The Steroid Scourge in CrossFit

Do you suspect someone you know is using PED’s or steroids? Do you believe that if you yourself cannot complete a task that it must inevitably be impossible and only those who are on steroids or from the planet Krypton can? If this applies to you then the following article is a must read. I also suspect that if this applies to you than you’re likely a small-minded asshole who’d rather half-ass your way through workouts and couch referee the CrossFit games than compete yourself. There’s nothing wrong with that. You are after all entitled to your loudly outspoken criticism of anyone that can outperform you. That is the American way isn’t it; bitch, moan and hate on anyone that succeeds instead of knuckling up and chasing your own success.

Let’s be clear from the beginning. I could care less if Lance Armstrong took PED’s. The man is still a bad-ass and a supreme athlete. Likewise I could care less if some punk in a local throwdown is taking steroids to get one up on the local field of CrossFit wannabes. I’ve seen enough of these local meets to know those who win them rarely make it to the big show in Carson City every year and I suspect that has something to do with the fact that CrossFit drug tests at both the Regionals and the Games. Let’s also be clear on the fact that if you or your friends take any kind of pre-workout supplements; you would probably fail a PED blood test. Finally I firmly believe that anyone taking protein supplements, amino acids, or recovery formula after workouts is in fact using PED’s. So take that to the bathroom and mull it over next time you’re taking a poop.

I take a pre-workout called HyperFx by a company called BSN. Its main ingredient is caffeine and Nitric Oxide boosters. I can tell you in my own experience that the days I don’t take it, my workout suffers. This has become so plain to me that I’ve started to limit how often I take it. I ask myself how much of my lift was all me and how much was the pre-workout? Once you start asking yourself this question then it’s time to cycle off and go au-natural. Understandably CrossFit is becoming the number one market for pre-workouts and for the most part I don’t see an issue with this. I’d even go as far as to say that If it were up to me I’d let everyone in the games take their preferred pre-workout granted the ingredients were simply caffeine and NO boosters. For me the real danger in taking these products is not that it creates an unfair advantage but that some of these companies put all kinds of crap in their product and the results can be hard to predict and people have died after taking them. Granted it’s so rare as to be next to never and most who died had pre-existing and un-diagnosed heart conditions, but the deaths are still there.

As for the hardcore steroids, I couldn’t tell you if it’s a problem in CrossFit or not. I can tell you that I know two coaches I used to work, who like most people I know and hear from; insist everyone in the CrossFit Games must be on steroids. The rationale goes that if they themselves couldn’t do those things then it’s humanly impossible without steroids. Of course one was a scrawny near vegetarian that barely consumed 1800 calories a day and rarely pushed his workout to breaking a sweat let alone high intensity, and definitely not more than 30 minutes a day. The other was just a self-righteous lazy bag of shit that used past glories as justification for a career in coaching CrossFit athletes. The point is that most people who make accusations of steroid use are speaking from a place of jealousy or ignorance.

These people are ignorant of the power of massive eating and working out several times a day. Let me tell you from personal experience and coaching my own clients; most people simply do not eat enough food, eat quality foods, or workout with enough intensity to see dramatic results in muscle size and strength. If they did they would know that most of the hard bodies in CrossFit are the result of 3-6,000 calorie a day diets and 3-5 high intensity workouts per day. They also don’t appreciate that when you’re a professional athlete your entire day is dedicated to training not just 30 minutes here and there when you have time or the kids are at school. Their life revolves around training and preparing for events. If you committed your entire life to physical preparation and competition you might also be amazed of the physical transformation and you’d also probably be accused of taking steroids.

I’m not saying there’s not a steroid problem in sports or CrossFit in particular. There are those I suspect of juicing but only because I know that the way they eat and workout is not conducive of the results they’ve achieved. That being said I don’t care. CrossFit is not my identity and it does not define me. It’s something I do and something I’m involved in and a training method I’m engaged in. I have a life outside the box and that concerns me much more than anything that goes on in it or on ESPN. Steroids in CrossFit do not make me look bad or the sport for that matter. It makes individual athletes look bad. Lance’s mistakes didn’t bring shame to cycling; it brought shame to himself and his charities. But I think Lance is a big boy and has dealt with it and moved on and so should we. Last month it was rhabdo, and then it was poor form, now its steroids. Every week there’s some new scourge from CrossFit. If you really want to know what makes CrossFit look bad I’ll tell you. It’s a balding fat out of shape founder who has a glass of wine in his hand and hypocritical statements flying out of his mouth every time he tweets that hurt CrossFit’s credibility. That is however just my opinion; don’t sue me CrossFit for daring to criticize.

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