A sudden and rapid appreciation by this group is unlikely, to say the least. The findings of MLB aging curve studies are consistent: players get worse as they get older. In a study by Jeff Zimmerman of FanGraphs, players from 1995 to 2005 showed a steady increase in home run production before tapering off after their 30th birthday . From 2006 to 2013, the curve changed to a consistent decline that began closer to age 25. In other words, in the post-PED era, a player’s power production is immediately on the downswing after he hits his 24th or 25th birthday.
This obsession has become so common that Dr. Pope has come up with a term for it: Adonis Complex. What fuels it, he says, are the ridiculously outsized bodies purveyed by Hollywood, magazine covers, and even action-toy manufacturers (just check out the size of . Joe these days). "One of the biggest lies being handed to American men today is that you can somehow attain by natural means the huge shoulders and pectorals of the biggest men in the magazines," says Dr. Pope. "Generations of young men are working hard in the gym and wondering what on earth they're doing wrong. They don't realize that the 'hypermale' look that's so prevalent these days is essentially unattainable without steroids."