Gym Showdown: Natural Bodybuilding vs Steroids

Natural bodybuilding and enhanced bodybuilding are opponents that have staunch advocates on both sides who will tell you in no uncertain terms why their version of bodybuilding is superior. This article gives you the facts about both types of bodybuilding so that you can determine which one best suits your lifestyle.

Some bodybuilders swear by steroids, while others swear you can get great results using more natural tactics. Decide which option is best for you.


Natural Bodybuilding vs Steroids - The Battle

Natural bodybuilding and enhanced bodybuilding are opponents that have staunch advocates on both sides who will tell you in no uncertain terms why their version of bodybuilding is superior. This article will give you the facts about both types of bodybuilding so that you can determine which one best suits your lifestyle.


What is Natural Bodybuilding?

Proponents of natural bodybuilding eschew the use of all forms of supplementation in their efforts to gain lean mass. Natural bodybuilders believe that the best way to gain muscle is through resistance training, a good diet and giving their body the rest it requires. The benefits of natural bodybuilding include building muscle that will last, improvements in health and improved metabolism.

Unlike bodybuilders who use steroids, when a natural bodybuilder gains lean mass, these gains last for years. Even when the natural bodybuilder stops training, the lean mass gained remains for months after his training ends. Natural bodybuilders increase their lean mass through hard work. They don’t get tremendously huge instantly like steroid users, but they also don’t lose their gains.


Natural Bodybuilding Leads to Health Improvements

Natural strength training comes with a long list of health improvements. Natural bodybuilders experience lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improvements in bone density (which helps lower the risk of osteoporosis).

They also lower their risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and are better able to fight off colds and other illnesses. It also positively affects mental health by reducing stress and anxiety and boosting confidence.

Strength training results in metabolic increases that last well after the training sessions end. It is reported that the metabolism can be raised for more than a day after resistance training. Resistance training not only directly increases metabolism, but increasing lean mass means you will have a way to burn more calories even when you aren’t working out.

For each pound of muscle that you gain, your body burns six extra calories at rest. This increase in metabolism results in less body fat and higher energy levels.


Steroid Use: What is it?

Bodybuilders who want to get extremely huge like the professional bodybuilders shown on TV and in magazines often take anabolic steroids. Anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS) are a synthetic form of the male hormone called testosterone. These steroids are usually taking cyclically and can be ingested orally or injected into the body with a needle. If you want to become a professional bodybuilder or just want to gain lots of lean mass quickly, you need to know the benefits and side effects of taking AAS.

Natural bodybuilding and steroids both have their advocates and detractors.

Natural bodybuilding and steroids both have their advocates and detractors.


Steroid Use: The Benefits and Side Effects

Steroids provide strength athletes with an unparalleled way to increase lean mass. Steroids allow athletes to recuperate faster, train longer and synthesize protein rapidly. Since testosterone is the main component in gaining muscle, augmenting the body’s supply of testosterone results in massive muscle gains.

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Not only can steroids help with increases in muscle, but it also has been shown to increase focus and ambition. Another benefit would be the increase in sex drive that steroid users experience.

Although steroids can give you superman-like abilities, they also come with a number of drawbacks. Anabolic-androgenic steroids can cause acne, mood swings, increase cholesterol levels and cause liver problems. Steroid use has also been implicated in causing heart attacks, impotence and infertility.


Natural Bodybuilding vs Steroids: Final Comparison

Gaining muscle through natural bodybuilding and steroid use are polar opposites. Natural bodybuilding will allow you gain lean mass and improve your health. It also comes with no negative side effects. Gaining lean mass through steroid use will make you stronger, faster and more focused, but those benefits last only as long as you take the drug.

Unfortunately, lots of the side effects associated with steroid use don’t stop when you stop using the drug. These effects can last a lifetime. Consider carefully before going down the steroid-usage route…you may regret it later in life.

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Joe Bensam
 

I am an experienced bodybuilder and qualified personal trainer who specializes in strength training, conditioning and building muscle. I am committed to helping others improve their health, fitness and build through good advice on workouts and nutrition.