The first six months of lifting weights are awesome. Guys gets what’s known in the field as “newbie gains.” You get leaner and more muscular simultaneously. If you take smart supplements, train hard, and eat right, it’s possible to gain 10-20 pounds of muscle while losing fat.
Your shoulders get wider and your waist gets smaller. The feeling of power and strength is intoxicating.
After newbie gains comes the grind. You won’t notice a difference in your body from day-to-day, or even month-to-month. You have to train harder, smarter, and dial in your nutrition.
For a natural trainee, you’ll be lucky to gain 10 pounds of muscle in an entire year. Some years you’ll gain 5.
Unless you are black or have great genetics, it will take you around 3-5 years of consistent effort to build a body good enough where people stop asking, “Do you work out?” People don’t have to ask; they know.
Guys thus turn to anabolic steroids, with predictable results.
Now I’m not going to tell you steroids are dangerous. The dangers of steroids have been overblown. The dangers of steroids are so overblown that if you believe steroids are dangerous, you are no different to me than a mindless feminist.
When you take anabolic steroids, you will relive your newbie gains. You’ll get stronger and leaner. You’ll throw more 45s on the bar. You’ll be aggressive. You’ll know how Genghis Khan must’ve felt when he slayed men, raped women, and enslaved children.
You will gain 20-40 pounds on your cycle.
You will not keep most of those gains.
Once you go off cycle, you’ll begin getting weaker. Without the benefit of synthetic testosterone and other anabolics, your body will no longer be able to sustain your current training volume.
You’ll have to work harder to lift less weight.
Most guys become completely demoralized. “I just did this same weight for 10 reps. Now I can only do it for 6. Fuck this.”
Instead of keeping some of those unnatural gains, the guy quits lifting altogether.
I’ve seen that happen repeatedly.
That said, steroids are not always a no-go. Guys who have already paid their dues in the gym don’t share the same problems as young guys.
If you’ve lifted consistently for 5 years, you’ve had nearly 1,000 workouts. You’ve been “up” for weeks at a time. You’ve added more weight to the bar every workout. You know what it’s like to be in the zone.
You’ve also been “down.” You’ve lifted through sickness. You’ve lifted through break-ups, divorces, the deaths of friends and families. You’ve lifted while wondering if you were going to lose your job, and when stressing about paying rent.
When you have had dozens of shitty workouts, you have the emotional maturity to deal with anabolic steroids. You’ll have the maturity to realize that maintaining 100% of the gains is unrealistic, and that the weeks following a cycle are going to be rough.
Until you’ve had at least 500 hard workouts in the weight room, you should not even consider taking steroids.