T Nation

Steroids -- a Waste of Money

FOR MOST PEOPLE! READ BEFORE YOU FLAME!

I wholeheartedly believe that anabolic steroids have a place in society. I feel that the decision to use is a personal one, and should be made if a trainee has exhausted all other resources to optimize their results. Barring medical issues (HIV, Cancer, etc.), I feel that steroids should be a last resort.

If you’ve been training diligently for many years, eating clean, getting enough protein, staying on a good supplment regimen, and training intelligently, and you’re stuck at a very high level, fine. Maybe steroids are right for you. My contention here is that many people run too quickly to juice to help their progress, as if they can’t grow or whatever without it. It’s as if some people feel that everybody else who’s “on” has an unfair advantage over them. Personally, I think this is downright silly.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who was 500 lbs, claims to have “tried everything” to lose weight, but “nothing worked”, so he got gastric bypass surgery and got down to 300. Diets didn’t work for him, so he allowed a doctor to cut 90% of his stomach out. Not even once did this guy consider working with a knowledgable trainer to help him put his body into a fat burning, anabolic state. This was the one thing he didn’t try, and it almost certainly would have done the job, accompanied with a nutritional overhaul and some psychological help (put down the drumstick!).

The whole point of this very long post is whether an advanced trainee, advanced being a relative term, has really tried “everything possible” to get bigger, leaner, stronger, etc., if they haven’t worked closely with a trainer. I am a personal trainer, and I don’t mean me. If you want strength, work with a strength coach, if you want to be lean, work with Dr. Berardi. Take the money you would spend on drugs, and put it toward consultations with a coach that can use their experience to push you past whatever plateau you’ve hit at your current level of knowledge and experience. Otherwise your no better than an 18 year old kid who tries 'roids without first trying a protein supplement.

Flame on.

I absolutely agree. I’ve seen dozens of posts from people on here talking about juicing after training hardcore for less than two years.
I can understand why top-level sportsmen will use steroids because of the financial incentives and the drive to be at the very top of their game, be it lifting, football or whatever.
But when I hear people like the recent correspondent (Diary of a Steroid User) taking gear when his weights are moderate and the only sport he plays is softball - I cringe. I think it’s a lazy option for something that could either be achieved through real focus, or for goals that are kind of pointless in the first place. I think steroid-fuelled gains are far less satisfying, because in the back of your mind - you know that everybody thinks you’re a cheat.

Regularly using steroids is for cowards who are too wuss to put their ego down so they’ll do anything to pump up.
Steroids were designed to help people with conditions(being an emasculated eunuch isn’t one of them) and should be used as such. You can also use them to get passed plateaus and whatnot. But the truth is that everyone can get bigger and stronger on their own. It’s not the pumped look that makes one a man, it’s attitude and character.
There are millions of real men with real strength and real guts, most of them aren’t geneticly gifted, alot of them don’t even train and they’re doing fine without the ego-masturbation. But ofcourse if someone’s a little estrogenated drama queen that’s obsessed
with their looks so much - go ahead. No matter how much testosterone they injest, if there’s no testosterone in their guts, if there’s no balls…they’ll always be fakes.

No flaming from me, I certainly agree with your post.

I think part of the problem is that too many people dont know how to find good training information. They do one of the worthless routines you see in musclemags, see no change, give up too soon on “being natural”, and then assume they have to use steroids to get any results.

On the other hand, I’m sure there are plenty of people who know exactly what they need to do to make great gains, but they’re too lazy, and/or dont have the discipline to do what it takes, and just want a shortcut.

However, I can relate to other reasons that people use steroids. Myself as an example, I made great gains my first 3-5 years or so of lifting, although from that point on, while Ive seen substantial gains in strength, I really haven’t seen too much as far as muscle mass gains. It can be discouraging for someone to continue working out so hard, yet not see much in the way of results.

I beleive everyone has a limit as to how far they can go, and I believe pretty much nobody will reach that limit without putting impractical demands on your lifestyle. However, I think most people get to around 90% of their potential after 3-5 years, and that last 10% will be next to impossible to attain without some kind of outside assistance.

Personally, I’ll probably do at least one cycle at some point in my life, even if it’s just so that I can put it on my list of “been there, done that”. I’m sure it can be safe if you’ve done your research and dont abuse it. I WILL do my best to make sure Ive gone as far as I can without the help, though.

Steroids are the cheapest supplement when you weigh out your bang for your buck. Shit, they cost less than prohormones if your like most people I know and use vet juice, ya know the good ol’ QV.

Steroids are for those who decide to use them…period. Their use doesn’t constitute the worth of the individual using them.

Having said that I do have a problem with the guys/gals on steroid cycles performing nothing but isolation exercises. I knew of a couple people using steroids and it worked for them better and cheaper than any supplement. Problem is/was these same people’s problem wasn’t one of stagnated growth but lack of education and patience.

The latest batch of guys/gals I know who are using are underwear model types. They are ripped to shreds and we all know it because they wear very little clothes to show this off. It’s pathetic to me to spend time, money and energy in something where you have to get damn near naked for anyone to know you work out.

Live and let live. Just don’t come to me complaining how you can’t get hoooge when all you’ve eaten all day is a snickers bar so you resort to roids.

Sorry to burst the bubble but…

You’re right, bodies should be forged with blood, sweat and solid applications of training AND nutrition…

However, it makes me laugh to have people condone the use of steroids while buying a case of MAG-10 bottles…or any PH. Financially, when you look at it, it’s less costly to use AAS than dietary supplements.

By no means I want to put you down, what you said was right and intelligent but when I look at the cost of supplements programs presented at T-Nation (and other mags…).

And for the record, I don’t take AAS or PHs and I only use 2-3 products at a time. I ask you this question: what’s the difference between using ZMA, MAG-10, M, M-7, BCAAs and creatine or using Winstrol?

Even if I don’t take AAS or PHs, I’m not any more “normal” than people who do. I chose a path less risky but less efficient…

My 2 cents and in respect of everything that have been written before,
-LP

[quote]Louis-Philippe wrote:

However, it makes me laugh to have people condone the use of steroids while buying a case of MAG-10 bottles…or any PH. Financially, when you look at it, it’s less costly to use AAS than dietary supplements.
-LP[/quote]

Good point, I agree! In my previous post, I mentioned that if anything, steroids should wait till you’ve gone as far as you can with good training and nutrition. Supplements like creatine, ZMA, PH, etc should probably fit in right before you decide to go the steroid route. So many people want to start on MAG-10 their first day ever working out, but in my mind it’s a waste. Supplements (not including protein poweder) & steriods should be saved for when you hit a plateau in training completely natural.

I personally don’t use anything past a protein powder so I can’t really comment.

I was also very excited about the Myostatin product they had, but I was too late.

I’m not sure about the theory that you’re wasting your time taking gear before you’re close to your drug free genetic potential. Have you seen photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger at 19? He’d been on the stuff since he pretty much started training (at 14 from memory), and at 19 he had about 90% of the size he was to carry for the rest of his career. Also, it might take you 5 years or longer of hard training and rigorous dieting to reach your drug free genetic potential, whereas you might be able to get there drug free in a year or 2, so why waste time?

There are 2 possibilities it seems to be me, either gear allows you to put on an extra 10kg or so, in which case you probably should wait until you’re close to your limit. The other possibility is that steriods just extend your genetic limit by a certain amount, in addition to promoting anabolism. If this is the case, then there would n’t be any reason not to take them after the first year, as far as the end result goes. You’d get there a lot quicker than you would otherwise, but your geared up potential would still be the same. It seems to me that the second case is more likely.

I’m not advocating steriod use however. I thinking taking steriods is a serious decision, and it is pretty pathetic for some guy whose only been training 6 months to start roiding up because he is a lazy bastard who wants the results without putting in the effort to get them. But from a purely muscle building perspective, I don’t think there are any disadvantages in not waiting.

Also, since Prohomormones work by converting to test, would n’t it be safer and more effective to just take test?

I suppose that if you’re a competitive bodybuilder, then yes, you might as well take drugs from the get-go - unless of course you’re competing in something that’s drug free.

I guess I could be wrong, but I’m assuming most people here would fall under the classification of “recreational lifters” - we take workouts & diet pretty serious, but we’re not actually competing. From that standpoint, at least in my opinion, it’s more important to be able to maintain a regular rate of progress and gains, even if the rate is relatively low. That’s what keeps me going back to the gym…making progress. If all my progress stopped, Id feel like I had nothing to shoot for and Id get burned out. So my objective isn’t to gain everything as fast as possible, but more to continue gaining over as long of a period of time as possible to keep things interesting and not get bored with it.

I don’t think the average guy who lifts weights wants to reach their genetic limit. They just want to look buff and be strong. At least when I train, I don’t ask myself “how far am I from my limit?”. That’s a defeatist thought, it’s setting limits on yourself and your motivation. The usual motto is “be as strong as you can be”. Being pretty big and strong is possible and not that difficult without steroids or even supplements. Just time and effort is all it takes. If you’re in charge of your life you can do it, simple as that. And if you’re not, then there’s always going to be excuses and searches for the magic bullet.

I find it funny how may people will rag on “roid” users but, how many shows are there now on changing ones appearance. If you want to say you should not do it or at least wait till your at your genetic potential before doing and steroids. Why don’t you go as far as saying “you should love who you are, the way you are.” But, that’s not how it is. Someone has a little extra fat, suck it out. Someone has a big nose, make it smaller. God gave you small tits, make them big. It is your body do what you want. It can be stupid but who other than you is it effecting? I believe in hard work. If, and when, I choose to do gear. I will still work really hard.

[quote]PGH wrote:
I find it funny how may people will rag on “roid” users but, how many shows are there now on changing ones appearance. If you want to say you should not do it or at least wait till your at your genetic potential before doing and steroids. Why don’t you go as far as saying “you should love who you are, the way you are.” But, that’s not how it is. Someone has a little extra fat, suck it out. Someone has a big nose, make it smaller. God gave you small tits, make them big. It is your body do what you want. It can be stupid but who other than you is it effecting? I believe in hard work. If, and when, I choose to do gear. I will still work really hard.[/quote]

I like the last line.

PGH, what most people don’t realize is that steroids don’t just make you big, they let you train harder because you will recover better -so your potential for growth increases.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

“what most people don’t realize is that steroids don’t just make you big, they let you train harder”

Oh please. Steroids are a magic pill and if there was one quality you could name it’s that they get you big pronto. It’s not working harder you’re looking for when doing roids, it’s getting bigger.

There are certain limits of reason of when to do a plastic surgery or do roids. For instance if someone has a real phisycall condition or deformation. Past that it’s a mental condition, not physical.

I don’t understand why people take them honestly …

i see people here bitching on ronnie coleman because he’s not athlete, but yet i see so many peeps here who take AS … and in my eyes that’s the same
cheating

[quote]acidreign wrote:
I don’t understand why people take them honestly …

i see people here bitching on ronnie coleman because he’s not athlete, but yet i see so many peeps here who take AS … and in my eyes that’s the same
cheating [/quote]

Cheating who? It is a personal chose. How many people, who are doing steroids, are competing in anything? I’ve been taught that if you don’t like something in your life change it. How you change it is up to the individual. The thought of steroids is in my mind. I started doing strongman this year and I am not week but, when I see some of the other guys I realize I really need to get a lot stronger. I do however keep it in my mind that they have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into getting stronger and I must do the same. If I am ever at the point that I am elite and feel steroids will bring me to that next level. Than that is when I will need to choose. You could say that, that is cheating, but, how may top pro Strongmen are clean? As for competitions it is part of the sport of strength.

Maybe we’re all cheating, we get muscles by lifting weights with the sole purpose of getting bigger and stronger, a real man gets strong by doing manly things, working, chopping wood, and whatever else. We’re also cheating by getting extra protein from a powder, real men get their protein by eating food. who’s to say where the line should be drawn, everybody on here does what they do to look better and bigger and stronger, some people just prioritize it a little higher than others.

[quote]w2097 wrote:
Oh please. Steroids are a magic pill and if there was one quality you could name it’s that they get you big pronto. It’s not working harder you’re looking for when doing roids, it’s getting bigger.
[/quote]

You have no idea what steroids do or do not do for you. None. I promise. Stop listening to small people about what steroids do for you.

If someone takes steroids so they don’t have to work hard, that’s pretty weak, I’ll agree. But intelligent steroid users take steroids so they CAN work harder. Steroids allow for better recovery, so you can hit the gym with more frequency and intensity while still gaining more. This is the case for almost all strength athletes that use - they don’t need the size most of the time, they just need to be able to push themselves harder. Bodybuilders are a bit different in that they are perpetually trying to put on size, but if you think the pro bodybuilders don’t bust their asses, you’re a moron.

What have the articles at t-nation said from day 1? Wise usage of steroidal substances can result in safe gains. What is so wrong with that?

I hope all of you people bitching about steroids also walk up to people on the street who are smoking and tell them to stop smoking, because that’s a much bigger problem that recreational steroid usage. But I feel that you’re actually the kind of people who are pissed that others are getting gains that you will never see and feel better about yourselves by bitching on the internet about how the difference beetween you and them is steroids.

Steroids are only cheating if they’re banned in the sport that you’re playing. Otherwise, they’re just another supplement. Sure, a drug that you purchase on the black market and self-medicate with, but there is nothing intrinsically wrong with steroids.

And for the record, I have never done steroids. I don’t have plans to do so in the future. But that doesn’t mean I have to spout off on a subject I don’t know about like some of you guys have.