August 29, 2015
All You Need is Discipline… and Drugs
There are a lot of physique competitors online posting motivational quotes over their own photos, offering coaching, and sharing advice for staying in shape.
Many of these competitors are ripped beyond belief – men and women alike – with striated glutes, deeply cut six packs, delts that balloon out and taper like Q-tips on top of their arms… you know the deal.
These people look neat. They’re remarkable.
But their appearance is often less like the fit guy or girl next door and more like a caricature. Definitely not something you can achieve via training and nutrition alone.
Yet these are the folks who often have the most to say about motivation and discipline.
They’ll tell you that if you’re as disciplined as they are, or if you have the same work ethic, or if you sign up with them, you too can achieve the look that they’ve gotten.
And that’s where I get a little pissed.
Stop It With the Sermons
I get that athletes use performance enhancing drugs. That’s just the nature of modern sports, whether we like it or not.
So throwing a fit over the people who get caught using drugs is silly. Your favorite “drug-free” athlete, well, probably isn’t. And I can only imagine the pressure that professional athletes face in order to succeed and stay relevant.
So drug use itself doesn’t really burn my cookies.
What does is when those who are obviously using get preachy and lecture us mere mortals about how to do things “the right way” in order to become more muscular or lean like them.
“All you need is discipline! And my diet and training program! I can show you how to eat, train, and look like me!” – Online coaches whose medicine cabinets are stocked like a Tijuana pharmacy.
The truth is, them telling us how to get shredded and jacked is kind of like a thief telling us how to get rich.
I don’t plan on making gains or losing fat that way, and if you’re a lifetime natural lifter, neither do you.
Weight training doesn’t defy genetics. It makes the most of them.
It allows you to capitalize on your strengths. And it enables you to improve even your weakest links. But it won’t ever do what drugs can do.
If you use them and your clients don’t, your choices have invalidated a lot of your advice – especially from an aesthetic perspective.
Why? Because building muscle and training hard while using anavar, winstrol, dbol, or whatever, does defy genetics. It shits all over genetics.
And it makes all the difference in the world for those who’ve “made it.”
Chances are, with competition being what it is, you, dear steroid user, likely wouldn’t have made it without the “extra assistance.” And sadly, since many competitors go through it like candy, you may not even be “making it” now.
There’s just more competition out there. There’s a growing community of selfie-obsessed bodybuilding fanatics who are juicing up, posing for Instagram, and begging for clients to coach.
And you don’t have a grasp anymore on what it’s like to see your body day after day with minimal (yet realistic) progress. You didn’t take the slow path. How can you relate to those who do?
There are plenty of people who aren’t using drugs that have sound nutrition and training advice, but they don’t sell the pipe dream that you dangle in front of naive clients and inexperienced lifters.
Dear Steroid User
Think back to when you were a natural lifter.
Go back to when you were last working your ass off without drugs – maybe you were still seeing progress here and there, but nothing over-the-top dramatic. Go back to that place and pretend like you chose to stay on the natural path.
Are you there?
Okay, now tell us about discipline.
Now tell us how we can make the most of our genetic potential.
Now tell us how to stay motivated.
Because get this: It’s easier to be motivated when you’re making massive progress. And it’s easier to make massive progress when your medicine cabinet is stocked with substances that allow you to bypass natural limitations.
Bottom line? You took an easier route – though you won’t ever admit that. And you didn’t make the most of your genetics; you escaped them.
If you’re a veiny chick with striated glutes, single digit body fat, deep feathered quads, and hard cut triceps, then I have to roll my eyes when I see your sorry motivational quotes.
Lifting itself wasn’t enough motivation for you. Nor was healthy eating.
You can teach us about technique, you can show us how you program workouts, but when it comes to motivation, you’re completely out of touch.
But go ahead. Publicize your online coaching and gain some recognition.
Caption your social media photos with more of those 5,000-word dissertations for the starry-eyed girls and star-struck younger guys who think they’ll look like you if they just attain your level of “dedication” and your ability to “trust the process,” “follow your dreams,” “live your true passion,” and “never give up!”
They’ll figure it out eventually. And maybe they’ll even choose to become the fit looking guy or girl next door instead of another internet-famous caricature.
The rest of us? We can motivate ourselves.
Dani Shugart is a published author, figure athlete, and editor for T Nation. She helps readers take control of their dietary behaviors to finally build the body they want.
The rest of us? We can motivate ourselves.