Steroids are effective for gaining muscle mass and there is no doubt about that because when on steroids your testosterone levels go through the roof, your body gets into an anabolic state and because of which you can easily pack on muscle mass, now although all this may sound nice and even look nice…all this comes at a price. So let’s talk about the price (not steroid prices ) but the consequences or side effects of taking steroids –
1. Lose All Gains – When stop taking steroids you lose all muscle mass/gains that you have made from the steroid cycle, that’s because the moment you stop taking steroids your testosterone levels dip down again, the body goes into a catabolic state (muscle breakdown state) and you lose all gains made from the steroid cycle.
2. Gynaecomastia or Man Boobs – Large amount of anabolic steroids can also cause bitch tits or man boobs. This side effect is irreversible and the only way out is surgery which is an expensive procedure, a normal gynaecomastia surgery can be easily cost as much as 5,000 – 6,000 dollars. Gynaecomastia can also be caused by other factors like hormonal imbalance ,testical tumor,hair loss medicines and other factors , however as topic is in context of steroids then know this that anabolic steroids do cause bitch tits or gynaecomastia. If you are already on a steroid cycle then you may take anti estrogens to combat bitch tits but that again comes with its own set of side effects.
3. Male Pattern Baldness – (This side effect may or may not be applicable everyone) Anabolic steroid increases DHT which increases the rate of hair loss in men . DHT is responsible for Male Pattern Baldness and anyone who is losing hair because of DHT will significantly increase the rate of hair loss by taking anabolic steroids. Ofcourse you do have treatment for baldness like hair transplant surgery but that again is a very expensive procedure.
4. Erectile Dysfunction –This side effect should be of concern to everyone as nobody wants an erectile dysfunction. When you are on steroids life is wonderful but the moment you go off it your sex drive takes a nose dive and maintaining erections becomes difficult.
The list of side effects does not end here, there are more side effects like liver and kidney damage which are caused by oral anabolic steroids, other side effects include roid rage (aggression because of steroids), body hair and lot more .
I understand a lot of professional body builders take steroids because their livelihood depends on winning competitions, if he or she is not taking steroids then his competitor who is taking steroids will win the competition, so in their case I understand. Some actors also take steroids to get in shape for a particular role in a movie and that also I understand, but a healthy whose livelihood is not dependent on taking steroids should stay away from it.
The only reason one may take steroids if they have a medical condition wherein the body itself does not produce enough testosterone and in that case you have no choice but to take them.
Low levels of testosterone could be because of aging (testosterone decreases with age),veriocele, testical tumor wherein the testicles cannot produce adequate testosterone. If you have a medical condition then you would have to consult a doctor who would prescribe testosterone to boost the levels (although he would also prescribe a very small amount which will not make you big or bulky like a juice monkey or a body builder)
If your goal is to add muscle mass then maybe you can increase your calorie count and that can help you a lot in gaining muscle mass, change the rep scheme of the way you lift weights and that would also help you a lot in gaining muscle mass. I did a video sometime back which explains in detail how to gain muscle mass and you can see the link below, before you click on the link let me make it very clear that it will not make you look like a huge body builder but if you follow the points strictly it will definitely help gain substantial amount of muscle mass, if you like to see the video you can click on the link here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLeujz4w_8Y
Long story short if you are a healthy individual then there is no need to take steroids , as long as you get stronger , get fitter and don’t have a pot belly I think that’s the right way to approach fitness
Raghav Pande is an India based Fitness Consultant
He is a Certified Fitness Trainer,Sports Nutritionist and the Winner of “You Tube Next Trainer”