Misconceptions About Steroids in Bodybuilding Refuted by Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler

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The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently interviewed Jay Cutler about the bodybuilding lifestyle on the eve of the 2011 Mr. Olympia contest. The four-time Mr. Olympia champion used the opportunity to dispel some of the misconceptions about bodybuilding. At the top of his list was the perception that bodybuilding is simply a matter of consuming anabolic steroids.

“It’s a fringe sport, a cult sport. Misunderstood,” explained Cutler. “They think we work out eight hours a day, and they have that theory, ‘If I took steroids, I’d look like him.’ ”

Many people outside of the sport of bodybuilding tend to believe that steroids and hard work are mutually exclusive. While there are undoubtedly many “natural” athletes that work hard to become stronger and more muscular, there are arguably even more bodybuilders using anabolic steroids who put in amounts of effort equal to or in excess of that seen in non-steroid using bodybuilders.

Bodybuilding is not just about steroids and it’s not just about lifting weights. Cutler described his lifestyle as one entirely devoted to building muscle but it involves only 2 hours in the gym lifting weights every day. That is the easy part. The hard part is the eating.

“I eat, sleep and train,” explains Cutler. “I eat around the clock but am only hungry for three meals a day. You got to feed the machine.” Cutler eats every 2-1/2 hours day and night consuming 4000 to 7000 calories on average.

Las Vegas national-level bodybuilder Ron Stevens concurred with Cutler that eating is biggest challenge in bodybuilding. He also complained about the general public’s perception about steroids in bodybuilding.

“At the movies, people will come up to me and ask if I take steroids,” complained Stevens. “It’s kind of intrusive. I wouldn’t ask them if they do coke or smoke weed.”

Stevens nonetheless acknowledged that steroid use is widespread in competitive bodybuilding yet accepted in the absence of any meaningful steroid testing. A competitive bodybuilder is unable to compete without using anabolic steroids according to Stevens.

Jay Cutler photo courtesy

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Milliard, T. (September 6, 2011). Bodybuilding changing, but it’s still hard work. Retrieved from