Muscle Sport Magazine

Gangster Supplements – Thoughts From Robby Robinson

By Robby Robinson – First Master Mr. Olympia – With so much confusion and misinformation on the subject of dietary supplements, I wasn’t surprised when a young athlete told me that he wasn’t taking any because he was nervous the products could be tainted with steroids or contain a stimulant or diuretic banned by his federation. Articles like the one in Sports Illustrated’s May issue on the supplement industry that reported, “the screening company Informed-Choice found that 25% of 58 supplement samples it tested contained steroids and stimulants banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)” doesn’t help the confusion.


Let’s be clear – what are the supplements being tested? The article talks about disreputable companies, but not listing the supplements tested puts all supplements on a banned list, questioning even their Vitamin-C. I would imagine they probably tested the ones they suspected, those I call “gangster supplements.” You know, the ones with the ingredients that are impossible to say that promise testosterone boosting or weight loss, the ones that should be on the government banned list.

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But since they’re sold in reputable stores; Wal-mart, Rite Aid and GNC’s 5,400 stores, they must be okay, right? Wrong! Any “get big” or “get ripped quickly” campaigns include supplements to avoid. These companies are making millions a year and paying taxes to our government. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, they need every penny.


And as Bill Phillips, supplement expert, stated in his book on sports supplements, “Bodybuilders and athletes will take anything to get their body off.” And thus an industry is created on the weakness of the mind. In reality, steroid and gangster supplements should be the last thing an athlete should put in his or her body. Steroids shut down your own production of the hormone testosterone, leaving you worse off when you stop their use, and gangster supplements mess with the smooth operation of your body’s systems. So they both actually weaken the body, making it impossible to build a great athletic physique. Dietary supplementation includes vitamins, minerals and amino acids – the building blocks of our DNA.

The big point everyone is missing is that there is a specific natural formula behind achieving a great athletic body. It’s a three-prong plan that involves weight training, nutrition and certain dietary supplementation. When the plan is followed, the individual puts his body in a natural anabolic state where the body runs in a muscle-building, fat-burning testosterone driven mode, which is the optimal conditioning an athlete should strive for. The curriculum we’re talking about here is natural bodybuilding. Unfortunately, because professional bodybuilding has such a bad steroid image, the true art of bodybuilding has been lost as the conditioning tool for every athlete on every playing field. It is an athlete’s responsibility to take care of his tool, by learning everything he can about how the body works and what it requires for optimal performance. Athletes should know how to cook and organize a meal plan. But they can be lazy or are under the belief that natural talent will carry them and may disregard the importance of nutrition, dietary supplementation and weight training. High school and college coaches should warn their athletes about these gangster supplements. Every professional team trainer should give his or her athletes a plan.


Even with all the resources available, pro athletes like Manny Ramirez (making $27 million a year) and Alex Rodriguez ($32 million) obviously haven’t got a clue. If they did there wouldn’t be a Barry Bonds in denial, Mark McGwire taking the fifth or Sammy Sosa spitting on the floor at the congressional hearings in 2005. No disrespect, but athletes making that kind of money should have the best plans and not have to take the cop-out route. Ramirez should not have a low test level at the beginning of this season. He is a cold-blooded baseball he-man and gifted athlete, who with the right plan would have more drive than he would know what to do with. Now that we learn that he tested positive for steroids back in 2003 with the Boston Red Sox, we have the big picture of how athletes coming off steroids will experience poor performance and injury as a result of a huge drop in their natural production of testosterone. It seems quite obvious that for the sake of sensationalism and keeping stadiums packed, a gag order is protecting the players on the drug list.



When Ramirez had compared himself to a mountain only movable by divine force, it was the testosterone talking. But the feeling he had can be attained through natural means. It all boils down to organized nutrition, strength training and dietary supplement, which is the form of stimulation that develops strength and empowerment across the board for a long career and lifetime.


Without sounding too egotistical, I consider myself one of the greatest athletes of our time. I feel I’ve earned this title through a lifetime of hard, continually focused dedication to the art of building the highest caliber athletic machine possible – naturally. During my highly successful high school football and track careers, I was weight training and eating farm raised beef, chicken and fish, and eating vegetables from my mom’s garden. I competed in natural bodybuilding for 15 years, so my foundation was solid before entering the professional ranks. I already had 20” arms and an extremely, naturally muscular physique.


Through my 35 years of professional bodybuilding, steroids were unfortunately an expected part of the protocol. I was first introduced to them in 1975 when I was invited into the professional arena by the “trainer of champions” who presided over these ranks. He sent me to one of his doctors to be given a shot of Deca-durabolin, 200 mg every two weeks 90 days out from competitions. After about five years of this practice, the doctors vanished and we were expected to continue the use of steroids on our own, with the expectations of greater size each year. I am grateful that taking good care of myself with optimal nutrition and supplements paid off and left me with no health issues.


My mastery of bodybuilding is natural and health based. With both experiences, I have insight and knowledge of both approaches. In the last 12 years, I have returned to the completely natural approach and have been able to build my strength, conditioning and health to a level that I had never achieved before, and at 63 years of age.


My goal is to reach out to amateur and professional athletes, making them aware there is an optimal approach to strengthening and conditioning the body, and that you CAN’T get there using the gangster approach. It’s not going to work. There is only one way and it takes hard work, focus and the inner strength to say no when others try to pull you off track. There are no substituting or cutting corners when it comes to discipline. This is what makes the greatest athlete. The time is now for the athlete to represent the highest attainment of human physical ability, and become true role models for young athletes and admiring fans. I think this athlete is sensationalism to the extreme.


On my site , I’ve outlined the exact group of seven supplements I use regularly. You’ll read who I consider highly reputable companies and the list of the basic supplements needed to achieve the natural anabolic state. I call my group The RR Natural Anabolic 7 Pack. With this group, I include an eating and supplement schedule plus an overview of my training approach. Both athletes and bodybuilding clients who were dragging and couldn’t get their bodies in peak condition noticed a difference in their energy, power and muscle firmness within the first month of using the 7 pack. The only limit to what you can have and achieve in your life is the size of your imagination and your commitment to making it a reality.


Check out my blog with the pictures of me this past May in Leeds, England posing with Mr. Natural World Ian Duckett at the Yorkshire Natural Bodybuilding Championship, hosted by the NPA (Natural Physique Association).

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