Bodybuilding is hard. That is the hard truth, and it is hard to hear. To get that sculpted physique you need to commit to years of strength training and proper dieting. When everything else remains constant, your genes determine how good the results you get are. But there are those who yearn for the glory but aren’t willing to put in the work or the time. Steroids reduce the time and effort needed to gain that muscular physique. But this road of least resistance is not the best one to take because like every other shortcut in life, there is a price to pay. Here are some of the signs that indicate someone is on steroids.
They put on muscle pretty quickly
Muscle is synthesized from amino acids. It’s a biochemical process that takes time. But steroids take it into overdrive and the production of muscle is over stimulated. The result is a lot of bulk in a relatively short time. For others who tweak their diets and programs accordingly, they might put on muscle and still remain shredded.
The skin is unable to keep up with the rate of muscle synthesis and this leads to stretch marks. These are mostly observed around the deltoids and obliques. But some stretch marks are genetic, so this is not solely conclusive.
These so called ‘man boobs’ are formed after breast tissue starts developing. They are unsightly and impossible to get rid of since their origin is hormonal. Steroids have an unnatural concentration of testosterone and once it is introduced to the body, some of it is converted to estrogen which stimulates the breast tissue development.
This exogenous source of testosterone replaces the need for the body to produce it on its own. It is produced in the testes, and when they don’t play that purpose any more, they shrink or atrophy leading to gonadotrophy.
The sebaceous glands in the skin release more oils, leading to acne. The acne can be pretty severe, and it sometimes extends to the back.
Large Upper Body
Steroid users usually have disproportionate musculature and it’s mostly evidenced in the upper body. They develop very large traps and shoulders which stand out from the rest of their bodies.
When used for a relatively long time, the narrow waist is lost and in its place is a distended stomach. The abdominal muscles might still be visible, but the shape of the stomach is unnatural.
Some of the other signs are very subtle. They include irritability, mood swings, hostility and forgetfulness. Long-term effects of steroid use include baldness, infertility, weight gain, and interruption of normal organ function especially the liver and kidneys.
The costs of using steroids overwhelmingly outweigh the benefits. Besides, fitness is not only about achieving that dream physique; it is celebrating all the milestones along the way. The journey, as most natural bodybuilders will concur, is the best part. Besides, the results of natural bodybuilding are more aesthetic, and ultimately more durable.
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