“AFTER THE STORM” Getting back to normal after Covid-19, Steroids, a quick fix?
I remember coming back from Portugal in 2010 and going back into a UK gym for the first time in 10 years and being surprised on how many people where obviously on some sort of performance enhancing drug (PED), Before I left there where people obviously using them, but they tended to be the hardened bodybuilder, but coming back it was much wider spread and also in the bigger “Globo” gyms not just the smaller Bodybuilding gyms. Some of this influx was from “Legal” steroids or “Prohormones” basically the same chemical profile as certain steroids but with one molecule changed so effectively it was a precursor to the steroid that then changed in the body, Also with the broader use of the internet and social media growing it became easier to find a supplier as it was no longer just a friend of a friend of a guy in the gym.
So prohormones, again because of social media, forums and the internet in general, something that started off as” just a few tablets”, became even more in depth and more scientific even than the steroid industry, people started melting down the tablets and mixing them with oils to make an injectable, stronger version….all still relatively legal. There where huge forums discussing how to convert tablets into oils and “keyboard warriors” telling people quantities etc Eventually certain laws where introduced to make it harder to buy and along with the ease of getting “Real” steroids they started to fizzle out.
So back to AAS (Androgenic Anabolic Steroids), I’m not going to go into the history of steroids, I don’t know enough, you can get a lot of the history on the internet anyway. So, getting back to my arrival back in the UK. There was much talk in the various Bodybuilding forums on AAS use as well as in the Press and Health Media (lots of scare stories too, but I’ll come onto the health implications later) about the wide spread use as a quick fix, many people were doing 1 cycle here and there or annually just to boost their shape , because of the ease of obtaining AAS whether on line or from a mate who got them online there was little or no knowledge of things like PCT (Post cycle therapy), no testing of health e.g. Blood work etc, and no real awareness of cycle dosage or length. So what you were seeing was people popping a load of pills, getting big, then stopping and going straight back to how they were before, sort of yoyo usage, with no idea of any damage these cycles do.
With any usage of AAS or any medication there is the risk of side effects and even with lower dose cycles the side effects are there. Baldness, spots, high blood pressure, oily skin and hair, liver issues. So, It becomes a “Risk and Reward” scenario. There are substances out there that are stronger or specifics like Insulin, this can make you stronger and bigger very quickly but has some very dangerous side effects (insulin comas, insulin dependency)
People also say AAS usage is cheating, but Is it really, it only becomes cheating when it’s as a performance enhancing drug in a “Banned substance” sport (Olympics etc) somewhere where everyone is using it, it then depends on the effort you are still prepared to put in as with Bodybuilding.
So, to go back to the initial question, Is steroid usage a quick fix and should people do it, again I think it’s a “Risk v Reward” situation to a degree. If you are going to try something like steroids you should do a broad research as there are lots of stories of positives and negatives. Some of the bodybuilders that started using back in the 50s and early 60s are now in their 70s and look in remarkable shape still not only for their age, but in general, Later bodybuilders that went into the “more is better” usage and additions like growth hormone are in less shape than their older counterparts. Get your cycles right and don’t think more is better, the early bodybuilders, though innovators tried smaller doses first and saw the results and worked up to more gradually over time. If you were going to use steroids as a quick fix that would be my advice, look at beginner cycles, look at proper PCT, look at and get proper health checks. I remember a guy at my gym coming to me and asked about steroids, whatever I was going to say he would have done it anyway so better to give sensible structured advice, show them the side effects, discuss dosage and then I don’t see the harm in it, The danger is then that people think more is better and either rush into bigger and bigger cycles with either no PCT or not long enough rest.
The other thing to understand is that since steroid usage was banned in the 60/70s there has been very little if any proper testing through the science channels wat you see and hear about is either from the bodybuilders that have tried it or the scare stories from the press and media
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