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Monday, August 22, 2011

Anabolic State, and everyone wants to move out!

I'll start with the usual, I'm not a doctor or a medical specialist of any type. I do, however, study and talk with professionals who will take time to give me the straight un-biased word. Which is what I intend to do here in this blog. You may have made your mind up long ago, but trust me, I may make some sense to you in a different light. If not, thank you for reading at least. Now, that's out of the way, let's talk about performance enhancing drugs, and why they do/do not belong in sports.

First off, I'm not for or against the use of testosterone, or any other product in that regard. Why? Because I took the time to study them (I am a fitness major, and as a trainer I got asked about it plenty of times), and I didn't follow the crowd on the subject of them being horrible, evil soul crushers. The media can spin any story they like to sound as if they spoke to a deity and got confirmation. I wish more would read sources out there to inform themselves instead of waiting to be told what to think.
Okay, I'll put my soapbox away and get to the point..

 Athletes are super(ish) human, they train with a higher intensity than regular gymrats. They push themselves beyond a mental and physical realm we can only imagine. They do it because they are the best of the best when they're on their game.  Sometimes, the body will not respond the way the athlete wants, it could be from dietary changes, natural hormones declining with over-training, or just the mind ain't connecting to the muscle. One thing's for sure, the athlete will talk to someone who knows exactly what they're up against, and suggest the way out. Anabolic steroids, juice, gas, gear.. Whatever slang, it's all the same, and at one point no one cared who or how many were on them.

As an athlete, healing is a major part of their fitness progress. If you don't heal fast enough from training, you can't train as intense the next round, and it's all downhill from there. In some cases (some, very rare but possible) a male athlete may be over-training to the point his normal testosterone levels are lower than normal, maybe it's a hereditary trait (also rare). This is where it gets sticky: should the athlete be supervised by a doctor with hormone replacement therapy? Some still cry "cheater", but let's look into what would constitute "cheating"..

Medically necessary TRT to return levels to normal for, let's say me. I'm male 5'-9" 200lbs with 9% bodyfat (so I need to diet? nevermind that). At the age of 36yrs old, my testosterone levels should be anywhere in the area of 275-750 Ng/dl. Now, if a doctor gave me enough testosterone to keep my levels at, let's say 400, that's playing by the book. If I took it upon myself to say "If 400 feels good, then 800 must be awesome!", then I have the problem. Now, if I'm an athlete that competes in a sport that gets regularly tested, and they find my levels at 800+, bigger problem.

More never means better, more just means more issues, which I'll cover in my next post. If you're still with me, stay tuned. I hope this just helps with seeing both sides, and not just feeding into the hate campaign. Remember, weed was also demonized like this, but it won't make you stronger.. ;-)

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