Today I will be giving my views on the “taboo” topic of legal steroids.
The other day I sent out an email to my LEP mailing list, at the bottom of the e-mail I offered readers the opportunity to ask me any questions relating to health, fitness, diet, supplements, mindset hacks, etc, etc…
I received some great questions, things like…
- How do I lose fat from my thighs?
- What’s the best diet plan for weight loss?
- Do carbs make you fat?
- How do I change the shape of my abs?
I get asked questions like this all of the time, and I’ve already covered most of these topics on my fitness blog.
BUT one topic that I don’t get asked about very often (in fact I’ve only been asked twice in the last 2 years!) is about ‘legal steroids’
The person who asked me this question sent a quite in-depth e-mail, but In short they wanted to know the following…
- Do legal steroids work?
- What are the “best” legal steroids?
- Do I recommend you buy legal steroids?
I thought it would make for a great topic, I know it’s TABOO for some, but it’s something that does take place in the fitness industry and I wanted to use this as an opportunity to share my own thoughts and opinions…
Side Note: I’ve never taken anabolic steroids in my life, the only steroids I have experience with is prednisolone – which is a corticosteroid used to treat my asthma! It’s for inflammatory illnesses and has no impact on building muscle!
I’ve also never used legal steroids. The information that i’m about to share in this post has been gathered through research – reading online blogs, articles, journals and scientific research papers. I’ve collected a bunch of notes from my findings, and reached out to people who can help me on this topic. In a nutshell…
This article is my best attempt to articulate the information that I’ve discovered…
Rise In Anabolic Steroid Usage…
The other day I read an online article by The Guardian whilst researching some information for this blog, and according to them upto 1,000,000 (yep…1 million!) people in the UK have used anabolic steroids or some form of performance enhancing drug.
That number is extremely alarming, it’s 1 in 65 people in the UK! In other words you’ll likely be in contact with somebody who takes anabolic steroids (whether you know it or not!) they could be a friend, colleague, boss, doctor, dentist, basically… any one whom you come into contact with!
Now, I’m not a social scientist but my guess would be that more and more people are taking anabolic substances in order to improve their image, especially because we’re in an image obsessed society – where good looking, lean and athletic people get rewarded with fame, and fortune!
You only have to go on Instagram to see thousands of good looking guys and women, with chiseled features, sculpted abs and a gazillion followers!
I remember when I was at University, thinking to myself…that’s how i wanted to be! I wanted to be the next Steve Cook (for those that don’t know who Steve Cook is…check him out…he’s like Action Man!)…
I’d spend hours and hours watching bodybuilding videos on Youtube (instead of doing my uni work!) learning from the pros and best in the business. I was completely naive to steroid usage back then – I thought only the FREAKY Mr Olympia guys (and rough door bouncers!) took these types of drugs!
I’ve been in the fitness industry for the last decade (and more!) and over recent years I’ve been alarmed at how many of the people that I’ve looked up to over the years have been accused of taking illegal anabolic steroids.
People like Rob Riches, Steve Cook, Zac Efron have all had accusations thrown against them, and although you can never be 100% (unless you’ve got chemical lab test results or CCTV footage!) I can’t help but think that there are lots of people cheating the system! Those people whom thousands (maybe even millions!) of people follow and look up to, but who are secretly taking illegal performance enhancing drugs and getting away with it!
Why Do People Take Steroids?
Competitive people will always look for ways to gain an advantage…
To start with they usually…
Train harder, eat better, and take a few supplements (whey protein, creatine, fat burners, etc) BUT then there gets to a point where progress usually slows down, and perhaps genetic limitations start to kick in, meaning that it’s difficult to improve much further.
At this point lots of people will reach for either illegal anabolic steroids, things like Dianabol, Winstrol, Testosterone, Anavar, Trenbolone, Clenbuterol, etc or opt for their legal counterparts, which can be bought online.
This post is going to focus on…
I’m going to answer the questions I got asked earlier this month…
What are they?
Legal steroids are pretty self explanatory… they are ‘legal’ versions of steroids which you can buy and sell, and that don’t come with a hefty fine or prison sentence!
You can still buy illegal steroids online, or from a dodge dealer at your bodybuilding gym! You’re allowed to take them, BUT you are not allowed to sell them. Illegal steroids are a Class C drug and if you don’t abide by the law you could receive a hefty 14 year prison sentence!
In order to get hold of illegal steroids you have to either get them imported or have them prescribed by your doctor – you can’t just walk into a shop and buy them over the counter (unless you know a dodgy supplement dealer called Gary that sells them behind his till! lol! I don’t know where I got the name Gary from!) – if however they got caught, they’d be in a prison cell faster than you can say “Bobs your Uncle”…
The legal steroids which you are ‘allowed’ to buy are ‘steroid alternatives’ which claim to provide similar results, but are considered safer, and apparently users will not experience any dangerous side effects (i’ll share my opinions on this shortly).
Do they work?
There’s very little scientific research out there that covers the effects of legal steroid alternatives.
We know that Illegal anabolic steroids have been around since the 50s – even though theres evidence to suggest they were also used much earlier on, for example during the first and second World Wars to make soldiers stronger and more aggressive.
There has been lots of research gathered over the decades about the effects of these steroids. For example the positive benefits they can have on the body, like: muscle building, fat loss, improved performance, etc. BUT also the negative effects, like: mood swings, lowered libido, depression, anxiety, heart failure, etc.
Much more is known about illegal steroids because they’ve been around longer and studied at length.
Far less is known about ‘legal steroids’…
There’s very little information out there, and therefore how do you really know if they’re safe or not?
That said there are lots of people raving about these legal alternatives on bodybuilding forums, claiming that they work and showing off their proof with their ‘before’ and ‘after pics’ where they go from looking like an overweight average Joe… to all of a sudden a ripped, lean, mean, athletic machine…like someone ready to audition for the next Hollywood action movie!
It can be hard to know who’s genuine, after all they could be truthful, but they could also be companies sharing fake results, in order to sell their legal steroid and make profit!
What are the best ones?
Unfortunately I can’t speak from experience, but having looked online there are a bunch of positive reviews for several legal steroids by Crazy Bulk. Popular choices include…
The above legal steroids are taken to help users get quicker results, and if you look online (blogs, and Instagram) you’ll see many reviews like…
“Chest feels and looks a lot bigger!”
“Gained 7kg of lean muscle!”
“Strength has increased and looking more defined”
Alongside the positive feedback people are also sharing their ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics to prove their results. They seem legit…but I guess you never really know!
Do I recommend you buy them?
I’m going to cut straight to the point on this one and say…
It’s just my personal opinion, it doesn’t mean that it’s right. For me I’m largely happy with my body, i’m fit and athletic, OK sometimes I wish I looked a little better, but I’m pretty comfortable in my own skin (well…most of the time!).
I don’t want to look like Mr Olympia, or some muscle model! I used to BUT not now, i’m happy being trim with some abs.
That said I can understand why guys would take them, although I don’t condone them. If you’re desperate to get to the next level and you feel like you’ve tried every other natural solution but aren’t progressing then I understand why people consider taking them.
BUT before you do, it’s worth considering the following…
Training – how many years have you been training for, and not only that but how many years have you been training PROPERLY? Sessions where you push yourself to the limit and feel like throwing up, sessions where you’ve literally got nothing left in the tank? Just because you take illegal or legal steroids does not mean that you’ll get the results you want. You have to work extremely hard and have been doing so for years!
Nutrition – is your nutrition on point? and have you been consistent on it…not for 2 weeks, or a couple of months…i’m talking about years? Nutrition plays one of the biggest (if not the biggest) role in physical development. You’ve got to make-sure that you’re eating high protein foods, with the right mixture of carbs and fats. You’re calories must be on point and you need to be very consistent.
Unless you’ve totally nailed the above 2 things for at least 5 years then i’d say…
DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER LEGAL STEROIDS.
I think you should also consider your ‘intentions’ before reaching for legal steroids…
For example why do you need to take legal steroids?
Is it to get bigger? and if so why do you need to get bigger? is it to impress women? or become more of an alpha male? is it because you’re insecure about how you look? question your deep motives and be honest with yourself. You’ll find the truth when you go deep into your psyche, below the superficial layers.
Maybe you want to look shredded on the beach? and show off your new body? Again, you can still have a great body without needing to take legal or illegal steroids.
Make-sure you’re 100% certain before you take the leap!
Also, are you prepared for the potential downsides?
Even though these legal steroids claim to be safe, have been approved by the FDA, and don’t seem to have many negative opinions (so far!)…
Does that mean that they are safe? or could it be…
That they aren’t safe…but we wont find that out for years! when it’s too late and you end up being one of the victims.
I guess i’m just trying to play Devils Advocate and give you some food for thought, it should be a BIG decision and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Reading a couple of positive reviews online and seeing a couple of transformation photos should not give you the green light! You need to do much more research than this and way up the pros and cons.
Think about the bigger picture and the potential side effects, you only have to look at some of the ex Mr Olympias like Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler to see how steroids have played a role in negatively affecting their health.
You may not notice the side affects now, but they could appear late on in life…
I always think before embarking on something potentially very risky that you should do your due diligence…
Do plenty of research – like I said…don’t just read one article or one positive testimonial. Instead read multiple articles, look at the bad reviews, if there are any and try and gather a realistic picture.
Also If you know of anybody who’s taken legal steroids then you could ask them about their findings.
The decision is up to you…
BUT Make-sure you feel 100% confident before taking the leap of faith….