T Nation

Ethics Crisis

Lots of replies and lots of food for thought. I appreciate the honesty and frankness of those not afraid to use colourful language (Goldberg ,chrismcl) . I also appreciate the thoughts of those who stepped over to my side to try and see how I might be feeling and why I posted the “dilemma” in the first place (Mike Mahler). Quantumbutterfly and bald_scholar , you both hit the nail right on the head in understanding my thoughts. I should have got you guys to write the original post.

To answer some of the questions out there I should give a brief synopsis of where I am coming from. I am a personal trainer, having been training since with weights since I was 17 - I’m now 27 - and deciding to make a living from it a year ago. Business is good, and I have always made a point of promoting and being proud of the fact I have managed to get where I am (physique wise) without using steroids. My promotional t-shirts, literature, and even my e-mail signature all carry my logo and slogan - “Building muscle. Burning fat. Steroid free”. Yes, maybe a bit corny, but it is concise enough to get across to my clients exactly what I stand for when it comes to training.

I am Pakistani in ethnic background, and the gym I train at has a large number of Indian/Pakistani/Iranian (Middle Eastern as you would say in the US) second and third generation Brits. As a result of developing my physique to where it currently is I get a lot of young guys looking to me for advice, particularly as I also write fitness articles for a magazine over here. Whenever I am asked for advice by these aspiring young bodybuilders at the gym, I always feel I need to consider what the long term effects are of recommending something to them - I remember how much of a large influence role models had on me at 18-21. I have always promoted good training and eating and told them to stay away from the steroids as one can build a good quality physique without them. Inevitably I always get the question “So have you ever taken steroids?” I can always answer

“No. I have a good diet, lots of minerals and vitamins, and I train like a Trojan”.

This is why I have the dilemma with the Mag10 and why it was valuable for me to get other viewpoints. My goal since I was 21 was to get to 196lbs (14st in the UK) with a maintainable 6% bodyfat and all the proportions and strength a good bodybuilder/athlete should have. No matter what I have done the last two-three years, although my composition and shape has changed for the better, I have been stuck at a certain point. So I am sure a lot of you out there will relate when I say what the MAG10 product represents as potentially being able to do for me:

“An extra 10lbs in such a short period of time? What, really? Without steroids?”

So there you have it. My goals are massively valuable to me, and I want to reach them. Maybe these supplements are the extra help I have been needing. But to answer your question Charles Staley, I am looking at the bigger picture of how it will affect the role model I play to my clients and peers and my own feeling of self accomplishment. I should add that government “recommendations” never have any real bearing on anything I do as I am aware they can be some of the most uninformed, immoral, unethical and irresponsible people in the world.

Many of you have said “do what you want”. Believe me I always do, but I have to be satisfied that I won’t think back and regret anything. This forum may be a way of helping me to figure out whether I will or not.

Oh, and I realise some of you may curious as to how my physique does actually look currently. The link is:

www.SherazYousaf.com/portfoliohub.html

Thanks again people, and I look forward to any further comments.

To Drummer, what i’m trying to say is that maybe the better question to ask is whether or not Mag10 is healthy, useful, dangerous, legal, illegal, etc. Whether or not it is “natural” should not be a concern

A bunch of random thoughts:

  1. 2 or 3 years is not an awful lot of time. You’re in this weightlifting thing for life, right? I’m sure there’s some training program or strategy you haven’t tried yet. Maybe O-lifts, or OVT, or working closer to maximum, or whatever. . .

  2. Maybe a product like Tribex-500 would be acceptable middle ground? Whereas (by my limited understanding) MAG-10 elevates testosterone above where yours could possibly be naturally, Tribex stimulates your body to elevate its test. to “high normal” range. Rather than giving you some “unnatural advantage” it is just putting you on par with someone who has the advantage of naturally high testosterone.

  3. When you set your goals of 196 (am I right?) and 6%, those were pretty much just numbers. Goals may be important to you, but isn’t it more realistic to have a goal like “to reach the limits of my natural potential” or something like that, rather than some number you pulled out of the sky, when you had much less training experience and no real idea of what that number means?

  4. Regardless of the decision you make or whether your values align with mine, I respect that you are so conscientious and concerned about doing what is right for you.

  5. From what I’ve seen of your site, you have made good progress over the past few years, so congrats on that. It looks to me like you may have fairly small bone structure, so your genetic ceiling may be lower than thicker-boned lifters. I can relate – I’m 5’10" and my wrist measurement is a puny 5.5 inches. For determining your maximum drug-free genetic potential, there’s a formula floating around. . .your maximum chest size is 6.5x your wrist, your thighs can reach 53% of your chest girth, biceps 36% the size of the chest, etc. If you can find that somewhere on the net, that might help you get an idea of how close you are. But congrats on your progress thus far!