T Nation

Drugs: How Much Difference Does it Make?


I never really understand doping in sports. I mean, if you're a bodybuilder in desperate need of some massive hypertrophic gains, I can see how you would benefit from steroids.

But guys, we're talking about Weightlifting, Shotput, football, etc. where our inter- and intramuscular coordination plays a more vital role than slabs of random muscle tissues.

Plus, how exactly does a lightweight, weightlifter who has NO intentions of moving up a weight class benefit from drugs? Is there actually a type of drug that enhances your tendon and ligament strength as well as improve your nervous system's capabilities?

I really just don't get it!


not all PED's are anabolic steroids, Anabolic steroids are just one type. there are numerous other ways of 'doping'.


i don't really know anything about it...

but i thought it was to do with improving recovery time so one could train more frequently and thus develop better coordination / technique.

and something about strength, too. similar to the difference between drug and non-drug tested powerlifting federations strength-wise, i guess...


I'm simplifying here quite a bit, but steroids increase the intensity you can work at day in and day out as well as the volume you can handle. How much does it matter? Kinda depends on who you ask Glenn Pendlay seems to think it's a factor but not the single most influential.


you can lift about 10% more i'd guess


Now that there's a number I'd like to tell something about my observation about male lifters in my province. Apparently for 56-62kg class you can expect to snatch 2x BW if you're "an elite lifter" (have many years under your belt). For 69kg and above it becomes increasingly harder/rarer if not inexistent. I guess perhaps almost all of our lifters are drug free, dunno about those who are elite enough to compete in regional or international comps.


You ever been in a fight? Or any competition where the pressure is on you? Ever had a long day at work, or just a long day period? Whatever you felt in those situations was caused by a hormone. Everything your body does is controlled by a hormone, so imagine if you wanted the muscle you already have to be twice as strong, you can give yourself a boost of adrenaline.

Most people take 5 minutes between a set to do a one rep max, the right hormone can reduce that to 2 seconds. Imagine how effecting that would be if you were sprinting and every time your leg hit the ground it was giving a max lift. Or every jab you threw was a max military press. Hormones reduce reaction time. So you have a 100mph hour fastball coming at you, imagine what a .1 second difference would make in your theres a hormone.

Hormones effect everything, as someone said there are different kinds of steroids there are ones that will help your tendons but in general muscles just grow faster than tendons.


Comparing a user to a non-user is like comparing gorilla to a chimpanzee.


Something about this screams "troll" to me . . . but I don't know, maybe it's possible for someone to have such skewed and inaccurate opinions/knowledge on performance enhancing substances?

Besides, if people didn't gain anything by doping, why do they do it? Why is it banned?


I don't know if it's ignorance or if our friend is simply asking (maybe himself) whether he should start doping. I have a quick reply. Anatoly Bondarchuk had written somewhere (but I don't remember the article/book) that drugs would add about 5-7 meters to an elite hammer thrower's distance. I would guess something equivalent for a weightlifter. In other words, if you ain't got it you ain't gonna get it. A good 94kg lifter with proper training should be able to clean and jerk 190s clean. Now, that is a pretty darn good lift already. Similar analogies should apply for the lighter weight classes. If you can't get at least close to something like that with just hard work, a solid diet and proper training, you aren't going to surpass it with any pharmaceutical help so stay away! (In fact, stay away from these things period!)


i would agree with Kgeorge, unless your already a great lifter (over 375 Sinclair IMO) clean then either you haven't put in enough training time, haven't been training with the right people/coach, haven't been training long enough, or simply don't have the talent to be elite.

and if you don't have the right coach/training environment, the right drive/motivation or the talent then any use of illegal drugs is a complete and total waste of time and money, not to mention possibly your health.


Attempting to put a figure on what 'drug use' might do for a lifter is ridiculous. What are they taking? How much are they taking? How long are they taking it? How long have they been lifting? Do they have a coach? How much do they train? How is their nutrition? What about the placebo affect of the drugs?

There are a million more questions like that to be asked. You never KNOW that something has helped your training. You can see correlations when you change one thing at a time, but you will NEVER KNOW FOR SURE.

Injecting onself with synthetic hormones in excess of what the body produces naturally will help your training. It will help some people more than others. There are plenty of drugs that will give you strength gains but not huge gains in size, again depending on nutrition. Unless everything else in your training is 100% perfect - rest, food, structure, recovery, coaching, number of sessions, no injuries, enough time to train as much as you can etc etc there is no point even considering it.


Some of you guys are being mean to me! Knock it off or else I'd be pissed!

However, I did see some good views about drug use. :slightly_smiling:


The New England Journal of Medicine
1996 Volume 335 pages 1-to-7


Basically, using four groups of men, in a blind placebo experiment,the authors show quite clearly that men given testosterone and basically told to just sit on their ass. Got stronger, gained more lean muscle, and lost more fat than men given a placebo who worked out with weights 3x a week.

Oh and please,
i'm not really interested in arguing the data with anyone.

How come they didn't use pro athletes?
How come they didn't use hardcore powerlifters?
Did they eat enough protein?
Did they train in the summer or winter?
How come the groups that lifted didn't use 5/3/1 or HTS or whatthehell ever?


if you have a problem with the study, go do your own.... and get it prior reviewed and accepted into the NEJM and then we can argue.

oh yeah, drugs work.

Does anyone really think the NEJM "wanted" to publish this????????????????

I mean its basically saying your stupid if your an athlete and not using.




i thought it was cheating to be an athlete and using.

is it stupid not to cheat?


......thats it im getting myself some bottles of test.


If your sole goal is to be a world/olympic champion, set world records, or be one of the elite in your sport so you can make millions, there are those who would say it is rather stupid if you try and achieve that without the use of banned performance enhancing substances, generally because I think there's a pervading belief that for the most part, those things can't be accomplished by a lifetime clean athlete. Whether or not everyone qualifies using PEDs as "cheating" (since the idea is everyone's using anyways) is a separate issue.

Christ I hope that came across as intended, I'm tired and too lazy to go over it again.


i will take roids if it gets me a gold medal. i will also train hard.

sorry i skipped everyone' posts and just posted this.


i guess by 'cheating' i just mean breaking the rules. the rules say that you can't take whatever substances... so if you take those substances then you can't legitimately win. it would be like hiding assistive gear under your weightlifting suit when the rules expressly prohibit that. of course you can tell yourself 'everybody else is doing it' which may or may not be true. seems to me to be beside the point, however.

i don't understand the rules insofar as whether they actually say you need to be lifetime clean or just clean for the competitive season... but whatever it is that they do say... breaking that would be cheating, wouldn't it? i mean... what else does cheating mean than breaking the rules and trying to get away with it?


Perhaps weightlifting should have non-tested federations or whatever like powerlifting and bodybuilding. I'd be interested to see what the male and female human body can do both with a variety of assistive substances and without...



back when athletes weren't tested as much... I'd imagine if the same happened today you'd see about 5% more.