Friday, March 07, 2003

Speaking of steroids

Look at pictures of Hulk Hogan in the '80s, versus now. He's a small fraction of the size he used to be, but still in obviously good condition, without a heck of a lot of fat.

The difference: he was on the juice back then, and he's not anymore. He's still a big guy, but I'd say he's a good 50+ pounds smaller than he used to be.

As for "real" pro athletes like baseball players - I don't think there's as many people juicing as some say. Steroids build muscle mass, but baseball players really don't benefit from muscle mass as much as they do from speed and hand-eye coordination. I suspect there are a decent amount of ballplayers on them, as there are in all sports. But I think the biggest thing causing the injury bug to strike so much in baseball is overtraining. Offseason workouts have become much more rigorous for the typical ballplayer, and their bodies don't really get downtime anymore.

I think even pro athletes need to take some time off to let their bodies heal and rest.

Football is a joke. Yes, training techniques have improved, and yes, they have a steroid prohibition, but the stakes are so high that the monster linemen (especially) have mastered ways to fake out the screening procedures.

I don't think steroids are a big problem in the NBA (though it seems other drugs are), and hockey players are mainly a bunch of smallish, pasty-looking white guys from Canada who booze it up. A lot of them seem to smoke, too, but there doesn't seem to be a big problem with steroids.

Forget about track, cycling, and weightlifting - those sports are ridiculous on the international level. Lance Armstrong may well be the only athlete in any of those sports who _isn't_ doped up.

One more comment for the benefit of faithful reader Mark: I bet you chess and backgammon players are probably on whatever the "performance-enhancing" drug of choice is for them.

It's probably a mix of caffeine, Sudafed, and ephedra - or some similar combo.

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