The debate rages on as big boys around the globe argue on what method is best to get as jacked as possible. On the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, Ronnie Coleman reported that he would stay on performance enhancing drugs and train for 9 months around the clock, then stop all drugs and training entirely for 3 months after each consecutive Olympia. Ronnie Coleman also reported that the one year he did not take his 3 month break, he paid for it with injuries as fatigue accumulated. Ronnie was not and is not alone though. Dexter Jackson has been taking 6 full weeks off each year to do nothing but sit around and eat what looks like to be mostly “junk food.” Kevin Levrone was another one who would regularly train for months, then take months entirely off. This time on/time off schedule may be what is attributed to these large men not suffering any major organ failures as they enter older ages. But these men are the genetic freaks of the century. If we all followed what they did, would we be as lucky—or jacked? Probably not. I do however think the answer lies somewhere in between. Periodisation is an essential component of progressing in any sport. The science behind periodisation is simple. Add a stress, cause some damage, then with sufficient rest, adaptations will be seen. These adaptations meaning more muscle mass for the bodybuilder and more strength for the powerlifter.
With all that said, my advice is to follow the drug, training and nutrition program that your body can sustain long term. For some people, that’s a moderate dose of performance enhancing drugs until the day they die. For others, it’s to blast and cruise. One thing for sure though is that any athletes who have been doing it for decades are generally healthy specimens. It’s pretty hard to get up in the morning and crush the day if you’re suffering harsh side effects that destroy mood, motivation, energy and sleep quality. Right across the board, most athletes who are successful have found a lifestyle that is sustainable.
What have I noticed in my experience as a coach to work best? I can say for sure, I have seen for the moderate doses of performance enhancing drugs for longer periods of time to yield the best results. That doesn’t mean these athletes never blasted and cruised, or never did a PCT either. For the most part though, the longer your hormones that are involved in growth are elevated, the better results you’re going to see. “Less is more” is the idea with this consistent drug use. You’d be surprised how little milligrams per week some of the biggest guys on the planet are taking for the majority of the year. For most men, unless you’re getting ready for a show or you are a seriously large dude 130 + kg under 6 foot, then 5-10 mg/kg per week of anabolics will do for just about any sport, hobby or physique goal. If you run it long enough that is. If you add in the likes of HGH and insulin, the mg/kg per week required may be even less. Again, if you run it long enough that is. By long, I mean years, not weeks or months. Checking health markers every 4-8 weeks along the way to ensure nothing insidious is forming; this method can produce significant results with far less side effect potential as opposed to the blast and cruise method. If this method is something you can sustain, don’t be convinced that going large, then going to 0 is necessarily the best or healthiest method. Check blood work and health markers as always and find what works best for you. You may be surprised that slow and steady wins this race too.