“Should I take steroids?” is a question asked by a lot by guys thinking about hopping on the juice.
Generally speaking from a moral viewpoint, you shouldn't take anabolic steroids as they are harmful to the body.
In this article I'm going to list the pros and cons of taking steroids, helping you fully understand what side effects you can experience, should you make the decision of taking them.
. You'll build A LOT of muscle
This is the ultimate goal of any bodybuilder and is the main reason why so many gym rats become tempted to inject themselves with needles…or pop a few pills.
Cutting steroids are also popular because of their fat burning effects, however the main reason somebody will start taking steroids is so they can build muscle fast.
If your goal is to exceed your genetic potential and build more muscle, steroids will certainly do this.
If your goal is to get shredded, you don't need steroids. It's perfectly possible to burn fat and get shredded whilst maintaining muscle mass naturally. If you want to take steroids to do this you can, but they certainly aren't needed.
…Unless you're lazy and can't be bothered to diet.
- Steroids Are Safer Than You Think
Steroids are potentially very dangerous in the wrong hands. However in the right hands, the side effects can become less and more manageable.
There's a reason why doctors prescribe many different steroids to their patients on a daily basis. It's because steroids are generally safe when taken under expert supervision and in the correct doses. However, many aren't taking these compounds under expert care.
The media often try and create an image that steroids are the devil and you'll die if you take them, but some people can take them and remain relatively healthy.
Just to clarify – you will die eventually (sorry I can't help you on that one). However, steroids being the cause of death is unlikely IF you use them responsibly and don't have any underlying problems.
Can steroids kill you? Yes. However, water can also kill you if you drink too much of it.
There is a big difference between taking steroids and abusing steroids.
Because steroids are addictive, this can lead to people cycling them for too long or simply overdosing. If you think you won't have enough willpower to stop yourself from abusing steroids, don't take them.
- Steroid gains ARE permanent
By gains I'm strictly referring to muscle gains. If you gain 30lbs taking dianabol, you might only keep 20lbs of this, as 10lbs might be from water retention.
However, the lean muscle tissue you gain from taking steroids should be permanent.
…That is if you keep lifting weights.
Many guys who take steroids and come off, shrink a lot. This is because many of these guys stop lifting weights.
The most famous example of this is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who went from Mr Olympia to…saggy old man.
However, when Arnie did start lifting weights again – he got huge!
These gains were the result of using steroids in the 70's/80's, showing that their effects are largely permanent.
The reason you can retain this muscle you gain from steroids is because when you add muscle, your nuclei count (in your muscle cell) increases.
And your nuclei count is permanent.
So once you come off cycle, your testosterone levels may crash lower than ever before…but your nuclei count will remain the same. Thus preventing you from losing all the muscle you just built.
However if you were to stop lifting weights, your muscles WOULD shrink. But the nuclei count would remain the same as before. So if you lifting weights again you'd make your steroid-gains all over again (like Arnold did) thanks to muscle memory.
There was a study done on mice who took steroids and lifted weights for 3 months…
*Currently imagining mice curling in the squat rack*
After 3 months the mice stopped taking steroids and stopped training.
After a lengthy break (the equivalent of 10 years for a human), the mice resumed lifting weights again…
Astonishingly, they regained all the muscle they had when they were previously taking steroids.
- You're Cheating
People who don't know much about bodybuilding think anyone can get big if they take steroids.
This view pisses off bodybuilders who do juice, because it pretty much discredits all their hard work.
In reality, there are many people who take steroids and aren't big. This is mainly because they don't have very good genetics or/and they don't have much knowledge in terms of training and nutrition.
Several people in your life will see it as ‘cheating' and think ‘oh I could get big with steroids too', so if this is going to piss you off to the extreme – steroids aren't for you.
- Beware of the Side Effects
Steroids pose many different side effects – physical and psychological.
Here's a list of the main physical side effects associated with steroids:
- High blood pressure
- Liver damage
- Gyno (man boobs)
Note: there are supplements you can take to minimize the risk of each of these side effects.
Psychological side effects aren't generally considered when somebody is thinking of taking steroids.
However, when you come off cycle some people experience some degree of anxiety/depression due to low testosterone levels. Assuming you don't abuse steroids and you're sensible, your testosterone levels will naturally regulate back to normal after several months.
If you're concerned with the side effects of anabolic steroids, a good alternative could be to take ‘steroid alternatives‘.
‘Legal steroids‘ or ‘steroid alternatives' are compounds that are designed to try and replicate the effects of powerful anabolic steroids, such as dianabol and testosterone – but without the dangerous side effects.
Common sense is needed when someone is thinking about taking steroids.
If you have a history for experiencing anxiety or depression, the likelihood is that you won't like the post-cycle effects steroids cause.
If you have high blood pressure or your liver's not in good shape, give steroids a miss.
However, if you currently have no health problems, you're not planning on abusing steroids AND you plan on having regular check-ups with your doctor…Then steroids might just become your new best friend.
The only way to find out if steroids are for you is to try them out yourself. If you don't like the effects, you can simply stop your cycle.
Note: A good cycle for a beginner would be to take testosterone sustanon. This will give you awesome muscle gains and test isn't a harsh steroid, so it's usually well-tolerated by newbies.