Bigger, Stronger, Faster. The American Pipe Dream

I had the luxury of watching a documentary by Mike Bell (brother of powerlifter Mark Bell) last night, titled “Bigger, Stronger, Faster*” which documents the use, hypocrisy, and exaggeration of the American media on the use and harmful effects of steroids.

Definitely check out the movie, you can stream it on Netflix.

I am in no way an advocate for steroids and I would rather they not be around in professional sport or weightlifting events, but this documentary really tells the other side of they story. Examples are given that show that many athletes gain a very clear edge in their sport by doing things deemed “acceptable” by government and the public, and the the results of these methods can sometimes seem a little fishy when scrutinized. For example, tennis players can get cortisol shots during their competitions, which of course is a form of steroid; Tiger Woods can get 15/20 vision with lasik eye surgery, in a game where vision and depth perception means everything, and professional cyclists can sleep in altitude chambers and work out in Boulder, Colorado, both of which raise red blood cells. If you were to raise your red blood cells by blood doping (withdrawing your own blood, then injecting yourself with it a month later), this is deemed illegal–yet it accomplishes the same thing.

Another interesting thing to think about is how sports fan always complain about the use of steroids in sports, how the sport is “sacred” and all of that hoo-ey, yet they go to sporting events expecting giant hulking lineman to explosively crash into each other, runningbacks to run farther and faster than ever before, and baseball players, who used to be skinny little guys now look like bodybuilders, to launch baseballs into orbit and smash the home run record every year. Here is an interesting articl