My number one piece of advice is something I highly doubt you've ever heard, but it's something I wish somebody told me when I was younger.
I advise you heed what I write in this article before you haphazardly throw yourself into the domain of performance enhancement.
The two common lines old-timers would say are:
“Don't touch steroids until you're 25 or 30 because you don't need them as young men when you have peaked natural Testosterone.”
Or, “wait until you're 25 when your brain is fully developed, or you're going to get f*cked up.”
It's usually the guys who started in their teens who will preach that you absolutely need to wait until you're 25 to touch anything.
I don't think anybody should be saucing in their teens, but my gauge for determining if you're ready to even consider performance enhancement is a bit different than most.
The advice that's usually given is usually misguided and is based on an arbitrary minimum age.
Wasting Your Potential By Failing To Understand Diet, Training And Pharmacology
Here's my reason of why you shouldn't start using steroids, regardless of your age, until you know what you're doing in the kitchen and the gym.
The reason is, you have 100,000 hair follicles on your head and you only have one set of organs.
The third more unlikely outcome is that they completely lose interest in the process despite being in perfect health.
However, once you are bitten by the iron bug, it's very unlikely that you're going to stop what you're doing unless something occurs that sidelines you instantly (e.g. a big stroke), or something occurs/accumulates that will severely hinder your life if you continue to pursue bodybuilding with the same intensity (e.g. male pattern baldness, cardiovascular disease progression, kidney damage, etc.).
Even at that point, a lot of guys are so mentally addicted to being big that they will continue to push it past that point.
There are plenty of cases of men with major health issues that still continue to push the envelope with steroids and end up having a heart attack or some other life ending complication.
While not a physical health concern, hair loss can take a huge toll on mental health and there are tons of guys who accelerate hair loss to a point where they are severely balding in their 20's or 30's just because they can't stop blasting.
The thing you need to realize before you start taking steroids, or any performance enhancing drugs, is that you only have so much to work with.
Eventually, one of those two things is going to hit a stage where it's going to force you to either severely pull back your dosages or come off entirely.
Essentially, it's just like a ticking time bomb when you take steroids that eventually you're going to have some major health ramifications or hair loss if you are consistently red lining your body with supraphysiological levels of exogenous androgens.
The Effect Of Long-Term Steroid Usage On Your Health
There's going to be the token few genetic elites who are able to live a long healthy life despite blasting steroids for several decades.
Unfortunately, the likelihood that you're one of these genetic phenoms is low.
If you are fairly average like myself, every time you blast supraphysiological amounts of androgens you are slowly but surely (or perhaps quickly depending on your genetics) ripping the hair out of your head and taxing your organs.
More specifically, probably your heart, maybe your kidneys too, or maybe even your liver if you're abusing methylated orals.
Each time you take steroids above a therapeutic level, you are slowly exacerbating the likelihood that you're going to get cardiovascular disease in the more near future than you would otherwise.
Unfortunately, existing in the first place is a ticking time bomb where we are all going to die.
Unfortunately, steroids are more than likely going to accelerate this process too.
Especially the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.
Every time you blast steroids, you're unnecessarily stressing your entire body.
Eventually, you're going to hit a sticking point where you have to make a choice if it's worth continuing to tax your body to gain another 5 pounds of muscle or not, or to hold on to what you already have.
I actually sympathize the most with the bodybuilders who put in years of work grinding their way to a spectacular 260+ pound lean physique, as those are the guys who have forced themselves into an unsustainable position where their drug use to support that lean tissue is not only unhealthy, their sheer body weight is extremely unhealthy too.
It's not a coincidence that heart disease occurrence increases in parallel with body weight, especially lean body mass weight.
It's one thing accepting that you won't blast again and won't gain any more muscle, it's an entirely different mental challenge to cope with watching your body fall apart and lose 30-40+ pounds of lean mass because what you built is not sustainable long-term.
My Advice To Newbies If You Are Going To Use Steroids
If you are going to use steroids, you've accepted that you're putting your body in a toxic state periodically in order to gain supraphysiological amounts of muscle.
If you do this long-term, you're very likely eventually going to hit a point where the constant stress on your body has accumulated and is coming back to bite you.
My number one piece of advice if you are going to use steroids is to not start steroids until you have a very thorough understanding of how to train, how to eat (that doesn't just mean hitting optimal macros), and how to optimally implement pharmacology into your life in the lowest risk/highest reward way possible.
The problem with this general advice is that a ton of newbies truly think they know how to diet and train when they've barely even started working out consistently.
I was one of those naive kids.
Dirty bulks and smashing 5×5 splits 6 days a week for hypertophy is not the optimal way to go about things, nor is it conducive to avoiding cardiovascular stress when androgens are used concurrently.
How Long Does It Take To Reach Your Genetic Potential Naturally?
I truly think that within 2-3 years of perfect diet and training, your body can be primed to start to look at performance enhancement in a serious context.
Hypothetically, if you had perfect diet and training principles that you consistently implemented from the get-go, you could hit a point of diminishing returns and near your genetic potential within a couple years.
The problem is the likelihood that you're going to have a comprehensive knowledge of diet and training in your first few years is very unlikely.
Honestly, I didn't either.
Not even close.
And I've done stupid amounts of research.
Thousands upon thousands of hours.
I can't even begin to fathom how many hours I've spent scouring the internet to know what I know now.
When I Hit A Sticking Point That Prevented Me From Blasting Anymore
A lot of guys look to me as an example of somebody who does their research and knows what they're talking about.
Despite having poured thousands of hours into researching, I knew a fraction of what I know now when I was 3 years into lifting.
I wasn't ready to start using PED's, but I did anyways because I was convinced I understood what it took to optimize my growth.
I also was completely oblivious as to how to create a healthy diet model, I just thought I had to eat as much as I could and get tons of protein in.
Even once I had a better understanding of how to avoid going overboard during bulk phases and how to properly prime my metabolism with calculated increases or decreases in calories, I was still negligent to adequate micronutrient intake.
Having an unhealthy diet model in conjunction with steroid abuse is a perfect storm for heart disease, not to mention I was bulldozing my hair without even realizing it only to make subpar gains in muscle for at least a few of the cycles I did.
Frankly, I didn't even have what I would consider a fairly thorough understanding of diet, training and pharmacology until a few years ago when I started my YouTube channel, and by then I had already reached a point where I was forced to stop blasting due to hair loss.
If I could go back in time, the number one thing I would have done is wait a few more years and studied like a maniac.
This is not because of my arbitrary age number or my brain not being fully developed, or thinking I'm going to stunt my growth.
It's because you only have so many cycles in your tank before you hit that sticking point where something bad is going to happen which will force you to stop.
In my case, it was hair loss, but it could have just as easily been a health complication had I continued down the same road for another decade.
Fortunately, I had the willpower to stop in order to preserve what's on my head.
The most massive regret you're going to have is if you start blasting steroids, not knowing what you're doing with diet and training fully, and you hit that point, and when you think back to all the stupid cycles you did where you didn't 100% know what you're doing, and you wasted potential muscle gain on cycles where you had subpar diet and training.
As a result, now you're at a point where you can't blast again because your health is in jeopardy.
Or, you also can't blast or else your hair loss is going to be so bad that you can't do anything as it's going to potentially f*ck up your head.
You can't just get back that muscle that you could have had at those past cycles.
You need to get the most you can out of those cycles if you're going to do them.
Don't Half-Ass Your Cycles
I regret the cycles I did where I wasn't 100% on point with my diet and training because I wasn't 100% sure of what I was doing.
In addition to that, I wasn't in the mindset of maximizing each bulking phase before hitting that ceiling that prevented me from continuing.
There was one cycle in particular where I clearly recall thinking to myself that I was going to train light and just see how much I could get out of the cycle with a complete lack of intensity in the gym.
My thought process was that it doesn't matter if the cycle results in suboptimal results because I can just blast steroids again if it doesn't go that well.
What I want to get across is that it's absolutely not the case.
You only have so many blasts in your tank before you get to a point where you're going to have to stop.
If You Are Going To Take Steroids DO NOT Waste Your Blasts!
If you don't fully comprehend optimal diet, training, rest and recovery and pharmacology principles before you start, you're going to hit that ceiling one day and think back to your first few cycles (or maybe even all of them) and realize how badly you wasted muscle building potential in those cycles.
You guys hear me talk often now about TRT, and how I maintain my current physique on 100 mg of Testosterone per week.
I think back to my early cycles, where I was using upwards of 500, 600, 700 mg of steroids per week, and how much more I could have gained if I really knew as much as I know now and really applied it back then.
If you're blasting and cruising, you're probably eventually going to end up on TRT.
Even if you're not, you retain those myonuclei permanently that you gain in your youth.
If you're going to be using PED's, max out every single opportunity you can because you only have so many blasts in the tank.
You don't want to be that guy who thinks back on his first cycle he did of 500 mg per week of Testosterone and 30 mg of Dbol per day and barely gained sh*t because he ate like an idiot every single day, trained half-assed, and didn't know what he was doing.
And you definitely don't want to be that guy who was abusing orals just to look full at high school parties on weekends and barely trains or eats.
Knowing How And When To Use Steroids
Most guys who use steroids don't even know how the drugs they're literally injecting into their ass works.
A few common examples of newbie mistakes:
- Unnecessarily using Aromatase Inhibitors that limit fat loss and muscle accrual while concurrently smashing their lipid profile
- Using way too much Testosterone
- Throwing in orals that just overlap with the injectables they're using as their base
- Using drugs with nearly identical chemical structures and/or mechanisms of action alongside each other and unnecessarily exacerbating side effects while limiting muscle building potential
- E.G. doing a cycle of Testosterone, Equipoise and Dianabol
If you start cycling without understanding the consequences, you might not even get to the point where you actually know what you're doing until you've already been forced to stop.
Most guys don't even get to that point, and by the time they're forced to quit, they look back and wonder how others have gained so much muscle when they still look the way they do.
You only have so many blasts in the tank.
If you're going to use PED's, ensure that you are making the most of every single one of those blasts.