The Truth: Training Naturally vs. Enhanced
September 1, 2017
Today we’re talking about something we’ve never addressed – a controversial topic that always sparks debate. Our goal here at BPI is to help you. We do this by providing information, separating fact from fiction and simplifying fitness so it’s easier for you to understand. To stay true to this mission, we have to cover everything, which means it’s time to cover training naturally vs. enhanced, aka taking steroids.
This topic tends to bring out a lot of negativity, and people often assume they already know everything there is to know. In spite of these aversions, we believe it’s necessary to clear up the confusion surrounding steroids by tackling the issue head on. We simply ask that you read through the entire blog before passing judgment.
What do steroids do for you?
Steroids provide two main benefits: recovery and protein synthesis.
If you’re training naturally, you have to be more cognizant of your rest days because that recovery period is when you truly build muscle. If you’re taking steroids, you have an advantage in that you are able to recover quicker. That means you can train with more volume, more often, and still recover. Trying to train at that same intensity and frequency naturally would result in muscle catabolism, or loss, because you aren’t giving your body adequate time to recover and rebuild.
Protein synthesis is the process in which muscle is built back up, also known as anabolism. Supplements like protein and BCAAs help support this anabolic state, while steroids take it a step further and accelerate protein synthesis. Your body is still perfectly capable of protein synthesis in a natural state, and there are numerous training techniques that can help you build muscle. Steroids don’t alter this process or change the work that must be done to build a great physique. They just enhance what your body is already doing.
What don’t steroids do for you?
Steroids are not magic. Much of the debate over them is due to misunderstanding. Think about the controversy surrounding professional baseball players who were caught using steroids. Everyone thinks that the steroids were used to make the players stronger, which resulted in more home runs. This is not how steroids work. The steroids allowed the players to recover faster from their rigorous schedules. These athletes play 162 games a season, multiplied by the number of years in their career. Add in travel, mandatory workouts and practice, and you can start to appreciate the wear and tear they endure.
How do steroids impact fitness?
In the past, athletes used to train until they reached their natural potential. Once they reached this max genetic threshold, they would evaluate their situation and decide whether they wanted to push their bodies further. Only then would they incorporate steroids. Today, everyone wants instant gratification – quick, easy results instead of dedicating themselves to decades of training.
Yes, there are athletes that will choose to take the short cut. However, there are also guys out there that put in the time and hard work and achieve the same results. Looking good is not an indicator of steroids. Shredded abs are not an indicator of steroids. Reaching your max natural potential requires a level of commitment to training and nutrition that most people will never master. So instead of jumping to conclusions every time you see an admirable physique, give the athlete the benefit of the doubt and show some respect for the work that goes into it.