Those before and after pics were taken on the same day — as demonstrated in the new documentary "Bigger Stronger Faster." It's an excellent documentary, mostly about steroid use — but also about hypocrisy, competition, and fakery.
The subtitle is "The Side Effects of Being American." Watch the trailer to get a decent idea of how that angle works:
If you want to laugh at Henry Waxman, this is your movie.
From the review by Beth Accomando:
Since [the director Christopher] Bell hangs out with people like his brothers that have no problems with using steroids, the pro-steroid camp definitely gets to have a say in the movie. So some people will probably see the film as biased in favor of steroids. Contributing to the perception of the film as pro-steroid is the fact that the people Bell does let talk about the negative side of steroid use often come off looking like idiots....Accomando interviews Bell. Excerpt:
But in the end I think Bell is not so much pro-steroids but rather eager to open up a debate about the drug...
BETH ACCOMANDO: Were you surprised by people like Congressman Waxman who seemed so ill-prepared for the interview?This made me go back and watch the old Bloggingheads segment I did with Stephen Kaus. Skaus wanted to talk about the steroid controversy, and I was just trying to be a good sport about his topic. So it's a little odd that I went to the movie. But, basically, I like documentaries and it got great reviews. I recommend it.
CHRIS BELL: It's weird because I'm not a journalist and I wasn't a documentary filmmaker when I started this journey so I was super nervous because I had never interviewed a congressman before and when I asked him why are steroids illegal and he turns to his assistant and says, "Are they illegal?" And I thought oh my god this is the guy who called the baseball hearings and he doesn't even know what he's talking about. That's really interesting to me because we really uncovered how we don't always have the facts when we are making the laws in this country. So I question in the movie why steroids became illegal in the first place. So I wanted to explore both the myths of steroids and the bad side effects of steroids and the possible positive medical applications as well.
There's a lot of interesting materials about the Bell family and the culture of male competition. Much of this was presented as "American" — as if Americans care about winning more than others or are more willing to cheat to win (or bullshit that it's not really cheating). There were a few ham-handed attempts to connect muscular sports competition to American foreign policy, but there was plenty of material about drugged-up muscle men from other countries to undercut that theory. (Like this guy.) I mean, the Michael Moore influence was definitely present, but Michael Moore can't bench press 705 pounds.