I just received a nice compliment on my old post about Ron Coleman. His frustration with the rampant steroid use in bodybuilding mirrors my own. It's a sad state of things but every major bodybuilder since the mid 60's has been a creation of steroids. Steroid use was embraced by both Bob Hoffman and Joe Weider early on and that pretty much assured that steroid use would become intertwined with weight lifting from then on. Thanks to bodybuilding's influence, weight training has become the premier form (and as far as most are concerned, the only form) of strength training out there. Wherever you find weights being used, steriods aren't far away. They've become that intertwined.
The Germans found out how to make synthetic testosterone back before the Second World War. It has been suggested but never proven that they administered testosterone to their soldiers in order to make them bigger, stronger and meaner (I personally don't believe this. Like every other evil empire, the Germans kept meticulous records of everything they did. So far, nothing confirming testosterone use in soldiers has surfaced). Most of this information was seized by the Soviets after the war. They promptly began administering steroids to their athletes in the Eastern Bloc. They immediately began to sweep all of the athletic events, including the Olympics. Not to be outdone, Bob Hoffman figured out what they were doing by sticking Dr. John Ziegler on the case. He wanted a better steroid than what the Soviets where using. Dinabol, the first commercial steroid, hit the market in 1958.
To see the stark difference that steroids made, Take a look at these pictures. Reg Park was the concensus-best bodybuilder just before Dinabol hit the market.
In the Mid-to-late 60's, Sergio Olivia was the man to beat. Look at the huge difference in his build as opposed to Reg Parks just 8 years earlier.
Why the bitter disgust? Um, where do I start? I'll just limit this to my single, biggest bitch about the whole situation: that you somehow need chemical enhancement to gain strength. Ever since steroids became such an integral part of the bodybuilding, the notion has been spread to get strength, you need something else to get strong, even if it's not steroids. Just look at the posters that sell gym memberships. I'm sure that you'll find a juiced body selling them. The steroid ideal has become the physical ideal. This infuriates me to no end. Lying to people and saying that weights are the only way to get strong gets me going enough as it is but to further the lie by hinting at the need for steroid use just sends me over the edge.
All you need is some good exercises, healthy food, the right mindset, and some focus of mind and body on your muscles. This was used by many long before the boom of supplements and steroids. It was all people had and they somehow managed to get strong and healthy without them. Believe it or not, it still works today, regardless of the potion peddlers selling their shit with a shaved, oiled, and juiced up body say.