Burning Out Or When Steroids No Longer Work

Anabolic steroids are some of the most powerful drugs the world has ever seen. They can transform a paper boy into a superhuman. Unfortunately, or not, there comes a time when steroids no longer work regardless of the dose and the quality. The body just can’t take it anymore. The magic is gone.

There Are Limits

A week ago the popular bodybuilder Mike Matarazzo died from heart problems. He was one of the few professional bodybuilders willing to talk about drugs. Here’s a famous quote by him:

Worst were the chemicals. I have so many memories of being alone in a hotel room the week, five days or two days before a contest, and doing unspeakable things to my body—steroids, growth hormones, diuretics—anything and everything that we as bodybuilders do to achieve a certain look.

Yet there are competitors abusing anabolic steroids for life. A good example would be Dexter Jackson who has been competing at the highest level for over 20 years. He is currently 44 years old and getting ready for Mr. Olympia 2014. Very few people have the genetics to sustain this lifestyle for so long.


Note: Many old-school bodybuilders like Serge Nubret, Frank Zane, Dave Draper and Robby Robinson took drugs for a long time too, but unlike the modern bodybuilders, they were strangers to insulin and the overall doses were smaller.

The Images Below Show Lifelong Drug Users

Serge Nubret at 66 years of age.

Serge Nubret at 66 years of age.

andreas-cahling-61

Andreas Cahling at 61 years of age

Dave Draper at 63 years of age.

Dave Draper at 63 years of age.

Naturally maintaining a physique of the magnitude shown above when you are over 60 is a pipe dream. The guys above look better than 20-year-old bodybuilding maniacs who train naturally and abuse every bodybuilding supplement under the sun.

THE TICKING BOMB

As human beings, we are all living under the rule of the ticking bomb.

It doesn’t matter who you are, there’s a ticking bomb attached to you. The period between the ignition of the bomb and the final BOOM is called life.

The God of this world is Time or whatever rules time. Regardless of your earthly titles, time will get to you. There isn’t anything deadlier than a dose of time. Sooner or later, it wrecks everything.

The same applies to the drug users. Eventually, the damages to the internal organs accumulate, and the organism starts rejecting the imported drugs. Once that happens, it’s all over. You are cooked.

CAN YOU POSTPONE THE END?

There are bodybuilders who burn out at the age of 35 while others remain competitive until their 50th birthday. The main differences between those two groups depend on genetics and dosages. Two bodybuilders can do the same and get very different results. One may suffer from kidney failure whereas the other one could win Mr. Olympia 8 times.

The fastest way to burn out is to do everything when are young. This reminds me of Bostin Loyd who is barely 22 and yet has used more steroids and Synthol than some old-school pros.

Today, bodybuilding is way harder on the body than it was during the Golden Era. The requirements for size are incredibly high. The results ain’t pretty. A few pros from the 90s (Nasser El Sonbaty, Mike Matarazzo, and Greg Kovacs) died due to health issues induced by the modern bodybuilding lifestyle. The size game is to blame.

KNOWING WHEN TO QUIT

When you sense that your body can no longer take the beating, it’s time to quit bodybuilding before destroying your system completely. However, instead of retiring, many bodybuilders continue to pump up the anabolics. Most of them are delusional and can’t realize the damage happening to their bodies. As a result, we often see bodybuilders who regress. A good example would be Greg Kovacs whose physique was severely affected by the long-term effects of the bodybuilding game. Another popular bodybuilder who looked much better in the past is Branch Warren.

branch-warren=before

Branch Warren before burning out.

In the image above, Branch Warren has great proportions – a tight waist, a wide back, balanced arm development…etc.

The modern Branch Warren may be bigger, but in all other aspects, his physique has regressed tremendously. His waist is huge, and his hips are wider than his shoulders.

In Conclusion

You can’t cheat nature. Sooner or later, it gets to you. You play, you pay.

5 comments

  1. Priyadarshini Gajbhiye

    Bah,a long and healthy life is HIGHLY overrated. Better to have achieved something you really wanted and then burn out rather than never do it at all. After all after a certain point who cares what you look like at an older age when you have already proved everything necessary to be proven in your youth.

  2. The muse

    I agree with the last poster. Live your life as you want. We are all gonna die anyways.

    Long life is only worth it if you have a reason to be alive, that is greater than you.

    I’m not talking about kids here. When they are adult, they generally piss off.

    Think Stephen Hawking. His life is worth living as long as possible for. Ignore his ill health and think about what he can and has achieved.

    Think about Clint Eastwood. The longer he lives the more meaningful movies he makes.

    As an athlete. If that’s all you have, then long life is pretty dire. Even Arnold went into politics.

  3. Jay Schaefer

    I am 68 years of age now and was an active body builder and health club manager for a number of years. I worked out with some impressive title holders and felt the ego boosting lift from the ever coveted “pump” The problem with sacrificing the future for the now is that, eventually the future arrives and often our priorities and values have changed. What was important to me at 25 or 35 no longer applies. If I had killed myself prematurely for the glory of an impressive body back then, I would have short-changed myself for the broader and deeper interests developed in later life. I appreciate my many hobbies and passions now that I didn’t have back then. I enjoy my many children and grandchildren that I would have missed for the shallow glory of big biceps long forgotten. Recently I ran into a once multi world title holding power lifter who had to stop his lifetime steroid use and is now a shadow of his former self with poor health. No one cares anymore how great was then. They only see what he is now. I think young people entering the sport of body building need to consider the risks and costs of temporary glory.

    1. Andrew

      I’m 52 and agree with you entirely. The 2 previous posts obviously came from the young and inexperienced. As the saying goes ‘Youth is wasted on the young’, but what can you say to enlighten such kids. I’ve been natural 99% of the time and am still gaining at my age, no gut issues, still have my hair not to mention my wife of 21yrs and friends. These kids speak as if pro-BB’s are world famous multi-millionaires. Outside of the fans, nobody knows them except for Arnold and very few make big money. Even amongst the fans most of them don’t know the older generation like Pearl, Kono, Parks etc. So wise up kids and don’t sacrifice your whole lives for such an immature desire, it takes a lot more than muscle to make a man.

  4. Dave

    The key here is ABUSE, not use! You can use testosterone and growth hormone safely at prescribed dosages for many many years. I am 44 years old and suffer from low testosterone. I am on 200mg test weekly and 2u hgh daily. I am actually HEALTHIER now than I was without treatment. My cholesterol is better, my A1C is better, my body fat is lower, my organs are in excellent health, and I feel like I’m 20! Taking steroids is not the issue. The issue is long term ABUSE.

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