Bodybuilding and Steroids: A Comprehensive Guide

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This article aims to deliver a comprehensive and practical introduction to the world of bodybuilding with a focus on the use of steroids. We will delve into how steroids function, their potential effects on the body, associated side effects, and strategies to mitigate them.

It is imperative to note that the use of performance drugs and steroids is strongly discouraged for individuals under the age of 21, as it can disrupt natural development and growth, leading to unforeseen and enduring consequences.

In essence, anabolic steroids and performance-enhancing drugs exhibit a modest impact on muscle development. Individuals who resort to hormones and steroids due to health reasons do not necessarily achieve a distinct physique because steroids alone do not build muscle.

Regardless of steroid use, the body increases muscle mass only through proper training, adequate rest between sessions, and adherence to a specific diet.

Dieting: Eating the right foods in the right quantities at the right times is integral to a bodybuilder’s lifestyle. Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats all play crucial roles. The recommended caloric ratios for bulking are as follows:

  • Carbohydrates (40% of total calories): Brown rice, brown pasta, wholemeal bread, sweet potatoes, oats.
  • Protein (40% of total calories): Chicken, turkey, fish, tuna, lean beef, egg whites, whey protein.
  • Good fats (20% of total calories): Nuts, oily fish, avocado, coconut oil. These percentages can be adjusted based on individual goals and training regimes.

Training:

Muscles grow when subjected to stress. Training causes microscopic damage to muscle fibers, and the subsequent repair process results in increased muscle size and strength. A personalized training program aligned with the athlete’s goals is crucial. Different goals, such as bulking, fat reduction, or toning, require specific training focuses.

How Anabolic Steroids Work:

Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are designed to substitute natural testosterone. These synthetic hormones bind to androgen receptors at the cellular level, facilitating protein synthesis, ultimately leading to increased muscle size and strength. Additional effects associated with AAS use include maintaining an anabolic state, preventing muscle wastage, sustaining a positive nitrogen balance essential for growth, and increasing red blood cell production for improved oxygen transportation.

However, excessive and prolonged use of steroids can impede muscle growth, irrespective of effective training and diet. Taking periodic breaks between steroid cycles is strongly recommended—never exceeding 12 consecutive weeks (8 weeks for injectables and 6 weeks for orals).

Steroids and Performance-Enhancing Drugs – Doses:

Understanding dosages is paramount before delving into the world of bodybuilding. Dosages are often measured in milligrams (mg), micrograms (mcg), or International Units (IU). It is crucial to be aware of the total number of IUs contained in compounds like HGH or HCG to calculate the concentration per milliliter of liquid.

Injecting – Do Not:

  • Share or reuse injecting equipment.
  • Inject into veins, blood vessels, or nerves.
  • Use more than 2 ml of oil-based steroids on a site.
  • Inject into muscles targeted for growth (spot injecting).
  • Choose needles shorter than 30 mm.
  • Use injectable steroids for more than 12 weeks consecutively.

Injectable Steroids – Doses and Frequency:

The table below outlines common steroids and their recommended doses for male bodybuilders. Higher doses do not guarantee better results and often intensify side effects.

Steroid Dose Range Frequency of Injections
Boldenone Undecanoate 200 – 400 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Drostanolone Propionate 100 – 150 mg Injections every other day
Methenolone Enanthate 200 – 400 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Nandrolone Decanoate 200 – 600 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Stanozolol 50 – 100 mg daily or every other day Injections every other day
Sustanon 250 – 750 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Testosterone Cypionate 200 – 600 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Testosterone Enanthate 200 – 600 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Testosterone Propionate 50 – 100 mg every other day Injections every other day
Testosterone Suspension 50 – 100 mg daily or every other day Injections every day
Trenbolone Acetate 50 – 100 mg every other day Injections every other day
Trenbolone Enanthate 200 – 300 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days
Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate 152 – 228 mg per week Injections once every 4 – 7 days

 

For optimal safety and efficacy, it is crucial to start with smaller doses and gradually increase. Additionally, it is advisable to never use steroids for more than 12 weeks consecutively, with breaks of at least the same duration between cycles. This cautious approach helps mitigate potential risks associated with steroid use.

In conclusion, while steroids can be a tool for bodybuilders seeking enhanced performance, their use requires meticulous consideration of dosages, administration methods, and adherence to safety guidelines. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before embarking on any steroid regimen to ensure individual health and well-being are prioritized.