Well I wouldn’t go as far as saying taking one cycle is risking your life, most serious detrimental health issues from AAS abuse come from long term abuse (cardiomyopathy, liver/kidney issues, cognitive defects etc), and some AAS are far worse than others in these regards. I totally understand what you are getting at. Even short-term abuse of AAS without education can (sometimes) have devastating consequences, individuals with thick blood could very well stroke out on their first cycle (my haematocrit is NATURALLY 51 percent), these people need to understand the importance of keeping haematocrit down via aspirin, bloodletting (donation and therapeutic phlebotomies etc). Steroids, like all medicines, are drugs, and can have serious consequences when abused by idiots (although I believe the susceptibility to serious consequences is based on individual response and genetic variables). With, I don’t believe the isolated cycle significantly increases any serious short-term risk of death, health problems usually arise from prolonged usage. I have access to a study (two studies actually), one study shows a magnitude of bodybuilders self-administering AAS for 16 weeks (and the protocols are written down of each bodybuilder in detail, before and after the cycle ECG’s were taken of the heart to measure size, function, cardiac output (just about everything). Bodybuilders before and after the 16-week period showed no difference in cardiac function whatsoever. Another study took 267 athletes and had them administer AAS in high dosages for two months, ECG’s were taken, no abnormalities were found on any ECG’s. The problem with AAS are, the media has wildly overblown the dangers from AAS use, using scare tactics to try convincing people that if taken the user will become an angry buff maniac who behaves like a Neanderthal with liver cancer and all sorts of health issues that are very rare to contract. The odds of getting a hepatocellular carcinoma from AAS abuse are so small it’s not even worth mentioning as a possible side effect. The sensationalism and stigmatism of AAS from the media has led to bodybuilders and many recreational using individuals to develop a distrust towards the medical community about this topic, and since most people get away with using, the notion that “anabolic steroids are harmless” have popped up all over the bodybuilding/athletic community. While responsible use of AAS at low to low-moderate doses (say below 400-500mg of total hormones weekly, not including super strong compounds like tren, trest, orals), is likely RELATIVELY safe, it still doesn’t come without risks. I don’t believe either side, I believe there is a medium, anabolic steroids aren’t the killers or the harmless drugs some people make them out to be, it’s in the middle; sure you can argue smoking a pack a day or drinking every day is worse, but that’s a moot point because why would you want to do something damaging to your body in the first place. Ever since I was about eight I’ve had the dream of being a professional bodybuilder, and that dream has lasted all the way up to now, so I will likely start using AAS in the future, likely abusing them, I’m on TRT though so “bouncing back” post cycle isn’t an issue for me. The only problem with me going down the bodybuilder/ fitness model path is that I really don’t want to drop in my 30s or 40s, I want to make it to 65-70 before I die, my family would never forgive me if I dropped dead in my 20s or 30s from anabolic steroids and I’m not sure if that’s possible if I become a bodybuilder, my family, aside from my mothers father and my fathers father (both died from smoking a lot of cigarettes) live to be very long, my grandmas are 94 and mid-80s, I had an uncle that lived until 102. The only premature death I know of related to natural causes was my far away uncle (not sure if blood related, don’t think so), he died of a heart attack in his late 40s, he was a big guy, six feet five or so and had a heart condition, I forgot what it was. My family would likely never forgive me if I died in my 20’s or 30’s from anabolic steroid induced heart dysfunction. Natural bodybuilding at a competitive level is also extremely unhealthy, as a natural (non-enhanced), the extremely high protein diets can cause kidney stress, the extreme crash diets can CAUSE hypogonadism, adrenal issues, metabolic damage, heart strain, can affect cognitive function. In a study which had natural and steroid using bodybuilders, the conclusion was that bodybuilding at a competitive level, whether associated with AAS or not, induced clinically significant heart dysfunction, both groups had significant thickening of the left ventricle, however the AAS using group had more hypertrophy (as well as more strength and muscle mass). Another thing to consider is, when one is a heavyweight bodybuilder, they have the same BMI (and sometimes higher) than obese people, maintaining that weight year-round puts an enormous strain on the entire cardiovascular system. I believe most people on this board who are using steroids at too high of a dose. To minimise adverse impact, it is best to keep doses low (I’m not sure about duration of use but I would be safe and use mainly short esters to keep time on to a minimum as well). I see people here running like 500mg test+500mg deca +50mg dbol daily. That’s absurd and will cause issues, you don’t need that much gear to gain muscle mass, for a novice, a simple 200mg test 200mg deca could put on quite a significant amount of LBM 300mg test 200mg deca is a solid cycle, there’s no need for the massive dosages people use today, sure you may blow up more on cycle, but that’s likely more water and sodium retention, not gains, even if the gains come slower, it’ll be steady and safer in the long run… unless you are a pro bodybuilder… then safety doesn’t really matter. What I don’t understand, is why the medical community continues to overdo and stigmatise anabolic steroids despite their enormous potential therapeutic potential. When looking at studies showing detrimental affects on heart function, some of the papers say with certainty that “anabolic steroids cause sudden cardiac death, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, myocardial infarction, stroke, psychiatric disturbances such as psychotic episodes and schizophrenia, liver cancer, increases the chance of contracting AIDS (seriously, we aren’t fucking junkies, we don’t share needles with each other)” It’s the medical community and government putting out this bullshit that makes people distrust doctors advice on these drugs. I went to the arnold classic this year, there must have been over a million people on steroids, and there were lots of ripped, deydrated bodybuilders on stage, I didn’t witness anyone drop dead from a sudden heart attack, if steroids were as bad as the medical community made them out to be, people and especially pro bodybuilders would be dropping like flies.