There are three commonly known types of steroids - androgens (dominant male hormones), estrogens (dominant female hormones) and cortisones (often used as an anti-inflammatory drug). The most abundant androgen in men is testosterone. Increased testosterone is seen as beneficial for athletic performance because it influences our metabolism (body's processes) to increase muscle mass, strength, recovery & regulates less accumulation of body fat. Subsequently, men will typically display a greater muscle mass, strength & lower body fat percentage than women, although I know many women that would argue our ability of greater recovery.
The mention above of testosterone aptly brings me to the reason the majority of us, certainly if you're on a gym biased website like this, will associate the name steroid with anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids (a subgroup of androgens) have primarily been designed as a synthetic copy of testosterone, albeit typically lower in androgen properties. So, encompassing all the "good" aspects that testosterone brings - muscle growth & recovery - while downplaying the "bad" aspects - oily skin, acne, baldness, body hair etc. This is not to say that users of anabolic steroids will not experience androgenic side-effects, as androgen levels will still be increased and, certainly if higher doses are taken, the risk is greater increased. We'll discuss this further (& other side-effects) in the various topics listed at the foot of the page.
There are other potential negative side-effects, which, as mentioned above, we’ll cover in more depth in future articles. Here’s a taster... some potential side-effects are dependent upon your choice of application, such as oral steroids that are 17-aplha-alkylated (Anadrol, Dianabol etc.) and are fairly toxic on the liver, as the coating is applied in order to stop the enzymes of the liver breaking the substance down, placing the liver under stress as it keeps trying. Surprisingly, as you may warrant a greater dose of a weaker 17-aplha-alkylated steroid, a weaker steroid may increase the likelihood of toxicity side-effects.
Although drugs can enhance both performance & physique, the results are unsustainable without regular use, therefore, increasing the temptation of abuse and negative side-effects.
One of the reasons for creating the book Gym Workouts: Maps to Success is that many people will use and/ or abuse anabolic steroids to make up for the failings in both their diet and training. Before considering the temptation of anabolic steroids (or other performance enhancing drugs), I advise that you correct the aforementioned issues first in order to be the best you can be drug free, thereafter, the choice is yours. To help, the book Gym Workouts: Maps to Success provides an infinite structure to apply to your consistent and progressive training.
Resource: This article is an extract from the book Gym Workouts: Maps to Success.