Over the weekend I had the chance to watch the documentary called Bigger Stronger Faster. I love watching documentaries about health and fitness. If you have never heard of Bigger Stronger Faster, I’ll tell you a little about it…
Bigger Stronger Faster won Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. The director, Chris Bell, uses his own brother’s experiences to create an interesting documentary on the use of anabolic steroids in America today.
I think it’s safe to say that I have the same viewpoint on steroids as most Americans do. I’ve seen steroids portrayed terribly in movies and the media, therefore I think of them negatively. This movie really opened up my eyes about steroid use in America and how our nation is obsessed with performance enhancing drugs. I knew steroids had a big roll in some sports, especially baseball in the past few years, but I had no idea that it was such a common drug used in our most elite athletes, such as those in the Olympics!
The movie follows Chris Bell’s two brothers, Smelly and Maddog. As they grew up, they idolized Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Hulkamania. They were middle class Americans who claimed they had “little man syndrome” growing up shorter than most guys. They always looked at muscles as a way to change their body to improve the body God gave them.
The brothers started to use steroids to see how much their body can change and how far they can advance in sports such as power lifting. They soon found that steroids were a MUST if they wanted to continue competing at high levels.
Here is a picture of Chris Bell is in the middle of his two brothers. (Mad dog is on the left and Smelly is on the right)
One of the most interesting parts of the movie, in my opinion, was when they were talking about WHAT were considered performance enhancing drugs. The most well known banned drugs are anabolic steroids which are hormone replacements. Did you know that birth control pills are also steroids? Those are not banned, but encouraged to women. I thought that was really interesting.
Also…think about how common cortisone shots are in athletics. Somehow, cortisone shots are a legal steroid in America today. It’s so common to hear an athlete getting a quick cortisone shot to get them through a big game.
How about those musicians who take blood pressure reducing drugs before a performance. Isn’t that a “performance enhancement drug?” That’s legal…
How about Tiger Woods who got lasik eye surgery to improve his depth perception and vision to 20/15. Isn’t that performance enhancing? No one ever thinks of this negatively, but it’s modifying our genetics through a medical procedure to improve his performance in the game of golf.
The last thing I want to talk about was how they broke down deaths from the use of steroids. They said that there have been only 3 reported deaths from steroid overuse or misuse. That number is FAR from the amount of deaths caused by alcohol or tobacco, which are LEGAL! Seems odd…
Isn’t that interesting to think about? Why are steroids so strictly banned today? Is it because it would ruin sports? I think it could possibly ruin sports if it became legal because everyone would be FREAK athletes. On the other hand, it would be very interesting to watch!! Everyone loves to see records broken and history being made, right?
What do you think?
Overall, it was a very interesting movie. I am in NO WAY promoting steroid use, but thought I’d share my thoughts on how eye opening this movie was. I think it was very well done and I understand why it won Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival!
Have you ever seen Bigger Stronger Faster? If you haven’t, I think it’s something you should think about watching!