T Nation

RIP Shawn Rhoden

Could also be that Shawn and others were still trying to push the envelop in their mid 40s. Yates and Culter seemed to retire early enough to limit the risks but more and more we are seeing guys continue to push into their 40s. Not everyone is Dexter who seemingly is indestructible (fingers crossed).

1 Like

My one grandma was a Chainsmoker for forty years

She’s now 96


1 Like

Luck or probability working out in her favor too.

Well… She has no coronary artery disease (odd for her age and medical history), a bit of emphysema and now (mild) congestive heart failure (did I mention she’s 96?).

Some of her relatives died from lung cancer, but also at old age. I believe one of her sisters made it past 100.

Also have an uncle that lived past 100, and oddly enough there’s another spectrum on my family wherein people have died very young, though not Shawn Rhoden young (actually there was one very extended family member I never knew, though he was a morbidly obese drug addict). Typically due to stroke and/or health complications brought on by absolutely atrocious lifestyles.

For the most part, everyone in my extended family who is of old age has lived well beyond the median lifespan despite many having been smokers, lived sedentary lifestyles etc. It’s genetics, not luck.

People with bad genetics who smoke don’t get lucky. They develop coronary artery disease, COPD, severe emphysema, they’ll have strokes/blood clots related to smoking.

Anyone who smokes like a chimney for forty years and makes it past ninety has good genetics.

This equates to being in denial and merely trying to justify why your hobby isn’t dangerous per se

Professional bodybuilders aren’t only the genetic cream of the crop in terms of how they build muscles and respond to gear, they’re the genetic elite in terms of how much gear they can tolerate

Gauging your gear use/the health ramifications on the precipice “pros take more than I do” is foolish, because chances are you don’t have the same calibre genetics.

Cardiac myocytes contain androgen receptors. Whilst cardiac muscle isn’t skeletal muscle per se, cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle do share various characteristics.

In vitro modelling, rodent modelling and now even literature pertaining to human subjects documenting acute usage is indicative anabolic steroid use in the SHORT term leads to deleterious, albeit reversible alterations in cardiac geometry and cardiac output. Long term use appears to lead to subclinical dysfunction, heavy use long term leads to heart failure.

Now let’s think about heart attacks… Anabolic steroids (aside from T alone) tend to drop HDL by 30-60%, raise LDL by 30-50%. Orals (c17-aa) frequently drop HDL by 60-95% (postheparin hepatic lipaaaaasssseeee thank yoouuuu), raise LDL by 50-150%. People tend to use a lot of orals for the cosmetic effect they elicit, they’re also very effective at increasing strength.

Contrary to popular belief, taking 100mg test and 25mg Anavar/day for six weeks will net you far more gains in terms of pure contractile tissue relative to 350mg T/wk, and you’ll probably look awesome while at it as opposed to the bloated, Michelin man style test look many get on high dose T. But Anavar will screw over your lipids fiercely as test won’t. Do you really think say… 5 years of cumulative oral use + say two decades of cumulative AAS use won’t give you a heart attack? Does anyone really think fucked lipids for decades on end + a caloric surplus and all the force feeding associated with bodybuilding won’t lead to an accelerated rate of plaque deposition?

6mg of stanozolol/day leads to a decrease in HDL by roughly 35%, 30% increase in LDL… Bodybuilders typically take 50mg/day… Obviously subfractions matter, but when you’re talking of a 90% + decrease in HDL… Not really, you’re fucked if you keep that up long term. The only way I can forsee someone maintaining an acceptable ratio would be with say… Statins (or) ezetimibe + PCSK-9 inhibitors… Good luck with that…

There are secondary mechanisms like 20-hete production → + angiotensin II → RAAS dysregulation/+ aldosterone → + water retention and + blood pressure of which will indirectly promote left ventricular hypertrophy… But said indirect mechanism are caused by AAS use, it’s androgen mediated. However cardiac hypertrophy mediated by direct AR binding cannot be reversed with meds per se unless you take anti-androgens, which would nullify the effect of your steroids.

Antihypertensives can be taken to decrease blood pressure

What of the beta adrenergic receptor upregulation induced by AAS. Excessive sympathetic drive/increased sensitivity to catecholamine release could facilitate arrhythmia, as a matter of fact there are human studies indicative anabolic steroids themselves induce cardiac autonomic dysfunction, rodent and in vitro models back this up and provide relevant mechanisms as to why this occurs.

It’s not indirect, it’s direct. If you can’t admit your (I’m not talking about you) hobby is dangerous, then put down the fucking needle because you are in denial and you aren’t willing to or don’t want to hurt yourself in the holy pursuit for fat gains.

There’s a spectrum of risk. 250mg test/wk isn’t nearly as dangerous relative to a bodybuilders test, tren, mast and winny cycle. But there is no free lunch, and for the most part steroids are a young man’s game. Blasting heavily in your forties is asking for trouble. Younger people can generally tolerate more abuse, how many young people do you know who smoked, drank or took a lot of drugs who are still kicking today (provided they left that lifestyle). How many people 50+ do you know who have been long term methamphetamine users, binge drinkers etc?

Probably not many, though I could be wrong.

I also want to point out… If bodybuilders are getting covid, this may also factor in. Preliminary data appears to be indicative covid + steroid use = unusually severe sickness. Pfizer’s new antiviral pill could remedy this though. Vaccine + new Pfizer drug would mean covid is about as lethal as the common cold… Covid may be about to become far less of s concern in rich countries.

Ok. So how does that change anybody behavior?

Like, how’s yours? Do you still consider dipping into a little extra sauce (>trt dosing) something you’ll to do, or is adding extras officially off the table?

Not unreal, but his use is pedestrian compared to an open class competitor.

I do think there is a significant difference when we look at dabbling and pro use in regards to averages in outcome. I think even going back to the 60s-70s, that their level of use on the pro level hasn’t seemed to have nearly the health impacts as 90s and beyond.

Another component is just overall size. Lou was like 260 lbs and the biggest guy on stage. If he was conditioned to today’s standard he would be like 245 lbs. Zane and Columbo were under 200 lbs on stage.

I guess what I am saying is mass monsters have a double impact to their health. They are heavy individuals which is tough on health, and they are using more drugs to be that heavy.

One could get unlucky with moderate use, or even low use (unreal’s case). I try to think of what is this doing on average.

I have the feeling many wouldn’t use if they were aware of what use entails. Particularly young men. At the very least I’d think knowledge pertaining to what steroids actually do to people would enforce a mentality that encourages lower dosages. There’s a big difference between someone using say 250mg/wk and 1500mg/wk.

I know one athlete in Aus who was given a scholarship in the US to play football

His words

“I’ll take SARMS to bulk up and get better”.

The guy hardly knows what SARMS are, but from knowing the dude he wouldn’t touch them with a ten foot pole if he did know what they were. His rationale was “SARMS aren’t suppressive, nor are they as toxic”.

The guy is quite stubborn, so he isn’t going to listen to me. He will find out the hard way.

Pancakes! Waffle?

Steroids are illegal! Watch me deflect and switch the topic.

You said “many talk of indirect mechanisms”, I refer to the direct mechanisms people gloss over. I’m not trying to tell people what they can and can’t do, I just wish people were more aware as I’m sure some would never touch the poison with a ten foot pole if they were aware of what use entails.

It’s extremely unfortunate when people use and unwittingly screw themselves up.

There’s a decent horror film out called malignant. I suggest giving it a watch. Then we can talk about it on the movies you’ve watched thread.


Answer the question.

You’ve been open about your use, and have posted quite prolifically about it.

Nows no time to be coy.

I mean, you just wrote out a massive list of reasons why these things are Directly bad for the heart.

Am I reading that right?

You’re still willing to use some extras occasionally, after all of that?

1 Like

I’ve already answered your question

Yes… You don’t have to like my answer, I don’t expect you to

As specified, I don’t really want to talk about this on here


Like, I just used to do coke because I liked the smell.

I mean, I wasn’t like freakin David Bowie or anything, right?

Keep 'em rollin in. These are exactly the type of defense mechanisms I was talking about. :rofl:

1 Like

I think you’ve misinterpreted my initial comment. People are wondering if it’s the drugs… I say “yes it is”

That is all, I wasn’t intending to come across as if I am virtuous. I apologise if I’ve offended you.

1 Like

Certainly there has to be a line between use and abuse, no?

No offense at all man. I’m just a being a bit analytical about the impetus for change of behavior.

I’m no saint myself. I’ve seen people turn blue right next to me and literally said “I’ll have what he’s having.”.

1 Like

I’m not so sure about this.

From my perspective, the use of any intoxicating agent for the purpose of inebriation is abuse. I’m not specifying this always eventuates a negative outcome, however using drugs to get high is ALWAYS abuse is it not? I’m not specifying you need to be a tee totaler, but by definition all drug use is theoretically abuse right?

I’ve never used cocaine, however I was around people who did at one point in my life. There are some who occasionally go through a bag once per year/on a blue moon, and then there are those who love it so much they end up spending every single cent they have on it

Cocaine is horrendously cardiotoxic, heavy, daily use will kill you faster than steroid use will. However the outcome from say… Using it three times over the span of five years? Likely no harm done provided you aren’t unlucky and the drug doesn’t facilitate a lethal arrhythmia for you. It’s rare, but case reports exist.

Use it daily? It’s going to screw you over.

My post was in regard to AAS, not coke. I think the addictive nature of coke separates it a bit from AAS in that it is a lot easier for dabbling in coke to turn into a massive habit, vs AAS, in which many never go beyond a certain dose.

I would say reasonable TRT is basically not doing harm, or at least not harm we can quantify. Throwing in a moderate blast every now and then (maybe one a year) with TRT is likely doing some harm, but most users will probably not have a significant difference in life span unless they do it for 5+ years, then you have guys running high blasts and high cruises for long periods, that will probably have on average lower life spans, then you have pro strength or BBing regimens, which we have seen can cause serious harm.

We all have our own tolerance for risk. I wouldn’t up TRT to hold more gains, and once I just lose all gains from blasts (while on TRT), I don’t see any point to keep blasting. Basically, I am using blasts to get to my TRT potential (which is a bit higher than natural potential, then stopping). I am probably getting close to that point now. From there, if I wanted to progress further, I would look to something like HGH (a different pathway than the androgen receptor) at replacement dosages (since my natural levels are trash).

1 Like

Could be many, many things but I think throwing insulin into the mix might be the final straw. …Really causes a cascade of effects on endocrine system and can even effect gene regulation. The “sensible”/90s thing seemed to do one run a year in the offseason. Now some guys are pretty open about doing a little bit almost year round not to mention the blasts.



for sure

People died from steroids in the 60’s and 70’s too. Rather you didn’t hear about it because media coverage wasn’t far reaching

Of the golden age bodybuilders, quite a few dropped in their 60’s and 70’s. Not particularly young, but nevertheless not something you’d expect from a health focused exercise fanatic