Dos Equis commercials peddle their fictional man-of-many-feats as the “most interesting man in the world,” but my old friend Stu Yellin can give that old beer drinker a run for his money. I met Stu when we were 5; we spent much of the next decade getting each other in trouble in school, usually when one of us tried to make the other laugh in class by drawing pictures like Spider-Man beating up the teacher (an actual example of a drawing Stu showed me in 12th grade). My art skills never grew past middling (though I did just draw a decent Groot for my kids), but Stu became a major TV cartoonist, drawing the Colbert- and Carrell-voiced “Ace + Gary, The Ambiguously Gay Duo” for SNL, The Tick, and Lizzie McGuire. He then became an art teacher — before becoming a pro bodybuilder too. He got a very late start, competing only as of his early/mid-30s, yet won Pro Cards in various drug-tested federations (most notably the WNBF, the strictest one on substance abuse), and won first place as a middleweight in several “natural bodybuilding” competitions with tough drug testing. He recently needed surgery for a shoulder injury; he now mainly trains bodybuilders from his home base in Queens. Based on this unique set of expertise and experience, and the fact that he’s a very smart guy, I realized Stu was the perfect expert to answer my questions about Alex Rodriguez‘s prospects for remaining a high-level athlete after (a) going off steroids, (b) major injury, (c) a long layoff, and (d) nearing 40.
Scott: Baseball has been cracking down on steroids for years, but part of the question about how someone like A-Rod will do without the stuff depends on this: In your expert opinion, as a champion athlete and trainer of athletes in a field known to have some steroid use, how much do steroids actually help improve performance? Does it depend on the task, like weightlifting versus hitting a baseball? Do you think they improve workout/injury recovery time for mid-late 30s athletes like some claim? Continue reading A-Rod’s Prospects After Steroids, Injury, Time Off, and 40: An Interview with an Expert Athletic Trainer and Champion Bodybuilder