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Friday, June 12, 2015

The World of Bodybuilding and Drugs Part 2

Bodybuilders differ in their preparation before a contest.  Some bodybuilders will start to cut their calories and work on getting shredded (drop to a very low body fat level) from about 18 weeks out before the contest.  Some do 12-14 weeks I've even heard some do 6-8 weeks I guess they have some very good genes.  In the last weeks the drugs consumed will change: Toxicity of Weight Loss Agents.  Some use a thyroid hormone (triiodothyronine) and may use it with a bronchodilator (both come with dangerous side effects).  The athlete will then start to drop the amount of weight he is lifting just because he may be getting weaker (his training will pretty much stay the same) as his calories and carbs will be dropping.

During the last few weeks before the contest the bodybuilder will not be looking to add any more muscle. He will just work on keeping what he has so a steroid will most likely still be used.  He will also do cardio but there are some that just up their drugs and skip it.  On the night before the contest he will stop his water consumption (as well as salt intake) at about 6-8pm and take a diuretic (this drug is meant for a patient with high blood pressure) to get rid of water between his muscle and skin.
The shredded and dry condition on competitive bodybuilders you see on stage is a look no one can keep it is a painful and dangerous condition to stay in.  I have seen a few bodybuilders cramp up or pass out on stage both are unlikely but serious side effects.

All this work, preparation, and money just for a few moments of glory in the end even if you win the money you will have spent will be far more than the cash prize.  The sad part is that a lot of these drugs are taken by young guys trying to achieve the same pro bodybuilder look without knowing the dangerous and even life threatening side effects.  A lot of black market drugs are fake or under dosed since they are illegal you can't be sure what you are getting. I did not go into detail about the processes, doses and names of all the drugs consumed just because I don't want to somehow promote them.  All the steroids, diuretics, and hormones used by bodybuilders were made for patients with specific illnesses from osteoporosis, HIV, Turner syndrome, breast cancer to Parkinson's disease This is a dangerous practice that should not be taken lightly there are too many unknowns and risks.  Good nutrition and exercise are the only things you really need to get a good physique.  I (as well as a few others I know) have never injected a steroid or illegal drug of any kind so it is possible to stay clean.  There are limits to what our bodies can achieve in the gym and that is something we have to deal with.  Be proud of what you have achieved naturally.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The World of Bodybuilding and Drugs Part 1

There are a few things a competitive bodybuilder will do before stepping on stage.  A small group do compete in natural bodybuilding events but some even doubt these competitions.  Although the pros are known for taking a lot of illegal drugs most of the illegal drugs that are bought and used are from those that don't compete or ever intend to step foot on stage.  I did not know how popular supplements, legal and illegal drugs were until I started going to the gym.  From the very young to the very old they want an edge.  Some fall for the advertisements they believe it is not possible without drug consumption to get a physically fit body.  When I write that legal drugs are taken as well this doesn't mean they are not dangerous it is legal to buy insulin yet it is dangerous to take especially if you do not know what you are doing. Insulin has strong anabolic properties that is why bodybuilders take it.

A bodybuilder will start out preparing for a competition by bulking up this is the phase where he will go heavy on weights.  He will eat a large amount of calories to make sure his stack of anabolic steroids will give him as much mass as possible.  Even during the bulk up phase a bodybuilder will not want to over do it otherwise he may end up with too much body fat and a distended abdomen.  Bodybuilders also take growth hormone which will give them lean muscle but it comes with some dangerous and irreversible side effects.  If taken for too long your organs, hands and face will get bigger.   Bodybuilders take GH and Insulin because of their mass building properties.  In regards to lipogenesis (the formation of fat) GH inhibits it but insulin stimulates it.

Some anabolic steroids (such as testosterone) can give men certain side effects such as gynecomastia, hair loss and acne.  It has to do with genetics so you can't anticipate what side effects you will get.  The longer you take them and the higher the dose the higher the risk that you will get side effects.  Since some of these drugs are progesterones men can experience a nipple discharge. Some bodybuilders take anti estrogen drugs to counter act the gynecomastia.

To be continued ...

Friday, May 1, 2015

My Second Year at The Gym

During my second year at the gym I started to take supplements just a multivitamin and protein powder at first.  Eventually I took protein, mass builders and fat burners all from the local vitamin shop.  But even then my body did not look the way I wanted I did not realize the importance of reading and understanding food labels. The protein I was taking made me gain weight but most of it was not lean muscle it was fat.  The protein powder had a ton of sugar.  I made the shake with peanut butter and milk (more sugar and carbs) plus my diet consisted of bread, rice and pasta.  Carbs turn into sugar the body stores excess sugar as fat (lipogenesis).

I decided to switch to a no sugar no carb whey protein product.  Only then did my body start improving and giving me better results.  I also tried creatine which did work but the problem is that once you get off it the muscle size decreases as creatine gives you water weight via increased cell volume.  Some people have the type of body that although they may take lots of supplements their body still will not respond some of it may be poor exercise form or diet but some of it is genetics.  Some supplements can be dangerous so be careful (they are not FDA regulated).  I remember a friend of mine taking ephedrine got a heart attack the sad part was that it didn't work for him he didn't lose the weight he wanted it did work for my bodybuilding friends though. Don't rely on drugs if you are not responding well to your routine or diet change it up don't quickly turn to pills and powders they will be of little help.  There are supplements that claim to increase lean muscle mass and strength but all you get is a placebo effect not worth $70+.

I got the body I wanted when I got more experience and better eating habits all of this was done without any supplements.  I saw a lot of guys spending their whole paycheck on supplements.   Designer proteins, creatine can run you up to $60 each for a one month supply then you have to add the cost of the large increase in food consumption, the gym membership and other drugs that gym goers take; that is one expensive body.  Personally I don't think it is healthy to take a lot of supplements for long periods of time I have not taken any in over 6 yrs.

Final thought:
Aside from getting fit exercise improves neural connections in your brain and enhances memory and acquisition, according to a study published in Behavioral Neuroscience.  Another study found that regular aerobic exercise appears to increase the size of the hippocampus.