I grew up in a big family; I was the third of five kids, three girls and two boys. My father was a Captain in the Army and my mother was a nurse in Germany.
My mother was, and is, a very hard worker. She’s still into gardening and landscaping in her 70’s. When she was in her fifties she leveled a huge hill in our back yard with a shovel. It was a hill large enough to take a bulldozer half a day to flatten; it took her the entire spring and summer. When I was a kid, she worked as a registered nurse, kept the lawn landscaped and manicured like something you’d see in Better Homes & Gardens. She always had great home-cooked meals on the table.
My father was an incredible athlete who made the Hall of Fame in high school football. He played pro baseball for awhile until he got hurt. He later ran marathons in to his 60s. He had me throwing a baseball when I was three years old. I remember playing eight-year-old Hash and pitching entire games without throwing a ball or allowing anyone to get a foul tip. Every inning was over in nine pitches. I played and loved many different sports. I was smaller in stature than other kids my age but I was always very strong for my size.
My brother, who was 4 years older than me, started hanging with the wrong crowd and began drinking and drugging at an early age. I remember seeing him drunk when I was 12 and he was 16, it shocked and saddened me. He was slurring his words and stumbling when he walked. I decided from that moment on that I wanted no part of drinking and recreational drugging.
I played baseball and hockey throughout high school. I started lifting weights after graduating from high school. I started with a plastic Kmart weight set in my room. I weighed 130 lbs and was bench pressing 150 lbs. Six months later, clueless about nutrition, without any drugs or supplements of any kind, I weighed 145 lbs and was bench pressing 340 lbs. I was working out three times a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, training only upper body. I knew nothing about nutrition, my diet was horrible and it was way before the age of any decent supplements of any kind. All that was available was desiccated liver tablets and clumpy egg protein that tasted like it was formulated on 3 Mile Island!
I entered a few local teen bodybuilding contests. I went in green, white as a sheet and totally oblivious. I didn’t realize you had to diet and tan prior to entering bodybuilding contests – – it was ugly. The second contest I entered I was competing against bodybuilders who would later go on to win Mr. Universe.
I entered 3 more contests 100% natural over the next 2 years. I was pretty much the only natural competitor in the contests; it was before the age of drug tested competitions. My best placing at the time was 5th.
I continued training hard, drug-free for a total of four years. Most of the time I was training every day, four hours a day, seven days a week. I was working out at a gym where almost every guy was juiced to the gills. Even though I was 100% natural I was still stronger than most of them. Four years after I began working out I weighed 170 lbs, I was benching 370 and squatting 405 for 10 (all the way to down – not high chair squats). A couple of the guys who were juicing used to razz me calling me Mr. Natural. I used to say stuff like “You guys haven’t been clean since the Pilgrims landed," or "you guys must be helpful around the house breast feeding your baby brothers with that gyno!”
I started training even harder. Eventually I was constantly injured. My body couldn’t recover from the intense workouts, over training and lack of nutrition. I began to contemplate trying steroids, so I starting researching them. One of the books I read was the Underground Steroid Handbook which seemed to promote and glorify the use of steroids. In my opinion, if someone’s on the fence about trying steroids reads this book, they’ll most likely try them. (One of the author’s of the book passed away in 2000 at the age of 48.)
I also ran the idea of steroids by my allergist. He told me I shouldn’t take them because if I ever had an allergy attack, I wouldn’t respond to steroids if they were already in my system. I believe he, like many others, was confusing anabolic steroids (i.e., Testosterone) with catabolic steroids (i.e., Prednisone). I did so much research and read so many conflicting reports, my head was spinning.
After researching for close to a year, I finally decided to try steroids. I made an appointment to see a German doctor who wrote scripts for lots of the guys at the gym. This guy was a lunatic! I walked in his office and with no warning, he stuck a syringe filled with B12 in my arm, pulled it out of my arm and stuck it in my friend's arm. The same syringe!
He then asked," What can I do for you"? I asked "would you write me a script for two of the least toxic oral steroids.
He responded "That’s it? Here, look through my book and this list."
I ended up walking out with a stack of scripts. In the early 80's steroids were inexpensive and available at most pharmacies. Today, 90% of black market steroids are counterfeit. If you attempt to purchase them online, you’ll most likely never receive your order and you’ll have no recourse. I’ve tested black market steroids and HGH prior to releasing my DVD entitled Steroids Vicious Cycles, everything I tested was fake.
The first day I took steroids I was absolutely terrified! I started with it dose so low, most mice wouldn’t kick off it. I told almost no one that I was on juice. Prior to cycling I was the same strength as my training partner who was juiced to the gills. We were both benching 370. The fourth week into my minuscule cycle I started to kick. During a chest workout I told my training partner I wanted to go for a max. He said, "You barely got 370 last week, there’s no way you're going to do more weight now."
I put 380 on the bar and it went up like nothing. Then 385. Then 390. Then 395!
He was floored! He yelled, "You’re on juice!"
I replied, "No I'm not, it's Shift Amino Acids." Shift was an amino powder that mixed like sand in water. Soon half the gym was buying cases of the stuff. One friend of mine claims he still has a couple cases in his garage to this day.
Quality natural supplements, proper nutrition and information about steroids wasn’t readily available back then.
If I knew then what I know now, I never would have tried steroids.
I had trained very intensely for four years without any drugs or supplements. Once I began cycling steroids I upped the intensity by 1000%! I would go on for 6 weeks and off for 6 weeks. I was growing like a weed and loved the transformation to my physique.
I entered my first bodybuilding competition on a low dose of the least toxic oral steroid. The contest had an All-Star legendary judging panel. After prejudging, a couple of the judges told me I looked great. I ended up winning my class. Finally after 3 years of taking 5th or 6th place, I won my class. It felt good but it didn’t feel anywhere near as good as I thought it would feel. I competed in 2 more contests a few weeks later and I took first in one and second in the other.
I tapered off and stayed clean for the entire summer. I continued this pattern of staying off juice during the summer to clean out my receptor sites for years to come. I would stay off everything from June to January.
The following January I tried injectables for the first time. It was an extremely low dose. I increased my intensity even more. I got really strong. I was benching 500 and squatting 700 for reps. I used to love the attention I got when I was pushing massive amounts of weights, especially in front of power lifters who claimed bodybuilders were weak and all show and no go. I was doing 405 for reps on the incline, close grip bench 315 for 21, squatting 600 for 10 to the floor with my feet together without a belt or raps. I used so much weight on the hack squat machine, one day the bolts that lagged it to the floor snapped.
I continued cycling with injectables, 6 weeks on 6 weeks off. I tried a 6 week cycle once with a lot of different steroids for 6 weeks. I didn’t gain any more strength or size on that cycle. I felt nauseous all the time; I was like a toxic waste dump. After that experiment I went back to my usual cycle consisting of low doses of 2 injectables.
I started winning every contest I’d enter. As usual, I’d totally go off steroids from June until January to totally clean out. I’m glad I did so because my body is still able to make it’s own testosterone unlike so many others I knew who stayed on for years at a time. Their testicles are gone forever, they disrupted their metabolic pathways permanently and now they have to wear a patch or inject Testosterone for life!
I used much less stuff than most of the guys I knew. My liver enzymes were never elevated, while other guy’s enzymes would rise dangerously high.. I also took silymarin (milk thistle) when I was on to help detoxify my liver. I also never took toxic orals like Dianabol, Anadrol or Halotestin. I remember a doctor I spoke with about anabolic steroids back then said “if you want to get big use injectables, if you want liver tumors use orals”