T Nation

Real People, Real Muscle

Chris, would you allow a former steroid user to be a part of your new article series? BTW, I love the idea behind the series. The first one rocked! Can’t wait to see more.

That’s a good question that brings up several issues:

If I say no roid users or former roid users, that may cause some to lie about it in order to get featured in the mag and to get the free stuff. The series is all about realism and honesty, so I don’t want that to happen, which it might if I set a hard and fast “no juicers” rule.

However, some may say that roid users or even former roid users don’t exactly represent the kind of person we want for the series i.e. those with “real” and attainable physiques.

So right now I’m not sure. I think I’d prefer to stick to natural lifters, but might consider a former user if he or she was honest about usage. I have a pretty good eye for what’s “real” and what’s not. I would not consider anyone who looks like they’ve abused steroids and other drugs.

That said, I’d like to hear readers’ opinions on this topic. Roid users (or former roid users): yes or no for the “Real” series?


I think that in some sense, it does illustrate another real side of real people. There are a lot of people who don’t play sports and are very much recreational bodybuilders who will take supplements of the illegal sort just because they can make gains faster. It doesn’t necessarily ‘inspire’ those of us who don’t use them, but it does cast a light on that portion of society, the seemingly innocent suburbanite physique-concerned (particularly males…) who want to look better and are willing to use non-legal paths to do so.

The real question–what is a steroid? Is it only something on Schedule III or is it Mag-10? If the latter a lot of T-Nation citizens are not eligible.

I don’t think it matters whether or not the subjects of the articles are natural or not, as long as that’s mentioned, and hopefully discussed, in the article. I know several “real” people who are not natural. I think doing pieces on professional athletes, whether they are bodybuilders, powerlifters, or other mainstream athletes, would not be what you are looking for, though, as many of us “real” people have to hold down “real” jobs.

There is a lot we can learn from both natural and competitive lifters. I think we would miss out by not hearing from those on this board that live "real" lives, yet take risks to attain "unreal" levels of development. I would worry, though, that non-natural lifters might not be lining up in droves to get interviewed, but you never know.

I think it would be ok to use people that have used steroids as long as they aren’t FREAKY. Like you said, it would be too difficult to diffuse all users/former users. It still takes hard work to attain a phenominal physique whether you’re on the juice or not. I agree with Chris’s “honesty” idea.

let the juicers in bro…

I think that if the person learned something about steroids while using them, then they should be allowed. I’m mostly interested in articles that teach me something - actually, that’s all I’m really interested in. Before/after pics for steroid cycles are quite educational, and motivational. At the same time, if people ran into some trouble with steroids, I’d like to hear that too.

I think former users are fine, but current ones aren’t.

T-Mag has never shied away from discussing steroids before, and I don’t see why it should now. Someone like Tren-freak would be a good subject for an article as far as I’m concerned.

That said, I personally think that most of the people featured should be “natural” (whatever that is). I imagine that T-Mag has some data on the percentages of its readers who have used versus those who haven’t - that might be a good figure to shoot for.

Well since there is an issue every week you have plenty of room for:
All natural people.
Former steroid users who are off for good.
Steroid users who are on currently.
And maybe even a first time cycle.
As long as the person talks about their drug use it’s ok. That way if they make great gains but they used some gear you know it may not entirely be their training/nutrition.

I totally agree with Char-Dog’s response.

I’m “thirding” char-dawg. Whether or not a person uses steroids, drinks to oblivion or is a dope fiend, if they are honest with what they do and the positive and negatives resulting from it - and they have achieved noteworthy progress, feature them. All of these facests are part of “real” life. I would take great pains, though, to educate and …well, “warn” is the wrong word but I think you get the point… readers when featuring a steroid user. I’d hate to see some pup get psyched about gaining tons of muslce on an experienced user’s dosage/routine and harm himself. What liability issues might there be?

Steroids are “not legal” - therefore I would find it difficult that someone who “useto” use would be willing to post their pics and have a whole article devoted to them.

Yes, honesty is key here. The purpose of these articles is to shed light as to how someone in the real world developed a physique while dealing with real world stresses and expectations. As such, let me say that your co-workers, family members and close friends are gonna see this article. It will be dependent upon a individual's willingness to "open" up to people who may not know of their previous "trips to the dark side" (as some see it).

Of course, I would applaud anyone who use to use for "coming out" and being honest. It would be helpful to many newbies out there and shed light on a subject that is not entirely understood and deals with so many misconceptions.

User or abuser? How long did he/she train naturally before decided to use aas? This person should be an all around good guy/girl not just a well developed body. By the way I really enjoyed the article. Just my opinion :slight_smile:

If you do an article like that or something in that neighborhood I think Ron Harris will be a greatfor it… I would like to find out what drove him to the dark side and why all his life he was natural then all of a sudden he turn to steroids…

As stated by Ron, “I wrote “Mr. Natural Visits the Darkside” in T-mag # 4 back in 1998, and in 2001 I did an interview with myself called “Underground Tap: The Natural Man Who Switched Colors.” I was also Rash Riprock who wrote “Steroids for Bodybuilding” in May of 2002.” Read those for more info.