement of the highest quality. I could go on about the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids to a healthy cholesterol profile, but chances are Dr. Oz already filled you in on that beginners tip.
As they say, follow the minds of the industry. Joey's is a name not unlike Patrick Arnold or William Llewellyn, in the sense that you see it only attached to the highest quality and most innovative products on the market.
Liver Support Supplements:
Liv 52: Probably the most well known and affordable liver support product in the world, Liv 52 (also known as Liver Care), is an herbal detoxification formula. It protects the liver via potent antioxidant properties, and toxin neutralization. It's a formula widely sold across the world and has been on the market for over five decades.
Liver Stabil: Developed by performance-enhancement authority, William Llewellyn, with the anabolics user in mind, this is a comprehensive natural supplement designed to help support and detoxify the liver. This scientifically developed formula is comprised of 14 clinically studied ingredients and supports several key areas of liver health. Most importantly, the formula places an emphasis on hepatic enzyme elevations, glutathione depletion, bile secretion, and bile transport.
Liver Lock: This is a simple, highly effective formula comprised of the newest liver support ingredient TUDCA. Short for tauroursodeoxycholic acid, this is a metabolite of the prescription drug ursodeoxycholic acid, often abbreviated as UDCA. This ingredient should, in theory, support a healthy cholesterol profile as well as lowering liver enzymes due to its ability to support bile flow and aid in bile production. Best of all, the cost is very reasonable, as opposed to the high cost and required prescription associated with acquiring UDCA.
Anabolic Steroid Reference Guides
Without a doubt, the gold standard here is going to be William Llewellyn's ANABOLICS. Currently on its tenth edition, you are looking at 800 pages in your choice of hardcover, soft cover, or e-book of enough information that you'll swear you are a doctor or at the very least a pharmacist by the time you get done reading it.
This is not a read it once and digest all of the information type book, I'm sure even Mr. Llewellyn himself has to refer back to it from time to time. Anabolics 10th ed is a really good book to have on hand for two reasons.
First, it will lay the ground work of building your knowledge of the endocrine system, sample steroid cycles, in depth understanding of the steroidal compounds themselves and also proper post cycle therapy to ensure hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis (avoiding small nuts, bitch tits, and a loss of your hard earned gains).
The second reason is simple, no man alive could remember all of the information between the covers of this book. It's a great book to refer back to any time you have a particular curiosity that you need to satisfy.
ANABOLICS is a scientific, research based resource guide aimed at the education of potential steroid users, as well as the medical professions who may be consulting with these users. Conversely, there are a few authors known for a bit more controversial of works.
Other authors such as Dan Duchaine and Author L Rea tackle the subject in lengthy books of their own from more of a trial and error, “hardcore” angle. These books focus a bit more on the nitty gritty of advanced steroid stacks, achieving ridiculous feats of size and strength, contest prep and more. Many contest prep and local steroid gurus likely picked up a lot of their tips from Duchaine and Rea as there is no true medical science to getting in show shape.
Duchaine's titles such as Body Opus and Underground Steroid Handbook earned him quite the reputation in the 80s and 90s and are still popular reads with chemically assisted athletes today. He was known for being a pioneer, a mad genius, and above all a curious risk taker who was clearly quite invested and passionate about the newly emerging world of PED's. While I would advice great caution while reading his controversial works, they are certainly entertaining, informative, and right up the alley of competitive bodybuilders in need of that extra trick to get in the best condition of their life.
Author L Rea offers two popular titles, Building The Perfect Beast and Chemical Muscle Enhancement. Having spent hours reading all of these books first hand, I can say these are along the lines of the above author’s work. Aimed at the hardcore bodybuilder his works introduce novel concepts that focus a lot on scientific theory more so than published scientific fact.
Contributor: Tim Zakowski