By Amber Elizabeth Dodzweit


Scandals break out all the time exposing professional athletes and their use of performance enhancing drugs. We all gasp in astonishment that our favorite heroes would ever dare use illegal substances. In an instant, their untarnished façade comes tumbling down into a pile of used steroid needles. We relied on these role models to represent the superhuman, to show us that the impossible is possible and to act as a marker for what the human body is capable of. Then, when we realize they cheated we’re left only with cynicism and disappointment…feeling completely fooled and betrayed.


As the fitness industry continues to infiltrate more and more homes throughout the world and leave an imprint on the mainstream marketplace – I believe that the “wild wild west” antics that go on behind the scenes need to begin to not only become exposed but monitored.


Lets take this from the top. A star struck aspiring fitness model attends the Olympia in Las Vegas this coming September. As they stand in line with sweaty palms waiting to take a picture with their favorite fitness personality they rehearse their opening “hello” and envision their pose for the photo. As they near the front of the line and see in the flesh what they’ve only seen on their vision board at home, they are in awe. Every muscle and every vein is on display as they snap the photo with their larger than life fitness celebrity. Our little “fit-fan” has now bought the entire line of supplements from the company that endorses their fitness hero. They kill themselves in the gym everyday, sometimes twice a day and the mirror never…ever…begins to reflect anything close to what they saw that day. They now have two options…Quit or reach for the substances that they know will give them the results they want. The substances that their dream body has been taking all along.  Steriods, GH, off –the-market fat burners, Testosterone, you name it. Our industry isn’t shy about promoting bodies that are science experiments. I mean look at that pump, CLEARLY it’s the pre-workout….#BS

We’re flat out lying to people. It’s not the pre-workout, it’s not the fat burner, it’s not their workouts. More fitness personalities than I want to admit are dipping into black-market type methods to get them results that they then claim are from their endorsed supplements. Meanwhile, our fit-fans are going broke buying anything and everything they can to achieve even a quarter of what they see.

Imagine if there was a list of every fitness celebrity using illegal substances that was available to the public., including plastic surgery “additions”.  Imagine if these personalities were tested at random in order to be held accountable to the example they’re setting for people all over the world. I think maybe the results you hope to achieve would then make a lot more sense. Listen, to each their own- you want to basically take another form of crack-cocaine to stay lean? Go on with your bad-self, but don’t dress like a wolf in lambs pajamas and claim it’s all natural. Own your methods so those that look to you have full disclosure on what it takes to look the way you do.

When runway models back in the earlier 2000s began showing up to walk fashion shows looking emaciated…guess what happened. PEOPLE SPOKE UP. Diane Von Furstenberg refused to let them walk at NY fashion week with out an acceptable BMI, agencies overseas established guidelines the models had to follow, and at the end of the day when they didn’t adhere to the new set of rules…they weren’t used.

Fitness has existed in it’s own niche for years now. Stringer tanks and roid-induced “backne” will never ever disappear (although I wish they would). But with more eyes than ever looking to fitness for direction, we should all be taking more accountability for our messaging both in and out of the public eye. Next time you take your scissors to your favorite fitness magazine to add to your vision board…ask yourself If they’re playing you as the fool.






  • Awesome article there needs to be more people like you in the industry!!!!! #truth

    Tracey on

  • Andrea-

    I completely understand what you are saying about promoting different body types and not providing an unrealistic expectation for our #clutcharmy. More importantly that their bodies- our selection of athletes came from each individual having HUGELY inspirational stories. Every athlete the brand has signed has overcome unspeakable odds that go to show how determined and strong they were. Their bodies are a great bonus and massive assets when we present in the mainstream market. The look grabs the attention- and their story keeps people there. Thanks so much for your perspective on this I really appreciate it:)

    Amber Dodzweit on

  • Morgan- I can assure you that nobody on the Clutch Team has ever, or will ever participate in the use of steroids or any other illegal substances. The results you see are because of science. :)

    Amber Dodzweit on

  • Truth

    Todd Willis on

  • Great message. What people see when an athlete is on stage for competition is a snapshot which may only last for an hour. It presents an unrealistic view of what to strive for in fitness.

    Brad Klanecky on

  • I’ll be honest, I’ve questioned whether the Clutch athletes use drugs (steroids, etc.) .. And again, I’m honestly still skeptical.. I don’t get the impression that the fact that they DON’T use is talked about too often.. I’m sick of being lied to and I’ld appreciate even a private message of honesty. Nothing bothers me about people that use them, I just don’t want to expect Ashley Conrad abs without using drugs.. if she’s using..

    Thanks, sorry.

    Morgan Stroup on

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