How to Make it Easy. I know now what I need to do to get myself past my flabby, sorry state of affairs and take it to the next level:
I can’t believe I’ve spent all this time doing MCT, IF, and SCD when all I need is a little pharmaceutical assistance. Right? Totally! One quick round of steroids and I’ll be huge and cut and macho and successful and cool and suave and debonair and I’ll never have to diet again! Yeah!
Documents. Steroids is one of those issues that seems to have no middle ground; people are either for them or against them and have strong opinions on the topic, whether or not those opinions are supported by evidence.
On the one side is the government listing anabolic steroids as Schedule III drug, in the same category as barbiturates and codeine. On the other side are body builders and athletes who have used the stuff regularly for literally decades.
One thing seems to be consistent on both sides: I find tons of anecdotes and very little definitive evidence.1
When looking into this, I found this TV news story with Bryant Gumbel (maybe it was Today or The Early Show?):
It seems to me that almost all of the “facts” presented are really opinions; even those offered by the doctors in support of, and arguing against, the use of steroids.
The pro doc talks about lack of evidence of negative effects.2 The steroid users talk about personal experience and offer hearsay about friends’ and associates’ personal history.
The anti doc talks about how steroids might be connected to this or that but cannot say that there is a clear connection.1
The only incontrovertible fact in the whole issue seems to be that steroids do speed recovery and increase muscle hypertrophy in people who use them and work out with sufficient intensity.
Is it Cheating? On another note, fitness model Christian Boeving talks about his experience with actual steroids:
I think Christian makes at least one really good point: competing in a specifically drug-free arena when on steroids would be cheating . . . but entering an unspecified (or specifically “enhanced”) competition would not be.
Efficacy. I once knew a pro-baseball player who trained naturally. He was a big guy and talented. Even he said, once, that he had considered taking a single flight of steroids. Not using on a consistent basis, mind you; just one round to get a bit bigger and then keep working out and watching his diet with the same dedication that he always used.3
To the best of my knowledge, he never did it. I wonder how well that would have worked for him. Could he have taken one round of steroids, bulked up, and then quit? Would, say, six weeks of intense training + steroids have offered long-term benefits?
How would moderate, controlled, use of steroids positively and negatively affect the user?
Ability to Moderate Use. Like anything else, use and abuse are not the same thing. Did you know that there are functional heroin users in our society? People who take the drug on occasion and yet hold down productive jobs, have a family, etc. and are not slave to the drug? I’d be willing to bet you did not.
Why? Because so much hype has been put out there for so many years that people honestly believe that it is a law of Nature that “once you use heroin, you must be a junkie. You are instantly no good for anything other than selling yourself or committing petty burglary to get the money you need for your next fix.”
The point is that even heroin, the ultimate bogeyman of recreational drugs, is not the death sentence official reports make it out to be.
So . . . can steroids be used (taken in moderation)? Are all people who might do something like this too weak to withstand the urge that “more is better”? Will they all become abusers?
That seems unlikely if for no other reason than there are thousands of regular users among bodybuilders and pro athletes, in addition to the long-term anecdotes provided by the folks in the videos above, who live productive lives, undestroyed by the “ravages of ‘roids.”
So, I put it to you:
Is it morally wrong to use steroids to enhance your performance or fitness?
What is you are not going to enter a “natural” competition of some sort, deliberately competing against non-steroid users? Does that change anything?
What if a guy like me, a healthy adult male who simply wants to be in better shape and become more muscular, could legally use a round or two of anabolic steroids? Would that be moral? Should he be allowed to make that choice or should “we” make it for him?
NB: I am truly interested in hearing reasoned responses. Please take a minute to let me know your opinion on this.
Aside. To any visitors who have stumbled upon my site because of this post, this is my blog.
- I moderate all comments and nothing is posted unless I approve it.4
- Insulting or unhelpful comments will never see the light of day so don’t bother.
- Evidence (links to authoritative documents) is highly appreciated and demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about.
The Answer. No, not the answer as to whether or not steroids are bad or good; the answer to the question you are all thinking about now . . .
I am not now nor will I be a user of steroids.
I saw the cartoon at the top of this post this morning and thought the subject would make an interesting blog post.
I dug a little and, unsurprisingly, found that the scare stories about anabolic steroids told by The Powers That Be — much like those for many other controlled substances — are probably not true. That’s all.
Humor. “I think there should be a whole new league where you can have all the steroids you want.” (language NSFW)
South Park offered its take on the whole steroid issue a few years ago….
Plan for Week 35.