T Nation

Ethics Crisis

Does anyone think taking supplements like MAG10 would mean one is no longer “natural”? I mean, taking huge amounts of protein is not really “natural” as the strict definition of natural is “to conform to the usual or ordinary course of nature” i.e meaning to eat food in proportion to your felt needs. Steroids involve adding an external source of testosterone to your hormones. From what I understand these pro-hormone/pro-steroid products increase your body’s production of testosterone and allow for greater bodily uptake of protein in order to develop greater mass. Being natural is an important thing for guys like myself who want top end results but only want to take it so far.

I don’t see how that’s really an ethical quandary. Are you going to base your supplementation on some subjective interpretation of the word ‘normal’? What if the dictionary definition changes? As long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you’re not doing anything ethically wrong (simply speaking).

-Zulu

why the fuck does it matter?

If you’re ever planning on competing in a natural bodybuilding or powerlifting contest, it matters very much. Most major natural feds require that you be free of any use of steroids or prohormones for seven years before you’re eligible to compete. So no, you’re not fully natural if you use MAG-10. If you’re not thinking about competing, though, why worry about it?

Well…being fat and flabby aint’ natural either…

I had a professor once who told me never to use a dictionary definition as a guide for common knowledge.
(Btw, by your definition of natural, eating large amounts of protein is “natural” since a body builder “needs” more protein to build up musculature and the Multivitamin you take is not natural since you have to supplement over-top of your diet.)

I’d say it’s not an ethical question at all. If you think it goes against being natural, then don’t use it. I personally don’t think it does. Mag-10 (as far as I know) is not on any band substance list, and as such should be fair game for use.

I think I see what you mean, Drummer. You want to be sure you could make these gains on your own, correct? That if, suddenly, you couldn’t afford or couldn’t access these supplements, you could still train the way you do, and still progress, if perhaps a little slower.

It seems to be that if you take these supps, but don’t train, you won’t see the muscle-building effect. The same if you take the supps, train, but have a crappy diet. Likewise for pro BB; if they took even more massive doses of steroids but didn’t train, didn’t diet, didn’t have fabulous genetics, they’d look like Joe Blow in bikini shorts onstage.

The same with basics like whey protein. I knew a guy who guzzled protein shakes, didn’t train, and fully expected the shakes to build the muscle for him. See my point?

As a female, I haven’t looked into the effects of supps like Mag-10. I don’t know if they allow you to build more muscle than you could normally, or if they just speed the process up. I recommend you ask the T-Mag crew. Since many if not most of them are naturals themselves, they’ll ‘get it.’

In the end, no matter what information you find, your peace of mind is the deciding factor. If you take these supps, will you be proud of your body, of the work you’ve put into it?

(I, personally, am in favor of supps like Mag-10 as an intelligent steroid alternative. I hope my views haven’t biased this post too much)

“I mean, taking huge amounts of protein is not really “natural” as the strict definition of natural is “to conform to the usual or ordinary course of nature” i.e meaning to eat food in proportion to your felt needs.”

Dude, lets say you’re building a house. You gotta bricklayer, a carpenter, plumber, electrical worker, all that shit. Then they come to you one day, the foreman, and say “okay, lets build this house…wheres the materials?” Your response to them is “well, using materials wouldn’t really be ‘natural’ so I guess you guys’ll have to find some way to build this house out of THIN FUCKING AIR!”

Thats the exact same thing that you’re trying to say there. You’re trying to say that giving your body the materials that it needs (protein) to build muscle isn’t natural.

It’s simple: if you’re worried that supplements mean you’re not natural, and you want to be natural, don’t use em.

But what do you mean by “only take it so far”, drummer? You mean “be limited by what you can acheive while still being “normal” in everybody else’s eyes”?

What sets the T-man apart from the rest of the world is that he doesn’t give a damn about being “normal” - he’s gonna be the best. Normal isn’t good enough- I’ll never settle for anything less than exceptional. How far are you willing to go? If you can’t stomach the ethics of MAG10, you have to live with the ethics of being mediocre, of not being the best. You’ll be missing out.

I’ll second Goldberg.

Mag-10 is about the limit of what I’d consider the healthy range of T-boosters. It isn’t a steroid, and it doesn’t perform nearly on par with any of them.

Natural? No, but if you’re not actively killing yourself with it, what difference?

DI

Chris McClinch-thats a good point, but this guy is talking about extra protein being unnatural. thats just a little nuts in my book.

The ridiculously high-carb low protein diet the rest of the fat-assed world is on is a whole lot less “natural” than a high-protein diet.

Last I checked, pre-civilization man didn’t live on bagels and breakfast cereal.

To expand on Dave’s comment. The early civilization man lived on meat. Lots of it, lots of raw meat too.

Goldberg:

I agree completely that worrying about too much protein not being natural is nuts–I was just trying to play devil’s advocate and bring up the only instance I could think of in which it matters that supplements can make you “non-natural” in any way. As you so eloquently put it, though, if you’re not planning on competing, who the fuck cares?

Listen…neither training nor eating right is natural…if it was, almost everyone would be strong and in great shape.

What IS natural is not training and eating garbage? the fact that 60% of US adults are obese is testimony to that reality.

In other phases of life, being “natural” has similarly disasterous results. For example, only 5% of US adults are financially self-sufficient by the time they reach retirement age.

As a general observation, how many people do you think are successful in any sense, i.e., relationships, career, etc? Not many.

Success, by definition is decidly unnatural, and requires an unnatural approach.

So why was it that are you concerned with being natural?

Um, ‘normalcy’ is not synonymous with being in the majority. Being black is still ‘normal’, for example…

Ugh, it’s all fucking semantics anyway. As long as you’re happy and not hurting anyone it’s all good.

-Zulu

Drummer,

At the end of the day, all that you really have that is your own, is your moral code. I respect your situation and admire that you actually take the time to think about what is ethical to you.

The bottom line is that Mag10 is a legal steroid. You will not be breaking the law if you take mag10, but you are taking a steroid or performance enhancer. Only you can decide if this is okay for you. My opinion is that taking Mag10 is not a big deal and is safe if used correctly.

Mike Mahler

I think I understand your quandary. I’ll ramble through my take on it, and let me know if it helps.

I don’t find it morally wrong to take steroids or steroid-like products; doing so does not hurt other people. Therefore, using steroids or MAG-10 is not objectively wrong. However, an individual may have values which place higher value on earning muscle the long, hard, old-school way than taking a shortcut. Therefore, using MAG-10 (or whatever other “shortcut” supplement you might find objectionable) may feel subjectively wrong for a lifter who places high value on doing things the way they were done before the advent of steroids. If these are your values, I can respect that. While building muscle or losing fat successfully takes work even without supplements, it certainly is easier for someone who spends hundreds of dollars on anabolic-support-formulas than it is for a guy who lifts free weights in his garage and doesn’t use any supplement fancier or more expensive than the tuna and cottage cheese he eats straight out of the can.

Whether MAG-10 is legal (as it is here) or illegal (as I believe it is in Canada) is irrelevant. Legality is a separate issue from morals or values. So don’t say, “MAG-10’s legal, so don’t worry about it.” If the government made eating tuna illegal tomorrow, would that make it morally wrong? If the government legalized assault and battery, would it be morally acceptable? NO! Whether something is OK or not has little or nothing to do with legality. Since it’s not an objective moral issue but rather a subjective issue of your own values, it’s just up to you to decide if it’s OK by you.

So just figure out your own values, figure out what it is you might find distasteful about a particular supplement (that it’s too easy? that it comes from a laboratory instead of an animal you could hunt down with a spear?), and figure out what you value about not taking that supplement. And don’t give a damn about what other people think – the people on this board, the people at the gym who might speculate behind your back “Is he juicing?”, or the government’s laws. Your values are ultimately your decision, not theirs.

…Go Staley, go Staley, go, go, go Staley!!

For me the answer is simple with respect to it being natural or not. Lots of things are not natural yet we get benefits from them. Its not natural to soar 30,000 ft. in the air at 350 knots…but we do it everyday to get from here to there…or take riding in a car. Traveling 70 mph?..not natural…but yet God gave us the mind’s to figure out how to better ourselves.

On the issure of morality…there are two questions:
Does this bring harm to the temple?..my body…given to me by God?..and…
Does this in any way harm my neighbor?