Steroids vs Natural: The Muscle Building Effects Of Steroid UseThe Question If someone is thinking about using steroids, what's your advice for them? You should probably skip 'em. But get on TRT testosterone replacement therapy when you can. The i think i need steroids folks risks of taking testosterone cream "succeed" with i think i need steroids steroivs usually older, wiser, more intelligent men with families, real jobs, real responsibilities, and a long background of lifting naturally and learning everything they can about training and diet. These guys tend not to get too crazy with the drugs.
Thinking about steroids? Here are some tips.
The Question If someone is thinking about using steroids, what's your advice for them? You should probably skip 'em. But get on TRT testosterone replacement therapy when you can.
The only folks who "succeed" with steroids are usually older, wiser, more intelligent men with families, real jobs, real responsibilities, and a long background of lifting naturally and learning everything they can about training and diet. These guys tend not to get too crazy with the drugs. But for everyone else, I've observed two interesting things about regular-guy steroid users, meaning, guys who just wanna get huge and aren't high level bodybuilders, powerlifters or athletes:.
In other words, everything comes a whole lot easier. Just about any kind of training will work, as will just about any kind of diet. The gains come so quickly and easily that the young steroid user never actually has to learn much. Everything works while he's "on. There are exceptions of course, but not many. Which leads to the second point. No, he doesn't die. But he does quit, often never returning to the gym. How does that happen? Well, for various reasons — legal, financial, spousal, health-related reasons, job-related reasons, etc.
His gains fade and suddenly "lifting doesn't work," or at least it doesn't seem to compared to juiced training. You're not going to keep those gains. Christian Thibaudeau once brilliantly called the steroid-derived body a "rented physique. I've known a dozen guys who loved to train, then only loved to train when they were on something, then when they couldn't be on something they just didn't go to the gym.
Again, "what's the point? Now, they could still build plenty of muscle and reap all the amazing benefits of the iron, but remember, they're "steroid dumb" now.
They never really learned how to keep natural progress coming. Their toolboxes contain an old, bent wrench and nothing else. Also, a guy will likely never get back to where he was when he was using.
That's a lot to deal with. And once his identity becomes "the big guy," can he handle becoming the "merely medium" guy? So my general advice is to skip the 'roids. Get your testosterone levels tested as you age and the moment you're eligible for doctor-prescribed TRT, get on it.
Be happy with a nice, healthy "high but normal" T level. You'll feel better, perform better, and get better results in the gym than you would without TRT.
Given all the drawbacks of long-term steroid usage, all the stigma and all the asterisks, that should be good enough for the psychologically well-adjusted man. I'd tell him to go ahead, assuming he's at least 25 years old and doing it for bodybuilding purposes, and not so he can be physically capable of exacting revenge from the guy who snapped his tushie with a wet towel in 7th grade, or something equally stupid.
I'd tell him that if he has the self control to do it safely and smartly, a steroid cycle would finally let him know how the assorted high-level bodybuilders, preternaturally gifted athletes, and action movie stars who manage to transform their formerly non-descript physiques into superhero bodies in just a few short months are able to look or perform so phenomenally well. He'll marvel at just how fast the muscle piles up and the fat melts off, pretty much regardless of how sophisticated his training program is or how good or bad his diet is.
I'd tell him that he'd likely retain some of the gained muscle, half if he's lucky, but more importantly, he'd gain some understanding and peace of mind. It's possible that he'll no longer feel genetically screwed or think he's doing something wrong if he didn't bulk up in a short amount of time, or his body fat didn't easily shrink to low single-digits, or if he failed to hit his bench press goals in 3 weeks, because he'll finally understand where that kind of progress often comes from.
And more than that, he can stop ascribing some special knowledge to the monsters who profess to be weightlifting Jedi masters simply because they had a kamikaze, take-a-deep-breath-and-jump attitude to steroids and were willing to take amounts that cause even steroid-savvy people to go slack jawed in amazement. The fact is, most of them don't know any more about training than he does. On the technical side, I'd advise him to stay away from orals and use injectables, preferably just some ester of testosterone, and use the lowest amount that works — probably at least mg.
I'd recommend he stay on it for 12 weeks and then stop cold turkey for a couple of weeks before taking tamoxifen for two to four weeks. Lastly, I'd advise him to be especially mindful on any a-holey tendencies he might have. There's of course no such thing as 'roid rage, especially at the low dosages I recommended, but the extra testosterone might bring those tendencies to the surface faster and he'll find himself getting all red and veiny-necked because the coffee shop was out of Truvia and he had to use goddam Splenda instead.
Dave Tate once said, "gear is your ace card. And for a lot of guys, especially the ones that get on too early, it becomes a cycle of upping the dose, because they didn't take enough years out to learn how to train and eat properly first.
Each time they come to a road block they go back to "what should I take? Your foundation for muscle growth and strength should be acquired before a needle ever finds its way into your ass. And way too many guys these days get on way too young, so they have no clue how to eat or train properly. They have no idea how their body recovers naturally, they don't take time out to develop good technique, and they don't experiment with years of growth and seasons of leaning out.
They never learn their bodies. All of the lessons you learn during your natural years serve you once you're enhanced. Guys should be putting in at least 7 years of hard training and learning how to eat for performance or physique improvement before they ever consider doing a cycle.
And guys in their teens have NO business doing anabolics. If you're hitting the sauce hard just to be the "big guy in the gym" or among your circle of friends, then most likely there are some deep-seeded issues in your personal life that you need to rectify first, and I mean that in all sincerity. Sending yourself to an early grave or wrecking your endocrine system just so your gym buddies think you're swole speaks volumes about your lack of self worth.
And not to sound preachy, most males go through this. We all want affirmation and respect from our peers. But no one is going to respect you while you're getting kidney dialysis because your dose was "always fill the syringe and take a handful. Gear is your last card to play, if you need to play it at all. And it's the one you should put the most amount of thought into before you play it. Obviously, I have moral, legal, and ethical concerns about using PEDs.
I have seen too many friends and former competitors pay a high price for the injuries, but let's ignore the obvious.
Here's my biggest issue: Honestly, most good insights in training work once. Plyometrics, if you read the original studies, demanded a double bodyweight squat before venturing into the boxes and bounds.
From there, plyos work wonders Isometrics are another amazing bolt of lightning to fix specific issues in training I've had two friends who were absolute responders to anabolics. Their improvements weren't just "a little. But there's another side to it — those who don't respond all that much. Another buddy of mine once asked if I was juicing. I said "no" and he told me that he had been "on" for two seasons.
He wasn't very good, and God only knows how bad he would be clean. Dick Notmeyer warned me about this when steroids were legal: To keep those PED gains, you will need to always be on them. Once you start, you need to stay on them, stack more, and add more to keep those gains.
I have yet to meet an athlete who can deal with diminishing performance. And then that's it. You can jump two years of normal progression in less than two months in some cases, but you won't have those two years of experience and insight.
Do what you want. I don't care, but I have always agreed with Dick Notmeyer on this bit of advice: It'll stick with you. I have nothing against steroids per se well, except the legality thing as long as it's done "within the rules" and while taking precautions to reduce health risks yes, they exist. Those who compete in "natural" physique competitions while using steroids or growth hormone, thyroid, clenbuterol, SARMs, and other banned substances are unethical.
Men and women have the option to compete in non-tested competitions where pretty much everything goes! So if you have to compete enhanced to hold your own against those competing naturally, then you're a loser. And don't give me the "yeah but lots of people use steroids in the Olympics and they're banned" excuse. But that's probably not much better. So everybody who wants to compete ought to compete at the same place. In physique sports you have the choice!
Want to use drugs? But go compete with those who also use drugs. If this is your rationalization, then realize that there isn't a "natural competition," "just a little drugs competition" and "juiced to the gills competition. Pick the one you fit into; these are your only choices. Now, regarding the health risks. The worst thing to do is bury your head in the sand.
Anytime you mess with your natural physiology things can go wrong. Sometimes they're short term, sometimes not.
In some cases side effects will only show up decades later.