Food Is More Important Than Your Steroid Cycle In Bodybuilding
Over-analyzing drug combinations and steroid cycle protocols in general is something I see on a daily basis.
I receive a lot of messages over email, comments on my blog, DM’s on Instagram, Facebook messages, etc.
More often than not, when the question is bodybuilding related, the question will be something along the lines of “what do you think of (insert drug name here) with (insert drug name here) for a (bulk/cut/recomp)? Thoughts?”
I have literally been asked a question like this over a thousand times now.
The amount of times I have been asked about optimizing diet to provide maximum growth and allow adequate recovery to actually make use of those compounds, is outnumbered by a drug related question by 20:1 at least (probably underestimating).
Drugs are the overwhelming priority nowadays, and the framework of actually fueling the body adequately often goes severely overlooked.
Now, don’t get me wrong, setting up a good protocol is important.
Having your protocol in place and using something that's going to complement what you're trying to accomplish is high on the priority list.
But, at the end of the day there are so many guys who are missing the bigger picture, and that's the diet portion of bodybuilding.
If you're not eating enough protein, if you're not training hard enough, if you’re not resting enough, if you’re not sleeping enough, if you’re not staying insulin sensitive via diet, if you're not eating enough food in general, you're not going to grow regardless if you're on a gram of Trenbolone, and that's literally the truth.
You could go take a gram of Tren per day, but if you are only eating 1500 calories per day you’re not going to grow, period.
When pro bodybuilders made the majority of their progress and were growing like weeds, they weren’t sitting on their computer writing out a billion different steroid combinations, or trying to figure out which compound is going to achieve the ultimate level of synergy with everything else they are using.
They take staple tried and true anabolics, they train hard and put their head down, they eat properly, and they do it for years on end.
That's why the best bodybuilders are able to put on 5 to 10 pounds of lean tissue a year even after they've already put on their huge massive amounts of newbie steroid gains.
At the end of the day, eating and training takes the priority over the drugs.
If your diet was perfect and you were consistently in a surplus, even if you were natural, you would gain muscle.
If your diet sucked and you weren’t eating enough, but were on boatloads of anabolic agents, you would probably gain less muscle during your steroid cycle than you would have naturally had you ate enough.
This is why food trumps drugs and is the most anabolic component of any performance enhancing drug regimen.
How A Steroid Cycle Actually Builds Muscle
The drugs are what will put the body in a hormonal environment conducive to utilizing food/nutrients as efficiently as possible.
Nutrient partitioning is greatly enhanced, as are many other mediators of muscular recovery and growth when operating with a heightened level of exogenous anabolic hormone support.
Steroids will put an athlete into a supraphysiological recovery mode enabling lean muscle growth above and beyond that of a natural athlete.
But, at the end of the day if your diet sucks, your steroid cycle is not going to take you anywhere, because they only work in the presence of adequate nutrients to actually make use of.
All Anabolics Mostly Accomplish The Same Thing
When it comes to steroids, there are compounds that actually have a minimal effect on overall muscle growth like Masteron and Proviron.
They are used just as pre-contest hardeners or mediators of lowering SHBG levels in the body.
And on the other side of the spectrum, there are drugs that are widely considered staple mass gainers in the offseason, and there are certainly drugs that fall in between the spectrum of both of those.
However, in most cases with anabolic agents, especially when it comes to SARMs, they more or less accomplish the same thing in the human body.
That isn’t to say there aren’t drugs that blatantly build more muscle than others, but in most cases, with adequate nutrients present, they perform a nearly identical function in the body, the overall body composition just may look different comparing one to another.
Allow me to elaborate on that a bit here.
Which SARMs Are The Best For Building Muscle?
In general, the mainstream SARMs do not differ greatly from one another with one being blatantly light years better than the others.
They have the same mechanism of action, and are all designed to be as selective as possible for muscle to prostate, as opposed to steroids where there are fairly significant differences in anabolic to androgenic ratios across the spectrum.
For example, if someone is racking their brain to figure out whether LGD-4033 or RAD140 will better complement their Ostarine, that is not a make or break choice that will provide more than a negligible amount of difference at the end of the day.
What's going to make the massive difference isn't choosing between RAD140 over LGD-4033, it's going to be eating in a consistent surplus and training with progressive overload on a weekly basis, consistently, for weeks on end without fail.
That's what makes the difference at the end of the day if the end result is great or not.
Take A Step Back To Evaluate Your Diet
I’m not trying to take away from the fact that the anabolics in a steroid cycle will be the difference maker in achieving a physique beyond one’s genetic potential.
However, I’m trying to stress the importance of what is actually going to dictate if you make a ton of progress or not, which at the end of the day is going to be your consistency long term and just putting your head down and doing what's necessary in the kitchen, gym, and getting adequate rest.
I strongly encourage you to take a step back and look at your diet in addition to your protocol, because at the end of the day, the protocol isn't the thing that's going to 100% dictate if you make huge amounts of progress year in and year out.
Almost every single time I get a message from someone asking why they didn’t make any progress during their last steroid cycle, 9/10 times they had a severely deficient diet in either macronutrients and/or micronutrients, had a subpar training regimen, or weren’t sleeping enough.
In maybe 1-10% of cases at most the reason is something unrelated like drug quality or some other unaddressed lifestyle factor.