Things Your Mom Never Told You About Being Big
By Jason Meuller
So, you wanna be a bodybuilder, huh? Stand up on stage next to the big boys, get all the ladies, never have that sand kicked in your face again, I hear ya. There's one little problem though. Walking around with all that extra steroid-induced muscle isn't all peaches and cream baby. Sometimes it can be a downright pain in the ass (literally). Sit back and pay attention, school is now in session.
Breathing is a Bitch
If you've ever had the chance to hang out with a professional bodybuilder, one thing becomes immediately clear. Most of these guys suck wind like you wouldn't believe. Simple tasks, like say, checking the mail for instance, is enough to make a lot of these guys gasp and wheeze for oxygen.
I myself have experienced this on many occasions. I own a three-story condo with plenty of stairs. Stairs. The bane to my existence. Do you know how many times I've considered installing one of those chairs that helps old people up the stairs? It's especially lovely after a brutal leg workout, it's 11 at night, and I've got to get some sleep. Do I climb three flights of stairs so I can get to my bedroom or crash out on the couch?
The human heart was not designed to pump blood through miles of additional vascular networks that are created through steroid induced hypertrophy. Quite frankly, many of these athletes are taxing their hearts to very dangerous levels. The combination of extreme size, steroid-related hypertension, and lack of cardiovascular conditioning makes for a dangerous combination.
You Sweat Like a Gerbil at a Gay Pride Rally
Ok, I admit that was probably in poor taste, but it was damn funny. Who likes to sweat? Hey, if you're planning on being one of the big boys, you're going to learn to love it! You think you sweat profusely now? Wait until you're about 280 lbs of muscle and see what happens.
My favorite example for this is Nasser El Sombaty. Don't get me wrong, I love Nasser, he's got an unbelievable physique and one of the few pros that can carry on an intelligent conversation. Talking to most of these guys will put you to sleep faster than a liter of GHB. Joking aside, Nasser serves as our perfect case study for excessive sweating. Having seen and talked to him many times at various shows and guest appearances, I can honestly tell you that even doing something as mundane as sitting and signing autographs causes Nasser to pour sweat.
Other athletes share similar fates. At last years Olympia Greg Kovacs was constantly toweling off as sweat poured down his face. At the press conference it was miserable to watch the athletes, all wearing some form of dress attire, pour sweat under hot lights and the strain of many weeks of dieting.
Again, the human body was not designed to carry around the 50-100 lbs of steroid induced muscle these athletes wear. The incredible caloric intake, hypertension, and artificially heightened metabolisms of these athletes all serve to overload the natural cooling system of the body. Excessive and profuse sweating results.
Pain is Your Constant Companion
Big deal, right? You've spent hours in the gym, you know what it's like to recover from the most brutal workouts. Well my friend, have I got a treat for you. Training naturally and training on gear is a whole different animal altogether. While I have the utmost respect for natural trainers, I can honestly say that 9 out of 10 steroid users are going to train harder and more aggressively than their natural counterparts (And yes, I can see the deluge of hate mail from naturals coming already).
Lord knows I've seen my fair share of mammoth bodybuilders dog it in the gym. I've also witnessed natural bodybuilders train with intensity that is inspiring. However, a smart natural bodybuilder will almost always train his body at a level below what he is capable. Why? Because natural bodybuilders must always deal with the limiting factor of cortisol, which is elevated in response to training. Anabolic steroids allow bodybuilders to break past this barrier, and by their very nature, produce a level of aggressiveness that most natural trainers cannot reach.
Anabolic steroids allow you to lift longer, lift heavier, and with more intensity. While I must admit that some bodybuilders tend to use steroids as a crutch and fail to take advantage of this, most athletes will train harder while "on". Obviously, the harder you train, the more pain you'll experience as you recover from each session. Additionally, it's not uncommon for long-term steroid users to suffer from severe joint pain. The constant stress of accommodating weights that overload connective tissues can lead to a variety of problems. Why do you think so many top bodybuilders are addicted to Nubain?
While were on the subject of steroids, let's discuss another painful aspect of achieving massive size. When you start taking the 2-4+ grams per week of steroid required to achieve a professional caliber physique, you start realizing something. Taking that many shots really sucks. Let's say you're an aspiring bodybuilder, you've got some decent size, and now it's time to really up the ante in your quest to pursue greatness. A typical cycle of injectables for someone like this might consist of 2000 mg of test a week, 600 mg of deca, and 75 mg of trenbolone acetate every day. At the very minimum, you're going to be injecting 18 cc's of oil into your body every week. This assumes you're using a testosterone preparation that is 250 mg/ml and that you were lucky enough to locate deca at 200 mg/ml. More realistically, you're going to be using a lower strength of testosterone, say 200 mg/ml and a much lower strength of deca, probably around 50 mg/ml. You're now injecting 30 cc's of oil per week! Question. Where is all of this oil going to go? Before you weren't taking that much juice and managed to take all of your shots in the glutes. Now you're hitting your delts and quads and still trying to figure out where else you can stick yourself.
Something happens after years and years on steroid injections. You build up a great deal of scar tissue. This makes injections even more fun as the needle no longer glides swiftly and smoothly through tissue towards its final destination. There's something quite sickening and unpleasant to actually hear and feel the crunching and squeaking that results as a needle makes its way through heavy scar tissue. Better yet, this scar tissue allows for very little blood circulation. It's not at all uncommon to have a bolus of oil sit in you ass for a week because you injected directly into scar tissue. Over time, this will eventually happen to your glutes, legs, and delts, really anywhere you inject repeatedly. This is not a result of improper or unsterile injection techniques, it's simply the result of years of steroid abuse.
Last but not least, let's not forget the newest fad to hit the bodybuilding scene, site injections. Now areas that were previously taboo for injection sites are being poked and prodded on a daily basis in an attempt to artificially swell the muscle with various fats and fatty acids. Now I know there are many of you that think the use of these substances is limited to a few bad apples in the sport of bodybuilding. We can easily spot these miscreants at shows, with a rear delt that is wildly over inflated or a bicep that looks like those water balloons you used to throw at your sister when you were a kid. I hate to break it to you, but site injections are used by damn near everybody now. Bodybuilding is a sport, much like many others, that will always fail to hear the voice of reason. As bodybuilders continue their quest for increased size, the risks and chances they take become greater and greater. You'll not find a bodybuilder in the upper levels of the sport who's going to stand-up and martyr himself to correct the evils associated with competition. You don't want to site inject? We'll Mr. Olympia contestant, please take 16th place and shut your hole. Thanks for playing.
Ah, but I digress. Back to pain. If you've taken shots long enough, you know that occasionally, not matter how careful you are with your injection techniques, your going to get a "bad" shot that hurts for quite some time. Site injections are all "bad" shots. Your injecting into areas that are not meant to accommodate large amounts of oil. Injecting 2-3 cc's into your biceps for weeks at a time is painful as all hell. Injecting into your calves can make it difficult to walk. Suck it up kid, you're a bodybuilder now.
Time to Eat
Now that you've decided to play with the big boys, you've got your program all set. The workouts are written out, the drugs are in place, and you've got your 5 meals a day of chicken and rice ready to go. Watch out Mr. Olympia, here I come! Cut to six months later. You're leaner. You're meaner. But you're not a helluva lot bigger. What happened? Lack of food is what happened.
I'm not going to go over this again in too much detail, I've already done so in past issue of Anabolic Extreme. If you want to read an article that takes a realistic look at the kind of nutritional program it takes to compete at the upper levels of the sport, read Extreme Eating for Mass in the back issue section. Bottom line, chicken and rice doesn't cut it.
Overfeeding is the name of the game here. If you want to be brutally huge, you've got to eat brutally huge meals all day long. I'm talking about eating to the point where you are uncomfortable for most of your waking hours. I'm talking about eating to the point where just when you finish one meal, it seems like it's time for another. Obviously this doesn't work for natural athletes, they'll just get fat. But when you're injecting yourself with 3 g of gear a week, along with 6 iu's of growth and 30 iu's of insulin a day, the normal rules of eating are thrown out the window. Here, have a couple Big Macs while you're waiting to that weight gain shake to blend.
Christ, Was That You?
If you've spent any time at all around a good-sized bodybuilder, you're quickly going to realize that these guys have serious issues with gas. Unfortunately, the same dietary practices that allows us to pack on the muscle also causes the wildlife that inhibits our intestinal tracts to produce inordinate amounts of methane. As a result, most bodybuilders spend a significant amount of time trying to fart in public without getting caught.
Anytime you get a large group of bodybuilders together, you'd better have a good ventilation system. Any of you who've attended the expos at the Mr. Olympia or Arnold's Classic will know what I mean. If it wasn't for the massive difference in muscularity, you wouldn't know if you were at a bodybuilding show or an all day chili cook-off. You're constantly walking through man-sized fart bubbles of varying toxicity.
There's a certain pride that's associated with a good, sweaty, manly fart, the kind that can immediately clear a room. One of the important principals you'll need to master as your flatulence grows in direct correlation to your bodyweight is the subtle art of never being around to take the blame when the general public is hit with the goods. This requires some planning on your part, as you can't just rip one at the beginning of your drop-set on bench and hope no one is going to point the finger at you. You'll generally have plenty of warning as one of these monsters goes through its build up phase, and know when it's time to take appropriate action. You can employ several techniques here, but all involve moving to an area of the gym where you won't soon need to occupy for any reason and releasing your noxious payload. This can be done discretely in an unoccupied corner of the gym, although doing so wastes any of the farts knockout potential.
The best course of action allows you to ease your burden and remain blame-free, while allowing others to share in your fragrant emanations. My philosophy is that if God didn't want others to smell our farts, he wouldn't have made them stink, right? Once you feel that you're ready to release your cargo, saunter over to a crowded section of the gym. Maybe you're looking for that damn triceps handle, or maybe you're just making your way through the crowd to say hi to an old friend. Whatever your ruse may be, it's important that you release while on the move. Standing in one spot will make identifying you as the culprit a far easier task than if you release the gas piecemeal on your trek through the gym. Be sure you've thoroughly unloaded every bit of gas before you make your way back to your own workout area, as a really good fart has a tendency to follow you if given a chance. If done correctly, you'll escape detection and get to enjoy the fruits of your labors as you watch innocent gym members glare at each other as they quickly move to find fresh air.
Everyone is trying to get somewhere on this long road we call bodybuilding. Some try to lose weight to reveal their muscle beneath, some try to cover their bones with powerful slabs of muscle. We all dream a common dream, six packs, wide strong shoulders, thick chests, and powerful bodies all around. But to get there, ah, that is the trick. And once you are that size, is it all fun and games, all beach bunnies and orgies, right? Ah, alas, no…there are things about being big that your mom never told you.
Jason has already written two of these, but I thought I would add my own perspective on the burdens of being larger then the average bear. And I am not even as big as Jason, hell; I am not as even as big as his wife’s left breast. But unlike Jason’s ramblings, I am going to give you advice and solutions on how to counter each of these pitfalls.
Sleep/Hunger Trade off
So you are training hard, maybe twice a day. You are eating thousands of calories and taking tons of supplements and gears. As you grow you start to notice that even minor non-lifting chores tire you out. I will hammer out reps on 500lb squats in the gym, but ask me to carry in groceries and I will be so exhausted but to have no choice and retreat to my bed to sleep. Eating makes me sweat; I need to sleep after each laborious meal. Ahh, sweet sleep, the bodybuilder’s best friend.
It is in sleep that we encounter the sleep/hunger trade-off (called technically the marginal catabolic/anabolic product of sleep). The more you sleep, the more repairing and growth you get done. The more sleep the more energy you have for workouts. But, alas, you cannot yet sleep and eat. I can wake up, eat a bowl of cereal, a pizza and two protein shakes and go right back to sleep, but that’s from years of BodyOpus (I hope Duchaine is being tormented the afterlife for making us wake up every two hours). Most guys simply cannot eat and then fall right back asleep. So you reach the point where sleep is interfering with meals. Truly, a terrible dilemma; I have considered many solutions to this problem. Food tubes were one idea, but they are difficult to handle unless you are in a deep coma. So, what did I do? I turned to our biochemist Sanjac who knows everything.
The solution is, of course, intravenous amino acids. You can make these at home, as Sanjac pointed out. Here is the recipe for homemade intravenous amino acid solution right from Sanjac’s own mouth, and he said he would take full ethical, legal, and moral responsibilities for the use of this formula. You did say that, didn’t you?
Saline Solution (from contact lenses).
Two pounds of chicken breast, blanched.
Two pounds of soy protein, lightly fried.
Two gallons of chocolate milk.
Di-hydro-oxide. This is a vital ingredient. It is essential for muscle growth, Anabolic Extreme sells very potent version of this, but beware, too much can cause respiratory failure.
Now place all these items in a blender, blend until lightly whipped. Put this in a Ziploc bag at the top of a broom. Connect several straws together until you have a length long enough to reach your arm. Punch a hole in the Ziploc with one end of the straw and put the other end into your veins. Don’t aspirate, it lowers the effectiveness of this method. [Editors Note: Please do not attempt this or write to us asking for more information on this technique. It's a JOKE!
Few of you will ever get to be huge without the buffet restaurant. These “all you can eat” watering holes are the staple of any bodybuilder on a budget who cares only about total calorie intake. Now, as you wade towards the door of the restaurant, past throngs of senior citizens who also love these places, quickly glance at the manager. A look of despair will creep over his face, a dawning realization that some “thing” has come to his establishment with a terrible hunger. The looks my brother and I receive are akin to the looks the first Japanese scientist gives when he sees Godzilla rise out of the water. I have been asked not to return after I ate a whole stream tray of veal (Uhmm, veal). My brother had eaten several pounds of shrimp. The manager told us he would refund our money if we promised never to come back. So we did just that. Now we terrorize a local Chinese restaurant.
But there is a flip side to this. Whenever you go to eat at a normal restaurant, everyone asks if you got enough to eat. I go on a date to a fine restaurant like CiCi’s Pizza (but only on the first of the month…) and all the people have to comment on every bite that goes into my maw. It’s like some ESPN II commentary on my food intake. Everyone thinks I have some reason for whatever I am doing.
“Look Bob he has ordered the chicken."
“Chicken, hmm…I bet it's because he is on steroids. I read somewhere that steroids make you crave chicken."
“You’re right Bob, that’s got to be it”
“I have a cousin that big, but he is only three years old."
"You know Bob, I used to look that way myself, actually a bit bigger. Of course, I had to quit working out when I took the job at the gas station."
As an aside, the irony of eating out at a nice restaurant for me is what invariably happens to my girlfriend. We go somewhere nice where they have napkins and dinner rolls or Italian bread or any form of bottomless bread as an appetizer. So we order our 50-dollar dinners and then the girl proceeds to eat about ten loaves of bread thus insuring two things; you are getting her steak and you are not having sex that night. And then, at the close of the dinner, some brain surgeon must ask, “SO Big Guy, did you get enough to eat?” What the fuck am I supposed to say to that? God forbid that a guy over 200lbs can eat a normal sized dinner…did they expect me to order two of everything on the menu and a wafer thin mint?
Jason already touched upon the joys of being on any modern airplane when you are big. But it gets worse. Not everyone understands the need for protein powder drinks every two hours. But there is no fury that compares to that of a hungry bodybuilding comrade. My friends and I must stop and eat every two hours or we begin to feel faint. So of course, God help the poor innocent driver who doesn’t pull over immediately. It starts like some sort of werewolf movie. Everything is fine, and then slowly as the clock edges towards the two-hour mark, our hackles go up, a change begins to overtake us. Our eyes widen, our stomachs growl, you get the point. What then follows is an orgy of feeding that almost always involves chocolate milk and Met-RX bars.
The best part of this occurs during bulking phases where ice cream and doughnuts are added to the chocolate milk. I love the sad looks on the faces of people around us as we discard certain candies for being too low in calories, eagerly hooting like monkeys when we find a good and particularly fattening ice cream sandwich. I love the expression on the morbidly obese acne marked whale behind the counter at 7-11 when my friends and I descend on the register with bags of chocolate cake doughnuts and full fat chocolate milk. Just ring us up Shamu. I'm feeling faint!
Your Size will Become Tiresome
In the beginning your size will impress you. You will be tempted to wear spandex shirts, go shirtless to movies, and flex your muscles in the reflections of all mirrors or shiny surfaces. Then slowly, other people will notice your size, they will comment on it, etc. Eventually it will become a fact you accept, you are large, you are strong you are muscular. But by this point, it will be the focus of all conversation around you. You will sit down to lunch with friends who will proceed to ask you about diet, about training, about protein requirements. Finally, your size will become part of every comment.
“Hey Jason, lets go to the mall because you are so big.”
“Hey big guy, wanna wash the car? I bet with those arms it only takes you like five minutes.”
"Hey Grendel, did you eat yet?" (I only hear this one about every 5 minutes.)
Finally, you will reach an almost Buddha like mental state about your size. You will stop reveling at all in your size, taking care to dress modestly, etc. Your muscle will stop being an ego issue at all, you will go the gym, train hard, take your pills, etc and that will be it. You have all seen those older bodybuilders at the gym who no longer seem to be competitive about it. It’s only the young guys, the frat boys, and the assholes that are super competitive about their bodies. The bigger and better you get, the more humble you should be.