Because each human body maintains its own hormonal balance, according to its own genetic makeup, adult males have different levels of testosterone. It also varies depending on the mental state (depression / good mood, anxiety / calm, low / high self-esteem, etc.), lifestyle (sedentary / active), rest (fatigue / resting state), diet, sexual activity, etc.
To achieve maximum muscle growth, some bodybuilders resort to supplementing endogenous levels (produced in the body) of testosterone with different hormone-based products, commonly called steroids.
They are divided into two main categories:
- Anabolic steroids, which have very strong anabolic effects, compared with androgens
- Androgenic steroids, which have anabolic and androgenic effects
Both categories include products that can be administered orally (when less effective) or by intramuscular injection, the active substance being suspended or dissolved in vegetable oil (having a high half-life, with gradual release and slow action, or having short half-life, rapid release and immediate action).
Because the actual results of steroids can also accompany negative side effects, it is important to discuss their effect on the body in detail.
Androgenic steroids improve the athletic performance of athletes, producing body mass gain (based mainly on muscular mass build-up), with the explosion of muscle strength, but causing changes due to hormonal imbalance along with androgen supplementation:
- In the skin, there is an increase in the production of sebum and the occurrence of acne, gradual withdrawal of hairline, and even baldness.
- At the psychological level, there may be changes in one’s mental state, from manic episodes of aggressive agitation, to depressive episodes, bringing with them increased blood pressure, along with decreased myocardial contractile capacity.
- Being the headquarters of the metabolism of these hormones, the liver will be overstretched and may suffer some lesions, which can lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of cellular repair mechanisms and occurrence of hepatic tumors.
- At the injection site of steroid products, abscesses may occur, and intense training can lead to difference in muscle adaptability and tendons, with the possibility of injury to the latter.
To achieve the maximum increase in body mass and muscle strength and to reduce unwanted effects as much as possible, bodybuilders who want to use androgen steroids resort to different treatment strategies.