Do you really think the pros are natty. Hell no bro. But are ‘roids your best option if you want to get jacked but not lose your sh*t? And are there really ‘best steroids’?
The gym isn’t a pastime. It’s not even a hobby. Hell, lifting is more important than your job too bro. It’s a God damn religion.
For many bros, the need to push the limits of your physique is the number one reason they hit the gym. And after months and months of regular workouts and a stomach-full of rice, beef and broccoli you need to take things up a gear or 5.
The reason bros and bodybuilding contests like Mr. Olympia get so much attention is because we get to see a freak show. The condition these athletes are in these days is at the far extent of where the human body can advance — for now.
But there’s a cost. A huge frickin’ one at that.
Best steroids for muscle mass and strength? We’ll let you decide…
A Footnote to Start – We’re Not Recommending Steroids
Before we get started we want to make this clear. We’re not recommending you take steroids in any form and this article is purely just to help educate you.
We know that ‘roids are a big part of bodybuilding and it’d be unfair to pretend it doesn’t happen – if you seriously think that the majority of bodybuilders aren’t jabbing you’re probably high bro.
SpotMeBro is an authority on all things gains. After all, we’re you’re ‘daily whiff of testosterone’. So we’re taking this opportunity to highlight the pro and cons of some of the more popular anabolic steroids. We know what we’re talking about… Chad down at the gym doesn’t.
You want to know the bottom line?
Steroids can f*ck you up. They leave you ill, depressed and a shadow of your former swole self.
They can even kill you.
You’re in the big leagues now son and this isn’t a game you want to play. Yeah, they get you jacked. But at a cost.
You’ll rarely find a bodybuilder or athlete that’ll say they don’t regret jabbing. There are just too many side effects for you to get away without at least some issues – especially if you misuse them or go in too hard when your body’s just not ready.
What Are Steroids and What Do They Do?
Dependent on who you ask, steroids means different things to different people.
Ask the little old lady who lives one block over and she’ll tell you that they’re a medication for her bad hip and myositis.
Ask your cousin who suffers from severe asthma and he’ll wheeze something about steroids being an oral anti-inflammatory used to reduce lung inflammation and swelling.
And ask that douche Chad at the gym and he’ll tell you that “steroids f*cking rawk bro. They’ll get you jacked buddy, yeahhhh!”
We know why you’re here. We know you’re not researching on behalf of that little old lady. And who gives a sh*t about their wheezy beta b*tch cousin.
You’re here because you want to know about the best steroids to build muscle and strength. That’s cool. We’re here for that same reason too bro.
So let’s take a look at performance-enhancing steroids in more detail…
The Importance of Testosterone – A Powerful Androgen Hormone
Testosterone is a powerful male hormone that regulates everything from body composition to libido.
All of the hormones in your body right now can be split into 2 categories:
- Peptide hormones
- Steroids hormones
There are 5 classes of steroid hormones. These include estrogens, glucocorticoids, and androgens. The word androgen derives directly from ‘man’.
Hormones in the androgen family include testosterone, DHEA, and DHT. Your body makes these naturally in order to promote and regulate masculine characteristics:[infobox]
Anabolic – promotes increased muscle mass, protein synthesis, inhibition of protein breakdown.
Androgenic – regulates male traits such as how deep your voice is, how square your jaw is and hair growth on your face and body.[/infobox]
The most well-known androgen is testosterone – a hormone made in your testes. When your blood is rich in testosterone, your body acts at its best:
- You can pack on muscle fast
- Strength is optimized
- Stamina and endurance are high
- You want to f*ck 24/7
- Body fat is low – you’re one lean, mean mutha
Natural, normal testosterone levels fall between 300-1,000 ng.dL.
You don’t actually need steroids to benefit fully from testosterone. Making sure you eat healthily, train hard in the gym and follow a healthy lifestyle is enough to get full on swole and ripped.
But many lifters just want more. And that’s where steroids come in.
Breaking It Down – What Are Steroids Exactly?
Steroids work by stimulating receptors in muscle cells, which in turn activate genes to produce proteins – they also affect enzymes involved in protein synthesis.
Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are synthetic androgen hormones made in labs. They were first isolated in the 1930s and after being trialed on animals, were found to exert anabolic effects such as muscle growth and increased strength.
It was less than 20 years before these drugs started being prescribed to men to treat low testosterone… and then used by athletes to give them a competitive edge.
Since then, anabolic steroid use has boomed. They’re designed to ramp up anabolic properties of muscle mass, strength, and performance. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry.
According to one review, steroid use is more popular in athletes, but an ever-growing number of recreational lifters are getting in on the game too.
So, how do steroids work exactly?
Practically all steroids share the same chemical ‘ring’ structure. And while subtle changes to carbon structures and exact chemical make-up have led to different ‘families’, they all work in a similar way.
AAS drugs bind to androgen receptors which are encoded deep with genes. Once triggered by steroid drugs, these receptors spike both anabolic and androgenic effects.
Androgen receptors activate enzymes that elevate protein synthesis and put the brakes on the catabolic effects of muscle cell degradation.
Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense bro. All you need to know is that taking steroids trigger an anabolic effect in muscle.
In other words, steroids allow you to push yourself harder but still get results.
In general, these are the effects that steroids provide:
- Elevated muscle mass due to higher anabolic cell signaling
- Increased testosterone and inhibition of cortisol
- Increased assertion and aggression which helps lift those heavy ass weights
Steroids won’t work if you’re not in the gym
Strength training is still needed for steroids to exert their anabolic effects.
There are still dudes think that taking steroids alone will lead to rippling muscle mass and bar-bending strength. No amigo, you still need to train to like a muthaf*cker.
In the same way that you can’t give a Pomeranian dog steroids and expect it to turn into a great Dane, you can’t give some lil’ bitch of a guy some AAS and expect him to turn into a chest-beating alpha without lifting those God Damn heavy weights.
You’ve also got to work for it.[infobox]
Steroids increase strength by around 5-20%. But you still have to train like a monster to make those sweet gains.[/infobox]
Which Steroids Are Best for Mass and Strength?
That’s us being honest bro. The slippery slope to drug use is one that you’ll struggle to come back from.
When it comes to steroid use you’re never going in risk-free. And while they’re all a derivative of natural testosterone in one form or another, changes to their synthetic make-up means they behave differently once in your body.
They’re aggressive. They’re not normal. And your body will struggle to recover when you come off them.
Here are the most popular ‘best steroids’ for muscle mass and strength (and why you probably shouldn’t take them…
Testosterone is an endogenous androgenic hormone taken as an AAS to build muscle and strength.
It makes sense to have testosterone at the number one spot on this list as all other steroids are based around it.
When it comes to the most popular and most used steroid, testosterone is out in front. As a synthetic alternative to the testosterone you make in your own body, synthetic test comes in a number of forms such as testosterone cypionate and emathate.
In fact, most steroids need to be stacked with a base of testosterone anyway.
‘T’ has a high anabolic effect and takes your blood testosterone levels to supra-physiological concentrations. In other words, it helps your body store more than what would be possible through training and nutrition.
Sounds great? Well, unfortunately, there’s a catch. A tiny testicles, big tiddy-swinging catch.
When you pump your body full of testosterone, your body stops making its own. Once you come off AAS you’ve basically got zero testosterone in your body until it’s kick-started with what’s known as post-cycle therapy – another round of drugs to start T production again.
Low T caused by testosterone use can lead to extremely high estrogen levels because of an increase in aromatization, man boobs, non-existent erections and high blood pressure.
That’s why many men opt for the best legal alternatives. It gives you anabolic power of strength and muscle mass without the side effects.
Testosterone pros and cons:
- Increases muscle mass and decreases body fat
- Not as harsh as other steroids
- Damages fertility and sex drive
- Increased belly fat and man boobs
- Severe long-term vascular risk
On the anabolic-androgenic rating scale, Trenbolone scores 500 – 5 times higher than testosterone. This gives you an idea of just how powerful it is as an AAS.
We’ve previously written about tren in a lot of detail here. Originally designed to get cattle jacked so we could enjoy more meaty goodness from its bones, tren is a favorite of backstreet lab manufacturers.
It comes in two forms – trenbolone acetate (tren A) which is fast acting, and trenbolone enanthate (Tren E) which is more of a slow burner that stays in your system for longer.
The bottom line is that this is a hardcore steroid that needs a base of testosterone stacked with it. It’s over 5 times more powerful than T and unless you’ve already tried cycling testosterone it’s not advised you use tren at all.
It’s a powerful muscle builder but it’s aggressive as hell. If you don’t suffer from the all-to-well-known ‘tren cough’ or gyno, you’ll be sure to suffer from acne, backne or crackne (spoiler: the last one may be made up).
There’s also a strong chance that trenbolone can lead to high blood pressure, kidney issues, liver problems, and rapid heart rate.
Yeah, good luck with this one.
Trenbolone pros and cons:
- One of the most powerful AAS on the market
- Builds muscle and strength without fat gain
- Can lead to severe kidney issues and high blood pressure
- Common side effects include acne, insomnia, gyno, hair loss, anxiety and loss of sex drive
- Will straight up f*ck you up if you’re not careful
Dbol gave birth to the modern steroid movement. It led to a whole new generation of steroids too.
Dianabol (known as dbol) was one of the first steroids ever developed and used by bodybuilders. Its popularity rests on the fact that it’s very easily administered and provides solid, long-lasting results.
It comes in either injectable or oral form.
When Dbol is present in the bloodstream, there is a notable increase in insulin. When administered during periods of extreme stress, ribonucleic acid (RNA) is synthesized. This brings about lower levels of stress, increased appetite, a relaxed feeling and sounder sleep.
Used as an off-season bulking steroid to enhance muscle mass, Dbol (and all related drugs) are banned by the FDA.
Side effects include low testosterone, risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, liver disease (especially with oral use) and huge amounts of water retention.
Dianabol pros and cons:
- It’s an effective muscle builder
- Comes in oral form so easy to take
- Big risk of liver and heart issues
- High blood pressure
- Man boobs
- Your balls will shrink to the size of creatine tablets
- It’s illegal you dumb f*ck
FAQs: The Questions You Asked…
We often get questions about steroid use in bodybuilding, and hopefully, this will have answered most of them.
There are a couple of extra questions we wanted to clear up though.
Is insulin a steroid?
Insulin is a peptide hormone (derived from protein). Steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone (a derivative of cholesterol). So technically it’s not a steroid.
It is however used by bodybuilders to get jacked because it does have anabolic properties. While steroids create new muscle cells, insulin stops them from being broken down.
Banned as a performance-enhancing drug since 1998, insulin works by volumizing cells, increasing endurance and energy. It’s a prescription only medicine for diabetics to control blood sugar.
Listen in bro. Insulin is dangerous as f*ck. This is some serious sh*t right here. If you get the dose wrong you’ll be in a coma faster than you can say ‘night in watching a rom-com’.
It’s fatal. It’s stupid. Stay away from it.
Okay, is growth hormone a steroid?
Nope. Much like insulin, growth hormone is a peptide hormone.
While it’s not a steroid, it is used by bodybuilders who want to cheat their way to a bigger physique. Secreted from your pituitary gland, GH is used not only to directly enhance muscle bulk (it’s an anabolic hormone) but also speed up recovery and repair from injury.
Is it safe?
Growth hormone makes everything grow, not just muscle. You can spot dudes who take GH a mile off as they have the telltale signs – a huge bubble gut for one.
As another f*ck-up-your-sh*t drug, growth hormone will lead to a number of serious side effects. Even if you can live with the high cholesterol and swollen limbs from fluid retention; sooner or later the cancerous tumors or heart attack will probably get you.
Safe and Legal Alternative to Steroids: Testosterone Boosters
After reading this guide to the best steroids you’ll notice that not one of them provides 100% safe benefits. Even with the less ‘harsh’ versions of AAS you can suffer from serious side effects and the risks just aren’t worth it.
Instead of risking long-term illness, many bros decide to opt for a safe and effective legal alternative.
Testosterone Boosters – Legal Alternatives to Steroids that build maximum muscle and bar-bending strength
Our team of researchers are always on the lookout for the best testosterone boosters. To find out which ones we rank the highest visit our complete market review. Not only do we assess effectiveness, but safety and price too. This helps our readers make the best possible supplement choice.