Should I Use Steroids To Gain Muscle – The Truth

The truth about steroids

Today we are going to tackle a big issue in the fitness world – anabolic steroids. The use of steroids continues to rise in the UK, particularly among young men.

Unfortunately, a lot of people rush into taking steroids believing that they will give them the results they want without sufficiently understanding how they work or the health risks they carry.

In this post, we are going to explain the truth about steroids. We are aiming for a neutral tone because we believe that it is important to deliver information in a non-judgemental way, especially when dealing with a sensitive topic like this one.

To be clear though, we do not endorse steroid usage and always advocate for natural strength building.

What are the advantages of taking steroids?

Anabolic steroids are basically artificial hormones that act like testosterone.

They promote muscle gain and fat loss in the body, which is why they are so popular amongst people who are interested in strength training and bodybuilding.

Even a low dose of testosterone can give athletes a big jump in their performance.

We have all seen images of bodybuilders who are full to the brim with steroids.

However, not everyone who takes steroids is trying to achieve such an extreme aesthetic. Some people take them to supplement their muscle gain as part of a normal training programme.

man with muscles in blackboard

Are steroids illegal in the UK?

Steroids are prescription-only drugs that carry a range of side effects that affect people differently.

For the average Joe or Josephine, dabbling in steroids might begin quite innocently. ‘Gym dealers’ are everywhere; these are people who sell steroids and nothing else.

Gym dealers are typically in great shape, they have a normal job and maybe even a family. Often they only sell steroids because it is easier and cheaper to buy the drugs in bulk, so they are basically just getting rid of the stock they do not need.

However, anabolic steroids are a Class C drug in the UK. It is legal to have them for personal use, but it is illegal to supply them (e.g. you give them to another person to sell) or sell them.

Gym dealers are a walking advert for steroids and will often offer plenty of advice on how to avoid side effects.

Common methods for taking steroids

Some of the methods they suggest are:

  1. ‘Cycling’ (taking steroids for a while, then taking a break and restarting)
  2. ‘Stacking’ (taking multiple types of steroids at once)
  3. ‘Pyramiding’ (taking a low dose of a steroid and building it up, then taking a break and re-starting from the beginning).

It’s worth remembering that these people are not medically trained. Everything they know, they read on the internet or have heard through the grapevine.

Steroids are prescription-only drugs that carry a range of side effects that affect people differently.


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5 main ways steroids are bad for you

As a substance that mimics testosterone, the side effects of taking anabolic steroids vary depending on the makeup of the user and their gender.

  1. Damage to liver and kidneys
  2. Increased risk of blood clots
  3. Increase the risk of prostate cancer
  4. Guys: Lower sperm count & other problems – steroids reduce the sperm count, cause erectile dysfunction, shrink the testicles, and cause breast development.
  5. Ladies – Period problems & more – In women, the effects are even more acute and can include period problems, swelling of the clitoris, an increased sex drive, a reduction in breast tissue, a deepened voice, unwanted facial hair and excessive body hair.
  6. Hair loss – In both sexes, steroids can cause hair loss.
  7. Fertility problems
  8. Stomach pain
  9. Fluid retention
  10. Severe acne – In some ways, the people who develop acne or hair loss are lucky because their body is giving them a clear sign that the steroids are damaging their health.
  11. Mood swings and irritability
  12. Heart enlargement – which increases the risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and of having a heart attack or stroke.

You can find out more side effects on the NHS website.

While these side-effects are unpleasant, users of steroid often believe that they will be able to control their usage enough to avoid them and that they are safe to use in small doses.

However, these side-effects build up over time and it is not as simple as stopping steroid use – the body needs to rebalance all its hormones so recovering from steroid use can take longer than you would think.

In addition to this, not all of the side effects of steroids are so noticeable. Steroids encourage the growth of all muscle tissue, including the heart (which is a muscle).


Something to think about

Steroids and weights

There are no quick fixes in life and if you are thinking about taking steroids then you need to be aware that they are not just an easy way to get ripped.

There are serious side effects that come with using these drugs, which are only legally available on prescription from a doctor.

Think seriously before getting involved with this side of gym culture and recognise that, in some way or another, your health will suffer.

What are the withdrawl symptoms if you stop taking steroids?

Depending on how long you’ve been taking steroids, and if you’re literally addicted to them you can actually experience withdrawl symptoms including depression, headaches, joint pain, fatigue and even being sick. There’s a lot more information at the Addiction Center.

If you go to any gym, it’s pretty easy to spot who is on steroids, even if you’re just getting started. Spoiler alert: they look like one of your kids action figures or a condom stuffed with walnuts.

It won’t matter how much work you put in at the gym, what your diet is, or how good you become at building your muscles; the fact is it’s impossible to reach those monstrous sizes without steroids.

It’s up to each of us to decide whether or not to take the risks and take steroids. However, the overwhelming amount of studies and research into the effects of steroids are impossible to ignore.

The fact is you’re making short term gains that can have a huge negative impact on your health long-term. It’s also worth noting you can attain a fantastic, albeit not-so-monstrous, physique with proper roid-free training!

Good luck – happy and safe training!


References & Further Reading

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