It has been almost 30 years since Congress passed an anabolic steroid control law that makes testosterone and other substances illegal.
Thanks to the internet and the black market, the use of the PED is as prevalent in many ways as ever in nearly every sport in America, although the bodybuilding society is often, rightly or unfairly, seen as the epicenter. culture of steroids. While steroid abuse is an obvious danger, there is also a wealth of misinformation about its effects.
To deal with the confusion, we’ve had some honest conversations with experts in the field to give you an idea of what you need to know. Take a look at the opinions of five experts on steroid use in bodybuilding.
Former competitor: Fakhri Mubarak
Profession: IFBB specialist in education and preparation for competition
When I was 16 I started to get stronger, and at 26 I trained naturally at 20 or 21 and helped my friends put on shows because I had better knowledge than most. It was in the early 90s and there was no internet. We didn’t have these commercial gyms, you only had hard gyms. You almost had to be brotherly, you know? I was a kid who broke his ass. He was not a nice boy. One Friday night the gym closes at ten, I was training and the staff said “You can stay if you want”. All the little ones are gone. And this guy gives me a bottle of Anadrol 50, a mass building drug, a very potent oral steroid.
“How much for a bottle?” I ask. “$ 250,” he tells me.
I say, “How much is this shit in GNC?”
In June 2000, I played something for the first time. The very basic things: 500 milligrams of testosterone, 400 EQ [balance], 50 Anavar and 40 Clenbuterol.
I gained 28 kilos in a month. I used to weigh 5’5, 200 pounds, and people would say, “Drinks.” Then I went to the beach on July 4th of that year and everyone said to me, “Damn, you were natural. So I decided to do it in the November show. I added a few other things like 50 milligrams of Winstrol to dry out and 400 milligrams of Trenbolone to bulk up. I finished third away, overall I got a rookie title and people were like, “You have great potential.
Since 2001, I went to see the Nationals. I was like, “You know what? I think I can be a pro.” I rode the same bike. I was fourth at the national championships in 2003. I added Arimedex and Proviron, both to fight estrogen, and increased my testosterone to 750. I weighed 230-240 pounds, but I fell easily, overall I won.
At that time, I had my blood tests checked every four to six months. Eighteen years later, I’m still sitting on a bicycle and I don’t walk for more than six months without a blood test. If my liver enzymes are too high and my kidneys are not working, I know I have to go down. I take 40 days off every five months. But I know ten people whose kidneys failed and saw a lot of people die. There is no direct reference to steroid death. But if you are exposed to anything, yes steroids increase your risk factors. Doctors will blame everything on steroids if you are a bodybuilder. But everyone should see a doctor. And if you lie to the doctor, you are a fool.
I tell clients, “It’s your decision. I won’t pressure you for anything. Anything you want to take with you, check it out. “We do blood tests. Do complete hormone and metabolic panels. You can often see someone abusing steroids. [Common symptoms are bloating, back acne and ‘bitches’, also known as gynecomastia. ed.]
Unfortunately, for most bodybuilders, steroid use is addictive. Even if your doctor tells you that something is wrong, you don’t have pain and you don’t feel good. So keep going. You are used to people looking at you a certain way. You used to buy triple XL T-shirts, you know? I haven’t competed in a long time and people always look at me and say “Damn, you look huge.”
Steroid Advocate: Rick Collins
Profession: Lawyer specializing in bodybuilding and the fitness industry.
Location: Long Island, New York State
He received an influx of veterinary steroids and foreign steroids from Mexico and other countries. Then it will be September 11th and you will have higher control over the packages arriving in the United States, and therefore these finished products are marked by the customs authorities. Then there’s what’s on the market today – importing powder mostly from China, which underground chemists produce as liquids and pills in their own kitchens and basements. You insert a label and sell it on the Internet, on various websites or sometimes even on social networks. This is the market that exists today. Quality control is more questionable. We are moving from FDA approved and regulated products to unregulated black market products that may contain little or no active ingredients. Or they can be contaminated.
Another thing he did was take doctors and pharmacists out of the equation. This had a chilling effect on physician participation in all positions and affected users who wanted to inform their physicians.
I represent athletes accused of using steroids in violation of the rules of their sport. But the vast majority of my cases are criminal and involve people who own or sell steroids, people who are otherwise very law abiding. In my experience, 80% of users are people who do not participate in any type of competition. Mostly boys who want to look their best on the beach. It is a cosmetic motivation.
It is ironic that the controlled state of the substance increased the risks associated with its use. The law was primarily motivated by sports fraud. But people use them a lot more the same way people choose cosmetic surgery, breast implants, or botox. We live in a society that is very much based on appearance. I think you would have a safer environment for those who want to use anabolic steroids if legitimate doctors, pharmacists, and drug companies were hired to replace underground labs and black market traders.
Each drug has its risks. Believing that anabolic steroids cannot harm you is obviously wrong. However, many issues involve tracking and surveillance. The difference between a drug and a poison is the dose.
Steroid Doctors: Thomas O’Connor, M.D.
Profession: “Anabolic doctor”
Location: Bloomfield, Connecticut
I have been an internist since 2005 and am a weightlifter who has lost over 500 pounds in competition. I started to write and pose for some journals and strong weightlifters started to come my way. They trusted me.
See if you are a Major League Baseball player on steroids, it is best to consult your representative. But what if you are a regular man taking steroids? They are incredibly powerful agents. You have to be humble.
I do not give blessings with steroids. Some doctors treat heroin addicts or other suffering people. The men come to see me, they’ve been there for a week, two months or 30 years. Every man who has been on steroids for several years feels dysfunctional and testosterone-free. I still have respect. I make a short sentence: “You used steroids, now your body is damaged. I can and I cannot do it.” These guys have exhausted brains and testes. They have heart and kidney disease.
They buy things online. This is called the life sciences, which is a hidden term for this ignorance. People always change agents. A lot of boys think they know what they’re doing, and some of them are really good. He has a high level of dopamine. It’s 100% addicting.
There are three doors: Door no. 1, stop everything. Door # 2, let me help you with evidence-based abstinence or post cycle treatment. Port number 3 passages to more stabilizing agents, cardiac care, fertility care. I am truly a methadone clinic for steroid users.
I have ruined the careers of many newly started bodybuilders. I meet men who have never taken steroids and please don’t. You are about to destroy your body. I shock them. And for most of the men who don’t have physical dysmorphia, they’ve kissed me. I show them his family history of illness.
We have problems. Steroids need to be investigated. We need doctors to open up and see. Now I am overwhelmed by the doctors calling me. I had my balls to say, “I’ll take care of you if it hurts.” And if you read my website (metabolicdoc.com) you know that I am against steroids because they harm people.
Competition Coach: Justin Dees
Profession: Exercise physiologist and trainer / bodybuilder / competitor.
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
I think it is ironic that it is such a taboo, as a lot of men use it to fight aging. Now they have these euphemisms; They call it Low T. People say, “Oh yeah, but those ain’t steroids.” I said, “No, that’s exactly what it is.”
I competed naturally. I wanted to see how far my body could go without them. I think young men shouldn’t take anabolic steroids. Neither young people nor men in their twenties. At 33, he owned three accessory stores. I used to take prohormones so I wanted to see where my testosterone was. I felt weak. I didn’t sleep well My libido was lower. The doctor says, “Your testosterone is like a 70 year old man.” He gave me 3cc of testosterone. This is the first time that I have had a chance in my life. I became a kind of research project for this doctor. I have been with them ever since.
I honestly think most people drink too much. They have enough knowledge to be dangerous. They believe that more drugs equal more results. It’s not like that. More medication equals more side effects. HGH is a good example. I am using 3 UI (international devices). Plus, you don’t get a lot of benefits, but a lot more side effects like visceral fat and bloating.
Unfortunately, no one will review bodybuilders and steroids because it is not for the treatment of diseases. They take them all, but you don’t have any studies.
Most of the professionals I know are wise. They use them as a tool for success. Gym boys and rats abuse it. They have no genetics or work ethic. You must understand that you can react negatively to these compounds. People talk about going to the dark side, but I think it’s really a step into the unknown.
Steroid researcher: Victoria Felkar
Profession: Ph.D. student, University of British Columbia
Location: Vancouver, Canada
I started weight training around the age of 15. I am currently working on a doctoral study on women and steroids. There is a complete lack of research and understanding in this area.
I’ve worked with women on the Olympia stage and I’ve worked with women who don’t even compete, but I regret my French. Women often already take steroids because they are using contraceptives and the contraceptives are steroids. They stop, their androgens can kick in naturally, and then they line up and open up to the whole cascade of this hell.
From a female perspective, maybe eight to eleven studies have been done on this topic. And none of them used very good methods. It is not known how many women use it. But only unofficially, I think it has skyrocketed in the last three to five years. The bikini division was a game-changer. Muscles are good for women now. There are women who enter menopause in their early twenties and cannot have any more children. For women, your menstrual history and reproductive health are very important. And that’s sad because anabolics aren’t bad. They are not devils.
There is a great myth and a mystery surrounding them. They have become bad guys.
My advice: get to know your body. Some women find that some can be taken due to anabolic and androgenic conditions. However, this relationship is based on studies in male rats. Are you taking androgens, what were you expecting? Didn’t you think I’d let your hair grow out of my face? This is done by androgens in the body.
Everything has a risk-reward relationship. What you are and want to be today is not the same as 10 years from now. Your voice, hair growth, fertility – you can change all of that when you take androgens. If someone says “Take it,” ask them questions.
This whole question of women and steroids is a mystery. I’m not even an expert because nobody is.