For starters, we're honest !
What comes to mind when you think of steroids? Big, unnatural-looking muscles I’m sure. We all know Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire used steroids to hit farther than any other baseball players, and we know Arnold Schwarzenegger used steroids to get huge back in the day. Steroids are a dangerous and illegal substance, and yet, like pot, it seems like everyone has easy access to it if they want it. Just step into any “big box” gym and you’ll see humongous human beings walking around doing partner-assisted curls and crunches using a cable machine. Then they might jump on the leg extension machine and do a couple sets, and their legs will look like they are about to explode they’re so big.
Other non-steroid using gym members may see these guys training and think that they can mimic the results by doing the same exercises with the same reckless abandon. They may figure it out sooner or later but eventually, they’ll see that something vital is missing, because they’re not getting bigger or stronger, even though they’re doing the same things the huge guy is doing.
This is the frustration that many have felt over the years, and since most people don’t know how to train properly they think that the only way to make progress is through the use of steroids. It’s an unfortunate fact, but many believe they just can’t build muscle, that they’re bodies will just resist any attempt to increase lean mass and get stronger. The truth is, you just need to hire a decent trainer, and the guy who looks like he is on steroids is probably not a decent trainer. I could be wrong, but my thinking is that he knows what gets him results and not what gets anybody else results, and his body responds VERY differently to training due to his use of pharmaceuticals(steroids).
Now, you could teach yourself proper training, and there are a lot of good books written by great trainers out there, but there would still be a lot of trial and error and this could prove to be a bit disheartening for a beginner. The best way would be to find a training partner who is bigger and stronger than you, and learn from training with them. But, if that’s not possible, the next best thing is hiring a personal trainer for a month or two. You’ll learn proper form on technical free-weight movements (if the trainer is a good one) and you’ll learn programming, which is the plan you’ll follow every time you step in the gym. Those who succeed have a plan and stick to it. A steroid-using lifter can peel a banana twice a day and build huge arms from it, but do you think that would work for you? No, but working up to being able to do full push-ups and eventually full pull-ups will do wonders for your arm development.
What about those leg extensions to get big legs? Unfortunately that doesn’t work for drug-free lifters either, but a steady stream of squats, lunges and deadlifts will definitely build legs that you’ll be proud to show off. The reason those steroid-using lifters don’t do the free-weight movements is most often because they just don’t know how to do them, much less teach others how to do them. So, you can pay a lot of money to a steroid-using trainer for him to show you how to use a variety of nice, shiny machines (read my article ‘Free weight are king’ to see what I think of machines), or you can hire a trainer who may not be as big but actually knows how to make you better through proper weight-training (we here at Fast Twitch fit that bill, and heck, we don’t even use supplements!).