Watching a commercial for professional wrestling I got to thinking, if steroids work because they mimic natural testosterone and other growth hormones, why do they cause such damage (long term ) to the football players and body builders who use them? I mean, they are naturally produced in healthy bodies, right?

Adam “Inky” Greene

Inky, I think it’s a quantity, not quality thing, but I’ll leave to others who know more to elucidate.

This just reminded me of sitting next to a pharmacist at a church meeting when they were talking about the upcoming softball season. I asked him if he could get us some steroids and he said, “No, but I’ve got a lot of estrogen on the shelves!”

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

They cause such damage because they are synthetic and those who take them fall into the more is better vicious cycle. Taking too much throws your body out of whack and can cause damage. Your natural testosterone is regulated by your own body. Taking synthetics is not easily regulated by your body. If too much is taken for too long it shuts down your bodies ability to regulate itself.

Steroids have proven to work in two areas. Anti-catabolic, or the prevention of muscle break down after a workout, and muscle cell hydration. I forget the term but basically it keeps your muscle cells hydrated.

What they don’t do is strenthen your ligaments or connective tissue. If a bodybuilder works out in a normal routine than that is not a worry. Large muscle mass without strong joints leads to continual injury.

The WWF and WCW wrestlers don’t appear to be taking too much steroids/testosterone/growth hormone if any. I haven’t watched enough to be sure. Look for things like acne, large guts (inspite of washboard abs) and large forehead. The large gut should not be confused with bodyfat or beer belly. Look at a bodybuilding magazine and you will almost always see a picture of a bodybuilder with a large gut while having less than 8% bodyfat. I think leathery skin is an indicater but that can be chalked up to too much time in the tan booth also. There are other visual indicators but I don’t recall right now.

As far as legality I don’t care if they are legal or not. I wont’ take steroids/testosterone/growth hormone I tried Androstenidione, the same stuff Mark McGuire, uses or used. The short time I was on it it made me feel weird and made hair grow in funny places. Steroids are more powerful so I don’t want that. There a better alternatives.

If you are getting into bodybuilding I suggest the natural route first. If not the only route. And always see a doctor. He might be against bodybuilding in general but he can tell you if you’re fit (healthy) enough to handle it. Use proper techniques for weightlifting and proper routines. Learn proper bodybuilding diet and rest. Protien intake should be 1.5 - 2 grams per lb. of bodywieght. Don’t eat too much protein as that can be worse than not getting enough. And eat quality stuff.

If that works or not then you can try things like creatine and HMB. (I’m not holding a gun to your head you don’t have to try anything) In spite of the bad press creatine is fine as long as you keep yourself hydrated. Check out and put ‘creatine’ in the search and read all of the articles. Creatine acts as a muscle fuel allowing longer and harder workouts. It also hydrates your muscle cells. HMB acts as an anti-catabolic.

There is too much that needs to be said than can be put in a single post. Educate yourself. I suggest if anyone is interested in steroids to stay away. If you’re interested in bodybuilding there are healthy alternatives.

And just so no allergy sufferers get unduly worried, the steroids you may be taking in prescription sprays, injections, or pills will not cause you to become the next Lyle Alzado.

Certainly there are side affects (some serious) to prescribed medications such as Beconase, Nasilide, Celestone, prednisone, etc… but to many allery sufferers they are life-savers.

Just thought I’d throw that in for any casual readers who may confuse medical steroid treatment with the very dangerous abuse of body-building steroids. As mentioned in earlier posts, stay away from those!

-posting from school!-

      • Steroids are safe up to a point - a friend took them for a few months; he got them injected at his doctor’s office. The only reason was to add muscle. It was pretty expensive though; He paid $180 for the weekly injection and $60 for the visit. He did that for three months and gained about 45 lbs, most of it mass. He ate and lifted weights optimally the whole time. He figured out that the cost of three months of steroids was about equal to two years of exercise club membership. Which was about what it would have taken to gain that much without steroids, so he didn’t save any money by taking steroids, he just saved time by getting larger faster. And that was the maximum that his doctor would allow him - no more, ever.
  • If you really want the stuff, your own doctor is the first place you should ask. Most won’t, but you don’t know until you try - and it ain’t cheap. Healthy guys can take a reasonable amount without anything horrible happening but people who administer it to themselves have a tendency to overdo it. - MC

Basically you look at the old bodybuilders like Frank Zane. They were HUGE for their day. Now you find regular Joes in gyms all over much bigger than him. Why? Steriods. Watch a natural bodybuilding contest and you will see the difference.

WWF/WCW steriod use is well known. You will not many have deep tans to hide the acne and many wrestle with a shirt on to hide it.

Another sign is vascularity. The veins poping out is a good sign of steriod use. THIS is not however a sure sign. Some people are veiny by nature but these people still show veins no matter what size they are.

I use to weigh 240 at my peak of 6 day work outs and you really can only get so big before it gets in your way. Besides I didn’t appreciate having to buy all new shirts. I’d rather stay at my 210 weight.

I can see the attraction to steriods by kids. I’ve never used them but you get A LOT of attention when you are buildt.

      • I agree - there’s a magazine called Natural Bobybuilding, IIRC - the guys in there look impressive, but they’re not nearly as big as the guys you will see in Flex, for instance. A few might be genetically blessed in that regard but when a five-foot-six guy weighs 250 with no bodyfat, you can be pretty sure there’s some drugs involved. Flex pays continual lip service to stamping out drug use, but continues to show the same old monsters. - MC

My favorite saying about steroids (for the weightlifting guys out there) is that taking exogenous steroids will “turn your grapes to raisins”. The human body has many mechanisms in place to maintain homeostasis.

Steroids like testosterone are part of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis. This axis, with regard to testosterone, is regulated by negative feedback. And the following statements will be way oversimplified for any biological majors or medical types out there, but the pituitary secretes a hormone that stimulates the male gonads to secrete testosterone, an anabolic steroid. The pituitary knows to do this under the signals sent to it by the hypothalamus [GnRH, another hormone]. IIRC, the hypothalamus can recognize blood levels of steroids such as testosterone and ‘knows’ whether more is needed. If it detects high levels in the blood due to testosterone analogs that are present because of anabolic steroid abuse, it figures it doesn’t need to tell the pituitary to tell the testes (the male gonads) to produce more. The testes, which normally produce testosterone, don’t receive the signal (Leutinizing Hormone) from the pituitary that tells them to make testosterone. The hypothalamus is under the impression that there are more than adequate levels of testosterone because of the anabolic steroids artificially introduced into the blood. If it doesn’t tell the pituitary gland that gonadal steroids are needed, the pituitary doesn’t tell the gonads. If the gonads don’t need to make steroids, then why bother and they “atrophy (with that respect regarding the production of testosterone)”. Grapes to raisins.

For any endocrinology literate types out there-the above is over simplified.

Also, growth hormone is a protein hormone, like all the other pituitary hormones–not a steroid.

Maybe they need to figure out some way to make the muscles more sensitive to the hormones you already have. I’m sure testosterone et al are only one link in a very long biochemical chain.

Maybe we’re subconciously harkening back to 250,000 BC, when our ancestors were much more robust than modern Homo Sapiens.

This leads me into another thread. If through genetic and cellular engineering you could choose any appearence you wanted, what would you want to look like? I’d stick with just a tuned-up version of the way I am now. But would you choose Hulk level muscles? Or elfen tallness and slimness? Maybe some kind of man-beast look? Exotic coloring?

Personally, I’d like to see a study investigating the correlation of male height and steroid use. Is it just me, or do short guys seem to be the majority of those that want to be as huge as possible, whatever it takes-steroid abuse included? I always shake my head when I so a 5’3" guy who carries about 220 lbs. [of mostly muscle]. Does he feel the need to get that big to perceive himself as substantial at the expense of looking like an insecure douchebag? Just wondering.

I have always wondered how anyone can stand to be THAT big where they can only wear those drawstring type pants (you know the ones, gaudy neon colors and busy patterns), and always wearing tank top shirts. Anyway, on the large gut thing, i have seen guys with guts even though they are very muscular. I wonder how they can have a large stomach but be muscular. Now i know why some of them have that gut :).

Umm pardon me but I work out 5 times a week and been doing it for the past 5 years or so. I also have a bit of a gut (OK maybe it’s a bit more than a bit). Never taken any steroids, never plan to. I’ve taken Creatine but that hasn’t affected my gut ( it was there long before then and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion it will be there when I die). I happen to like food, so sue me, that’s why I go to the gym and work with weights. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, the more you can eat without getting totally out of shape.

As for indications of steroids I haven’t heard anyone mention ‘bitch tits’ yet and I’ve read that this is a problem. Slightly enlarged mammarys on a male, that can’t be good for you, can it?

[qoute]-snip-Maybe we’re subconciously harkening back to 250,000 BC, when our ancestors were much more robust than modern Homo Sapiens.-snip-Lumpy

      • I dunno about that Lumpy. Most books I have seen show that mammals have gotten larger and stronger on average, over time, leading up to the present. I don’t recall any species that have been shown to have descended directly from giant varieties and since gotten smaller. Pre-historic people were on average shorter than now (depending on the time frame; the farther back you look the shorter they are) and lighter-framed, which would have to mean less muscle. Most early human fossils are 't exactly what we would call healthy specimens either - many times there are serious deformities from skeletal injuries and damage caused by what we consider today to be minor illnesses. Depends on what you meant by robust, I guess, , , - MC

We’re taller than any of our prehistoric ancestors, but many of them were a lot thicker. I saw this one photo showing a typical modern thighbone next to the thighbone from a neanderthal. The neanderthal thighbone had maybe double the cross section of the sapiens specimen. The neanderthals must have been at least as heavily built as a modern Mr. Universe, and without having to take steroids either!

Part of the problem I noticed with the guys I used to work out with is they don’t realize how big they are.
Kinda like reverse anorexia.

Even at my peak I didn’t look big. But if you saw me in shorts and a tank top it was obvious. But when dressed in regular clothes people thought I was like 190 when I was 240. A lot of that had to do with being proportional.

Also for the gut thing. Things shift as you age. Once you get a bit of a gut it’s murder to lose. In my early 20’s I had 6 pak abs now 4 pak. I could never get them back no matter how much aerobic exersise or dieting I did.

I got two comments: 1) large guts with athletic people-from the karate classes I took, a well-developed abdomen can hang out like beer belly. Supposedly this is due to the fact that even well toned stomach muscles want to “hang out”-- meaning that this is the relaxed position of the muscles. I’ve personally seen guys without shirts on that had “six-packs” that hung over their belts just as far as my own beer belly.
2) bitch tits-tits need estrogen (with other hormones, such as prolactin) to develop. Estrogen is basically an aromatized testosterone molecule. If your body has way too much testosterone, it might convert it to estrogen (to reduce the testosterone level). “Hairy” women (I have a female neighbor with a goatee) may lack or have a deficient enzyme that aromatizes testosterone. In males, even too much of a natural compound might not be a good thing.

Lumpy, I think you are confusing ancestors - I don’t believe Neanderthals are considered ancestors of modern humans. We are supposed to be descended from Cro-Magnons.

Isn’t a ‘moon’ face another sign of steroid use?

I have as much authority as the Pope; I just don’t have as many people who believe it! - George Carlin