Steroids and PEDs in Strength Sports + My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Steroids and PEDs

First, Anabolic Steroids are one of many Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) used throughout sports and competition today. It is believed that they are almost required for Mr. Olympia IFBB Pro Bodybuilding Competitions and are known as “part of the sport” in powerlifting. Then, of course, there is always something about steroids occurring in the Olympics and sports such as Professional Baseball, Football, and most physical sports and competition. This article will go over my thoughts on the use of drugs, steroids, PEDs and even supplements for both professional athletes and normal gym bros. 

Know that no drugs or supplements are necessary to make the Mathias Method Strength System or any of our Strength Programs effective.

Note: Anabolic Steroids and most PEDs are illegal in the United States without a doctor’s perscription.


What are PEDs?

PEDs, or Performance Enhancing Drugs, are drugs used to help increase performance in any given sport. The most common PEDs are:

  • Anabolic Steroids – Used to increase strength, muscle growth, and recovery. The effects mimic those of increased Testosterone, but tenfold.
  • Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – Increases growth throughout the body, but mainly used for increasing muscle mass.
  • Testosterone – Used to increase the effects of natural testosterone to build muscle, increase strength, and burn body fat.
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) – Used by men to increase free testosterone if their bodies don’t make enough naturally.
  • Erythropoietin (EPO) – Used by endurance athletes increase oxygen uptake by increasing red blood cell count.
  • Stimulants – Anything that greatly increases performance to where your performance will noticeably decrease without it.

There are always more being created and used, but these are the most common in use today.

If I forgot some, or you know of any others, tell me about it in the comments below and I will add them to the list.


Steroids in Strength Sports

Before we get too deep into this though, let’s get one thing straight…Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Strongman, and even professional arm wrestling, are in fact “sports”. They may not seem as athletic as Football or Olympic style sports, but they are still competition among athletes.

These sports that rely heavily on a competitor’s strength to win are known as Strength Sports. If you disagree, let me know in the comments below.

With that being said, anything that relies heavily on an athlete’s strength or muscle mass is likely going to have some steroid or PED use. This is because there are so many athletes that are trying to be the best, and to be the best, means to do whatever it takes. Even if it means taking drugs to defeat the competition. The question is, is it cheating?

In the 2008 documentary, Bigger, Stronger, Faster by Chris Bell, which dives deep into the world of steroid use in all forms of competition, Chris asks:

“Is it really cheating, if everyone is doing it?”

I will get into my answer in a minute, but let me know what you think in the comments below. 

The thing is, not everyone is doing it. Many professionals choose to stay drug free. However, how many of them are known as the best? And should would they even be held in higher reguards if they defeated those taking PEDs? Everyone has their own opinion on this, but I want to know yours.


How I Feel About Steroids, PEDs, and Supplement Use

I understand why people use them, but they are not for me.

For Others

My feelings towards others using anabolic steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs are of understanding. I do not always agree with the reasons of why people take drugs to better themselves, but I understand the mindset of being the best.

First off, if you are just a regular gym bro that wants to look good by taking a bunch of supplements and drugs, then you are just being lazy. If you do not have a legitimate reason of why you are putting your health at risk just to look good for others, then you are simply being dumb. Sadly, this is about 90%+ of the people that use anabolic steroids today, as stated in Bigger, Stronger, Faster.

However, if you are an elite athlete that is working towards being the “Best In The World” at whatever sport you are competing in, then I understand your mindset. I understand the “do whatever it takes to be the best” mindset, and I respect those people. Again, I do not agree with it, but I do understand why and do not judge because of it.

Steroids Limit You

Still, one quote that always comes to mind whenever I think of people using steroids was said by Dave Tate of EliteFTS. He said, “If you need to take steroids in high school to get to college, then you will never make it to the NFL. And if you need to take steroids in college to get to the NFL, then you won’t last.” So, it is only after you have become elite on your own that steroids and other drugs can even help you to become world class.

This means you need to accomplish something on your own before you can even earn the right to take steroids or PEDs to become the best at something. If you take them too soon, then you are simply limiting yourself, because you can never go back. If you take them even once, you will likely never reach that same strength level again without them again.

So be wise and accomplish something first!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

If You’re Thinking About Taking PEDs

If you ever were thinking of taking steroids or PEDs, you absolutely MUST consult with your doctor first. There is nothing in the law that says you can’t talk about them. So, just like any other drug, you need to talk to a doctor first so that your health can be monitored.

There is A LOT people don’t know about steroids without first-hand experience, and unfortunately, some of those people learned with their lives. So don’t be that person. Be smart and just ask so you understand all the risks and know what to do if something goes wrong. Who knows, they may even write you a prescription!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

For me

My thoughts on the use of Anabolic Steroids and PEDs is simple…I understand why people use them, but they are not for me. In fact, it is the same feeling I have towards the use of most supplements. I do not want them, nor do I feel that I need them to reach my goals

I did not get into Powerlifting to become the greatest powerlifter ever because to do that I would need to dedicate my life to the sport and do whatever it takes to be the best. That includes the use of performance enhancing drugs and that is a line I am not willing to cross.

I got into Powerlifting with my own goals in mind, but there are other things I life I want to do more. Powerlifting is just a passion for me, but not the reason I get up in the morning. So I do it for fun and love helping others join the sport as well. 

Another reason is, being natural is cool to me. I’ve always loved to see what people can do without the use of any “assistance” in the form of drugs or “this great new supplement at GNC”. Natural RAW Powerlifting is cool to me. That is why I like so that is what I pursue.

So to put it clearly, on the subject of Anabolic Steroids and PEDs, I never have and never will use them, but I do not judge those that do.

Leave your comments on the subject below!

My Complete Supplement List

  • 100% Whey Protein Powder – I get the cheap stuff and only use it for creamer in my coffee with almond milk or at night when I need a chocolate fix. So basically, I like the taste, but don’t use it as a meal.
  • Multivitamin – I eat a balanced diet, but I still think it’s a good idea to have a base of vitamins and minerals.
  • Fish Oil – I take it on and off for my heart health. 
  • Creatine – I had half a serving by accident one time, and got mad when I found it was in the protein powder I bought. It is not a PED by any means, but just not what I wanted without knowing it.
  • Coffee – Who doesn’t love coffee?!

That’s it! I have never had anything else to my knowledge and never want too. I am not against other supplements, they are just not for me.

Author – Ryan J. Mathias

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4 thoughts on “Steroids and PEDs in Strength Sports + My Thoughts”

  1. Interesting article. I enjoyed reading it. The problem I have against these drugs is that, in the fitness industry, there are a lot of fitness models and icons that people look up to, who are not transparent about their drug use. This then sets unrealistic expectations for young adults or teenagers.

    1. Thank you and I totally agree. It is their right to hold their tongues (especially when talking about illegal drug use), but it does affect others too when they are portrayed or claim “natty”.

  2. Great article! I use test boost to give myself more when I’m training and help recovery, as well as basic vitamins and sleep aid, but that’s about it. Everything else I get from food. I personally don’t think you need that much extra unless you’re constantly training. Now, if I were competing as a pro powerlifter I would absolutely use steroids if I could. You explained it quite well as purely a performance enhancer and that’s it. I don’t think it’s cheating at all when used properly.

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