Will Steroids Make Me Bigger and Stronger?

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question-icon-newI have a very slow metabolism and I really want to start some serious weight training and bodybuilding! I know I need to eat loads of calories to get bigger but I can’t seem do this without getting fat. Do you have any ideas on what else I can do to get huge? I’m thinking about taking steroids since it will help me build a ton a muscle mass quickly without getting fat. What do you think?

answer-icon-newThere are several different types of steroids (anabolic and catabolic) that are used medically to treat various diseases but the majority of steroid use is taken by people playing sports to improve their performance. The bigger and faster an athlete can become, the better their chances are of making it to the professional level and earning millions of dollars, so it’s a very slippery slope when the potential of big money is involved.

It is evident that steroids can be both beneficial and harmful depending on how they are used. It’s therefore important to be well-informed before you make the choice of using them in order to gain more body mass and build up your muscles.

It is estimated that about 12% of youth between the ages of 15-24 are using steroids as a mode of self enhancement or as way to improve their performance in sports or any other competitive activity they are involved in. Surprisingly, a large percentage of this group of younger kids do not use steroids because they want to improve their performance in sports but because they simply want to improve their physical appearance and outlook. Some kids get bullied for being skinny and scrawny so they see steroids as a fast solution to get big, buff and powerful. Many kids also want to be attractive to the opposite sex and they think a muscular body will help them get more girls.

Steroids are drugs and they do provide a lot of positive physical effects, which is a big factor to young people who want to make strength and size gains quickly. From experimental studies on the use of steroids in men, it was reported to increase body weight by approximately 2-5 kilograms within a span of 10 weeks with the majority of the weight being lean muscle tissue. In the same study, it was shown to reduce fat mass but that was proven to be dose dependent.

However, after drug withdrawal, it was noted that the effects of the steroids fade away quickly and diminish within 6-12 weeks after getting off of the drugs. From the above studies, it is evident that steroids do have the effect of adding fat-free mass but they do not give the long-lasting effects one would want when pursuing these goals. What this means is that if you want to retain the gains you achieve on steroids, you will have to use them for the rest of your life along with training with weights. Let’s take a closer look about the adverse effects of steroid use:

  • Due to the increased muscle mass and strength, joints and ligaments take on a lot of pressure to support the sudden weight gain, leading to ligament and joint injury.
  • After steroid cessation, the loss of muscle mass slows down the person’s overall metabolic rate which can lead to fat gain if the same amount of calories are consumed, which can lead to problems with weight management.
  • Other short-term effects include acne, high blood pressure, increased LDL cholesterol and enlarged breasts (gynecomastia).
  • Long term effects include liver issues, risk of HIV (sharing needles), heart problems, stunted growth and neurological problems.

These are just few things to be aware of if you’re thinking about using steroids with the aim of gaining muscle mass and getting bigger. There are healthier ways to pack on lean muscle but you will need strict dedication and consistent training. This involves a regular routine of exercise and a clean, balanced diet to provide enough calories and macronutrients (carbs, protein, fat) to supply your muscles with the nutrients they need to get bigger and stronger.

Before even considering steroids, try a natural and legal supplement like creatine. Eating a clean diet with nutrient dense foods is the key to priming your body to add muscle. The other critical aspect includes intense weight training and proper rest. Although you do want to keep your calories high, make sure your foods are coming from good quality sources. Here is a great article on nutrition to base your muscle building diet around:

Also make sure to monitor your weight each week on the scale and in the mirror. Take photos on Sunday of each week to visually track if you are adding pure muscle or a combination of body fat along with muscle. If you’re adding too much fat, cut back the calories a little and keep monitoring everything. With consistent training and a clean diet, you can make solid gains that you will be able to keep for a lifetime without the need for dangerous steroids.

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