Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stick this in your stulchak! by Jerry Brainum

There was a time when bodybuilding was synonymous with anabolic steroid usage. To a certain extent, this is still true. Whenever an average person views the massive muscularity displayed by professional bodybuilders, the first thought is that such huge muscles cannot be "natural," and therefore must be the product of chemical enhancement. There is no denying that the use of steroids and other anabolic drugs is rampant in pro bodybuilding, and while you can achieve an impressive level of muscularity simply through training and diet, you cannot look like a pro bodybuilder without using anabolic drugs. But in recent years, it has become evident that bodybuilders are not the only athletes guilty of using so-called performance enhancing substances (PES). The use of such drugs is, in fact,widespread. This was evident in the recent baseball steroid scandals, in which it was shown that many of the players are on drug cycles not unlike that of pro bodybuilders, although the goals of ball players are not the same as bodybuilders.
     The truth is that there is no sport not affected by the widespread use of performance enhancing substances. They show up even in places you would least expect. Take for example a recent survey of professional ballet dancers. This study investigated substance use and misuse among 16 female and 9 male Croatian professional ballet dancers in 2008. The survey found that more than a third of the male dancers reported binge drinking, while 20% of the female dancers smoked more than a box of cigarettes a day.But the most interesting aspect of the survey was when the dancers were asked if they would use any drug that would help to improve their dancing skills. The response to that was 25% of the dancers replied that they would use any drug that would help them with their dancing regardless of health consequences.The study found that the older the dancer, the more likely they were to use PES. For the female dancers, more education decreased the possibility of smoking, but also increased the chances of using PES. The more religious the dancer, the less likelihood of using PES, or even believing that they are used in ballet.
Sekulic D, et al. Substance use and misuse among professional ballet dancers.Subst Use and Misuse 2010;45:1420-1430.

©,2015 Jerry Brainum. Any reprinting in any type of media, including electronic and foreign is expressly prohibited

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