Testosterone a naturally occurring hormone within the human body was the first Anabolic Steroid ever produced. A scientist by the name of Ruzicka, synthesized Testosterone from Cholesterol. At the time there wasn’t much known about Anabolic Steroids and the effects they had on the human body, however once scientists started performing experiments on men, they soon found out how strong Testosterone was.
At the 1954 weight lifting championships held in Vienna, Austria, the Soviets dominated the show, breaking records and out performing all their competitors. From what we know, this was the first time Anabolic Steroids were taken in competitive sports to give athletes an unfair advantage. The Soviets team doctor apparently told Physician John Ziegler that his athletes had been using Testosterone injections and this resulted in their incredible performance.
When Ziegler returned to the United States, he started giving his athletes Testosterone injections in order to improve their strength and performance. Ziegler was also involved with a pharmaceutical company known as Ciba, with the goal of producing a Steroid similar to that of Testosterone. This lead to the creation of Dianabol, which is the most used Steroid around today. It wasn’t long before Dianabol was used by bodybuilders and weight lifters all over the country.
Over the years, many new Steroids have been created and made it onto the prescription market. Steroids are created with the purpose of treating certain medical conditions. However these days, Steroids are mainly abused in bodybuilding and by athletes for muscle building and performance enhancing purposes.
Today Steroids are produced by pharmaceutical companies and by underground labs. Due to the increase in Steroid use over the years, it became harder and harder to obtain Pharmaceutical Grade Steroids and many people saw this as an opportunity. In the early 2000’s underground labs started to slowly popup around the world. Today there are hundreds if not thousands of different underground labs producing all kinds of Steroids for the black market.
Steroid powders are purchased from countries such as China and are then illegally imported into other countries, these powders are then dissolved in an oil such as Grape seed oil and a few other chemicals are added to keep bacteria from growing in the solution. The solution then has to be sterilized, which is usually done by filtering it through a special filter designed to remove 99.9% of all bacteria from the solution.
The main problem with underground labs is quality control. No one knows what’s happening inside a certain underground lab, the owner of the lab could be taking short cuts to increase profits, he may not be following the correct procedures to ensure a sterile end product and he may be under dosing the products as well for a higher profit gain. The truth is most underground labs don’t follow the correct procedures to ensure a safe and sterile product. This is the risk when using underground Steroids, you don’t really know what you are injecting into your body.
Types of Steroids
As mentioned earlier, there are many different Anabolic Steroids on the market. Different Steroids have different properties, some are used to help lean out, while others are used for adding on as much mass as possible. Anabolic Steroids used for “cutting” are generally Steroids that don’t convert to Estrogen, as Estrogen is known to cause water retention which a bodybuilder wants to avoid when on a cutting cycle. Most cutting Steroids are derived from DHT, such Steroids are Winstrol, Anavar, Trenbolone and Masteron.
Bulking Steroids usually have a high Anabolic and Androgenic Rating. Bulking Steroids generally have more side effects than cutting Steroids and are far more effective at adding strength and muscle mass. Steroids such as Dianabol, Anadrol, Testosterone and Deca durabolin are all considered to be bulking Steroids.
Cutting and Bulking Steroids can be broken down further into 2 other categories, namely, Orals and injectable Steroids. Both oral and injectable Steroids have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Oral Steroid Advantages:
- Fast acting due to their short half-lives.
- Easy to take (doesn’t have to be injected).
- Results can be achieved from low dosages.
Oral Steroid Disadvantages:
- Cannot be used for prolonged periods of time due to risk of liver damage.
- Can decrease appetite.
- Dosages usually have to be taken multiply times throughout the day.
Injectable Steroid Advantages:
- Doesn’t put strain on the liver.
- Can be used for longer periods of time.
- Most injectable Steroids only have to be injected once or twice a week due to their long half-lives.
- There are many more injectable Steroids available than there are oral Steroids.
Injectable Steroid Disadvantages:
- Have to be injected.
- Users run the risk of infections.
- Some injectable Steroids can cause extremely painful injection sites.
All Steroids contain side effects, some Steroids contain less side effects than others and may be safer, however although safer they are still bad for you and still carry serious risks. Refer to this article for more on Steroid side effects.