Friday, October 26, 2012

Basic Information on Steroids

Disclaimer. This article is written on the sole purpose of educational use only. My blog does not promote the use of illegal drugs. The pictures were from Google search!

Anyways, I wrote this blog so my followers won't be left in the dark and not know what steroids are. The fact is, most people have no clue what steroids are. It's okay. I didn't know for almost two years into my workout progress. By then I've already gained 30lbs from just working out, eating healthy, and using regular supplements.

It took me a lot of research and talking to people that have used it throughout the years and this is a basic understanding of it. 

1)  What are steroids?

A steroid is a family of polycyclic hydrocarbons.

The performance-enhancing substance is actually Anabolic steroids, technically known as anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS).

Anabolic Steroids are chemicals that mimic the effects of testosterone and in the body.
Testosterone is the male growth hormone. 

They increase protein synthesis within cells, which results in the buildup of cell tissue in muscles.

2)  How are steroids used?
Steroids can come in an oral form (pills, tablets)
It can also be administered by intramuscular injection (deep in the muscle tissue)

It can be injected into multiple sites on the body. Most common would be the deltoids, glutes, and quads.
This is a multi-dosed injection vial.
Most steroid names will end with an "ONE" like this one: Progesterone.
This is a hormone replacement therapy for women.
Not all steroids are meant to make you big.

This is Nadrolone Deconoate which can be used to treat burn victims to speed up the recovery.
This is a male replacement hormone Testosterone.
There are a few esters of this chemical. This one is "Cypionate"
 which is a slow released testosterone which has an active half life of 12-15 days in the body.
Other esters such as "propionate, acetate" are fast release esters which have an active half-life of 2-3 days.
The needle with the grey tip is a 22gauge needle which is commonly used to inject oil based steroids with.
Oil is a lot thicker than water based injections such as a flu shot.

Bodybuilders inject these chemicals several times per week.
It's not a one time thing like you see in the movies.
They really hype this topic up.
(Blonsky's injection in the movie "HULK 2")

3)  What are the effects & side effects of steroids?
Certain steroids can cause elevated blood pressure.
These are signs that the heart and blood vessels are being overworked.
Acne is a very common side effect of Anabolic Steroids.
If the user is prone to acne already it will only make it worse.
Not everybody will have this side effect but a higher level of
testosterone & oils in the body it will increase the chances. Even oral steroids can overwork the liver which can also cause acne.
Sometimes if the body doesn't like what you're putting in it.. it can react pretty bad.
This is not common for someone to use steroids and turn out like this.
This person doesn't even look like they work out.
Again, people put these images on the internet to hype the topic up too much. 

Chemicals that mimic the effect of testosterone will convert to estrogen.
Bodybuilders often use other drugs to counter the side effects. (Nolvadex, Clomid, HCG, Arimidex)
However some people don't know about it so they get side effects like gynocomastia or gyno/ bitch-tits.
Regardless of the preventatives, if a person is prone to gyno then they will still get gyno.
Drinking alcohol or smoking weed can also cause gyno. Combine drinking and steroids together and it will accelerate the side effects of gyno. 

Testicular Atrophy is when the balls shrink. Since a synthetic testosterone is present in the body, the natural testosterone produced in the testes will slow down because the body thinks it doesn't need as much. Basically, the balls shrink while on steroids but grow back afterwards.

"Roid Rage"? This is also hyped up in movies. People are going to be people. Some people drink alcohol and they'll be happy.. and some get mad. Same thing goes for steroids. I've met big bodybuilders that do use steroids and they're actually the nicest people. There's no scientific proof that "roid rage" even exist. A higher level of testosterone may raise aggression but that just depends on the person.
This is Finaplix-H which are pellets that are shot into the ear of cattles to help them gain weight (then they're shipped off, slaughtered, and sold in the markets). It's also used to help sick animals gain their weight back. In this pellet form it won't do anything for humans.

Finaplix-H is same chemicals make up the drug Trenbolone. Bodybuilders use this to gain dense muscle properties.
However, it was designed for animals so the side effects on humans could include: skin irritation, high blood pressure, gyno, night sweats, etc.

Since anabolic steroids are illegal without a prescription, there are underground labs that make them. Most often they are faked such as this British Dragon one. What you're actually getting may not work at all or have harsh side effects.

Methandrostenolone or known as Dianabol/ D-Bol are oral steroids.
In the early 1960s, doctors commonly prescribed a tablet per day for women as a tonic but was quickly discontinued when they discovered the heavily masculinising effects.
It was also used to help prisoners of war gain their weight back. This was banned when they discovered it was harmful to the liver.
Body builders use injections to bypass the liver.

Other side effects may include:
- body hair growth
-change in vocal cords
-water retention
-premature baldness or hair loss
-liver and kidney problems

Just like any drug with an effect there can be side effects.
Will it happen to everyone? No.
Every body reacts differently.

 3) Do steroids work?
They work to an extent of what they're designed for. As far as body building goes, it does NOT make you big just by using it. It does not make you look like a professional bodybuilder in 3 weeks. It's not a miracle that people hype it up to be.
Steroids are used at a professional bodybuilding level. To get to this level, it's not just years of using chemicals alone.
It takes extreme self discipline, strict diet, rest, lots of lifting, and most importantly time. Genetics has a big part of this too. Not everyone can get to this level.

Steroids are commonly used in professional sports such as football. A lot of it has to do with preventing injuries.
At the first body building show I've ever went to in 2007. You can see the male characterists that form from steroid use in women.

This is Greg Valentino- the man with the record of worlds biggest arms. This isn't just the work of steroids alone. Steroids injected to a site doesn't make it grow bigger. Once the chemical hits the bloodstream then it becomes active in the body.
This is actually synthol which is an oil that inflames the muscles.

What happens if you take too much steroids?
Well the body can only handle so much.  Here you can see a steroid 'abscess' which is excess oil/chemicals in one injection site. The body is rejecting it so it will swell up, cause severe pain, and the body temperature raises to fight it off.

Can you die from steroids?
Not likely, unless you're taking junk that you don't know what's in it. Or your body may be highly allergic to the chemical you're taking. It could happen.. but it's not common.

A lot of people do other recreational drugs (coke, heroin, weed, alcohol) and then they decide to add in steroids along with it. Which is where the problem starts.
If steroids work.. why are they banned?
Because in the wrong hands people can get hurt from it.
The subject has been hyped up so much people have very little knowledge on what it's really designed for.

4) Should you use steroids?

Unless you're playing a professional sport where your career is worth a millions in contract or you aspire to dedicate your life as a professional bodybuilder.. then no, you don't need it.

My personal opinion: It's better to enjoy your life and make bodybuilding a part of your journey. Enjoy the process. Unless you want to become a pro then there's no need to consider drugs. Most of the guys that are even considering it are still way too young. Your natural testosterone levels are at its peak. There's no need to add such chemicals. If you're not making noticeable gains your first few years that means you're not learning something or not working hard enough.

Then again it's your body and your life to live. I could care less if people are natural or take stuff. You can do whatever you want. Just make sure you do your research and have professional help if you decide to venture in that direction. Remember that whatever you put in your body is very important!

Train hard. Eat good. Enjoy life.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New car channel

Frank and I started a car channel. I guess it'll be less clutter than our workout channel. So subscribe for more videos to come:

I love editing car stuff. It's so much easier than workout.  lol

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back Video with Chris Jones (Physiques of Greatness)

Here's a new video I recorded & edited this week. Thanks Chris for making an hour drive out to get this footage. I've been off of supplements for a few weeks now and eating less carbs makes it really tiring to lift.

Here are the exercises which pretty much sums up as a warm up set followed by 3 working sets of 10-12 reps.

-Stretch/ Warm up
-Lat Pull downs 
-Reverse grip pull ups (weighted. starting off with body weight)
-T-bar row
-Laying Dumb bell pullovers
-Seated Pulley Row

Music 1:  Hiroyuki Sawano- Ao no Exorcist
Music 2: POD- Boom instrumental (crystal method mix)
Music 3: Coasting Instrumental

Click here if you need instructions on back exercises:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Basic Ab Exercises

This guide will demonstrate some basic exercises for the abdominal muscles. First, lets take a look of what the abdominal muscles are composed of so you know what you're working with:

Basically, underneath your belly lies the Rectus Abdominis muscle group. Abs for short.
On each side of your abs are the Abdominal Obliques, or just Obliques for short.

A few things about abs that you should know about:

1) The shape of your abs are determined by genetics. You can change the size/ definition of it but not the shape.

These are professional bodybuilders (Jay Cutler, Ronnie Coleman, Kevin Levrone)
With years of hard training, strict diet, extreme self discipline, and even chemical enhancements it will not change the shape of their abs. Some people will have 6 packs some will have 4, and some will have 8. It all varies on your natural genetics.
This is a comparison of myself when I started working out and five years later.
I've never really trained abs as I incorporate them into compound movements (bench, squat, dead lifts)
I had very low body fat to start with. You can see the shape of my abs are about the same.

Frank doesn't isolate abs for training either. He uses a lot of compound exercises that work the core such as overhead squats. You can see his abs are different shape than mine while we both started off with low body fat.

2) Everybody has abs even if they're not visible. They're simply hidden underneath the layers of fat.
Here's an example of one of my friend / fan Neil 's  progress for cutting.
As you can see his body fat was hiding his abdominal underneath.
3) Doing any of these ab exercises will not bring out your abs, visibly. However it will build your core strength which will help improve other compound movements (bench, dead lifts, squats) or just for overall health & fitness. To cut the fat hiding your abs; you will need to do cardio and diet properly.

There is absolutely NO SHORTCUT.  Only determination and hard work. Don't be a sucker for the bullshit people put out just to make a quick buck. It's almost like those get rich quick schemes. What are the odds?

Now lets walk you through some simple exercises for abs...

Seated Knee Raises with Weight

**note** You can do this without weights if you're a beginner.

Sit near the edge of a bench with your knees together. Grab a dumbbell placed in-between your feet. Keep your hand behind you holding the bench and your elbows bent.
Lean back and raise your knees up toward your torso. Squeeze your abs. Repeat.

Leg Lifts into Hip Raises
Lay on a flat bench press and hold onto the bar. Extend your legs out. Point your toes straight up.

Lift both legs up where your body and your legs are 90 degrees.

At the top of the lift, raise your hips and hold for a count and lower back until legs are parallel with ground.

Barbell Bends
This exercise will target the obliques and part of the lats on your back.

Place the barbell on your shoulders as if you're about to do a squat. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and flex your knees (don't lock out your knees).

Keep  your chest out and bend only at the waist. Control the weight as you return to start position.

Alternate sides and repeat.

Planks into Hip Dip
This exercise will target the abs and obliques.

Hold plank on forearms as shown.
Basically a push up position with your forearms against the ground.

Roll your hips to one side barely tapping hips to ground to keep abs contracted.

Alternate to the opposite side and repeat.

Side Plank, Needle Through
This works out the abs and obliques.
Arms will be used for supporting your body weight up.

Start off with a push-up position keeping feet about shoulder-width apart.

Raise one arm up as your hips become squared with the wall.

Slowly swing your arms under your body to the opposite side. Repeat to finish reps. Switch sides.

Leg lifts/Knee Raises

Rest your forearms on the pad and support your body up.

Lift your knees up towards your chest.
Hold for a second then lower your legs back down to starting position.

**TIP** If the knee ups are too easy then you can raise your entire leg.
Or you can do weighted knee ups while holding a dumbell with your feet.

Abs Video

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