Monday, December 06, 2004

Supplements for your brain!!

Last Friday (Dec 3,2004), on ABC (I think it was 20/20) there was an interview with Victor Conte. Conte is the CEO of Balco, the company that supposedly gave steroids to famous world-class athletes like Marion Jones, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, and others. What is interesting is that during the interview he revealed that by using his chemical enhancement program coupled with a rigorous training regimen he took average athletes and made them into the best athletes in the world.

I do not endorse what Balco did, it was wrong not only because using steroids gives you an unfair advantage, but also because using steroids is bad for your body in the long run.

20/20 showed how nearly all of the athletes mentioned above broke world records after they had worked with Conte. Conte revealed some details of his chemical enhancement program; calendars indicating what substances to take on a day to day basis and revealing details of the substances used and why. What was most impressive was that he had "project world record" where he took an average sprinter and made him into the fastest sprinter in the world.

Many would say that using steroids is akin to using a cheat sheet on a test, but this is not a valid analogy. Steroids enhance your body's ability to perform; you do not have to rely on machinery outside of your body. Using a cheat sheet is more analogous to attaching a motor to move your legs faster. Using Steroids is unfair to those honest athletes who don't want to use them.

Though many of these athletes had preexisting talent and ability many of them where simply average in their sport. Not only that, they where most likely competing against others who had more ability and also used steroids. So steroids alone don't guarantee you will be the best, you need a well-designed training regimen as well.

I asked myself could something similar be applied to standardized tests??? Could one design a program to take an average person with average "abilities" and make them score in the 99th percentile on the SAT or GRE, without cheating?? This will basically guarantee your entrance into any university you want. It would be beneficial to research safe and legal substances that increase our ability to think and perform coupled with a training regimen. We can plan our day to day activities to increase our ability to solve problems and decrease the time spent on solving problems.

We can learn much from Balco, that sometimes what seems impossible is possible.

John G.


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