Steroids in MMA
I’m sure you have all heard of a little something called the Body Mass Index (BMI)?
The BMI is a simple system of measurement meant to calculate a person’s body fat based on their height-to-weight ratio. Where it seems to be somewhat flawed is that it takes into account all of a person’s lean mass (blood, bone, muscle, organs, etc.).
Kimbo Slice (a mixed-martial arts fighter) is 6′2 and weighs over 230 pounds.
His BMI score would then be 29.5.
The problem is that according to the BMI Chart, Kimbo would then be considered “obese” and if you are familiar with this particular individual, then you would have to agree that he is anything but overweight. In fact, he has little to no body fat at all.
Also according to the BMI is that the ideal healthy weight for a man of Kimbo’s height should be approximately 180 pounds.
That is a major difference of 50 pounds.
In addition, another bit of information that I have learned throughout my years as a fitness trainer is that a person’s body will generally strive to remain at its natural homeostasis (the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium). In other words, your body would naturally resist unnatural weight gain as a form of protecting itself from potential health risks (anyone who has ever wasted money on Creatine knows exactly what I am talking about).
In the early years of my fitness career, a top ranked Canadian bodybuilder once explained to me that without steroids, “it would be very difficult to gain as much as one pound of solid muscle mass each month. Sure, you could gain more weight, but it wouldn’t all be pure mass.”
With that being said however, there are also limits to what the human body can achieve through natural means.
If I were to lift weights for ten consecutive years, would I then gain 120 pounds of lean, solid muscle mass as indicated by the body builder? (And for the record, I have been weight training for over 24 years, so even at one pound per month, I should then currently weigh approximately 460 pounds)
No. Of course not.
But why not?
Because once again, your body will hit its natural peak (in my case—175 pounds).
Most individuals start steroids in the first place because the major gains that they may have had initially will have subsided.
So what would it mean for the sport of MMA if many of its “Superstars” such as Kimbo Slice, Randy Couture, or even Brock Lesnar were suddenly caught using performance enhancing drugs (PED’s)?
Quick answer: Nothing!
Because in this day and age, no one really seems to care.
We all like to pretend that we do, but all too often, we much prefer to turn a blind eye to the subject. The burden of proof becomes the true determining factor (and distraction).
To quote a friend of mine:
“Sometimes people use their brains and don’t need the weather man to tell them that it’s raining before they realize it.” This is a classic observation on what is wrong with our society when it comes to steroids.
If any of these men were found guilty of steroid use (and for the record, I am not suggesting that they are in fact using steroids—this is merely hypothetical) and they were baseball players, we would have quickly hung them up by their scrotums and burnt them alive in a fiery pit of condemnation.
But the sad truth is that they are fighters and fighters (MMA fighters anyway—not necessarily boxers) are held to a much lower (not higher) standard than most other professional athletes.
They rank down there with professional wrestlers and body builders – steroids just seem to be more accepted (or at least “tolerated”) as part of the standard that comes with this professional level of sport. Unfortunately, it becomes part of the culture.
Is that part of the problem with getting MMA more widely accepted as a main stream sport?
Absolutely it is.
As a 21-year black belt in karate I have concluded that steroids do not make an MMA fighter any better. Sure there are benefits, otherwise, they wouldn’t be using them, but I see the “cons” far outweighing any possible “pros”.
To me, steroids symbolize weakness.
Steroid use is a weakness of the mind and of the body. It demonstrates poor judgment and massive insecurity. Professional athletes who take steroids are nothing less than inferior athletes who must cheat to compete (God bless Terrell Owens for ripping on Rodney Harrison a few weeks back).
I have said this before and I meant it; “to each his own.”
I really don’t care if someone else wants to use steroids for personal use, diminishing their own life capacity in the name of ego and vanity by sticking chemicals in their ass (or in between their toes). It’s their body and their life. I’m not here to judge an entire nation.
The problem I have is the place that steroids seem to now have in sports.
Personally, I don’t see the sport of MMA gaining any respectability beyond the current demographic of fans until they eliminate steroids all together. I would love to be able to remain positive, but it is difficult when you consider just how common PED’s are and how unreliable the drug testing is.
And not to pick on the aforementioned fighters (Kimbo, Couture, Lesnar) as though somehow they are all guilty. But certainly, they could be considered by many as being….suspicious.
Kimbo must be working extra, extra hard in the gym I guess to be defying the laws of human nature and science.
I say—good for him.