Chicago Personal Trainer
Chicago Personal Trainer Clint Phillips has been named one of the "Best Personal Trainers in America" by Men's Journal magazine (the past two years in a row!). He has also been featured in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, the Chicago RedEye, Chicago Health and Beauty magazine, Crain's Chicago Business, Personal Fitness Professional magazine , Experience Life magazine, and Chicago's Windy City Sports magazine. Clint has been published in the Mensa Bulletin, and has been recruited by the editors of three fitness publications to contribute chapters to their books.

Clint has taught classes for people who want to be personal trainers. He has lectured on fitness at Northwestern University, Depaul University, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He's done talk radio shows on fitness, and worked with the Chicago Black Hawks hockey team several times.


 
 

Chicago Personal Training Articles

Steroids in…..Baseball?

We’ve all heard the stories about professional baseball players taking steroids. What a horrible example these “heroes” are setting for the children of today. It has even been cause for a congressional investigation! We’ve also heard a few scattered stories about runners and bicycle racers being caught taking these illegal substances. I’m baffled as to why we hear almost no mention of steroid use by professional FOOTBALL players. Where have the press and congress been on this issue?!

Of course, the NFL insists that it is squeaky clean: they have a tough testing program, and none of their players are using steroids. NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue said, with a straight face, that the number of players taking steroids was “Far below one percent.” How stupid do they think we are? How is it that the average size of an NFL lineman has grown by well over a pound per year every year since 1970? The average-sized NFL player today is 248 pounds – up ten percent in the past 20 years. Let’s take a look at how many players weighed at least 300 pounds over the past few decades:

· 1976 - 0
· 1984 – 5
· 1986 - 18
· 1987 – 27
· 1992 - 70
· 1996 – 289
· 2004 – 339
· 2006 – 570

The worst offenders are the offensive line. The “perfect” 1972 Dolphins offensive line averaged 255 pounds. The 1979 Superbowl Champion Steelers also averaged 255. Today, there is no such thing as a 255-pound offensive lineman. By 2004, the Steelers’ line had grown to 315, by 2006; the Dolphins tipped the scales at 329. In fact, the lightest starting offensive lineman in 2004 was the Bronco’s Ben Hamilton, at a svelte 283 – fully eighteen pounds heavier than the heaviest ’72 Dolphin starters (tie between Larry Little and Wayne Moore at 265).

Even if it were possible to grow this big without steroids, it would not be healthy. According to Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor of health policy and sport science, “When you get that big – regardless of whether your body is muscle or fat – your heart is stressed. Is it good for guys to be that big? Of course not.”

But I have no doubt that it IS the steroids. Even Don Shula has said that steroids were “probably a part” of the recent increase in size. If the NFL testing policy is so rock-solid, then how did it miss the story 60 minutes’ Anderson Cooper accidentally stumbled upon while investigating a South Carolina physician for something completely unrelated?

Dr. James Shortt was being sued after he prescribed a controversial intravenous therapy to a woman who died soon after. As a part of the investigation, the doctor’s prescription records were examined. It turns out that the good doctor had prescribed testosterone cream to Carolina Panthers Todd Steussie 11 times in eight months. Teammate Jeff Mitchell received seven prescriptions – more than a six month supply. Another Panther, Todd Sauerbrun, got not only testosterone, but also Stanazolol, the same powerful anabolic steroid that Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson used prior to setting the world record in the 100 meter dash at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Johnson was stripped of his medal after testing positive. At first he denied taking anything, but later said, “Everybody cheats. Who doesn’t cheat in life?” Apparently, Sauerbrun would agree. In the weeks prior to the 2004 Super Bowl, he received 2500 mg of Stanazolol (along with the syringes to inject it) over just 21 days. According to the real steroid experts over at bodybuilding.com, Stanazolol “Is best used at a rate of 50 mg/day.” So Sauerbrun had enough to take almost two and a half times that much.

How is it that the NFL’s tough testing policies never detected any of these violations? I can think of several reasons:

1. There are several drugs that are hard to detect. Human growth hormone is one, Balco’s infamous TGH is another, and there are many other designer steroids constantly being developed. The cheaters are often one step ahead of the current testing procedures. One of Dr. Shortt’s assistants publicly admitted to mailing HGH to “Possibly half a dozen” professional football players “on a fairly regular basis,” and several members of the Oakland Raiders were caught using TGH. Many experts have said that TGH is the tip of the iceberg, and that many chemists are actively trying to develop steroids that cannot be detected.
2. The current tests are done through urinalysis, rather than blood. There are many ways to beat this type of test. There are stories of players urinating every last drop of their own urine, then using a catheter to take drug-free urine into their own bladders, so they can pee out clean urine in front of the testing official. Other players have been caught using fake penises, such as the infamous “Original Whizzinator.” Don’t believe it? Click here
3. The testing standards themselves are ridiculous. Normal testosterone levels in men vary from about 250 – 800 ng/dl. Anyone testing significantly higher than this is probably taking drugs. But due to the NFL's crazy testing standards, one could have as much as 148 times the normal testosterone level before they fail the test. (Click here for the math). In the words of Dr. Harry Fisch, of Columbia University medical Center, “It’s almost like saying if the speed limit on the highway’s 55 miles an hour, you’re gonna give a ticket to only those that are speeding at over 100 miles an hour. You could be missing a tremendous amount of steroid use below that level.”
4. Elite athletes have access to doctors whose job it is to make them perform at their peak. Often the stakes are high, and the doctors help the players cheat. They calculate exactly when to start using a steroid, and when to stop, to avoid being caught. Ben Johnson was the sprinter who got caught in 1988, but four of the top five finishers in that same race tested positive at one point in their career. Chances are the fifth just didn’t get caught.

My opinion is that the NFL is turning a blind eye on the steroid problem. In fact, some teams are putting pressure on their players to get even bigger than they already are! The Chicago bears benched Brad Culpepper, not because he wasn’t playing well, but because he was too light. On Friday morning weigh-in, he was only 265 pounds. The coaches said that was too light for a defensive lineman. In order to maintain 280 pounds, he had to eat thousands of extra calories every day. “You know how you feel after Thanksgiving dinner?” said Culpepper, “I felt like that every day.”

Mark Schlereth faced the same problem in Denver. He was told he would be fined $100 for every pound short of his assigned minimum of 285 pounds. Often he would guzzle a gallon of water and slip a small weight plate into his jockstrap right before weighing in.

Where will it end? At the current rate of growth, EVERY single offensive lineman in the league will be over 300 pounds by 2015! By 2025, we could have viral vector DNA manipulation, and drugs so powerful that we'll be seeing a field full of seven foot tall, 500 pound , genetically engineered freaks. This is not sports. This is simply cheaters getting bigger through drug abuse. To me, it's as much of a circus as the WWF.

 

 
 
   
 
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