Guide to Physique Enhancement
You eat healthy, and work out hard – but still your results seem to have reached a plateau, or maybe your goals have changed? So you think you are ready for an “extra push” in the gym? Or you want to step up your physique? You’ve read a little on steroids, maybe your boyfriend/husband/friend takes them and has recommended them to you? Well, before you start taking other people’s advice, start doing some research!
When the Mods and other helpful members ask for your stats, background, diet, training and try to steer you away from AAS as a first choice — it is not that we are trying to be unhelpful nor to convince you that a cycle is for only the elite, but too often young women opt for a cycle and end up with terrible sides, lasting compromises and adding muscle over fat which produces are more stocky look. All of that can be avoided with research, asking questions, doing your homework and talking to women who care and have had experiences with it. Too many boards are filled with — “this is what my boyfriend told me to do — now what?” — types of threads.
Men try to be helpful but what works for them is so far and away different than what works for us. So please, the dude at the gym that tells you Deca is great and hit yourself with 150 mgs a week ….is not telling you the whole story when it comes to a woman. Many men are helpful, at least they try to be, but so little information on AAS and women is available. Do your OWN research, ask your OWN questions. It is YOUR body, don’t trust it to someone else. Take responsibility for it.
First, steroids are MALE hormones. AAS stands for Anabolic and Androgenic Steroids. There are present in the female body but in minute amounts. When you supplement with AAS, even mild compounds, you run the risk of developing side effects. There is NO SUCH THING as a side-free compound. There are some AAS that are milder, but they all have to potential to cause unwanted side effects.
Before you think about a cycle of AAS, you need to be aware of the possible side effects that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. Most of the side effects are IRREVERSIBLE. Here is a list of possible side effects: compromised HDL/LDL levels, acne all over your body, increased blood pressure, breast shrinkage, loss of menses, water weight gain, dry scalp, oily skin, hair loss, enlarged or sensitive clitoris, increased sex drive, voice changes (starting with raspiness and going further into deepness), cor hair, increased hair growth (everywhere), darkening of previously light/blonde body hair. Additionally, there is the possible chemical changes that can occur to your supply of ovum. There is no data as to how AAS will harm a yet to be conceived baby (i.e., birth defects). These are just a few. Some may not seem like a big deal now, but remember, you will have to live with them the rest of your life.
What WON’T AAS do?
1. It will not, after one cycle, make you the hottest thing in a bikini. It will not make you Monica Brant, Jill Mills, Lenda Murray, or any fitness model.
2. It will not burn fat. It won’t now, nor will it ever.
3. It will not lean you out, nor cut you up.
4. It will NOT TONE you — and please remove the word “tone” from your vocabulary if you are serious about fitness.
So what WILL it do? (for most women)
1. Add a modest amount of strength.
2. Build some muscle – overall muscle size as opposed to defined muscle. It will take more than 1 or 2 or even 3 cycles before you get to your desired goal — perhaps not even to your goal. You may never reach your goal.
3. AAS will cause a positive change to your body however unlikely to be a permanent change without follow-up cycling or incredibly stringent dieting and training. Meaning that once your cycle is over, by and large after your body releases the chemicals and cleanses itself, it will indeed bring your body back somewhat to its previous state. YOU WILL retain some muscle (called keepable gains) if you were eating well all along before, during and after your cycle and continue to do so, but the lasting hardness and loss of estrogenic fat will return. Your body composition will become more soft (this does not mean fat) after the cycle is over.
4. AAS will probably cause you to become even MORE critical of how you look and therefore be less satisfied with what you see in the mirror. It is a mind game for sure and some people (men and women) become mentally addicted to it.
AAS can be a useful tool in pushing through a muscle building plateau but only if every other avenue has been exhausted. It is by no means a quick fix or even a guarantee. For hard gainers who naturally can push more weight than most women but have a hard time putting on muscle, AAS can help.
If you cannot get your hands on one of these and therefore you decide that what you can get will be good enough….PLEASE reconsider. You cannot afford to play those games. If you cannot afford a cycle of “xyz”, then put off your cycle until you can. I cannot stress this enough. Additionally, just because you do not see sides, does not mean you are NOT making progress and does not mean you need to bump your dose up. Your first cycle is a test. Be modest, be prudent. Slower is better – especially when you are talking about IRREVERSIBLE side effects. Trust me, if you don’t heed this advice, you will be sorry.
In addition to affording the proper AAS for women, you need to have the time to devote the time necessary to shopping and prepping your meals (not to mention the cost involved in this as well). AAS will be useless without a clean diet and smart training program. Oh, and plenty of rest! AAS will not do the job for you – you have to WORK to get results.
First time cycle suggested compounds:
1. Anavar (often faked). Typically thought to be the mildest AAS, good for cutting. It is taken orally.
2. Primo (the most faked AAS to date). The tabs are THE most faked, the intramuscular is often faked.
3. Nandrolone Phenylpropianate (aka Durabolin BUT NOT TO BE CONFUSED with deca-durabolin). Taken intramuscularly.
In some cases:
4. Winstrol – however, this is a love it or hate it AAS. It tends to react with tons of sides for some women and none for others. While some women do well on it – it is typically not the first choice for a first cycle. It can be taken orally or intramuscularly.
5. Testosterone Propinate. Not usually a good choice for beginners, but compound is very fast acting. Can be used as first time AAS IF user is a VERY experienced lifter.
* Please see the Sticky by REALGAINS post on Injectables for Ladies for more information on individual compounds. Additionally, please ASK QUESTIONS.
DIET and TRAINING
What you think is a clean diet may indeed be one as compared to most Americans. However a clean “fitness” diet is so hard to maintain. Even the most celebrated fitness model or competitor cannot keep her bodyfat as low as she is able to at competition time…it is just not doable nor healthy for the long term. Please…..magazine shoots are done at comp time or done with much preparation. Not to mention the carb depleting and dehydration that occurs for days beforehand. Don’t forget, photo retouching, lighting and angles does wonders to hide the flaws that we all have.
For details on dieting, be prepared to post several days worth of food choices. Be honest and be ready for nit-picking critiques. There is a difference between eating “clean” and eating “healthy”. Healthy is good – but it won’t necessarily get you lean. Diets are trial and error – what works for one won’t necessarily work for another. Everyone reacts a bit differently but be honest with yourself about how your daily diet varies from these — very often little tweaks make big pay offs in the figure.
Clean diets include lean protein sources, healthy fats, and complex carbs. It does not include processed foods. If your food has a list of ingredients as long as my arm – don’t eat it. Processed usually means high in calories, low in nutrition – plus it is harder for your body to break down and use.
Carb Choices – Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Yams, Red Potatoes, Brown Rice, Veggies (green), Legumes (good for protein too)
Fat Choices – Olive Oil, Flax Oil, Almonds, Egg Yolks (sparingly)
Protein Choices – Chicken, Turkey, Egg Whites, Salmon (good fat there too!), Tuna, Orange Roughy, Halibut, Lean Cuts of Beef (most seafood is pretty good….)
Other Good Foods…..Cottage Cheese, Protein Powders, Low Carb Tortillas, es, cinnamon, Splenda, No Sugar Jello (yum!), most Nuts, Protein Bars (very sparingly), Bran, Natty Peanut Butter
I am sure I did not list all good foods – these are just some choices. If you have a question about a food –ask!
Now — back to overall muscle vs. defined muscle. Overall muscle is muscle you gain during a cycle. Defined muscle is that same muscle AFTER you diet down (cutting). It is very rare for a male (doable but rare) to be able to bulk and lose bodyfat at the same time….which of course, makes it that much harder for a woman to achieve both successfully.
In order to build/add muscle (whether using AAS or NOT) is being able to EAT to build/add muscle. This is called bulking. Usually, one will need to eat for mass so as not to cheat your body from the necessary nutrients for effective and successful muscle building. Cardio done too often and too strenuously while trying to build robs the energy your body needs for muscle building and repair. This is why building muscle often comes with the addition of bodyfat. It is possible, if eating clean, to add minimal bodyfat – but near impossible to add muscle without adding ANY bodyfat.
In order to get that muscle to show, you will need to diet down, also called cutting. This requires a calorie deficit to help lose fat while making sure not to sacrifice too many protein calories (so you can keep more muscle). Most often, along with fat, you will lose some muscle. This is due to the calorie deficit. Cutting is the stage where eating clean is most important. It is near impossible to cut without eating clean. Diet will be the number 1 factor in cutting. Not cardio, not drugs. DIET. Now there is some success with dieting down and taking AAS to help preserve that muscle however it works for some women but not all…and even so, you still need diet to lose fat — there is NO MAGIC PILL.
And let me add in addition to dieting, cardio is the only other tool for fat loss. Not easy cardio …. but sweat breaking, chest heaving, side-stitch, “I think am going to die” types of cardio in shorter bursts. Long easy cardio is great for cardiovascular health but not all that effective at burning fat and not muscle. Sprints or intervals (HIIT) are great explosive bouts of cardio to help burn off fat and not disturb too much muscle mass. The more steady-state long distance cardio you do, the more likely you are to burn muscle. A reduction in muscle will cause a reduction in metabolism. HIIT preserves muscle mass while burning fat.
Do I even need to mention how important lifting weights is? Lifting – heavy and hard – is essential. Don’t mess around with high reps of the pink dumbbells – that will get you nowhere. Lift heavy, using compound exercises. Give your body time to recover – that is when muscle is built. Don’t be afraid of getting bulky. Bulk is built through diet. While we are all put together differently, muscle is ALWAYS smaller than fat – on everyone.
What you consider a good cardio, good training or good diet may be that way as compared to others you see. However for the body you want that stands out, many sacrifices need to be made BEFORE you even consider a cycle of anabolic steriods. I said BEFORE!