COACH columnist

Don’t do drugs, kids.

That might as well be the message Dave Tate gets across here about the subject of steroids.

At some point in your training career, your progress will halt. It will, and that’s why a lot of lifters don’t last long. Their newbie gains are great, but when suddenly, they can’t lift more than their last PR, lifters panic. It may take anywhere from one to three years before they get past that, and rather than work through those couple of years, they’ll start using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) instead.

PEDs can take a lifter to the next level, from class 1 to pro and elite to ATWARs, but then they’ll get stuck again. Because these lifters didn’t bother to work through the last time their lifts stagnated, they don’t know how to overcome that. So they either retire or keep doing PEDs and/or the same things they’ve done to train and get hurt as a result.

Dave is a proponent learning the process to push through those sticking points ASAP. There’s less wear and tear on the body at the intermediate level then, so that’s when you go all out. Surely you’ll hit another wall at some point, but you’ll know what to do without the side-effects of steroids and overdoing things.

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