Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
I don't really see the relevance of comparing Marciano to the likes of Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko. Yes, it does concern the weight division without limit, but these are different times we're comparing. Today's athletes are built on better nutrition and healthcare than those who grew up in the 30's. Not to mention all of today's athletes are on a truckload of steroids.
Can I prove that they all are on steroids? No. But let's look at the facts:
- The 80's were full of doping and it wasn't even a secret. Look at the 100m sprint. Ben Johnson was taking pretty much any PED (except HGH which wasn't around yet) and ran an almost impossible 9.83 s. After that, they started testing and the sport was "cleand up". Yet, within 4 years Johnson's superhuman steroid record is pretty much equaled by Carl Lewis, Bailey and Burrel. A few years later, Johnson's record is smashed to pieces and right now we're 30 milliseconds below that which is an insane improvement considering how much harder each next millisecond is. Yet I'm supposed to believe these guys are clean? If someone says he removed the supercharger from his engine, yet he takes 2 seconds off his 1/4 mile drag time, do you believe him?
- Armstrong was strictly and randomly tested and used HGH (Human Growth Hormone), Steroids, EPO, Cortisone, Testosterone and more. Using some many drugs, you won't possibly pass a modern, randomly timed drug test, right? Wrong, he fooled all of us for more than a decade. Testing clean doesn't mean shit. Especially when you're bringing in a shitton of money for the sport; anyone can be bought. The cost of buying drug test people is much less than the cost of losing your cash cow.
- Contrary to what most people think, you don't instantly look like Schwarzenegger when using them. James Toney was caught several times and he's a fat tub of lard. The largest benefit may well be the quick recovery it allows, which means you can train more.
- Athletes are the most competitive guys in the world. I don't believe that they'll give up a great advantage with low risks (in terms of getting caught) to their opponents. Next, it's very widespread. Just look at how many stories there are of high school football players using them.
- They weren't even illegal in the 70's.
It's extremely widespread. 15 year old kids in my gym are using and 90% of the gyms i have trained at, anybody that has been training for more than a few years has used.
It's not even a taboo, steroids were first properly synthesized in the 30's and were being used by athletes on a pretty widespread level in the 50's. This is not a new problem and although i have no interest in it, for recreational purposes i don't see a problem. Sport is another matter, but when you have millions of $ on the line, fame, career and your health, 99% of people will use every advantage imaginable.
No, the largest benefit is quickly building and then maintaining lean muscular weight past your natural platau. Visual is determined by genetics, bodyfat and so on unless on a bodybuilders protocal and then genetics largely don't matter.
But i agree it does make it very difficult to compare across era's due to such factors.