April 4, 2012

"Vial Bodies"

Vanity Fair finally has an article on the use of Human Growth Hormone in Hollywood. It's about time. But not a lot of names in the article: Sylvester Stallone (of course, who got caught in Australia), Nick Nolte, and Oliver Stone, plus some hip-hoppers. Access journalism rules. What about Taylor Lautner, the child actor who added 30 pounds of muscle to stay in the Twilight series? That's sick. There's something seriously wrong now with how the guy's head looks, and he just turned 20.

Somebody ought to write the History of Hollywood via the Drug of the Decade. Critics always right about how it's such a tragedy that their favorite 1970s directors burnt out while Steven Spielberg didn't. Well, Spielberg wasn't, I presume, out of his mind on cocaine all the time. The action films of the 1980s, from about Rocky III onward, were clearly driven by the mainstreaming of steroids, and it soon affected dramatic actors, as well, such as, I would assume, Sean Penn, who spent a month in jail after whaling on a paparazzi.

88 comments:

anony-mouse said...

I have trouble believing that Oliver Stone ingests chemicals that his body actually makes.

Anonymous said...

Americans are ridiculous the way they fight nature with drugs and plastic surgery. We are truly a Faustian nation and we're in for a Fall.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Taylor Lautner grew Arnold Schwarzenegger's chin.

helene edwards said...

Remember when Susan Seidelman was supposed to be the next hot director? Such talent! Maybe some feminist here can explain what happened.

Anonymous said...

FWIW, this is as probably as close as we'll ever get to a definitive treatment of the emergence of the culture of anabolics in the US.

The guy to always keep in mind is Dan Duchaine- the original Steroid Guru.

Ed said...

I think this misses the point a little.

Steroids was a big deal in baseball because there are enough fans that are historical minded that people really want to believe that Barry Bonds was playing the same game under the same conditions as Babe Ruth. And yes, this is allowing for that when Ruth played there were no African-American players in the major leagues, no team in San Francisco, and so on. Its not that there are not changes in the sport, its that each change is met with resistance and griping.

The introduction of steroids, especially the hush hush manner in which this was done, was maybe a change too far. Or it could be that the resistance to this will wear down over time and they become a normal part of team training program. But note that you didn't get nearly the same amount of controversy in other sports.

So in terms of Hollywood actors using steroids, who cares?

Anonymous said...

This is an example of Sailer's (ahem) charmingly loose blogging style - a short post with 2 big typos: "Critics always right about" & "after whaling on a paparazzi".

Also, what the heck does the sentence "Access journalism rules" mean?

Finally, I've never heard of Taylor Lautner before but a quick google image search demonstrates that his head looked seriously wrong even when he was a little kid.

Forget "access journalism" - Sailer's sloppily written (and possibly buzzed) journalism rules!

Excellent!

Danny Boy Webster said...

"Write" you are!

PRCalDude said...

"Skeptics were politely handed copies of The New England Journal of Medicine, circa 1990. There, in the Talmud of medical scholarship, doubters read the results of a study in which a dozen men between the ages of 61 and 81 received large doses of H.G.H. for six straight months. The men ended up losing 14 percent of their body fat while gaining 8.8 percent in lean muscle and 1.6 percent in bone density. The treatment, in the authors’ view, essentially reversed “10 to 20 years of aging.”"

Better effects can be had by squatting a barbell, no matter what age.

The rest of the article goes on to list a series of anecdotes that could easily be explained by placebo effect or Hollywooder psychosis.

Taylor Lautner made the progress an average kid his age could make in 6-12 months with proper eating and training.

An interesting article would be on the increased usage of testosterone by Hollywood women which is much more obvious. The number of female balding man-jaws is skyrocketing.

Steve, I know you think everyone with easily-achievable progress is on gear, but it just ain't so.

Anonymous said...

Americans are ridiculous the way they fight nature with drugs and plastic surgery. We are truly a Faustian nation and we're in for a Fall.

Uh, I hope you realize that steroids are much easier to obtain in Europe and that the nation with more plastic surgeries per capita is Argentina. There's nothing unique about Americans when it comes to resorting to drugs and surgeries in a vain attempt to stave off old age.

Anonymous said...

Many actors are way to muscular today from Sean Penn to Eddie Murphy. It's not natural.

Look at the actors before the 80's like Cary Grant, Marcello Mastriani, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Bogart, Redford. These guys were slim with hardly any muscle. They were normal looking guys.

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve, I know you think everyone with easily-achievable progress is on gear, but it just ain't so."

Did I ever mention that not only is everybody who is more successful than me at anything is undoubtedly on 'roids, but that they are also obvious manic-depressives on the verge of public meltdowns of the scale of that Kony2012 guy?

Anonymous said...

Better effects can be had by squatting a barbell, no matter what age.

What if you prolapse?

Anonymous said...

Many actors are way to muscular today from Sean Penn to Eddie Murphy. It's not natural.

Look at the actors before the 80's like Cary Grant, Marcello Mastriani, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Bogart, Redford. These guys were slim with hardly any muscle. They were normal looking guys.


This is true, but it's not necessarily steroids. It could simply be weightlifting.

The weightlifting culture really started getting big and normal in the 80s.

Regular guys before then didn't really lift weights. Or exercise in general.

Dennis Dale said...

Cry not for Lautner. He's got the film version of The Munsters sewn up, whenever they make it. But he's no Fred Gynne, I bet!

Anonymous said...

Better effects can be had by squatting a barbell

Terrible for your knees and back though. You'll be arthritic by 40, and have drastically reduced mobility by 50.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of steroids, Jeremy Lin is out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Is that a common steroids injury?

Whiskey said...

I don't know if you can make a case that roids fueled the action movie. I'd argue that it was the case of variously:

A. Better writing, particularly in Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.
B. Charismatic actors who could carry audiences emotionally, even if they had limited skills (Schwarzenegger, Norris, Van Damme) and some gifted action actors (Willis, Liam Neeson [Darkman], Mel Gibson).
C. Action movie directors like McTiernan "peaking" at the right time.
D. Better stunts, that produced belief (not the least of which was wire-harnessing lead actors).
E. Older guys still bringing it, like say Roger Moore in Ffawkes.
F. A large group of young White males with money to burn who'd pay to see basically optimistic over-the-top action movies; the stuff PAID.

I have no doubt roids HELPED guys like Arnold and Stallone get big, but was it decisive? IMHO, not so much. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the audience size. Shane Black got umpteen dollars for a screen-writer, as did IIRC Esterhazy, for their action scripts. That sort of payout (for a WRITER) only comes if the studios think the audience will reward them. As that youth cohort aged and was not replaced, naturally the genre died out, to be replaced with tweeny and mom appealing romances.

Anonymous said...

Drinking lots of milk while weightlifting can help you bulk up and gain muscle.

Milk has a lot of growth hormone, both naturally produced by the cow (to help its calf grow) and extra growth hormone added by dairy farmers via diet and medicine.

Anonymous said...

"Sean Penn, who spent a month in jail after whaling on a paparazzi."

Steve, I think paparazzi is plural. Masculine singular is paparazzo, feminine singular is paparazza.

Anonymous said...

Many actors are way too muscular today from Sean Penn to Eddie Murphy. It's not natural.

There's nothing particularly freakish about Penn's and Murphy's physiques. Any healthy adult male who works out a lot can put on that amount of muscle, especially given enough time. Now, when Christian Bale goes from being alarmingly emaciated in The Machinist to very buff in Batman Begins in less than a year, I suspect he had a little help from his friends at Balco.

Anonymous said...

Milk has a lot of growth hormone, both naturally produced by the cow (to help its calf grow) and extra growth hormone added by dairy farmers via diet and medicine.

Source? I call BS.

Anonymous said...

Better effects can be had by squatting a barbell

Terrible for your knees and back though. You'll be arthritic by 40, and have drastically reduced mobility by 50.


Is this true, that squats are bad for your knees and back? What do you recommend doing instead?

Steve Sailer said...

In the 1980s and early 1990s, Sean Penn changed size radically from one movie to the next. He then announced he was retiring from acting.

I don't believe he's done that as much since he's returned. My guess is that, amazing as it sounds, that he learned a lesson.

Felix said...

Americans are ridiculous the way they fight nature with drugs and plastic surgery. We are truly a Faustian nation and we're in for a Fall.

I hope when you are struck down by some terrible illness you will "go quietly into that good night" rather than "fight nature" by availing yourself of modern medical care. Otherwise, you are a huge hypocrite.

Chris said...

What's really vile is that the progressivist FDA and monopolistic AMA essentially collude to keep performance enhancing drugs out of the hands of everyone but those rich enough to get around the law. HGH is dangerous, but other options could be explored like a middle ground between over-the-counter and prescription drugs where consumers would have to take courses before being allowed to buy certain drugs--like driver's ed or hand gun safety courses.

Anonymous said...

"There's nothing particularly freakish about Penn's and Murphy's physiques. Any healthy adult male who works out a lot can put on that amount of muscle, especially given enough time."

True, but nobody seemed to do it in the past and few of the movie star in the past were muscular.

Even NBA players form the 70's and 80's look so much thinner than the players now.

When you see someone like Penn you know he worked and his look is "manufactured", even if he didn't use steroids.

Carrot Top looks freakish to me.

Ray Sawhill said...

If I may be indulged ... Here's a funny piece about '80s action movies by the actor Jake Thomas that I ran on my blog:

LINK

Anonymous said...

Source? I call BS.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milk#Bovine_growth_hormone_supplementation

"Since November 1993, with FDA approval,[85] Monsanto has been selling recombinant bovine somatotropin (rbST), also called rBGH, to dairy farmers. Cows produce bovine growth hormone naturally, but some producers administer an additional recombinant version of BGH which is produced through a genetically engineered E. coli because it increases milk production. Bovine growth hormone also stimulates liver production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)."

The purpose of milk is to nourish baby mammals in a high growth stage of life, so it's not surprising that it contains natural growth hormones.

The folk wisdom of milk helping you grow tall and strong is true.

Though it's not clear how healthy it is for adults to drink lots of milk. Those same growth hormones and insulin might stimulate growth generally, including tumor growth, which obviously isn't good.

PRCalDude said...

Wrong.

http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/full_squats_or_not

Anonymous said...

"Better effects can be had by squatting a barbell

Terrible for your knees and back though. You'll be arthritic by 40, and have drastically reduced mobility by 50."

I'm 58 and do crossfit. We do below 90 degree squats, Olympic lifts, Wall balls, air squats, box jumps etc. Lots of people over 40 doing crossfit that I see (and over 50 and 60 too) I guess we're all just lucky so far.

Anonymous said...

Wrong.

http://startingstrength.com/index.php/site/full_squats_or_not


Rippetoe nut-hugger alert.

swolepapi420 said...

Terrible for your knees and back though. You'll be arthritic by 40, and have drastically reduced mobility by 50.

Not true.

Value of resistance training for the reduction of sports injuries.

"Resistance training in addition to increasing muscular strength and hypertrophy may also aid in the prevention of injuries. Research indicates that resistance training promotes growth and/or increases in the strength of ligaments, tendons, tendon to bone and ligament to bone junction strength, joint cartilage and the connective tissue sheaths within muscle. Studies involving humans and animal models also demonstrate resistance training can cause increased bone mineral content and therefore may aid in prevention of skeletal injuries."

Here is an excellent summary of what the peer-reviewed literature says about barbell squats.

Drunk Idiot said...

Anonymous (4/4/12 8:53 PM) said...

"Speaking of steroids, Jeremy Lin is out for the season with a meniscus tear in his knee.

Is that a common steroids injury?
"

It's a common injury in sports where there's a lot of running, jumping and cutting/change of direction ... like basketball.

Structural knee injuries like meniscus tears and ligament tears typically result from trauma to the knee (even if the trauma is caused by simply landing the wrong way from a jump or by having your knee twist the wrong way when changing direction), rather than by the effect of overdeveloped muscles excessively straining tendons -- the type of injury that's commonly associated (but perhaps apocryphally so) with steroid use.

Not sure where the idea that Lin is a juicer comes from. It's true that he's bigger and stronger than he was as a Harvard undergrad. But he dedicated himself to gaining strength and adding muscle after he had trouble winning himself a roster spot on an NBA team last year. His muscular development is nothing out of the ordinary for somebody who's spent the last year and a half training for basketball (and doing so under the guidance of sophisticated professional trainers).

Anonymous said...

"This is an example of Sailer's (ahem) charmingly loose blogging style - a short post with 2 big typos"

It's futile to correct him. He doesn't care anymore.

Kylie said...

Vial Bodies

OR

A Glandful of Lust

Anonymous said...

I'm 58 and do crossfit. We do below 90 degree squats, Olympic lifts, Wall balls, air squats, box jumps etc. Lots of people over 40 doing crossfit that I see (and over 50 and 60 too) I guess we're all just lucky so far.

LOL.

Here's a hilarious Crossfit Fail Compilation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnnOWfj2TW4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Oc655_-0I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7awHXVAGQYc

Anonymous said...

Don't listen to Rippetoe. He teaches the fake, low bar, powerlifting squat. It's for weak, soft guys who want to instantly add 100 lbs to their squat.

Learn the real, full, Olympic squat. Like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86Elx5WbzH4

Anonymous said...

As that youth cohort aged and was not replaced, naturally the genre died out, to be replaced with tweeny and mom appealing romances.

Whiskey - your apologia for the [your?] Scots-Irish bosses works right up until your final sentence.

1) Why was "that" [particular] youth cohort NOT replaced?

2) As you indicate, there were "tweenies" and "Moms" waiting in the wings, but why was "that" cohort [of 1) above] suddenly absent from the scene?

[BTW, I have an idea what your answer is going to be...]

Anonymous said...

Did I ever mention that not only is everybody who is more successful than me at anything is undoubtedly on 'roids, but that they are also obvious manic-depressives on the verge of public meltdowns of the scale of that Kony2012 guy?

Maybe a little off-topic, but I was just reading the Wikipedia article on Tyler Lautner's childhood, and it's abundantly obvious that his Dad was the child-actor's equivalent of the football-Dad who gets his son a gig as the quarterback [or, at worst, the place-kicker].

Anonymous said...

Value of resistance training for the reduction of sports injuries.

Resistance training is pretty broad. It isn't just squats.

Reduction of sports injuries is a poor metric for gauging the long term effects. Older people don't play competitive sports.

Older people who've squatted 20, 25 years have really messed up knees and backs. There is tremendous loading on the spine in the squat. It gets really compressed.

swimming swan said...

"...and it soon affected dramatic actors, as well, such as, I would assume, Sean Penn, who spent a month in jail after whaling on a paparazzi."

And yet Lady Di would still be alive today were the paparazzi encouraged to have a healthy respect for the stars they incessantly harass. What about an Open Season on the Paparazzi Day held during the height of the tourist season in California?

green mamba said...

"Remember when Susan Seidelman was supposed to be the next hot director? Such talent! Maybe some feminist here can explain what happened."

I do remember that. I was a teen film enthusiast when "Desperately Seeking Susan" came out and went along with the prevailing opinion (I think Pauline Kael was one of the few critics who panned that film). Caught it on cable recently and it looked pretty awful - stilted, unfunny, full of cliches. There's even a platinum blonde male villain.

Lara said...

I always assume any woman my age, with a great body, has had plastic surgery, and is taking some kind of appetite suppressant.

Lara said...

I think access journalism means you have to kiss up to the stars, or you won't get any interviews.
I think men who bulk up too much don't look as good when they age. Also, men with lean muscle are more athletic lovers.

Anonymous said...

Steroids has always been about cheating in competitions and narcissism. It has never been about masculinity and the religious patriarchy. You look at what feminists would call "religious sexist, misogynist, patriarchal" like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum and look at their body builds. They're slim and normal yet strong. You look at the male form of previous generations where patriarchs ruled and not many men looked as unnatural as today.

Lise said...

Growing up, my friend's dad worked for the National Enquirer. He had a lot of good celbrity stories like that Burt & Loni had to fire their houskeeper & another servant becase their son saw them so much more often than their parents that he called them mom & dad. And this one about the roid rager Penn (who used to beat on Madonna all the time.) He rode an elevator with Sean Penn once, trying to get a scoop.

Sean turned to my freinds dad and said "I hate reporters."

My friend's dad replied "Me, too."

Sean laughed.

David said...

>Sailer's sloppily written (and possibly buzzed) journalism<

Capitalize Google, Anon.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Is this true, that squats are bad for your knees and back? What do you recommend doing instead?

No it's not true. One million years of evolution molded your body to perform squats.

Always do full squats.

Svigor said...

An interesting article would be on the increased usage of testosterone by Hollywood women which is much more obvious. The number of female balding man-jaws is skyrocketing.

I always assumed it was just a casting shift. I.e., casting preference going to more masculine women, who are going to be more extraverted, man-jawed, etc.

It's got to be more than a 'roid thing. I suppose women need to be cut nowadays (because that's what H-wood wants, though God knows why), but they can get that without 'roids. (Also, being cut/low BMI will make a woman's face look more angular) But if it was a matter of helpless casting agents working with what they had, surely there'd be more than a few curvy, feminine women making their way into projects. On the other hand, if it's a sea change in casting, the disappearance of curvy, feminine women makes more sense.

Anonymous said...

""This is an example of Sailer's (ahem) charmingly loose blogging style - a short post with 2 big typos"

It's futile to correct him. He doesn't care anymore."

The fact that Sailer can write blog posts that are more engaging, thoughtful and truthful than just about anyone at the NY Times, while plastered no less, is one of the reasons I keep coming back.

G Joubert said...

People who make a living off of their bodies --athletes and most actors-- need every advantage they can get. Their shelf-life is often short and the money too big to not.

Kylie said...

"I think men who bulk up too much don't look as good when they age."

I think men don't look as good when they age period, unless they are Cary Grant or Curt Jurgens.

"Also, men with lean muscle are more athletic lovers." Yes, lean is preferable but I'll take imaginative over athletic in that area any day. I watched the famous scene in Don't Look Now and thought Boy, it took them forever to find a position they both enjoyed. They look like they're pioneering a new Olympic sport: pairs gymnastics. I guess that's all right if your idea of a sex toy is an Ace bandage.

Kylie said...

"The fact that Sailer can write blog posts that are more engaging, thoughtful and truthful than just about anyone at the NY Times, while plastered no less, is one of the reasons I keep coming back."

Mrs. Sailer, I presume?

Otherwise I wonder how you know the "fact" that Steve is plastered?

I think you all theorizing way too much about him. Sometimes a subject interests him enough that he writes a long, reasoned and inspired blog entry about it. Other times, a subject interests him enough that he'll toss it out there but not enough for him really to explore it at length and in depth.

As far as "we" are concerned, I don't think he really gives a flip. He'd probably like some of us more than others (no, I don't count myself in the first group) if he thought about it. I doubt he thinks about it.

I think it really is that simple.

swimming swan said...

"I always assumed it was just a casting shift. I.e., casting preference going to more masculine women, who are going to be more extraverted, man-jawed, etc."

I don't think we live on the same planet, Svigor. Greater T/ leaner bodies would make anyone less, not more verbally fluent. Plus body fat (and face fat) tend to coincide with verbosity and fast talking in my world.

Otherwise, I've noticed that people in general have weird heads these days. Every time I go to the store I see an endless parade of people with large, oddly shaped heads. There've been some humdingers of chins on people as well, long and pointy like the proverbial witches of old. For decades, I never saw a prominent chin on anyone other than Kirk Douglas. Where are these people from?

Whatever happened to that childhood pic of Sailer, btw? You know, the one where he's camping and his bubble head is on prominent display.

Polymath said...

to Anonymous from 14 1/2 hours ago:

Your assumption that cows given growth hormone to PRODUCE more milk will also have a greater concentration of growth hormone IN the milk is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sean Penn is considered one of those jacked actors, like Vin Diesel or the Rock. As per his paparazzi attacks, the roid rage theory sounds half-baked. Arnold and Stallone probably took much higher doses of steroids/HGH than Sean Penn ever tried, yet you never heard of them getting arrested left and right for assault.

Paul Mendez said...

Look at the actors before the 80's like Cary Grant, Marcello Mastriani, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Bogart, Redford. These guys were slim with hardly any muscle. They were normal looking guys.

Look at pictures of shirtless sailors and Marines in WW2 Pacific Campaign and compare them to pictures of shirtless soldiers today. That we managed to beat the Japs and the Krauts with such scrawny troops is simply incomprehensible. Especially when you think that today's buff Army is having so much trouble subduing a a bunch of malnourished Pashtun goat-herders with 30-year-old rifles.

Anonymous said...

Saen Penn doesn't need steroids to make him act like an ass...although for a time, yes, I do think he used them.

Anonymous said...

"Especially when you think that today's buff Army is having so much trouble subduing a a bunch of malnourished Pashtun goat-herders with 30-year-old rifles."

I think you need to update yourself regarding weaponry available to the "goat-herders." You might be surprised, and it will help you present yourself here without looking like a stupid ass.

Anonymous said...

I'm 58 and do crossfit. We do below 90 degree squats, Olympic lifts, Wall balls, air squats, box jumps etc. Lots of people over 40 doing crossfit that I see (and over 50 and 60 too) I guess we're all just lucky so far.

Nobody in Crossfit knows how to actually do the lifts properly.

Here's a Crossfit compilation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnnOWfj2TW4

Anonymous said...

>Look at pictures of shirtless sailors...

No thanks. No way in hell I'm having Google image searches for "shirtless sailors" or "tyler loutner buff" etc in my browser history.

I'm weirded out by the comments here.

Paul Mendez said...

I think you need to update yourself regarding weaponry available to the "goat-herders." You might be surprised, and it will help you present yourself here without looking like a stupid ass.

Well, I could refer you to some articles from SmallArmsoftheWorld.com, but you need to be a paid subscriber like me to access them. So, I'll refer you to:


http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/whats-inside-a-taliban-gun-locker/

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/taliban-gun-lockers-the-rifles-of-rural-ghazni-province/

Of course, we all know the NYT is a liberal rag, so feel free to poo-poo them all you want.

BTW - Your calling me a "stupid ass" suggests that maybe you're a buff soldier yourself who recently found himself on the wrong end of one of those goat-herder's rifles? If so, I'm sorry to hear that and thank you for your service.

OR, you could just be a rude, anonymous smart-ass. Hard to tell.

Worked in PR said...

Re: Taylor Lautner, what is worse than a stage mother? A stage father.

When Lautner had lunch with Gus Van Sant, and the guy who wrote MILK, a gay acquaintance of mine observed to me, "Chicken, meet hawk."

Taylor is a 'mo.

Anonymous said...

When Lautner had lunch with Gus Van Sant, and the guy who wrote MILK, a gay acquaintance of mine observed to me, "Chicken, meet hawk."

You're confused. Your acquaintance was coming onto you. After all, you worked in PR.

sunbeam said...

Hmmm I had decided not to post here anymore, but this is getting me off the bench.

"Look at pictures of shirtless sailors and Marines in WW2 Pacific Campaign and compare them to pictures of shirtless soldiers today. That we managed to beat the Japs and the Krauts with such scrawny troops is simply incomprehensible. Especially when you think that today's buff Army is having so much trouble subduing a a bunch of malnourished Pashtun goat-herders with 30-year-old rifles."

The modern muscleman look is kind of like a big tail on a peacock, it really isn't very useful for most things.

Sure it can help with sports, but what they do in sports really doesn't translate to other parts of life like work, or war.

A short 100 pound Vietnamese villager is just as lethal as a 6'2" Marine since the gun was invented.

Maybe if we were still fighting with spears, all that muscle mass would be more useful. I kind of doubt it though.

And when it comes to hard work, if you look at pictures of historical lumberjacks or people who swung a sledgehammer all day, they are always ripcord lean.

My family, like most, were farmers until the 20th century. All the men in the family photos are lean with not an ounce of fat.

Later generations have developed weight problems however.

Just saying that a physique for a Hollywood movie, is pretty much only good for being in a Hollywood movie in a more important sense.

I guess there are some reproductive advantages in mate selection.

Or financial, if you are working as a gay hooker. In the 80's I had an acquaintance from Miami who was a big bodybuilder. A friend of his had gone to LA hoping to make it as a bodybuilder. Typical story, had trouble making enough to pay for a roof over his head, and the funds it took to work out (gym, supplements, etc). Plus that kind of working out takes an ass-load of time and that isn't compatible with 2 or 3 McJobs.

A well known bodybuilder of the time (a very recognizable name, not Schwartzenegger or Ferrigno though) offered to set him up as a male escort. The young man declined and went back to Miami.

Anonymous said...

A well known bodybuilder of the time (a very recognizable name, not Schwartzenegger or Ferrigno though) offered to set him up as a male escort. The young man declined and went back to Miami.

I had a similar experience when I lived in Southern California - I was stuck doing low wage work in a hospital when one of the big healthcare muckety mucks told me that he knew someone who could get me a job as a lifeguard on the beach.

It was pretty apparent what the idea of it all was, though - i.e. I'm pretty sure that there would have been a requirement for a little Larry Sinclair/Reggie Love action before your lifeguard application was moved to the top of the heap - I imagine that a typical lifeguard opening in Southern California received thousands or tens of thousands of applications.

Ola Hansson said...

I wouldn´'t say squats have the same benefits as HGH, but they are surely cheaper, safer and will benefit you in myriads of other ways. I'd also say they are good for your knees and back if they are performed correctly. This article http://www.athleticdesign.se/athletics/squat_article_1_english.html explains the biomechanics of the squats with interactive flash-applications. Sorry for the self promotion, but I've been a daily reader of Steve for 11 years, and I rarely feel I have something of value to contribute. This is a subject I know however!

Worked in PR said...

"You're confused. Your acquaintance was coming onto you. After all, you worked in PR."

Nope. I have the wrong equipment. For that sort of thing.

Regarding muscularity, it's amazing to look at pre-1980s athletes and compare them with today's hulks.

Cassius Clay was slender:

http://www.predictem.com/images/muhammad-ali.jpg

Anonymous said...

"An interesting article would be on the increased usage of testosterone by Hollywood women which is much more obvious. "

Or more innocently, the effect of sports on the testosterone levels in girls and how many of today's leading ladies with prominent jaw-lines fall under that category. How many ageing female politicians use it?

and then there is this buff cheerleader.

Anonymous said...

"Nobody in Crossfit knows how to actually do the lifts properly.

Here's a Crossfit compilation:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnnOWfj2TW4"

LOL, Yep, your video captured everyone I know who does crossfit. Except maybe this guy:
http://games2011.crossfit.com/node/617739

Anonymous said...

Vial bodies. Looks like we're all going fascist.

Big time cyber fascism this summer. I hope it's as good as TRON LEGACY.

Anonymous said...

It seems a lot of people need to see Chris Bell's "Bigger Faster Stronger". The percentage of everyday people juicing is frightening, never mind the people who actually realize a financial gain out of their use. Any gym I've belonged to had multiple sources for whatever PED you'd want.

Part of what's driving this is people are more athletically active longer these days, and those my age (53) aren't willing to let T loss keep us from the activities we've been doing our whole lives. I currently take a pseudo T supplement, but I know it's only a matter of time before I want the real thing.

Re: squats. I've been powerlifting since I was 16, doing heavy squats (max out at 605 in my 20s). Thirty-seven years later, my knees are totally beat now; I'm living with a torn meniscus in both knees with the attendant arthritis. I don't squat anymore, go very light on the extensions, but still top out at 26 45 lb. plates on the leg press with very little pain. If swolepapi420 actually read his link to the end, he'd have seen that people with "certain types" of knee and back pain should avoid squats!

Kylie said...

"'Or more innocently, the effect of sports on the testosterone levels in girls and how many of today's leading ladies with prominent jaw-lines fall under that category. How many ageing female politicians use it?'

and then there is this buff cheerleader"


Whoa, I guess "buff" doesn't mean what I thought it meant.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say something regarding steroids and muscles. As a guy who bodybuilds semi-seriously, genetics seems to be the most important thing for building muscles. Genetics determines both your number of muscle fibers, their capacity to add sarcomeres - which increases the thickness of individual myofibrils -, your ability to mitigatecatabolism and also your number of receptors for androgens. Some guys blow up on steroids, wilst others are almost completely non-responsive. As a general rule, blacks respond the most dramatically to steroids and Asians the least. A steroid can only exer it's physiological effects by latching onto a receptor at the surface of muscle cells, and the number and sensitivity of these receptors is determined by genetics.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a freak of Nature. Even at age 13, he weighted 200 lbs. At 15, before entering a gym, he was a lean 220 lbs. How many 15 year-old boys you know who are a muscular 220 lbs without even working out? He was the captain of his high school's football team without even trying and his strength and power far surpassed that of of the average adult man several years older than him. The fact that he had that much muscle without even working out indicates he was born with far more muscle cells than is normal for a human being, because what creates volume in a muscle is the number and degree of hypertrophy of the muscle cells contained in it, and since his muscle cells were obviously not hypetrophied since he didn't even work out, then the great volume of his muscle could only be explained by him having an abnormal number of muscle cells.

Consider his voice. Unlike what many think, one's voice does not significantly deepens when one uses steroids. The pitch of one's voice is dtermined by how many receptors for androigens one has on the vocal cords in the larynx, and this is regulated by genes. You can take all the testosterone in the World, but if you don't have the test receptors, your vocal cords won't thicken and thus your voice won't drop. The fact that he has a deep voice indicates that he has a high number of recpetors for male hormones. His dad was a policeman famous for being bruthish and drunk, so maybe he simply is more genetically sensitive to male hormones. Millions of men in the World take much more steroids than Arnold ever did, and yet very few men in the history of the Earth have ever looked like him.

It is painful to admit it, but th4 achievements of a lot of people out there do not constitute some kind of "cheating"; they are simply better. And we will never be able to match them. Bobby Fischer comes to mind. He was reading chess journals in six different languages and could solve integral calculus at the age of seven. Seven! Try to top that. 99.99% of people cannot do that at age 17 no matter how hard they try, let alone seven. The only POSSIBLE conclusion is that some people are just INNATELY better.

Anonymous said...

What about birth control? Contraception has been causing huge hormonal changes in men and women. People can easily differentiate children born from mothers who use contraception vs. those who don't.

pat said...

Steve is generally forward looking but he has a blind spot towards anabolic steroids. I blame baseball. If he followed a more modern sport like Ninja Warrior he might not worry so much.

Baseball is obsessed with records. My cousin Willie and I drove all the way to Baltimore to catch a night game with the Yankees. Maris and Mantle were trying to break Ruth's record. When Maris did get to 61, they put an asterisk in the record books. Then when Sosa, McGwire and Bonds bulked up with steroids no record was safe. Steve thinks this is a bad thing. In fact it's just a baseball thing.

In Ninja Warrior no one cares about cheating or diminishing established records - because there aren't any. They change the obstacles at random. Train for one challenge and they may have substituted a new one for which you are unprepared.

Baseball is a statistics oriented game and steroids have screwed up the record books. Rather than outlaw steroids just follow a different sport.

Speaking of feminine jaw lines - do you mean Milla Jovovich? Who else? Ali Larter who teams up with her in those female kick-ass Resident Evil movies, looks all girl to me.

Anonymous said...

i lifted weights 3 times a week in high school (for football) no way did anyone get as 'ripped' as the steriod guys today.

I sincerely doubt all the 'ripped' guys i see have achieved this through weight training.

The naracassim and male vanity, even with straights, is disturbing. In nyc i constantly guys removing their shirts when running, or on warm days in 74 degree weather.. so effeminate and naracassitic!

Steve Sailer said...

According to the girlfriend of Barry Bonds, who ratted on him, in 1998 at age 33, when he hit .303 with 37 homers and 122 RBIs and a .609 slugging average (i.e., roughly an MVP level season before juicing), he was not juicing. She said that, unjuiced, he could only manage about 15 minutes of lifting per day during the season (ballplayers play six days per week on average). And, he was _not_ ripped. He only got ripped-looking when he went on the juice.

This is not to say that men can't get ripped without chemical help. Bonds couldn't lift much because he had to play six times a week and needed his muscles in top condition for each game, not in rebuilding mode. Guys for whom lifting is the main event, not the means to an end of better athletic performance, can afford to change their looks. But still ... we're talking about a great athlete, a 3 time MVP without juice, the son of a great athlete. And, he wasn't ripped until he went on PEDs.

Anonymous said...

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a freak of Nature.

Are you his boyfriend or something? Stop sniffing his jock so much.

Anonymous said...

And, he was _not_ ripped. He only got ripped-looking when he went on the juice.

I think you mean bulked, not ripped.

He was pretty lean and ripped before. He added bulk i.e. muscle mass after the roids.

sunbeam said...

I was going to make a post about modern size increases in nfl linemen being an indicator of steroid use.

The backs and linebackers are about the same size even after 50 years. Butkus, Nischke, and Willie Lanier could be all pros today I think. Strangely quarterbacks have grown more than any of the other skill guys to my eyeball test. Tight end sort of too, but I guess they had to to play on the line.

The 1960's Chargers were the first team I remember being known for weightlifting. Ron Mix in particular.

So I googled this up and was very surprised:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

Steroids have been around a long time. Apparently it was only in certain pockets (like the 70's Steelers; the article does mention Noll coached under Gillman in San Diego), before becoming widespread in the league in the 80's I guess.

The 80's is when the elephants started coming on the field.

Remember how big the fridge was? Now he might not be big enough to play nose tackle. Might be undersized as a 4-3 defensive tackle.

Anonymous said...

Guys for whom lifting is the main event, not the means to an end of better athletic performance, can afford to change their looks.

Olympic weightlifters generally lift everyday, usually multiple times per day. Heavy lifting - max singles, dubs, trips. They'll use PEDs so they can maintain this daily regimen of maxing out everyday.

The domination of the communist world i.e. USSR/Eastern Bloc/China in Olympic weightlifting has made this kind of brute force training (with or w/out PEDs) acknowledged to be the best for Oly lifting competition. And it does seem to be the case that this is true. The way to lift as much as possible in a single lift in competitions does seem to be to train by lifting as much as possible as often as possible. It makes sense since you're stressing your body and forcing it to adapt to these extremely high weights. Other regimens emphasizing lots of rest and not maxing out seem to be less effective. Of course the long run health and ability of the athletes is another matter.

David Davenport said...

Paul Mendez said...

Look at pictures of shirtless sailors and Marines in WW2 Pacific Campaign and compare them to pictures of shirtless soldiers today. That we managed to beat the Japs and the Krauts with such scrawny troops is simply incomprehensible.


People were physically smaller back then. I heard or read somewhere that the average jacket size for a WWII US Army enlisted man was a 38 regular. Likewise for Landsheer.

And there are lots of anecdotes about American miltary men of 1942-45 gaining weight after joining or being inducted into a branch of service. They were eating more and better than they had been as civilians of 1941 or so, even though the Depression was supposed to be over.

Especially when you think that today's buff Army is having so much trouble subduing a a bunch of malnourished Pashtun goat-herders with 30-year-old rifles.

"Paul Mendez," you sure do know how to make new friends.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a freak of Nature. Even at age 13, he weighted 200 lbs. At 15, before entering a gym, he was a lean 220 lbs. How many 15 year-old boys you know who are a muscular 220 lbs without even working out? He was the captain of his high school's football team without even trying ...

What Hochshule did Arnold attend as an Austrian teenager?

Anonymous said...

Steve is generally forward looking but he has a blind spot towards anabolic steroids. I blame baseball. If he followed a more modern sport like Ninja Warrior he might not worry so much



Not blind, just a different take on them than you.

Judging by all the people who leap to the defense of steroids whenever the topic comes up, their use is very widespread. Which is sort of pathetic if you think about it.

Anonymous said...

Look at pictures of shirtless sailors and Marines in WW2 Pacific Campaign and compare them to pictures of shirtless soldiers today. That we managed to beat the Japs and the Krauts with such scrawny troops is simply incomprehensible


I'd put my money on the WWII era guys in a war with the modern American, assuming the same weaponry. Physical toughness is not a trait which is apparent in photographs. Mental tougness, even less so.

Anonymous said...

The naracassim and male vanity, even with straights, is disturbing. In nyc i constantly guys removing their shirts when running, or on warm days in 74 degree weather.. so effeminate and naracassitic!


And steroids are all about male vanity. It's appearance which counts, not anything else.

My sense is that the vast majority of todays American men under the age of 30 have never been in a real fist-fight. Those 'roid enhanced muscles are there for looks, nothing else. They are the male equivalent of silicon enhanced boobs.

Kylie said...

"Look at pictures of shirtless sailors and Marines in WW2 Pacific Campaign and compare them to pictures of shirtless soldiers today. That we managed to beat the Japs and the Krauts with such scrawny troops is simply incomprehensible."

It's not incomprehensible to me.

Records show my Uncle Grant was 5'7", 137 lbs at age 24 when he enlisted in Jan. 1941. He was small and sinewy and could turn his hand to anything. Once my brother (so hyper the docs wanted to medicate him) spent a day helping Uncle Grant do some roofing. My brother was so exhausted that he could barely stay awake at the dinner table, he complained he couldn't keep up with Uncle Grant. My brother was then 18, Uncle Grant was 58.

I never knew Uncle Grant received the Purple Heart until a few years before his death when, for some reason, he brought it out to show us. But it didn't surprise me.

Not bragging about blood kin, by the way. He was my uncle by marriage and from the time he married into our family until his death, its mainstay.