May 12, 2009

Alex, Manny, and ... Tiger, too?

Over at Taki's Mag, I try to figure out why the world's highest paid athlete, Tiger Woods, suddenly developed fairly massive muscles midway through his golf career.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

25 comments:

Desmond Jones said...

It's long been rumored that black calf muscles are more difficult to build. Arnold was the king of the calf. His secret apparently, was to go hard and go heavy.

"Ever the diligent pupil,Schwarzenegger got right to work, hitting his calves with 500-pound standing calf raises, donkey raises and seated calf raises six days a week."

Of course, Arnold was also on the juice, apparently.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with Taki? He always brags about how many women he's had sex with in his articles, including women who are married to fellow idle rich friends of his. Is anything about him conservative, or is this just a way for him to amuse himself?

Thrasymachus said...

I had approximately the same before statistics at 35 and achieved approximately after results without any steroids. I had lifted weights off and on before without increasing my muscle size, until I finally went to a trainer and learned the secret was eating massive amounts of protein.

Anonymous said...

You can get serious muscle mass just by doing weight training competently.

Having about 170 lbs of lean body mass on the average American height and low enough body fat for arm definition to show up (about 10-15% body fat) is well within non-steroid using male capacity for a working man lifting weights in his basement and eating with discipline, much less a multi-millionaire.

Looking at pro golfer's physiques, it's pretty clear that most of them don't work out, steroids or not - I assume it's just that the marginal effect on their strokes is minor.

Anonymous said...

In 1865, "Just win, baby!" replaced "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" as the nation's motto.

PRCalDude said...

It's long been rumored that black calf muscles are more difficult to build. Arnold was the king of the calf. His secret apparently, was to go hard and go heavy.No, calf muscles are hard to build, period. The key is higher reps, full range of motion (stretch at the bottom with full contraction at the top), and slow negatives.

Honestly, Steve, the muscles Tiger put on "fairly rapidly" are not hard to achieve naturally, especially for a black guy. Most lifters, given the proper calorie surplus and protein and proper exercise selection can do the same in about 1-2 years.

Most of the people who are quick to yell "Steroidz!11!!" have usually a) never lifted or b)lifted and been unsuccessful at building muscle.

Steve Sailer said...

"Most of the people who are quick to yell "Steroidz!11!!" have usually a) never lifted or b)lifted and been unsuccessful at building muscle."

B describes perfectly Tiger Woods for well over a decade. He was obsessed with weightlifting and adding muscle from a very young age, but he couldn't add muscle. Finally, he added lots of muscle.

Zylonet said...

"B describes perfectly Tiger Woods for well over a decade. He was obsessed with weightlifting and adding muscle from a very young age, but he couldn't add muscle. Finally, he added lots of muscle."

Men change as they age and it is perfectly plausible that a man of 30 can build far more muscle than at age 20. I have seen it before. Moreover, with sophisticated supplement protocols you can increase the gains by a significant margin. Starting with a 3 day routine and advancing to a 6-day split, and with a $500/month supplement budget, I could add 15-20 pounds of beef to the average dude in one year's time. Of course the average man cannot be average in terms of motivation. Training at the pinnacle is all about nutrition and massive effort. Few people are able to tolerate serious training. I would add that such people include some professional ball players who juiced, but could have achieved the same gains through hard work.

Zylonet

ben tillman said...

It's long been rumored that black calf muscles are more difficult to build. Arnold was the king of the calf. His secret apparently, was to go hard and go heavy.

"Ever the diligent pupil,Schwarzenegger got right to work, hitting his calves with 500-pound standing calf raises, donkey raises and seated calf raises six days a week."

Of course, Arnold was also on the juice, apparently.
It's the genes, Desmond. Believe me, I've got 'em, and I know what they can do. Arnold was just showcasing a special genetic gift.

AmericanGoy said...

"their host said goodnight to them every evening at 8:30 pm and was on the rowing machine every morning at 5:30 am."


This should be read in every inner city school, for all ages, from 5 to 17 years old, junior high, high school....

John Seiler said...

I'm less concerned about juicing in sports than how much I'm taxed for stadiums for millionaire players and billionaire owners. Come to think of it, the Steroid Era coincides with the Subsidy Era.

Somebody with more time than I have should dig out the numbers and graph the percentage of stadium money coming from taxpayers against the percentage of players suspected of juicing. I suspect there would be a strong correlation.

Maybe there also could be a correlation with tax-subsidized golf courses, including those in our imperial military that Tiger trained on. (I was in the U.S. Army 4 years, 1978-82, and can report that the military courses were mighty fine.)

And maybe a correlation with the sub-prime mortgage boom. Hey, why not? It's worth looking into.

It's been an Era of Excess in almost every area, now ending faster than you can say "Bush-Obama-Greenspan-Bernanke Depression."

John Seiler said...

Anonymous:

Taki lately seems to be curbing his libertine reminiscences. He's a sinner and laments it, unlike the rest of us. I know I'm prfect.

He's obviously a conservative of the deepest hue, and all of us should be grateful for the funding he has given to The American Conservative, Chronicles, and TakiMag.com.

He's also a fine writer, especially when he avoids the libertine stuff, with a real flair for detail.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that if Tiger were to go on steroids, he wouldn't go overboard the way Barry Bonds or Ben Johnson did. He's by nature a reasonably cautious and sensible guy and knows the importance of limits.

As a moderately knowledgeable lifter, I'd say that someone with good genes could start showing results in their early/mid 20s. Sure you will see better results in your 30s if you keep with the program, but it's not usual to improve that much in a short span of time at that late of an age. If you've got the genes to throw on that much muscle quickly, you'll probably be able to do it by your mid 20s.

Like you said Steve, let's give Tiger Woods the benefit of the doubt. However, let's not forget that if Tiger is for real, he's doing something that's pretty unique in general.

PRCalDude said...

B describes perfectly Tiger Woods for well over a decade. He was obsessed with weightlifting and adding muscle from a very young age, but he couldn't add muscle. Finally, he added lots of muscle.I hear what you're saying, but this is common. It takes some people a long time to figure it out. Berardi and Mejia took a long time to figure it out themselves. Here's a picture of Berardi after finally figuring out he needed to eat a hell of a lot more.

Drawbacks said...

Not that this bears directly on the question at hand, but I seem to remember Vijay Singh explaining Tiger's troubles during the period Singh displaced him as No. 1 as due to Tiger's not having fully adjusted his game to the changes in his physique.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about this the less remarkable it is. Here's my story:

By age 16, I was at my maximum height of 71" and was a bean-pole at 130 pounds despite several years of lifting weights and running. When I went to Parris Island at age 19, I was 150 pounds, so there's 20 pounds of lean mass in 3 years. My hand to God: I gained 15 pounds in twelve weeks of boot camp, so now I'm at 165 pounds.

Over the next several years I'm in the Marine Reserve, surfing, throwing around 80 pound bags of tennis court clay, college, and eating eggs, bacon and hamburgers. Now I'm up to 185 pounds by age 24.

The final kick came from my mid-20's to age 30. My rib cage and pelvic girdle got bigger and I put some more muscle on. So when I graduate from law school at age 28, I'm around 190 pounds and fit as a fiddle.

Over the course of adulthood into middle age, I crept up to 210, then ballooned to 235. Got divorced at age 44 and lost 30 pounds. Started taking 25 mg of DHEA/day and hit the weights again. I'm stabilized now around 212, and if I cut out the beer and enjoyed good food less, I'd be back at 200 but what the hell.

My father, by contrast, was shaving by age 14 and weighed 160 pounds. He graduated HS at 69" and 185 pounds. Stayed that weight for ages, but when he was running halves and marathons he dropped to 170 pounds. My mother insisted he stop long distance running at that point. At age 65, he's about 200 pounds and works as a personal trainer.

--Senor Doug

P.S. The BMI is for low-T men who don't lift weights and consume very little protein.

Edward said...

I’m inclined to credit Tiger’s explanation that his recent enlargement is just late-blooming genes combined with intense weightlifting. It’s hard to understand why he might bother with something physically risky and scandal prone.At 21 I was a really skinny 133 lbs on 5'9". I exercised frequently but didn't put on weight. I was that weight until mid-late 20s. Now 32 I'm 156 lbs. I didn't exercise more to gain that weight, and it's not fat.

So that's 23 lbs which is most noticeable on the upper body. Tiger's blooming saw him gain 30 after heavy training.

Desmond Jones said...

Ben, I always thought Arnold's genetic gift was his IQ (135?). A bright light in a world of dumbbells. :) The way he played with Lou Ferrigno in Pumping Iron was sad in retrospect. Lou's papa made a mistake inviting Arnold to dinner. He should of look out for the kid.

The Tiger calf issue was reminiscent of Serge Nubret. A massive upper body, but no calves.

Truth said...

So this steroid-digesting, pill-popping behemoth got all the way up to 6-2 185lbs huh? And he's actually 30lbs. heavier than he was in high-school, the world's richest athlete with a PHD trainer? Now there's an iron-clad indictment! he's almost heavy enough to be a wide receiver at a BCS school.

I'm not saying the Woods absoulutely did not do steroids, but I would hate to see what condition some of you guys are in.

Anonymous said...

Tiger in 2000:

http://firstcutgolf.com/tiger-woods-2000-champion-pi-507.html

http://firstcutgolf.com/tiger-woods-2000-open-pi-506.html

http://firstcutgolf.com/tiger-woods-2000-championship-pi-593.html

Tiger in 2005:

http://firstcutgolf.com/tiger-woods-2005-masters-fist-pump-pi-679.html

Tiger in 2009:

http://golf.about.com/od/tigerwoods/ss/tigersreturn_7.htm

http://golf.about.com/od/tigerwoods/ss/tigersreturn_4.htm

Wow, he looks a lot different now.

BTW, to all of you who are writing about being thin as a youth and filling out as you got older, notice how you're basically filled out by 25. Tiger got bigger in his later 20s, after already working out seriously with professional trainers from Stanford onwards. And as for Senor Doug, going from 185 to 190 between 24 and 28 isn't that astounding and, as for your later gains in size, you're friggin' juicing as you admit in your e-mail - what do you expect?

KlaosOldanburg said...

I'm yet another example of someone who experienced similar gains (from 165-190, ~10% fat, 6' tall) in my mid 30s without steroids.

You need steroids to continue the steep rate of growth/strength after hitting your plateau, or if you want to get down to a very low fat%, unless you have good genes.

If Tiger went from that 180 to maybe 230 in less than a year, for instance, that would be a much better indication of juicing.

TomV said...

Truth,

Are you reading the same posts that I'm reading? Virtually everybody here, including Steve himself (to a lesser extent), is willing to give Tiger the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

"P.S. The BMI is for low-T men who don't lift weights and consume very little protein."

That may be, but you need to provide a metric besides total poundage if you want anyone to understand what you're talking about:

"Over the course of adulthood into middle age, I crept up to 210, then ballooned to 235. Got divorced at age 44 and lost 30 pounds. Started taking 25 mg of DHEA/day and hit the weights again. I'm stabilized now around 212, and if I cut out the beer and enjoyed good food less, I'd be back at 200 but what the hell."

So you dropped from 235 to 205, then used weight-lifting and steroids to gain seven pounds. But, at 212 pounds, you say that you're carrying around 12 pounds of flab attributable to your diet and your alcohol consumption. So did you use weights and steroids to put on seven pounds of fat?

I'm not sure how to make sense of this. But some idea of your body fat percentage would be useful--you're average height and you weigh 212, but that could describe Mike Tyson in his prime or my accountant.

Anonymous said...

All right, maybe I need to lose 5 pounds. Seriously.

DHEA is not "steroids." Really, it's maintenance.

--Senor Doug

Nick said...

Sorry i'm a little late, but great article Steve. I love your sports/punk rock stuff.