How many times have you considered asking that jacked friend about where he gets his “supplements”? If none, congratulations, you are an exception to the rule! The majority of lifters who have decided upon staying natural have once thought about giving up their natural status. Some of them will give in with time, but some will stay out of the reach of PEDs for the rest of their lives. We are here to provide you with motivation and reasons to stay natural and to teach you about the risks of not doing so. Why should you stay natural? As the health reasons are the most expected ones, we have decided on going over that topic last.
When going on a cycle, steroids themselves are not the only thing you require in order to take them safely. In order to protect the liver (if taking oral steroids), one more item must be added to the shopping cart. Given that a significant part of the testosterone injected converts to estrogen hormones, one requires anti-estrogenic substances if gynecomastia and such side effects of high estrogen are to avoid. You will also require post-cycle therapy, as to restore the normal function of your endocrine system when off the cycle. This can equate to thousands of dollars every cycle depending on the dosages used. If you could afford spending that money on steroids, why would you not be able to spend it on something better? Something like better equipment, a home gym, some books about training and nutrition, or even better— personal training with someone who is educated on the subject of training and fitness adequately to take you to your goals without the use of PEDs, as long as the goals are realistic.
If you have ever played video games, then you have most probably cheated in them too. The difference between cheating in video games and cheating in real life is the fact that the games do not cause damage to the console or the joystick upon cheating. Your body does. There is also a similarity between the two: when comparing success caused by playing and working hard with the one caused by cheating, the one caused by cheating never feels as good. Victory, if not true and sincere, is no victory. It is just a cheat. Before you leave this article because “It doesn’t matter if I take steroids, getting big takes just as much work, if not more!”, allow for an explanation of why that simply is far from the truth. A famous study has examined the effects of anabolic androgenic steroids on both exercising and non-exercising individuals. It included four groups, two of which exercised (E), two that did not (N), two that were on placebo (P), and finally, two that were using steroids (S). The groups thus looked like the following: EP, ES, NP, NS. It is easy to see which group gained the most muscle mass and which gained the least. The surprising part is which group got the second place. It was the NS group, the one in which no exercise was included, but steroids were.
How could one see this more-than-sufficient evidence and still deny the fact that if lifting were a game, that steroids would be using cheats? A good gamer does not pride himself on finishing the game on the easiest difficulty + cheats. A good lifter should (but often does, for some reason) pride himself on being big due to drugs.
Previously, the cost of the substances used to counteract the adverse effects of steroids were a topic of discussion. The left out part was that none of the purchases guarantee that the cycle would be safe. Our bodies respond differently to most substances. However, when it comes to steroids, everyone responds poorly, in differing magnitudes, whether they would prefer to admit it or not. While some experience very few negative side effects, some also experience a high amount of them. They range in severity from annoying to life threatening. There is no known way to predict how your body will react. The possible adverse effects include, but are not limited to:
- Oily skin and hair
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
- Increased aggression
- Alterations in cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Shrinking of testicles
- Absence of sperm in semen
- Stunted growth (teens)
- Excess facial and body hair (females)
- Deeper voice (females)
- Menstrual irregularities (females)
- Risk of contracting infections due to unsterile environments
This is just the list of scientifically proven side effects coming from only one source. Unmentioned are the ones from other sources and the ones that are still anecdotal. This list alone should be enough to help an indecisive, insecure teenager realize that there is more to life than fixing issues that need not occur.
If your desires include health, longevity and enough money to afford things that actually have significance; we suggest you stay away from steroids. Cheating may work in video games, but it is never as fun as doing it the hard way. It is never as fulfilling as reaping the rewards of years of hard work.