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An Example of a Clueless Sportswriter.

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Here’s the lead of a puff piece on Giambi written by George King of The New York Post;

“The rebuilding of Jason Giambi’s body is complete. Now we will see if the strict workout program can help Giambi resurrect a baseball career.

Giambi flexes his biceps and the ink ripples on his tattoos. His chest looks like a body builder’s again. Legs that turned soft thanks to a 2004 knee operation provide a solid base.”

Is this guy kidding? Has he been on the scene at all for the last couple of years? Here’s a link to the whole, incredible article

Mr. King needs to know that a baseball player should NOT have rippling biceps and the chest of a body builder, and if he does HE IS USING STEROIDS! And when the ballplayer in question is Jason Giambi this statement reveals a breathtaking lack of understanding of what has been going on in the profession that he is paid to cover for his newspaper.

A person NOT on steroids will NEVER be able to aquire the physique of a person who IS using steroids. In the case of Mr. Giambi, he went from about 240 pounds when he was on the sauce to about 215 pounds last year when he “cut out the junk food,” which in the real world means he was off the sauce.

If he really is 240 pounds again this year, he is a fat 240 pounds, as it is impossible for a guy his age to put on 25 pounds of muscle in 6 months without using drugs.

Do not let anyone tell you differently. These so-called “fitness gurus,” – and some athletes – are BS-ing you when they try and tell you that because someone is a professional athlete, their body is somehow superior with regards to basic biological functions and the response to exercise. An elite athlete may be able to perform certain exercises better than the “Average Joe,” but this does not mean that their body responds to this exercise differently.

Back to the article…Someone also needs to point out to Mr. King that Giambi’s legs went soft because he stopped using steroids, and that steroid use definitely could have been a major contributing factor to the knee injury that Giambi suffered.

We’re also told that thanks to Bobby Alejo, who is Giambi’s personal strength and conditioning guru, Giambi has now become a gym rat. Really?!? Just now?!?

Well what was Alejo doing for Giambi all these years if only now Giambi has turned into a gym rat? Remember that this is the same guy that Giambi fought to have included on the Yankee’s payroll, and allowed to work in the Yankee’s facilities over the past two years.

Alejo worked with Giambi – as well as with other famous and infamous players – in Oakland, and Jason brought his trainer to New York with him. Alejo has been on the scene now for quite a while and has worked with Jason through his years of steroids and Balco, and we’ve yet to see him face any questions or provide any answers as to his involvement in Giambi’s drug use. What did he know? Is Alejo so clueless and incapable as a strength and conditioning professional that he did not know what Giambi was doing under his nose?

As an 18-year old kid in 1981 – I know I’m dating myself here – I recognized the effects steroids had on other guys in the gym. Is it possible that a professional such as Giambi’s personal trainer did not know what his client was involved with? Is it logical to believe that this Alejo didn’t realize how Giambi turned from a skinny guy into this?

If this Alejo guy is going to be presented as some kind of guru – how about answering some questions for the press? In light of his close association with Giambi over the years, is this too much to ask? We’ve sent him an email….surprised that we haven’t gotten a response?

Then we get to the details of the nonsensical training routine that this “guru” has designed for a major league baseball player. If it’s Monday it must be “chest day,” Tuesday is for hamstrings – hamstrings! – Wednesday is for back, Thursday is for the quadriceps and Friday is for arms. Folks this is pure, unadulterated horse $&!% of a training program for anyone! This is the kind of junk that meathead body builders have been doing for the last 40 years!

This program is not suitable for ANYONE, let alone a professional athlete. This program is typical for a “guru-type” who knows nothing, but works with clients who use steroids, and other drugs, to get big.

One more aside: When you are on the juice, you can do almost anything and you’ll get huge. That’s why training programs such as this one, raise red flags.

At every point this article is embarrassing. From the “gosh, golly, gee whiz” tone used when discussing Giambi’s new-found work ethic to the garbage training routine that is presented as some kind of elixir to Giambi’s worn out body.

We have no problem with those folks, sportswriters included, who want to support Giambi in his futile efforts to regain the size and strength that he originally gained thanks to drug use. Because like Giambi and his trainer, sportswriters and most fans do not have a base of knowledge that allows them to understand the issue, and realize that the efforts to “get big” are in vain since size in no way equates to strength.

With this kind of ignorance, is it any wonder that athletes have gotten away with using drugs for so long?

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About Sal Marinello

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Sal, more truth – there is such a “duh” factor here that it’s amazing people — especially sports writers!! — don’t realize how stupid and naive they sound. Thanks!