Breaking a Muscle Building Plateau: What Steroids do Bodybuilders Use?

Take a look around the gym and we are willing to bet that a lot of guys in there aren’t just relying on natural gains. In other words, they’ve tapped into the benefits of bodybuilding steroids.


In some ways, who can blame them? The effects can be terrific, even if the side effects can sometimes be unthinkable.

Bearing this in mind, we will now take a look at the bodybuilding industry in-detail, whilst also diverting to look at some of the safe alternatives that are really turning the business on its head.



What are the benefits of steroids?

steroids benefits

Considering some of the side effects that are apparent with steroids, it won’t come as a surprise to read that the benefits associated with them are aplenty. Let’s take a look at some of them in-detail.


They boost red blood cells

Your red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. The upshot of this is that your muscles suddenly have access to more oxygen than ever before and as a result can work harder, so you can have more endurance.


An increase in protein synthesis

Whether you are involved in bodybuilding or not, most of us understand the power of protein synthesis. This is key to building muscle and steroids allow this process to be much, much quicker.


Bones become more dense

This is one of those benefits that isn’t often spoken about, but you might be surprised at the difference an increase in your bone mass density makes. In short, it means that you have a stronger frame for workouts, with this proven to enhance your results.


More nitrogen retention

Steroids will increase the amount of nitrogen that your muscles store. This is really important, as it means that more nutrients are delivered to your muscles and they will grow and recover much better than normal.


Glycogenolysis occurs more

This next benefit is all about the speed in which your body uses fuel. Steroids will make your body more efficient at burning carbs, for the simple reason that it enhances the rate in which glycogen is broken down.


SHBG is limited

For those unaware, SHBG refers to Sex Hormone Binding Globulin. Its role is to bind sex hormones together and suffice to say, the main sex hormone comes in the form of testosterone.

Steroids are able to make your body produce less of SHBG, with the upshot of this being that you will have more free testosterone floating around your body. It’s this free testosterone that your muscles can tap into to grow bigger.


Your glucocorticoid levels will be lower

Most of us haven’t heard of glucocorticoids, but here’s the deal. They are something that will hinder your fat loss journey, as well as making it more difficult to preserve muscle. When you take steroids however, these hormones are blocked meaning that it’s much easier to keep your muscle and lose the dreaded fat.


Collagen synthesis will be faster

This is one of those topics that is often reserved for skincare, but collagen also has no-end of benefits when it comes to muscle building. This is something that can keep your muscles, ligaments and tendons all flexible, so it’s importance cannot be understated. Steroids allow for more collagen to be made which not just improves the above, but also spells faster recovery times so you can hit the gym more frequently.


Why do bodybuilders use steroids?

Why do bodybuilders use steroids

For as long as we can remember there has been a relationship between the bodybuilding industry and steroids. A lot of guys tend to turn to them when it’s clear that natural progression is in short, pretty slow.

Studies have proven that steroids can provide initial strength gains by as much as 20%. This is simply too tempting for the guy who heads to the gym on a regular basis, but only sees small improvements as his reward.


Which are the most popular steroids for bodybuilders?


In short, the list of bodybuilding steroids is endless. It can also be separated into two lists; bulking and cutting. The most popular include Winstrol, Deca Duabolin, Clenbuterol and Anadrol. In the middle of all of these are some legal alternatives, which we will come onto later.


What are the side effects of steroids?


By now, you will have probably understood that using anabolic steroids carries all sorts of risks and side effects. To highlight how dangerous they can be, let’s now take a look at some of the most common adverse effects.

Perhaps some of the most common effects are androgenic. This means that they are going to simply enhance some characteristics that are associated with males. It can mean that you start to lose or gain hair, develop oily skin or acne.

Some of the scariest side effects can be estrogenic though. These occur when the free testosterone starts to be converted to estrogen, which is the female sex hormone. This can cause problems like excess water retention and high blood pressure, but by far and away the most concerning for men is man boobs (also known as gynecomastia).

The same can occur for women using steroids though. In other words, they can start to develop male traits. This is because an increase in testosterone in the female body can cause a deeper voice, breast reduction, an increase in the clitoral and even irregular menstrual cycles.

From a cardiovascular perspective, we’ve already spoken about possible blood pressure issues but it’s also worth commenting that steroids can cause more bad cholesterol and less good cholesterol. Studies have shown that they can cause ventricular hypertrophy as well (the process of the heart enlarging).

Unfortunately, the list can go on. Aggression, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, depression, kidney problems and prostrate enlargement are just some other side effects that have been reported. In addition, your body’s ability to naturally produce hormones starts to decline and for a male, this can cause several sex-related problems such as  a low sperm count, less testosterone than before and even diminished libido.


Is there a safe way to use steroids for bodybuilding?


Unfortunately, there are very few safe ways to use steroids. This is the reason they have declined in popularity over recent years; more guys have heard the health repercussions and therefore don’t want to take the risks.

Some guys will limit the dosage to ultimately limit the side effects, but whether or not this is a logical approach is questionable. Additionally, there are no specific numbers which are classed as safe, meaning that you have to adopt something of a trial-and-error approach.

Another approach is to take drugs to offset the potential side effects. This works for some guys, but there are no guarantees and you might even react badly to the other drugs. You could also argue that providing your body with more drugs isn’t really a sustainable way to live life.

Following on from the above, the safest way that a lot of guys have found is using legal alternatives. These are completely free from side effects, and we will now investigate them fully in this next section.


The emergence of legal bodybuilding steroids


Suffice to say, nobody wants to put up with the above side effects. This is the reason legal alternatives are proving to be so popular nowadays.

It’s worth clarifying that these are not anabolic steroids. The difference is that legal alternatives are comprised of natural ingredients, like herbs and plant extracts, meaning that your body isn’t going to come under any harm whatsoever.

At this point some might question just whether or not something of such a weak composition actually works. Fortunately, studies have proven that they work very well and have similar effects to the illegal versions. This is pretty staggering when you consider the lack of side effects, injections and also the fact that they are significantly cheaper. Sure, they’re not quite as potent, but they do work and all of the above is why so many guys are starting to turn to them.

So, how do you obtain the best legal steroids? Well the market leaders in this field are Crazybulk, CrazyMass and FlexxLabs. They are the oldest players in the business and considering the cut-throat nature of the supplements industry, that is pretty impressive. They use only the best natural ingredients and their products have been found to “copy” the effects of the traditional steroids.

When we talk about these “copies”, they really do cover all angles. They make alternatives for all of the big products like Dianabol, Anavar, Winstrol, HGH, Trenbolone and Clenbuterol. Additionally, their products ship free of charge around the world and they regularly run buy-2-get-1-free discounts.

The only downside is that the products can cost a little to buy, but this is still much cheaper than a traditional steroid.

You can check out a comparison between the top legal steroids manufacturers, and an overview of the best products used for bulking and breaking muscle growth plateaus by reading this article.

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