If you are an avid gym goer, you have most probably been around or heard of many types of anabolic androgenise steroids, most commonly referred to as gear, juice or rounds. These types of drugs help to improve performance and/or growth in muscles. In the bodybuilding industry it has been an explicit subject with many famous names claiming natural. We the general public and people who follow the industry are 99.9 % aware of what goes on and how these bodybuilders get a bit of a boost to help them get in peak shape. For years, steroids were not talked about in the industry and were deemed almost unthinkable to admit usage of such performance enhancing substances. In recent years there has been more openness on the subject and the truth has come out. Most people who trains can spot an individual who is taking some sort of enhancement, it’s not rocket science in most cases. The fact influencing bodybuilders promote protein powders to act like that’s the source of their gains is just hilarious. Who are they kidding now? Nobody.
It’s better be truthful and be real with the consumers than be a fake natty right?
So who really needs to take these types of enhancing substances and why? Well from the above you’d already guess that the majority of professional bodybuilders who compete will be taking a stack to accompany them to peak swoleness, apart from natural bodybuilders who compete in only natural contests. Then again, even these guys could get away with taking something on their journey to the stage, they just need to be clever with how they come off and know how long certain substances are traceable in the system for.
My personal experience
From the age of 15 I had been training and going to the gym. My physique was a huge part of my life (not to sound vein) but you know how it is. Looking good and working out has such a feel good factor and if I say so myself, my physique was pretty damn good.
I decided to take my training and push my limits to the next level and looked into competing in the mens physique division. I set a date and a show for around 8 months down the line and went at it with tunnel vision. After the 1st year of competing I managed to get my invite to the British finals for the men’s physique division (it took my 3 shows to get there) I was so happy with what I had managed to achieve with my physique naturally. But when it came to show day, I saw all the guys that were a lot bigger than me, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I felt overwhelmed and knew I didn’t have a chance in my category. I was right, I placed 11th out of 20 which isn’t too bad for the 1st year of competing naturally but for me that wasn’t good enough.
On the day of the show I got speaking to a few other guys competing, chatting about prep, what food we are craving and going to have post show, the usually chit chat. But something I wasn’t as familiar with...they were all asking what stack I was taking. I was like stack? What you mean by stack? Lol. They went on to say all these weird names of all the types of enhancing drugs their coach had put them on from winstrol to trenbuterol act. I was just thinking, what the F. Here I am all natural trying to compete against guys that are “juiced” up to their eyeballs? How is that level pegging? The realisation then hit me that pretty much all of these guys were taking some kind of steroid. I was totally disheartened, confused and angry that the sport has gotten to this. People will do anything to win, they will take anything to help them get that extra 5% needed for a victory. To me at first I thought this was “cheating” but I soon came to distinguish it wasn’t cheating as everyone was doing it.
From that day, the biggest decision and question was of my life needed to be answered and decided...”do I start taking something to put me on level legging with everyone else?” Like honestly I hated it, I was so proud to have my physique and be all natural. I didn’t want to go to the dark side, because my natural status would be ruined for me. On the other hand, there was no point competing if I didn’t take some enhancing substances, and nobody believed I was natural anyway so to others it wouldn’t be any difference. It was just my personal belief that struggled to come to terms with me not being natural and proud anymore.
After around a month of going back and forth and speaking with friends and family, I decided to take myself out of the realms of natural and start experimenting with the juicy stuff. Along with my diet being on point and my training being 110% every session my strength increases well by week and muscle growth was running along parallel. I am not going to go into the exact figures but just to give you an idea of how I progressed, I went from squatting 170kg 1RM to 200Kg 1RM within 8 months. All my gym wear went from a medium to a Large, in some cases even extra large.
Now it must be said, the spectrum of steroids has/can have some nasty side effects and if I’m honest, I wouldn’t go back on them ever again. For me just wanting to be fit and healthy with a decent enough physique, there is no point in putting my body in potential danger just to look abit bigger.
Some side effects that can come from anabolic androgenise steroids are:
- Acne along with increased oily hair and skin
- Indigestion or heartburn
- Increased appetite
- High blood pressure
- Mood swings and mental health problems
- Weakening of bones (osteoporosis)
- Toxic liver levels.
- Eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts
These are just a few to mention.
It is crucial to make clear IF you are ever thinking of taking steroids, do your research. Speak to well known sources, even your doctor. It shouldn’t be taken lightly and be 110% this is the right thing for you.