T Nation

Why wait?

I want to know why we should max out as much as possible naturally before using AAS. I’m sure the answer is somewhere in the archives… but it’s not an easy question to search on. So is there any reason besides learning proper training and nutrition? Something about receptors? Thanks.

No, it’s nothing to do with any aspects of
biochemistry. Overall, if all else were equal
(which is however generally very false in
this case) the sooner a lifter starts on
steroids, the greater the maximum size he
might achieve, though the difference is not
that much.

It comes down to the two things you said –
learning training and nutrition – as well
as aspects of psychology and development
of good habits.

Basically, I think we all agree that being
on high dose steroids 365 days a year for the
next 50 years is not what anyone ought to be
planning. For the sake of health, most of
the time during your training career, you
will not be on steroids.

So obviously it’s necessary to, first, learn
how to train effectively without steroids;
and then secondly, to know from experience
that you can do so.

The lifter who starts steroids early typically
never learns to train in a manner that is
neither a particularly good way to train while
on steroids nor a way that is much good at all
if natural. And, because there is such a drastic contrast between when he is “on” and
not, he often will not even feel it’s worth
training AT ALL when not on the juice, or
at least not seriously. And whether he trains
at all or not while clean, his incorrect training and probably-sloppy nutrition guarantee that he’ll
rapidly lose steroid gains that he probably
could have largely retained if only he really
knew how to eat and train naturally.

There really is a lot of learning to do
to be good at maximizing your physique. And
you can’t learn it just by reading. I was
always reading everything out there right
from the time I started training – every
magazine and book I could find – and still
it took me years to get where I feel like
I know what I’m doing. The first few years
had a lot of blunders. It does take experience.

But experience without feedback – without
getting answers “This is working” and “This is
not working” is not experience, it’s just
killing time. The lifter who uses steroids
right from the start does not get any useful
feedback on his training and nutrition, at
least not as applies to natural training (which
ultimately will be the bulk of this training
career) – the only feedback he gets is, “I
get great results on steroids, and being
clean really sucks!!!”

The lifter who gets good at natural training,
though, finds out how to make his clean phases
very much not suck.

Thanks for the reply Bill! Ok that’s pretty much what I was thinking too. What I don’t understand is how you can make progress once you’ve done enough cycles to reach your natural max. Once you go beyond that point, surely during the time between cycles, you will only loose muscle no matter how hard you train? The reason I ask this is that I understand that any gains above the natural max will eventually be lost. Or am I missing something?

I forgot that:
a) most people underestimate their natural max anyways.
b) the ‘natural max’ can shift higher after exposure to AAS. I think that the increased receptors (from more muscle) might have something to do with it.

Am I way off? Or have I got it with those two points?