Got your attention? Most people in our field would say the statement “Steroids don’t work” is absurd. Well, of course steroids work in the short term but what about the long term? Do they really give<

By Dr. Greg Shepard
Published: Fall 2002
Most people define steroids as performance enhancing drugs. I define them as performance debilitating. Athletes in mainstream high school or collegiate sports can achieve better results through hard, consistent and smart training. Professional athletes in mainstream sports like baseball could have longer, more successful careers by not taking steroids.
I realize these are bold statements. Every coach and athlete should read and ponder the following reasoning on steroid use. Be ready and willing to make a paradigm shift in thinking. The year 2002 has seen a huge focus on steroids and baseball. In the first part of this article I will discuss this scenario as it played out in the media. Second, I will discuss 11 reasons why steroids do not work in the long run for athletes involved in mainstream high school and collegiate sports.


The media frenzy on steroids in baseball began when retired NL MVP Ken Caminiti and Jose Canseco admitted they took steroids to enhance their baseball careers. Furthermore, Caminiti claimed that at least half the players in pro baseball use steroids. Canseco one-upped him by stating that number was closer to 85 percent. However, 78 percent of pro players believe that fewer than half are on performance enhancing drugs.
“I feel cheated if everyone’s on steroids. Baseball needs to do something,” said Chicago White Sox First Baseman Frank Thomas. San Diego Padres general manager Kevin Towers said that steroids are prevalent in the game and too many players are gaining 20-30 pounds over the winter, a surefire sign of someone on steroids.
Colorado Rockies outfielder Todd Zeile said, “I never hear anybody talking about the morality or the ethics of the game. It’s cheating in every sense.”
USA Today recently observed that batters knock the ball out of the park now at a rate that’s not easily explained. The article noted that in professional baseball’s first 125 years, only two men hit 60 or more home runs in a season, whereas in the past four years, that benchmark has been matched or bettered six times. Are we supposed to believe steroids are the reason?
Jason Giambi of the Yankees said, “People should know that players are working hard. They have trainers. They have people helping them plan their diets, even cooking for them. You can’t just take a pill and expect to hit a home run. You have to have talent. Steroids don’t help you hit a baseball. Even injuries. A guy gets hurt, ‘Oh, he’s on steroids.’ It’s a little sickening to me.”
Tim Bishop, the Baltimore Orioles’ strength coach, stated, “Without steroids, a player on a vigorous weight program for five months in the off-season would be doing ‘very good’ to gain 10 pounds of muscle mass. And that would be if the athlete were lifting four times a week for two hours each session. Anything more than that, it’s a sure sign that something else is going on.”
With over three decades of participation by tens of thousands of athletes, the BFS Program has proved---and this is the norm---that young athletes can easily gain 20 pounds of functional muscle mass in five months with only three to four hours per week in the weight room. And, do it without steroids.
As for the home-run rate not being easily explained---hogwash. Players of yesteryear never touched a weight. Besides Roger Maris (61 in 1961) and Babe Ruth (60 in ‘27), there was Jimmie Foxx (58 in ‘21), Hank Greenberg (58 in ‘38), Hack Wilson (56 in ‘30), Ralph Kiner (54 in ‘49), Mickey Mantle (54 in ‘61), Willie Mays (52 in ‘65) George Foster (52 in ‘77) and Johnny Mize (51 in ‘47). What would have happened if they had been on a solid strength and conditioning program? Also, most of these old-timers played eight fewer games than are played now.
Each year more and more players come into baseball with more and more strength and conditioning experience. Many high school players are stronger right now than many major league players have ever been and have reached these strength levels without steroids. Every baseball organization has a strength and conditioning coach. Ten years ago most did not. With or without steroids, there will be more and more home runs hit in the future.
How widespread is the problem?

Atlanta pitcher and NL player representative Tom Glavine said, “Most players admit something has to be done.” Steroid use might not be as widespread as Canseco claimed. “I would bet virtually everything I have that it’s not, but players said they know there are some using performance enhancing drugs.”
The Astros’ Lance Berkman, who is a home-run leader this year and leads his league in RBI, said, “People say 50% of the players are on steroids. I think that’s ridiculous, but obviously there are some people who take steroids and play major league baseball. People try to cheat all the time.”
Chicago White Sox Royce Clayton agrees with testing for steroids. “It sends a message that steroids are a substance you don’t want to mess around with and that there is no place for them in the game. We are role models, and that’s the most important thing a player has to understand. As soon as we test and the game is clean, the better it will be for everybody.”
“I would like to see testing,” said Braves outfielder Gary Sheffield. “I mean you see how much guys are using it. Unless you’ve got something to hide, you won’t mind testing, right?”
Kansas City Royals outfielder Mike Sweeney believes leaguewide testing might be the only way to settle the question. “If you’re a player that is clean and other players are out there who are not clean, it gives the other players an unfair advantage,” said Sweeney. He wants to create a level playing field.
I have always disagreed with calling steroids performance enhancing drugs. When you do, everyone automatically assumes steroids give a big advantage. To the contrary, steroids don’t work in the long term. If I wanted to be a pennant contender year after year, I would insist that my players not go near steroids. Then we would have the advantage. In August of 2002, major league players voted to accept testing for steroids. This is further evidence that Caminiti and Canseco were wrong in their estimations of the number of players on steroids. The players are to be congratulated on their testing decision.
Benji Gill of the Angels said that he had faced the pressure to take steroids at the end of the 1999 season (44 percent of players acknowledge there is some pressure to take steroids to compete in the majors). “I talked to people (two doctors and a trainer) about steroids. They told me that it wasn’t worth the risk. To be honest, I’ve never witnessed anyone doing it, so I would never go and ask someone if they were using steroids. I just figured it wasn’t worth it. At the time, I was married and hadn’t started a family. The doctors said they didn’t know if any problems might be passed on to my children.”
Yankee outfielder Shane Spencer offers this perspective: “I think, ‘Do I want to be crippled when I am done with baseball?’ I make good money now. I don’t need to risk my health to make more.”
Brook Fordyce, Orioles catcher, tries to put himself in the shoes of a 19-year-old, “If everyone else is doing it, I might have to do it. If high school kids start doing it, they might be on it for a long time. Hopefully these kids are smart enough to realize they’re putting poison in their bodies and giving themselves a chance to get real sick.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse advises that steroids interfere with normal hormone production, causing a kind of drug-induced sex change---men can become feminized, with shrunken testicles and growth of breasts, while women might grow body hair and develop lower voices. Both genders can experience male-pattern baldness and acne. Some studies suggest high doses of steroids also can affect personality, leading to what the institute calls “homicidal rage and delusion.”

Retired MVP Ken Caminiti: "At least half of the players use steroids"

Jose Canseco: "Baseball steroid use is closer to 85%." He also told book publishers he helped other plyers get steroids.

Oaklans A's outfielder David Justice: "Half the players? Come on, I look around the clubhouse, and I don't see anybody with signs of steroid use. I don't know of anyone who came to camp 20-30 ounds heavier.

Yankee Jason Giambi: "Steroids don't help you hit a baseball."

Astros first baseman Jeff Bagwell: "I gained probably 20 pounds in the off-season in 1995-96, but I was still 27 years old. I had the room to grow. Now I work just as hard, but I can't gain any more. The guys who are alredy at their peak and then come cack 25-30 pounds heavier, you're like, 'Come on, dude, how did you do that?

Boston shortstop Noprmar Garciaparra said, "Who would do the testing? Will results be kept private? Or will they be leaked to the media? Wabout false positives? You think it's going to be cinfidential? I laugh at that." Author's comment: I love theis photo. It shows the great flexibility and athleticism of Garciaparra. Steroids have no effect on these two atheletic qualities.

"If you're going to point fingers" says barry Bonds, who set the single-season home run record at 73, "point the fingers at the right people and not the rest of us. Two players came outabout an issue and now it's trickling down to everybody else, and that part is just not right. And I always seem to be the guy right at the top of the list."

Houston Astro first baseman Lance Berkman said, "I don't take steroids and never will. I'll take a test... I know I'm clean. I'll lift weights after a game. We have a great strenght and conditioning coarch."

St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has strong views on the privacy issue. "If you want privacy goplay semi-pro ball. drug use (including steroids) hurts baseball. Why should we pay millions of dollars to these guys and have they go on the disabled list?"

The Angels' Benji Gill: "I've never witnessed anyone doing steroids."

High school discuss record holder (234-3) Nik Arrhenius never took steroids.

Fomer Utah Jazz forward Blue Edwards may have been the first NBA player to power clean 300 pounds in 1990 with Greg Shepard. Blue wsa not no steroids.

The Barbe HS Paralle squat Club: (front row L to R) Logan Gandy (350), Drew Kramer (405), Aaron Ardoin (350), Turner Brumby (425), (back row L to R) Alex Radford (360), Jeb Brown (350), Bryan McCaulley (485), gabe Scott (500), Austin Nagel (420)

Gabe Scott, a four year starter at barbe HS, cut his 60-yard time from 8.3 to 6.9 since his freshman year.

Coach Shepard with LSU's legendary baseball coach Skip Bertman.

Barbs Gabe Scott power cleaning 265 lbs. Notice his powerfully developed legs.

LSU Tiger Brandon Bowe doing plyometric box jumping.

Brandon is doing step-ups, a great auxiliary exercise.

LSU Cather Brad Cresse working on his glutes withthe glute-Ham Developer

A The legs and hips are the source fo strenght and power for hitting a baseball. Now look at the same phot in C & D


D Notice the similarities of Sammy Sosa's hips and those of Olympic thrower Stefan Fernholm.

Doing everything perfectly reduces the worry that taking steroids mignt be necessary. Look at the phot of brock Olivo doing a picture-perfect athletic lunge with 225 pounds.

Tagg Bozied led the nation with 30 home runs. He also hit .421 in 56 games.

Tagg power cleans 225 for his workouts to build explosive hip power for hitting.

Taggs's fine flexibility on the straight-leg deadlift. It is a top priority auxiliary lift.

Eyes on the target, sitting tall, chest spread, knees over toes: tagg is perfect!