How to Distinguish Steroid Users from Mortals


If you’re a in the 45-65 demographic and spend a lot of your time in the gym, you will have noticed a proliferation of unbelievably shredded, ripped and insanely muscled guys.

There a reason for that, and spending time in the gym is only part of the story.


At 60, I’m smack in the middle of the Baby Boom.

I’m also very athletic, having spent most of my life practicing good nutrition, getting adequate rest, and going to the gym regularly.

But like I said, I’m 60, not 25.

More specifically, my body does not respond to movement and force the way it once did.

Does this mean I can no longer compete in sports, or that I look like crap?


I still hold the USAPL title for the masters dead-lift at this writing.

But things do change.

I have to work harder to keep my belly fat in check. And while I’m still lean and muscular, I’m not shredded and cut.

Then there’s the whole energy thing, as in I don’t have as much of it as I once did.

I need more reset time, more recovery.

So what happens if i decide one day that I want to do triathlons, but still maintain muscle mass and strength? And while I’m at it that I also want a chiseled midsection and striated arms and legs?

Now I’ve got a problem because I no longer have the testosterone levels necessary to achieve all of that at the same time.

So like many men my age [myself excluded], there are scores of “wellness” clinics all over time where men can get prescriptions for “bio-identical” testosterone including a wide array of other “supplements.”.

Now I can run 5 miles a day, swim for an hour and do 3 hours on an exercise bike, while at the same time maintain mass.

See how this works?

You can have everything, be everything.

Of course, that’s not exactly the way it works because life on this highway is a bitch because you have to pay dearly to play.


Without getting into all of the internal side-effects of the drugs, I’ll just focus on the things we can see:

1] The infamous ”big gut” or distended stomach.

bulging-bodybuilderA lot of steroid users look fat in spite of the fact that their bodyfat percentages are surprisingly low.

What causes the big guts is usually a combination of bother steroids and HGH [human growth hormone].

If someone uses HGH and/or insulin, you can be pretty damn sure that person is also on steroids … and god knows what else.

2] Disproportionate development of upper body muscles


A steroid user’s upper body muscles (traps, shoulders, neck, pecs, back and especially lats) are often disproportionately large compared to his lower body musculature.

This is due to the fact that upper body muscles have more androgen receptors than other muscles that respond better to resistance training.

This is also why new steroid users see their shoulder, traps and back explode like atomic bombs in the first few steroid cycles.

Of course, leg and torso muscles grow as well but never as fast.

This is what causes the ”V-shape” in roid users who normally wouldn’t otherwise have the genetics to produce such a wide shoulder/thin waist proportionality.


1] Some of us are born with incredibly good genetics, but there’s a difference between good genes and something preternatural, particularly in older men.

2] Some people only train upper body and never do legs, but again, it never, ever looks like steroids are the culprit. Those of us who are in the gym regularly know the difference, believe me.

3) Gynecomastia or Bitch Tits

What looks like the growth of female breasts in the below picture is due to the exogenous testosterone (from anabolic steroids) entering the body and converting to estrogen, estradiol through a process called aromatization, thanks to the enzyme aromatase.


4) Skin problems caused by steroid use

Levels of hormones such as testosterone play a significant role in sebaceous glands and potentially can cause acne outbursts, especially on the back.

Although many professional pretend to have it all figured out, acne is now well understood yet but it is well accepted that testosterone plays a role.


4a] Stretch marks

stretch-marks-steroid-useStretch marks are not a direct side effect of steroid use.

During the first few steroid cycles and user goes through, diet and sleep staying in check, the user will experience explosive muscle growth.

Thus, the skin may not adapt quickly enough to this change, and therefore, permanent stretch marks will occur.

Normally they appear in the upper lats (on the sides), on the sides of the pectorals and sometimes on biceps.

5] Sudden increase in muscle mass after years of stagnation … or just being a little guy.

If you’ve been going to the same gym for while you get used to the same guys hitting the same machines every day without making any significant gains.

Then all of a sudden they lose all their fat and gain 25 pounds of muscle in 3 months.

On top of that they can train for two hours without getting tired or falling victim to over-training.

Now you know how this happens.


Five good ways to recognize a steroid user :

Big guts or distended stomach;
Preferential development of the upper body muscles, especially lats;
Gynecomastia or bitch tits;
Stretch marks and/or acne;
Unreasonably fast body transformation.

Bottom line:

I don’t care what people do.

You’re not fooling any of us.

Be man enough to admit it.

Steroid Use Among Boomers Goes Airborne [Apparently]


Me at 60, sans steroids… [aka., testosterone, anabolic steroids, Human Growth Hormone, et al…]

I’m a sort of freak where fitness is concerned.

I train with guys half my age are usually dead, metaphorically speaking.

But this does require a bit more qualification: No one who is “all natural” can keep up with me.

In gym parlance, “all natural” means that the individual in question does not take pharmaceutical grade testosterone and/or anabolic steroids.

Men my age who do take Testosterone and/or anabolic steroids have an edge over me in both recovery and endurance.

Their recovery is twice as fast and their raw strength is well above 30% of what it would be without the needles, and I use that percentage conservatively.

With this as a snapshot of human life in the fast lane, understand that the pressure capitulate to what’s become the status quo is tougher than ever before.

Why the popularity of drug use?

1] We’re older, and thus, have less time to enjoy the time we have left.

2] We have the funds necessary to afford the drugs.

3] We’re vain.

4] We’re easily addicted. The concept of life outside the gym is about as ridiculous as trying to convince a junkie that lemon juice and water is a healthier alternative to heroin and vodka.

So everyone’s a “lifer.”

Is there hope?


My generation will continue to buy and promote drug use because it’s faster and easier than spending 5 hours in the gym – and still walking away with a distended midsection.

It all gets down to what’s quick, easy and purchasable under the law.

I get it.

But like everything else in life that makes – and to some extent – delivers on great promises, there is a darker side.

But what the hell … live for the moment, die the next…it’s all good.

Fading away just isn’t an option.

In my case, I have to work harder, take more time to recover, eat perfectly...and most importantly, have a full life outside the gym.

I realize my priorities are warped, particularly the last one.

Straight Talk from Boomer and “Pretender” Chrissie Hynde [63]

press session for Chrissie Hynde: Stockholm

press session for Chrissie Hynde: Stockholm

There’s just something about the tenor of my generation’s words that always resonates with me.

I can’t imagine why.

Up Next!

Harmful Drinking Patterns are Common in Affluent Older Adults


According to the online journal BMJ Open, “active, affluent people over age 50 in the U.K. appear to be at greater risk for harmful drinking behaviors than their less successful peers…”

The full extract here:

“…a 10-year study of alcohol use transitions among men aged between 50 and 65 in the USA reported that the different trajectories of risk were associated with age, education, smoking, binge drinking, depression, pain and self-reported health.”

The defined risk of harmful drinking following the guidelines set out by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

NICE has defined the following levels of risk of harmful drinking:

Lower risk drinking: ≤21 units per week (adult men) or ≤14 units per week (adult women).

Increasing-risk drinking: 22≤50 units per week (adult men) or 15≤35 units per week (adult women).

Higher risk drinking: >50 alcohol units per week (adult men) or >35 units per week (adult women).

Note: One alcohol unit is measured as 10ml or 8g of pure alcohol. This equals one 25ml single measure of whiskey (ABV 40%), or a third of a pint of beer (ABV 5-6%) or half a standard (175ml) glass of red wine (ABV 12%). 



1] Time

Most of the men I know drink more because they have more time to play.

They don’t have to get up every day at 4 am to work in the coal mines, or sit behind a desk and look alert at an office farm.

Time is at their disposal.

2] Money

The great thing ab0ut money is that you can buy a lot of things without thinking much about it.

Liquor comes to mind.

Add time to money and you have lots of exotic vacations where people drink at all hours of the day and night, including room service at 2 am.

3] Active Social Lives

Affluent older men attend galas, cocktail parties, and cultural events of all kinds where alcohol is served.

During the cultural season we could be talking about 4 or 5 events during the course of any given week.

4] Boredom

What the hell else are you going to do at night when you don’t have any particular time you have to go to bed?

A glass of wine or two over Law and Order sounds logical to me.

5] Depression

Existential pain is a bitch and one way to fight it is to drown your sorrows in another depressive.

It sells itself.

I could go on with this, but you get the picture.