Bodybuilding steroids, commonly referred to as anabolic steroids, are basically an attempt at creating a synthetic form of testosterone, the male hormone responsible for development of male physical characteristics. The steroids are taken with a view to increasing the muscular size, stamina and strength of the athlete.
While discussing the topic of steroids, the terms “anabolic” and “androgenic” often flash about. “Anabolic” refers to the metabolic process of promoting body/muscle tissue growth, while “androgenic” refers to the enhancement of male sexual characteristics.
Steroids are a favorite drug for athletes since they give the body increased muscle strength and size, vitality and on-going rejuvenation. They also increase the level of energy during exercise and enhance the gradual oxidation of body fat. In men, they also aid in the development of sexual characteristics.
They are, naturally therefore, an item of preference for sportsmen (and or women), particularly in weightlifting, bodybuilding, wrestling and other physically-intense sport disciplines. This is for the simple reason that they enhance performance, body building and perseverance.
However, steroids are a banned item in the sports fraternity. This is because they give any athlete unfair advantage over the competition. In actual fact, taking of performance-enhancing drugs, steroids or otherwise, is a most serious offence in sporting circles anywhere in the world and often results in severe consequences.
Like with any other drug, steroids bring about either positive or negative effects, depending on the application. When abused, bodybuilding steroids impact negatively on the individual’s body and health. Possible side effects of steroid abuse include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, depression and male impotence. Other effects include: higher risk of cancer, premature loss of hair, enlarged prostrate, suppression of the immune system; sterility, impotence, anxiety and headache attacks, as well as acne, jaundice, insomnia, liver and kidney tumors, among others.
For men, abnormal effects such as sudden growth and development of breasts (gynecomastia) and atrophy (shrinkage of the testicles) are observed. In the former case, the course is irreversible and plastic surgery has to be performed. In women, side effects include facial hair growth, deepening voice, masculine looks/features and menstrual pattern changes, among others.
On the flip side, steroids are a valued item in the medical world. They are used for treating such health conditions as impotence, delayed puberty, anemia and osteoporosis (brittleness of the bones) especially for menopausal women. Other uses are in the treatment of body/tissue wasting condition, caused by factors such as HIV and or other ailments. They also treat itching caused by liver complications. Steroids may be taken by injection, orally or in gel/cream form (rubbing).
True and proper bodybuilding aims at natural, systematic and gradual building up of the body mass index to a desired size and look. Bodybuilding should be viewed as any other sport engagement, taken for pleasure and leisure and not as punishment.
Bodybuilding is about passion, commitment and discipline, and should not resort to taking steroids or any other quick-result solution Little by little, and the body should build up to the require size.
After all, the possible consequences of steroid (ab)use in bodybuilding are severe, life-threatening, and mostly irreversible. This should make them the last tool of resort for any bodybuilder.
Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more bodybuilding tips or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit www.BodybuildingToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.
Numerous researches and surveys confirmed that:-
•Men are attracted to women by sight and all other feminine attributes take a back seat. So when a beautiful and attractive woman walks into a room, you can be sure that every male eye in the room will instinctively give her a top to toe glance unless of course that guy who didn’t happened to be gay. Some men will already be making mental plans how to chat her up or even taking her to bed.
•Women’s attraction to men is much more complicated. It is the total package that women will be looking for in a man. Good looks alone are not sufficient for a woman to fall head over heels with a man and sex is the last thing in her mind….erm….ahem …usually.
So what do women find attractive in a man? Well researchers surmised that the women’s maternal instinct will look for other attributes in a man besides good looks whether the women know it consciously or not. Some of these are that a man must be confident, must be able to communicate with her verbally and instinctively, must not be a wimp, must have the ability to protect her and her brood, have some quality traits to ensure that the best genes are passed on to her offsprings and a list of other features. Looking attractive is not at the top of the list or so the researches said
Did I say, looking attractive is not on the list? No, I did not. The gurus said so. Why do I disagree? Let me ask you another question. How many times have you heard a woman gushed “Ooooohhh…he is soooo gorgeous” or “Omigosh….Brad Pitt is sooooo handsome”? If that is not being attracted by attractive male good looks, then what is?
While I do agree that women will ultimately bed or marry a man with many other qualities, an attractive looking male will still be a women magnet or at least during the first contact. How else can women get to know a man or are able to assess his other traits without getting to know him first? So the initial attraction is still a good looking male who is attractive to women.
Do we agree now that men must look good to attract women? Now that we do, let us explore what physical features will make us attractive to women. We will not discuss facial features because we are stuck with it and nothing can be done except with surgery to reconstruct our face. That leaves us our male body of which we can sculpt and mould so that it is attractive to women.
Most women are not attracted to someone who is skinny or obese. This actually makes sense. A skinny man is instinctively perceived as too weak to protect her and an obese man too cumbersome to bring home the bread and may be prone to illneses. This compartmentalization may not be logical and are probably programmed in women’s primeval maternal instinct.
On the other extreme, most women are also turned off by men with big huge muscles like those of professional bodybuilders. Reasons often repeated in surveys are that the couple will look unnatural. Normal human do not have such large muscles and therefore bodybuilders are intimidating. To make matters worse, many women whether if it is true or not declare that bodybuilders are narcissists as they spend hours and hours in the gym preening themselves so much so that they are insensitive to women’s needs and so are therefore selfish people. It may not be true, but then these are what women perceived bodybuilders to be.
That then boils down to this, the reasonably muscular and fit man with the following body features attracts women:-
•Broad Back and Chest – Denotes confidence. Projects a strong respectful posture and demeanor.
•Sexy Six Pack Abs – The man is not obese and also with the six pack abs, he is strong and therefore he is not like the skinny weakling. He is also perceived to be great in bed, which adds icing to the cake eh?
•Strong Arms and Shoulders – Able to sweep her off her feet and protect the young ones. Also perceived the man to be hardworking and capable of bringing bread and butter to the table.
•Perky and Strong Butt – Indication of athletic prowess. An ability to jump and climb powerfully. Also some sexual innuendoes are hinted here.
•Strong Muscular Legs – An indication of preparedness for fight or flight when the situation demands.
Still don’t believe me? Ask any women why do they swoon over Brad Pitt in the movie Troy and you will get the same answers. Therefore the researches are right. What attracts women to men is a package of many attributes. By owning a reasonably lean and muscular male body certainly embraces many of these traits which women find so attractive. So guys, when is your next gym workout?
I wanted to share a little about female bodybuilding nutrition. This is fundamentally the most important place to focus your energy. If you’re not eating the proper foods at the proper times than you’re not going to put on muscle. Bodybuilding is hard enough for women; therefore we need to focus more on our diets. I’ve provided 3 nutritional tips for that can be very valuable tips for any female bodybuilder.
1. Eating Often
Most people don’t eat often enough to get as lean and trim as they would like. Let’s think of your metabolism as a burning fire. Ok, what is your metabolism? The term: resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest to carry out typical body functions like breathing and pumping blood. RMR makes up most of your metabolism – the total number of calories you burn in a day. Back to your fire, or metabolism; women that feed their bodies with 300 calories every three hours will be naturally boosting their metabolism and may improve their memory and cognitive skills later in the day.
On the other hand, skipping meals can leave you feeling drained, unable to concentrate and want to forfeit your evening workout. Long stretches between eating signal the body to slow the metabolism and store fat – it’s the survival mechanism left over from our heritage as hunter-gatherers. When we skip meals earlier in the day we may want to overeat at night. When night time falls you’ll be more likely to choose foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories; leading to feelings of guilt.
Best to eat around five times a day–that’s three meals and two snacks. Always plan ahead if you have a busy schedule. Store some snacks that you know are healthy in your workbag. Some suggestions include:
Meal replacement or protein shake (with your shaker cup)
Canned vegetable juice
Small boxes of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal
These are all good choices that are high in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Get yourself a cooler and enjoy cottage cheese or yogurt as your mini meal.
2. Go Green
Folate, another gem in the B vitamin family, is waiting for you in green, leafy vegetables such as broccoli, kale and certain dark-green lettuces. Most women don’t get enough of this vitamin, and the deficiency is linked to severe neural-tube defects in newborns. This connection is so strong that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now recommend that women take in 400 micrograms of folate daily, which is more than twice the current RDA.
Recently there has been talk by the FDA of fortifying grains with folate (as is already done with the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin and niacin). Adding folate to breads and pastas would boost your folate intake by an estimated 30 to 70 percent. As we wait for this to take place, try to eat good sources of folate daily. Sources of folate include: leafy greens, citrus fruits. A 6-ounce glass of orange juice contains 120 micrograms of folate. Folate can be lost from foods during preparation, cooking, or storage.
To Retain Folate:
Serve fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible.
Steam, boil, or simmer vegetables in a minimal amount of water.
Store vegetables in the refrigerator.
3. Add Soybeans To Your Routine
People who eat regular servings of soybean products (such as tofu and miso) are at a lower risk of heart disease. One of every two women will die of cardiovascular disease. And although we women are, on average, a decade older than men when the disease first strikes, it kills as many women as it does men (ten times more women die of heart disease than die of breast cancer each year). Native to East Asia, soybeans have been a major source of protein for people in Asia for more than 5,000 years. Soybeans are high in protein (more than any other legume) and fiber, low in carbohydrates and are nutrient-dense. Soybeans contain substances called phytoestrogens, which can significantly lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol and raise your “good” HDL cholesterol.
Add soybeans to soups and casseroles as you would other dried beans. Tofu works well in salads, pasta dishes, sandwiches and even shakes. And though soybeans are somewhat higher in fat than other beans, that fat is primarily the cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types.
Reynaldo Stephens is no stranger to fitness and exercise, having spent 6 years as a fitness enthusiast and 2 years and an Anabolic Adviser, He’s learned and is now able to help spread the importance of a healthy lifestyle. To learn more please visit My Bodybuilding, Fitness & Nutrition Blog
For the longest time, women who were not introduced properly to the bodybuilding lifestyle have had difficulty in making weight training a part of their daily routine. The “She Hulk” image has been one of the more durable myths that continue to frighten women from trying even lifting small weights.
The following are the most common of myths when it comes to women and bodybuilding.
1. You will turn into a “She Hulk” when you lift weights- this could not be farther from the truth. Natural weight lifting coupled with a healthy diet of nutritive foods with little of the bad stuff like saturated fats would give you a sexy body, not a monstrous one. Often this image is the result of watching too much television. Professional bodybuilders for one, are known for using synthetic testosterone to boost their muscle production. Though unfortunate, this is fairly common practice.
Women should remember that women with massive physiques often used artificial methods to gain muscle mass. These combinations are called “cutting stacks” and are composed of synthetic forms of estrogen and testosterone. Some even use illegal steroids, such as those that are used for horses that have been bred to race.
2. Weight training in general can cause the breasts to grow- though this might be a positive thing to look forward to, the answer is unfortunately no. Bust size depends largely on the amount of body fat you have- the more fat, the more tissue going into the woman’s chest area. When exercise becomes more intense, there might even be a chance that your breast size will decrease, because the distribution of fat is automatically balanced by the human body.
3. Immediately, fat converts to lean muscle during weight training- this myth, though it might be something that could encourage other women to pursue their own goals through a bodybuilding lifestyle, is still a myth. Perhaps a clarification is in order here.
Fats are excess forms of energy stored in the body. The body can handle almost double its weight in fats, however, this does not mean that it does not do damage when excess levels of fat are present.
Exercise burns the fat, and reduces its different manifestations through the body: belly fat is one form of stored fat, chest fat is another, and so on. Exercise does not turn fat into muscle. Muscle, like body fats are already there. Exercise and weight training simply develops what is already there and reduces what is not needed by body.
4. Immediately stopping weight training causes all the hard-earned muscles to revert back to fat- still another myth. There is a chance that the muscles would again be covered in a layer of fat due to prolonged inactivity. But the muscle will not turn into fat.
This myth has been circulating for a long time due to the fact that people who have once engaged in weight training and stopped look like polar opposites of themselves after they’ve stopped training.
The important thing to realize here is that you have complete command of your lean muscle mass, as long as you engage in the right kinds of exercises.
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Body building is a process of increasing muscle hypertrophy to its maximum level through weight training, adequate caloric intake, and enough rest. It may also be a competitive sport wherein body builders – individuals who participate in this type of activity – are judged by a panel based on their physique and aesthetic appearance.
Competitive bodybuilding is a sport wherein bodybuilders aim to acquire, develop, and maintain a pleasing body and balanced physique based on bodybuilding standards. Competitors involved in this sport show off their physique by carrying out a number of poses which they practice regularly when preparing for a bodybuilding competition. These poses have a great effect on how the body builders are judged.
The body builder’s shape and size has more significance than the weight he can lift at any one time. The world of competitive bodybuilding involves a strict training routine, with a stringent diet, and a lot of discipline. Bodybuilding should not be confused with other sports such as power lifting or weight lifting as these sports require a very different approach and are based on different principles.
There are several areas to competitive body building. Bodybuilders can participate in professional body building, natural body building, teenage body building, and female bodybuilding.
- Professional bodybuilding
Involves competitions sanctioned by the IFBB. Only competitiors who have won qualifying rounds of competitions as an amateur competitor and have earned a professional card issued by the IFBB can participate in these types of competitions.
Competitiors who place in these competitions will then have the opportunity to compete for the title of Mr. Olympia – considered as the highest honor in this field of bodybuilding.
- Natural body building
Natural body building is a form of competitive bodybuilding that is more concentrated on a healthy lifestyle as compared to other areas of bodybuilding. Participants of natural body building competitions are regularly tested for substances that are illegal in the field. Substances considered to be illegal in the world of natural body building are those that are prohibited by regulatory organizations. The list of illegal substances may vary from federation to federation but usually include anabolic steroids, diuretics, and prohormones. Those who are found to be positive in the use of any of these substances will be banned from any future competitions. Testing is usually done using urine samples, but a lie detector or polygraph test is also performed.
- Teenage body building
Younger body builders may also compete in teenage bodybuilding. Most of the professional body builders started in this field while still in their teens.
- Female body building
Women started to participate in bodybuilding competitions in the seventies. Recently, more women are opting to train and exercise using weights to achieve a more attractive physique and to avoid bone loss. Although some women fear that the use of weights will make them look bulky, getting involved in strength training provides a host of benefits such as an increase in muscle strength, better balance, increase in bone mass, and prevention of bone loss.