Steroids: What Are Anabolic Steroids?

Steroids 101

There’s many debates raging within the health and fitness world about everything from supplements, to water consumption, to proper amounts of protein, and even the anabolic window has come under scrutiny lately. The usage of steroids have long been a subject of great debate among fitness enthusiasts, medical professionals, as well as athletes.

Steroids categorically come in 2 varieties. There are cortical steroids which are designed solely for the purpose of inflammation reduction, and there are anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids come in 2 forms as well. There are those taken orally, and those that are taken as injectables. Within those 2 categories, there a vast array of steroids available.The difference between steroids is because different steroids are used for different purposes. For example, Testosterone, which too comes in a variety of strains, so to speak, is used for bulking and getting stronger, while other steroids such as Winstrol, are used to reduce body fat, while promoting hypertrophy. Others, such as Anadrol 50 are used to gain strength. No matter which one we are talking about, they usually are taken either side by side with a different steroid, or consecutively over the time period that steroids are being used, also known as the cycle.

Most cycles run from 8 to 16 weeks in length, and as stated above, usually involve the usage of several different types of steroids. For example, a football player may be trying to get bigger and stronger in the off season, so they might run a cycle of Testosterone, starting with a smaller dosage, building up to a larger dosage, and then curtailing it all together in favor of another substance, such as Anadrol 50, for example, for a certain amount of time, and so on.

Why do professional athletes take steroids? The same reason aspiring bodybuilders, actors needing to get more muscular and defined for a role, as well as those hoping for an easy path to big strong muscles, or better athletic performance on any level do. Simply put, they work, and they work very well.

Anabolic steroids have been around since the 1940s. They are in essence, like testosterone, for example, a synthetic version of the testosterone generated in the testicles, albeit, the synthetic testosterone is injected at a much higher level than the human body can generate. In essence, if someone is taking 500mg of testosterone per week, they are injecting roughly 10 times what their testicles would normally be putting out, assuming they were healthy, and had a good natural testosterone level. For females, obviously the ratio would be exponentially higher, as their natural levels of testosterone are minuscule compared to their male counterparts.

Steroids are illegal and are considered a controlled substance, just as other drugs such as cocaine, and heroin are. Possessing them can land you in quite a bit of trouble, unless, of course, you have a prescription from a doctor. Why would a doctor prescribe anabolic steroids to a patient? For a multitude of reasons, actually. Aids patients very often are given a cocktail of steroids to prevent muscle wasting. Included in this cocktail is a healthy amount of Anadrol 50. Other patients who have experienced muscle and/or strength loss would benefit from them as well. Another group of patients receiving steroids these days, and one that is very popular, in fact, is the TRT patients. Testosterone replacement therapy has grown so popular, that TRT clinics are sprouting up all over. TRT is simply the process of having a blood test performed to see if there’s a deficiency in a man’s testosterone levels. If one is found, he will be prescribed a small weekly dosage to administer himself to bring his levels back within a healthy range.

Back in the 80s and 90s, when steroid usage among athletes and professional wrestlers came to light, it was dealt with much the same way marijuana was back in the 50s. A reefer madness effect seemed to take over, and there were countless horror stories in the media of deformed young men who had irreversibly altered their bodies, as well as their minds through the usage of steroids. There were several after school movies depicting a young Ben Affleck as a high school student in search of a bigger, stronger physique who tried steroids. Of course, when he tried them, he immediately went into an uncontrollable rage, destroyed his parent’s home, etc.

These days, however, we know much more about steroids, thanks to science. They are not a quick answer to anything, nor are they a substitute for proper nutrition, and hard work on the field, and in the gym. Most importantly, they are not for young people looking to impress their fellow classmates on the football team or when they stroll into the senior prom looking like a beefcake. Steroids are dangerous drugs that can have both long lasting, and very negative side effects, especially when taken with naive abandon, and worse yet, by someone who’s endocrine system has yet to fully develop. Major complications can ensue that are irreversible.

As a personal trainer in Austin for over 20 years, I can attest to the fact that steroids have always been involved in every sport, especially at the upper levels in the professional ranks. There’s no way around it, even with drug testing protocols in place, as new and slightly different compounds will be produced in underground labs that are undetectable to the standard testing agencies and their existing protocols. If a consenting adult chooses to take steroids, that’s their decision, but just because someone educates themselves on their usage, doesn’t make it either safe, or sustainable for the long term.

Steroids have a genuine, and excellent medical application, when properly prescribed by a physician. They can be used to help treat AIDS patients, and others with muscle wasting diseases, as well as be used to help repair damaged muscle tissue, but never should steroids be used without the oversight of a physician, and for the proper medical reasons. Playing Russian roulette with your body’s endocrine system, your vital organs, such as your heart, etc, is simply foolish.

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Steroids: What Are Anabolic Steroids?
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Steroids: What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey answers the oft asked question of what are anabolic steroids, are they bad for you, how do they work, and who takes them?
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
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