5 Reasons Why Squats Are Stopping You from Getting BIG Arms

The bar was loaded. My back was covered in chalk. The belt was squeezing my waist like a pair of pliers. A rhythm that could make a dead heart beat again, and a guitar escorting your soul to the place where deities live, were coming out of my headphones. I got under the bar – ready to kill, ready to tear weakness and castrate the demons holding me down.

Right when I was about to unrack the iron sculpture, destiny gave me not what I wanted, but what I needed. A man with toothpick legs and absolutely monstrous arms teleported himself out of nowhere and started doing biceps curls right in front of me with no shame whatsoever.

”No! No! No! Just, No! I thought that one must squat and deadlift to build the biggest upper arms possible,” I said to myself, abandoned my squat mission and sat on a chair I had secured for rest in-between sets.


I wanted an explanation. I wanted someone to put an end to my puzzling. Nobody did, but I found the answer myself once I opened my eyes and reclaimed my common sense, which had been infected by a drunken ego looking for an alternative way to acquire arm superiority.

Today, I give you five reasons why squat addiction is taking you further away from your goal to build the biggest arms you can.

1. You Don’t Squat with Your Arms, Hopefully

The fact that the arms are not part of the muscles extending or flexing your knees should be easily conceivable on the part of a man capable of tying his shoes. Yet the right brain of many lifters is deeply altered by legends suggesting that squats catalyze biceps and triceps hypertrophy. The source of this notion are experts sleeping next to a barbell plate who need to be constantly reminded that there are laws in this world other than those found in their remarkable souls and thick heads.

Year after year, those geniuses and their crew of fully or partially reprogrammed warriors riding the horse of delusions return to the theory that a young man eager to burst out of his sleeves and earn the characteristic ”muscular” should chain himself to the squat and reach arbitrary numbers approved by the Party. Only then he would be worthy of receiving a T-shirt specifying his gender.

The argument upon which the crusaders serving the the squat rack rely on is: ”The squat triggers unparalleled growth response throughout the entire organism and turns babies into men.”

This notion is not based on concrete evidence or strong logic. It results from a level of self-righteousness rising rapidly above reality and sanity.

The squat, one of gravity’s strongest allies against humans lifting weights, generates a lot of pain stimulating the creation of gym legends. But the fact that an exercise is difficult does not give us the right to wrap it in qualities that don’t exist. The squat neither increases your testosterone levels by an amount worth talking about nor does it hit your arms directly. No matter how hard you squeeze the bar or scream, the squat will never be an arm exercise. It’s dedicated to the lower body and the trunk.

2. If You Are Squatting, You Are Not Curling

You have to choose. The day or the night? You can’t have both. If you build your routine around squats, you lose the right to act surprised when you look in the mirror and identify a centaur. This is what you get for deactivating your left brain when you need it the most. If you want to build the biggest arms you can, a squat rep does not count as a step towards your goal. The more you squat, the further away you move from your goal because you are investing your mind, body and soul into an adventure unable to produce the results you want.

Because of a demonizing campaign against curls and their friends, many people hiss like a cobra when they see you curling. Forgive them. They just don’t get it yet, for their egos are too focused on receiving validation from other men.

Humans feed off approval. We want others to see us as unique and superior creatures. It takes a certain amount of experience, courage, and unconventionalism to get out of the gym matrix and do what you want to do without paying attention to the audience.

Squatting knights criticize curl and bench monkeys for focusing on arm training due to narcissistic motivation, but how are they any different? Why do you want a big squat? Oh, just say it already! Your precious squat is the equivalent of big arms.

Paths? There are many. Exits only a few.

3. The Squat Consumes Too Much Power

The squat-martyrs are easy to recognize. Just look for lifters in the squat rack with frightened eyes carrying a spark of hope alluding to a distant future of prosperity and respect. On the outside, those men could appear submerged in calmness and humility, but if you listen carefully, you will hear that they are barely breathing – a sign of constant awareness, crypto-depression and a lack of inner peace.

Where is this coming from? It comes from the hard life of a squat slave answering to the master each workout. When you are a squat-martyr, your entire life revolves around the squat, and your happiness depends on your performance within the four pillars of the rack.

The squat extracts everything out of those lifters and leaves them on the ground, incapable of concentrating and inserting an appreciable effort into something else. And yet the drama continues because many souls believe that their desires will manifest as soon as the plates on the barbell multiply.

When the squat-martyrs think about that moment, a faint, vicious smile injected with a good dose of greed plays upon their cheeks and eye area. Undoubtedly, at that very moment, they are thinking of the day when their knee bending efforts will finally synthesize bigger biceps that will help them immigrate from the land of Do-You-Even-Lift.

Unfortunately, or not, that day will never come for two reasons. First, you are natural, probably. Second, if your main goals are bigger arms, why are you spending all your money on squats?

Don’t count on indirect or accidental wins. If you know what you want, get it.

4. The Natties of This World are living on a Testosterone Budget

Theoretically, training your legs shouldn’t limit the growth of your arms or any other body part, but the field results point in another direction. I’ve seen naturals with good leg development. I’ve also seen naturals with decent arms. But I have never seen a well develop upper and lower body owned by the same natural warrior. Part of the explanation hides in the term testosterone budget.

Even the mainstream muscle scholars admit that sooner or later the natty gains come to an end, and stagnation reigns supreme. No amount of extra training or BCAAs can help you get past that point, but if you pin your glutes with muscle elixirs, you will break the barrier.

What’s the difference between your natural and roided state?

Higher testosterone.

The extra male hormones that come from roids alter the regular processes in the cell and stimulate protein synthesis [growth] beyond the norm.

The natural limits are related directly to the levels of testosterone in the natty system. Once you have amplified maximally the abilities of your natty testosterone to trigger growth, the game ends. There’s no more testosterone. You’ve spent it all.

This partially explains why bench and curl monkey have a hard time bringing their legs up whereas 5×5 centaurs often spam online forums with threads such as: ”A cure for small arms?”

5. The Squat Wrecks Elbows, Wrists and Shoulders

The upper body does not lift the barbell when you squat, but it’s often placed in a very uncomfortable position to support the bar. The front squat, for example, overextends the wrists when performed with a clean grip. The low bar squat is notorious for wrecking your shoulders, elbows and wrists, which is why most powerlifters squat with wrist wraps longer than the Eiffel Tower.

Another variation that seems to really hate human elbows is the Zercher squat. Holding a barbell like a box digs into your elbows and bruises the skin.

In short, the squat does not build arms, but can easily hurt them.

BONUS

6. Squats Stimulate Bulking

Weightlifters and powerlifters are divided into separate weight classes because heavier people are expected to lift more, and they often do. The bench press and the squat are heavily dependent on bodyweight, which is why so many natty souls ”eat through their sticking points” as advised by legendary permabulkers on steroids. Naturally, the results are grotesque – selfies of hippos sucking their guts.

Extra lard will increase your absolute strength but will hurt your strength to bodyweight ratio in the process. If you weigh 170lbs/77kg and squat 220lbs/100kg, adding 22lbs/10kg of whatever bodyweight to your frame could easily boost your squat to 240-270lbs/110-125kg. Are you stronger? Technically, yes. Was it worth it to gain the extra fat? Probably not.

How does this hurt your arm construction plans? Simple. When you gain fat, it is distributed over the entire body. Your arms receive a small amount too. The extra fat covering your arms will make them bigger but will rob them of definition, which is what you need to create the illusion that your arms are larger than they are. A shredded 13-inch arm could easily look more impressive than a 15-inch arm loaded with water and fat.

P.S. Curl more and squat less when bigger arms are your goal.

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94 comments

    1. Spook

      ok… this is bar far the stupidest thing i have ever read in my life.
      test budget? really? you know heavy compound has been scientificly proven to increase HGH levels and test levels naturally which promotes over all growth. the only way i can see squats hurting your arm growth is if you squat the do arms in the same workout. which legs with the energy required to train them should be trained on their own day.
      the person who wrote this looks like a whinny bitch who wants to make excuses as to why he’s not gaining mass.
      look i got 17 1/2in arms at 5’8 and i only do a total of 9 sets for bis and 9 sets for tris a week.
      i do squat once a week on leg day and my squat sessions last about 60min of my 105min leg workout. i am natural always have been.
      if fact i saw arm growth continue when i broke my hand and was only able to train legs for like 2months, why cause i kept my natural HGH and test levels high as i could with squats

      those curl bros who never train legs a.) look retarded as fuck, b) have big arms cause they train them hard, c) could have bigger arms if they would simply not skip legs. as a natty not training legs is retarded as fuck you should be doing everything naturally as possible to increase test and hgh levels. squat and deadlift are the two best exercises you can do to achieve this. its been proven by science.

      so… in closing stop being a little bitch cause thats whats holding you back and squat heavy and deadlift heavy.

      1. squat king

        Lmao you must be a noob… the small transient hormone spikes from squats and dl do nothing for overall body composition. You get the same hormonal spike from heavy benching too..

        1. spook

          I’ve been lifting since i was 16 with small breaks here n there. i have about 20yrs of lifting experience im no n00b to the weight game. and science has shown benching does not give u the same hormone spike that squats and deadlifts give that is a fact. in fact the barbell bench is pure bro science a ego exercise. my pecs have grown more from dumbell bench press then they could ever grow from barbell benching.

      2. joe santus

        Squat heavy and deadlift heavy, for building your legs and back, sure ( I’m age 61 and have been heavy squatting and rdeadlifting for forty-five years since I began bodybuilding in 1972 at age 16)– but any elevations in testosterone or HGH levels are too temporary and too insignificant to substantially affect overall growth.

        In order to substantially affect overall growth, testosterone and (HGH with testosterone) must be elevated far higher than anyone naturally produces and then constantly sustained at those high levels — in otherwords, it’d require exogeneous T and HGH in the form of PEDs. temporary spikes have not been scientifically proven to have any significant effect on overall growth.
        So, sure — squat and deadlift. Heavy barbell squats have been my core exercise for forty-five years; when I’m asked for a minimalist program, I’d advise barbell squats, pull-ups, dips, overhead presses, and deadlifts. Squats and deadlifts are great exercises for achieving the maximum mass your leg and back genetics naturally allow. But their benefit is not because they significantly affect testosterone/HGH levels nor overall growth.

        1. enlite

          There is absolutely nothing special about the barbell squat and deadlift and bench press . It’s a myth that unfortunately continues to persist to this day . there are many safer and more productive alternatives to the holy barbell trinity .

          1. joe santus

            Agreed, that in the long term, for attaining one’s maximum natural hypertrophy potential (using 10-12% bodyfat as the grounds for comparisons) drug-free in four to five consecutive years of progressive training, not squats, nor deadlifts, nor bench presses are necessary. Each of those three is productive for building mass, but mass can be built without them; leg presses, back extensions, and dumbbell flies are effective for building mass as well.

        2. Glove

          @Joe Santus
          Hello Joe may I ask you whether you lifted weights continously in these 45 years? This is a long time.
          Did you have to adjust your routine within the last 10 or 20 years?
          Any problems with injuries or loss?
          Do you make any other sport besides BB?
          bgrds Glove

          1. joe santus

            From 1972 to 1988, continuously…from 1988 to 2000, limitedly due to self-employment and raising six kids, but with it still my passion…2000 to present, continuously.
            Yes. I sustained chronic injuries to both rotator cuffs and to the facet joints in my lumbar doing my self-employed building/roofing contractor work, which have permanently limited me from using any barbell pressing (bench, incline, or overhead), and which force me at times to use shallower squats (back, front, or hack) as well as to refrain from going all-out on deadlifts, straight-legged-deads, and good mornings. Also, aging reduces recovery ability, so whereas in my twenties I could work a muscle twice in seven days (even after I’d ceilinged my mass potential after five consecutive years of training, and my strength in basic compounds had reached the point where squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, weighted pull-ups, barbell rows, etc, taxed my CNS), now I have to limit to working a muscle group twice in eight to ten days.

            Definitely loss of muscle mass due to declining Testosterone, after I was age 55. I’ve (obsessively! lol) monitored my mass size and bodyfat level since about age seventeen,controlled my calories, protein, and nutrition, and been intelligent about training volume, intensity, and frequency since the same age, soooo, I recognized when declining T finally affected me. Can’t prevent it, but, can slow it down and counteract it somewhat through consistent bodybuilding lifestyle.

            And I like to advise all under-35’s this: if you hope to maintain as healthy and vigorous a sex life at age 60 as you enjoy before age 35, as well as have a body women (or whomever your preference is) find sexually attractive, then you need to make natural bodybuilding your lifestyle now. Don’t have to live as a gymrat (I never have), but need to make consistent training and calorie-control the undercurrent of your life. Cuz, when you reach age 50+ and you’re one of the rare men who has a lean washboard, whom you think, other things being equal, women looking for men in that age group are going to be more attracted to (despite their claims that “looks don’t matter”, LOL)?…

            Nope — once I found the iron at age 16, then hockey, football, and other sports lost all interest for me. I’m bored by ’em all to this day, LOL

          2. Glove

            @Joe Santus
            I personally know one person only who did it your way. He is my best friend since the time we started to lift weights together. He is 59 and in very good shape. I myself lost motivation at the age of 28. I went in Yoga and meditation for about 10 years. After this period cycling and long distance running. I had my own company for 28,5 years. Working, travelling. A lot of mental stress. Looking back I enjoyed all these activities. But BB I loved most.

            Nowadays I have problems with my knees. I think it´s from my time as a soccer player.
            Five years ago I broke
            a neck vertebrate. So I have to take care with weight training. Light weights and a lot of reps. But I´am sure that I can improve my condition.
            BB can be good for everything if done with care and intelligence. Specially when people grow older. Specially if somebody recovers from injuries.

          3. joe santus

            GLOVE,
            Yeah, what I’ve always considered the advantage of resistance training and calorie-controlling is how they can be customized and adjusted so readily to fit any individual’s current physical condition and overall circumstances, including injuries.

            I’ve had the privileged opportunity since I started to have equipment in whatever place I’ve called home, so 90% of my workouts since age sixteen have been done alone and at home. Mostly used and even homemade stuff, nothing shiny nor glamorous (muscle couldn’t care less if the plates and bars are rusty, mismatched manufacturers, or fifty years old). My wife (of 37 years) and I own rural acreage, so for the last seventeen years, I’ve done all my squats, deadlifting, RSDLing, rowing, pull-ups, dipping, shrugging, etcetera outdoors — lol, I’ve been out there, after coming home from a winter’s day doing my building jobs, in the dark during snowstorms doing squats; and during the summers, I don’t have A/C when the local temps top 90F but I do have mosquitoes fanning me when I’m deadlifting and dipping, lol. So, yep, I’m lifelong passionate about it (my wife says, “NUTS”, lol), even though I have below-average muscle potential genetics. My vanity has always loomed large than reason in my insane mind, lol

          4. Glove

            @Joe
            your story is absolutely amazing. I know very well that it´s tough to train alone at home. To train outside at winter time needs a very strong will.
            In the beginning we started with a wooden stick and palstic bags filled with sand. Later on we had some weights and used a table for bench press. Two stands we organized from a building site to make squats. Later I started to work for a steel trading company. I got for a few packages of cigarettes metal plates from the lathes. We ate about 1-1,5 kg cootage cheese per day plus a lot of other food to gain weight. We couldn´t afford to buy protein powder. Sometimes my stomach was so bloated that I couldn´t train properly. I had muscle ache permanantly. Nevertheless progress in strenght and muscle growth became slower and slower.
            What to do we asked ourselves to look like the guys in the magazines. One day we made a trip to the editor of the biggest German muscle mag to talk about training with him. He saw us and smiled. We should take the muscle powder promoted by him and would improve.
            At that time we went to the German and European BB championships and started to train in a gym. These kind of gym had nothing to do with a modern gym you find everywhere today. Self constructed rusty machines. It was the BB-subculture long before the fitness boom started. Some very successful bodybuilders were members in this gym and after a while they told us their “secrets” about their 20 inch arms. One of these guys said: as an Öko-BBler you stay as you are. If you want to get better you have to take something. He was damned right!

          5. joe santus

            GLOVE…your story is more amazing than mine. At least I started with a cheap concrete-filled plastic 110 lb barbell set I asked for and got for xmas 1971. I gradually added a York Barbell Co. flat bench and a set of squat stands I realized I could use for both squats and bench presses. A plank wooden ab board…a pull-up bar I mounted inside a basement doorframe with my own brackets…more plates…and kept adding, using every cent I earned to buy more. I had the great privilege if living within 45 mins of Ed Jubinville (a contemporary of the Armand Tanny/ Jack Lalanne/ Steve Reeves era, and a Mr Olympia judge, who told me he quit because Weider pressured judges to vote for his moneymakers), when Ed was selling the best damned equipment on the east coast — incredibly sturdy, plain, and yet amazingly inexpensive relative to prices in that time. By age 19, I literally had the best equipped gym in my MA hometown. But, your tale of make-do equipment…wow…reminds me of anecdotes Larry Scott and Robbie Robinson tell, of using literal scrapyard objects when they began training.
            My claim to fame, however, is also related to Ed Jubinville. he ran excellent free-admission physique contests in the early 1970s at a semi-open-air pavillion in an amusement park named Mountain Park in Holyoke, MA. Ed would bring in champions as guest posers — top names of the 70s. Myself, my girlfriend, and a buddy who was dating one of my sisters were there again one weekend in summer 1975, about six rows from the posing platform, to see Mike Katz and Franco Columbu guest pose. A film crew had a camera set up in the center aisle, as well as were roving with portable camera; Ed Jubinville casually mentioned over the loudspeakers that “they were filming for a bodybuilding documentary”. Turned out to be for the 1977 film, “Pumping Iron”. So, there I am, in plain view and audible, in one of the crowd scenes, forever on film, LOL

          6. Glove

            @Joe
            thank you so much for these infos! The name Ed Jubinville I didn´t notice before. I googled him and it was superinteresting. This guy was extremely flexible. Unbelievable. About the Tanny brothers and Lalanne I read before. But yesterday I brushed up my BB-history a bit.
            So many famous bbler and strongman lived in the States after WW2. In our place BB has more or less no history. Despite Eugene Sandow who originally had a German name and came from Königsberg (today Poland).
            In the 60ties there is one German BBler who had a very good physique: Helmut Riedmeier. In the 70ties there was Ralf Möller (seems to be a good friend of Arnold) whom I saw on the competitons from the very beginning and Jusup Wilcocz. I met Jusup one day after he won the professional Mr. Universe in Australia. From the airport he came to our gym. Completly exhausted. This day he was guest poser on a local competition a friend of mine has organized.
            It was a nice time. I could tell hundreds of stories from these years. Nice stories, funny stories and a lot of sad ones.

          7. joe santus

            GLOVE,
            Jusup Wilkosz has always been one of my favorite bodybuilders. I’ve wondered if he’d have been even more successful winning contests if he hadn’t been plagued by injuries as he was.

            Helmut Riedmeier won a Mr Germany in the 60s, didn’t he? He always struck me as being natural, or at least, minimal-steroid…his muscle-mass didn’t appear to be too excessive for what his larger bone structure seemed naturally able to carry.

            And, yes, Jubinville was STILL performing his muscle-control act when he ran the free-admission physique contests at Mountain Park in the 1970s. I saw him perform it twice during my years going to those contests. He can be seen and heard briefly in the film “Pumping Iron” (in one scene, among the judges for the Mr. Olympia, if I recall correctly).

          8. Glove

            @Joe
            I asked Mr. Google about Helmut Riedmeier to check some photos. I didn’t find many. He was Mr. Europe 5 times and Universe 2 times. Maybe in the very beginning he looked/was natural. Later on his shape got better and better. People called him the German Arnold. I never met him or saw him on stage. He was before my time.
            At the age of 62 he came on stage in good shape and got standing ovations. Doubtless and old school BBler. In every respect.lol If you compare him with Rühl…

      3. greg mccubbing

        I think most people miss the mark on compound movements..

        They make you bigger in general as they recruit more muscle groups and being on a barbell allow you to use more weight.

        It’s not so much the increase in hormones but more so the recruitment of different muscle groups..

        Example:heavy squats work everything from your neck down to support the bar and keep you upright.

        Leg press : only recruiting leg muscles not much load on upper body at all…

        Doing squats vs leg press or concentration exercises with over time allow you to get stronger faster as a whole.

  1. Glove

    Hi together,
    it´s a crazy idea that arms grow if you squat. But it´s an old idea. Over 40 years ago when I touched iron the first time I read an article which promoted this idea. You are a real man in the iron world only if you squat and deadlift. Frankly speaking in the very beginning I had the feeling that it could work. Because there was an overall growth of all body parts. But I didn´t squat only. I trained the whole body. And of cause I made curls.
    And you can imagine that these 1,5 or 2 first years were the happiest time in my life as a bodybuilder.
    So personally I had a good feeling with the squats. But even at that time I didn´t expect my arms growing through squats. If you want your ams grow you should train your arms! Why the hell people should think that training of legs let their arms grow? If this would be the case all olympic lifters would have fantastic arms. All of them are good squaters but most of them have relatively un- or underdeveloped arms. Why? Surprise Surprise!!! They don´t need developed arms for their kind of lifting.
    But at a certain stage of training many bodybuilders seem to believe in this kind of bullshit. Included myself. If somebody would tell you to go for diving to be a better boxer or go for bowling to be a better basketball player you would propose to him to see a doctor. But in the world of iron evreything seems to be possible.
    Frankly speaking I thought that nobody would believe in such nonsense nowadays. And frankly speaking I think it may be a problem for a very limited quantity of bodybuilders. 9 from 10 are training the upper body much more intensive than lower back and legs…

    Till this point I think I have the same opinion as the author. But I do not agree that a natural bodybuilder either have a developed upper or lower body. And I doubt that it has something to do with the limited testo-level. I think it more has to do with the individual limits for every body part. You have the natural ability to get a balanced body. Or you have not.

      1. Glove

        Both. Look and strenght. Naturaly there are individual differences. Everybody has its stronger body parts. It never fits 100%.

        1. joe santus

          Exactly, for 90% of us.

          The other 10%, the genetically gifted for building aesthetically proportioned muscle that’s balanced everywhere, are the ones who can become national and world-level physique champions (whether the natural or the drug-enhanced type).

          Which, is why, having dedication, passion, consistency, knowledge, patience, perseverance, and intensity isn’t enough to make someone a physique champion. Unless the appropriate genetics is coupled to those traits, most of us can improve our proportionate mass to a more or less degree, but we can’t build outstanding balanced physiques. If possessing those qualities alone was enough, then thousands more of us would look like Bobby Pandour, Steve Reeves, Frank Zane, Lee Haney, or Flex Wheeler.

    1. Jim

      I personally have never seen a balanced body from a person not aided by steroids. It comes hard enough from those competitive body builders.

      1. Glove

        The question is what you or me or anybody else understands by a “balanced” body. For me a balanced body isn’t neccessarily rather big or rather strong or rather muscular. This kind of body has a certain symetrical muscle developement. Slim waist. Relatively wide shoulders. Seize of upper arms should be similar to the calves. And so on. For a natural lifter it means: you look like Steve Reeves after 8 weeks of illness. I’am joking.
        What I want to say: balanced doesn’t mean something out of the box in any respect. Just all body parts similar in relation to each other.
        But if YOU should mean a typical BB look you find in the magazines these kind of bodies you’ll never find in a world without juice.

    2. joe santus

      GLOVE…yep, ditto to all you’ve said.

      I agree with Nattyornot about 99% of the time, based upon my own forty-five years of experience, research, and observations since I began bodybuilding at age sixteen back in 1972. His style is a bit caustic for some readers, perhaps, but, due to the prevalence of misinformation and marketing manipulations, caustic seems needful for cutting through the bullshit.

      However, I too differ from his view which, roughly described, means the growth of one muscle group decreases the amount of testosterone available to another muscle group.

      Instead, it seems that whatever level of testosterone is in the body is available to all muscle groups in such a way that, when stimulated, each muscle group can grow to a certain size; therefore, failing to work legs doesn’t make more testosterone available for growing bigger arms than a person can have than if he works both arms and legs. Whether the T level is natural, produced by a person’s genetics, or is supraphysiological, from dosing with exogeneous testosterone, every muscle group has the potential to grow to a certain size without being limited by another muscle “robbing” it of testosterone’s effect.

  2. Man

    Hmmmm, I guess I should start biceps curling to grow my legs then, didn’t think of that …

    Keep it up Truth Seeker, really enjoy the dark humour in your prose 😀

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Never done it myself. What is your goal? People usually use it to improve their lockouts on the bench press. I would not use it as my main pressing exercise unless I am in a very weird situation.

  3. Korisc0

    Hey i didnt squat in a while, but im getting back to squat again, you said front squat fucks up wrists, low bar back squats fucks up elbows shoulders and wrists, zercher fucks up elbows, which is the best friendly squat variation where i can go decent heavy and build muscle without fucks up my joints? please need to know ASAP

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Front squats are not that bad on the wrists if you have the mobility and warm them before the session. That said, the high bar back squat offers the most benefits and is the least stressful on the joints (of course some people with bad knees may disagree)

      1. Korisc0

        Thanks for answering my question. I did front squats and my knees look like they going to explode, that said im going to try high bar back squats, thanks for help

  4. Arnaud

    U MAD BRO?
    How U gonna load all those heavy plates on barbell with skinny guns?
    Real man is pumping bis by preparing working weight for squats.

  5. McF7y

    Guys,
    I’m curious and I’m not sure if this is the proper platform to pose this question. I believe that most of us reading and commenting are supporters of Truth Seeker (myself included) and the natural way of bodybuilding or fitness training. Do any of you have a website showcasing your results or if you are certified fitness trainers perhaps you have a blog or site offering your services or sharing you personal experiences weight lifting the natural way etc?

    I personally don’t have one but it would be interesting to see what the natties reading and commenting here have achieved in the way of fitness training/bodybuilding the natural way.

    By the way Truth Seeker, is that you in the promo shots with the skateboard etc?

    1. Brett

      I will tell you what I have achieved as a lifetime natural bodybuilder. I have a decade under my belt. I weigh 85 Kg/ 187 pounds and I am 6’1. I have 16 inch arms. I have broad shoulders, narrow waist. when I walk through a shopping mall nobodies jaw hits the floor, but I usually get looks from people who are new to the lifting game or people who are in crap shape. My physique flows, not to big, not to small. I do not train calves directly, they are about 15 inches. I am not ripped by any means, just lean enough to see first two abs. Depending on your genetics you can achieve similar.

  6. Dave Peters

    Maybe for your arms to grow you have to squat more than tiny baby weight… Like 270? That’s like less than one month of training if you weigh 200 lbs. You should be like doing that right off the bat.

  7. oz

    No. 6 is actually the origin of the belief that squats give you a big ass. No, it was not the squats that gave that bloke a big ass.

  8. Chris griffith

    bruh i have 15.5 inch arms lean and decently sized legs, if the program is well balanced wouldnt that garner a well balanced physique with an upper and lower body thats respectable? Obviously focusing jmainly on legs is going to make your legs way bigger, but no one should train like that lol

  9. Attila

    4. The Natties of This World are living on a Testosterone Budget

    I didn’t quite get this point. Does this mean that you have a limited supply of testerone and you can only use it to build certin muscle groups or body parts?

    And is there any scintific research that back this cailm?

    Another point. Which do yo think is better routine for upper boddy hypertrophy

    4 days upper body/lower body

    Or

    3 days full body workout

    Or
    5 days push pull leg

    Thank you

  10. Jim

    “but if you pin your glutes with muscle elixirs, you will break the barrier.”

    Classic! You are a hell of a writer! I enjoy your pieces so much. Keep up the great work!

  11. A

    Hi Truth Seeker, just a technical question here… why I cannot use the right click on your articles to open them in separate tabs? For example when i search particular topic and would like to read the results one by one in separate tabs. Can you do something about it? I believe your readers will appreciate that, otherwise good work.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      If you click on a link with the wheel of the mouse, it will open it in a new tab.

      Thank you for the support and the comment.

  12. NunyaBidness

    You have got to be one of the most bitter people on the planet, this website is all so false. Just because you can’t get gains doesn’t mean everything you think is true. I firmly believe you are just a troll LOLOL

  13. Brett

    Testosterone budget. Never heard that before. For those who care I would like to inform you that you can develop all the muscle on your body to its fullest potential. Just train your muscles equally and they will respond. If you only train upper body and neglect lower body. Does this mean that you will never have muscle mass below the waist because it is all spent on your pecs and delts. If you believe that then I feel sorry for you. The reason why some men have better developed lower bodies and others upper bodies is because of their genetic structure and distribution of muscle cells. It has nothing to do with training, unless they do neglect a certain muscle group. As usual your articles are good. I believe we could have a good conversation about life in and out of the gym. But I will disagree with you when Ive experienced different. I used to neglect my lower body, but once I started training it, it responded quite well and caught up to my upper body. Once someone has reached their full genetic potential, they will not care about people taking steroids. The Male body, when developed naturally can look very impressive. What I can say is ive done it, but it took me a decade to achieve. Anybody who is pissed off about others taking steroids should grow the fuck up, educate themselves, and focus on their own training.

    1. NunyaBidness

      I have been lifting for 4 years, I’m 6’1 and 215 lbs. My arms are 18″ and I can see all my abs. This guy just seems like a bitter little teenage girl. Squats stopping your arms from growing? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard in my entire life. I can’t even begin to say how stupid that is. Squat heavy and often and curl often, it’s that simple. Oh yeah and don’t be a pussy, seems like that’s the hardest thing this dude is dealing with!

      1. Brett

        Now I am intrigued. You say you have 18 inch arms at 215 pounds. And your advice is squat heavy and often, and curl often. Maybe I should try that. If that’s been the secret all along then why did nobody tell me. You say you can see your abs, that great. Tell me, can you see your penis too? Or has that shrunk so small you can barely make it out. I would live to hear back from you, a guy as big as Arnold but completely natural. The things you could teach me. I hope you are a troll and the jokes on me.

        1. NunyaBidness

          1. This was not directed at you, but at the author. 2. That is not the only key, it is the answer to this stupid article. 3. Yes I can see my dick thanks for asking. 4. Are you gay? Probably. 5. You would “live” to hear back from me, I apologize but I do not comprehend this statement. 6. A guy as big as Arnold, ook yeah maybe if Arnold shrunk lmao. You lad seem like the troll mr dick toucher.

          1. Brett

            Im surprised you can count to six. I am aware of the time it takes to build muscle. Either you are natural with the ability to build as much muscle as other men who needed steroids (example Frank Zane, Chris Dickerson, Tom Platz) or you are lying. If you have visible abs your body fat must be under 10 percent. It is highly unlikely a natural bodybuilder can maintain a large amount of muscle mass while being ripped without the help of steroids.

    2. Truth Seeker Post author

      It’s not just a testosterone budget. It’s an effort budget. If you put more effort into something, the rest has to take the back seat. The fact that many people end up looking like centaurs after 5×5 or Starting Strength is not a coincidence. After all, you are squatting three times a week and deadlifting 1-2. Obviously, if you don’t train your legs at all, the mass that you are missing there will not all go into your triceps.

      Also, your body has limited recovering abilities. If you squat heavy too often, you will not have enough energy for your upper body workouts. Your CNS will get burned too.

      I know that “testosterone budget” does not sound very scientific. But think for a second – when naturals inject steroids (testosterone based substances), they break barriers almost immediately without changing their training or nutrition. Consequently, the difference, in that case, comes from the hormones because the budget increases.

      If you want, you can call this limitation simply a “budget” representing three things – hormones, effort, recovering abilities (including CNS capacity).

      I hope this clarifies the topic a little more. I will try to clarify the issue even further once I have more data on my hands.

      1. wordtobigbird

        The idea of a testosterone budget is actually an interesting concept. If you think of it logically, your body’s muscles have a finite number of androgen receptors and your body produces a finite amount of testosterone per finite time period (X micrograms of testosterone per hour, for example) so then there can possibly be less available testosterone than androgen receptors.

        But, I wonder if that is the case? I wonder if there’s been a study on this? I’m sure in some med text somewhere there’s some info on how many androgen receptors there are per muscle or something like that. It may be that there is more than enough Test to cover all receptors in which case the idea of a Test budged is false. OR, it may be that there are more receptors than Test.

        My guess is that there IS a Test budget, and here’s why:

        If a natural lifter already had enough Test to satisfy all androgen receptors then the all receptors would already be naturally saturated with Test at any given time. If this were the case then the addition of MORE test through external means (such as injection) would have zero results and the only steroids that would have any greater effect than Test would be ones such as Trenbolone which are more androgenic and elicit a greater response.

        But this is not the case; the introduction of more test (i.e. the same steroid already present in the body) DOES result in massive gains in muscle. Since the introduced steroid is the same as the one naturally occurring in the body, the only way this would be possible is if the body has additional available unused receptors upon which the foreign sourced Test can act.

        This is assuming a few things though, such as the the idea that the test in your body is available equally to all androgen receptors in all muscles without any form of discretion on your body’s part, which may not be the case. It may be the case that your body actually somehow prioritizes which receptors become active and receptive, or something like that.

        What ever the case, it’s an interesting idea that holds some merit.

          1. wordtobigbird

            In all truth though, this will never ever be fully researched. Why? Because ever since chemists first synthesized test back in the 1930’s it made this kind of research obsolete. Who cares if there’s a test budget when you can just flood the system with an external source of test (or other, even more androgenic chemicals, such as tren) and bypass everything nature intended.

            The world of natural lifters/athletes/youtube personalities has been useless since the 1930s and will never return in our lifetime. Every lift, record, stat, body measurement, arm size, vascularity comparison etc. has been drug induced since then. Rob Riches, Olgus, O’Tren (sorry, O’Hearn), and your grandmother are on it. It’s already been acknowledged by the FDA as the most abused drug in the nation. That’s right, more than weed, more than opiates (which are even state sponsored through the pharma companies), more than meth, more than anything, so why are people in such denial about it?

            Because then they’d have to look behind the curtain and realize that OZ The Great is nothing but OZ The Chemjacked.

            Here’s a quick memory game. If you go to a commercial gym like I do, think back to the last time you went. Look around the gym in your mind’s eye. Now see the guys on the chem. Look for the impossibly inflated traps. Look for the acromial deltoid that’s bigger than a natty’s entire posterior chain. Look for the guy that cheat curls with more swing than a 1940’s sock-hop (with nothing more than 60lbs) and has 20+ arms. Yeah you see them.

            Guess what. 100% chem.

            I didn’t want to believe it either but I came to this conclusion about a decade before finding this site once I looked up the world record lifts for ACTUAL natties vs untested feds. Ah hell, who am kidding, the tested feds (e.g. the Olympics) are just as bad.

            Anyhow…

            My prediction? In about 20 or so years when more and more people in what appear to be great shape die of heart attacks in their 40s, we’re going to see the truth come out. Reality is that until the mortal effects start cropping up nobody will give it more than a passing glance. The death of Zyzz was just a harbinger of the mass future of youtube fitness personalities. It’s already happening among the IBBF pros, and with the widespread use of juice it’s gonna hit the mainstream at some point.

            Women too.

            Oh, did I just burst your bubble(butt) with that one? Yeah, they’re all on it too. That fitness “guru” (dear GOD; it was physically painful to use the term guru to describe these people, but it had to be done to instill context with contemporary colloquialism) that your wife or GF watches, trying to get that Kardashian (i.e. fake) ass with zero body fat? 100% chem.

            Oh you can have that massive ass, it’s possible, but there is no way it’s gonna be with no fat. It’ll be naturally proportioned in the neighborhood of 25% body fat like an actual human female, not so shredded that it would make the Trump scandal paperwork jealous.

            The reality is that naturals just don’t matter. They don’t break records, get gold medals, or get likes on instagram. If you’re natural, you’re doing it for yourself and yourself only. Because you’d do it if you were the only person on earth. Because the hell with what the masses say. That is all.

      2. joe santus

        I’m looking forward to what you uncover for data about “T budget”, TRUTH SEEKER.

        To present, my understanding has been that whatever level of testosterone is in the body (whether the level is natural from genetics or supraphysiological through exogeneous dosing) acts in a way which enables each muscle group to grow to a certain limit without being limited by the growth of other muscles. Meaning, a person who never works legs and works only arms won’t build bigger arms than he can ultimately build if he works both arms and legs. At whatever level of T the body contains, working one group doesn’t somehow “rob” another group of it’s potential maximum mass growth.

        I do agree that, due to the limits of recovery and energy capacities, the process of each muscle reaching maximum mass at whatever T level the body has will likely be slower when every muscle group is concurrently trained; meaning, for example, that if a lifetime-PED-free guy has the potential for 15.5″ arms @ 12% bodyfat, he might reach that 15.5″ sooner if he only trains arms and omits legs. But after 3 to 5 consecutive years of consistent progressive training of all muscle groups, both his legs and his arms will have developed to whatever maximum mass his genetics allow him at 12% bodyfat, including 15.5″ arms. So, yep, working every muscle group may slow down the time required for each muscle group to reach its potential mass maximum.

        And, I also agree that too many guys fail to give equal attention to all muscle groups, especially legs, so end up with less mass than they could build in areas. That accounts for some with “good upper body, poor lower body”.

        But, otherwise, I conclude from what I’ve learned in my forty-five years since beginning bodybuilding at age sixteen that “good upper body, poor lower body” or vice-versa is due to genetics.

        Anyway — I’ll be watching for whatever data you can unearth regarding “Testosterone budget”.

        1. joe santus

          … to add to my May 15 post about “T budget”:
          I haven’t seen evidence that working one muscle “robs” from the potential ultimate mass of other muscles; nor seen that avoiding working one muscle enables more testosterone to be available to build greater size in one muscle than that muscle could eventually build if all muscles are being worked.

          However, I do see it as hypothetically possible that working all muscles concurrently might cause greater growth lags for some muscles and therefore temporary imbalances in proportions, depending upon genetics — for example, the testosterone receptors in my biceps and quads may be such that my biceps grow quicker than my quads.

          And, I do see that working certain muscles more optimally than others can also cause disproportionate growth rates — if my genetics are such that I need, say, five sets every four days for optimal quad growth and two sets for optimal bicep growth, but I’m only doing one set of quads while doing two sets of biceps, then my biceps will be growing as fast as they can but my quads won’t be growing as fast as they could.

          Nonetheless, given 3 to 5 years of progressive training, any imbalances caused by genetic growth lags or sub-optimal training for a bodypart will vanish — because, even though some muscle groups might reach their genetic mass maximums sooner, all muscle groups will have reached their genetic mass maximums after 3 to 5 consecutive years of consistent progressive training. Each muscle group will eventually “catch up” and grow to its particular genetic ceiling. If my lifelong-PED-free mass limits are 15.5″ arms and 23″ thighs @12% bodyfat, and at the end of 2 years my arms hit that 15.5″ but my thighs are only 22″, my thighs will eventually hit 23″ by year 5 as long as I continue training progressively.

          As best I I can conclude, the “testosterone budget” might not enable equal rates of growth for every muscle concurrently, but, no muscle is “robbed” by another of its ultimate potential growth in the 3-5 year long term.

          1. Glove

            100% agreement to that what you have written.
            Dysbalances can have genetic reasons. Other reasons have nothing to do with the body chemistry. For instance: people have their favourite body parts or exercises. Automatically they put more efforts in these and get better results. But I’am of the opinion that the opposite can happen. People can push too hard to get better. Ich made this experience with my bench press. I always trained all bodyparts hard and heavy. That was my idea of “the right training “. Legs, arms, back were o.k. But pecs and shoulders were not that what they should be in my eyes. Specially bench press. After a while I got obsessed by the idea of getting better. And that had a negative effect on my bench press. Ich put all my concentration on this exercise. As the result I continued to grow in all body parts except pecs. I built up a barrier in my head.
            That showed me that it’s often not easy to find the right grade of hardness in the training if people have the tendency to be overambitious like me.

      3. joe santus

        So, your take on “testosterone budget” for PED-frees ultimately works out to, “recovery and anabolic capacities, which are limited by T levels, control how quickly each muscle group reaches its genetic ceiling — the practical effect of not working some muscles as intensely nor perhaps at all is that it allows the muscles you are working to grow quicker or reach their hypertrophy max sooner”?

        If that’s your take, yep, that corresponds to what I’ve observed and experienced over forty-five years of bodybuilding.

        1. Glove

          Hi Joe,
          translated in the language of “testosterone budget” your formular should be what I tried to say.
          It was important for me to emphazise that intensity of excersises can´t be increased to any limit without a negative reaction of the body.
          Key words: stressed CNS system, other kind of overtraining, injuries a.s.o.

          1. joe santus

            LOL, sorry for creating confusion, GLOVE…my post was in regard to TRUTHSEEKER’s comment wayyy back on this thread. I realized after it posted that, where it appears, you might assume I was addressing you, and that I’d lapsed doing what I usually know to do to avoid such confusion, which is to put the handle of the person I’m replying to somewhere at the beginning of my post.

            And, yes — I’d already concluded from your other posts in this thread that your and my idea on “test budget” are virtually the same.

  14. angieducky

    Hi Truth Seeker,

    Could not agree more with you!

    Heavy Squat is extremely taxing on CNS, after 3-4 sets of 90% 1RM squats, I just don’t have the energy for any other work outs after that.

    I am 34 years old, male, ethnicity – Asian, 173cm tall with very thin and small frame. I have been following your website and doing strength training for about one year. Thanks to your tips, I have got very good results, body weight growing from 54kg to 62kg, with 6 abs(but not clear definition), 13 inch biceps, so body fat could be around 14-15%.

    I only practice three exercises – squats, chin/pull-ups and DIPs. Current full barbell back squat level – 3 reps at 90kg; chin/pull-ups level – 5 reps at +25kg; DIPs level – 7 reps at +25kg. I have found that Squat did help me progressing with other exercises, increasing overall strength level, but i am not sure how. Maybe my mind can “concentrate” more???

    Thanks,

  15. Lerma

    Great articule dude. I have followed your blog for more than a year now and this is the first time I comment. I’m not the talkative type.

    As a natty myself, I couldn’t agree more with this articule. I have trained at home for years, and I used to do heavy weighed pistol squats that always taxed me a lot (not as hard as back squats, but they shouldn’t be taking lightly either). When I found you it was a shock for me to see that I wasn’t the only (my body was, well, a little above average).

    I would like, by the way, ask you about this new thing that some people claim is a “safer” alternative to steroids. I haven’t used them myself, but I heard a lot about it. They are called Sarms. You could read about it and maybe write something.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      SARMs are not a safer alternative to steroids. SARMs are basically a new way to monetize bodybuilding, but they are not safer than roids. In fact, they come with the same side effects and less gains.They have never been approved for human use. Big pharma companies don’t make them.

      1. Lerma

        Yes, they are not approved. Some people claim they cause “steroid-like” effects without the harms. I don’t really know, I was just curious, and wanted to know if you knew about them and what you think. Anyway, keep the good stuff dude, I love your articles.

  16. Nabo

    Points 1, 2 and 3 are not false but so sensationalist…

    4 is just completly bro science. Where are your references?
    mainstream muscle scholars, who?
    5 is true if you do not have mobility for it, but again that is your fault for not bettering your body, I have great mobility from other sports it was not hard to adapt to weight lifting.
    6 is just not up to you to judge, everyone should know what they want their body to be.

    >Curl more and squat less when bigger arms are your goal.
    If you posted just this sentence would be better, you do not have to make up some bro science just to say a simple and true sentence. Never coming back to this website again. Such sensationalism, OMG…

  17. Alex

    Your article makes a lot of sense. I am 47 years old and I see a lot of “prision fit” people with stick legs.

    I see a lot of people on the last 20 years quickly move to steriods … mainly in everyday life on law enforcement professionals.

    I never touched a steroid and I don’t look “youtube fabulous”, but while I have been away from sports (rugby) and work out at home with limited equipment (just dumbells and pushusps) still keep reasonably fit and strong.

    The truth is that bodybuilding is a scam. Fitness is only a gift to yourself. An honest gift or a chemically induced forgery that is up to each one of us.

    Thanks for writing

  18. Sulla

    Any new articles on the way? I really enjoy this site but more regular postings would be nice. Plus you haven’t done a real ‘natty or not’ analysis for ages!

  19. McF7y

    I thought I read an article about when you used to work out at the mall when you were younger. It was posted quite shortly after this post.

  20. Rob

    Hello all,

    I have this centaur look as author mentioned. I have genetics after my parents (both have very big legs compared to their upper body and so do I). I’ve been doing Wendler’s 5/3/1 which is basically powerlifting routine of 4 main lifts – OP, deads, bench and squat + assistance work. I followed that for 2 years and the “centaur” effect multiplied. Not only I gained ton of muscle but I have a feeling that most of the fat goes to legs, ass and love handles. I can only dream of V-taper if I keep following that routine…Not saying it’s bad, it’s just too much lower body work for my body type.

    At this point I can even say I envy the “chicken legs” lifters because the effect in my case is completely inverse.

    I really want to fix this and I’ve been thinking about replacing deadlift and squat days with bench and overhead press until the imbalance is fixed. So benching twice a week and OP pressing twice a week + assistance exclusively for upper body, lot of arm work….

    In other words, completely replacing lower body exercises with upper body exercises.
    Opinions?

    I know there is this “no legs training = douchebag” circlejerk but this article feels like a perfect opportunity to discuss that.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      You are free to do whatever you want.

      A classic bro split routine that focuses heavily on the upper body would be:

      Monday: Chest/Back/Delts
      Wed: Legs + Arms
      Friday: Chest/Back/Delts

    2. Glove

      @Rob
      seems to be that you have made good gains in the first 2 years. Ton in connection with muscle gains sounds like music in my ears!
      Question: why do you perform this powerlifting program? “overall” strength? Or is it your main focus to become a good powerlifter? Then forget about the look…
      If the discrapency between upper and lower body is that extreme as you describe it will be very difficult (or even impossible) to overcome.
      In this case I would think of canceling squats and deads at least for a while or reduce to an absolute minimum.
      You should concentrate on chins. If you miss a V-taper than chins are (or lat pull) first choice.
      If your chest is developed and you are as strong in your upper body as in the legs you seem to be a born powerlifter.
      If it´s like this make the best out of your given talent. If you achieve the classic BB look (big arms, small waist, wide shoulders) change your plan completly.
      But one is for sure: if your genetics shows in the direction you mentioned you´ll never look like a “fitness model”. You can compensate a bit. That´s it.

      1. Rob

        @Glove
        I’m doing just one powerlifting-style movement. Rest is in 10-12 rep range. Pure bodybuilding training never worked for me, so I did 5×5 for one year but this didn’t have any volume so I changed to Wendler. I do a lot of pull-ups, unfortunately I can’t do more than 8 and I’m stuck on this number for like 6 months. Currently I’m dieting down.

        Looks like it’s time to create my own program, all these programs with fancy names but they put focus where I don’t want.
        Actually I was thinking about 3 day upper body focused program, something like Truth Seeker posted above + 2 days conditioning like running.
        Let’s see if I can transform or stay centaur forever.
        Thanks for input both of you, I really appreciate it!

  21. Tomar

    I recently found your website and I love it. Please can you name some best looking natty bodybuilder so that I can get motivation.

  22. MB

    Who was Rich Piana or what has he done that he get so much attention?
    Of course it’s sad when someone dies, but why are so much people – mostly on social media – talking about it like a superhero died?

    1. joe santus

      Piana had very outspoken, sort of “I’m being totally honest with you, let’s-cut-through-the-politically-correct-rhetoric, even about the risks and limits in bodybuilding” personality, and had a substantial following on YouTube. He was candid concerning PEDs, including his personal long-time use of steroids, HGH, and other ancillary drugs. He didn’t per se promote their use, insisted no minor should ever use them,and even warned the average-gened guy who has no chance of being professionally successful in bodybuilding against using them; however, he was frank about their effects, and felt that adults needed straight info about doses, cycles, stacks, varieties, “how-to’s”, legalities, side effects, and risks, etcetera, if they were choosing to use them.

      So, his death (the cause of which has not as I write been officially pronounced) provides social media with the exact sensationalist fodder it wants to market itself. A headline such as “Steroid User — Dead At Forty-six From Steroids?” attracts readers eeeeeeeeeevery time.

      1. MB

        Ok. Thanks.
        It’s strange that he is so open about PED.
        Most athlete’s lie about it because it’s illegal, but Rich Piana seemed not to worry about that.

      2. Glove

        Hi Joe,
        first of all I was sad when I heard that Piana and McCarver passed away.
        Frankly speaking I didn´t know who Rich Piana was before I saw him on his Youtube channel. I only saw 2 or 3 of his videoclips. So I not really know what he stands for.
        I saw some pictures of him from 1999 and 2003 as a competitive bodybuilder. Of cause he reached a certain level which did not impress me very much. One competitor under hundreds of others. Seems to be that his popularity started to grow much later. The way he promoted himself was clever and he build up a brand which attracted over a million of youtuber. His honesty what gear concerns was the attribute people seem to appreciate. As a kind of role model, of fitness icon, of fitness celebrity, of entertainer who was indipendent from IFBB, magazines and sponsors he could AFFORD to be honest. Other persons who are not in his position can´t afford to be honest. As sad it is it´s a matter of fact. He spoked out what is absolutely evident for everybody who is only a little bit involved in this matter. For me he was a clever businessman.
        He reminds me a little bit on characters like Keith Richards who warned his fans to live like he does. I absolutely agree to Piana when he said that gear should be used by professionals only. He himself was a professional what self marketing concerned. As a bodybuilder he was not better than many others.
        I don´t know whether he was really an expert in gear. Or an experienced user only. I ask myself whether I can LEARN something from his videos. After watching one or two of his motivation clips I got the impression that I heard his stuff from dozens of other “Superstars” before. Stereotyped BB folklore. Arnold impressed me much more 40 years ago.
        But as a matter of fact he had a huge fanbase. For many bodybuilders he seemed to be a guru. He was a charismatic person for his followers.

        1. joe santus

          I agree 100% with all your thoughts about Piana.

          I knew of him mainly via his YouTube vids, since as you rightly point out, he was mediocre at best as far as high level physique competitors go.

          As far as his info on gear…I’ve never used gear, but, being the sort of wants-to-know-the-facts person I am, have researched and observed and also asked users through my forty-five years (I’ve never been anti-PEDs, just, never wanted to use myself)…that has included all the formal medical research and studies I could and can access, as well as info from pro-steroid guys such as Dan Duchaine and Bill Philips to anti-steroid people such as John Hoberman and James Wright. Best as I can tell, Piana may not have been the ultimate know-all about gear, but most of what he said aligns with other info and research I’ve read.

  23. MB

    I was wondering: if a steroid / PED user who used it for let’s say at least 3 year decide to stop his or her drug use, can he/she do this just like that without problems?
    Or is it difficult? And if so, why?
    – Do they become addicted to the drugs?
    Like a smoker who needs his cigarette.
    or
    – Is it just because they are affraid that they will lose muscle mass?

    1. joe santus

      Anabolic steroids are not physiologically addictive as drugs such as nicotine or opiates, which change things in the brain and body such as neurotransmission in ways that causes the body to be unable to function “normally” in the absence of the drugs.
      However, anabolic steroids do affect the hormonal feedback loops and shut down the body’s natural production of testosterone; meaning, when a user quits steroids, his/her body will experience at least a length of time during which it has zero testosterone being produced. Most of the time, natural testosterone production resumes eventually, but, during that transition, lack of the androgenic effects of testosterone can cause loss of energy, loss of libido, mood depression, mental confusion, impaired recovery capacity, memory impairment, and other symptoms typical with low testosterone levels. However, what’s called Post-Cycle Therapy, if done properly, can substantially reduce both the duration and the severity of the transition for most users (it
      can involve dosing with hCG, which stimulates natural testosterone production; and anti-estrogenics such as Anastrozole, which minimize loss of remaining testosterone by preventing the normal conversion of testosterone to estrogen, not only sparing testosterone but reducing the effects of estrogen)

      There is a psychological addiction potential with steroids, and it is essentially what you guessed: fear of loss of muscle and strength. People with extremely negative self-image, for example, often find it extremely difficult to lose the physique they depend upon for self-validation.

      1. Iron Joker

        Every cycle has potential of permanent shutdown of the natural production of test. Guys with lots of cycles on their back (or blast and cruise) more often than not will need TRT until they die. So, its not completely wrong to say there is a physiological dependance.

  24. Iron Joker

    I was recently reflecting about it: the problem with the whole fitness thing is not steroid use for getting bigger… is steroid use to sell stuff (programs, supplements, equipment and, most importantly, image).
    I used to work out in a gym that concentrated a lot BBer (the owner had a high position on IFBB), and people talked openly about steroids. Once i asked to work with a guy in the legpress and between sets he casually comented that was the last week of his cycle. Another time, a female personal trainer told me she was off steroids at time because she was “only” taking oxandrolone. A friend who is a mens physique competitor said: BBing is hormones.
    There, the enhanced guys understood that i’m natural and didn’t try to push spectations of a drug using trainee on guys like me. Actually a few times they complimented me, because i trained hard, made progress physique wise (for a natural) and lifted more than them in stuff like deadlifts, chins and dips.
    In real life i don’t know any huge “natural”. But then i look at the internet and every fucking big guy is claiming to be natural, and it’s repeated so many times and so convincily that it starts to fuck up your head and makes you think: “maybe my progress actually sucks for a natural and i should try this diet or that method”.
    Long story short: just train hard for yourself and don’t look too much on the internet fitness comunity (maybe just as comedy) and you be fine.

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