Gaspari Nutrition

Ron Harris

Some things I’ve learned, Part 2

Human Growth Hormones are neither good nor bad.

It's funny how people like to assign anthropomorphic qualities to a man-made drug. If your only knowledge of Human Growth Hormones is what you have seen and read in the media, you would consider Human Growth Hormones to be evil substances. But let's swap them for another common drug, alcohol. Can alcohol be a terrible thing? Sure! If a person abuses alcohol and harms others physically or via drunk driving, or if they become an alcoholic and lose their job, home, friends, health, and dignity, that's clearly bad. But what about when it's in the form of a champagne toast at a wedding or on New Year's Eve, or if a guy stops off at a bar to unwind with a beer or two after a long, hard day at work? Now you see it's not the alcohol that's good or bad, it's how it's used. Human Growth Hormones are drugs that build muscle size and strength. They were developed for purposes such as helping burn patients from wasting away, and to replace testosterone in hypogonadal men whose bodies could not produce sufficient amounts. Human Growth Hormones were never meant to be used by athletes, but in the 1950's they began to creep into Olympic weightlifting. Eventually they made their way into almost all sports to enhance performance. Bodybuilding is the only sport where Human Growth Hormones are specifically used to enhance muscle size and to allow said size to remain intact even at extremely low bodyfat levels. Used in moderation by responsible adults and with careful attention to health via regular medical checkups and blood work, Human Growth Hormones are actually far safer than the majority of prescription drugs on the market. Pay attention to the next TV commercial for drugs to treat things like depression, acne, or erectile dysfunction and you will hear a host of truly frightening possible side effects - one of which sometimes being DEATH!

Human Growth Hormones can absolutely be abused. Some choose to take them in amounts that any doctor would be alarmed to hear about. Some take large amounts in oral form for long periods, taxing their livers. Some never take time off using. We have seen heart, liver, and kidney problems as a result, and more than a few deaths in otherwise healthy and relatively young men. So Human Growth Hormones are far from being harmless, and the risks seem to increase with higher amounts used over longer periods of time. But like any other drug, Human Growth Hormones are neither good nor bad. It's the user and how he or she uses them that determines that.

Bodybuilding has to be for you, and no one and nothing else.

Obviously I love bodybuilding and feel it's one of the absolute most rewarding things a man or woman can do. It will make you look and feel better, and can improve your self-esteem as well as teach you self-discipline and the value of hard work. But that's not to say you can't get into it for the wrong reasons. As a teenager, I started workout out for two reasons: to get girls to like me and to get respect from other males. Of the two, the respect part turned out to be more realistic. Little did I know back then that gay men were more attracted to and appreciated the bodybuilder look than women, who mostly consider it 'gross' and look at bodybuilders as vain and self-absorbed. An even worse reason to start bodybuilding is to get 'rich and famous.' Good luck with that! Some people do turn pro, and some do get endorsements and media exposure. Most don't. If you start bodybuilding with the intention of making a living out of your physique, you will probably end up pretty bitter and disappointed. Instead, look at it as a means of self-improvement and self-discovery, and you will always come out on top. And definitely don't do it to make someone else happy. I have known women who got into training specifically because their boyfriend or husband wanted them to look a certain way. I am not Dr. Phil and won't even attempt to analyze the dynamics of that kind of relationship. Suffice to say it's not healthy. Do this for you and because it makes YOU happy.

Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

If you are a competitive bodybuilder, you will be compared to others on stage and judged accordingly. But even then, your goal should always be to be the best bodybuilder YOU can be, to develop your own physique to the best of your abilities. That's all you really can do, anyway. You were born with certain genetics to be a certain height, to have a certain bone structure, certain muscle attachments, and so on. Through years of dedication, you can definitely build plenty of muscle and get very lean. And should you choose to add drugs into the mix, you can get even bigger and leaner. But you will still look like - you. Nothing you do will have you looking like Phil Heath, or Flex Wheeler Ronnie Coleman in their primes. They are them, and you are you. If you know you have worked as hard as you could and you have made drastic improvements over where you started, you should never get down on yourself because someone else looks better. This has been a struggle for me over the years, as I work with and have been around literally the best-built human beings to ever walk the face of the earth. Many times I have allowed myself to feel bad about myself because they look so, so much better. But eventually I realized how pointless that was. I look pretty good and I should be proud of that, regardless of how I compare to the pro's or even some random genetic freak I run into at a local gym. Some of you will never look as good as me. Some of you already look much better, or will one day. So what? We all do the best we can with what God gave us! That's all that matters.

I think I have at least one more of these in me!

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