We don’t claim to be experts when it comes to using steroids.
We are natural bodybuilders and have never used any drugs to enhance our gains, recover faster or to slim down.
In fact, we have never even seriously considered it and don’t plan to in the future.
We aren’t morally against it or anything – it’s just our choice.
The purpose of this statement is not to put people down who do use steroids but to give you a bit of background on the type of lifters we are so you can put our opinions into context.
If you choose to use steroids that’s your call and we respect your decision 100% – it’s your body do what you want.
What bothers us is when people who DO take steroids claim to be “100% NATTY”.
This gives people unrealistic expectations about the kind of muscle they can build.
Then when they only build 10 pounds of muscle in a year they write to us complaining that they have bad genetics and can’t make gains as fast as their steroid-taking friends.
There are a number of reasons people lie about their steroid use.
First, many supplement companies will refuse to sponsor someone who is known to use steroids.
Therefore, they are better off saying they are natural even if it is glaringly obvious they cycle.
Second, society still labels steroids as cheating even though literally every top bodybuilder takes them.
They feel people will credit all their gains to steroids even though you still need to work very hard to get huge even if you are taking steroids.
Steroid User vs Natural Lifter: No Contest
Hopefully at this point you know that the average guy taking steroids will make much better gains than the guy going natty.
However what is a bit unclear is just HOW MUCH MORE muscle the steroid user will build.
There are actually a number of studies that examine the effects of steroid use on training however there is one in particularly that shed the most light on the topic.
This particularly study took 40 average adult men in terms of weight and training experience and split them into four groups.
The first group did no training but received weekly testosterone injections.
The second group did no training and received no testosterone injections.
The third group did resistance training but received no testosterone injections.
Finally, the fourth group trained and received testosterone injections.
All other factors such as sleep, diet and activity level were kept even across all groups.
The two groups that were doing resistance training followed the same routine.
Therefore, the only difference between any of these groups was whether or not they were training and/or receiving testosterone injections.
So what were the results of the study?
The group that did not lift and did not take injections experienced no changes.
The group that did not lift but received injections built 8 pounds of muscle on average.
Thats right – despite not even lifting a weight they were able to build a significant amount of muscle just from injections.
The group that lifted but did not receive injections built 4 pounds of muscle.
Finally, the group that lifted and received injections built 14 pounds of muscle on average.
What We Learned From the Study
First of all if you are not lifting weights and not taking drugs you will not see any results.
That should be obvious given the physique of the average guy you see these days.
However, the really interesting part of the study is the group that received injections but did not lift.
These guys built more muscle on average than the guys who lift naturally.
This is because their testosterone levels were so much higher that their bodies naturally compensated by building more muscle.
Finally, the group that received injections and lifted saw massive gains – 3 times as much as the group that lifted naturally.
Now keep in mind this is over a 10 week cycle.
You can imagine how several years of training this way would put the steroid group way ahead of the natural lifter.
Now you probably knew that steroid use makes gains come a lot quicker but did you know that it actually made THAT much difference?
In fact, even the guys who don’t lift but take injections can get better results compared to a natural lifter – frustrating, isn’t it?
Setting Your Expectations
It’s worth mentioning that we aren’t saying you can take steroids, not train and still get huge.
Steroid users still need to work hard and eat a lot of food in order to build all that mass.
However, what we can say for certain is that if all other factors are equal the group that takes steroids will see much better results.
Additionally, even if you aren’t training you can still see improvements in your physique by taking steroids.
At this point you probably think the goal of this article is to get you guys cycling.
We can assure you this is not true (we don’t take steroids ourselves).
The problem is that people take training programs and diet tips from guys who are on steroids and expect the same results.
The truth is that guys who are taking steroids are on a different playing field and so we can’t expect to have the same results as them.
Chances are you’ve seen a lot of supplement and training program ads recently that featured guys who were definitely not natural.
These guys claim to use the supplement (whether or not that is true is a mystery) and sometimes even show up in before/after pictures.
However, what they don’t tell you is that these guys were using steroids the entire time along with whatever supplement it is that they are sponsoring.
People see these ads and think to themselves “Holy shit, look how much progress this guy made in such a short time?
That product is definitely worth the price”. So they run out to their nearest supplement store, but it and start taking it right away.
The problem is that they don’t do anything to change their diet, routine or overall lifestyle.
They think that taking that one product will be the catalyst for a dramatic change in their body composition.
So what really ends up happening is that they don’t get any results at all.
The fact is that unless you are doing the exact same training routine as that guy, taking the same drugs, eating the same foods and have the same genetics you won’t get those kinds of gains.
Unfortunately this is just the way the supplement industry works – make it seem as though this product will do all the work for you and they have figured out all the tricks to fool people.
This is why people waste so much money each year on mediocre supplements!
Copying The Huge Guys
Aside from Planet Fitness every gym has at least a few guys that really stand out amongst all the skinny-fat noobs.
They have significantly more muscle mass than everyone else and seem to have “figured it out”.
If you are like most people, you look at these guys and think “Holy shit, that guy is huge! I need to get a copy of his training routine!”
This is why so many magazines publish articles with titles like
“The Arm Workout Phil Heath Uses to Get Ready for the Olympia”.
Or if a famous actor needs to get in shape for a movie, you better believe Men’s Health and other fitness magazines will jump all over it and publish their so-called workout.
This triggers people to drop whatever workout they were doing (even if they were making gains) and switch over to this new fad routine.
It makes sense to switch up your routine to one that is proven to be successful, however the fact that this guy was using steroids really makes it pointless.
As we learned from the study described earlier in this article, people who are taking steroids can make gains WITHOUT EVEN LIFTING WEIGHTS.
Therefore, even if they are on the worst training program or diet will still make solid gains.
The routine might be terrible for a natural trainee but for a guy who is taking steroids it will still result in solid muscle growth.
This is why you see these training programs that go against all conventional bodybuilding wisdom.
For example, one guy will talk about doing nothing but isolation exercises and train for an hours.
Their back day will consist of 20 different row variations yet doesn’t include pull-ups or deadlifts.
However, when a guy who is natural tries the routine they end up spiking their cortisol levels from overtraining and actually end up with a worse physique.
That pretty much summarizes the problem
The truth is that with steroids you can do pretty much any routine and still see results but when you are training naturally you need to optimize it as much as possible.
You simply can’t copy the same training routine as a guy who takes steroids and expect to see the same results.
These guys are on a different playing field – you are better off comparing yourself to other natural lifters.
Expecting Too Much Growth
As we discussed earlier, guys who train naturally have a much slower rate of muscle growth compared to those taking drugs.
Unfortunately when you just start lifting you don’t really know the difference between natural and steroid bodybuilding and think that you can get huge in no time.
The result is that after a few months lifting you get frustrated that you have only built 5 pounds of muscle (which is actually quite an accomplishment).
This frustration leads to switching diets and training programs every two weeks in order to speed up the rate of growth.
They also start purchasing every scam supplement in sight thinking it will make a big difference.
They assume they aren’t succeeding even when they are actually getting great results for a natural lifter.
Generally they end up quitting all together out of frustration and lose out on what could have been a great body.
Staying Away From Scam Supplements
Have you tried many supplements?
If you have let me ask you a question.
How many of these supplements did you research on your own?
By researching supplements and looking at studies you will get a good idea if the supplement is a scam or might actually be good.
A well researched supplement with good ingredients can definitely help you to build muscle faster.
As discussed previously in this article steroid users were able to gain much more muscle.
Why is that?
Because they got more testosterone in their body.
Testosterone is king when it comes down to building muscle.
So how do I get more testosterone without taking steroids?
There are a few legit supplements out there that can increase testosterone levels.
Most of them are a scam but a handful of them contain good ingredients that work.
We’ve actually put a lot of effort and energy in researching the testosterone boosting supplements that work.
So if you are interested in getting higher testosterone levels.
A high quality testosterone booster might be the thing you are missing.
Women Fearing Getting “Too Bulky”
Chances are we’ve all heard a girl mention she trained a certain way because she didn’t want to end up like one of those professional female bodybuilders.
Look, we understand you want to look a certain way and that’s fine – but those women didn’t end up looking like that as a fluke.
The truth is that women need to lift heavy and take steroids in order to build a lot of muscle due to their lower testosterone levels.
Once again it comes down to drug use.
The same misconception that causes men to think they can get huge quickly makes women think they will build massive arms if they train with 10 pound dumbells instead of 2 pounders.
As a result, they train too lightly and don’t boost their metabolism enough to actually encourage fat loss.
Look – you can still lift heavy weights as a woman and not get muscular as long as you aren’t eating tons of food and taking steroids.
Trusting People Who Have “Made It”
Zyzz told us that “we are all going to make it” but the truth is he was open about his steroid use.
Nevertheless guys thought they could get a comparable physique by training naturally if they copied his routine.
We assume that because someone has achieved a great physique they are an expert on the topic and we should follow all their tips.
So why is this not necessarily true?
First of all, Zyzz admitted that he didn’t count his calories and can be seen eating ice cream in some of his videos.
If a natural lifter ate junk food and didn’t count calories they would be at risk of putting on fat.
This is an example of how taking drugs can overcome an incomplete training/diet program.
They might recommend doing something a certain way because it worked for them but because we are natural lifters we need to be more thorough.
It’s not uncommon to hear some of the worst advice coming from the guys who are in the best shape.
This is always a case of drugs compensating for stupidity.
Now, we aren’t saying all huge guys don’t train properly.
Many of them are very committed to eating clean and lifting heavy and as a result get even better results.
The top bodybuilders in the world manage every tiny detail of their lives to optimize their gains because the competition at that level is fierce.
However, for steroid users just trying to build a nice body for the beach that level of detail isn’t necessary.
Steroids Vs Natty: Summing it Up
Once again we want to remind you that this is not an anti-steroid article.
The purpose was just to help natural bodybuilders set realistic expectations for themselves so that they don’t end up quitting out of frustration.
We don’t care if you want to use steroids and in fact if you dream of being the next Mr. Olympia you will probably have to take them in order to stand a chance.
We also aren’t recommending that you take them – that’s a decision you will need to research thoroughly and make for yourself.
Just be aware of the differences in natural bodybuilding and steroid bodybuilding and set your expectations accordingly.
Are There Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally?
At this point you are probably wondering if there are ways to increase your testosterone levels naturally.
Look, having high t-levels makes bodybuilding way easier – you will make gains faster and you will be less likely to put on fat.
So what are some ways to bump those t-levels?
First, you want to make sure you are getting plenty of sleep as this is when your body produced the most testosterone.
Cutting your sleep short also reduces testosterone production.
Second, keep your stress levels low.
High stress levels bump up your cortisol levels which encourages muscle loss and fat gain.
Third, consume a clean diet and do compound exercises at the gym that work multiple muscle groups at once.
Finally, take a natural testosterone booster.
By taking them all together you get a nice synergistic effect not to mention it’s way more convenient.
A high-quality product will obviously cost you more but when combined with the other tips mentioned above you can be sure your testosterone levels will be as high as you can get them while still being a natural trainee.