Some frightening recent statistics have shown that dependant on your area, as many as 1 in 4 guys at your gym are using some sort of anabolic steroid right now.
For drugs which are illegal to sell in the UK those are pretty tough statistics to swallow. That said, the simple truth is that many of us will at some point come in to contact with anabolic steroids.
Perhaps you’re already training with someone who uses them.
With the media hype around fitness and muscle gaining, including the latest media fad ‘bigorexia’ becoming a hot topic it’s not hard to see why so many guys, particularly the younger guys coming in to the fitness industry, would and likely will consider the use of anabolic steroids.
So with that in mind we wanted to post a non-biased quick list of things you should know when weighing up your options.
The Problem with Anabolic Steroids
The biggest problem with anabolic steroids, quite simply, is that they work. It would be easy to say they don’t help you gain size faster but the truth is at least in basic principle, they do what you’d expect them to do.
If we just keep things basic and look at this from a viewpoint of someone taking a standard Testosterone steroid, this person will likely recover faster from workouts, feel stronger and be able to lift more weight.
They will likely retain a little extra water in their muscle tissue and as a result, appear to be gaining more mass very quickly. Not to mention that high testosterone levels provide a feeling of confidence which many users enjoy.
1 in 4 guys in your gym and most other gyms in the country aren’t forking out a few hundred quid every few months and jabbing themselves in the glutes with thick needles for the hell of it. There are performance and muscle development benefits to the use of steroids and there is no denying that using these drugs will help you build muscle faster.
How have these Anabolic Steroids been produced?
Ok so let’s skip over the obvious consideration that producing and selling anabolic steroids in the UK is illegal but consider it in our next point.
Now, if you are going to buy steroids, where are you going to buy them from? There’s always ‘that guy’ in every gym who can get you steroids.
This guy doesn’t have a license; and let’s face it, chances are he doesn’t have a doctorate. But you are trusting this person to give you advice on medication or drugs, telling you what to buy and then you’re trusting what he’s given you is in fact what he says it is.
You have no way to test this, you only have the word of, well, a drug dealer, as to the quality of the product and where it has come from.
There’s every chance this oil you’ve been given was knocked up in a rented garage at night by guys who like our crafty salesman, aren’t licensed or qualified to produce compounds like that you are buying.
So long story short, you are risking your health on a leap of faith 99% of the time as to the quality and truthful nature of the item when you buy something illegal like this.
Side Effects of Anabolic Steroids
Ok this is where things get a little tricky but we’re going to try and give a general overview here as we don’t want to start speculating or providing information we don’t have a reliable source for.
Now, anabolic steroids as a general rule come with side effects to the user above and beyond the positives you’ve purchased them for.
The degree and likelihood of side effects varies depending on a few factors. The type of steroid used, the dose used, how often it’s used and for how long a period of continual time you’re using them for without a break.
Here are some generic side affects you can potentially expect:
Ok we’ve got to nip this one it the butt early on and get it out of the way. Despite childish media portrayal and playground style insults, anabolic steroids will NOT cause your penis to shrink.
We put the word ‘not’ in bold and underlined there just so that hits home. This is a completely fabricated myth, though it does come from a misplaced truth.
While your penis size will not be affected, your two veg could be in a risky position.
The official medical term is Hypogonadism. Unusually high levels of hormones (testosterone and oestrogen) in the human body can actually cause the body to reduce and even stop production of hormones in an attempt to balance itself.
In men, adding lots of testosterone in to their body over an extended period, the testicles eventually reduce or even entirely shut down the natural testosterone production. This can lead to them shrinking in physical size alongside the halt in natural production.
This can be reversed, however many considerably worse side effects can come with reaching a stage of Hypogonadism which has even been suggested to include likelihood of testicular tumours developing.
Another one which is a half-truth. None the less you should know going in.
Not all steroids will affect hair loss but some of them certainly will, the extent of which is down to the individual. The basic understanding of this side effect is that if your family is prone to hair loss, receding hair and general balding, using certain steroids can aggravate and accelerate this process.
Meaning that if at some point in your life you were likely to suffer this anyway, the use of anabolic steroids could bring it forwards significantly. This is not temporary either; you won’t regrow lost hair when you stop taking the juice.
As usual this is based on what you use and if you are potentially prone to acne and bad skin in the first place. But acne on the face, neck and back is a very common side effect of anabolic steroid use.
Whenever you’re taking hormones, you are prone to hormonal imbalances and even a potential reduction in your immune system function.
Not forgetting as well that injectable steroids are often oil based, which enough on its own to cause some angry acne to appear.
We’re nothing if not economic here. If you’ve been bodybuilding or aspiring to be a bodybuilder, then by now you will have realised that it is not a cheap sport.
Gym memberships, the sheer volume of quality food you need, the cost of your supplements and then probably some sort of massage therapy or even personal training/coaching all adds up!
Steroids are not cheap, and let’s face it, would you trust a bottle of fluid being sold to you for £10 that someone claims will turn you in to Ronnie Coleman, the price won’t be low.
Most ‘steroid cycles’ last anywhere from 10-20 weeks entirely depending on the user and many other factors. Can you afford to start and maintain a ‘cycle’ like this which may cost you as much as £1000 to fund over the 20 weeks?
There are many considerations to taking anabolic steroids. Yes, they work, if you’re buying legitimate products. But they almost all come at a financial cost as well as an overall health sacrifice if you do end up experiencing some of the many very negative potential side effects.
All we can do is ask that you give this choice your full consideration before making your decision too lightly.