Gaining muscle, losing fat or doing just about anything to better your body is a slow process. It requires patience. It requires a lot of time. Of course, you might have already known this. Those countless hours at the gym, those hard workouts, that painful soreness, the tiredness, the sacrifices you made in your social life, the list just goes on and on in a quest for that dream body you want. But, despite all that, if you are still nowhere close to achieving a target physique you have in mind, you probably have at least considered taking legal steroids. It is all right. It is only natural to think that way. Don’t beat yourself up about wanting to “cheat”.
If steroids are legal and can accelerate your workout and diet goals, why not take them and save yourself a ton of heartache? But, the fact of the matter is that steroids, even the legal kind, are something that you must take only after a lot of thought and research.
Below, we will introduce you to legal steroids, what they do and how you can consider using them.
What are legal steroids?
First of all, you must understand that steroids are routinely used in healthcare. Patients suffering from cancer and terminal illnesses like AIDS are given steroids that help their body carry out normal functions that are not being carried out, if not for the steroid use. Steroids are also routinely used to treat hormone deficiencies in men and women.
Why then do steroids have such a bad reputation if they are commonly used in healthcare? It is because they are often abused and not used. First of all, no professional sports organization allows it competitors to use steroids to enhance performance. So, when you hear about an athlete like Lance Armstrong using steroids or “doping”, you immediately dissociate with steroid use because it is called illegal. Yes, it was illegal. But it wasn’t unsafe. Lance is doing just fine health wise. His reputation and public image are down the drain but steroid use hasn’t made him sick.
However, there are plenty of people who recklessly use steroids to an extent where it begins to wreck their body. Bodybuilders, especially the recreational kind, are one group that has been quite severely affected by reckless steroid use. With self-dosage and a lot of experimenting, many bodybuilders have successfully used steroids to gain insane muscle mass and strength. But, there have also been horror stories where bodybuilders have grown female breasts, seen their testicles shrink, lost all body hair, suffered adult acne and experienced liver and heart damage. Many have even died from perilous over doses or experimental concoctions of steroids.
Legal steroids are available in the market now. In fact, they are the fastest growing sub-category in the supplement niche. But, the FDA does not recognize them and will not certify them. However, you must know that the FDA doesn’t regulate a simple supplement like whey protein either. They don’t certify or approve any whey protein powders. The only thing they do is ban unsafe whey protein powders. The FDA has tagged many legal steroid products as unsafe. The cleanup has been pretty intense. If you see legal steroids up for sale now, it means that the FDA does not think it is unsafe. But at the same time, you will never see a FDA approved legal steroid, much like how you will never see a FDA approved whey protein.
How do legal steroids work?
Legal steroids or anabolic steroids usually include naturally occurring androgens like testosterone. They are also sometimes called anabolic-androgenic steroids or AAS. They are called anabolic because they increase protein production within cells. The increase in protein production is particularly concentrated in skeletal muscles. However, increasing protein production is not the only thing they do. These steroids also control characteristics like the rate at which hair grows, how the vocal chords form and so on. One is usually called a victim of steroid abuse when they have taken steroids for a very long period of time or when they have taken extreme doses that create havoc in the body’s hormonal system.
Wikipedia estimates that almost 1-3 Million people in the United States have used steroids. Most of these users have been recreational bodybuilders who want a muscular physique for a cosmetic reason more than anything else.
When one takes legal steroids or anabolic steroids, testosterone is not directly made available in the body. First, the steroid is broken down to a molecular level. Then, they tether themselves to what are called androgen receptors. Once the steroid molecule is bound, the receptor cell is activated. Once activated, the steroid released by the receptor cell does two things.
The first is to increase protein production, a process which is in turn used to produce more new cells. This cell growth, as mentioned earlier, is usually concentrated in skeletal muscles. Since skeletal muscles respond very well to resistance training, they experience doubly faster growth when an anabolic steroid lends a helping hand, with increased cell production. This effect is called the anabolic effect as it helps with muscle growth.
The other effect is a catabolic effect. With this effect, what happens is that the androgen receptors inhibit release of certain hormones called Glucorticoids. If that sounds way too technical for you, just know that the Glucorticoids hormones increase the rate at which muscles are broken down, to release energy. In other words, when you put your body through intense workouts, it has a tendency to dip into your muscles for energy. Since that can be extremely counter-productive when you are trying to gain muscle mass, the catabolic effect of steroid use will come to your aid. Muscles will break down less and will recover sooner, giving you a far better chance of both retaining your lean muscle mass and actually growing it as well.
Anabolic steroids or legal steroids can therefore assist to enhance your muscle building and all related processes like fat loss, bulking, shredding down etc. But, it needs to be taken in a controlled manner. As discussed earlier, misuse or abuse can lead to significant problems like growth of man-boobs, shrinking of testicles, hair loss or excessive hair growth and also other issues like irritability, violent mood swings and even leading to severe depression in some cases. Stick to legal steroids that are sold with recommended cycles and doses that have had research, study and trials behind the recommendations. Never experiment with steroid use if you have no idea about recommended dosage or if you don’t know what exactly the steroid actually contains.