- Jun 16, 2012
- Reaction score
Tony Pearson reacts to the current state of steroid use in competitive bodybuilding and compares it to his era of the sport.The past two years have been challenging in the sport of bodybuilding. Not only due to a pandemic that ground the sport to a temporary halt but also due to a long line of tragic too-soon athlete deaths. While the cause of death for many of these athletes remain unknown – many have started to put deeper focus on drug use in the sport and its affect on health. During our interviews with old school bodybuilding legends – we have been asking their take on modern steroid use compared to their era. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Tony Pearson reflects on steroid use during his time competing – and urges competitors to stay natural for as long as possible before using PEDs.
During our conversation with Tony Pearson, we asked him if he felt that steroids and other PEDs should be removed entirely from the sport of bodybuilding. With such a focus on health and the dangers of PEDs lately – should pro leagues start getting serious about testing?
Tony Pearson believes this could never happen due to how prevalent steroids are in the sport and how necessary they are in the late stage of pro competition. However, he does believe that the culture around steroid and PED use has changed for modern athletes specifically. Namely, now steroids are the first go-to option from the get go. In Tony Pearson’s time – pro athletes would stay natural as long as possible to determine their peak natural limit. Only then would they enhance with PEDs. Even then, it was much less than the doses Pearson hears about today.
Looking back at our first documentary, Generation Iron, great emphasis was placed by both athletes and experts that steroids are not a miracle muscle drug. Behind the enhancements, hard work is still required. Essentially, the drugs do not take away from the work put in by these miraculous athletes.
That still remains true today, but Tony Pearson points out, as many others have as well, that the culture has changed. Modern bodybuilders jump into steroids at a very young age and at an early point in their career. The hard work is still present – but the drugs seem to take center stage ahead of the hard work. A young competitive bodybuilder is more concerned with perfecting a steroid cycle or drug protocol than perfecting their training routine.
Tony Pearson explains that staying natural as long as possible should be the goal. Not simply to stay healthier – but to truly know your limits without the drugs. Only when an athlete reaches 100% all-natural should a competitor move onto PEDs and steroids. Competitors would be amazed at just how much progress can be made before PEDs are needed.
The internet has changed a lot of things across the globe. Information is faster than ever before. This makes competitive bodybuilders more able to learn about and obtain steroids sooner and faster. Perhaps this is the main culprit behind the culture shift in bodybuilding. Or perhaps this is the natural progression as physiques continue to get bigger and bigger inspiring new generations to top it. In either case, Tony Pearson joins a growing chorus of legends warning the new generation to slow down.