Whether you agree with steroid use or not, it is important to address this issue when discussing fitness. Many people see steroids as a way to cut corners and reach their fitness or exercise goals effortlessly, but the truth is that this is not the case.
Steroid use is quite a science in the literal sense, and can lead to physical harm because those who take it manipulate their body’s hormones to achieve a specific goal. Some men prefer to buy Dianabol to add bulk or Anavar to increase strength without losing muscle mass. Even women are known to use lighter substances like anavar or winstrol to help build muscle mass. There are so many different steroid compounds and the average person might think that taking steroids for performance enhancement and seeing improvement is more than that.
Using one of the examples above, Dianabol (a potent oral steroid) is both anabolic as well as androgenic which means it significantly boosts protein synthesis, helping bodybuilders to pack up to 30lbs in a single 6-8 week cycle. Although keep in mind that much of this weight is “water weight”, users can still pack significant muscle filling and keep it after the cycle if they are careful. The problem is that a lot of people don’t. Some steroids are fragrant (i.e. Dianabol) which means their body replaces the abundance of testosterone with estrogen which will cause side effects – such as gynecomastia (swelling of breast tissue) in men, swelling, mood swings and more. It is also incredibly hepatotoxic so it is difficult for the liver and can be harmful if used for a long time or if the user has problems before.
The biggest side effect for women (along with possible liver damage) is the risk of virilization. Just as excessive estrogen in men can cause female characteristics, so too excessive testosterone in women can cause male development. This may include a deeper voice, more masculine face and other changes. As a result, men often use an AI (otherwise known as an aromatase inhibitor) that can inhibit the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, the steroids known to convert. Women on the other hand may choose to use only mild steroids and try to avoid virilization in very small doses but the risk is always there.
Something else happens with even the mildest steroid use that suppresses testosterone in men. After a few weeks of using anabolic steroids, the body stops producing its own testosterone. As a result, it is often recommended to add a version of testosterone to prevent side effects (such as testosterone propionate, undecanoate, enanthate, cypionate, sustanon, etc.). More importantly, there is something called post-cycle therapy that involves using a SERM (or selective estrogen receptor modulator) that can help the body block estrogen and re-make its own testosterone. Failure to do so could result in loss of any benefits while “on the bike”.
To avoid liver damage, steroid users must stick to injectable compounds that are not known to be hepatotoxic; Use only one oral steroid at a time; Use the lowest possible dose to reach their goal; And keep the cycle length as short as possible. Many professionals recommend drinking plenty of water and using a supplement such as milk thistle to prevent liver damage. People who use steroids frequently have their blood work tested before, during and after the cycle to monitor their progress. The above side effects are only brief.
As you can see, it takes much more than a needle or a pill to see results. Each steroid is a derivative of testosterone and has its own properties that can help men and women achieve a specific goal. However, even after choosing the right compound, using the right dosage and using the right supplements – eating properly and choosing a suitable workout routine is still important. Failure to do so would mean that the cycle would be in vain.
So to answer the question – is it possible to use steroids responsibly? Yes it is. However, it has a science that many ignore and as a result get themselves into trouble. Added to this is the legitimacy that varies depending on what part of the world you live in or the sport you participate in. For this reason it is recommended to go the natural route.