by the Editors
It started in March 2005 with a forum thread titled
"Grateful for Accomplishment".
Since then, the Testosterone
reader who goes by the handle
of Caveman has become something of a local
Why? Probably because he has the kind of physique that most Testosterone
members would like to have. But how did he get
it? How does he train and what does he eat? What role did steroids
play in building that admirable physique?
We tracked the 34-year-old Caveman down to South America.
Trained as a geologist, a profession he still pursues
intermittently, he works as a trainer at a gym in Santiago, Chile,
where he also runs a supplement shop. Although he asked us not to
use his real name, the interview he gave us was frank and
Testosterone Nation: How'd you get started in lifting?
Caveman: I was into sports starting at a young age. At five I
was already trying tennis and very much into gymnastics. My family
was very athletic. My grandpa, an immigrant from Croatia into south
Chile, used to earn money by boxing. He was as strong as an ox, one
of those no-neck, heavy-forearmed guys who could grab your head and
My dad started lifting at a young age, going by a Charles Atlas
book. I've seen his steel shoes and all that. He was also into
boxing. The first gift I remember was a couple of Marvin Hagler
boxing gloves and a homemade chin-up bar.
The chin-up bar was noisy, so my dad expected to hear me perform
three sets of fifteen reps each morning before school. At night, my
brother and I would put on the gloves and beat the shit out of each
I practiced all kind of sports and excelled in gymnastics, going
to a national tournament at the age of nine. I also played tennis
seriously until age 17. I started lifting weights to be better at
sports, and in college I started to focus on that.
It was then that I got a Spanish copy of Muscle &
and started with that. I ate like an animal: rice,
pasta, potatoes, mixed raw egg whites with my oatmeal … you
name it, I did it. The only powder protein was an egg concentrate
that was impossible to dissolve.
After college, in 1997, I came to Santiago, where the Internet
was more easily available. I joined a good gym and realized what a
wimp I was. My standard for "good" had to change. It
wasn't good at all!
It wasn't until 2000, when I started reading Testosterone
that I really started improving, first with
training, then with my nutrition. In 2005 I started the
"Grateful" thread. So when people ask me how much time it
takes to get like this, I answer, "Well, about eight years of
fucking up and four of applying all you've
T-Nation: You've obviously worked very hard in the gym and
applied your nutritional knowledge, but let's be honest here
– some steroid use was involved too, right? You've
mentioned on our forums that you did at least one cycle. Why did
Caveman: Well, I haven't stopped. It's just that a few
years back sources were much more trustworthy. These days down here
you can get cooking oil in your vials, so it's not that
encouraging. This year four bodybuilders died within seven days,
one because of a stroke and the other three were using
Dinitrophenol, a substance used to get extremely lean [that's
also] found in rat poisons.
The first time I used basic stuff like Testosterone, Boldenone
and Stanozolol. It worked great and I did, like, four weeks. Then,
while traveling and living abroad, I never used a thing. Back home,
and after reading a lot, I decided to try again with Trenbolone and
Primobolan in the mix. That's when I was certain about the
I've never done more than two cycles a year and never for
more than five weeks each. For bulking, the steroids help me to
bulk leaner. They're not really worth it if you don't
make a living out of this.
On the other hand, I think that they're a great help to
avoid any muscle loss when leaning. You see a lot of skinny ripped
guys and also huge monsters in the gyms. The first lack quality
mass, and the others have the definition of a dolphin. What's
hard is getting size, muscularity, and
That's where steroids play a bigger role.
You don't see many big and
ripped guys around. And
if you do see them – at the risk of sounding like a cynic
– most of them are on steroids.
I'm totally pro-anabolic steroids; I think all tools
available are fine. Just know what you're doing and don't
use them to jump training and nutrition phases; that won't
work in the long run. I can stop training for up to a month or so
and lose almost no strength or size. Most of what I've got is
mine, not on loan.
These days I still do two cycles a year, but they're three
to four weeks long, something most guys don't understand and
would laugh about. But this is what I've found to be effective
for me and for my goals. Sure, if I wanted to weigh 260 I'd
have to increase the length and amount used, but it's not what
I'm looking for.
T-Nation: What does your wife think of your steroid
Caveman: Let's start by saying that I got married six
months ago, after two years of dating and 10 years of knowing each
other. Being in the same circles and knowing each other for that
long, well, it's like we knew everything about each other, so
it was never an issue.
She also lifts, although she doesn't love it like I do.
We've talked about my steroid use and we share the same ideas.
The one thing that really worries her is our future kids. Their
health, and before that, getting pregnant and having a good
pregnancy, is of first importance. This is one of the reasons for
me to keep 'roids to a minimum while still getting the
benefits. I have to stay healthy and functional.
On the other hand, my wife likes well-built bodies and envies a
bit the fact that there's so much more stuff for guys than for
women, and that the side effects are intensified or more noticeable
T-Nation: You don't seem to care that you're talking
about steroid use in an article that contains your photos.
Aren't you worried about legal issues? Or at least worried
that people may find out, like your father-in-law or your
Caveman: I'm my own boss so that's not a problem.
Steroids are still in a gray area of the law down here: not legal,
but not illegal. Many of the big guys go to places like here to
bulk; it's easier to focus on training if you don't have
to worry about legal matters.
T-Nation: How easy is it to get steroids in Chile?
Caveman: Quite easy. There are no precise or established laws or
criteria. Test and nandrolone are bought over the counter at any
drugstore. You can get them cheaper in the black market but why
risk it? Oral stanozolol you can have prepared at some drugstores
with no prescription. HGH is also available at your local
All the other stuff comes from Argentina, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru,
and Paraguay. You don't find much Eastern European or Asian
gear, and most is counterfeit or fake. You find human and animal,
real, fake, and counterfeit at lower doses. You can easily get
T-Nation: What do you think you'd look like without
steroids? In other words, how much of your physique can be credited
to drug use?
Caveman: I guess somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 lean pounds
are due to steroid use. I've been 200 to 205 pounds drug-free
and looking good. Not rock-hard, but good.
Steroids are just a tool — a great
tool — but you have
to know what you're doing. If it was easy the streets would be
packed full of 240-pound ripped guys, but you don't see many.
T-Nation: What was your physique like when you started
Caveman: I was skinny. When I started lifting in college I was
160 pounds at 5'9". My idea of being fit was nothing like
today. Hardness, vascularity, size, body-fat distribution ... I
didn't have a clue about all that.
T-Nation: Have you ever competed in bodybuilding?
Caveman: I'm asked that a lot, but I've never seen
myself as having enough size to be on a stage. I've always
strived for a fit look, a bit bigger than usual, but focusing more
on strength and performance.
At 220, I can do most of the things I used to do in gymnastics.
I'm fast, have endurance, and my gymnastics background helps a
lot. Athletically, I want to be able to do anything I want in the
Le Mensonge peut courir un an, la vérité le rattrape en un jour, dit le sage Haoussa
se SURPASSER ,ne JAMAIS ABDIQUER,TOUJOURS RESTER HUMBLE