Can Drug Free Powerlifters Learn From Those That Use?

Create: 10/09/2006 - 08:26
A Power and Bulk poster who is drug free laments all the years which passed during which he refused to listen to advice given by those who used performance enhancing drugs. Can drug free powerlifters learn from those who use drugs? Can they train like them? How will their training training differ? The original poster:

"You can't learn anything from Drug Pigs" How many times did I read this? And how long did I believe it? Probably too long. Well, to recap, here's what I was taught by the writers who beat the "drug free" drum: *stick to the big lifts, you have no business doing single joint exercises. *you suck. you better train infrequently or you won't gain. *training balls-out, high intensity all the time is the only way to stimulate gains if you're drug free. Right. Does anybody who doesn't remember me from the old days want to guess how well I progressed following this advice? On the other hand, here's what I've learned from the writings of well-known "Drug Pigs": *vary the load, volume, and intensity from workout to workout. going balls-out every workout is going to wear you down. *use assistance work, whether compound or single joint exercises to build up weak areas and promote prehab and joint health. *don't be afraid of higher training volume. Your body adapts to the demands you place on it. In truth, I have progressed far better, gotten stronger, and stayed healthier training in a conjugate fashion, four to six days a week using a mix of big compound and small isolation exercises than I did training twice a week, using only compound lifts, and ignoring assistance work. So, for the drug-free trainee, who's really got better advice?


You'll find the person who gives you the best advice is the person who shows you what works for you. It too find that more volume on certain lifts works great, but not so great on others. Accessory work is also of great benefit to me. As I get more fat, I think all you need to do to progress is lift a barbell and eat constantly.

It all comes down to this. You understand this and the rest is just noise.

Well, I think it depends on who and what exactly you're talking about. You need to specify bodybuilding or strength training for one. I think the "you can't trust steroid users" type stuff started out of bodybuilding, where bodybuilders were suggesting twice per day two hour workouts involving 20+ sets per "bodypart" using set after set of high reps like was commonly being done especially in the 80s and early 90s by bodybuilders. This sort of training from what I've seen and tried really doesn't work welll for most drug-free lifters unless they have unusual bodies and response to exercise; in other words, doing that sort of training won't work for most people. Hence the backlash against that sort of training which simply doesn't work for your regular drug free lifter occurred and I think that's where you get the opposite of this sort of training which is the extreme abbreviation routines like you mentioned Lee. That's bodybuilding though. I think in strength training the rules are different and a lot of the schemes that work very well for your drug using lifter will also work pretty well for your drug free guy, often with pretty minimal modifications. Also from what I've seen the "gap" is smaller between drug free and drug using guys in strength training, where you will have guys who are drug free and reach strength levels almost as high and in some cases even higher than a drug using contemporary lifter, yet in bodybuilding the difference is obviously much more dramatic; one glance at the Mr. Olympia lineup is all you need to see that!

Another good one is the West-Side template only works if you are on. Glad I didn't listen to that one.

Westside works because self regulation is built in. Self-regulation vs. just 'keep to the program' is the difference between those who can progress as consistently as possible and those who plow on and progressively wear themselves down. We all want to get stronger, bigger, compete better, yada yada yada. Some of us have better genetics and will respond better than others. Sorry, but that's the way it is. The key is for me to progress as far and as fast as "I" can. Learning how to push for as long as possible and when to cut back is key. Some programs have little tests built in that says if you regress on this, then cut back. The WSB program is like that. Drug pigs can push harder and longer while clean guys regulate back a little more. However, we all need to cut back some times. That is why competitive seasons can work so well. Take a little time off after the season, do off-season training and then transistion and push your on-season training. If your meet results are increasing, keep doing what you're doing. If not, make a change. Drud-free training can g a long way if properly regulated.

I think too that when you first saw mags. that hit the mainstream public hard, many of those guys were Southern Cal. drug fed lifters. They impressed most people (especially young wannabees) that did not know any better. If you were told from the onset that these guys obatined a lot of their freakiness from substances that are not available to the public, there may have been a slightly differnt approach and less cynicisim towards the drug lifting community from some of the authors you may speak of. Some did seem to go to the other extreme as SB eludes to. That being said, I still got quite a bit of great natural lifting info from Starr, McCallum, Steiner, Ditillo, Kubik, (at the time) Daniel, Thompson, et. al. and it was not really far from how many here train. Actually, it was the pissed off authors of natural lifting that got me started more on big compund lifts, instead of all the friggin' arm blasting routines posted in M&F every month!

I hate it when people talk sense. However, unfortunately, many of the "drug free" authors are poisoning minds by claiming that some things work ONLY if you are drug assisted, which is clearly not the case for many people, and given the current media and social hoo-hah about drugs in sport, being accused of being a user is pretty much becoming a real slur in some circles.

The whole point of my original post is that some would-be gurus draw a line in the sand and say that because some other would-be gurus use drugs, it invalidates everything they have to say about training. Obviously, we (now) know that is not true.


Submitted by BMF Sports on
Neither chemical nor mechanical gear determine knowledge of or experience in effective training and performance. I could be juiced to the gills yet learn immeasurable amounts from Nick Winters, Dennis Cieri, Paul Bossi, Doug Parrish and Jennifer Thompson. You effectively learn from those who excel at what they do. You don't ask an also-ran how to get to the winner's circle. In my 13 years as a personal trainer, I taught countless people to bench for strength, fitness and tone, but wouldn't have been able to help a single one be effective in competition since that was not my area of knowledge or experience. Stay with it, Shawn "Bud" Lyte Vice-President 100% Raw Powerlifting Federation Founder BMF Sports & BMF Nutrition

Submitted by isbell on
Sorry. Had to give you a hard time. I am gonna miss currituck this year. Too many meets and my old body wont take it.

Submitted by Barry (not verified) on
There in nobody in this sport that can't learn from others. If being so biased against those who use drugs can cause you to NOT ACCEPT HELP, you obviously know all there is about lifting anyway. Why is it that this is such a never ending debate. Why should it matter what another lifter does as long as they compete WITHIN THE RULES. Ask yourself a question for one minute and try to answer as quikly and honestly as you can; "I'm benching for a new PR and my shirt blows out at the seems. Should I ask the Roid' user that I refuse to ask for help to please get this heavy ass bar off my chest?" Everyone try being a little more open minded once in a while. Help is help regardless of where it comes from. No where on a bottle of test, EQ, tren, etc. are there directions on how to bench better. I'm not trying to be a smartass, but like the old saying "don't judge a book by it's cover"

Submitted by whatevaa (not verified) on
juice or no juice bla bla bla...try diff things man. ib drug free 4 now, but ive tried westside, militia style, 5x5, prilepins rep/% method, it all works for a time. just listen to what ur bod is tellin u. If the joints get sore lower the volume for a week, if u aint gettin gains try sumthin else. F**k it just lift!!!