By: Bob Howard
What Are They?
Anabolic steroids, also known as , gear, juice, and anabolics, are drugs that were initially created to mimic the male hormone testosterone. They are used in medical settings to treat such wasting diseases as cancer and AIDS, and to treat endocrine problems such as delayed puberty in males.
Bodybuilders and other athletes use them to promote muscle growth and decrease body fat percentages. As of 1990 the nonmedical use of these drugs is illegal.
Who uses them?
The simple answer to this question is that everyone uses these drugs. By this we mean members from every segment of society is represented. It started with Olympic lifters in the 1950ís and spread to bodybuilders in the 1960ís. From then on just about any sport that involved short bursts of power was infiltrated by the drugs. By the 1970ís and 1980ís there was an explosion in anabolic usage by the general public. It has now reached the point where everyone from teens and college athletes to non-competitive weekend warriors are on the gear. The biggest explosion in usage is not for improving athletic performance but for looking better. As soon as a Hollywood hunk reads in a script that he needs to remove his shirt on screen, out comes the pills or needles. The vast majority of people who use steroids will never compete.
How Are They Used?
Steroids are usually taken as orally as pills or injected with a needle into a muscle. Bodybuilders and other users routinely take dosages that are hundreds of times higher than the medically recommended dosages. Users often combine multiple anabolics into stacks, and alternate such usage with periods of abstinence called cycling. A typical stack will last 6 to 12 weeks and be followed by 2 to 4 weeks of non-usage. At least this is how the smart users do it. Now days many bodybuilders live on the edge by staying on high dosages of for years on end.
Do They Really Work?
Despite the lack of medical evidence to ďproveĒ the point, itís safe to say that steroids do promote tremendous gains in muscle strength and size. The anti-steroid advocates who say otherwise obviously donít spend much time hanging out in gyms. Itís one thing to work with rats in a lab, but another thing entirely to use human subjects. Anabolics allow users to train harder and recover much quicker from workouts. The biggest detriment to training naturally is overtraining. But being on the juice modifies a personís system so that overtraining is almost impossible. Perhaps the best evidence to ďproveĒ that steroids work is that since the late 1950ís there have been millions of people who have used these drugs. If they didnít work the usage would have died out decades ago.
Are there health hazards?
Although the side effects attributed the hormones have been exaggerated by the media, there are risks just the same. Most of the negative effects such as acne, oily skin, and increased blood pressure, are transitory and will disappear after the drugs are stopped. In women the effects of a deepened voice and masculinized genitalia may be permanent.
We should point out that the risk of side effects is related to the nature of drug usage. Users who take multiple drugs in high dosages for extended periods of time, are at greater risk for developing health problems than someone who does a one-drug, 6-week cycle. But thanks to modern nutritional science there is an alternative so that you donít even need to try illegal products in the first place.
When the Anabolic Steroid Control Act became law in the early 1990ís, steroid usage became a lot more dangerous. Not only was the risk of side effects still present, but now users had to contend with being busted for their habit. Even though many prisons have well-equipped weight rooms, we strongly urge you to give steroids a pass. You have options. They are called steroid alternatives and have taken the bodybuilding world by storm. They are safe, legal, and highly effective at packing huge amounts of striated muscle on your body. You have to see them to believe them.
© Bob Howard 4/7/2006
BobHoward expert on bodybuilding and steroids. Are you looking for more of his
©Article Bob Howard 04/07/2006
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