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Steroids: The Truth And The Myth

by Ricardo Araujo in Health & Body , 30 September 2004

Dit artikel is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar
length: 4 minuten

Everybody knows steroids are a big part of society today; if you can't find Mr. Perfect Body, maybe you can find him in yourself. It's a real temptation: a perfect body; in a few months the arms, chest and legs of your dreams. Almost all professional body builders have taken anabolic steroids. Nowadays there are millions of athletes on steroids, and not just body builders; they are used in all sports. The majority of users are in their late teens. Steroids are being used to increase the sports performance, but in our society it's clear that it's primarily a question of esthetics. Whatever the reason, the mathematic of the steroids is: Big Muscles = Short Time + Steroids.

A short history

Anabolic steroids were first developed in the 1930s by the Germans; tested on dogs they discovered an increase in muscle mass. In the ’40s they were used by German soldiers during the Second World War. In the early ’50s, athletes in Europe and Russia were using steroids to increase their strength. Doctors used these steroids in certain conditions to cure patients. Until the middle of the 1960s nobody knew the proper dosages for steroids. Even now the question is: how to use steroids? People learn from a training partner, a trainer or someone else how to use steroids, which might result in bad side effects, but also in an incredible gain of strength and an increase of sexual appetite because of the high level of testosterone running in your body.

Why Anabolic Steroids?

Almost all steroid users are taking them because they believe this is the only way to develop muscle and strength. More, almost all body builders are taking them because they want as much strength and size as they can possibly get. Society today makes people think that to produce muscle and size, steroids are a must. Anything is possible with hard work and determination, but who wants that, when you can pretty much triple your size using steroids.
Steroids are a drug and like all other drugs, people take them to escape reality, and they enjoy what the drug does for them.
Steroid users like what the drug has done for their size and strength, and has taken them away from their original smaller body. There are few people that really have enough knowledge of steroids and many are making mistakes while taking them.

There are two different groups of users with the following motives:
Group A (teenagers): They want to attract attention and are very affixed to the notion that if they obtain one of these incredible physiques, their lives will be richer and they will be more popular and successful.
Group B (in their 30s and 40s): They are more conscious of the health risks and therefore use the drugs more prudently. Many of these users are searching for some type of rejuvenation.

Side Effects

Below are some side effects associated with steroid use. Some steroids lead to more side effects than others, but in most cases one can say: the more effective the steroids, the more negative effects the user will see.
Water retention: This is the most common effect, it's a swelling in the neck and facial areas.
Acne: Sometimes people who never had acne before, can see it appear on the back, face, shoulders and neck. For someone who had it before it can be even worse.
Gynaecomastia: This is the formation of breasts, or abnormally large glands. The first signs are lumps under the nipples, which will gradually grow to fatty and increase in size.
Aggression: Users find themselves fighting with family, friends and co-workers with uptight behavior.
High Blood Pressure: This is definitely a possibility when using steroids, and can lead to serious diseases.
Cardiovascular Disease: The steroids affect the cholesterol level and over a period of time the cholesterol builds up and clogs the arteries.
Impotence: This occurs when the user goes on and off steroids. When steroids were first used, sexual interest increased because of the heightened frequency and duration of the erections, but eventually the opposite happens and no erections can be produced.

Serious and Healthy Growth

Assuming that you eat right, train properly, and get enough sleep, there only two factors limiting your growth: the amount of anabolic - tissue building - and catabolic - tissue destroying - hormones in your blood. Training causes your muscles to process anabolic hormones.

To promote the optimum level of growth, you must learn how long to train before resting and allowing your body to replace the anabolic hormones that have been used up.
If you over train, all of the anabolic hormones will be used and the catabolic hormones will start to dominate. If you under train, you will waste some of the natural anabolic hormones that your body produces.

If you feel like buying any kind of supplement available in the market (like energetic bars, capsules, pills, powder, sirup, etc.) just do it with a medical prescription or ask a professional who really knows how to value your exact needs.

Otherwise some of this products can be just a waste of time and money or, worse, your health. Believe it or not, anabolic steroids artificially raise the amount of anabolic hormones in the blood and permit further growth. Unfortunately, they are illegal and can be dangerous if misused. A right diet and training program are the best solution to build the cartoon-like muscles that bodybuilders display.

Ricardo Araujo is a professional actor/dancer with acrobatic skills, and fitness trainer, originally from Brazil, but living for almost two years in Amsterdam now, for more information:



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