He came up with it after years of studying steroid users in Boston-area gyms and comparing them not just to non-steroid users in the same gyms, but also to bodybuilders from different eras. For a 1995 study, Pope and his coauthors estimated the FFMIs of Mr. America winners from 1939 to 1959, before steroids were readily available. The group includes future B-movie star Steve Reeves, whose physique was so iconic that he was name-checked in The Rocky Horror Picture Show . The average FFMI was . (One of the highest was George Eiferman, Mr. America 1948, with a FFMI. His upper body was later the model for George of the Jungle, a 1960s cartoon character.) Even today, with all we’ve learned about training and nutrition, an FFMI in the mid 20s is still considered the ceiling for natural bodybuilders. Anything above 26 or 27 is suspect.
One of the most obvious signs that someone is a steroid user is that they have huge traps. Traps are not muscle groups that are easily developed, and most natural bodybuilders have traps that are much smaller in comparison to their other body parts. On the other hand, steroid users have huge traps in most cases because traps have high levels of androgen receptors, which means that they respond well to steroids. When you look at pictures of Dwayne Johnson he not only has huge traps, his traps are now much larger than they were when he was a younger man.