On this site I have written a lot of posts on steroid usage in bodybuilding and powerlifting, but there is another sport which is also part of the golden trinity of drug based physical activities – Olympic weightlifting.
Olympic weightlifters rely on steroids just as much powerlifters, albeit they probably do not reach the absurd amounts used in bodybuilding. Weightlifting is not exactly a beauty contest, but strength is very important and steroids help with that.
To be quite fair, I do not follow modern age Olympic weightlifting, but over the years, I have read a lot of material on the old school accomplishments of Russia, USA, Bulgaria and Turkey. There is no doubt in my mind that the rise of weightlifting is connected directly to the advancement of anabolic steroids.
In this post, I presented you material revealing the early usage of anabolic steroids by Bill March of York, Pennsylvania, and Louis Riecke of New Orleans. Of course, their rivals from the Soviet Union and the rest of the world were also not natural. Why would they be? There are medals to be shared.
You have to understand that politics play an extremely important role in deciding who’s clean and who isn’t. There is also a big difference between passing a drug test and being drug free.
Man dressed in expensive costumes made by underpaid workers unite and decide the faith of the lifters. The medals have always been divided according to political preferences and needs. Many of the greatest Olympic weightlifting champions did not even had to pass drug tests thanks to political umbrellas while others using the same elixirs were busted and destroyed. Yes, it is a dirty game and the weightlifters are nothing more than replaceable soldiers and pawns in the hands of men pleasantly smoking cigars.
The whole system has a simple mechanism.
As a natural, you can lift only so much weight regardless of training methods and supplements, which makes the whole weightlifting game rather dormant. However, when you add steroids to the mix the threshold goes higher, the lifters look more muscular and perform better. Thus, the public is happier and there is an illusion of progress. If all lifters were natural, the records would stay the same for many, many, many decades.
If one nation uses anabolic steroids while the others do not, there will be more champions coming from the drugged state. This is why in order to be competitive you have to use steroids under some form. All people performing at the top are gifted, work very hard and use steroids. This is a fact and anybody telling you otherwise probably still believes the government wants to protect the poor people.
The Coach Does Not Care
The most successful coaches are ruthless and brutal. They take lifters and use them as guinea pigs. Nobody cares about your health. If you break, there will always be another sucker willing to take your place. The popular weightlifting coach of the Bulgarians, Ivan Abadjiev, had the same attitude.
He was a soul crusher. He took people like Naim Süleymanoğlu and turned them into lifting machines. Naim started lifting at 10 years of age and was modeled by Abadjiev to perfection. If you look at Naim, he seems constructed for weightlifting – short femurs, short arms.
It’s not a coincidence that he is still pound for pound the strongest weightlifter ever. You can come up with as many studies as you want. The fact that Naim started lifting under a brutal regime written by Abadjiev most likely contributed to the formation of his unusually short limbs.
Seriously, try getting under heavy weights for 10-12 hours a day since you are 10, and tell me barbells do not affect your growing body.
The method of Abadjiev was simple – maximal effort all day every day. He has compared lifters to animals in the wild many times. His idea is that animals always perform at their maximum potential every day (this is obviously not true) in order to survive. He believes humans are capable of doing the same. Thus, you max on all lifts every day, except on Sunday. This does not mean that you always lift heavier weights compared to the day before. You only lift as heavy as you can that day, but it’s still a maximum effort. The concept resides on the idea than animals are forced to do their best even when the previous day was brutal. Thus, the lifters also do the same. Max, max, max, max.
Note: I can tell you for sure that animals do not perform at their maximum every day. They pace themselves too. It is also no true that every animal is under death threat at least once in 24 hours.
Many lifters were broken down to pieces during the reign of Abadjiev. Joint dislocations, ligament tears, broken bones, tendon ruptures, extreme overtraining, and steroid side effects are not just flying phrases. It happened. However, the strongest survived, pushed through and won many medals, which was the goal. This is what I mean by saying that the coach does not care about you. They care about protecting your health only up to a certain point. They want you performing, if you have potential. If you don’t have talent or you break easily, you become almost useless.
Does this make the records set by the Bulgarians less worthy? Not at all. They were the best at that time, worked the hardest and deserved to beat everybody else. However, there were a lot of tears and broken souls due to the extreme abuse. In my eyes, being a weightlifting slave is not why we are here.
Yes, bro. They are not natural even if they are on YouTube.
The last five years or so John Broz made the Bulgarian method extremely popular. According to official information, he learned a variation of the Bulgarian system from Antonio Krastev, who was trained by Abadjiev. Somewhat ironically, one of the biggest talents in the gym of John Broz, Pat Mendes, tested positive for growth hormone. In addition, in one of his interviews John Broz stated that when he trained Bulgarian style he was too tired to talk to people. In other words, you cannot possibly do similar training naturally, and if the Bulgarians were not natural their rivals were loaded too.
I spent the last one hour following the online footprints of some of the popular American weightlifters and in particular John North. Man, does that boy scream loud when lifts?
Anyway, I was particularly amused by some of the comments underneath his videos coming from delusional teens who believe they can outlift the guy naturally. Well, in the video above at about 3 minutes in you can see obvious gynecomastia displayed by Jon North. When you couple that with the red face, back pimples and being a professional weightlifter, you should get the idea.