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Do PEDs really work? Well …

Nov 14, 2012, 4:44 PM EDT


PED conversations around here usually devolve into some argument about whether they really work or not. Whether they can turn a middling baseball player into a great one or a borderline player into something middling.

One man did a little experiment on himself that is definitely worth a read:

I was curious — considering the number of people who say that steroids and other PEDs aren’t really that big of a deal and might not effect performance all that much — how much of an effect can drugs have on peak athletic performance? These drugs are pretty widely available so I wondered what would happen if an average person, let alone a professional athlete, started taking a substance banned by the MLB and the US Anti-Doping Agency.

He became a human guinea pig. No, it doesn’t seem like he used a syringe, but I like this pic anyway.

Click through for the results. Pretty interesting stuff.

  1. seeingwhatsticks - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Obviously drugs won’t make you good at baseball if you weren’t already, but they will definitely help your body withstand the rigors of playing 9 innings every day for 6-7 months. I don’t know how drugs impact the ceiling of a player’s talent, however I do think drugs give a player a better chance of reaching that ceiling more often. It’s not hard to see how drugs could turn a .275 hitter (cough Melky Cabrera cough) who has talent become a .350 hitter by allowing the player to perform at his best most consistently.

    • 78mu - Nov 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Or what about the difficulty so many great hitters had reaching 60 HRs and hitting 50 was a big deal. Then in a span of as few years 70 HRs wouldn’t even lead the league.

  2. kopy - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    Those of us who believe they work are winners today. Those of us who prefer pie over cake are winners every day.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Angel Food cake over mud pies any day and it isn’t even close.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:15 PM

        Angel food is wonder bread in the face of strawberry-rhubarb pie

      • proudlycanadian - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        strawberry-rhubarb pie is closely related to cow chips

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        Cake is just air with a little flop sweat and shattered dreams stirred in

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        Strawberry-rhubarb pie is for the weak minded who like soggy fruit. Cake is for people who like food that half naked girls jump out of.

    • anotheryx - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:22 PM

      I generally agree except one thing: cheesecake – the great debate is stuck in limbo unless we can resolve its definition and it’s proper alignment.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        Doesn’t matter, icecream cake is the ultimate trump card.

      • kopy - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

        Cheesecake is a pie because it’s filled into a crust and doesn’t rise. I don’t know if there’s an argument to be make toward cake other than its unfortunate nomenclature.

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        Cheesecake is cake because of the dearth of soggy fruit, lack of crust on top, and awesomeness.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Cheesecake is pie. It has crust and no frosting

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

        Ice cream cake is like the HR derby: it is supposed to be part of the sport, but on its own it seems cheap

      • natstowngreg - Nov 14, 2012 at 6:03 PM

        Sigh. When are you troglodytes going to recognize the inherent superiority of cheesecake?

        Cheesecake is not bound by artificial, pedestrian distinctions between cakes and pies. Cheesecake rises above the pitiful, childish squabbling that passes for the So-Called Great Cake-Pie Debate. Cheesecake is wholly supoerior, as are we of the Cheesecake Liberation Front. Yes, we are elitist SOBs, and proud of it!

      • Alex K - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        Preach it, church! Ice cream is clearly superior in the first place…put into cake form it is the end all be all of desserts.

      • historiophiliac - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        Unfortunately, Cur, cheesecake does not meet your half-naked-girls-jump-out-of-it requirement. When I went to Quebec, I had cheesepie — which was like cheesecake on PED’s.

    • Alex K - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:03 PM

      As for the article how does it make anyone a winner? A fat guy took an amphetamine and lost a bunch of weight because he was able to work out longer and harder. What is his next magic trick? Proving water is wet?

      The only thing this proved is something everyone already knows.

    • albertmn - Nov 15, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      Why do we need to fight? Cake and pie are both marvelous, and we live in a country(countries) where we can ready get either. Thanks to any being you may choose to worship (or not)!!

  3. cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I couldn’t help but think: when the zombie apocalypse happens, it will be due to stuff like that. His results were not at all what I expected to happen.

    • paperlions - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      Isn’t rule 1: cardio?

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Yep. Good thing zombies don’t use supplements

    • Alex K - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:08 PM

      What would you expect when a person takes an amphetamine? It is exactly what I would expect.

      • cur68 - Nov 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        I was expecting a heart attack.

      • Alex K - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

        Fair point. That was definitely pretty high on the expected outcomes list.

  4. ezthinking - Nov 14, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Probably the stupidest article written on a variety of levels not the least of which is the irresponsible manner in which it encourages PED use.

    • Tim OShenko - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      Did you miss the part where he said people have died for taking supplements similar to the one he was using, and that it’s been banned in pretty much every country except the U.S? And how he made sure to get his doctor’s approval before starting the drug?

      Sounds to me like he was being fairly responsible about this experiment, and took the time to warn us readers about the dangers to using the supplement.

      • ezthinking - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

        and then bragged up his results.

    • stevejeltzjehricurl - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

      He’s not encouraging it in the least. He’s showing us why it’s such a problem.

      • dsmaxsucks - Nov 15, 2012 at 11:29 AM

        If he’s not encouraging it then why did I look up how much it costs.

        Also, there is nothing about side effects (did he beat up any girls?), It is actually a very exciting article for fat guys, but there are certain things missing.

  5. shynessismyelguapo - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    Two fallacies about PEDs I feel:

    1. That PEDs have an equal effect on everyone. I don’t see how anyone could possibly think this was true.

    2. Even if they make everyone better, they wouldn’t make every baseball player equally better. And believe me, this is *extremely* simplified from the articles I’ve read about it, but: If player A and B both take equal amounts steriods and it causes them both to hit a ball 10% harder, it could have a much higher positive benefit on one player over the other. If player A is a slugger, that 10% could mean a lot more warning track fly balls end up in the stands. If player B is Al Newman, that just means some 280 foot flyouts turn into 310 foot flyouts.

    • ezthinking - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      “280 foot flyouts turn into 310 foot flyouts.” or a blooper over the infield carries to the outfielder for an out, or a fastball loses movement and straights out and gets hit; or a foul to the screen turns into a pop up to the infield; or a fair ball is now pulled foul; or a swinging bunt turns into a one hop double play; and on and on and on.

      It’s not all roses out there. Too much focus is placed on the ‘good’ results when in fact strength can produce a negative outcome.

  6. The Dangerous Mabry - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    So he took a supplement which contained no anabolic steroids (no, pregnenolone is NOT an anabolic steroid) or HGH, which are the two products most commonly referred to as the “Bad PEDs” in the modern discourse, so we have no information (and many would argue that there’s limited information of value in this article) about the benefits they might provide.

    What we do have here is anecdotal evidence that amphetamines provide energy and performance boosts.

    Mostly, however, we have a guy who works out a lot losing weight and becoming healthier. This is hardly shocking.

  7. Lukehart80 - Nov 14, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    A one man experiment can’t tell us all that much, but even if it could, this doesn’t answer the question of what difference exists between what illegal supplements can do for you, compared to those that MLB players are allowed to take.

  8. genericcommenter - Nov 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    This reads like an ad for “JP8x Hardcore” supplement, whatever that is. And the content of that post made the supplement sound more like something along the lines of an ECA stack, rather than some hardcore steroid. For those who don’t remember the time before some idiots abused ephedra and got a substance safer than Tylenol banned, you used to be able to buy all kinds of supplements over the counter at GNC and even Wal-Mart that used ephedra or similar substance in a weight-loss stack. It was more like diet pills than any kind of muscle builder. No one was getting jacked using Hydroxycut. Might as well claim to be “cheating” using Met-rx and creatine or any other supplement widely available and safely used in the 90s.

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