Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When You Shouldn't Poke 'em Bums. By Vic Goyaram

When You Shouldn't Poke 'em Bums
(When Steroids Aren't For You)
Researched and composed by Vic Goyaram
Exclusive for Bodybuilding Mauritius
We do not advocate steroid use
Bodybuilding Mauritius does not encourage the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. Every member who has been on our Facebook group since its inception can attest to the fact that we have never encouraged the use of steroids but rather preached the development of your natural potential by proper training, nutrition, supplementation and the necessary lifestyle modifications. Once you master the basics whatever else you do falls under your responsibility. Steroids do not compensate for a lack of these aforementioned  bodybuilding "ingredients". Contrary to what may sometimes be said, steroids do not make up for a poor diet, lack of sleep and sloppy training. Neither are steroids the killer that the media portrays them to be. However, the aren't without risks.

The reason why I am writing this article is because through the Bodybuilding Mauritius group and my personal inbox we have obtained a number of queries regarding steroids from people who were not ready for this step.  In this article we present you some cases in which you must not go on steroids. 

No Steroid Case #1: You are still young.
Most of those interested in steroids are still very young. Some are still in their teens. At a young age steroids are not advised because your natural testosterone levels are generally still reasonably high although not as high as it would be if you were taking steroids. However, this can still allow you to make very solid gains naturally. 

In your teens and early-to-mid 20s your focus should be on building a natural foundation of muscle. I understand that at this age impatience is very common especially when one or two years of age difference can have a major impact on your natural growth. You see your friends are bigger than you, you see massive junior bodybuilders and you want to emulate them. I know that at this age you want to prove yourself, make a statement. I have been there too. 

Taking steroids at such a young age can mess up your endocrine system and this is definitely not worth it for a few pounds of extra muscle.

Young but not making decent progress
If you are not making the desired progress it is unlikely to be due to a lack of anabolic hormones in your system. The problem is more likely to be in your nutrition or training. You should get someone who is experienced to evaluate these for you. One more time, steroids won't make up for improper training or nutrition. 
If you are not making progress get a trainer to assess your training
and nutrition rather than jump on steroids
Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint
Young people often want things to happen fast. Unfortunately, building muscle is not an overnight process. Building muscle takes time. This process may happen faster or slower in some people. Thus you may see your friends grow bigger and stronger at a faster rate than you. Bodybuilding itself is a long-term sport. You have all the time in the world to compete unless someone is pointing a gun at your head and forcing you to compete, which is very unlikely. 

You must devote your initial years as a teen bodybuilder to building a solid foundation of muscle rather than be in a hurry to go onstage and possibly considering steroids as an ally to help you achieve this. A guy of the age of 30 is considered young in bodybuilding, unlike most other sports. Just look at Toney "X-Man" Freeman who is still a top contender at the age of 48. Just look at Dexter Jackson who just won the Arnold Classic at the age of 42. 
Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. You can compete
at any age. Pursue health and longevity, not just massive muscles

(Pictured: Doug Brignole at the NABBA Mr. Universe)
No Steroid Case#2: Adult with little training experience 
You must not use steroids if you are new to bodybuilding. You must bust your behind in the gym a good number of years naturally before even considering to go on steroids. You need to use your natural potential as much as possible by means of hard training and proper nutrition before considering to go on steroids. The latter should be the icing on the cake, the final piece of the puzzle as we say. You should not build your body on a foundation of steroids. Don't gear up too soon. 
Build a natural foundation before considering steroids
No Steroid Case #3: Bad Diet
If you are not eating properly then it is very unlikely that your problem can be solved with steroids. Steroids won't make up for what's missing in your diet. Therefore, you can make good gains if you bring whatever is missing in your diet. You need to get someone experienced to analyse whether your diet is appropriate for your goals. You may think that you are eating a lot or sufficient macro-nutrients but on careful analysis there may be shortcomings. 

Let me take myself to illustrate an example. Currently I am able to afford only 150g of protein per day and 2000 calories total. In South Africa a 10ml vial of testosterone (250mg/ml) costs about the same price as 2kg of whey protein. What do you think I want to do? Buy the steroids or try to get the extra 50-75g of protein and 1500 calories that my body requires daily? I will go with the extra protein and 1500 calories because they themselves will "act like a steroid" once I bring these to my body. Meaning, they will give me good gains.  No matter how much I want to get really big and add more muscle, surprise people at how bigger I can get, out-lift everybody in the gym I know my aim cannot be achieved using testosterone when my body isn't getting enough nutrients. 
I must also wait before going on steroids
At the same time, once you decide to go on steroids don't only plan your cycle and post-cycle therapy (PCT). You need to plan your nutrition. You need to have a solid nutrition plan and know beforehand what you are going to eat and whether you will be on the money to ensure that your nutrition can be maintained. If your diet is off then doing a steroid cycle will be a mere waste of your money. The pain in the ass and delts from injections won't be worth it as well. 
Diet is key, on and off steroids
No steroid Case #4: Insufficient knowledge of steroids
Going on steroids is not about only popping a few pills or some weekly injections. I am not going to tell you how to do it but you must do your research beforehand.  A steroid cycle must be carefully planned rather than haphazard. You must know how long you will run the cycle, what your post-cycle therapy will be and what side effects you are likely to experience such that you have the proper remedial drugs handy. All these must be carefully planned. If you don't know about all these then you have no business taking steroids. Study more first. 

There are many good resources on steroids and your best bet would be publications like William Llewellyn's book titled "Anabolics". I am sure many of these books are available online and  you need to use these resources that back in the old days people didn't have. 
William Llewelyn's book is a good resource 
There are so many resources now but people get really lazy to dig into them for knowledge. There are many forums on the internet discussing steroids and you need to be really careful with these. Not everyone dispensing advice on steroids knows their stuff, some are knowledgeable while others are trying to push a certain steroid brand. Very likely on forums whenever you have a question concerning a cycle you need to be very specific and the members will expect you to have done your research first. Don't go and ask them "I want to take Deca. What do you advise?". You will be booed off the forum. You must be very specific in your question. Nobody will write you a cycle if you give the impression that you don't know the basics of your stuff or lazy to do your own prior research. Nobody will lay everything down for you. You must do your homework.
Steroid websites are numerous. Proceed with caution
You may also ask some of the big guys at your gym. Remember that not all big guys who juice are knowledgeable. You get some who are really dumb and who can write you a cycle that can kill your balls. Approach someone who seems to know his stuff very well and don't forget to do your research first and give him the impression that you are serious in your business and not just a kid who wants to take shortcuts. Again now if some guy is writing you insane cycles like 1000mg testosterone per week for your first cycle then drop him. Back off. 

No Steroid Case #5: Someone trying to sell you your first cycle without any advice
Given the massive demand for steroids, the latter is a lucrative business which has attracted not only bodybuilders but also dealers who previously had nothing to do with bodybuilding.  Most of these people may have little knowledge of bodybuilding and thus will not be in any position to give you advice about steroids. The same applies to dealers who are familiar to the bodybuilding world who may not have the time to attend to your questions because their main aim is record sales in record times. If someone sells you something without explaining to you how to use it, how to stack it and who doesn't even care whether or not you are ready then ditch that person. Do not buy his stuff. He is trying to make money off you. If you are, however, knowledgeable and know what you want then you are free to buy from who you want as long as you know his gear is legit. 
Not all dealers sell legit stuff. Most want only your money
No Steroid case #6: Peer Pressure and wanting to do like others
Learn to say NO if someone offers you steroids
Just because your friends or your training partner are using steroids doesn't mean that you  should use them too. Do not succumb to the need to do like others just to be accepted or for any other reason. Look deep into yourself and ask yourself what your aim is in bodybuilding. Is it to better yourself or to compete against others? Do your finances allow you to do like others? If your friends are taking steroids and eating 1kg of meat one day are you able to do the same if you take steroids like them? I personally don't care if I may be the only quite serious natural bodybuilder in my gym because I take massive pride in being one. I don't feel the need to do like others and do my first cycle although steroids are readily available to me. I will do so only when I am ready for that step in terms of both my bodybuilding goals and bank balance. Most of my bodybuilding friends are on steroids but they are also on 6-8 meals a day and are a dedicated and educated bunch. Neither my natural status nor their non-natural status change anything at the level of respect we have for each other. Think well whether you really need steroids. Sit down and reassess things. 

No Steroid Case #7: Steroids for the wrong reasons
Deca durabolin is not for joints and Anavar is not for fat loss. Do not use Deca-Durabolin because you have joint problems. Deca helps with dry and painful joints but it doesn't mean that you should use Deca just because you have these problems. I am mentioning this because I have sometimes received questions from people with no prior experience in steroids who have been advised to take Deca for joint problems. It would be very silly to run steroids just for joint lubrication, in my opinion. Maybe if the guy was a regular user an advice to also run Deca in his cycle would be understandable. You don't tell a beginner who is experiencing joint problems to run Deca, period.
Leave the Anavar for those who are experienced.
Don't use it as a first resort fat burner. You must be nuts to do so.
Similarly, while there are reports of Anavar and Winstrol working as a fat burner this doesn't mean that you should run these for losing some fat if you have no prior experience in steroids. You will be better off fixing your diet and then maybe enlist the help of some over-the-counter thermogenics before considering to run these steroids. In most cases if you only need to lose some fat you won't really need to run any steroid. If you are a fat beginner don't think steroids will get you lean and jacked. You should be able to cut without gear. Cutting steroid cycles are for those who already know their business and have nailed down on their nutrition/ training and want that extra edge.

No Steroid Case #8: You have mental issues

Steroids have potential psychological effects and can affect your mood and emotions. If you are naturally an unhappy or depressed person then you will feel good for some time on steroids but will crash when you come off the steroids. Furthermore, if you have a short fuse and get angry easily then steroids may make this worse. Therefore, please make sure before going that route. You don't want to end up like a maniac and lose friendships and relationships. Whether or not the media has blown the psychological effects of steroids out of proportion, steroids have been shown in numerous studies to have psychological effects. 

My Bio: I am a Mauritian originally from Roche Bois, Port Louis and currently based in Cape Town, South Africa where I have undertaken postgraduate studies in the molecular biology of exercise and nutrition. My research, supervised by Prof. Edward Ojuka and Dr. Tertius Kohn, investigated the influence of nutrition and exercise in gene expression in muscle, research which is relevant and applicable to exercising individuals, sports persons and diabetic individuals. The knowledge that I share with you stems from my 18 years of experience in bodybuilding and 8 years of university education in the field. I have also published work in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism (2012, 2014), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (2013) and co-authored two book chapters on exercise and diabetes. I also presented my research work at the 2012 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference (UK). I currently serve as Product Research & Development Director/ Scientist for Functional Nutrition International Pty. Ltd, a Cape Town-based nutritional products company. 
©,2013, Veeraj Goyaram, Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited.

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  1. Good article vic , we share a lot of the similar training views , I especially like your article on training ht cales , a lot of people look at me like I am crazy when i do reverse calf raises for the tibialis.

    1. Thank you Neeraj. Keep following our website and stay in touch. Suggestions and tips are also welcome for you. Tibialis raises are very important, I agree.

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  4. that was a imp information ....