Steroid Muscle vs Natural Muscle

An example of what steroids can do. Jose Canseco, the only honest man in baseball.

So I guess the general theme this week is “hormones”. So the next topic that we’re going to cover was sent in by Jason and this is about steroid muscle vs natural muscle.

This is a tricky topic because most celebrities, athletes and bodybuilders don’t admit or disclose the drugs they use so it’s hard to match a look with the drugs it took to get that look.

In other words, even though certain athletes have openly admitted to steroid use we still don’t know how much they used, for how long and most of all, we can never know for certain how big, strong and lean they would have been if they didn’t use.

So we’re left guessing and putting together the puzzle with only some of the pieces and no idea what the puzzle picture really looks like.

If you’ve been around the steroid sub culture or used them for any length of time they you have a good idea of what they can do and how your body will change…and how fast it will change.

You also gain some appreciation and insight into spotting other steroid users. There are a few characteristics that just become obvious if you’ve been on the inside.

1) Rapid strength gain. It’s pretty obvious when a guy is using drugs because is overall strength and the rate of is strength gain are massively accelerated.

2) Rounding bloated look. the muscle bellies of a guy on steroids seem to have a rounder, fuller more bloated look that natural guys can never really achieve. This is a subtle difference that many non users wont notice. But guys in the know can pick it out pretty easily as they can remember when they had the same effect and also know that it’s impossible to get that effect without drugs.

3) Overall size. There is a limit to natural muscle growth and when you see a guy who is simply far too big for his frame it becomes obvious that he’s using some extra help to get there.

4) Facial bloating. Many steroids will change the look of the face giving it a slightly fuller/bloated look. This is a dead giveaway for many guys.

These are just some of the visual cues that a guy is using steroids.

Natural guys who want to build muscle should try not to use a steroid induced look as their ideal that they’re shooting for. With that said it will be difficult to know if the person who you are role modeling uses drugs or not. The 4 guidelines above are at least a start to know if you’re chasing an ideal that you simply cannot catch without drugs.

If you don’t want to use drugs then you need to find a body image ideal that is drug free so you can set your expectations accordingly.

If you you do use drugs then the sky is the limit and the more you use the bigger you’ll get. But the quality of your look will still come down to conditioning and how and what you use and how much you use.

The bottom line with drug use is that the person with the best genetics to begin with will still look the best given the same amount of drugs (I’m talking competition level here).

It doesn’t really matter to me which path you’re on, it’s your body and its your rules so knock yourself out. I don’t believe anyone else has the right to tell you what you can or can’t put into your body. It’s really the only piece of property you have in the world that is mostly yours (and even with that the gov still tries to tell you what you can and can’t do with it)

Anyway, the point is to try and set a body image ideal that is consistent with what you’re doing to achieve it.

For guys and muscle building it typically boils down to:

a) Whether you are using drugs or not

b) Finding a body image ideal that was built using drugs or not

That latter is the tricky part as most steroid user’s don’t broadcast their use. The only way to know for sure is if you know them personally.

John