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Do all Bodybuilders Take Steroids?

By Joe Talarico on May 19, 2022 9:00:00 AM
5 Minutes Reading Time


There are a whole host of reasons any type of lifter might take steroids whether they are a bodybuilder or not. Certain factors come into play like mentality, and environment. In this article, I’ll go over steroid use in the bodybuilding community.

The IFBB Pro

If you are a professional bodybuilder on the pro level stage, there is zero doubt that you are taking steroids. It’s just the nature of the game. That’s not to take away the fact that these men and women are still the top 1% of their genetic pool. Meaning, even WITHOUT steroids, they would be huge, jacked bodybuilders. This is what most people don’t realize.

Steroids isn’t a Fix-All

Recreational lifters love to comment on people’s photos, and if the influencer looks even slightly more jacked, or ripped then they do they assume “steroids”. Except steroids don’t quite work that way. Sure, taking steroids may add some size and strength to your frame, but it doesn’t just magically put on 100lbs and make you look like Ronnie Coleman. There is no denying the hard work that even pro level bodybuilders must do to bring their best physique on stage. These guys are still going through cycles of bulking (and gaining fat still), and having to diet down.

The Quick Fix

A lot of recreational lifters will take prohormones or steroids because they either don’t appreciate the length of time and consistency it actually takes to build an impressive physique, or don’t have the patience. This is where steroids get the bad wrap, and personally where I’m not a fan of steroid use. I believe, when taken properly, under the supervision of a doctor, steroids can safely and effectively be done without messing up your hormones. A LOT of guidance, and monitoring has to be done in order for this to happen though.

What I see far too often, is younger guys who want to “fast track” their way to a 200+lb physique. They take way too high of a dose and maybe they do blow up and get the results they want. But with that, they get all the short and longer term side effects. They get the gyno, the purple skin, the hair loss, the back acne, and so much more. Not to mention the nasty effects long term. I have friends when I first entered the fitness realm who took a LOT of steroids early. They just did it on their own, focused solely on increasing their strength, and now they have to take exogenous anabolics for the rest of their life, because they didn’t cycle off properly. Their body is forever reliant on an outside source.

I can sympathize to a certain extent. How often, especially in fitness, do we see the magazines or try the workouts that promise to add 20lbs to your frame only to find you barely moved the scale? We’re constantly fed misleading advertising with false promises that never live up to the hype and we wonder why we still look the same. Meanwhile, the influencer who's either genetically gifted or actually on steroids, swears by their program or products, leaving you confused and robbed of your money.

Natural Ways to Boost Your Testosterone

There are things we can do to increase our testosterone naturally.

Get 7-9 hours of sleep - this goes so underrated for everyone in general for overall health. Getting your sleep is the most important thing you can do to not only increase your T levels, but your overall stress and mood! It’s the time when your muscles repair, and cells recycle. If we don’t allow for at LEAST 7 hours of sleep, we aren’t allowing our muscles to grow properly.

Adding 2-3 days of Resistance Training - A lot of people don’t realize but when we workout, we maximize the muscle building signal. This will give us a huge boost in testosterone, and is a signal that goes back down after 48-72 hours. So to maximize this we would want to hit our muscles 2-3 times a week using a full body split to help keep that signal elevated throughout the week.

Eating proper nutrition - If steroids are of curiosity, then chances are it’s muscle growth you are after. Whether you want to take steroids or not, you’ll never build a proper physique if you aren’t eating in a surplus. If we want to grow, we need to be eating enough calories that allows us to grow. That means eating .82-1g/lb of protein to start. The remainder of your calories can come from any mix of fats and carbs. See what your body responds to the best.

Raise Your Testosterone Guide | Mind Pump

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Joe Talarico

Joe is a certified Precision Nutrition and strength & conditioning coach. He assisted the UCLA Women’s Tennis team in winning their 2014 NCAA Championship Title, as well as study under the great strength coaches at Pepperdine University. He was a collegiate rower at the University of Rhode Island (where he got his Kinesiology degree) as well as an amateur physique competitor. He is currently the master trainer at Upgrade Labs in Santa Monica where he is combining his years of training clients in the gym with newer technology to optimize their performance and recovery. He also cohosts The RelationSH*T Show Podcast with his fiancée where they discuss all relationship topics unfiltered from who pays on dates, to open relationships.

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