With all of the social stigma surrounding anabolic steroids, and with the looks of disappointment on the fans of famous athletes who get caught juicing, people often wonder why others take steroids to begin with. Bodybuilders and athletes never use anabolic steroids to get high; at least, not in the traditional sense of the word. Here are some of the reasons why we take steroids despite the fact that society frowns upon them.
Why is it that famous actresses and actors can have all of the plastic surgery they want, but the minute an athlete or actor uses steroids, he or she is dubbed an “addict”, or worse – a “cheater”? After all, many bodybuilders take steroids for the same reason that Pam Anderson got a boob job. They want more than what nature gave them. Bodybuilders often spend years of their lives training, modifying their diets, and trying workout after workout to gain a single pound of muscle. When all of this fails, some choose not to settle for genetics. Some choose anabolic steroids. Pam Anderson didn’t settle for genetics, either. No amount of exercise would have made her chest any bigger. She chose silicone.
Why do athletes take steroids? For most of them, it’s not because they want to look like gods – it’s because they want to perform their very best and be victorious. There are limitations to human strength, and diet and exercise can only carry us so far. When we reach a point that no matter what we eat or how hard we train, we simply cannot get any faster or stronger, many of us reach for steroids.
In this case, when people ask, “Why do we take steroids?”, the answer is simple. We don’t want to be “good,” and we don’t even want to be “great”. We want to be the very best, and we will stop at nothing to reach new heights. This is evident when thinking back to the number of baseball players caught using steroids during the 1990s and 2000s after breaking numerous records. Arguably, without the performance enhancing drugs, it’s likely that these men would have never achieved such goals.
Some men did get lucky in terms of genetics, and they have the right frame, boosting metabolism, and hormone levels up substantially without steroids. Oftentimes, though, these individuals will hit a plateau in their gains or fat cutting. You might have a bodybuilder trying desperately to get to 225 pounds from 221 so he can enter the next weight class, or you might find a female bodybuilder who wants to shed a single percentage of body fat just to get that ripped look she needs to compete. When victory is so close you can taste it, but no amount of diet and exercise seems to do the trick, steroids are a viable alternative. Plateaus are another of the many reasons why we take steroids.
Why do people take steroids? There are some cases in which peer pressure plays a huge role in this decision, and this is especially true among fitness and athletic circles in gyms around the world. Men and women alike feel pressured by those around them, particularly when they go to seek advice. Though it may seem unrealistic to those who have never been in the situation, there are times when simply asking someone how they managed to develop their traps turns into a conversation about Dianabol and testosterone supplements.
Steroids are more prevalent in gyms than most people would believe, and there’s a good chance that if you see someone who seems too big to be natural, that person has used steroids to achieve his or her size. That’s not to say that it’s impossible to bulk naturally, but it’s often easy to tell the difference between someone who juices and someone who doesn’t. When you are surrounded by massive people who constantly tout the benefits of steroids and why you should try them, too, it’s easy to feel curious and give them a try.
A common misconception surrounding steroids involves the idea that simply taking a pill or injecting yourself every day will lead to massive muscles and unprecedented strength. This is not the case. In fact, most people take anabolic steroids for one very simple reason – to recover from their workouts more quickly. Muscle growth doesn’t happen in the gym. It happens at home on your rest days and even while you sleep because this is the time when your body works to repair torn muscle fibers. Anabolic steroids speed that process, which not only leads to more rapid growth, but also allows you to get back into the gym more quickly and truly push yourself to the very limit.
Bodybuilders and athletes have real lives, too. Despite what people seem to believe, they don’t sit around lifting weights all day. They have families, children, jobs, and hobbies outside of bodybuilding and sports. Like everyone else, these individuals face the everyday stresses of life that can leave them feeling fatigued. However, competitive bodybuilding requires dedication. It requires daily workouts, pushing yourself the limit, and finding another ounce of strength when you gave it all you had an hour ago. We take steroids because we need the energy it takes to keep pushing ourselves forward toward our goals.
Most people don’t wake up one day thinking to themselves, “I want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1975.” For many people, the decision to bulk and add mass happens over time and partially due to pressure from peers at the gym. Often, those who are new to the fitness lifestyle find their bodies transforming quite easily and naturally at first. Then, they reach that plateau and things slow down.
Why do we take steroids? Sometimes, it’s because we look around at our peers and realize they’re much bigger and stronger than we are, and we want that for ourselves. We don’t want to be the smallest or weakest guys at the gym. More than anything, we want to hold our own against the big guys and prove ourselves.
People often assume that the reasons why we take steroids are narcissistic in nature. They think that bodybuilders want to be mean jerks who beat everybody up just because they can. That’s not the case at all. When you go to the store and buy a pair of jeans, you want to look your best. You might try on three or four pairs until you are satisfied with your appearance. For a bodybuilder, appearance is about muscle instead of jeans. They use steroids because they want to be bigger, leaner, and more symetrical and vascular. They want the pleasure of enjoying the person they see staring back at them in the mirror.
Anabolic steroids are not about being big, bad, and mean. They are about obtaining the body shape and weight that an athlete or bodybuilder wants in order to feel happy with him or herself. Just like a Hollywood actor has risky, invasive surgery to enhance her chest or modify his nose, the reasons why we take steroids are clear – we want to change the way we look and feel, both physically and emotionally.