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Let’s Talk About PED’s
Carrying on from my previous article “Steroid Stigma” I want to give a very brief overview of various Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and other Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED). Talking about PED‘s is still a bit of a taboo topic, but like I mentioned before the use of these drugs is rampant in both sports (tested and untested, drug tests are not hard to pass) and throughout the general population. Again I want to reiterate that AAS and other PED‘s are not miracle drugs that are going to transform you into a machine overnight. Patience, persistence and consistency are the main keys in all aspects of lifelong progression whether you are drug free or not. PED‘s will however, help you recover faster and consequently train harder and/or longer, therefore enabling you to surpass your genetic potential. Don’t get too carried away here, I’ve mentioned before that your genetics govern EVERYTHING, so while you may be able to exceed your drug free genetic potential your genetics will still dictate how well you respond to these drugs and their overall effects on you. A Little Bit Of Science Before We Begin To start with, PED‘s include more than just AAS. Insulin, peptides, growth hormone and Erythropoietin (EPO) are just a few examples of what constitutes as a PED, but the list is huge! AAS are lipid soluble, meaning they diffuse through cell membranes in order to bind to steroid receptors, here they then enter the cells nucleus and promote gene transcription which ultimately stimulates protein synthesis and therefore results in muscle growth. All AAS are derivatives of the male hormone testosterone that have been modified in various different ways to either enhance or dismiss certain traits. Testosterone can either be free or bound within your body. It is your free testosterone that determines the amount your body can utilize for “our” purposes. AAS come in two forms; oral and injectable. Oral steroids must be C17 alkylated in order to bypass the liver and are therefore hepatoxic (liver toxic). As I’ve mentioned in my previous article, doing oral only cycles makes you a dick and if you’re scared of needles you have no business touching AAS. Injectable steroids must be injected intramuscularly and this process must be done with extreme caution. All in all injectable steroids are “safer” than oral steroids, with the main issues arising from injectables pertains to the environment and the level of hygiene during the handling of needles and compounds. Steroids can affect us in many different ways, both psychologically and physiologically. Psychologically it has been found that the mere thought of being on steroids (placebo effect) has shown to increase strength levels significantly whereas the physiological symptoms are much more expected; muscle growth, improved recovery, larger error margins etc. The lasting potential for steroids is something that really interests me and it always amuses me now when people claim they’re “natural” now because they aren’t using steroids anymore or when they claim they’ve only done one cycle so they’re natural again. When you use steroids you increase the amount of myonuclei within your muscle cells. If you stop training for a while, you may atrophy (lose size) but the number of myonuclei will still be the same, so when you restart training your lasting potential is still there, so essentially it’ll be easier to reclaim that lost size and strength. This is the very basic basis of “muscle memory“. Now, I don’t care what anybody says, all AAS use will shut down your natural production. Just because a steroid is considered “mild” in nature, it is still a steroid. To reverse this shutdown many guys will run a post cycle therapy (PCT) protocol which usually involves a combination of SERMS and SARMS (I’ll discuss this more in a future post, for now just know that it is a AAS alternative currently on the market). This is most likely where the myth of losing all your gains after coming off steroids comes from. It takes a while for your body to “wake up” and start producing testosterone “naturally” again. During this time your testosterone levels will be at an all time low, meaning sustaining muscle mass is going to be ridiculously hard. Smart planning and a solid PCT protocol can limit this, but overall you will lose some (if not all potentially) of your gains. The other option is to Blast and Cruise, and I believe this to be the “safer” route if you’re ready and able. Let me repeat that, if you’re ready and able. Blasting and Cruising means you stay on steroids forever, going through higher dose “Blast” periods where you may run additional compounds then spending the majority of your time on lower TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) levels for your “Cruise“. I personally believe most men should go on TRT in their 30s (maybe 40s) so if you’re this age then this is definitely a viable option. You must take all factors into consideration, it is a huge commitment that could possibly span for the rest of your life, however I think the guys who Blast and Cruise remain much more stable, both physically and mentally. Alternately, as stated before, you can run cycles and keep going on and off. This works for some, not for others, but believe me when I say I’ve met hundreds of guys who say they’re just gonna run one cycle to “see how it is”. It’s never one cycle, so take that into consideration and be smart. If you are thinking of doing steroids (which I neither condone or condemn) then I implore you to DO YOUR RESEARCH! Check out Dave Crossland or the book “Anabolics” by William Llewellyn to start with. The Drugs Right, now the moment you’ve all been waiting for, the drugs! I’m gonna go over what I consider the most common PED‘s that are used more frequently. There are other steroids and there are other PED‘s that I won’t be covering, but you can research them in your own time if you so desire. Injectables Testosterone: Of course we had to start …