It seems that many guys who are trying to build bigger muscles and ‘bulk up’ really don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t even know what it is that they want. I think any statement about building bigger muscles or bulking up needs to be qualified.
If you hear a guy say: “I want to bulk up and put on muscle” what he should be saying is: “I want to bulk up and put on as much muscle as possible without using steroids”
The qualification of steroid use or not dramatically changes what “bulk up” and “put on muscle” even means.
And this is where the breakdown occurs between many guys expectation of how much muscle they think they can build vs what they actually experience.
Many novice, intermediate and even some advanced lifters are reading magazines and taking supplements but looking at pictures and idolizing athletes and bodybuilders who all take steroids. The false assumption is that you can get steroid like gains without using steroids.
So the following two lists are the priority lists, thoughts and decisions that go through the head of two different guys: one who does and one who doesn’t use steroids:
Guy who uses steroids
1. I want to get as big as possible
2. I want to get as strong as possible
3. I’ll take whatever drugs get the job done
Guy who doesn’t use steroids
1. I want to be as big as possible without drugs
2. I want to be as strong as possible without drugs
3. I’m scared of drugs and want to recreate drug like gains without using them
4. I’ll try to recreate drug like gains with supplements
5. I’m worried what others will think of me if I use drugs
6. I’m still really scared about side effects
7. I’ve been training for years and still can’t grow as fast as ‘big guys’
I must need more protein and supplements
8. I’m scared of drugs and their side effects
9. I must not be eating enough to gain like the ‘big guys’ so I’ll eat more
10. There must be some special workout technique I’m missing that will make me gain muscle faster so I will subscribe to dozens of ‘muscle building’ newsletters
11. I’m scared of drugs and their side effects.
And thats it. That is the real difference between guys who do what it takes to be really big, and guys who think they want to be that big.
I’m not saying that every guy who lifts weights must use steroids. What I am saying is that if your goal is steroid like size, then the only way to achieve it is with steroids. <– this seems pretty obvious.
Many of the muscle building and strength building marketing that you see uses models, bodybuilders and athletes who are using drugs. And you as the reader end up believing that a special workout or supplement can give you the gains that only drugs can produce. Eventually you blame yourself for lousy genetics, not enough protein in your diet, the wrong supplement routine or simply not pushing hard enough in the gym. All of these things are false.
The real problem was setting an unattainable goal in the first place. (this preys on the male body dysmorphia complex that we all have even slight twinges of: the need to be bigger and stronger than the next guy over)
Until the fitness/nutrition/diet/supplement industry lets you in on the secret that all of their models use drugs, you will always be left guessing and wondering what amount of muscle size and conditioning is truly possible without them.