Wednesday, June 25, 2014

STEROIDS: Are They Worth The Risk?

My Fat and Ugly Project consisted of me gaining a lot of weight, getting unfit and unhealthy and then working my way back to lose weight with the most popular measures and then lose fat alone with the most scientific method available.
The final picture is of me at my best with heavy weight training and supplementation - without using any pharmaceutical aid or steroids. 
Should you take steroids?
A should you or should you not questions is always most likely to be cluttered with moral issues. But here to keep it logical and scientific, i'm going to go straight to facts. Especially given that steroids is a subject always shrouded with controversy, more due to the abuse than due to the use. And most due to ignorance.

So let's have a look at a few people and see how we as society, judge them and what are the facts:

SPECIMEN X: He is six feet tall, built like an ox, veins popping though his paper thin skin. When he talks, his words gurgle out of his bulky jaw mounted on shoulder muscles that are like boulders eating away at this neck. He is intellectually inferior and spends all his time in the gym and has severe acne on his back, is losing his hair and has a permanent erectile dysfunction and a very small penis that he never speaks about but instead channels it into rage.

SPECIMEN A:
He is of average height. He is on hoardings across the city. He has a well built upper body and chicken legs. He trains every day in the gym. Though he is approaching 40, he is still playing younsters' roles in his movies. He endorses a plethora of brands and is now also doing TV shows. He was recently featured on a fitness magazine cover flaunting his abs.
He publicly says that 'supplements' and 'steroids' are bad for health and that he does not take them. Whereas, infact, he does. And so do all the models who co-star in his ads.

SPECIMEN B:
She is 30, has a paunch, a sagging body, runs every morning and suffers from a few ailments now and then. She has a family history of osteoporosis and she recently delivered her second child. She is currently on medication to prevent further deterioration of her bone density. The medication she is using, is a steroid - but she has never bother asking the doctor what is she taking, nor has the doctor bothered informing her of the details of her prescription.
She is vehemently against 'steroids'.

SPECIMEN C:
He is an advertising creative director and a fitness consultant. Good looking, well built, strong, loves adventure sports and lives an extremely active lifestyle. He is touching 30 years of age and has had multiple injuries, including 14 fractures due to genetic predisposition for osteoporosis and a cervical complication - but he does not want to give up the active life and live like a retiree. He spends an hour in the gym 6 days a week and has been into fitness all his life. He eats 6 meals a day, trains 6 days a week and is consulting the country's top most authority on steroids to advice him on his usage of steroids. He is public about his usage of steroids.
Would you believe me if i said that ALL of these people are using steroids?
Would you be more likely to believe that just bodybuilders use steroids and the rest are all 'natural'?
Now for the facts of all the specimens we read about:

SPECIMEN X, THE MEDIA STEREOTYPE.
This is how most people perceive a Steroid user. These are steroid abusers who use steroids rampantly and without professional guidance. But thanks to the media and due to the ignorance of the masses, these are the ones who become the posterboys of steroids.

SPECIMEN A, THE LYING CELEBRITY.
This is a steroid user - but one who will never accept it in public to safeguard his celebrity status and his public image. His usage of steroids is always on the sly, often ends up paying way more than the steroids are worth and will always maintain in his public image that he is all 'NATURAL' and just 'genetically gifted' - or worse, is such due to the brands he endorses.

SPECIMEN B, THE IGNORANT HATER.
This is a real steroid user who doesn't even know he/she is on steroids, is ok with steroids if they are prescribed by a doctor - but has an opinion and a stance against steroids, vehemently. Ask him/her what a steroid is and they probably will just say ' they are bad things'.

SPECIMEN C, THE HONEST, KNOWING USER.
This is a well read and researched person making his decisions based on thorough knowledge of the pros and cons. Someone who has probably even done a swot analysis of the usage of his steroids and medical aids. He is honest about his usage because he doesn't like deceiving people and contributing to the lies of the 'fitness' and 'media' industry. In short, he knows what he is doing, he has gauged and accepted the risks and doesn't give a shit what arbit people think. And he knows that although few, there are a few people like him.
Specimen C, ladies and gentlemen, is me.

Though I'm not on steroids yet, I intend to be using them soon to tackle my osteoporosis as i continue to train.

I'm choosing to use steroids despite being a person who asks youngsters to stay away from steroids not because i'm a hypocrite, but because i have weighed the pros and cons and consulted the best people there are to consult on the subject. And I'm being absolutely open and honest about it hoping this helps other people out there to open their eyes, look beyond the media lies of all the 'athletes' out there claiming to be 'natural' and be able to see beyond the convenient truths and blatant lies that float out there regarding fitness, nutrition, supplementation and steroids as well.

Do a SWOT analysis of whether or not you can truly afford being on steroids.
Be objective and very practical about it.
NOW LET'S TALK WHETHER YOU SHOULD OR NOT CONSIDER USING STEROIDS:
Given here of course are just my own personal opinions based on my studies of the subject. You should seek your own professional advice before you take a decision.

FINANCIAL COST: Steroids are not expensive, but most often are peddled by people who rip off and fool ignorant customers looking to get muscular fast. Infact, my steroids, when i do take them, will be cheaper than my fortnightly food and nutrition bills. In many countries, steroids being illegal is what makes it a terrible industry for black marketers, websites and crooks who peddle sub-standard stuff, control rates and indulge in adulteration. In that situation, your steroids may turn out way more expensive than you bargained for.

RISK: Its not the financial expense of steroids that's a major deterrent but rather the emotional and psycho-physiological expense of it. Few people realize that more important than the steroid cycle itself (cycle refers to usage pattern over a duration of consumption) is the PCT or the post cycle therapy. Missing even one day on your PCT can leave a person damaged for life. Hairloss, liver trauma, severe acne are the commonly known side effects - the most scary ones though would definitely be erectile dysfunction for life and death.
For a person with less than 6-7 years of heavy training, even considering steroids would be a bad idea - the risks would outweigh the benefits and cause severe frustration eventually.

If you choose to use steroids for non-medical purposes, in my opinion, this should be your checklist to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks:
1. Have you trained for 6-7 years?

2. Are you at atleast 90% of your biological maximum potential?

3. Can you continue to afford the strict fitness lifestyle (6-8 meals a day, including supplements, 6 days a week training) even for a year after your steroid cycle?

4. Can you be 110% dedicated to your prescribed schedule for the duration of your cycle?

5. Is your steroid consultant a genuine, knowledgeable expert in the field and not just a typical bodybuilder with access to steroids? (a genuine professional will always be able to clear all your doubts with genuine scientific reasoning that can be verified)

6. Have you done your due-diligence by researching on the field and on the steroids you have been prescribed?

7. Are you intending to use them to combat a severe injury or medical condition? if yes, have you atleast asked a medically informed professional about your intended usage?

8. Are you training with a real fitness and sports nutrition professional who is guiding you on your training and nutrition regimen?

If your answer to any of these questions is NO, it might be wise for you to reconsider your decision. Or atleast postpone it by a year, wait out and see. Sometimes, giving a decision time is the best choice a wise man can make.

Hope this helped.
Do let me know if you have any questions regarding training and fitness.
Wish you the best and hope you have an amazingly fit, wholesome and healthy life ahead!

- Pushkaraj S Shirke
Director, BattlereadyX - The no-bullshit fitness channel
Creative Director - Climb Media
Fitness Consultant and Coach

4 comments:

  1. Can you share names of Some.Steroids ...for Beginners. ....As in to pump up endurance. ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. beginners should stay away from steroids at all costs.
      the most commonly abused performance enhancer for endurance is Erythropoetin or commonly known as EPO.
      drugs used for endurance are 10 times more fatal and life risking than the ones used for muscle growth and strength.
      i would highly advise against them .

      Delete
  2. Question for a prospective steroid user in future like me is where to buy them from? Are they available on medical stores as thats the only place available safe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. depends where you are located and whether its legal or not in your location. research the laws of your land before you make a decision. the best way to get it though is by prescription.

      Delete

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