In The Media

Iron Man Magazine – Fall 2019

In Douglas D. Grant’s 2nd Iron Man Magazine Publisher’s Letter, he dived into GMO LABELING & STEROIDS. He mentioned that the goal is for the world to realize that “training to achieve the ultimate physique and performance level naturally is not an alternative, it should be the norm.” Think about it.

PICTURED: Denny Kakos, Denise Kakos, Randall Pich, Ashley White, Doug Grant
PICTURED: Denny Kakos, Denise Kakos, Randall Pich, Ashley White, Douglas D. Grant PHOTO BY: Per Bernal @perbernalphoto


This title may seem off-topic for a publisher’s letter, but I think you will see the connection. To begin, let’s first discuss Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMOs make food look and sometimes even taste better. The problem we often face with these gene modifications is that there is a large potential for negative side effects and health issues. The seed makers and food manufacturers that specialize in genetically modifying food won’t admit it, but when told that they needed to simply disclose the fact that those specific foods were considered GMO and label them as such so the public could make an informed decision, they spend millions lobbying in protest. Therefore, it’s often hard to differentiate between a tomato that has come from organic origins or one that was modified with firefly DNA to result in a longer shelf life.


While many parents stand in the produce section of the grocery store contemplating which pack of bell peppers to purchase, the fitness community is begging for clear and transparent representation on steroids (and all other PEDs).

There are two types of fitness enthusiasts. The first type takes PEDs and knowingly deceives others by not disclosing that their PED usage is a part of their program. This group includes many other bodybuilding and fitness magazines because many of the models or athletes within, promoting exercise and nutritional programs, are taking PEDs, but it is not disclosed as part of their regimen. This can easily create false hope for the individuals purchasing the magazine in the belief of following said program to yield the same results. It is not fair or ethical to the unaware consumer buying these periodicals believing the bodies they see are obtainable ONLY through the programs shown within the pages. The choice to openly deceive has cost many people health and the sport of bodybuilding the chance to compete as an Olympic sport.

People often realize a few years deep into training and nutrition that it took more to achieve the physique of their favorite athlete or influencer. Feeling there’s no other option, they then choose to give in to the temptation of PEDs to obtain the physique they once set their mind on. If the use of PEDs would have been disclosed from the beginning, the individual would have been able to make an informed decision while weighing both the pros and cons. I have heard from so many people that unknowingly fell into this trap and felt the pressure to do whatever it took to achieve their goal and later came to regret it terribly.

We understand that there is a large multitude of individuals legally taking hormone replacement therapies that were prescribed by a medical professional. All we ask is that those individuals fully disclose that information so others that look up to them as motivation can make an informed decision for themselves.

There are others that, rather than hide their involvement, tout PEDs to the public as not only beneficial but healthy. Many supplement companies promote the use of PEDs, making them easier to obtain. Not only are PEDs illegal, but many products are tainted or cut with cheap, harmful chemicals. It is much too easy for our youth and others to fall victim to the allure of PEDs without being made aware of the possible harm, both physically and mentally.

The second type of fitness enthusiasts are those who openly promote a PED free lifestyle. They work hard, naturally, to build their best physique possible. Many sports organizations have realized the importance of allowing only tested athletes to participate and now test at high levels (i.e. the Olympics). Natural bodybuilding organizations, like the INBA PNBA, are finally being recognized within the fitness industry. Even the great Arnold Schwarzenegger recently commented on the need to clean up the sport by testing bodybuilders for PEDs and banned substances.

During the photoshoot with Live Fit Apparel’s CEO, Randall Pich, I was talking with the great photographer, Per Bernal. He asked what the long-term goal for Iron Man was now that we’re focusing on this alternative (drug tested) promotion of bodybuilding and fitness. I told him that the goal is for the world to realize that “training to achieve the ultimate physique and performance level naturally is not an alternative, it should be the norm.” Think about it. The best athletes on planet earth are Olympians and they are tested at the highest level for PEDs. Steroid users within the Olympics are labeled as cheaters and are banned from participating. Shouldn’t the same hold true for bodybuilding?

Everyone has a choice and I don’t believe that should be taken away. But, everyone should have to be honest about steroid use in organizations, magazines, and social media, especially when a specific program is being touted as “how” that physique was achieved.


If you truly believe that GMOs are fine, then it shouldn’t be a problem to disclose the use of them on labels. Bodybuilding organizations and media sources that think it’s ok to openly promote steroid users as a means to sell products or seats at shows, should also disclose that the participants are taking PEDs to ensure spectators can make informed decisions. This change in promotion will not cause a loss in competitors or spectators, but it will stop the damage that deception can cause.

Yours in health,

  Douglas D. Grant – Co-Owner, Publisher