Increasing muscle mass is usually a good thing. It improves the shape and definition of your physique and is invaluable in a sporting context. After all, muscle is responsible for movement and force production. Just one pound of muscle could make the difference between breaking a world record or not.
The Science Behind Muscle Growth
The physiological process of building lean muscle mass is fairly complex, but for the purpose of this post we’ll keep it basic. When we work out, we’re essentially causing acute micro-tears in our muscles by placing them under stress, caused by repetitive movements like squats or bicep curls. The tiny rips in the muscles – the pain you feel a day or two after working out – need to be repaired, so the body leaps into action and fixes the damage by building new muscle fibers. It is this continual cycle of breakdown and repair that increases the size of the muscle. This is also known as muscular hypertrophy.
It’s important to understand that the repair and growth of the muscle isn’t instantaneous. The process actually happens away from the gym, when you’re resting, and can only occur when the rate of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown. It’s kinda like trying to fill up a bucket with a hole in. If the amount of water you put in is less than the amount lost through the hole, it’ll never fill up!
What Do Steroids Do?
So how do steroids enhance the muscle-building process? Well, many steroids, such as Trenbolone, are testosterone-based, and testosterone is one of the most important hormones for muscle growth. It has been discovered that testosterone may contribute to increasing MPS, lessen the effect of muscle protein breakdown, and activate the satellite cells responsible for repairing the muscles after a workout. By increasing testosterone levels in the body, we create a much more efficient environment to stimulate muscle growth. The extra testosterone will also improve recovery time, which means that we can train (and subsequently break down and rebuild) muscle groups much more often.
When steroids are taken as part of a cycle, the user injects the steroid directly into the muscle once or twice per week depending on the type of steroid. Some stay in the system for longer than others. Steroids that are shorter in duration will have to be injected (or ingested if they are oral) more often. To put this into context, a user may inject on a Monday morning and again on a Thursday, and then repeat the cycle. This means that testosterone is always present in the body. The elevated level of testosterone creates the perfect muscle-building environment (although inserting a needle into your butt twice a week can create a lot of scar tissue, which isn’t very nice!).
I’m not here to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. Do steroids build muscle mass? Yes. Is it a considerable amount? It can be. Is it safe? No, and that’s exactly my point. It doesn’t matter if you take Human Growth Hormone (HGH) twice a week or oral Winstrol every day: The safety of what you’re taking can’t be guaranteed. Even if the steroid has a hologram (one way to detect authenticity), you still won’t know how your body is reacting to it without frequent blood tests.
What’s the point of doing something to improve yourself on the outside if it ends up doing exactly the opposite on the inside? Be grateful if you’re in good health, because not everybody is so fortunate. Keep it so by exploring the safe, legal steroid alternatives on the market and you’ll be healthy and ripped on the beach in no time!