Anabolic steroids are a major topic in the bodybuilding community and are often seen as taboo. Any serious lifter also knows how prevalent they are, even for the lifters at your local gym who you’d assume don’t use them.
During my time as a bodybuilder, I have never used steroids or any drug that is used to enhance muscle mass or promote fat loss (such as SARMs or Clenbuterol). The furthest I have gone is taking creatine and amino acid supplementation (the kind you find at Chemist Warehouse).
On my tiktok (and in person) I am often questioned (and accused) of using the stuff. Since I don’t use them, these accusations feel like a compliment as I am flattered that my physique is considered equivalent to someone on steroids. I honestly don’t know if it is my frame or genes that facilitates my physique. I am not a doctor nor does it really matter to me.
What these accusations show me though, is that people vastly underestimate their own abilities. They underestimate how far they can push their bodies through natural means (mainly consistent training, controlled diet, sleep and mindset). This, in turn, makes me question what I have personally underestimated about myself. I have made the conscious decision not to use steroids largely because I don’t like the side effects.
On a deeper level, if one chooses to use steroids, knowing there are potential side effects, I believe, it means there is a more fundamental problem that should be addressed instead. At that stage, lifting weights is no longer for health, but to fulfill an emotional need (ie. recognition, acknowledgement or respect).
Knowing this, it would make more sense to address those emotions directly (such as understanding why you seek such recognition or respect - ie. due to past trauma perhaps?).
In all honesty, this is a mental trap that I am also susceptible to. Knowing this, I try to divest where I derive my sense of worth from (ie. career, family, reading and self awareness).