Crossfit is a sport/fitness class (it’s kind of hard to decide which) that has grown massively popular in the last 8-9 years.
Crossfit actually started in 2000 when it was founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, Crossfit is designed to combine aerobic exercise, body weight workouts, and Olympic lifting to test people on all forms of athleticism.
From humble beginnings Crossfit has grown to over 13,000 franchised locations and an official Crossfit Games that has spawned fitness icons such as Rich Froning, Samantha Briggs, Mat Fraser, and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet.
But it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Crossfit, a few years back there was quite the backlash against it.
Accusations of incompetent coaches, poor training protocols, and a dangerous competitive mentality were all thrown its way.
While these accusations often had a basis in fact, it’s important to understand that there are many Crossfit boxes out there that are well run and it’s undeniable that Crossfit has done more good than harm to the fitness industry.
Crossfit Boxes versus The Crossfit Games
One common misconception about Crossfit is that the athletes who compete in the Crossfit Games are just regular Crossfit box attendees (a Crossfit box is basically a Crossfit specific gym).
It is often believed that these athletes train using the same “WOD” workouts, follow the Crossfit approved diets (Paleo) and therefore represent a common Crossfit goer.
This may be the case for some of the Crossfit competitors but Rich Froning (the most famous Crossfit Games athlete) did not follow the programs nor the diet.
He trained for the games like any athlete would train for a sporting event. Sure, there would be Crossfit specific skills (kipping pull ups for example) but for the most part his training would be similar to an Olympic athlete.
It’s important to understand the difference between a Crossfit athlete and a regular competitor when discussing the issue of steroids.
A Crossfit athlete should be seen as a professional sportsman or woman. Whereas a regular Crossfit attendee is not.
This does not affect the likelihood of steroid abuse however it does affect the outcome.
A regular Crossfit goer is not going to influence many people whereas a Crossfit athlete could potentially inspire and influence thousands.
Rich Froning has a social media following that numbers in the millions, a regular Crossfit member will have a following that numbers in the hundreds at most.
What we’re trying to say is that you should not consider Rich Froning and that guy in your office who “does” Crossfit as being the same any more then you should consider Phil Heath and your friends in the weights section as being the same bodybuilders.
Steroid use in Crossfit
It would be an understatement to say that Crossfit has a steroid culture.
That’s not to say that everyone who does Crossfit necessarily takes steroids, however many people within the Crossfit community will be taking steroids.
There are many reasons why Crossfit has a steroid problem, the first reason is that Crossfit attracts competitive people. A competitive person will find any advantage they can to win, and steroids are a huge advantage.
Not only will steroids help you lift more, they will help you be more powerful, faster, stronger, and they will allow you to recover quicker.
This means that you will be more likely to beat other competitors on the day, but long term you will overtake even the strongest and most athletic or natural Crossfit goers.
So even a regular Crossfit attendee will be tempted to use steroids to give them an advantage over their fellow Crossfit box members. But it’s not just for performance improvements that people take steroids.
Another common use of steroids is to improve body composition. Steroids can help you to lose body fat, while building muscle.
Many people in the Crossfit community are much more interested in improving their physique rather than winning competitions.
There is nothing wrong with that, this is a common reason why anyone trains in a gym or runs, or participate in fitness classes.
However, as with anything to do with Crossfit, the community has increased the desire to stand out.
Here is where your regular Crossfit box member and a Crossfit athlete could potentially differ.
A Crossfit athlete is going to be much more interested in the performance side of steroids, whereas a Crossfit box member could either be interested in performance or their physique.
Which Crossfit athletes are on steroids?
There are many articles on the Internet that discuss whether Crossfit is a drug-free sport or not.
Often, these debates are made out to be black and white, good and bad, all or nothing. But it is unlikely that every single Crossfit athlete is either taking or not taking steroids. Some will be, and some will not be.
Crossfit has a fairly stringent drugs testing policy and they use a third party company to administer each test. This has led many to claim that Crossfit is drugs free.
Firstly, all sports use third party companies for drugs tests, this has not stopped many athletes using drugs. Often, an athlete may have been taking drugs for a while before getting caught. The industry that makes steroids are always going to be ahead of those that test for steroids.
Lance Armstrong was tested for drugs on many occasions but was not caught for years. Until he was caught he was constantly pointing out that he took many drugs tests and had passed them all.
Drugs tests or not infallible, in fact many claim that drugs tests are basically IQ tests .
In other words a smart individual can pass a drugs test while taking drugs. Many drugs including steroids can be hidden by taking other drugs.
In fact, if you know when your drugs test is taking place you can avoid detection by stopping taking them.
Crossfit is aware of this, which is why they insist on random drugs tests on their biggest athletes. But still, many Crossfit athletes would not be randomly tested. Considering the size of the Crossfit community it would be impossible to test even ¼ of them randomly. There is not the money nor the desire to do that.
Unlike bodybuilding, Crossfit is not turning a blind eye to steroid use. It is clear that Crossfit wants to be drug free and feels that drug use harms their image.
There have been quite a few Crossfit athletes who have failed drugs tests .
There is clearly an issue with steroid use in Crossfit. However, there is clearly an issue with steroid use in bodybuilding, fitness modelling, and in sports.
The Crossfit games will attract the kind of people most likely to take steroids, competitive people who have a win at all costs mentality. Some Crossfit athletes will be taking steroids and it is naive to think otherwise.
That does not mean that everyone in Crossfit is taking steroids, nor does it necessarily mean that the biggest names in Crossfit are taking steroids.
Could you win the Crossfit games without steroids? It’s impossible to say. Either all the winners are on steroids, none of the winners are on steroids, or some are and some aren’t on steroids.
Everything in this article is speculation, unlike bodybuilding where steroid use is an open secret Crossfit has kept their cards close to their chests.
When you look at the physiques and the performances of the top Crossfit competitors it seems almost impossible that they could do this naturally. But then again, you could say the same of marathon runners, football players, Olympic athletes, ironman competitors, and boxers.
Perhaps the Crossfit games is demonstrating the upper limits of human potential without performance enhancing drugs. Or perhaps the Crossfit games contains competitors who are taking drugs and know how to get through a drugs test without getting caught.
These days it feels like everyone has an opinion on this, people will tell you that no professional sport is drug free. However, what do they know?
How to Gain Muscle and Strength without Steroids?
Can you build muscle without using steroids? Of course you can.
For a start you should increase the intensity of your workouts, you should also look at your diet in more detail to ensure you are getting adequate nutrients.
You will also soon discover that there are supplements available that can mimic the effects of anabolic steroids, but without any of the side effects associated with their use.
If you are looking for a company that sells legal steroid alternatives then I would recommend Crazy Bulk. One of their most popular supplements is a product called D-Bal, which is a safe and legal alternative to Dianabol.
It is made from proven ingredients that include various BCAAs, Whey Protein Concentrate and Tribulus Terrestris.
D-Bal can increase nitrogen retention within your body, which will then help to increase protein synthesis.
Benefits on offer include:
- Muscle and strength gains
- Better endurance
- More nitrogen retained
- Improved blood flow due to the additional oxygen sent to muscles
If you are looking for proof of these claims then I would recommend that you read the user testimonials available on the Crazy Bulk website.