While I plunged myself deeper into the realm of fitness along with strength training, I was able to gather a lot more about all disciplines and aspects within it. Indubitably, this has taken me down the road to bodybuilding. Learning and discovering more about this sport and then imparting the knowledge as a trainer, my respect for these athletes grows more with each passing day.
Fallacy Surrounding Steroids
Many of us (including myself during the days of ignorance) after seeing a hulking man or a woman, don’t wait to declare their massive build – a work of steroids. Regrettably, due to the notorious ‘steroid label’, we inevitably start thinking, it is anyhow ‘cheating’ – thanks to a number of sports banning steroids, and labeling them as ‘hazardous’ to health. What we fail to acknowledge at this point is the hard work athletes and sportsmen put into their craft. The general notion prevailing these days is as if steroid is a magical elixir having the ability of transforming you overnight into a muscle-bound machine.
Steroids and Bodybuilders
After watching closely the top-level bodybuilders spending hours consistently at the gym made me shun away my years’ old conventional notion about steroids and bodybuilders. What I noticed was that not only is their workout routine phenomenal, but also their diet is regimentally boring, repetitive and strict. Regularly eating large amounts of boiled chicken and broccoli sounds tempting isn’t it?
I saw them undergoing sheer volume of tremendous training, let alone the exhaustion these body builders were enduring along with the physical pain, thus confirming only a bunch of us possess the drive and dedication required of becoming a successful bodybuilder. Yet, they are always seen as sporting world’s “villain” due to the fact that steroid intake is open for them. Nonetheless, it would be very naïve of us if we believe only bodybuilders are engulfing steroids and the rest of the athletes aren’t. I know there is testing and everything, but one cannot ignore the other way around the rules.
Why we Chastise Steroids?
Now here a question arises as to what is the reason behind all this criticism against steroids? Is it doing anything different in our body then supplements, protein shakes? Is it that it has been banned in a number of sports and you have started envisioning and proclaiming it as a ‘dirty’ drug? Let’s not forget that steroids in different forms are used in medicines, and yet we take those without batting an eye.
Time to Review Steroids
After a thorough research on steroids, and conducting interviews with acclaimed bodybuilders openly using steroids, I guess I have become slightly more inclined towards questioning the notoriety of steroids, and for the said purpose they should be reviewed as well as made safer.
Whilst training, I personally use both protein shakes and creatine, but it never occurred to me that I am cheating. Although I do believe steroids can have slightly more unhealthy side effects as compared to them, but again all this is due to substance abuse. This is not a novel phenomena in the realms of drugs, since any drug under the sun be it a painkiller or an aspirin, has side effects and can be abused.
After skimming through scientific reports issued by government and non-government agencies, administering extended interviews with bodybuilders and sports stars, it did not take long for me to come to the realization that most of the side effects detailed about steroids are overly exaggerated, via a brazen anti-steroids campaign, and unfortunately, they have been successful in polluting the minds of an average person.
Let’s clarify the allegations leveled against usage of steroids:
It has been noted for years that those who use a certain type of anabolic steroids continuously, their body starts maintaining a natural balance, which in turn slows down the process of formation of natural hormones. In some cases, their body would instantly stop producing natural hormones because of their levels present inside the steroids. Normally, such a situation arises when any form of steroids is added to the human body. However, the latest studies have shown that natural hormone level and testosterone levels will automatically ‘right themselves’, when a steroid is not used during a year.
Although a lot of theories have been put forth claiming that steroids may increase the anger of an individual and are responsible for ‘roid rage’, yet no evidence has been reproduced as yet. In reality, only 5% of the users might witness increased anger with the usage of steroids. It still remains unclear whether this 5% population were not prone to any sorts of violent outbursts since the majority of the tests conducted did not have any control group to experiment with.
Stunted Growth and Height
Well, yes this trend has been seen in users of steroids, but only among those who are under the age of 20. As their bodies are still in the process of growth, steroids might affect their growth in a way. Now this calls upon the fixation of an age limit for the use of steroids. Nevertheless, this side effect is also limited to certain kinds of steroids because doctors have prescribed anabolic steroids in a bid to accelerate height and growth.
Tests have indicated that while steroids cast its dark shadow over your liver by affecting it and then its enzymes, yet mere three months of abstinence from steroids cleanses the ill effects and do not let them linger in your body parts forever.
So Steroids are Safe!
It is only after taking a closer look at steroids that we gather that it is in no way a demon drug. For now, I won’t say I have become pro-steroid, but one thing is for sure, I don’t see steroids as harshly as I used to. I believe that as steroids are becoming safer day by day, they will soon become more acceptable and tolerable in sports, in the years to come.