Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bodybuilders And Anabolic Steroids

Many competitive bodybuilders take anabolic steroids to achieve their freakishly exaggerated physiques. That is no secret. But steroids can be only one part of an extreme regimen that can wreak havoc on the body. Human growth hormone, supplements, painkillers and diuretics can also be used to create the “shrink-wrapped” muscles so prized in the aesthetic. And the high concentration of muscle mass puts stress on the body, as if the lifter were obese. Lifting weights in the gym is “extremely healthy for you,” said Kenneth Wheeler, a former elite bodybuilder known as Flex. “But if you want to be a bodybuilder and compete at the highest level, it has nothing to do with health.” A relatively rare form of kidney disease forced Wheeler to retire in 2003 at age 37, and he needed a kidney transplant later that year. Determining the extent of the damage that bodybuilders inflict on themselves is difficult, in part because there is little interest in financing studies on such an extreme group, and because bodybuilders are not always honest about what they take. That is why a case study published last month by a top kidney journal is generating interest in the nephrology and bodybuilding communities. It is among the first to assert a direct link between long-term steroid use and kidney disease. The study began 10 years ago when a kidney pathologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York noticed that a bodybuilder had an advanced form of kidney disease. Curious, she started looking for similar cases and eventually studied 10 men with serious kidney damage who acknowledged using steroids. Nine were bodybuilders and one was a competitive power lifter with a similar training routine.

All 10 men in the case series, published in November by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, showed damage to the filters of the kidney. Nine had an irreversible disease known as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis — the same disease contracted by Wheeler — even though the men in the study did not have other apparent risk factors. Their disease was worse than in obese patients with a higher body-mass index, suggesting that steroids — combined with the other practices — might be harming the kidneys.  Bodybuilders and modern fitness models present physiques that make them look like aliens from outer space compared to the average person with a beer belly you meet on the street. They look quite powerful, strong, aesthetic and lean. Since the time of Arnold Schwarzenegger and before bodybuilding has been considered always a source of health and longevity. Many even consider it the fountain of youth. Unfortunately, behind the scenes the story is quite different and it seems that inside that muscular and lean body there’s often damaged hardware that can cause bugs in the future. There’s nothing wrong with exercising. Since the beginning of time exercising has been presented as a healthy activity that makes you a better version of yourself. What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, correct? This is one of the reasons why many people often refer to gyms as health clubs. They lift multiple plates on each side of the barbell and don’t fuck around with nonsense. Similar ego lifting is known to cause multiple injuries and it’s not uncommon for a bodybuilder to tear a few tendons during his career.

People like Branch Warren have become notorious for their poor training form. The idea behind Branch Warren’s style of lifting is simple: if the bar ain’t bending, you are just pretending.  If you put your ego to the side just for a little bit, you can avoid a lot of potential injuries. While exercising can obviously cause health problems it’s not what makes bodybuilding and fitness unhealthy. It’s actually the cause of the least amount of problems bodybuilders and fitness models experience. There is no doubt that steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs (PED) have been part of bodybuilding since the very beginning of the sport and they are the reason why bodybuilders keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s not that nutrition and training changes – it’s the syringe size and its content that increase and improve. Anabolic steroids are a huge part of a bodybuilder’s life. Most bodybuilders would rather have a coach experienced with drug protocols than somebody who knows how to train and eat correctly. This is not a surprise since no matter how well your training is, you will never reach the physical development of modern professionals unless you ‘juice’. If you don’t have somebody to tell you how to win the chemical war, you are doomed to fail in your pursuit of a super muscular body. In general, steroids are not as dangerous as people make them appear. They are medical products that in certain situations save people’s lives and help them get back on their feet. That’s one of the main reason why anabolic steroids are produced in the the first place. They are like morphine – it can help you or break you. The main reason why bodybuilders as well as modern fitness models experience health problems due to steroid abuse is the amount of different drugs they use. It’s not uncommon for a bodybuilder to be on a few grams of testosterone a week coupled with a large cocktail of other powerful muscle enlarging pills. Abuse of similar substances is known to cause liver, kidney and heart failure. There are also many minor side effects such as hair loss, testicular atrophy and reduction of natural testosterone production. Females are also seriously affected by anabolic steroids and after a certain point they start turning into men.

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