Every year there are, what, thousands and thousands of people starting at the gym?
And every year some of those people will want to look up steroids and other PEDs to get results.
This is gonna be the ultimate discussion (if it takes) to finally settle this.
No judgment, no bias, just facts.
Consider the following.
Our view of a natural human body has been so distorted that many now think peak natural fitness is being scrawny, and you _need_ PEDs to show any muscle.
This leads many people -- especially impressionable people, like teens -- to seek out PEDs because they are being told this is the only way to progress _and_ it's not dangerous at all if you take them correctly.
Take them correctly being the keyword. Most doctors will not help you take PEDs (some might), so it turns into self-experimentation that has left many dead and ruined over the years, until we have refined the training regimen enough today to, finally, have a somewhat responsible PED usage.
And now what happens? PEDs have lost some of their "demonic" nature, which is great, but now you have teens on tiktok praising SARMS (which are not studied enough for human consumption) and peddling their supplements to make money. Who else hear has heard the random geared jock sell their whey powder, turkesterone, BCAAs and overpriced routines and promise similar results from these?
Essentially we get to a point where newcomers believe they need PEDs to actually achieve anything. Thus they do not go to the gym. The second group, who doesn't know about PEDs, thinks they should get incredible results in 6 months to a year. When they don't get them, they leave dejected.
Especially as teens (16-22) are in their prime physical potential and do not need PEDs to achieve incredible results that will follow them for a lifetime.
We are driving people _away_ from physical fitness.
PEDs work. If they didn't nobody would take them. They work really well. But they can also destroy you. They change you forever, for better or worse. For example, steroids create more "nodes" in your muscle cells, which direct how much muscle you can build. These nodes stay even after you get off steroids and change your natural ability to create and maintain muscle mass. This is a desired effect of steroids.
There is such a thing as responsible PED usage, but even then we're not entirely sure how much we can push it. Some people took it completely irresponsibly and ruined their life (in their own words). Others took them responsibly, for example they stopped after 5 years, and are doing great. But how much can you push those five years?
In my opinion, take PEDs if you want. But know what you're getting yourself into, in and out. You can never know enough. Furthermore, figure out what your goals are. What is the point of achieving in one year what could be achieved in five? You still need to work out five years down the line on PED. You're gonna look swole faster, sure, but for how many health drawbacks?
In the competitive field the use is different. Everyone takes them and so if you even want to qualify for a competition you have to get on them too.
Essentially, is there a clear benefit to PED usage towards your goal, that could not be achieved without them?
PEDs also change your body and believe me, those in the know will know you take them. Shoulders get super massive and look sharp as a knife. On HGH your organs enlarge (from what I heard) and push out against your belly.
Personally, I don't even find steroid users attractive. First because it's clear they're on steroids (which still requires a lot of work, they still put in the workouts), and second because it's just too big. It's like you're trying to look like a mountain. But that's just my opinion.
I think what the fitness community as a whole needs is transparency. Be honest if you take PEDs, nobody actually cares. Admit to it. You can do it now.