Myths About Anabolic Steroids
By: Good Looking Loser
This is the third installment in our 3-part series on "25 Myths About Anabolic Steroids".
Anabolic steroids is basically the only thing on this site that I no longer do in any capacity.
From age 20 to 26, however, hitting the gym, juice and slamming down > 3,500+ calories in the kitchen was basically my life.
The majority of "pick up" and party/club scene I did (2008-2010) - at 6-2, I weighed 210-235 lbs. At various body fat percentages.
Still, I concede that the "ideal body" to attract girls is closer to about 180-190 lbs at 6-7% body fat for me.
These days I'm closer to 200 lbs. I only went to the gym about 30 times last year, thanks to HRT - I retained a decent amount of muscle size and still look athletic. Testosterone (and sometimes - HGH) keeps the muscle on and T3 keeps the fat off. My strength has gone to hell though - but I don't really care that much.
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And Away we go...
#21 The long-term side effects of steroids are completely unknown and you will eventually die from them.
When cornered, the inexperienced, uninformed steroid expert always insists-
"But what about the long-term side effects?!?!"
First off - lets discuss the concept of "long-term" and "short-term" side effects from prescription drugs, dietary supplements and the like.
A lot of people are under the impression - that one day - you will wake up DEAD from some medication, supplement, compound, lifestyle habit, etc. that you had used for years without any negative effects.
Although whatever medication/supplement/compound/habit you had been engaging in for years produced no adverse short-term reactions - your family will be planning your funeral when the long-term side effects kick in.
Although there were no warning signs - all of a sudden - YOU ARE DEAD.
Long-term side effects strike again!
The truth of the matter is (with just about any medication/supplement/lifestyle habit/etc.) - if you AREN'T experiencing SHORT-TERM SIDE EFFECTS - you are unlikely to experience LONG-TERM SIDE EFFECTS.
No short-term side effects = No long-term side effects.
Long-term side effects are almost always preceded by multiple short-term side effects.
Smoking/Self-Destructive Lifestyle Habit Example
Take - smoking, for example.
(or ANY OTHER SELF-DESTRUCTIVE LIFESTYLE HABIT)
The people that die from the "long-term side effects" have YEARS and YEARS of warning signs.
Including, but not limited to - not being able to breathe, coughing up tar and phlegm every morning and having lower immunity.
They choose to ignore these "warning signs" - also known as SHORT-TERM SIDE EFFECTS - and continue to engage in their habit.
If and when they die or get lung cancer - no one is completely shocked.
Propecia/Prescription Medication Example
Take - adverse reactions to the hair loss medication Propecia (Finasteride).
(or ANY OTHER PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION)
People who have long-term or permanent side effects from Propecia also usually experience several progressive short-term side effects such as low libido, daily fatigue and erectile dysfunction.
If they choose to ignore these effects and stay on the medication - they might experience "long-term side effects".
If they discontinue the medication - they will return to their baseline DHT level and likely be 100% fine.
Again - these examples don't represent 100% of smoking deaths or those that get permanent side effects from Propecia - but will account for the vast majority.
If you get side effects from a medication, supplement or lifestyle habit -- it is your body's way of telling you to STOP.
You will only "get" long-term side effects if you choose to ignore side-term side effects.
Long-term side effects are usually no surprise or accident. You will have plenty of warning signs and chances to stop.
Anabolic Steroids Parallel
Same deal with anabolic steroids.
If you are a healthy adult male, you won't drop dead without MONTHS (or YEARS) of warning sides and chances to stop.
Any "long-term side effects" from anabolic steroids will likely be a product of-
- Not using the compounds responsibly (usually taking them at HIGH DOSE for TOO LONG).
- Not getting bloodwork 4-6 weeks after your cycles and a couple times a year to detect problems.
There will usually be noticeable "short-term side effects" to both.
The exception might be chronically high blood pressure or an early on-set cardiovascular problem since there aren't always obvious warning signs to those issues.
Still, inexpensive blood tests and annual physicals can shed light on these potential issues.
Definitely something you should be doing in the first place - especially if members of your immediate family have cardiovascular issues.
There's a school of thought (aka guys that have used steroids for 30+ years) that believe that steroids, even when abused, won't give you any problems or ailments that you are not genetically prone to.
If you start abusing oral steroids (large doses for long periods of time) - combined with alcohol, over-the-counter NSAIDs, stimulants that increase dopamine e.g. cocaine and sedatives to kill the anxiety from stimulants - you are headed for trouble no matter who you are. Steroids, however, are probably the least of your problems.
As mentioned in Part II -
Myth #15 - Only competitive bodybuilders and athletes use steroids.
This myth is particularly popular among guys that don't go to a gym.
Most people have no idea how prevalent responsible steroid use is.
For decades, there's been millions of people worldwide using anabolic steroids and their current bloodwork and lifestyle would indicate that they are more healthy than the average male.
The "long-term side effects" would have already claimed hundreds of thousands of lives if anabolic steroid use was a sure ticket to premature death.
Instead, doctors can't even agree if there has been even a single death that can be SOLELY attributed to anabolic steroids.
Like John Romano asked in the HBO Video "The Truth About Anabolic Steroids" that I posted in Part I -
Where are the bodies?????
Even my bloodwork from July 2006 shows that you can have 2.5x the normal testosterone level and be completely healthy. Although the HDL is slightly lower than it should be - the ratio of HDL:LDL is more important - and mine is excellent.
(it is a product of ~350mg of testosterone every 7 days and 250ius of HCG, every 3 days)
#22 Steroid abuse is the same thing as steroid use.
Steroid abuse IS NOT the same thing as steroid use.
"Steroids" are medical compounds - they are neither "good" or "evil".
They have no intrinsic moral value.
Just like any medical compound or drug - steroids can be used or abused.
- When used responsibly, just like most compounds/drugs - they can be beneficial and will not produce adverse effects.
- When abused recklessly, just like most compounds/drugs - they can be dangerous and will produce adverse effects.
I don't know why this concept is so hard for the anti-drug moralists to understand. Even Axl Rose gets this.
If you are a healthy adult male and USE steroids responsibly - you shouldn't have any significant cardiovascular side effects.
If you are a healthy adult male and ABUSE steroids - chances are - you'll be okay too.
(this is not a green light to do so)
Common sense can explain why-
Most of us agree that pro bodybuilders are reasonable examples of steroid abuse.
(or at least "responsible steroid abuse" - if you accept that oxymoron)
Regardless of what you've heard - the pros use ENORMOUS doses of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone.
Although it's a bit of a generalization, the fact of the matter is - these guys aren't dropping dead right and left.
"But what about the long-term side effects?!?!"
The vast majority of 'old school' bodybuilders that did not have prior undiagnosed cardiovascular problems are alive and well too. I never followed or cared much about professional bodybuilding (sorry, just not my thing) - but I hear that most of them have kids as well.
The guys that have the health issues are the ones that combine anabolic steroids with alcohol and hardcore recreational drugs (largely cocaine and acute benzodiazepines such as Xanax). If they die, the media often reports that steroids were responsible, despite the physicians and autopsy saying otherwise.
Serious bodybuilders don't fall into this category and you shouldn't either.
#23 Steroids and HGH will make your head, face and limbs grow significantly - just like Barry Bonds.
We can make this one quick.
Steroids have no significant effect on bone growth.
HGH in high does (10iu+), taken on a daily basis, for years at a time - can cause bone growth.
Anabolic steroids did not make Barry Bonds' head grow - high doses of HGH administered over a decade did.
HGH taken at the usual dose of 4 to 5ius will not cause bone growth.
Nor should that dose cause intestinal growth or a "roid belly".
Since 2006, with several off periods, I've taken 4ius HGH a day.
With the exception of a 2 or 3 month period, I experienced no bone or limb growth.
During the summer of 2006, when I was first prescribed HGH for a football knee injury, I grew from 6-2' 1/8" to 6-2' 3/8".
~1/4" height increase in total.
Both my doctors verified this and couldn't really explain it - other than - I must have had some growth plates that didn't close.
This is uncommon and I'm not "recommending" or suggesting that HGH will make you taller.
I've heard and seen this with 1 or 2 other guys that have used HGH - they reported that they grew 1/12" to 1/4" - a very small amount.
Other people have given various explanations to explain this - including one that believes that people are somehow taller in the Fall than the Summer months.
I honestly haven't looked into this.
If HGH increases your height - it will be very rare and only a very small amount.
To grow your hands, skull and stomach girth - you'll need to take high doses of HGH (and usually IGF-1) for months on end.
#24 Steroids will make you sterile and you will never be able to have kids.
Another myth to put to rest.
Like I mentioned - I don't follow bodybuilding but the majority of the professionals (and former professionals) have children. Correct me if I'm wrong.
In short -
If you take HCG, while on cycle (or for HRT), your sperm count and semen load will be higher than it would be otherwise.
Sometimes, much higher.
If you don't take HCG while on cycle, your post-cycle recovery (PCT) will usually be more lengthy because you will have reverse the shutdown.
In most cases, regardless of how long you have been ON CYCLE - you can make a FULL RECOVERY.
Unless you have prior existing endocrine problems (genetically prone to poor HPTA activity/recovery) - there's only a small chance that you will be "shut down" forever.
(This is in contrast to what you will hear on most bodybuilding forums. For better or worse - most forums exaggerate the potential side effects to make sure younger guys take steroid use seriously.)
Yep - that means if you used steroids EVERY WEEK from age 20 to 30 - and if for some reason you wanted to come off and restore your natural testosterone production, Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis (HPTA, what makes your balls work) - you will probably eventually make a full recovery.
How do I know this?
As of January 23rd (exactly 1 year), my friend who was a competitive bodybuilder (not Mr. Tampa) told me that he is officially back to normal (~800ng/dl, good testosterone level) after a decade of using.
Recovery won't take 8 weeks like a normal PCT however - it might take over a year.
It would be suitable that you should only undertake under a physician's supervision and making EVERY EFFORT to maximize your testosterone levels.
Worst case scenario - if you can't make an adequate recovery - your doctor can put you on HRT (something you were doing for the past decade anyway) and the problem is solved.
As for sperm count (the stuff that makes babies) - science has you covered too.
We've discussed HCG a lot. It's a lovely compound that signals to your balls to produce all the major hormones and big loads.
But there's another compound called "HMG" (Human Menopausal Gonadotropin) that signals to your balls to produce sperm.
In clinical studies, HCG and HMG just about always comes through.
- HMG to Treat Male Infertility (Dr. Malpani)
- HCG and HMG (Combined)
- Testicular responsiveness to long-term administration of hCG and hMG in patients with hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism
- 100+ more clinical/academic studies and reports on HCG and HMG
Both have been used for decades to treat male infertility - even helping men in their 70's get their younger wives pregnant.
(if your doctor hasn't heard of it - get a new doctor)
Taking steroids without HCG is NOT birth control!
This can be an entire myth by itself.
A lot of not-so-wise steroid users think that they can fuck girls without a condom and there is no risk of pregnancy.
This is not true - at all.
While on cycle (without using HCG to maintain your testicular function) - your natural testosterone and sperm count levels will be low.
LOW BUT NOT ZERO.
If you have a long dick (deep release) and the girl is fertile - it's completely possible to get her pregnant. Regardless of how much gear you are on.
Yep - I also know guys that have done just this.
I know a lot of meatheads.
#25 Steroids create an uneven playing field. (Bonus)
(this one is my opinion)
The first 24 myths were debunked with FACTS.
This one is just my opinion.
The argument that is often used to keep steroids out of professional sports (and also for keeping them illegal) is -
"Steroids create an uneven playing field among competitive athletes."
I argue exactly the OPPOSITE.
STEROIDS CREATE A MORE EVEN PLAYING FIELD.
The first argument suggests that "the playing field" was even to begin with and somehow anabolic steroids disrupt this perfect harmony.
The playing field is NEVER even.
Athletic ability and physical stature are highly dependent on genetics.
A lazy guy that is naturally athletic, 6' 3" 240lbs, with high testosterone levels and a dick hanging down to his knees will always be a better football player than a guy that is naturally not athletic, 6' 2", 150lbs, with low testosterone levels and a dick that doesn't even know he's a male.
It doesn't matter if the 2nd kid works out everyday of his life or how hard he tries.
With steroids and work ethic, hypothetically, the 2nd guy has a chance of competing.
If two players have the EXACT same ability, but [player #1] has the genetics that allow his body to naturally build and retain 30lbs more fast-twitch (power) muscle mass - he will be a significantly better baseball player than [player #2].
It doesn't matter how much [player #2] trains or how hard he works - his genetic ceiling limits his weight, strength, ability and how much money he'll make as a baseball player.
Steroids change all that and even the playing field.
So that's all folks.
25 Myths About Anabolic Steroids - covered from head to toe.
I had fun writing this. I'd like to thank DC7 too - he did the first 10 myths.
Although sports, steroids and my gym rat days (2000-2006) are long behind me - it was a very significant stage in my life and I never physically pushed myself harder. While only a small portion of the muscle will remain on my body - the discipline, tolerance to pain and friends I made will last a lifetime.
If you are a sedentary male in your 20's that is having trouble with women, work ethic and/or self-esteem -
GET YOUR ASS TO THE GYM IMMEDIATELY and STOP LOOKING FOR QUICK FIXES.
Provided that you don't have over 25lbs to lose, it will only take about 4-6 months to really clean up your face and body.
If you know another myth, go ahead and write in below.
If you just have a question or comment, do the same.
Extensive questions are better suited for our Anabolic Steroids Forum where you will get a faster response anyway.