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Drug Free Training:

What Are Steroids?

“It is better to deserve honors and not have them, than to have them and not to deserve them.” - Mark Twain


The sporting world is constantly reporting on athletes from various sports using drugs as a means to get an upper hand on their opponents. Now, even the Nascar drivers have been caught cheating by using illegal fuels in their vehicles.

An athletes’ drive for winning is at all costs. They want to be the best for themselves, financial reasons and the fame. But there is a price much greater than being on a cereal box.

Current news coverage reports how baseball is riddled with steroid use, but they are not alone. Any sport is susceptible to athletes looking for an edge. The worlds of martial arts, boxing, football, track and field, cycling, pro wrestling and bodybuilding also have their problems.

Many countries have organizations to test and punish athletes for using drugs. Some of pro sports have adopted policies for testing and disciplining their athletes as well. All of this is to help maintain a fair competition and for preserving the health of each athlete. But are they severe enough to discourage cheating?

At the same time, distributors and athletes are constantly searching for ways to confuse test results or have drugs that are designed to be undetectable at the current time. Even as the NFL, NCAA and International Olympic Committee has banned performance enhancing drugs or supplements, Athletes continue to try to stay one step ahead of the laws and rules of fair competition.

Kids look to many of these top athletes as role models. Warranted or not, kids see these competitors as larger than life entities that can do no wrong. Sometimes parents are around less than they should be, or can be, and athletes are all a child has to look up to.

With the lure of a professional career, money, parent’s expectations, popularity in the high school or college setting or a scholarship, our youth is being drawn to taking shortcuts. Studies suggest that there is an increasing prevalence of boys and girls using steroids in high school or middle school.

Now steroids in the hands of a physician are a different story. Doctors can use steroids to help people recover and regain their health. When good thing are used for purposes other than what they were originally intended, is when problems arise.

Anabolic Steroids, or any substance to artificially make the body grow, are taken by athletes of all ages to gain an unfair advantage on their competition. Each steroid produces a slightly different effect. Many Olympic and professional level athletes, coaches and trainers have become extremely knowledgeable in combining different ergogenic substances. These help to increase the capacity of the body or the mind to work without becoming tired.

Combining compounds is known as stacking. These concoctions can improve the effectiveness of the drugs to maximize their unnatural potential and improve their results, while minimizing any negative side effects. This knowledge has filtered down to the amateur ranks and too many young athletes. These hormones can lead to muscle and bone growth but there is a consequence for these actions.

There are natural ways for athletes to maximize their performance. For example, athletes may pursue strict nutrition programs; they may develop highly detailed, organized, and varied training programs; they may maintain a disciplined sleep schedule, and they may incorporate yoga and meditation into their overall program. In short, they work hard, they are focused, they have dedication, they are determined, they have heart they have honor and they have pride.

You can increase your growth hormone levels with exercise. Workouts that incorporate heavy resistance use three or more sets, with rest periods of approximately one minute stimulate growth hormone release. Testosterone levels also increase with exercise. Workouts that focus on large muscle groups (such as squats and dead lifts), use heavy resistance, moderate to high volumes of work, or rest intervals from thirty seconds to one minute, stimulate testosterone release.

However, spending too much time in the gym can over-stress your body and cause a negative response, which depletes muscle tissue, known as catabolism. Don’t over-train, train smart. So there is a natural way to increase your strength and improve your athletic ability without the dangerous side effects of steroids and drugs.

Steroids in the news, from The New York Times

“Respect Your Sport, Respect Yourself”
- Drs. Jay M. Lipoff & Rich Gennaro, Jr. (2008)

Symptoms of Steroid Use

The side effects of performance enhancing drugs are vast, and can be deadly. The allure of athletic glory often causes the athlete to cross the ethical line, justifying in their mind and the use of drugs. Unfortunately, this decision can result in a lifetime of sickness, permanent harmful changes, and death. During the steroid era there have been many more tendon, ligament and joint injuries.

Additional effects include:
    • Hair loss
    • Severe acne
    • Impotence
    • Infertility
    • Birth defects
    • Increase the risk of stroke
    • Heart disease
    • Stroke or blood clots
    • Headaches
    • Joint pains
    • Muscle cramps
    • Vomiting
    • Sleep disorders
    • Increased risk of injury
    • Liver damage and cancer
    • Elevate blood pressure
    • Premature prostate cancer
  • Death
Masculinization of Women
  • Deepening of voice
  • Growth of body hair
  • Smaller breasts
  • Decrease in menstrual cycles
  • Clitoral Hypertrophy
Feminization of men:
  • Shrunken testicles
  • Enlarged breasts (gynecomastia)
  • Reduced sexual functioning
  • Infertility
In your child or student athlete look for:
  • Incredible gains in size
  • Rapid increase in lean muscle mass
  • Improved performance
  • Mood swings
  • Uncharacteristic aggressiveness
  • Development of acne on their chest and back
The side effects for an adolescent are:
  • Stunted growth
  • Facial hair
  • Premature bone maturation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
When an athlete stops using steroids, they can shrink as rapidly as they bulked up. They often use other substances to counter feelings of irritability, paranoia, severe depression and loss of self-esteem. Many athletes resort to using alcohol, cocaine, painkillers and anti-depressants; some may meet an untimely death.

How To Spot A Steroid User

Steroid Use in Female Teens