Steroids have been a part of western culture for decades, evolving from a ritual that was once confined to professional bodybuilding and sports to a regular high school recreational activity used to improve speed, strength, and muscle size beyond natural limits. As with any substance that offers external change, since the improvements are visibly apparent, those using steroids are easily convinced that they are healthier than before, yet temporary positive appearance changes are frequently not synonymous with what is occurring within.
In addition to sports enthusiasts who wish to improve performance, many underweight bodybuilders are interested in the quickest way to enhance muscle mass, and when they see professional bodybuilders using large quantities of drugs to produce 100+ pounds of additional lean body size, they feel as if this must be the path to produce what they define as success. Yet, what many forget is that bodybuilding, a lifestyle that has always associated itself with healthy living, becomes a very dangerous, potentially life ending path when steroids or growth hormone become acceptable options.
There are two distinct segments of the bodybuilding audience that seem to have mistaken notions of what can and cannot be achieved naturally; one extreme believes that the massively muscled bodies of professional bodybuilders on the cover of muscle magazines can be produced without steroid use, or with some bodybuilding supplement that works no different than drugs, when in fact this is a completely false notion. To those who follow the bodybuilding industry closely, professional bodybuilders are known for their widespread, rather shocking level of drug abuse, and they would carry significantly less muscle mass if they were training naturally, even when using every legally available supplement. The other vast misconception asserts the opposite, which is that no bodybuilder can gain significant muscle mass without steroid use, which is just as misleading. Although the massive muscles of professional steroid using bodybuilders cannot be replicated without embracing the same dangerous drugs, incredible improvements in muscle size and density are possible without ever consuming steroids or any other performance enhancing drug.
Both groups need to become realistic, but in different ways; those who feel professional bodybuilding results can be achieved without steroids must comprehend that this is not so, and change their goals to match what is both healthy and possible, but they will also find solace in learning the second lesson for the opposing group, which is that by training and eating a certain way, the muscles can grow significantly, and a dramatic transformation can occur without using steroids. The reason many are grasping for solutions is that the muscle building industry is plagued with misconceptions and false promises, therefore steroids seemingly become the only viable solution to significant physical appearance improvements, when in fact, most add very small amounts of muscle not due to lack of drugs, but as a direct consequence of poorly constructed diet and training routines. When the variables that control muscle size (the workout and eating techniques) are correctly modified, progress should be satisfying and considered impressive for any reasonable individual, and the risks of steroid use are averted in the process.
I started my weight training career at a weight of 130 pounds, and considering my height was above average (6'2"), my thin body was the spark behind my own weight lifting career. Thankfully, by the grace of God I never used steroids, growth hormone, or any other such drug, despite having the same desire to grow as any other weight lifter, yet knew that doing so within a natural foundation was the only valid option. I then perfected my weight lifting and diet routine through years of trial and error, gaining over 60 pounds of muscle mass; many of those same individuals who are confused about how to achieve muscle gains accuse me of relying on steroids, but I can highlight my own success as proof to justify that building large muscles is possible naturally, without any chemical assistance. I also realize that by using steroids, I could gain another 50 pounds or more of muscle mass, but does this frustrate me? No, not in the least, as I feel that protecting my health and well being by remaining natural is far more important than any level of new muscle gain, and I hope all reading this article adjusts their bodybuilding ethics so they can also feel as I do.
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Francesco Castano owns IncrediBody.com, an online fitness superstore selling protein powder at guaranteed lowest prices.
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