Should I take Pro-hormones?

Lifestyle, Supplementation

Now not to be confused with ‘test boosters’ pro-hormones are mostly unclassified synthetic compounds which can have a detrimental impact on natural hormone production when used incorrectly. These androgenic products, synonymous to anabolic steroids are often grouped together under a different name and marketed like any other legal bodybuilding supplement, but can be just as toxic- if not ‘worse’ than the ‘the real thing’ This is due to the fact that they are mostly taken orally and present the liver with a highly complex concoction of different chemicals, as opposed to just one. There are numerous supplements available that assist and reduce liver toxicity whilst taking anabolic substances; milk thistle, Liv.52 etc realistically though, the type of guy that takes pro-hormones wont be interested in buying any additional ‘precautionary’ products, as they won’t actually make him any bigger.

Like all androgenic compounds, pro-hormones are designed to stimulate the production of Testosterone, the hormone that distinguishes us with male characteristics. While Testosterone levels vary from person to person, higher levels of the hormone will increase ones ability to obtain muscular strength and size, hence why steroids have such an important role within medical procedure and rehabilitation. While you’ll most likely hear the horror stories and side effects of using anabolic steroids, ultimately, they are only as harmful as the person using them. That being said, if you’re attracted to the fact that pro-hormones are legal and aren’t convinced they could do you much harm, think again.

There are so many different variations of these unclassified steroids and androgenic components, the potency of each will vary. For most people, pro-hormones aren’t as strong as steroids and taking a higher dose is the best policy, although some can be even stronger- M1T, Superdrol. This along with fact of the supplement industry coining the whole ‘stack’ or ‘stacking’ ploy from professional athletes open about steroid use such as Rich Piana -taking more than one at a time to satisfy a specific role. ‘Stacking’ these products isn’t entirely safe and will only make ‘coming off’ more problematic.

Now while you can buy pro-hormones at most supplement stores, most people tend to buy them online because of the whole pro-hormone/steroid ‘taboo’ po-tato, pot-ato. Meaning that anyone unaware of the importance of hormone care when using these supplements will be finding out too late. As I have previously mentioned it’s not necessarily the drugs, it’s abusing them, which brings me on to how people recover from using these products.

‘PCT’ or Post Cycle Therapy supplements, regulate hormones back to where they were originally, whilst minimizing Estrogen in the body- the female hormone. These supplements are essential, especially when having taken stronger versions of pro-hormones  that completely shut down the body’s ability to produce testosterone. This is another major element that guys always seem to disregard. Failing to sufficiently manage hormone levels after the use of anabolic compounds, can leave you with side effects similar to that of prolonged steroid use; hair loss, gynaecomastia and even erectile dysfunction. 

If you’re gonna go through all of this trouble, you’re probably better off doing your homework and getting advice from someone that actually knows what they’re doing, who understands how steroids work and the safest way to use them. Just because pro-hormones are easily accessible does not means that they aren’t dangerous and can’t give you some bad side effects- I’m glad we’ve crossed this bridge, stop taking pro-hormones, but if you’re gonna do it- I can’t stop you.

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Steroids/Performance enhancers & the ‘seasonal lifter’

Lifestyle, Supplementation

It’s only taken a handful of recent remarks on the fact of whether or not I currently take steroids to instil this desire of putting even more fuel into the precarious fire of all things “natty” or otherwise. With the enormous influx of young guys looking like they’ve just stepped off the set of 300 after probably the same number of days training inconsistently and adhering to the ‘IDGAF’ approach towards nutrition, rather than something like IIFYM. It’s safe to say the standard of ‘physique’ guys, who’d dabble in any such powder/pill/injection with any assuring enough promise to a ‘BIGGER/LEANER’ physique has clearly skyrocketed the bar unrealisticly high for the regular guy. This is more than likely a byproduct of the mainstream and social media glorifying vanity. For every ‘aesthetic’ looking ‘brah’ that would probably go train “biceps with bi’s” rather than take their even more shallow IG fitness chick- that’s also a keen yoga-‘enthusiast’ out on a date, there’s a thousand guys besotted with the glamorous lifestyle he seems to lead. Ultimately though, no one really cares HOW he got to there, or whether his body realistically reflects his attitude towards training and nutrition. We only see snapshots into the lives of such individuals, that have handpicked moments they want to characterise themselves with, and who’s ‘job’ just so happens to fall hand in hand with their lifestyle. Thus making us even more envious and them even more marketable to supplement companies and the like.

The issue of steroids comes into action where young guys at the forefront of such judgement and self doubt at defining ages of teenage-hood seek out a safe haven in the opportunity to transform their appearance enough to either overshadow their rivals or simply to fit in among peers. Whether this incline occurs in sport where optimal conditions for muscular endurance is essential in supporting performance, or simply satisfying the desire to be DESIRED by the opposite sex. This can of worms opened by the seasonal lifter can’t just be added to the diary on MyFitnessPal and burnt off during tomorrow’s cardio. The psychological implication of such a decision so early on during the life/lift-span of a young guy -who might actually have the ability to win shows naturally if it weren’t for the odd week in Ibiza or occasional piss-up, could potentially hinder his outlook on the one thing he once enjoyed.

A lot of the problem is the fact that the fitness industry has paved the path of the seemingly  marketable/attainable physiques so much so that the fundamental knowledge and solid attitude towards training and nutrition has somehow became redundant to entities which can be bought. Even with every last ounce of information surrounding the countless training/nutrition related topics on YouTube, there will always be something promising even more results in even less time. Is there even a line that distinguishes the adulterated supplementation from the somewhat ‘extreme’ nowadays? With such contest among the masses of supplement companies, now even natural supplement brands insist on daubing their products with overly clinical terminology and bold marketing ploys to snatch every last penny from the fickle Neanderthal under the pretense of getting like Leonitus after six weeks, but looking more like Ephialtes after twelve.

I’d like to point out that the only extreme aspect of PROPER steroid use would be that they are EXTREMELY effective, that is, in conjunction with sufficient nutrition and having established a solid foundation that’s not going to wither you up to nothing when you ‘come off’ On a serious note though it would be refreshing to see people drop the whole steroid- ‘cheat/shortcut’ facade and focused on their own training and nutrition rather than stressing so much about what everyone else is “taking” It’s ridiculous how the tone of casual conversations amongst gym-goers can take such a clandestine turn when anything ending in ‘ine’ or ‘ol’ is mentioned. If you’re a seasoned lifter and are reading this in hope to mock the ‘newbies’ attitude towards the one thing that once gave you an edge over everyone, I hope you always have the motivation there to maintain a solid physique that isn’t going to be suspect when you go from stacked to average in a week.

But if you’re just starting out and are overwhelmed by the all the various attitudes and quick methods that you’re convinced will propel your efforts to ‘the next level’ just remember the that the shortcut to success is the fasttrack to failure.

Obviously I’m taking a dramatic tone when it comes to such a topic and I hope you can sense my lightheartedness despite some somewhat personal jabs, literally. But I do believe people need the realisation that having a good body will not eclipse the stresses of life, despite a short term feeling of satisfaction. If anything the personal qualities acquired from such a lifestyle usually set you up for more harm than good. Because nobody sees the pumped up chest and grainy abs when you’re a narcissistic feather of a man that would blow away in a negative wind.