The Iron God and I have had, and continue to have, a long and fruitful relationship. I have written many times about the tremendous value to be found in lifting hard and heavy, pushing one’s body and mind to the breaking point and beyond in the crucible that is the squat rack. And I respect and admire any man who chooses willingly to become the strongest and the fittest beast that he can be through endless devotion to the temple of the iron.
But- and this is a critically important caveat- I reserve that respect for those who build their strength and their power naturally.
Now, for many men who become devotees of the iron, there will come a point beyond which they will simply not be able to make gains on their own. It’s just a fact- each of us has a natural physical limit to what we can achieve, determined by genetics, environment, and willpower.
It doesn’t matter how much you train- if you weigh 135lbs dripping wet, it’s ridiculously unlikely that you’ll ever be able to squat 800lbs.
When men reach their maximum natural potential, the temptation to turn to artificial help can be overwhelming. And if someone chooses to take that road, well, that’s his decision. I can’t act for that man; I can only tell him that what he’s doing is dangerous and wrong, but ultimately, it’s his choice, not mine.
I just hope that those who make that choice, do so knowing what they’re getting into.
As it turns out, “what they’re getting into” is not at all pretty. Or easy:
Devotion to the iron comes at a steep price, even for natties like me. You sacrifice a very great deal to be as strong as you can make yourself. You give up time with other people; you give up eating certain foods; you give up alcohol; you give up having a life outside of the gym.
In extreme cases, such as you’ll find with championship-level bodybuilding and powerlifting, you give up everything else, just for the sake of being the biggest or the strongest.
The iron price MUST be paid. There is no way around this. To achieve the best possible results, you have to be willing to put in the sacrifices necessary to achieve those results. Don’t kid yourself about this- if you want to become a beast, lift like a beast.
By contrast, if you want to stay weak and puny, well, do what all the other tossers do at the gym. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest, provided you don’t get in my way when I’m doing deadlifts or squats.
If you do, ultimately, decide to pay the iron price- because, trust me on this, the gifts of the Iron God are worth the sacrifices that you pay to get them- then understand that the returns on your investment will always be sweetest when you know that it was all YOU. That you earned that physique and that strength. That you, and no one and nothing else, were responsible for pushing through that mental barrier of pain and fatigue and negativity to a new personal best.
In that video, you’ll have seen the consequences of taking the low road. The high road is much, much harder, make no mistake- it is the road of pain and agony and doubt.
It is also the road that allows you to stay strong and fit and healthy for the rest of your life, provided that you don’t make stupid mistakes inside or outside of the gym.
Don’t take steroids or PEDs or HGH. Be the best that you can be- naturally. Or don’t. It’s your choice- choose well.