by Matt Meinrod
Is there anything you wouldn’t do to reach your goals? Regardless of what I once said when I was 18, I wouldn’t have eaten dog shit or given up my left nut to sleep with the hottest girl in high school. That’s not to say other guys out there still wouldn’t, but it makes me think back on how glad I am that I didn’t make more stupid choices when I was younger. In bodybuilding, Bostin Loyd is known for hitting 13,000mg of gear per week! And he’s not alone, several other national level NPC competitors have told me in confidence they use similar doses. Is this, “get big or die trying,” mentality the norm or just youthful stupidity?
On one side of things, I think about how heavily invested many of these top bodybuilders are. They start out when they’re 17 or 18 years old and have invested time, money, and health into their bodybuilding careers. For most of them bodybuilding has sucked more out of them, than the other way around. But, they keep going and going and pressing on and on. At first, 1000mg of gear worked and then it quickly turned into 2grams and 3grams and so on. If they take a step back and realize they’ve never cracked a top 3 at a national show and then reflect further on all the lost time spent on cardio and seclusion, they’re too heavily invested to turn back, and who can blame them? And that’s the good scenario for the guy who started out sensibly, not the Loyd’s of the circuit.
Bodybuilders aren’t alone in this mess of excess. Stockbrokers, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals have been known to lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want and where they want. Women have been whoring out their bodies for promotions for years. You think G4P is bad, imagine a 30 year woman and a 70 year old man having sex together, that might be more frightening than a Schmoe with a boner. Yet, that’s how far some women are willing to go.
Strongman and powerlifters are the real nutcases, willing to do any and everything to be great in their sport. Apparently these guys haven’t read the latest medical literature on high blood pressure being a key catalyst for kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke. At what point did 290lb Magnus ver Magnusson become small and 6’8’’ 420lb Brian Shaw become the standard? These guys dwarf NFL offensive lineman, whom have a very low life expectancy. It’s just not safe, but the average pro strongman is 350lb. At least in bodybuilding, they’re keeping their body fat levels low for most of the year. In strongman and powerlifting, in order to perform maximally you need to carry an extra layer of blubber.
Fitness girls are really off the chain. Whose idea was it to have these girls deplete their physiques to compete in a figure competition and then 24 hours later throw them on the stage to perform high speed acrobatics? It’s really an amazing art form that redefines hardcore or taking your body to the limit. These girls are willing to take it far past the limit to be great.
Somebody once posed the question; if you could win 10 Mr. Olympia’s, but would be faced with automatic and sudden death at the age of 50, would you do it? Questions similar to this have been discussed for decades and the results have been similar: there’s an abnormal amount of people that would sacrifice everything to be great at something. Maybe money is your motivator. If you were to win the lottery, but it came with a death sentence, would you still want to win? Some would say yes, to pass it down to generations after you, but others think absolutely not.
It makes me wonder, does this, “go big or go home,” mentality come from your environment? In bodybuilding, should we be surprised that Kai Greene has done and will do anything to earn his 1st Mr. Olympia championship? He came from nothing and has been scratching and clawing and knocking on the door of bodybuilding history for a few years now. But then, Jay Cutler and Phil Heath both came from completely different backgrounds than Kai and they too have fully invested themselves into the sport. So, maybe it’s not environmental.
What I’ve come to notice about great athletes and great business people is that although they are uniquely and supremely better than their competition, they tend to lack in other areas of their lives. They might not have fully developed social skills that more balanced and less egocentric people have. Call it a blessing or a fault, but it is what makes them great. Most of them lack the guilt in knowing they put themselves first. We’ve all heard athletes, but specifically bodybuilders say how selfish of a sport this is. Do you ever step back and hear what they mean or do you just brush it off and agree?
“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” — Albert Einstein”
Matt Meinrod is Creative Director at Blackstone Labs and Prime Nutrition. You can reach Matt on his website, www.MattMeinrod.com or on Facebook and Twitter @MattMeinrod