If I were to mention steroids back in 2007 CrossFit times I would have been environmentally drawn and quartered by tree-hugers everywhere. Today’s mature CrossFit, however, is a different beast altogether. A beast with NCAA standards, sponsors, and random drug tests.
After a few more athletes got popped for something here (not steroids per say but something banned) I figured we might as well get this off our chest. In fact I have always believed steroids and performance enhancers were part of my job as an engineer of the human condition. Steroids, prescriptions, and the like are just like food, and in my opinion trainers should do their absolute best to have a base knowledge of everything that we can put into our bodies that can harm, or help us. The question is, can steroids help?
We will stay away from the other banned substances as it is absolutely asinine to limit caffeine or allergy medication, but that’s a different post. I expect you to weigh in below with your thoughts on steroids and sporting events, and I expect you to leave the propaganda you have been sold at the door and realize first and foremost, steroids are not evil…people are.
In 1988 a Canadian beat an American (damn Canadians, at least they gave us Bryan Adams right). After that, the party ended and steroids became the bane of athletes everywhere. After all, how could someone beat an American unless they cheated?
After the summer games in Seoul, Ben Johnson was popped for Stanozolol primarily because he was just too damn fast. Or so said his only competition, an American named Carl Lewis who held all the records that were shattered. But, the story didn’t end there as it should have with a simple rule infraction, and medal retraction. No, congress-yes the one leading our country-decided that Americans were just too good for any “aid” when it comes to athletics. Apparently steroids are beneath Americans, only Americans. You can purchase Steroids at any pharmacy in any other country legally. In fact, in Thailand you can’t buy protein powder, but you can buy hormones. One is approved by the FDA, and one is not. Priorities.
To add insult to injury our beloved “leaders” decided to make Steroids (hormones)-a controlled substance. The only hormone on the list. And then they decided to have the DEA (drug enforcement administration) enforce it with the head of the organization saying at the time, and I paraphrase, “we have better things to do that chase athletes”.
Ever since that day jail cells have met up with tax paying, hard working individuals who wanted to look better without their shirts on. Athletes, Olympians, baseball players, they don’t go to jail, they go to congress, turn in their suppliers and sign autographs after the cameras leave. A countries laws based out of pride are a fools legacy, and a blight to its nations citizens.
Harmful, hurtful, fair
As CrossFitters we are looking to enhance the total human condition. Rightfully so we target fitness as a means to improve health. We also target food, it’s our foundation.
Food is a hormonal trigger. Steroids are hormones. What if properly administered steroids gave us a higher level of performance? If that performance came with no side-effect, we would be healthier right? Since I have never tested this I cannot truly say if this would be the case, but one can make the leap.
Granted, any test I could do today would be illegal, but if there was a legal way to put these possible benefits to the test would it not be the duty of a diligent CrossFitter to pursue every avenue of fitness. After all, we test every thing else from programming, nutrition, to recovery, why no the juice?
It’s not that I really believe one way or the other, it is that I have a healthy fear of pride developed from being a jackass far too often. What if pride is making a nation, well just Americans, miss something? What if there was a way to overcome injury faster, to fight disease, and to just feel better by way of pharmacology+fitness+diet? I don’t have the answers because it is currently illegal to get them. I have the questions, and my biggest question is; what if we are missing something out of pride?
Clearly when it comes to competitions rules triumph over opinion. Regardless of the fact that steroids could potentially help, or harm, or if I think they suck, or you think their cool, we must never break standard, we must never sacrifice our integrity…cheating is cheating.
As CrossFitters it is our job to meet standard, and if standard says “no-rep” for steroid use, or any other banned substance for that matter, then it is our respectful position to follow standard 100%, no arguments.
And yes, I too believe it is imperative to be an example to our younger athletes all over the world. That’s is why I don’t let let them drink Gatorade, eat pizza, or gorge on ice cream, what do you do?
Before you vote
Birth control, and many sinus/allergy medications prescribed today are steroids of a different nature. Some are acceptable, but others are not…huh? Maybe your argument is that they are prescribed by a qualified professional and therefor acceptable. Fine. Then could I not simply tell my Doctor, “I want a faster “Fran” time, just like she doesn’t want to have a kid…give me drugs too”?
The FDA claims Lucky Charms as an acceptable “food” when sugar is the epidemic killing a nation, yet the few individuals willing to stick a needle in their ass walk around unscathed. I will always trust a needle in my hand before I trust an organization that calls genetically modified organisms food while promoting a future of diabetes by the bowl full.
Pitchers are having elective shoulder surgery to enhance their throwing capability and players are having their vision refined so they can see the ball better. While CrossFit doesn’t have pitching (yet) it doesn’t seem to far off that we could find someone going under the knife so they could burpee faster or thruster stronger. If we are against one form of performance enhancement, then are we not against all? What constitutes “acceptable” and “outrageous”, and how do we police the two?
Steroids hurt kids, and “roid rage” kills unsuspecting loved ones right? What do you think alcohol does you self-righteous hypocrite. Can you really sit there watching a football game drinking seventeen beers, being entertained by the same steroids you condemn while thinking it is totally fine to support Jack Daniels..really?
I have many friends in combat overseas. I have many friends in law enforcement. If for one second a nations pride is keeping them from an enhancement that could bring them home safely with no ill effect, then pride is the enemy of man…wait, didn’t God already say that?
Steroids do employ an edge to performance when it is accompanied by mounds of hard work. It is not a magical injection of awesome, it is an enhancement like many others and if the rules say “no”, then we must all adhere to the rules no matter what. There must always be an even playing field and it is every athletes responsibility to know their particular playing field in and out. As athletes it is our job to maintain the conduct appropriate of a competitive athlete and follow the rules.
But as a human, as a scientist, when it pertains to the well being of all humans and the means to enhance that, not hinder it in any way, should we not be allowed freedom of choice? There is in fact no benefit to smoking, drinking, eating like a reject, or the like, but we are encouraged if not provoked to do that everyday. But when it comes to “sports enhancement”, which could arguably be called “human repair” or “human revision”, we may never know the potential because pride and profit keep getting in the way.
What are your thoughts?
Snatch (Full squat) AHAP
*Recover 2 minutes between efforts
**Work up to a heavy snatch you can perform unbroken for (7) reps, and a heavy thruster. Perform (7) UB snatches, then immediately perform (7 ) UB thrusters. Two separate loads is encouraged/acceptable. Add weight between efforts.
20-Power snatch 55/75
Single leg deadlift
AMSAP 3 Minutes
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