Steroids… Or What?
I am against Steroids. Not mainly because of legal aspects or the “unfair edge” others are talking about, but because of the side effects. You’ve heard them all – hair loss, bitch tits, sterility, liver damage. The usual tune, right? It’s like AIDS – everybody’s heard about it, yet it’s all gone when things are getting hot.
…And for the 16-year old guy who’s tired of getting his ass kicked at the football-field, the vague babble about side-effects in the distant future feels pretty irrelevant. Especially if three of his teammates got onto the “juice” 6 months ago – and dominate the field totally, weighing about 20-30 lbs more each.
But then again, it’s in human nature to like shortcuts. Who cares about 5 years in the future, I want results NOW dammit! Why live healthy when there’s liposuction? Why work when you can rob a bank? Why stop and smell some stupid roses when you can run past twice as many? Needless to say, the magic steroid fits all too well with this to allow even the most naive person to believe that it’s going to crawl under a rock and die anytime soon. Pandora’s box is opened – and now the only question is how to deal with it. IOC has forcefully tried to stamp it out for ten years now, with little result. More and more voices are being raised in favor of letting the whole thing free, while others want even stricter regulations – some even suggesting that steroid-dealers should be judged equal to heroine and crackdealers in order to avoid the Sydney-olympics to be a repeat of this summer’s Tour de France-scandal. Both sides present valid points.
The pro-drug side argues that it’s way beyond regulations now, and as everybody’s cheating anyway you might as well make it an even and open field. And realistically speaking, if you WOULD make this tremendous crackdown – Duuh – do you really want ESPN and EuroSport to run pool, dart and curling 24 hours a day?
Also, bringing it out of the dark allows there to be accurate information available, not to mention getting rid of all the dangerous bogus-steroids out there. The anti-drug side makes a point about the potential abuse by clueless teenagers – Like the 16-year old I described above. By letting it free, you send a signal that it’s harmless and that everybody who doesn’t jump onto the bandwagon is an outdated fool. Then there’s the issue of it no longer being a fair competition between athletes, but the most skilled pharmacist. Not to mention the detail that you’re FORCED to take drugs to become a successful athlete!
Simply put: Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
And next week we’ll take a crash-dive into what this means to our sport, how the new testosterone precursor-supplements affect us and what the difference between real, black-market steroids and stuff that doesn’t turn into steroids until we swallow it really is.
I briefly touched the matter of all the new testosterone precursor-supplements earlier, but I limited the discussion to basically say: Stay clear of them! Why? Because no matter what people say, the old saying of “what sounds too good to be true – usually is!” normally holds true. Huge gains out of the ordinary without any side effects should make you suspicious, and let’s get it straight: When you’re altering your hormonal balance, you’re gambling. And if you receive effects in ONE end, such as massive gains, do you believe there’s nothing going on in the other end? Think of your hormonal balance as a stick balancing on a rock. One end suddenly gets an artificial push. What does your common sense say about the other end?
Now, don’t take it the wrong way here: Over-the-counter testosterone precursors are way weaker than full-blown black market steroids. It’s not even the same league – like comparing NFL and your kid brother’s highschool football team. And this is probably how they managed to get them through FDA in the first place. They’re not really steroids … At least not until swallowed, and secondly, they’re pretty tame. No oil-based injectable megadoses of testosterone that’s going to float around in your bloodstream forever right? Just short, controlled spikes right before training that put minimal stress on the body.
But then what? The first supplements of this kind were quickly replaced by stronger, more effective substances, and without going into too much detail you can just look up any bodybuilding mag to see how the manufacturers brag about being hundreds and hundreds of percent stronger and more effective than the others. And a little while ago I saw the final blow: One manufacturer rounded everything up and put it on a convenient, daily chart. That means popping pills throughout the day, from morning to night, with each capsule containing the exact “right” formula to maintain max levels of testosterone in the blood. And it’s a virtual parade of substances: Androstenedione, 19 Norandrostenedione, 4-Androstenediol, 5-Androstenediol, 19 Nor-4-Androstenediol, and of course Tribulus Terrestis to enhance the effects even further. What more can you ask? Nice and conveinent!
Hello? Did anybody miss something here?
Back up a few steps and think about it. What is it that counts: Outer circumstances or what actually ends up floating around your bloodstream? How far are we from using mild black market steroids when we’re taking these “package”-deals? And is there one single soul out there who believes that the manufacturers are going to stop pushing even better and more effective packages? We’re talking about a million-dollar industry here, and there’s plenty of young guys out there who wants to cheat without actually cheating, so to speak. They want the edge, but without really crossing the line. And the manufacturers are more than happy to provide them with the gear. You might think I’m enhancing the problem and striking down on it too hard right NOW, but I’m looking towards the future and I don’t think I like this trend. What can we expect in two years? How far has the “grey zone” expanded by then? How much has the distance between “real” steroids and supplements shrunk, while still lullying the customer into believing he’s buying a 100% safe product?
There are myths surrounding steroids: some true, some false.
True: Steroids works, bigtime.
False: The more you take, the better.
And numerous others of course. It’s mostly common sense though. Of course they work, so each scientific study suggesting that they DON’T is either flawed and/or stupid. Plain and simple. I mean, c’mon! If they were just hype, then why would all the pro athletes risk getting busted for using them? And even though oral steroids seem more “innocent” than injectables, they’re of course more harmful as they’re giving the liver a beating TWICE – both at digestion AND when in the bloodstream. “The more, the better” doesn’t hold true as you have only so much capacity to handle hormones. Overloading your receptors sure as hell won’t do you any good – it only makes side-effects worse and gives you a harder time getting your own production back on it’s feet once you’re off the juice.
And so on. Like I said: Common sense.
Finally, I’d like you to compare it to buying/renting a car.
Assume you have a certain amount of money. Taking steroids is like renting the coolest Ferrari you can find, and you can go cruising around downtown for a week feeling like Mr.Coolness himself. However, after that week you run out of money and end up walking instead. It was fun while it lasted, but as your feet start aching you might regret it (as in when you start losing your hair, get enlarged intestines = eternal beer gut, bitch tits start surfacing etc). The natural bodybuilder doesn’t blow his money on a rented Ferrari. Instead, he buys a reliable Volvo. Granted, that first week he feels pretty much left behind when the other guy is zooming past him with a Ferrari full of hot babes and leaves him coughing in the dust, BUT after that one week, when the first guy returned his Ferrari and the second guy is still driving his Volvo, who’s laughing then?