You are reading this article because you are at a crossroads. It’s likely that you have already tried lifting weights, eating more protein, carbs, fats or all three and you have spent (wasted) hundreds of dollars on supplements. All of this was to no avail. Your body has barely changed, the scale hasn’t gone up significantly and you are FRUSTRATED. You want to build more muscle, get stronger and just become BIGGER but nothing that is LEGAL has worked you. You are now finally at the point where you are considering something ILLEGAL. You are actually considering taking steroids.
Anabolic steroids. The name alone implies BIGGER. In common lexicon, anything that is “on steroids” is considered larger, stronger and more aggressive. If I say the word “bike” you picture a normal bike, but if I say “bike ON STEROIDS” you picture something completely different. Although steroids deserve some of this reputation, I will tell you they don’t work as modern myth would have you believe. In fact, steroids won’t do much at all for you if you don’t do a few things the right way. The bottom line is steroids are not magic.
I remember when I first learned that steroids weren’t as powerful as modern media was having everyone believe. It was the year 2000 and I was a young 21-year-old entrepreneur. I had just invested in a gym in southern California with a friend of mine. At this time, I thought what had separated myself from the pro bodybuilders in the magazines was steroids. “If I took steroids, I would look like Dorian Yates” was my attitude.
When I first invested in this gym I had to hire some new staff. I brought on new sales people and trainers and one of my sales people was a fast-talking charismatic guy by the name of Benji. We had worked together managing gyms before and at one point were even workout partners. About 2 months after he started working for me he told me he was about to start his first steroid cycle. “I have a good connection down here. I’m gonna get huge bro!” He said to me. I was excited too, because I was extremely curious at what kind of crazy results he would get. He started out by taking 600 mgs of testosterone, not a massive dose but definitely a dose that was strong for a beginner. After his 12 weeks cycle he gained a whopping 7lbs on the scale. It wasn’t mind-blowing at all. The worst part was that he lost most of it after about 4 weeks of being off. Most of it was water retention.
Looking back, I know EXACTLY why he didn’t get crazy gains. His workout was incredibly INEFFECTIVE and his diet was crap. Since then I have personally witnessed this situation happen with at least a dozen guys. They don’t have an effective workout, they don’t understand how to eat for their body and then they throw steroids in the mix with disappointing results.
As the host of the popular fitness podcast Mind Pump I get the unique opportunity to meet and talk with the biggest, strongest athletes on the planet. I have become close friends with many of them. These guys and girls have INCREDIBLE athletic genes, amazing work ethics, and insane training and nutrition knowledge for their bodies. Many take steroids or have in the past but none of them took crazy insane dosages. I’ve also seen pictures of these athletes BEFORE they took steroids and they all looked insane. It wasn’t the steroids that got them where they were.
If your workout and diet and lifestyle isn’t producing results then LOOK TO THOSE THINGS first when trying to figure out what is going wrong. The odds are your workout and diet are the reason you aren’t building muscle. They aren’t working for YOUR body. Unless you suffer from low testosterone, you have an amazing capability to build muscle under the right circumstances. Sure, you may not have Mr. Olympia genetics (no one does) but the good odds are that you can still make some very significant visual changes to your physique IF you do things the RIGHT way (not just the hard way).
Below are some time-tested tips in regards to training and nutrition to get your body GROWING.
-Train your whole body 2-3 times a week. The split isn’t too important so long as you hit this frequency.
-Do a total of 9-18 TOTAL sets per body part per week.
-Don’t do more than 3-6 sets to failure TOTAL per body part per week. Better yet avoid going to failure most of the time. Instead stop your work sets 1-2 reps short of failure.
-Squat, Deadlift, Barbell Row, Overhead Barbell Press and Lunge at least 1-2 times a week
-Focus on getting stronger. If you get stronger, the odds are that your muscles will grow.
-Eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. Any more is a waste and less won’t maximize your gains.
-Eat 500-1000 MORE calories than you are burning. If you aren’t gaining 0.5-1lbs a week on the scale then up your calories.
-Drink some calories. Make high calorie smoothies with whole milk or full fat coconut milk and protein powder.
-Eat carbs AND fats. Don’t be afraid of them.
-Eat in between breakfast, lunch and dinner. It will make getting adequate calories easier.
-Take creatine. It works.
-Reduce endurance activities. You need those calories for muscle.
-Sleep at least 8 hours a night. Being sleep deprived (even a little bit) will raise stress hormones which make gaining muscle HARDER.
Try applying the tips above consistently and your body WILL respond. Regardless if you decide to take steroids or not those tips above are a must. Don’t do them and no amount of steroids or drugs will give you the body you want.