It’s never been simple to choose between natural and synthetic steroids. Do you want to build more muscle, or do you want to stay away from them because they’re dangerous? Do you want to die young and sexy, or maybe nothing at all? Isn’t it true that significant risks always imply low stakes, or does patience come out on top?
If you have those in mind, this is for you. By the end of this technically and casually written guide, you will be well-informed. Here are the concepts and information you need about steroids versus natural to decide which is best for you.
What Are Steroids?
Synthetic anabolic steroids were created in the 1930s, and they’re mostly testosterone derivatives. All steroids achieve muscle development, increased strength, and other desirable outcomes.
One of the main differences between steroid users and natural athletes is speed.
By interfering with normal hormonal processes, anabolic steroids may have both positive and negative consequences. Your testicles may cease generating natural testosterone, and your liver may be affected.
In specific locations, even possession of anabolic steroids is punishable, and you can be imprisoned. But it is less restricted in the US and Canada, where anabolic steroids are a daily staple for athletes.
To put it simply, steroids offer you an unfair edge over natural methods. It can give you a superior physique to people who naturally work out.
Despite the risks, anabolic steroids and testosterone are widely used in medicine today. More than a hundred studies have shown their efficacy in various diseases such as hypogonadism. Every year, dozens of new research papers are published, highlighting all-new key factors about these substances. For example, Harvard Medicine has an excellent overview of testosterone, and you can learn them below.
What Does And Doesn’t Testosterone Do?
When you think about testosterone, what do you think of it? Masculinity? Type A personality that is aggressive and impatient? A roid rage? Or just violence?
The role of testosterone in bad behavior is a myth. Testosterone has other surprising roles in health and disease. Did you know that testosterone is involved with prostate cancer? Or that women need testosterone too? Men misbehaving is only one aspect of testosterone.
The Testosterone Role
A critical male sex hormone, testosterone, is responsible for:
- Penis and testes development
- Puberty and voice deepening
- Size and strength of muscles
- Bone development and stamina
- Sexual desire or increased libido
- Sperm production
Adolescent males with low testosterone may not mature properly. Decreased face and body hair growth and lack of voice deepening are all possible symptoms.
Testosterone keeps everyone in a good mood daily. This hormone may have other essential functions that have yet to be discovered.
Signals from the brain to the pituitary gland at the brain’s base govern testosterone production in males. The pituitary then sends instructions to the testes to make testosterone. A “feedback loop” controls hormone levels in the blood, and the brain tells the pituitary to stop producing testosterone when levels are too high.
You’d be wrong to believe testosterone is solely vital in males. The ovaries and adrenal glands make testosterone, and It’s one of the numerous androgens in females. In women, these hormones are considered to affect:
- Ovarian function
- Bone strength
- Normal libido and improved sexual behavior (although evidence is not conclusive)
The ovaries need a suitable balance of testosterone (and other androgens) and estrogen to function correctly. While details are unknown, androgens may have a role in appropriate brain function, including mood and cognitive function.
Did You Know?
The body produces testosterone from cholesterol. But having high cholesterol does not indicate you have high testosterone. The pituitary gland in the brain regulates testosterone levels too precisely for it to happen.
Too Much Testosterone Can Harm You
It’s rare for males to have too much natural testosterone. Considering the apparent signs of testosterone excess, road rage, father-son brawls during “Little League” games, homosexuality may come as a surprise.
That “normal” testosterone levels and “normal” behavior are challenging to define. Testosterone levels fluctuate drastically during the day, and what seems to be an overabundance of testosterone might be a sign of something else.
Indeed, most research on extensively high testosterone levels in males originates from sportspeople who take anabolic steroids, testosterone, or related substances to gain muscle bulk and improve athletic performance.
Typically high testosterone levels in males may cause:
- Low sperm counts, shrunken testicles, and impotence (seems odd?).
- Heart muscle injury and heart attack risk
- Enlarged prostate with urination issues
- Liver disease
- Swelling of the legs and feet
- Weight gain (perhaps linked to increased hunger)
- Hypertension and cholesterol
- Muscle mass gain
- Risk of blood clots
- Adolescent development slowed
- Unusual aggressiveness (although not well studied or proven)
- Mood swings, anger, poor judgment, and delusions
For women, a high testosterone level is most often caused by polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It is a common illness where 10% of premenopausal women suffer.
Women with PCOS have numerous cysts on their ovaries. Period irregularities, impaired fertility, excess or coarse facial, extremity, trunk and pubic hair, male pattern baldness, thickened skin, weight increase, sadness, and anxiety are symptoms. Diuretic spironolactone (water pill) is one therapy for several of these conditions.
The deficit of testosterone has recently been the attention of academics (and pharmaceutical corporations). Contrary to the quick decline in estrogen that occurs with menopause, testosterone levels diminish gradually as men age. The testes generate less testosterone, the pituitary sends fewer signals to the testes to manufacture testosterone, and a protein called Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) rises with age. All of this diminishes the body’s active (natural) testosterone. More than a third of males over 45 may have lower testosterone levels than usual (though, as mentioned, defining optimal levels of testosterone is tricky and somewhat controversial).
Symptoms of male testosterone insufficiency include:
- Hair loss on the body and face
- Muscle mass loss
- Infertility, impotence, tiny testicles, low sperm count
- Enlarged breasts
- Irritability, apathy, and sadness
- Brittle bones and increased fracture risk
Symptoms or issues in some individuals with low testosterone improve with testosterone therapy. Testosterone therapy may help men with osteoporosis, and low testosterone boosts bone strength and minimize fracture risk.
Contrary to popular belief, women may suffer from low testosterone symptoms as well. For example, pituitary dysfunction may limit testosterone synthesis from the adrenal glands. Consequently, they could have decreased libido, weak bones, poor focus, and possible depression.
Did You Know?
Low testosterone levels aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Testosterone has been linked to the growth of the prostate gland and the development of prostate cancer. As a result, testosterone-lowering drugs (such as leuprolide) and castration are common treatments for prostate cancer. Males receiving testosterone replacement therapy must be screened for prostate cancer. While testosterone may encourage the development of prostate cancer, it is unknown whether testosterone treatment causes cancer.
There are many causes for a decrease in testosterone in men, and these are the following:
Testes: If your teste have direct damage, castration, infection, radiation, chemotherapy, and tumors
Hypothalamus and pituitary glands. It will be affected if it has tumors, you take medicines (particularly steroids, morphine, and strong tranquilizers like haloperidol), and you have HIV/AIDS, infections, or autoimmune diseases.
Men with Klinefelter syndrome or hemochromatosis, caused by a defective gene causing excessive iron accumulation throughout the body, including the pituitary gland, might also have decreased testosterone levels.
Women who had their ovaries removed may develop testosterone deficiency because of the pituitary, hypothalamus, or adrenal gland disease. The amount of free, active testosterone in the body decreases with age, and estrogen therapy has the same effect.
Testosterone therapy is now approved to treat delayed male puberty, low testosterone production (due to testicular, pituitary, or hypothalamus malfunction), and some incurable female breast cancers.
However, testosterone therapy may help relieve symptoms in men with low active (free) testosterone levels, such as:
- Generalized ailment
- Low energy
- Obstructions to sexual function
- Cognitive issues.
It is difficult to establish a direct link between testosterone levels and symptoms in individuals with normal testosterone levels. As a consequence, there is considerable debate regarding which men should be treated with testosterone supplements.
Women with low testosterone levels and symptoms may benefit from testosterone replacement treatment. However, the wisdom and efficacy of testosterone therapy to enhance postmenopausal women’s sexual or cognitive performance is questionable.
Normal testosterone levels are occasionally addressed with testosterone by physicians or self-administered. Some say it’s an anti-aging “remedy.” For example, a 2003 Harvard Medical School research indicated that testosterone treatment led to weight reduction, higher muscle mass, improved mood, and decreased anxiety in men with normal testosterone levels. Women had similar experiences.
Many people are put off by the risks and adverse effects of taking testosterone when their bodies make enough.
Despite its negative image, testosterone is a powerful hormone. To grow and operate correctly, both men and women need sufficient testosterone. It’s tough to know how much testosterone to take.
A simple blood test may detect low testosterone. However, the interpretation of the results is the tricky part since levels alter during the day. A single low level may be meaningless in the absence of symptoms, especially if it was anticipated. More research is required to identify when testosterone testing should be done, interpret the results, and whether therapy risks are worth it.
What Is Natural Bodybuilding and How It Works?
Natural bodybuilding used to imply no supplements. Scientifically, calling some sports supplements like creatine and glutamine “unnatural” makes no sense. They are essential to our nutrition and even part of our innate nature.
It’s difficult to dispute that whatever you eat or that your body makes naturally isn’t “natural.” If so, consuming foods high in creatine and glutamine (such as red meat) would exclude you from natural bodybuilding. Isn’t it amusing?
The industry’s “natty” bodybuilders believe consuming creatine pills or pre-workout smoothies isn’t natural. The more accurate definition of “natural bodybuilding” is avoiding any chemical forbidden by a bodybuilding-sanctioning body.
Resistance exercise puts additional strain on your muscle, which adapts and responds with hypertrophy or growth.
Although not relatively that straightforward, this is the essential idea. Muscles expand when challenged. In the process, you trigger many chain reactions in your body, including:
Insulin-like Growth Factor 1(IGF-1)
This hormone is generated in the liver, skeletal muscles, and other tissues when GH is stimulated. IGF-1 is a growth factor that promotes bone and tissue development as well as lean muscle gain.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
Human growth hormone (GH) is a hormone that regulates bodily growth. The pituitary gland, positioned near the brain’s base, produces GH. GH promotes linear development in adolescents, improves muscle mass, and lowers body fat.
Naturally produced testosterone from your testicles determines how quickly you acquire muscular growth. Furthermore, diet is vital in natural bodybuilding. You must eat properly to gain any significant bulk since natural testosterone enhancers may sometimes be found in foods. That’s true, but your natural testosterone production is still limited. You can take note of the information below:
Men generate 7-10mg of testosterone every day. So, 50-70mg of natural testosterone per week is the limit, and it’s not enough for most.
Natural testosterone only partially binds to SHBG (and deactivates it entirely) and doesn’t function.
Testosterone has various roles in your body and impacts everything from mood to desire, affecting your willingness to muscle gains.
No wonder why natural bodybuilding takes so long, and more athletes use steroids. But in this article, we’ve researched in-depth to get relevant information about natural bodybuilding and supplementing to help you achieve your natural torso body and possibly join a competition (if you desire it).
Evidence-based Natural Bodybuilding Contest Diet and Supplementing
Natural bodybuilding is fast gaining in favor. It is projected that there will be over 200 amateur natural (drug tested) bodybuilding competitions in the following years. Body fat is drastically reduced while retaining muscle mass throughout competitive preparation. Low-calorie consumption, rigorous weight training, and increased aerobic activity usually accomplish this. To prepare for a competition, competitors use a variety of nutritional and supplement methods. Some are backed up by science, but many aren’t.
Micronutrients and Calories
Calorie restriction and increased energy expenditure are typical two- to four-month diets used by competitive bodybuilders. The fundamental goal at this time is to maintain muscular mass. It’s crucial to balance the shifting requirements of competition preparation with ideal calorie intake, deficit, and macronutrient combinations.
Caloric Intake for Athletes
More energy must be used than absorbed to lose weight. Increasing caloric expenditure while decreasing caloric intake may achieve this goal. Determining how much weight is lost depends on the calorie deficit and its duration. Considering that a daily calorie deficit of 500 kcals leads to about one pound of fat loss per week, assuming weight reduction is entirely from body fat, this is reasonable. A static mathematical model does not represent this dynamic physiological reaction to an induced energy deficiency. A drop in energy expenditure of 79 kcal/d to 504 kcal/d has been seen in overweight people who have been dieting.
Measuring Macronutrient Intake: Protein
Protein intake during competition preparation is necessary to maintain Lean Body Mass (LBM) maintenance. Athletes need more protein to sustain more significant activity, while strength athletes need more protein to promote LBM development. Some experts believe these needs arise when athletes are restricted in their calorie intake. There is also evidence that slimmer people need more protein than overweight people.
A high carbohydrate diet is ideal for athletes. Like protein, calorie intake must be personalized. Pre-workout carbs may reduce glycogen depletion and hence increase performance.
Individual Differences in Ketogenic Diets
Some bodybuilders use a “ketogenic” diet to prepare for competitions. There has been limited research on ketogenic diets in resistance-trained populations, but not enough to investigate bodybuilders. There were small reductions in body fat among female individuals and no changes in measures of strength or power among male participants in a 1-week ketogenic diet (5.4 percent of calories obtained from carbohydrate) study. With just a few weeks of data available, it’s impossible to make any judgments.
Previous research on optimum meal frequency lacked systematic resistance training. Moreover, no research has mainly studied meal frequency in bodybuilders, much alone during contest preparation. Research has repeatedly rejected the idea that grazing smaller and more frequent meals increase energy expenditure than more extensive and less frequent meals.
In rigorously controlled trials employing metabolic chambers, food habits ranging from two to seven meals per day were studied, and no significant variations in 24-hour thermogenesis were found. Having inconsistent meal patterns throughout the week, rather than a consistent daily frequency, has been demonstrated to reduce postprandial thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and blood lipid profile. The latter results may only be relevant to sedentary people since regular exercise has enhanced insulin sensitivity and blood lipids.
Bodybuilders usually eat more often to maximize fat reduction and muscle maintenance. Contrary to popular belief, differing meal frequency has little effect on body weight or composition.
In addition to physical training, diet, and cardiovascular training, supplements may enhance preparedness. The following are some of the popular bodybuilding supplements with scientific evidence for their effects.
Creatine monohydrate (CM) is an organic acid found in the body that provides energy to muscle cells through creatine phosphate replenishment of ATP. Creatine has been demonstrated to boost strength, stamina, muscle mass, and recovery times. Recent research shows that creatine enhances brain function and lowers mental weariness. Unlike steroids or other performance-enhancing medications, creatine is naturally in herring, tuna, salmon, and beef.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
In the stomach and intestines, amino acids are formed from protein eaten. Essential amino acids are a need for life. Leucine, isoleucine, and valine are all BCAAs. They are all necessary amino acids, and the body’s biological functions gain significantly from each. Because BCAAs are digested in the muscle, they have an anabolic/metabolizing action. At this moment, no adverse effects have been recorded from BCAAs.
Due to claims that anaerobic activity depletes the body’s natural glutamine levels, glutamine pills or powders are now widely available. Others discovered that glutamine effectively boosts the T-helper or suppressor cell ratio in long-distance runners. However, other studies have shown no significant impact on bench press strength, knee extension torque, or lean muscle mass compared to placebo controls.
Essential Fatty Acids
Dietary supplements of essential fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid) may help muscle growth and development. Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fatty fish like salmon and trout, as well as fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (found in walnuts and pumpkin seeds) are abundant in flaxseed oil.
β-Hydroxy β-methylbutyrate (HMB)
HMB is an alpha-ketoisocaproate metabolite of leucine. Hepatic and muscle synthesis produce it in modest levels, perhaps in reaction to protein synthesis. Dietary supplementation with HMB may increase muscle hypertrophy (muscle size), strength, and lean body mass, reduce exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage, and speed up recovery from high-intensity exercise when combined with an appropriate exercise program.
However, the scientific evidence to support these claims is lacking. HMB is thought to enhance muscle protein synthesis and lower muscle protein breakdown via activating mTOR and inhibiting the proteasome in skeletal muscles. HMB’s ability to reduce exercise-induced skeletal muscle damage depends on how long it is administered before and after exercise—taking calcium HMB 1–2 hours before activity appears to reduce skeletal muscle damage the most.
In recent years, bodybuilders have been more interested in beta-alanine. With anaerobic activity like running or weightlifting, BA enters the bloodstream and is utilized to manufacture carnosine. Muscle carnosine levels increased by 64.2 percent when 6.4 g BA was consumed daily for four weeks.
It has also been shown that supplementing with BA for 4–10 weeks increases knee extension torque by up to 6%, workload and time to fatigue during high-intensity cardio, muscle resistance to fatigue during strength training, and lean mass by up to 1 kg while decreasing fatigue perception.
BA and CM have also been proven to improve lean mass and reduce body fat percentage more than CM alone when used in high-intensity endurance exercises. But not all research has demonstrated BA supplementation enhances performance.
A salt that dissociates in water to create sodium and bicarbonate ions is sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3). It makes and utilizes bicarbonate to neutralize gastric acid. Bicarbonate may help athletes perform better, although research is limited. High-intensity exercise may benefit from more significant blood buffering.
How Steroid Bodybuilding Works?
Anabolic drugs, whether injectable or oral, are required to increase testosterone levels. Synthetic injectable testosterone, for example, is typically administered 300-500 mg per week. It increases muscle-building capacity by roughly 1000%. That’s a lot!
When you exercise naturally, testosterone from your testicles’ Leydig cells enters your bloodstream, where it binds to androgen receptors. The same thing occurs when you inject testosterone, except it goes directly into your bloodstream. The delivery technique does not affect the entire process. The active ingredient must still reach muscle tissue through blood.
Oral steroids have the same effect, but they must first travel through your digestive system. Thus, it increases the risk of side effects (such as liver damage), yet it’s still popular.
Anadrol vs. Dianabol
A more potent steroid than Dianabol is Anadrol. It often produces more excellent effects but has more severe side effects.
Given its toxic nature, Anadrol has a lower benefit to risk ratio than Dianabol, making Dianabol the more common anabolic steroid. It’s a famous starter cycle for people looking to bulk up quickly. A dangerous steroid, Anadrol, should be avoided by inexperienced users.
Anadrol’s more significant androgenic effects cause increased acne and hair loss (or thinning). Dianabol was not as androgenic as deca in the 1970s. Thus, bodybuilders at that time could keep their hair, but nowadays, androgenic medicines cause temporary baldness.
Anabolic steroids are preferred by powerlifters and strongmen owing to the improved strength increases. For strength enhancement, they will utilize Dianabol with (or apart from) Anadrol.
While Anadrol does not produce virilization in women, Dianabol does. Anabolic steroids like Anadrol have a high tolerance in women due to their direct activation of estrogen receptors. Instead of directly activating estrogen receptors, Dianabol transforms testosterone into estrogen.
Anadrol is thus popular with women but at fewer dosages (being 12.5 to 25 mg per day).
Because Anadrol and Dianabol produce high blood pressure and liver stress, they should not be used together. Anabolic steroids such as deca Durabolin, trenbolone, and testosterone are often stacked with Dianabol or Anadrol to maximize growth.
Winstrol vs. Anavar
In the Anavar versus Winstrol discussion, some bodybuilders choose Anavar and others Winstrol (for various reasons). However, when it comes to the advantages of each molecule, most believe that Winstrol is superior.
Winstrol will create more lean muscle and burn more fat than Anavar since it is potent. Anavar’s anabolic grade of 630 versus 320 should generate more extensive alterations in body composition on paper.
The first cycle of Anavar with a low dosage usually results in a 10 lbs muscle growth. However, Winstrol users are more likely to acquire about 15 lbs.
Aside from their synchronized muscle growing and fat-burning capabilities, Winstrol and Anavar have less muscle-building power than potent bulking steroids like Dianabol or Anadrol.
The lean muscle gains linked with Anavar/Winstrol are why professional bodybuilders use them in cutting cycles close to a competition.
Athletes use them to obtain an edge in physical power and endurance without gaining weight.
But in reality, Winstrol wins. The change is not significant, yet it is evident for most bodybuilders.
Benefits of Natural vs. Steroids
The main controversy among bodybuilders is steroids vs. natural. Should you aim to achieve the top naturally, or is it pointless to even try? Can a natural bodybuilder become as big as a steroid user? Which has more benefits and side effects?
Natural vs. Steroids Based on Science
But first, let’s compare steroids to natural bodybuilding and see what science has to say about it.
You may get a lot of information regarding the risks and adverse effects of steroids by searching Google. Uncommon is research that examines natural versus steroid treatments from both sides.
Thankfully, ten researchers decided to band together and address our questions once and for all.
The research divided 43 healthy men into four groups at random. Those were:
- Placebo (natural) no exercise
- No workout and no testosterone steroid injection
- Placebo (natural) + exercise
- Exercise + testosterone steroid injection
For ten weeks, the guys either got actual steroid injections or placebo injections. The boys in the workout groups worked out three times a week. The males were examined before and after the trial, assessing factors like fat-free mass, muscular size, arm, and leg strength.
Conclusions: When the findings came through, the scientists undoubtedly looked twice. Damn, this was pioneering stuff! Here are the summarized vital results:
- Placebo (natural) no exercise: No changes observed
- No workout and no testosterone steroid injection: ± 7 lbs muscle gains
- Placebo (natural) + exercise: ± 4 lbs muscle gains
- Exercise + testosterone steroid injection: ± 13 lbs muscle gains
Benefits of Steroid
Now, here are the benefits when you choose steroids:
Speed. You grow bigger fast. To obtain the same physique as a steroid user, natural bodybuilders must exercise consistently for years.
Testing the limits. Even a naturally talented athlete would never reach the body of a severe steroid user in a few years of riding correctly. Exact size and, most significantly, degree of detail are miraculously obtained.
Effectiveness. One set of the same weights on the bench press will offer a natural bodybuilder a fraction of the results a steroid user would receive with the same sweating.
Benefits of Natural
Natural bodybuilding has several advantages over using drugs:
Mental gains. You did everything. No performance-enhancing drugs were available. You struggled alone, without support, for every muscle cell. Even if you receive more petite, you earned it and may be proud of it. Taking steroids doesn’t imply being proud of your accomplishments. Steroids make no difference in terms of ease. Only your genes and commitment determine your beauty; you didn’t obtain any outside aid.
Acceptance. Steroid usage has become a social taboo. It’s also vilified in specific bodybuilding communities. The number of individuals who will assess your actions rapidly increases if you run at least one small cycle of anything. The fear of testing positive for steroids is real. Your reputation is secure with natural bodybuilding.
Safety. Talking about the big one. The central hormonal systems of the body are not manipulated in natural bodybuilding. Your dick will operate normally, and your liver will be untouched, your mental health will be unaffected, your hair will not fall out, your sex desire will not change, etc. It will allow you to sleep well at night. It is advisable to focus on it more.
Steroids vs. Natural: Side Effects
The adverse effects of steroids are endless. It includes:
Liver Damage. To avoid liver filtration, oral steroids are 17-alkylated, and this causes liver damage. Oral misuse may cause liver failure or blood-filled cysts if taken in high dosages.
Testosterone Suppression. Your balls quit functioning because you receive so much testosterone from injections. After the cycle, they require a lot of time to regroup. When you don’t provide them with post cycle therapy (PCT) assistance, they will suffer from low testosterone symptoms such as lack of sex desire, anxiety, and extreme exhaustion at that period.
Cardiovascular concerns. They raise blood pressure and put additional strain on the heart. Chronic side effects might occur if you take large dosages, combine them with drugs or alcohol, or have pre-existing illnesses.
Headaches and painful pumps. High blood pressure has various effects. Steroids may cause several side effects, from hot flushes to severe pumps that last days. Taurine-based defenses aren’t always successful. Everything from pains to rashes to headaches is included.
Acne. Steroids also affect the skin. Not uncommon are pimples on the back and neck. Steroidal acne requires harsh drugs like Accutane, which have their own set of adverse effects.
What a horrible idea! Using exogenous substances has serious hazards, which is why the steroids versus natural debate are usually heated. Worse, they are all general effects!
Some anabolic steroids may offer you terrible stuff:
- Winstrol, an oral steroid, may cause wrist, elbow, and knee discomfort.
- They may cause transient erectile dysfunction (deca dick and tren dick). They turn your dick like a noodle for a while, mainly if you run them without a testosterone base.
- Trenbolone is a potent central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that may cause severe mental adverse effects such as anxiety, panic attacks, and an inflated sense of self-worth.
- Even regular Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) has its drawbacks, as shown in US National Library of Medicine (NLM) research.
Does it imply you will receive all the adverse effects? No, Is there a chance and a danger you will? Yes, definitely.
The issue of health dangers is crucial in the steroid versus natural debate.
Your health status and prior illnesses determine the severity of steroid side effects. You may be fortunate and receive a free ride with few side effects, or you may get a lot on your first cycle. They may be awful or just inconvenient. It’s quite a lottery game where each compound is a new ticket. Some medical specialists think that anabolic steroids are not so harmful – some of their points are presented in the NLM research on anabolic steroids.
With natural bodybuilding, your odds of getting one of those consequences are little to none. It is a crucial advantage of going natural.
Steroids vs. Natural: Which Is Best?
As plain as it gets, there’s no clear solution.
It’s a personal choice: risks vs. efficacy, extreme rewards vs. extreme safety. You must make your conclusion based on all the information you have today.
We advocate talking to seasoned steroid users and natural athletes, but a class of individuals attempts to game the system.
Fake natural bodybuilders, nicknamed natty dudes, attempt to acquire both: an incredible (natural) physique and all the steroidal perks. They’re not always bad, but there are a lot of them among social media influencers. How to recognize a fake natty is a separate topic. The man you should never listen to while deciding between steroids and natural methods is vital to achieving your health and body goals.
Finding a Fake Natty
First, one cannot tell if someone is natural or not by looking at them. Assumptions are at play here. But occasionally, you acquire a critical mass of beliefs that are just too numerous. Here are the indicators:
Look at their perspiration. Elevated blood pressure is a steroid side effect. If someone is constantly sweating and has nasal bleeds, they may be in a cycle. The difference between sweating profusely during a hard-core exercise and sweating profusely when the temperature is 32°C is obvious.
Examine their veins. Steroids have a considerable influence on blood vessel size. Veins visible on the body are hereditary (although this is a contentious advantage, not everyone finds visible veins appealing). The individual has recently concluded a cutting cycle with Anavar or something similar.
Consider their mental state. Nothing you can look at, but if anything is wrong, it will be evident. Of course, some individuals are born douchebags. But anabolic steroids enhance irritation and directly damage the CNS. If an ordinarily laid-back man becomes crazy for a week or two, they may be on gear (or going through a divorce).
Take a look at their calves. It works well with new steroid users. Androgenic receptors are far less abundant in leg muscles. A steroid user’s shoulders, traps, and arms will probably grow on the initial bulking cycle, but their legs will likely remain the same. Not a 100% indicator since they may just despise leg days, but it is something to consider.
Determine Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI). To calculate FFMI, one has to know their height, weight, and body fat percentage. There are lots of calculators online if you don’t want to wrestle with formulae. FFMI above 25 indicates steroid usage since natural athletes must be very endowed to attain this level.
Acne (specifically, steroidal acne). Embarrassing pimples on the back and neck, seldom on the face, acne may appear on anybody for various causes, but this is one of the indicators.
Gynecomastia. Cycling anabolic steroids may promote male breast growth owing to estrogen increase from aromatization. A man with an almost perfect body with large, female-like nipples or full-size (well, tiny) female-like breasts is genetically unfortunate or wearing cycling gear.
Mass of Muscles. The most visible but also one of the most deceptive signals. That’s why it is included. Some individuals are born with a talent that they don’t need to work out constantly to look great and don’t require special equipment. That’s the argument your typical phony natty will use approximately 90% of the time. If you observe additional indicators and incredible muscle gain, it suggests the person chose steroids over natural, and he’s injecting it every three days in his glutes.
Is Someone Natty or Juice?
Not for most phony natty YouTube bloggers, but it can help you spot a steroid user at your local gym:
- Do they sweat profusely even during basic exercises?
- Do they have pimples on their neck and back?
- Do their veins stick out like a paper cut?
- Is their behavior out of control, or do they seem nervous?
- Shoulders and upper body muscles dominate leg muscles?
- Is their FFMI above or around 25?
- Did they grow that much strength in such little time?
- Do they have moobs, male titties, or gynecomastia?
- Is it a genetically gifted PRO-level athlete?
- Do they change behavior every two to three months?
Again, none of them are 100% indicators. More than five or seven at a time suggests steroid users.
How To Win A Natty or Juice Online Debate
We’ll save you time: it’s absurd.
It doesn’t matter whether YouTube bodybuilding sensation #534 is natty or juice. It repeats with each new influencer in the limelight. It’s everywhere — in comments, forums, and even subreddits devoted to this kind of debate.
Natty or juice fights are real, and they never end. And typically resemble this:
“It’s a chicken!”
“Not necessarily a statue, bird, or toy chicken.”
“It looks like a chicken!”
“True, but it’s an uncommon bird that does.”
“It’s a chicken! Then the head turns!”
So you’re a biologist or physicist now? It may be animated to deceive, but you’ve seen a pigeon move like that in the 1980s; therefore, it’s irrelevant.
“It just laid an egg!”
“Well, alligators lay eggs, so what?”
“I simply slaughtered, plucked, and cooked it. It tastes just like chicken.”
“It proves nothing. This chicken-like flavor might come from years of hard effort and commitment; you’re simply envious!”
Sigh. You’ll remember this if you ever come across one of those chicken debates in the wild.
When the chicken appears in front of the camera ten times per day and claims, “I promise I’m an alligator, folks, I’ve never done a cluck-cluck in my life, just trust in yourself!” the Internet fights get even more humorous.
Mike O’Tren, is who you are looking for. He is one of the world’s most known “natural” influencers.
The golden rule is simple: if it looks, moves, and sounds like a chicken, it is. If not, it’s their dang issue, not yours.
Why Do Natty or Juice Debates Matter?
They will most likely offer you one of two reasons why they care if someone is natty or juice:
- They lie to become wealthy!
- False natty athletes raise expectations!
- First, don’t be harsh to them. You all need to rant on the internet from time to time, so why not? It’s not new. It’s simple capitalism.
- Second, for the contemporary bodybuilder, natty or juice arguments are vital.
Not right? You still do. Why?
Reason 1: It Keeps Those Natty Bloggers Busy
They would all openly advertise steroids if there was no social stigma. Then, they are not reliable.
Envision a day when every Mike O’Tren comes out and says, “Oh yes, I bike; that’s why I look so awesome.” The steroid industry will explode.
You doubt such influences would stress the significance of prudence, patience, modest dose, and a healthy PCT. So you’d have an army of uninformed steroid users.
More people are doing things they don’t understand = more fantastic adverse severe effects and instances = more market attention = more regulations. You might speculate on higher prices, lower quality options, etc. Fake natty influencers serve as a dam, and natty or juice debates maintain them there.
Of course, this slams influencers who freely confess to using steroids, but that’s irrelevant here. You appreciate those who are truthful. 90% of the time, they encourage healthy steroid cycling. So they play it safe and take all precautions. Sadly, they are still a minority, and you need a natty dam.
Reason 2: Arguments Create Skepticism and Prevent Depression
It’s all about false expectations. It’s okay if Mike inspires someone to go to the gym and work hard.
“I’ll never look like this gear man” is a common reaction among new gym-goers. Or worse:
Some train out hard for years and yet don’t look like Mike or Phil. It causes sadness, dissatisfaction, and despair.
Arguments about natty or juice don’t work here either. There’s no clear answer – and no basis for extremes – when individuals debate whether a new influencer is phony or authentic.
With commitment and hard effort, you may look like him. A person is less likely to get sad or make life-altering choices when they are unclear about something.
Internet shitstorms may be able to rescue someone’s mental health in some situations.
Though, you should still avoid these shitstorms. It should not matter if someone is natty or juice. Nobody is jacked like those phony natty dudes, so why bother?
Natural vs. Fake Natty Athletes: Personal Opinion
No matter what cycle and dose you obtain, there is no assurance you will look like a steroid user. Indeed, genetics and individual responses to the chemical may substantially vary the outcomes.
Is it faintly detecting natty? Fifty pushups, do you? 50 more!
That way, you won’t care whether someone is natty or juiced, and your performance will be marginally improved as a result.
Your selfish benefit trumps all the wrongdoers online.
So you’ll have more time to think about the entire steroid vs. natural debate and decide for yourself.
Now you see why going natural is relatively better after reading steroids’ potential social and physical effects. Stick to natural bodybuilding if you want to look and feel better.
The best way to stay healthy and maintain a muscular body is to increase natural testosterone production rather than relying on steroids to cause health issues and muscle loss.
No synthetic pharmacological assistance is required if you are ready to work hard and follow a strategy. So, establish a goal and go for it!