Steroids vs Natural: The Muscle Building Effects Of Steroid UseLet me preface this entire post by saying that Ssteroids am definitely NOT an expert on steroid use. How can this happen, you ask? As most of us can already guess, the average person using steroids will generally get much better results in terms of building muscle and improving performance than someone who is natural and anabolic steroids weight lifting using anything stetoids with all else being anabolic steroids weight lifting. But what might surprise you is the actual degree of difference. As it turns out, there is one specific study that shows this difference quite clearly.
How Do Steroids Work?
Let me preface this entire post by saying that I am definitely NOT an expert on steroid use. How can this happen, you ask? As most of us can already guess, the average person using steroids will generally get much better results in terms of building muscle and improving performance than someone who is natural and not using anything especially with all else being equal.
But what might surprise you is the actual degree of difference. As it turns out, there is one specific study that shows this difference quite clearly.
This 10 week study took a group of 43 men of normal body weight between the ages of 19 and 40 who all had some degree of weight training experience. These men were then split up into 4 different groups:. All of their diets calorie intake, protein intake, nutrient intake, etc. The 2 groups who WERE weight training groups 3 and 4 followed the same supervised workouts each week. Meaning, with the exception of the fact that some groups were or were not weight training, and some were or were not using drugs… everything else diet and training was equal and even.
Well, for starters, if you are natural and not doing any form of weight training, your muscle building results will suck. But we all knew that already. Second, the muscle building effects of steroids are pretty F-ing significant. Despite using identical workout routines and diets, the guys who were also receiving testosterone injections gained over 3 TIMES as much muscle as the natural guys in the same period of time.
The average difference was 13lbs gained to just 4lbs gained. The group getting the testosterone injections and NOT doing any form of weight training whatsoever still gained significantly more muscle than the natural guys who WERE weight training.
The difference was 7lbs gained to 4lbs gained. How crazy is that? Why am I telling you this? Because not being completely aware of these facts is what often causes natural men and women to make HUGE mistakes in how they train, how they eat, whose advice they trust, what realistic results they expect, what goals they set, what claims they believe, and what products and supplements they spend their money on.
Take for example the big awesome looking guy you can find in almost any gym on the planet. The guy who stands out instantly among a sea of people with average looking bodies at best. The same thought occurs when looking at the bodybuilders in magazines, the A-list celebrity in some movie, the jacked guys on internet forums and websites, and so on.
I mean, if something worked so well for them, we should surely do it too so we can get the same awesome results. Meaning, drug use can make up for a shitty diet or workout program.
Hell, as the study above showed, drugs can sometimes make up for not even training at all in the first place. The sets of this, sets of that, 20 isolation exercises of this, 20 supersets of that. Well, it IS crap… for us natural people. You can go to the gym and bang your head into a wall for 45 minutes and still end up getting significantly better results than the typical natural guy training correctly and working his off ass. Sure, they could be doing things correctly and you could benefit from doing the same.
This latter case just leads to us natural people training like idiots and getting absolutely nowhere except possibly overtrained and injured. So natural people see it and think: Steroid and drug use is just one of the MANY methods used to create this illusion.
Guess what happens when you start thinking you should be able to build muscle faster or easier than you ever actually could? You waste your effort trying every diet and workout on the planet seeking impossible results. You waste your money on more useless bullshit. Remember my article about why workout routines for women suck? If so, then you probably also remember the ONE exception I mentioned where this silly fear can actually become a reality. Yup, the same drug use that causes natural men to have unrealistic muscle building expectations is the same drug use that causes natural women to have unrealistic muscle building fears.
Instead, the steroid use of other women has put a fear into the head of most natural women that makes them waste years of their life with pointless toning workouts that accomplish nothing useful whatsoever. And then of course we have the idea that someone who has achieved what we hope to achieve must obviously be a trustworthy and knowledgeable source of information on that subject.
In theory, this again makes perfect sense. But what I am saying is that the guy with the awesome body could be equally clueless, and his diet and workout advice can be equally horse shit. How can that be if he looks so awesome? Simple… steroids and drugs. They can overcome stupid. They can make up for doing things incorrectly. They can hide a lack of knowledge. I see examples of this firsthand in my gym, online and in the media on a daily basis.
The shittiest advice is often coming out of the mouths of the people with the best bodies. Because drugs can make people look a whole lot smarter than they actually are. And to be fair, I should also mention that amazing genetics can have a similar stupidity-hiding-effect.
My point here is that an awesome body does NOT tell you everything or in some cases anything about how trustworthy and knowledgeable that person is about the topics relating to getting that awesome body.
They could have gotten that body thanks to years of researching, learning, eating right, training intelligently and working their asses off.
Please keep in mind that this is not at all meant to be some kind of ANTI-steroid article. This fact often goes unrealized and is deceptively used against us on a regular basis. My advice is simple: I explain the 8 best ways right here: Thanks for your clear-headed advice. By the way, 4 pounds of new muscle in 10 weeks is not too shabby for the natural group.
As for the routine used, it looks like it was a fairly standard 3 day full body routine focused around the bench press and squat that varied the intensity heavy, light, medium during each workout. Why do people want shortcuts if you want to be big and strong then you have to commit to being big and strong. Just one Personal Trainers opinion. For me the biggest advantage that steroids have given people I know, is the ability to train 5 days a week; something that is simply not possible for a natural happy go lucky lifter.
I would love to see an article on the ethical implications of steroid use, with great strength comes responsibility. Increase confidence, aggressiveness, irritability. I think that one should really evaluate why they weight lift.
I am guilty for only doing it for cosmetic reasons Vanity , I found this to be unsuccessful and now focus my training for use in sports such as mauy thai and surfing, aesthetics should be a side note to your training and not the primary goal. I love getting your posting updates! Everything you post is very informative and straight to the point! I was way over working my body with different exercises of reps for each muscle group taking up 1.
Awesome to hear it Neal… I definitely appreciate the feedback. Keep those progress updates coming! Changes to your natural testosterone production and thus, ball size depends heavily on how much you use, what you use, and even when you use it. Likewise, maintenance of gains post-cycle is also dependent on what you take on cycle and how you handle your post-cycle therapy. It should be noted that steroids are used to treat muscle-wasting caused by cancer and AIDS, and burn victims who have lost large amount of body mass.
They would NOT be used if gains were not largely maintained following end of treatment. Yes, as far as for someone who alternates being on and off cycles over a longer term schedule, and is using post-cycle therapy to minimize loss between cycles. After all drugs are stopped and the body resumes normal hormone output, the unnatural amount of lean mass can no longer be maintained.
One qualifier to that is the evidence that long-term anabolic steroid use does permanently change things in the muscle tissue for at least some people and leaves their muscle tissue with slightly better potential for maximum size than they had genetically at birth.
Meaning, it is possible that someone could heavily cycle steroids for two or three years, thereby permanently change muscle tissue aspects, then quit and never use steroids again, yet retain an ability to build slightly more muscle mass than possible if having never cycled steroids. Steroids are used because of the acute short-term need to heal and restore tissue to natural levels that the body cannot itself meet at the times of serious burns or cancer wasting.
That steroids being safe enough to use to treat burn and cancer victims may well be a point evidencing that steroids are not as dangerous as often claimed.
Comparing the gains of a bodybuilder using supraphysiological doses of testosterone to the tissue restoration of a patient given steroid therapy is like comparing apples to ant lions. Have that person do an 8-week steroid cycle and put on another 15 lbs then stop the juice. In the last seventeen years of training I did about an equal number of cycles, maybe a bit less. Some were short 6 week things, some were quite lengthy. At my biggest I had maybe another 20 lbs lean.
Your comments sound similar to his, and I am curious as to your honest opinion on the risks and potential consequences of using this way and for so many years.
Thanks so much in advance! The potential consequences of running steroids in the long run are very exaggerated. It depends on how much you use. I doubt your husband is using a bodybuilders amount and even if he did: Take a look on Arnold he is in great shape after years of massive steroid use, he was even born with a heart defect.
Only one former Mr. Olympia has died World championship in bodybuilding Sergio Oliva, died at age Not a bad age for someone using massive amounts for ages? Duchaine never said that anyone can keep most of their gains if they quit using steroids then NEVER use them again.
Myself, ever the skeptical year-old guy, a lifelong-drug-free bodybuilder for over 40 years since age 16, would like to know details about your frame structure your height, ankle circumference, and wrist circumference , the age at which you began those seventeen years of training and your bodyweight at that point, your current age, and, your total bodyweight at the point when your lean mass is lbs.