With all of the news coverage of steroid use in the sports world, it seems that the only way to become bigger is using artificial enhancement. The truth is: absolutely yes. Steroids will produce results over and above anything that most men can achieve through consistent weight training. But many medical professionals still say steroids just aren’t worth the risk.
Negative side effects from steroids include heart problems, “roid rage” (or extreme aggressiveness), ugly pustules and severe acne, hair loss, shrunken testicles, and breast enlargement in men. There have even been reports of testicular cancer.
For a moment, let’s assume for a second that you did a cycle of steroids. You might be under the impression that all you have to do is inject them and BAM! all sorts of new muscle will appear. But it’s actually not that easy. Guys who get bigger on steroids spend many, many hours at the gym pumping iron. The rules don’t change just because you’re using steroids — you still have to challenge and stimulate the muscles in order for them to grow. Many of the guys who you see who are “huge” from steroid use have done multiple cycles — not just one.
Instead of focusing on some magic bullet to produce the body you want, you should focus on a consistent exercise and nutrition program that challenges you to the max. The amount of muscle you’ll be able to put on will vary, depending on your age, genetics, hormone level, and work ethic. By work ethic, I mean, how hard are you pushing yourself in the gym. Are you taking each set to the maximum?
Your gains will also depend largely on your nutritional intake. Most guys I know who complain that they “can’t get big enough” are eating poorly, and eating the wrong blend of macro-nutrients (protein, carbs, and fats). To grow muscle, you need to consume more calories than you’re burning. About 250 extra calories a day should do the trick without adding unnecessary fat. Make sure every day that you consume quality protein, like lean meats, fish and whey protein. You may also want to consider supplementation with creatine, which will shuttle more water into the muscle.
It sounds to me like you’re an ectomorph, whose bodies tend to be long and skinny by nature. You’re going to have a harder time packing on muscle than an endomorph or a mesomorph, who have more athletic bodies that gain muscle easily. If you hit the weights very hard, you can get more muscular. Here are my key recommendations:
- Lift weights 3 days a week, with a day of rest between each
- Do 1-2 sets of strength exercises that target all the major muscle groups
- Work to exhaustion on each set
- As you become stronger, increase weights gradually
- After 8 weeks, increase your training to 4 days a week
- At this point, increase your sets to 4-5 (of each muscle group).
- Avoid high-calorie burning activities like endurance running.
- For cardio, focus on sprinting or interval training that increase your overall power.
- Consume 250 extra calories per day from QUALITY protein sources
- Consider using creatine
If you’re young and healthy and training hard, you can hope to pack on several pounds of pure muscle in about two months. Most of your gains will happen early in your weight program. After this, the average muscle gain for men is about 4-5 pounds total. I hope this helps!