Anonymous asked us:
Hi guys – I’m 18, currently deadlifting 160kg 1RM. My goal is to deadlift 200kg, and so I’m thinking to use steroids. What would you recommend as a starting cycle?
We are seeing an increasing number of young people turning to steroids without guidance, impatiently seeking rapid results. While there are of course much greater evils in the world, they are often operating under incomplete information to form these decisions and have no appreciation of the potential for long term endocrine damage that they can carry.
You know I love my analogies, so here’s a few. Hopefully one will resonate:
– You currently have a mortgage taken out on a house 5 years ago. Since then, the market price has risen, so you remortgaged and withdrew the released surplus equity to spend on a Playstation and some new pyjamas for your cat.
– When you were younger, did you ever do that trick with a lighter to make the flame bigger by deconstructing it and maxing the dial?
– You’ve got an assignment that needs to be submitted tomorrow. You haven’t started yet. You pop a couple of adderalls and some coffee and hammer it out overnight. Boom.
These are your testes.. they’re your flatmates. They do a relatively decent job of keeping the house clean, but when your friend Trent Bologne and his fiancee Dianna Ball come to visit, they insist on helping out with the housework. In fact, they’re obsessed with cleaning, and they don’t like your flatmates getting in the way. So your flatmates hide in their bedrooms and stay out of trouble while the guests monopolise the house.
Once the guests have left, they peek out of their rooms. The house is spotless…frighteningly so. They start to think…’Why should we bother cleaning if these overzealous guests could come back and do it for free?’. They resume their routines with slightly less fervour than before, in anticipation of the guests to come and pick up the slack.
Here we are bringing forward a short term profit for a reduction in future gain: i.e. more debt, less fuel, tiredness – analogous to the decline in hormonal output when coming off a steroid cycle.
Steroids: Yes or no?
An 18 year old wanting to deadlift 200kg is categorically a case for NOT using steroids. An internationally competitive, professional athlete in an untested sporting federation looking to gain an edge is a different case, and it is at their discretion whether the cost, legal and repetitional risk outweighs the benefit.
To be clear, we are not condoning steroid use in either scenario, but the impetus behind this question embodies a shortcut-seeking attitude: using powerful drugs out of impatience with training – or worse, to offset an unhealthy lifestyle or insecurity.
Patching up poor quality training and diet with even a high dose of steroids will yield inferior results compared with adhering to an intelligently designed approach without drugs. To bring a deadlift from 160kg to 200kg is not only achievable naturally, but can be done in a matter of weeks.
Psychologically, the joy in any form of training is to be constantly bettering oneself: personal growth through continuously expanding your capacity to perform. Consider your rate of strength gains doubling or tripling for a period of time, followed by an acute partial regression and returning to your ‘old’ rate of progress. Training at the old pace is going to feel like a waste of time.
You’ve leased a Ferrari for a few weeks, and now when you step back into your old banger you don’t quite feel as cool.
But how can we accurately preach about the psychological effects if we don’t use them ourselves? Valid point – here’s Elliot Hulse discussing his own experience (from 3:10):
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