Disclaimer: This article is for educational and information purposes only.
In this article, we will show you the exact differences and results between using steroids and the natural ways for muscle gain. But before anything else, know that there are several types of steroids available everywhere, including legal (with prescription) and illegal (without prescription) steroids.
People commonly use this for bodybuilding and muscle gain, which effectively shows the result within several months only. However, there are also natural steroids that the body produces, such as cortisol, testosterone, and progesterone hormones.
Now, let us spot the differences and effects of steroids in the body.
What are the Most Notable Changes of Steroids?
The use of steroids can obviously bring side effects to the body. If you are planning to take one without knowing the side effects and benefits, here they are:
Dianabol or Dbol (Used for Mass Gain)
Celebrities and famous personalities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Calum Von Moger are known to use this kind of steroid. It is shown through their full-looking muscles how much this kind of steroid brings so much difference. This is an anabolic steroid that contains an active ingredient like methandrostenolone,. It is a bulking agent that boosts the production of muscles in a short period of time. It can be taken orally or injected.
- It has the ability to produce quality muscle mass quickly.
- It gives pure strength-building properties.
- It reduces excess body fat and tones the muscles.
- Improves the body’s stamina and energy level to give you a whole new level of workout routine and athletic performance.
- It triggers acne and prevents hair growth.
- It can increase cholesterol levels and blood pressure that can lead to a heart attack.
- It affects mood negatively.
- It grows the breast area (man-boobs), which is a negative effect on men.
Trenbolone (Used for Bulk Appearance)
This is one of the most commonly used anabolic-androgenic steroids today. It can be used in the off-season and when trying to achieve a diet for a shredded competition because of its cutting and bulk properties. This type of steroid obviously takes effect on the androgenic locations like the shoulders or tap and is taken in a pill or injectable form.
- It triggers immediate muscle growth by increasing testosterone levels.
- It speeds up the bulking process (gain in size and strength) when combined with large amounts of protein intake.
- It reduces subcutaneous and visceral fat.
- It does not damage or harm the liver.
- It decreases metabolism to prevent the breaking down of muscle tissue.
- Elevates blood pressure
- Gives excessive night sweats and even during usual physical activities.
- It gives the possibility to develop man-boobs (gynecomastia).
- It leads to a loss of erectile dysfunction and libido or sex hormone.
- Triggers acne and hair loss.
Deca Durabolin (Used for Pump)
Deca is an androgenic-anabolic steroid that will transform your body into thick and swole. It is taken through injection and works by increasing the density of the blood vessels up to 11 times higher than the testosterone hormone according to a study. Bradley Martyn is famous for taking this steroid, making his body double the size in fullness and thickness in his muscle bellies.
- It helps muscle growth or development.
- It strengthens and protects the joints.
- It can increase the production of red blood cells.
- It increases endurance and stamina for extreme physical activities.
- Ability to give fluid retention that can contribute to muscle thickness.
- Reduces testosterone level up to 57%.
- Decreases sex drive or sex hormone, especially for women.
- It gives the possibility to develop man-boobs (gynecomastia).
- It will result in intensive hair growth.
- It triggers acne.
- It may result in frequent urination.
Anavar is an anabolic steroid that is usually used by athletes and bodybuilders during their cutting phase. It is considered one of the mildest steroids (relatively small side effects), making it popular for newbies and women. When taking this substance, you would possibly lose more fat and gain more strength. However, it can be toxic to the liver when overdosed.
- One of the most effective steroids for burning fat.
- It reduces bloating and puffiness.
- It increases glycogen levels in the muscles, making them look bigger quickly.
- Improves strength.
- It does not cause excessive muscle gain.
- Increases LDL cholesterol levels that may lead to a spike in blood pressure.
- Triggers roid rage and anxiety.
- Produces oily skin, acne, and other skin problems.
- Decreases sexual drive.
Winstrol is also known as “Winny”. This substance is used by bodybuilders during the cutting phase wherein the body has to get rid of excessive fats to make the muscles visible and clear. It works by increasing the body’s protein synthesis and enhances nitrogen retention to help the immediate build of muscles. This anabolic steroid has three times better anabolic capacity than the body’s testosterone.
- It promotes the reduction of the body’s accumulated fat.
- It strengthens and preserves lean muscle mass.
- It increases more amounts of energy.
- It makes you look muscular, dry, and ripped.
- It can reduce recovery time.
- It deflates the muscle making you look shredded than pumped.
- It produces acne and oily skin.
- It suppresses the natural testosterone level in the body.
- It increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases like stroke and high blood pressure.
HGH or Human Growth Hormone
HGH is not officially listed as a steroid but it is also one of the common substances used by bodybuilders as a combination in their steroid cycles. It has the ability to increase muscle size but much fewer effects compared to bulking steroids. It works by slowing down the signs of aging such as a decrease in muscle and bone mass. This is also used for people who have AIDS or HIV-related growth hormone deficiency.
- Increases collagen on the skin.
- Increases tissue size of the body.
- Decreases body fat.
- It increases bone density and muscle mass.
- It increases energy levels.
- It can enlarge the waists for bodybuilders.
- Increases insulin resistance.
- Enlarges the breast tissue on men or what they called gynecomastia.
- Numbness and tingling of the skin.
- Increases high cholesterol levels.
Anadrol is popular as the most effective steroid for muscle strength and muscle gain. It works by pushing the body to produce more muscle by elevating protein synthesis. This process will result in better use of amino acids in the body, hence there will be significant anabolic effects. This type of steroid is different from others because of its lower affinity in binding the androgen receptor.
- Elevates protein synthesis.
- It has the ability to produce more red blood cells.
- It provides more muscle gains and rapid strength.
- It improves the appetite.
- Burns excess fat in the body.
- Increases testosterone level.
- It gives quicker results of body weight gain.
- Not advisable during the cutting phase or when you try to look ripped and lean.
- It may give bloating, especially when taken together with a high-calorie bulking diet.
- It triggers acne and hair loss.
- It may result in testosterone shut down.
- Gives a higher possibility of gynecomastia or man-boob.
- Increases risk of anxiety and paranoia.
- May enhance irregular blood pressure.
Clenbuterol or Clen’s does not build many muscles like the others but it helps in shedding out the fat. This is not a steroid but it is a steroid-like chemical that was originally made as a decongestant. Studies have shown that it has a similar effect on the body as amphetamines and epinephrine. However, bodybuilders, performance athletes, and people who are in weight loss programs are also using this substance.
- It speeds up the reduction of fat even before you notice.
- It spikes the process of thermogenesis or metabolism.
- It eliminates excess body water to make way for lean muscles to show up.
- It can be used during cutting and bulking cycles.
- May raise body temperature.
- It results in too much exhaustion and dehydration.
- Triggers paranoia, anxiety, and nervousness.
- It increases the risk to have shaking or jitters.
- It lessens the essential minerals in the body such as phosphate, potassium, and taurine.
Testosterone steroid is another anabolic substance that is commonly used by many bodybuilders during their bulking and cutting phase. This is taken by injecting in the and works by stimulating the protein synthesis and burning the fat at the same time. There are different kinds of “Test or T” that you can choose to use: Testosterone Sustanon 250, Testosterone Propionate, Testosterone Cypionate, and Testosterone Enanthate.
- It increases bone density to support the muscles.
- It enhances athletic performance.
- It has faster positive results in the muscles.
- It gains more lean muscles than water weight.
- It reduces fat and increases muscle mass.
- Increases acne and oily skin.
- Frequent urination.
- It may decrease testicular size.
- It decreases sperm count.
- Triggers aggressive behaviors or roid rage.
How to Take Steroids Safely
Before anything else, know that steroids are illegal to use in the United States. The Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) has not approved any of it except if used for veterinary and medical purposes. Here are the important things to remember if you plan to take one:
Consult medical professionals and educate yourself with reliable books and verified online medical sources. There are different kinds of steroids and different ways to intake them. Injectable steroids should be used when new and sterilized. While oral steroids have more negative effects on the body and have uncertain effects.
Know the law
Not all states and countries consider steroids as legal. If you are in the United States, then it might not be a good place for you since steroids are illegal and never sold over the counter. While places like Australia, Belgium, Mexico, and France are considering steroids as legal, but they need a valid medical prescription.
Look for a reliable source of purchase
Be careful in purchasing fakes and unregulated steroids in the market. Some are extremely dangerous to the health and may result in life-threatening side effects. Most steroids are unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so take them at your own risk.
Know the right cycle
Taking steroids requires the right cycle and cannot be taken anytime. Read the product label carefully to get the best result and prevent from developing healthy concerns and risks.
How Much Do You Gain After a Month on Steroids
There are different kinds of steroids that offer different kinds of results. However, most of them have instant or immediate results as fast as 5 days.
The usual and fast transformations for new steroid users typically happen if they use a testosterone-only or Dianabol steroid cycle for one month. After that, they will possibly gain around 15 to 25 pounds, making their body thick and bigger.
The result will also depend on how much amount of steroid you take. The dose, the frequency, and the kind of steroid you combine in a stack will matter. Not to mention your lifestyle—workouts and diet— and genes will be a great factor, too. However, those who are used to steroid intake gain much more than you expect from a first-time user.
How Much Do You Gain After a Year in Steroids
A year of taking steroids will make you gain around 20 pounds of lean mass for beginners. This can happen without juicing, however, your genes, cycles, and lifestyle may affect the result.
A different result can also happen for those experienced bodybuilders. They may have lesser muscle growth and gains, given that they have been lifting weights and have gained muscles through time.
If you want to see the obvious results after a year on steroids, make sure to consult a professional and be knowledgeable enough. Most of the time, a regular steroid user gains around 50 pounds of lean mass after following different cycles and months of lifting weights.
How to Use Steroid Cycle
When using steroids for bodybuilding, there is a cycle or length of time that the substance should be used for. For experienced users, they call this “on-cycle” and “off-cycle”. On-cycle means the period of time the should be used while off-cycle means the period wherein you should stop taking the steroids.
A cycle will either require you to take a combination of two or more steroids while other cycles will only require a single one. Combinations of steroid intake are known as a stack. A stack is needed when you have to maintain sufficient levels of testosterone in your body; hence, it generally advised to take testosterone as part of your cycle to keep yourself safe.
Usually, the first cycle will keep things simple for you. You should take it slowly and not agitate your body or hormones from changes since too much of it can result in psychological disadvantages. Also, use a single steroid at the lowest recommended dosage for your first cycle. Take it within six to eight weeks. After that, follow the cycle with some post-cycle therapy to help your body regain natural testosterone levels.
What are Legal Steroids
Do legal steroids exist today? Well, the term “legal steroids” is just a catchy term to get the attention of those who want to achieve bodybuilding. These are actually workout supplements that do not fall under the FDA’s category of illegal substances.
Legal steroids are not similar to anabolic steroids, which is prescription-only medication to treat certain health conditions, especially for males who have testosterone production problems. But some athletes and bodybuilders illegally use these to easily and instantly boost their performance and enhance muscle mass.
Legal steroids come in different supplement brands with a different combination of ingredients such as protein, creatine, caffeine, Beta-alanine, and branched-chain amino acids. Know that when you want to legally take this, you need to have a medical prescription and be aware of the side effects of the after-use.
What are Natural Substitutes for Steroids
The human body naturally produces testosterone, which is a steroid that helps in building muscle tissues and other physical processes. Natural steroids may not be as powerful as the illegal steroids prohibited by the states but they are proven to be effective. Here are some of them:
Creatine has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a natural steroid for short-term use. Adults aged over 18 years old are allowed to use this to improve athletic performance. Creatine is also one of those natural steroids that immediately show results within the first to the second week of use. It increases the ability to work out in maximum effort and lift weights with intensified strength.
DHEA or Dehydroepiandrosterone is a naturally-produced hormone from the body that can convert into estrogens and androgens. There are supplements that contain this natural steroid claiming that it can some conditions, particularly in weight loss. Some also use this to increase the levels of bone density in the body as well as enhancing muscle strength.
SARMs or the Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are performance-enhancing substances that stimulate the body to increase muscle strength and muscle mass. It also enables the body to recover from strenuous exercises. The SARMs are commonly available as a supplement and mixed with other natural ingredients that help boost the testosterone level. The effect of this natural alternative might not be the same as the steroid itself but it can still benefit your body to some degree.
Fenugreek is another supplement that enhances the body’s muscle and strength. It also increases the lean body mass as well as the testosterone level through its compounds that have the ability to block the hormones into converting to sex hormones.
Will You Lose Your Gains After You Stop Taking Steroids?
Several studies, including the Journal of Physiology, stated that the use of testosterone for muscle building has long-term benefits on the human body even if there is only a brief exposure to steroids.
This benefit is due to the nuclei muscles built during the use of steroids. They call this the muscle memory that somewhat gives a permanent effect. They have observed that bodybuilders who have taken steroids had a relative number of cell nuclei in their quadriceps as athletes who did only intense training and didn’t take any steroids at all.
Moreover, it does not mean that your body will not lose gains or undergo muscle loss after you stop taking it. Of course, your body will no longer produce much testosterone as it did before. But it does not mean that it will shrink up into prune and fade away. It will only lose some mass but it can still maintain the ideal bulk, especially if you still keep up with your workout routines and healthy diet.
How Long Do Steroids Stay in Your System
There is no exact answer to that question. The length of time the steroid will stay on your body will depend on your system, how the steroid is taken, your physique (size), and what is tacked with the steroid. In addition, people who are overweight, do not have an exercise routine or have pre-existing liver conditions normally have a longer half-life than a healthier steroid user. The half-life is a term of the steroids’ length of time it affects a person’s body chemistry.
Here are some of the half-lives of the usual steroids used based on healthy individuals:
- Deca Durabolin: 14 to 16 days
- Anavar: 8 to 12 hours
- Anadrol: 16 hours
- Dianabol: 6 to 8 hours
- Dianabol injected: 60 to 72 hours
- Winstrol tablets: 8 hours
- Winstrol injected: 48 hours
- Trenbolone: 2 to 3 days
What’s the Difference Between a Natural Physique vs a Steroids Physique
A natural bodybuilder is someone who does not and has never used any substance to increase the body’s natural ability to bulk up. These substances are growth hormones, steroids, insulin, diuretics, and any “booster” for the body.
One of the obvious ways to look at the differences between a natural physique vs steroid physique is the trapezius muscles. Steroids users have way larger trapezius muscles than normal people have. These muscles are found between the shoulder and neck and have bulker shapes than natural ones.
On the other hand, a natural physique has different body proportions. Meaning, their muscles grow in a way that does not match symmetrically, especially in the neck and shoulder areas. Natural bodybuilders do not develop unusual body hair growth, as well as hairs on the head.
All the information above is based on research and not necessarily on experience. Take note that steroids have different side effects on people and should not be taken without proper knowledge and consultation from professionals. Natural bodybuilding vs steroids bodybuilding also shows different obvious results in the body, which are all written above.