ANABOLIC STEROIDS, CROSSFIT, AND THE TRUE WAY TO MAKE HEALTHY GAINS
What is an anabolic steroid? In the late 1930s, these powerful drugs came out to play. Originally, they were developed to treat men with hypogonadism. This is a condition in which the testes do not produce healthy amounts of testosterone essential for proper growth, sexual function, development, and puberty. It was also used to treat HIV infection and other diseases that could cause wasting of the body. When scientists found that anabolic steroids could help combat these problems, popularity, and awareness of the drug grew.
Soon, bodybuilders, weightlifters, CrossFit-ers, and athletes in various sports starting using steroids to facilitate growth and muscle gain. Illicit steroids rapidly found their way into gyms, competitions, mail order companies, and health and nutrition stores. Steroid abuse became widespread and started affecting the outcome of many sporting events. Though bodybuilding, weightlifting, CrossFit, and other sporting events are equally impressive, CrossFit has gained a ton of admiration most recently. With that, come many questions about steroid usage in this specific sport. Check out the blog we found about skeptical anabolic steroid usage in CrossFit athletes here.
As you probably already know, CrossFit merges many different feats of physical fitness – combining a mixture of bodybuilding, weightlifting, cardiovascular activity, and even gymnastic and body weight movements. The size of CrossFit athletes is also extremely impressive when you take into account that many of them are doing a ton of cardio and possibly maintaining a paleo diet (consisting of mostly meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds). No matter what sport the “juice” is used in, it’s important to remember that varying the male sex hormones in a synthetic way, is dangerous and can cause life-long damage. All in all, everyone has a very different body and genetic makeup. You know what happens when you assume (you make an ASS out of U and ME), and we found a great piece about anabolic steroid assumptions and accusations here.
WHY ARE STEROIDS ILLEGAL?
For many, many good reasons – these things are dangerous. We’ve told you numerous times on the blog to stay away from androgens and anabolic steroids, but here’s a quick list to jog your memory:
- Testicular shrinkage
- Alterations in cholesterol, high blood pressure
- Liver, kidney, and heart disease
- Altered mood, including aggression, depression, and irritability
- Gynecomastia, aka “man boobs”
- Azoospermia, aka the absence of sperm in semen
- Excess facial or body hair
- Stunted growth and height in teens
- A deeper voice in women
- Risk of viral or bacterial infections
- Menstrual irregularities in women
Most side effects can be reversed if the drugs are stopped, but some, including gynecomastia in men and a deepened voice in women, are known to stick around permanently. Anabolic steroids can be addictive, and even when discontinued, the symptoms can stick around for up to a year.
WHAT ARE ANABOLIC STEROID ALTERNATIVES?
Everyone wants to excel in their athletic feats – whether that’s football, baseball, basketball, CrossFit, bodybuilding, powerlifting, or any other sport. We understand there can be a temptation to take the easy way out, especially if you’ve been working hard at making gains for what seems like an eternity. But there are plenty of ways to do it the healthy way. And did we mention LEGAL?! It’s more cost-effective too.
There’s just nothing like good old-fashioned nutrition, workouts, and supplementation. Don’t let the fast results from illegal steroids suck you in; the short- and long-term effects just aren’t worth it. Plus, you’ll appreciate the gains and cuts you make a lot more when they’re fought for through blood, sweat, and tears. Check out some of our bulking and strength stacks to get sustainable, healthy, and LEGAL results.