He came up with it after years of studying steroid users in Boston-area gyms and comparing them not just to non-steroid users in the same gyms, but also to bodybuilders from different eras. For a 1995 study, Pope and his coauthors estimated the FFMIs of Mr. America winners from 1939 to 1959, before steroids were readily available. The group includes future B-movie star Steve Reeves, whose physique was so iconic that he was name-checked in The Rocky Horror Picture Show . The average FFMI was . (One of the highest was George Eiferman, Mr. America 1948, with a FFMI. His upper body was later the model for George of the Jungle, a 1960s cartoon character.) Even today, with all we’ve learned about training and nutrition, an FFMI in the mid 20s is still considered the ceiling for natural bodybuilders. Anything above 26 or 27 is suspect.
Hey, great list!
I don’t use them personally, but I train with a few women who do. I’ve noticed some of the side effects and they’ve mentioned it too.
But I didn’t know what to look for and how many alternatives there were – so while I’ll probably still choose not to use any (my goals are just to stay active), I’ll pass this along to my friends who want different results than I do. Maybe it’ll help them make some good choices, or to switch to something with fewer (or no) side effects.
But I'm not more aggressive—a behavior change often tied to testosterone. That's not surprising to Robert Sapolsky, ., a neuroendocrinologist at Stanford University and a leading researcher on stress and behavior. "It's really not the case that testosterone 'causes' aggressive behavior," he says. "Instead, it makes the brain more sensitive to social cues that trigger aggression. And in support of that, a guy's testosterone level isn't a very good predictor of how likely he is to be aggressive."