Sports Illustrated recently reported on the Belgium body builders who declined to participate in a competition in the Netherlands when the steroid testers showed up.

This incident brings to mind something pointed out by a weight-lifting friend who is a body-builder and a vegetarian (if that is possible):  look at the body builders of the 40′s and 50′s, who were the best of their time before steroids came into use.  The bottom line (pun by accident, but recognized) is that these guys would have been puny runts by today’s standards.

For example, one of the most famous body builders of all time was Steve Reeves, shown here.  Reeves won the Mr. Universe contest numerous times, and many others. I remember him as Hercules, in some real fun movies I enjoyed as a kid.  This guy was the real deal, and worked really, really hard at it….Here are some interesting details about his habits:

Steve is not fussy to cook for and likes plenty of salads, meat vegetables and milk. Previous to the training period for the contest, Steve drank one quart of milk per day, but while training for his big event, he greatly increased the quantity of milk consumed, realizing its value. He does not eat white bread, white flour products, candy or white sugar. He likes a lot of fresh fruit, and uses honey for sweets.

Steve has no favorite barbell exercises. He just likes lots of all kinds of exercise and hard work because he knows that only by hard work can one succeed.

OK, now compare Steve Reeves to recent bodybuilders.    It’s too much to believe that these people are different than Reeves due to a better understanding of the techniques and the tools of the trade.  Reeves worked as hard and ate as well as anyone could.  And this comparison goes to other sports, as well.  Just compare Steve Reeves and others of his day to atheletes (and probably many actors) of today, to get an idea of how prevalent steroid use is.