Steroids - Pros and Cons

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    Aug 13, 2009 9:18 PM GMT
    I have been working out 4-5x a week with very little progress. I am considering supplementing my workouts with steriods, as I have some friends that have good results. I am trying to find out some pro's and con's of the drug, and also if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them? Any suggestions?
    Thanks
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    Aug 14, 2009 1:18 AM GMT
    I'm not going to harp on about the pros and cons of steroid use. All I'm going to say is, if you choose to use them, then do your homework.

    My suggestion would be to maybe look at other factors of your training first. What exercises are you doing? Sets, reps? How's your diet going?
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Aug 14, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    Steroids do a lot of damage to your internal organs, and make you have bulgey abs. There are a lot of supplements that pack on the muscle and don't damage the body you're trying to worship.
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    Aug 14, 2009 1:46 AM GMT
    syd_hockey_79 saidMy suggestion would be to maybe look at other factors of your training first. What exercises are you doing? Sets, reps? How's your diet going?


    What Syd said - I would really look at type of training you're doing and diet/nutrition and look at supplements. Also, might have to reevaluate goals and expected time frame - sometimes its not that you're not progressing but rather you are not progressing in the time frame you expected. Also, I suffer from "Im not making any progress" I hope you took some pics when you started. If so , perhaps you can take some current shots and see how they measure up.

  • barriehomeboy

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    Aug 14, 2009 1:51 AM GMT
    It's not craigslist. The dude isn't looking to share photos of himself.
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    Aug 14, 2009 2:14 AM GMT
    barriehomeboy saidIt's not craigslist. The dude isn't looking to share photos of himself.


    I fail to see how suggesting someone review their progress through photos that might reveal change when daily changes could easily missed equates to craigslist.

    Sometimes it is difficult to see changes in yourself when you see yourself daily - a pictoral record can provide "proof" to oneself that change actually IS happening. It might be an issue of self perception over reality. Why have someone take a possible dangerous course of action without fully evaluating the "little or no progress" statement.

    Steroids can cause numerous health issues in men. Depending on age, latent prostate cancer can become virulently activated. I believe the statistics are 1 in 6 men over 50 have latent prostate cancer which will most likely not amount to anything but exposure to male hormone in tehse men could "ignite" it. As for younger men that of course is less of an issue but there are other negative health impacts nonetheless. Advising someone who asks the question "what about steroids?" to be careful and consider all possible venues first seems like responsible advice.

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    Aug 14, 2009 2:22 AM GMT


    This is really simple.

    Do you want to be fit and healthy or do you want to be one more jack ass fucking with his body out of vanity.

    It's a DRUG! Don't take DRUGS!

    Pros and cons, give me a break...
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Aug 14, 2009 2:30 AM GMT
    mjn1982 saidI have been working out 4-5x a week with very little progress. I am considering supplementing my workouts with steriods, as I have some friends that have good results. I am trying to find out some pro's and con's of the drug, and also if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them? Any suggestions?
    Thanks


    You're nowhere near a natural limit. Bad idea to use.
    Your question suggests limited independent research on steroids. Very bad idea to use.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:03 AM GMT
    mjn1982 saidI have been working out 4-5x a week with very little progress. I am considering supplementing my workouts with steriods, as I have some friends that have good results. I am trying to find out some pro's and con's of the drug, and also if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them? Any suggestions?
    Thanks


    Understand that like many things there are trade offs. Testosterone is made by your body, and nothing could be more natural. I could make points about all the studies showing the benefits of testosterone supplementation, and the fact that there is zero creditable evidence againgst AAS (In fact, NO agency recommended they be controlled and HRT is a BOOMING business. Additonally, endos have asked that testosterone be removed from schedule III because it's good medicine, and has been studied and used with great success.) You're at the age that HRT could be just the treatment you need to preserve your health, vim and vigor well into middle age. Testosterone will protect your heart, improve your sense of well being, aid in your performance and recovery, and prevent diseases of aging like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It's no coincidence that AAS remain the treatment of choice for wasting diseases, and aging disorders.

    I personally spent hours talking to my own doctors and geriatric physicians who know the truth. I encourage you to explore that for yourself.

    I encourage you view these.

    ABC's 20/20


    Bigger, Stronger, Faster


    HBO's Real Sports Episode #99


    Also there are many, many, many studies showing the benefits of AAS. There is little to no evidence of long term adverse affects. Read the studies, such as UNT's 1999 mortality study showing that pro and nationally ranked bodybuilders not only enjoy a higher standard of fitness, and quality of life, but, also LIVE LONGER.

    I'd tune your training first, but, also see the doctor and get on HRT, too.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:14 AM GMT
    chuckystud said

    Also there are many, many, many studies showing the benefits of AAS. There is little to no evidence of long term adverse affects. Read the studies, such as UNT's 1999 mortality study showing that pro and nationally ranked bodybuilders not only enjoy a higher standard of fitness, and quality of life, but, also LIVE LONGER.


    1. There are few studies looking at the long term adverse effects from AAS use for several reasons. These can include the fact that those who use AAS probably wouldnt come forward to be in such a project (because that would admit that you are using AAS or have used); that AAS users use much higher doses than 'therapeutic' levels the medical profession would prescribe for many conditions that require AAS; and that AAS use has been such a stigmatised activity that we're only now really getting good information about peoples' patterns of use. Furthermore, from an epidemiological viewpoint, it's difficult to tease out the effects that AAS may have on adverse health consequences across a person's lifespan.

    Just because there is a small amount of literature on a phenomenon doesn't mean that the phenomenon doesn't exist. There is little to no research looking at the long term effects of MDMA use in humans, but that doesn't mean there are no effects.

    2. Yes, there are studies showing the benefits of AAS. Many of these are self-reported.

    3. Bodybuilders live a longer life compared to who?

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    Aug 14, 2009 3:37 AM GMT
    Many of you talk about there not being proof of any negative effects of steroids.

    Yet none of you have mentioned 'roid rage... which can be a HUGE problem for people.

    For those of you who dont believe in roid rage, see below:

    http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/steroids.html

    "Preclinical, clinical, and anecdotal reports suggest that steroids may contribute to psychiatric dysfunction. Research shows that abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to aggression and other adverse effects.1 For example, although many users report feeling good about themselves while on anabolic steroids, extreme mood swings can also occur, including manic-like symptoms that could lead to violence.2 Researchers have also observed that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility."

    .... I dont know if any of you have seen what a person looks like who is in the middle of a manic episode... but it isn't pretty.

    The denial in this forum is insane.

    Its well known that steroid use is high among the gay population. Thus all the older men who have these muscular, ripped bodies....

    In any event, the need to use steroids would be, in my eyes, related to a body image disorder..... the need for a certain body type is so great that it drives people to engage in illegal activities... injecting substances into their bodies...

    To the poster: you can gain muscle mass, you just have to try to change up your routine, eat a TON of protein, and possibly weight gainer shakes... all of which are legal options...
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:42 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidMany of you talk about there not being proof of any negative effects of steroids.



    The denial in this forum is insane.



    I think if you read the posts a little more slowly and carefully, you might see that the majority of people have not denied the negative effects of AAS, and in fact are urging the OP to seek other avenues to get the best out of his workout.
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:47 AM GMT
    I think the fact that not all of the posts denounce the use of roids is indicative of some denial.... and might we take a look at those who seem to be 'steroid apologists'....
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    Aug 14, 2009 3:53 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidI think the fact that not all of the posts denounce the use of roids is indicative of some denial.... and might we take a look at those who seem to be 'steroid apologists'....


    Because people should be allowed to make their own choices. Whether we agree with those choices or not is different.
  • UFJocknerd

    Posts: 392

    Aug 14, 2009 4:02 AM GMT
    Bah; I think people have a basic right to do as they chose with their own bodies. However, I don't think anyone should do things because they feel bad about themselves (i.e. someone who takes steroids to fulfill a dysmorphia-inspired goal to "be larger"-- just like an anorexic girl will never be thin enough, these people will never be big enough, no matter what they do), and I especially don't think people should do stupid things (hence my initial reply posting).

    There's no good, solid, totally sound long-term human research on the effects of AAS use, good or bad. There is decent evidence that long-term use can cause problems, most notably atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy. But, in particular, studies on outcomes of AAS use typically do not differentiate between controlled and monitored use (the sort you might see international-level bodybuilders doing with a doctor, a nutritionist, an endocrinologist, and pharmacist) and the sort of use Joe Shmo does (maybe more problems, if there are issues with getting real gear, with keeping sterile, etc.)

    The prostate cancer link is nothing more than urban myth, to my knowledge. If a poster can find a study that links AAS use in humans or in animals at human-typical doses to prostate cancer I'll gladly read it, but I don't think it exists.

    As for roid rage, I'm unaware of any work that teases apart AAS effects from existing psychopathology, inclinations to psychopathology, or social/cultural factors.
  • vince_the_cyc...

    Posts: 126

    Aug 14, 2009 4:02 AM GMT
    mjn1982 saidI have been working out 4-5x a week with very little progress. I am considering supplementing my workouts with steriods, as I have some friends that have good results. I am trying to find out some pro's and con's of the drug, and also if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them? Any suggestions?
    Thanks


    Like any drug (or food for that matter), anabolics can be used in healthy moderation with minimal side effects, or they can be abused. What are your goals? How much muscle are you hoping to add?

    The best way to make sure you're using anabolics from a pure source while dosing for optimal health is to talk to your doctor. Unfortunately a lot of doctors prescribe to the same negative stereotypes about steroids that most of the public adhere to, so it might take research to find a doc who's had some experience in hormone replacement therapy.

    There are some great, non-injectable products like Andro-gel or Testim which will help boost your natural levels of testosterone, and will definitely give you a boost in muscle building, along with a host of other potential pluses including increased sex drive, better sleeping, more steady appetite, more steady moods. Regular blood work with your doctor makes sure everything is in check. A lot safer than buying something in the alley behind the gym.

    Of course your doctor isn't going to give you something that'll make you explode into the incredible Hulk. Again, depends on your goals.

    Good luck.
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    Aug 14, 2009 5:23 AM GMT
    ..if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them?..

    Once you stop taking the steroids, you lose all the mass you gained while you were on your cycle. And you're back where you started.

    Steroids are a personal choice. I don't care either way. But I think too many guys are quick to turn to steroids as a substitute for proper training and nutrition. The OP is only 26.. So much natural potential there.

    If he was 46, it would be a different story. At that age, your body produces less testosterone and a little chemical enhancement with doctor supervision is totally understandable.

    Also, he didn't indicate how long he's been training. One month? One year?
  • arielanatole

    Posts: 77

    Aug 14, 2009 5:51 AM GMT
    Do you have a personal trainer? If not I highly recommend you obtain one. Steroids are a cheat, and you can not take them your whole life. Cheating never has a happy ending.
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    Aug 14, 2009 7:01 AM GMT
    Would you rather have a body that you achieved mostly through chemical alteration, or a body that you worked hard for and can take pride in. What are you hoping to accomplish by bulking up? Attracting a certain type of guy? What?

    Another questions is how long have you been working out and are you switching up your routines? Most people want what they want immediately after the impulse hits them. It doesn't work like that, your body has to make adaptations to what you're doing and those adaptations can be slow. Especially if you're doing the same thing over and over again.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Aug 14, 2009 7:43 AM GMT
    xrichx said..if it is a good thing to use them for one cycle, get muscle mass built up, and then stop taking them?..

    Once you stop taking the steroids, you lose all the mass you gained while you were on your cycle. And you're back where you started.


    I seem to remember reading recently that this is not true....couldn't find it, but I believe I read something that people can actually keep a lot of their gains even after quitting, which came up as an issue in the Olympics and if they should ban people who did them EVER, since they still were benefitting from them
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    Aug 14, 2009 8:23 AM GMT
    Once tissue is exposed to androgen, it is forever changed. However, in order to maintain pre-exposure levels the androgen levels, calories, and stimulus, have to be maintained. E.g. a man's voice and bone structure and structure of his muscles at the molecular level. There have been a number of studies done on folks with only very brief exposure that have had visible changes years later. Just as a transvestite can get rid of some masculinity, they can never get rid of all of it.

    Bouncing your endocrine levels around is not good. It's better to stay consistent. Unless you're dealing with hepatoxic items (e.g. Tylenol), hepatoxicity is not an issue.

    For testosterone to be hepatoxic, you need to take upwards of 5000mg weekly. Those doses are well beyond endogenous or super-physiological, and would be considered extreme in almost any venue.

    If you're 26 or older, or have a test level of below 600, you can benefit from supplementation. It's in no way cheating. Testosterone, unlike some meds, is 100% natural and is produced by your body. The difference is that it works at the cellular level and is very effective as opposed to other "snake oils" designed to line the pockets of the promoter.

    You really don't want to bounce yourself around. Get on, and stay on, and it's best to do it with a progressive doctor who has a background in sports medicine and who knows the truth, and steps around the misinformation.

    Because of the misinformation campaign, it's o.k. for a women to take estrogen / birth control, but, not for a man to take testosterone. We have a double standard where men can't as readily enjoy the health benefits that are provided by the proper adjustment of the endocrine system. You see those guys on statins, and a slew of drugs, that could be easily provided if they were given testosterone as andropause commenced.

    I've met more than a few medical folks who know the truth, and imbibe themselves.

    The biggest pro of supplementation of androgen? Good health.
    The biggest con of supplementation of androgen? Stigma and legal problems.
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    Aug 14, 2009 8:31 AM GMT
    ZbmwM5 saidMany of you talk about there not being proof of any negative effects of steroids.

    Yet none of you have mentioned 'roid rage... which can be a HUGE problem for people.

    For those of you who dont believe in roid rage, see below:

    http://www.nida.nih.gov/Infofacts/steroids.html

    "Preclinical, clinical, and anecdotal reports suggest that steroids may contribute to psychiatric dysfunction. Research shows that abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to aggression and other adverse effects.1 For example, although many users report feeling good about themselves while on anabolic steroids, extreme mood swings can also occur, including manic-like symptoms that could lead to violence.2 Researchers have also observed that users may suffer from paranoid jealousy, extreme irritability, delusions, and impaired judgment stemming from feelings of invincibility."

    .... I dont know if any of you have seen what a person looks like who is in the middle of a manic episode... but it isn't pretty.

    The denial in this forum is insane.

    Its well known that steroid use is high among the gay population. Thus all the older men who have these muscular, ripped bodies....

    In any event, the need to use steroids would be, in my eyes, related to a body image disorder..... the need for a certain body type is so great that it drives people to engage in illegal activities... injecting substances into their bodies...

    To the poster: you can gain muscle mass, you just have to try to change up your routine, eat a TON of protein, and possibly weight gainer shakes... all of which are legal options...


    Note the word "suggests." There's never been, and the AMA, AHA, and ALA, and well as the US ARMY, have never documented a case of "roid rage." That's an excuse invented because juice was moved from over the counter status in 1988, and later to a controlled status in 1991. Faced with dire consequences, folks will claim about anything. Again, there has never been a documented case of "roid rage" in nearly 60 years of study. That's urban myth. In fact, testosterone is well known for promoting a sense of well-being, and self-confidence, as well as promoting a strong immune system (that's why it's used for the sickest of the sick, like HIV, cancer, burns, dire infections, and post op).

    Ironically, the misinformation campaign has met with some success in the lay public. A 2007 GAO study showed that users are above average intelligence, health, and very risk adverse, live longer, and have better jobs, and education, than the general public. The study noted that it's hard to fool intelligent people with bogus scare tactics (a paraphrase).

    I spent 11 years in broadcast news. I've spent 35 years in weight gyms across the country. I've spent hours talking with doctors.

    Most of the folks I've ever met that "juice" are very centered. They like the way their high performance feels, as opposed to some sense of insecurity. I've met very few folks who I'd say are insecure, or have a warped body image. In fact, just the opposite. They're focused, driven, brilliant, and disciplined almost without exception.
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    Aug 14, 2009 11:19 AM GMT
    OP, there is no easy way to get you to where you want to go. Half the fun is the journey, itself. It takes years of learning what routines work best for you, including diet and exercise. It is an incredible journey or self-awareness that only fools try to expedite. Steroids are not the answer.
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    Aug 14, 2009 12:13 PM GMT
    pjp201 said
    syd_hockey_79 saidMy suggestion would be to maybe look at other factors of your training first. What exercises are you doing? Sets, reps? How's your diet going?


    What Syd said - I would really look at type of training you're doing and diet/nutrition and look at supplements. Also, might have to reevaluate goals and expected time frame - sometimes its not that you're not progressing but rather you are not progressing in the time frame you expected. Also, I suffer from "Im not making any progress" I hope you took some pics when you started. If so , perhaps you can take some current shots and see how they measure up.



    I agree that finding a picture of yourself before you started working out and putting it next to a current photo...can be really, really helpful in demonstrating to yourself that you, indeed, have made more changes than you may have realized...I recently did this: I found a picture that was taken in 2006 right before I started working out and juxtaposed it to a picture of me taken exactly 3 years later...while I was aware that I had put on some weight...I was really surprised to see how MUCH my body had changed in those intervening years....I was always "the skinny" kid growing up...and in many ways still see myself that way, regardless of evidence to the contrary (perhaps a bit of body dysmorphia?) ...seeing the pictures side by side has really helped me come to terms with the changes I've made...hell, I even posted it on my profile...

    So, to stay a bit on track: keep at and exhaust every other available avenue before checking out the steroids...and then think more than twice about it...maybe talk to your doctor and have your free testosterone levels checked...maybe it's low...
  • vince_the_cyc...

    Posts: 126

    Aug 14, 2009 1:59 PM GMT
    arielanatole saidDo you have a personal trainer? If not I highly recommend you obtain one. Steroids are a cheat, and you can not take them your whole life. Cheating never has a happy ending.


    Tapper saidOP, there is no easy way to get you to where you want to go. Half the fun is the journey, itself. It takes years of learning what routines work best for you, including diet and exercise. It is an incredible journey or self-awareness that only fools try to expedite. Steroids are not the answer.


    This is misinformed and just plain wrong, and mostly a product of unfair stigma generated by the media (from what I can tell). Hormone replacement therapy is no more cheating than taking an aspirin for a headache, taking a multi-vitamin to replace what's lacking in one's diet, using Lipitor to lower cholesterol, wearing glasses to see correctly, treating allergies with a prescription, filling a cavity... the list of ways in which we alter our bodies to live longer, happier and healthier could go on and on.

    Women are routinely prescribed a long list of hormones and hormone altering drugs without stigma. But when a man seeks similar therapy he's labeled as vanity driven, insecure, and a cheater. Can someone justify the double standard?

    Like any drug, there's potential for abuse, and a risk of side effects. Aspirin increases the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, ringing sound in the ear, ulcers, anaphylactic shock. But dosed correctly, it provides a benefit millions of people employ.

    With a doctor's supervision, steroids can contribute a huge deal to the overall health, longevity and well being of men. Look past the stereotypes and stigma (as gay men you should be used to this!) and do even a small amount of research for yourself, and know what you're talking about before posting inflammatory misinformation.

    BTW, great info Chucky.