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ZODIAC

Found 15 results

  1. Whether you are a casual health enthusiast, sportsperson, athlete, powerlifter or hardcore gym freak, you all know the importance of adequate protein in your daily diet. While the average person may not need as much protein as a sportsperson or hardcore gym freak, that doesn`t mean that they are getting optimal amounts of protein in their diet. © Thinkstock Images International society of sports nutrition recommends 1.4-2gm of protein per kg of bodyweight for athletes. This means 112gm -160gm of protein a day for a 80kg athlete. This requirement can go even higher depending on these things: 1. If someone is training hard frequently along with­­­­­­­ a job that requires much physical work. 2. If someone trying to lose fat without losing much muscle. 3. To improve body composition. 4. If someone using Steroids (PEDs). First priority to get all this protein should be from real foods which have complete amino acid profile such as chicken, mutton, lamb, fish, cheese, eggs or milk. People who are vegetarian are left with only limited options .On top of that if they have a busy lifestyle where they can`t eat as much solid food will have to rely on protein powder supplements. Another situation where reliance on protein powders (Whey isolate, Soy, Pea,Rice) may increase is when someone is suffering from “Lactose intolerance”. It is estimated that 60-70 % of Indians are lactose intolerant with south Indians being more affected (66.6%) than north Indians (27.4%). Lactose intolerance is a condition where the affected person is unable to digest a sugar called lactose present in Dairy products. As a result, affected person gets bloating, painful stomach cramps, gas or vomiting. While whey concentrate may have some amount of lactose present in it, whey isolate reduces it to much lower level which most people may get comfortable with. Even better option for people with lactose intolerance is using protein powders made from Soy, Pea, Rice or a blend of any of the three. They are again considered high quality proteins. -As a pure vegetarian who`s not using any Performance enhancing drugs, it becomes really challenging to get below 10% body fat without losing muscle mass. And any athlete who has worked hard day and night (with training and diet) to achieve that few pounds of muscle will not want to lose it very easily. Getting to extremely low body fat levels (Stage/photo-shoot condition) require calorie restriction and very little amount of carbs and fats in diet. However, most vegetarian high quality protein sources will also give you quite high amount of carbs and fats along with it, which is fine when you are maintaining or bulking but not ideal when cutting. © Thinkstock Images Every 3gm of protein from milk in 100ml will also give you 5-6gm of carbs with it. Now do the math of how much carbs you will be getting in order to complete 30gm of protein milk. The same amount of carbs you can better get from solid food when on a restrictive diet to remain full for longer. Similarly trying to get 18gm of protein from cheese will also give you 25gm of fat with it. While the same amount of protein you can get from casein protein scoop giving you almost negligible to 2gm of fat. People who are non vegetarians or eat eggs can do a cut/fat loss protocol quite easily since they can consume lean protein sources such as egg whites and chicken breast having no fat. The same can`t be said for pure vegetarians. I may get a little hate in comment section for promoting the usage of protein powders, but you ask yourself “Am I really promoting it or just showing you reality”? © Thinkstock Images Have a good day, folks! And stop thinking of protein powders as something taboo or associating it with steroids. Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population . References- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7234720
  2. It has become very common for all gym bros to take some kind of muscle building 'pills' or 'injections' these days to build muscle. Along with that, horror stories of people dying due to taking bodybuilding drugs, suffering from serious health risks, addiction, and depression frequent the news. They do build impressive physiques by taking these pills and injecting hard to pronounce compounds in their asses. Does this mean you cannot build muscle without taking these drugs? The answer would be NO. The problem with most natural lifters is that they try to imitate drugged or enhanced bodybuilders. It is like going to play cricket with a hockey stick. It is not a different level, it is a different game. How many sixes would you score even if you were the best batsman with the hockey stick? Here is what you can start doing if you are serious about gaining muscle naturally: 1. Increase Your Frequency And Divorce The Bro-Split One muscle group, once a week?! Yes, forget about that. When a person takes steroids, their Muscle Protein Synthesis shoots up for almost a week. Meaning, if they train chest on Monday, they will be repairing and building that tissue until Sunday. On Monday, they repeat again. You, a natural lifter, on the other hand, will have this elevated Muscle Protein Synthesis for 24 to 48 hours max. If you train your chest just once in a week, you will have a window where you are not making any gains for your chest. That is where you lose out on gains. If you want to avoid this, stop having a one muscle per day workout plan. Train all your muscle groups 2 to 3 times per week. 2. Do More Of Compound Exercises It's really cool to see bodybuilders have that pump and then do 20 sets of arms in one session. The fun fact here is that they can recover from these crazy high volumes due to the usage of anabolic steroids. There is nothing wrong with doing isolation exercises like above. Do your bicep curls too. But, not at the cost of compound exercises! To grow muscle, you need to get stronger aka need to have progressive overload. When you start going to the gym, you may be able to curl dumbbells of 7.5 kilos. Over time or say a period of 10 years, this will maximum reach 25 kilos. You did become stronger but the number is not a crazy increase. Let's compare that with a bench press. You start at 20 kilos. Over 10 years, this number can even go up to 120 kilos. That is a 100-kilo increase. You can overload muscle more and get stronger more in your compound exercises. Add to that, these exercises work more than just one muscle group per given time. This helps you save time too. 3. Eat In A Calorie Surplus To gain muscle, you need to eat in a calorie surplus. You cannot lose weight and gain muscle at the same time unless you are a beginner. A lot of bros waste their time trying to recomp or build muscle and lose fat at the same time. It is like two steps forward, one step back. Instead, just focus on one thing at a given time and prioritizing it. So yeah, if you think that you cannot build muscle naturally, that is a wrong notion. It is just that you have been doing things sub-optimally. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram.
  3. Going seven years back in time, as an average IT professional, I was working from 9 to 6 in an MNC with a very limited focus on my fitness and eating habits. With a very lean body type – 60kg and short height (5'6) my appearance was tiny. I was constantly made fun of and that resulted in low self-esteem, confidence impacting my performance across all functions of life. Poor Eating Habits Staying away from home, I used to eat whatever was accessible to me with zero attention to what type of food I was consuming and what it will do to my body. With ample free time after office and during weekends, I decided to join a nearby gym with the goal to become big and at the same time socialize with fellow gym-goers. Change In Job Locations I slowly started to do light to moderate workouts following traditional coaches and their techniques. After not seeing any significant results after 6 months, I was fortunate enough to come across a trainer who focused on natural diet and using correct form. But, as it usually happens in the IT industry I received a better job offer from a company in Gurgaon and hence had to shift my base from Noida to Gurgaon. I restarted my workout but this time I was constantly pushed by my trainers to take supplements from whey proteins to creatine. First Encounter With Steroids & Kidney Issues For personal benefits, my coach even tried to persuade me to go for Dianabol as well. Though I completely ignored his advice of taking steroids, I started taking supplements like whey protein and BCAAs. After a few months, I noticed some changes in my body structure but also observed that my gut health started to suffer. I got constant issues of indigestion, bloating etc. I got a full body checkup done and found that my creatinine levels were very high. Most of the aspiring bodybuilders, aspirants neglect these small issues which are very critical for your overall health. Changing The Coach At this point, I immediately stopped taking advice from this coach and hired an online coach whose fitness methodology focused on 100% natural transformation. By this time, the fitness bug had bitten me and I started to read a lot of online material on fitness and nutrition to increase my knowledge and did my ISSA certification as well. Managing Kidney Issues Also, I decided to train my body in 100% natural way with zero help of supplements. As an immediate step, I reduced my protein intake from 210gm to 130gm which was appropriate for my body needs and my creatinine levels became normal. At this time, I faced a major confusion on growing muscle while digesting protein ineffectively. I began to eat a lot of protein derived from natural or readily available sources like Paneer, Tofu, Legumes and Milk. Self Education & Learning Gradually with more research and time spent on reading online fitness materials, I became aware of my body type, its needs and correct form/technique of doing exercises. I created my own workout plan focusing on more than one body part every day. This was combined with a carefully planned diet plan with optimal calories, macronutrients and micronutrients. With progressive overloading and following a strict yet completely natural diet plan, I gained good muscle mass over a period of time. Now for further refining my Fitness Knowledge and bringing the physique to a next level, I have decided to work with a coach named Rachit Bir from BIRa Fitness.
  4. I always had a thing for outdoor activities. Right from my school days, I participated in sports events and cross country runs. Once into graduation, one iron head friend of mine dragged me into a real gym. It was here where my real weight training habit got inculcated. As far as the nutrition was concerned, we just ate whatever we had in sight. You know, this is how the hostel life hits you on the food front. There was no YouTube or guys around whom I could really ask about nutrition. So it was just 'eat-see' almost throughout the grads. The Challenges Out of everything, the worst thing that hit me was lacking motivation. Blame that on lack of a mentor and lack of guidance and knowledge during the starting days, things really looked bad at times. I used to get de-motivated and sometimes, even quit working out. One of these breaks was so long that for over half a year, I didn't even step into the gym. Fake Supplements As there was no proper nutrition and supplement guidance, I got trapped into the vicious circle of fake supplements. Only after spending a considerable amount of money that I realized I was consuming fake supplements. I still remember my first ever tub on whey that I purchased. It was completely fake and tasted like glucose. The Myths Throughout my journey I came through a LOT of myths. So much so, that even I started believing some of them. Some of them were – Salt makes you fat No eating after 7 in the evening Fat makes you fat Such kind of myths was massively promoted to me by so-called 'gurus' Close Encounter With Steroids I remember one of my friends suggested me take 'DIANABOL' and said that it will take you to the next level. Being a rookie, I took them and since it was a steroid I gained lot of weight (water & fat mostly). Soon issues with gyno and acnes came through. I never contacted that person again. Never! The Turning Point My turning point was in June 2017. I came across coach Aminder Singh and his natural bodybuilding ethics. Under one of his coaches, I learnt about natural bodybuilding, proper exercising techniques and proper nutrition. Then, adding to my knowledge was GetSetGo Fitness's Pratik Thakkar.
  5. Most transformation stories have this one element of getting bullied at some point of time. Easily, it is like a launch pad for most of the success stories. Tushar Agrawal's success story was also ignited by the same element. It was 2006 when Tushar had hit the gym for the very first time. He was a lanky guy with 45 kilos of body weight. Being underweight throughout his teens and early 20s, he became a bully magnet. Fed up of the never-ending bullying, Tushar decided to steer things around. He was in his 10th standard when he got introduced to weight training. In the hopes of beating up the bullies, he made weight training a staple in his life. 3 years into training hard and eating almost everything, he touched 65kg body weight. A rookie to nutrition, Tushar thought that adding whey supplements to his routine will get him jacked. The dream of getting big was real. He spent money but unsurprisingly, he didn't get jacked. He Did Steroids And Still Regrets It To This Day Tushar used to work out in a nearby gym under the guidance of a regular desi trainer. In 2009, one of the gym's uneducated trainers insinuated him to try steroids. Since he was desperate to get big, he followed through. What followed was an influx of unmonitored usage of oral and injectable steroids. To make the case worse, the usage continued for over 3 years, till 2012. As per Tushar, he used to do one cycle a year. No wonder, he got jacked and muscular. Though at 95 kilo body weight, Tushar's body fat percentage was still on the higher side as his coach knew nothing about nutrition. After prolonged usage, he started feeling that something was wrong with him. He could not figure out what it was since there were no physical side effects till then. Later he realized that it was his guilt of using way too much steroids. Though the drug usage made Tushar really strong and big, poor workout form gave him another shock. He was diagnosed with slip disc in L4-L5-S1 and C3-C4. 2012: A Doctor Friend Saved Him Apparently, one of his old friends, who happened to be a doctor, had returned from Canada around the same time. Tushar shared his ordeal with him and opened up about his steroid usage. He came through very clear that he was feeling depressed. The doctor advised him to stop using it and get a blood test done on priority. Being a medical professional he guided Tushar about the possible side effects of steroid usage. The blood tests, as expected, showed that most of his health markers were in a horrible position. The report was an alarming call! That was the time when he decided that he will never touch steroids in his life. 2018: He Achieved What He Never Expected For almost 15 years now, Tushar chased his dream physique but never was able to achieve it. After 2012, when we gave up using anabolics, he was looking for the best natural way to reach his goals. Finally, in 2018, he came across Team Aminder, an organization that practices and preaches drug-free bodybuilding, online. Ever since being cheated by the desi trainers, Tushar was skeptical in taking up online training. Things changed when he met his friend's wife, who had lost nearly 20 kilos of body fat training with Team Aminder. April 2018, Tushar decided to give a shot to Team Aminder. In 7.5 months from then, Tushar lost 21 kilos of fat and achieved a physique which seems unnatural to most. During these 7.5 months, Jaspreet, his personal coach, kept changing Tushar's diet and caloric intake and worked with him very closely. On achieving such physique today Tushar says, “There was a time when I myself used to think that naturally it is not possible but now that I have done it and that too without any supplement, I must say it is 100% possible. You just need a good coach who has the required knowledge.”
  6. My father being a semi-professional football player, fitness came pretty naturally to me. Right from my early teens, my father had me on my feet and taught me exercising. Every morning I used to accompany him and his fellow players to the practice sessions. It was here where I learned the basics of stretching, running and basic exercising. Soon after, I was sent off to a boarding school where sports were kept at the helm of all things. Of course, what my father taught me helped me a great deal to shine bright at school athletics. First Encounter With The Weights It was during my first year at college, that I got a chance to work out in proper gym. It was 2007, the very first year of my lifting journey. It all started there. As it happens, even I had no idea about nutrition and training. Nope, none! I used to follow suit that was set by the desi trainers at the gym. Doing bro splits six times a week and eating whatever came in sight became the norm for me. Some desi-trainers even sold me mass gainers, having me dream of a poster boy physique. Since I was very, or let's say skinny, I bought into the fake dream. Even when I was short on pocket money, I hustled my way through buying mass gainers. Soon after, in the following months, I started looking skinny fat. I did get a bit bigger but most of it was nothing but fat. My dream seemed fragile at this moment. I had no money to afford a personal trainer and thought that it was VERY expensive to afford one. I was left heartbroken. The Time When I Ate Boiled Chicken Like An Idiot! A few years ahead, I met this guy at the gym. He seemed sensible. I asked for his nutrition advice and he asked me to eat half a kilo boiled chicken and 10 egg whites to achieve a ripped body. Since they looked good, I started following their dumb advice. The diet was SO bad that I gave up just a few days into it. Digestion and acne issue started just about immediately. I then met a guy who was a professional bodybuilder. Right off the bat, he asked me to get on steroids, which of course I was completely unaware about. I was so blinded by the dream of a good physique, that I almost made up my mind to start a steroid cycle. Thank god that I was so short on funds at that time, that I had no option but to not do it. Education Days passed but the passion in me didn't die. I started reading about natural bodybuilding on the internet. Alongside, I started making friends with sensible and 'fitness-educated' guy on too. It was from here on where I started learning about the importance of nutrition and training. Self taught, I applied the learning and they did work, but at as much as I wanted. This didn't discourage me. I didn't look back kept reading EVERYTHING that was readily available. This photoshoot transformation which I recently had is all due to the help of Nagarjun Chowdary who is an intern with GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness coaching platform. This is the best shape I have been in by far and everything was done 100% naturally. Fitness to me is a lifestyle which should be a part of life for everyone.
  7. In the present day, if you are a regular gym rat you must have heard about Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) and maybe considered using them as well. It is worth mentioning that steroids were never developed for athletic or aesthetic purposes. They were made to treat the ill with muscle wasting conditions in cases of burns, cancer, AIDS or old age. Despite significant side effects, people consistently use AAS in supra-physiological doses, until 2000 the primary users were men involved in bodybuilding (amateur or pro), powerlifting and other athletic endeavours. But there is an alarming increase in young generation using steroids, as a study published by Public Health Wales reports 1 million active male steroid users in U.K i.e. 3% of its population. What is even more surprising, that lads as young as 13-21 are taking steroids. If we extrapolate that 3% to India's Urban male population that will be equal to a whacking 5.4 Million steroid users. © Unsplash Are More Men Interested In Bodybuilding & Powerlifting? With this drastic increase in steroid use, you might think that more of today's generation is interested in competitive Bodybuilding and Powerlifting. But stats reveal something unpredictable: only 27% men were involved in strength and athletic events, merely 22% were involved in competitive bodybuilding, and 56% were using because of body image issues or cosmetic purposes. Having A Greek God Physique Is A Necessity In This Generation! Rick Collins, an American lawyer who specializes in steroid use cases, quotes: “We live in a culture that is absolutely obsessed with appearance. We are judged by our looks every day. So when we look our best, we feel more self-confident. Are steroid users trying to impress themselves or trying to impress others? Both, of course.” © YouTube We dwell in a time where a great physique is a necessity to get roles in movies, be a cover model or run a fitness YouTube channel. In fact, if you do not have 16-inch arms & washboard abs, people won't believe you are serious about fitness. The whole purpose of lifting weights and eating healthy has become: aesthetics. There is a growing pressure on men to look more manly, more muscular, this is probably forcing them to take anabolics. But put aside the physiological side effects, I believe this young steroid using generation is also missing out something vital: The Process. You Are Missing Out On The Process! © Medium Apart from building muscles and strength, you build a character in the gym. The countless number of reps over the years transforms your body from a fragile person who was unable to do bodyweight squats to someone who can now lift more than two times his body weight. These things do not just develop physical but also mental strengths. This reaps perseverance inside you, you develop confidence that with commitment and consistency, you get stronger at things you were once weak. Arnold Schwarzenegger profoundly applied these lessons he learned in the gym to his business, Hollywood and political career. Building a good body with steroids without putting in the necessary hard work and consistency is perhaps developing a loser mentality in this generation. P.S: We know that Arnold used steroids, but he won multiple shows naturally during his teenage and probably exploited his natural potential. Have you even scratched the surface of your natural potential? Yash Sharma is a former national level Football player, now a Strength Coach, Nutritionist and Natural Bodybuilder. He also runs a YouTube Channel Yash Sharma Fitness via which he aims to educate all the fitness enthusiasts to maximize their gains by methods that are backed by science and applicable easily. Connect with him on YouTube, YashSharmaFitness@gmail.com, Facebook and Instagram.
  8. 2019 is round about the corner and so are New Year fitness resolutions. While some people would just want to lose weight, also present in large numbers are young gullible dudes trying to put on muscle in a very short span of time. This article is for those young guns that often incline towards steroid usage. 1. To Avoid The Shut Down Of Natural Testosterone Production Let`s get this straight. Whenever you put any anabolic steroid in your body (inject-able or oral), your own natural testosterone production gets shut down. Though the body is very smart, it will still be able to produce testosterone again when you go off steroids but you will never ever be able to get to your natural pre-cycle levels back. © YouTube 2. To Testicular Atrophy ( Shrunken Balls) Also known as 'testicular atrophy', this is again very common during steroid usage. A study found two third of 500 steroid users experienced this type of shrinkage while using steroids. It`s simple. When you feed your body testosterone externally (in form of various steroids), your testicles don`t feel the need to produce the same by their own. Just like they say 'if you don`t use it, you lose it'. Hence they shrink. 3. To Have A Healthy Heart It`s a proven fact that long term steroid usage weakens the heart. Usually people end up doing more and more just like any other habit forming activity. Even several years after discontinuation, increased heart size was found among steroid users as compared to drug free athletes. The left ventricle of heart which is mainly responsible for pumping blood was found to be quite weaker in anabolic steroid users. This is also the reason why many bodybuilders do more cardio to protect heart when using steroids. And if you are an average desk jobber who doesn`t have much time for cardio, you are fucked even more. 4. To Avoid Having Man Breasts Steroids also cause increase in the estrogen levels. Yes, every man has both kinds of hormones- male hormone (testosterone) and female hormone (estrogen). Due to spike in estrogen caused by certain steroids or a combination of steroids, you can develop Gynecomastia which makes your nipples to swell. Now this resemblance is not exactly like that of a woman's chest but good enough to embarrass you as a man. Many steroid users have to go under the knife to get rid of it. © Pixabay 5. To Remain Sane Since steroids throw hormones inside your body out of place, it`s common to see extreme aggression in some individuals also known as 'roid rage'. I`m not saying everyone who takes steroids experiences this but if you are generally very moody, or short tempered, anabolic steroids can amplify that. That's it folks! References- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15084541 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15817752 Daman Singh is an internationally certified sports Nutritionist and an athlete competes in Strongman and powerlifting without the aid of Anabolics .He also runs a YouTube channel named :- SIKHSPACK and you can follow him on Instagram and trains Drug free population .
  9. Bodybuilding as a profession is rife with steroid use. Bodybuilders have been using steroids since forever to get bigger, muscular and freakier. It has very well reached to a point that most top-level bodybuilders don't even look aesthetically pleasing anymore, instead, are complete freak shows. Along with looking big and nasty, the steroid (ab)use comes with tons of side effects. A lot of people, especially gullible teenagers with Instagram #fitspiration body goals, think that they will do these steroids once and leave it. They reckon they will do it once, get the gains, and then maintain it. Sadly, they assume it is a smart decision and things work that way. Guess what?! It DOES NOT work that way. Here are a few before and after pictures of top professional bodybuilders. The before pictures are from their competitive years. The after pictures are of their retired physiques. These should prove that the saying 'needles once, gains forever' is nothing but an invitation for a lifetime of trouble. 1. Paul Dillet © YouTube He was nicknamed 'Freak-einstein.' Got a clue why? In his 21-year professional career, his most notable wins were two Grand Prix and placing first in the Night of the Champions. 2. Mustafa Mohammad © YouTube In his 17 year spell as a competitor, he won 2 NABBA championships at the beginning of his career. 3. Flex Wheeler © YouTube Described as one of the best bodybuilders, Flex has a rich history of wins and even did a comeback in 2017. 4. Tom Prince © YouTube After having a long professional career, Tom retired from competing following a kidney failure while preparing for the 2003 Night of the Champions. Shortly after, he called it quits. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  10. The use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has become common for the purpose of bodybuilding. Almost every kid in the gym, who would not even have 2-3 years of weight training experience, would have an experience with these drugs. Is it the fault of the gym trainers who sell this stuff to the gullible kids for the sake of a quick buck? Is it the misinformation? Or is it the newbies in the pursuit of instant gratification at fault here? Well, I leave it for you to decide that. Nevertheless, it is a personal choice at the end of the day. One should thoroughly weigh the pros and cons before they decide if they want to do it the enhanced way. Let's Talk About What Really Happens When People Say 'Testicles Shrink' Upon Using Steroids © Irongeneration The base drug for 95% of steroid cycles is testosterone. We all know what this hormone does, how important it is for the male body and that our body naturally produces it in a very limited quantity. It's extremely anabolic and thus, forms the base of steroid cycles. Since there is a physiological range of it in your body, you can't get 'massive' only with it. When you take it externally, you take supraphysiological dosages aka unnatural high doses. Testosterone, as a hormone, increases the rate at which your body builds muscle, reduces muscle breakdown and speeds up recovery. Hence, you get big! How Do The Testis Shrink? When you take exogenous testosterone, the body stops producing the hormone internally, that is in the testis. Why does it do that? 1. You are already getting the hormone externally. Way more than enough at that! 2. Your body understands that the levels present in the body are way beyond what it can produce. Because of this the testicles go pretty much out of use and shut down. This is what starts happening almost instantly once you start injecting. With time, as your testes sense that they have no particular usage or function in your body, they start shrinking. The Simple Principle Of 'Use It Or Lose It © Pixabay If this keeps on continuing for long, your body thinks that it does not need testes at all. After shrinking to a certain point, your testes will die and simply disappear. This is known as hypogonadism or testicular atrophy. That is the death of your balls. If you use steroids and keep doing it for long without proper care or support, your balls going away forever is inevitable. Add to that, there is a good chance that your trainer is giving you shit that is low quality and does not even come under the category of hormones synthesized for humans. So yeah, the risk of taking steroids is real and it can lead to consequences you will regret long. Do not fall for the hype or stuff that someone says. Think for yourself, think about what you really want, and then make an informed decision. Not a moment of influence leading to a lifetime of regret. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  11. Disclaimer: The author or MensXP does not promote the usage of performance-enhancing drugs or androgenic anabolic steroids. If you choose to do so, it is purely your choice. Steroid usage in the recent times has become as normal as people taking protein shakes post workout. Like it was/is pretty normal to have a shake of whey if you go to the gym, the same holds true for anabolic steroids. Boys, in their teenage, are pinning needles to their butts just to look a certain way and think that it will instantly make them buff up and become muscular. But does that always happen? Let's find out. Guys these days, looking at their #fitspiration bros on Instagram, have started taking steroids even before learning how to squat or bench correctly. And boys tend to make this assumption that they are definitely going to get huge and look jacked just because they are taking steroids. There are two components that play a role in how well you may look if you start taking steroids 1. Your natural muscle building genetic potential. 2. Your response to anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). Now, there are guys who may be skinny fat or be fat normally without training whereas there would be some who look lean and have abs without any training as well. This also comes down to lifestyle choices and factors. Taking the above two considerations and doing permutations and combinations, we get four scenarios. Let's look into all of them. © YouTube 1. You have a great muscle building genetic potential and your response to anabolic steroids is great. If this is the case, you might as well go on and end up winning Mr. Olympia and bag a trophy for yourself. These are the hyper-responders to both training and AAS which will lead to a very strong synergetic effect and make you gain mass like a monster. 2. You have a great muscle building genetic potential and your response to anabolic steroids is poor. This is a very real possibility and there would be individuals who respond magically to training alone, they just blow up on touching the weights. But when they go the dark side, they do not have much growth or a very negligible response to AAS, if any. For them, taking AAS does not provide any benefit in terms of muscle growth. 3. You have a poor muscle building genetic potential and your response to anabolic steroids is great. These are those hard workers in the gym who do not show any impressive changes in their physiques irrespective of how many hours of dedicated work they put into training, having a great diet, etc. But once they go to the dark side, they have that magical overnight muscle building transformation that Captain America had in the sleeping pod. They magically get buff and huge. © YouTube 4. You have a poor muscle building genetic potential and your response to anabolic steroids is poor. The permanently doomed individuals as I'd like to call them. No matter what they do, no matter how many drugs they take, they will still look like they do not lift at all. So, if you are someone who really wants to go the dark side and be enhanced, it is still better to take a decision after getting 8 to 10 years of serious training and nutrition under the belt. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
  12. Disclaimer- This piece is ONLY intended for educational purposes. MensXP Health isn't for or against the usage of anabolic steroids and SARMs. It's a personal choice. About SARMs (Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators) The sports performance world is always on the lookout for the next breakthrough in science, primarily for performance enhancement. Such substances, once revealed, become a rage in the market in no time, until the World Anti-Doping Agencies, either approves them for use, or simply bans them. Even then, the use of such ergogenic aids is rampant, and without any checks, especially in the world of fitness. The Latest Addition To This Demand Are The SARMS © Pixabay SARMs or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators are a class of therapeutic compounds that have properties similar to anabolic steroids but with reduced androgenic properties. The field of nonsteroidal androgens, and especially Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs), has grown tremendously since the first report on them in 1998. They are marketed as having similar positive effects on muscle and strength that pro-hormones and anabolic steroids have, but with fewer side effects. How SARMs Work SARMs actually block or stimulate key receptors in the body, which can help in increasing positive effects and decrease the unwanted side effects. We know that all anabolic steroids or prohormones bind to certain receptors and only then initiate their action. A drug that can either block or stimulate the same receptor under different conditions is called a 'selective receptor modulator. So it can show beneficial effects in one tissue and at the same time minimize the unwanted effects of synthetic steroids. © YouTube Discovery And How They Are Different From Steroids SARMs were first discovered in the 1940s after researchers modified the chemical structure of testosterone molecule. SARMs back then were derived from testosterone. They were considered steroidal in nature. But today the race is on to develop non-steroidal SARMs. Ligand Pharmaceutical was the first company to develop compounds called as Cyclic Quinolinones which later became the first series of non-steroidal SARMs. The research is now on to further improve upon these SARMs by reducing their liver toxicity and increase their bioavailability. Treating Low Testosterone One of the primary reasons for the development and research of SARMs is the decreasing testosterone levels in men also called as hypogonadism. This leads to reduction in muscle mass, osteopenia, fat gain, depression, decrease in libido, decrease in stamina and strength, etc. HRT or Hormone Replacement Therapy is a common solution for hypogonadism but this is not without side effects. This is where SARMs come in which not only give you the requisite increase in androgens but zero side effects like DHT conversion, liver toxicity, blood pressure effects, water retention, gynecomastia etc. Safe To Use? Don't Think So. Despite these advancements, SARMs are still not inducted into the mainstream medicine as research is still not conclusive and the studies have been performed mainly on animal subjects like rats. But a number of big pharma companies are researching and developing SARMs, like Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Ligand Pharma, Kaken pharma, Bristol-Myers Squibb etc. The study also stated that in Jan 2008, IOC (International Olympic Committee) added SARMs to the prohibited list. So if you are planning to use SARMs thinking they are some new weapon which will help you enhance performance but at the same time save you from the clutches of WADA (World Anti-Doping Association), then you are mistaken. © Pixabay Medical Use Apart from the use of SARMs in ageing population and postmenopausal women, they can also be used in various other cases like multiple sclerosis, cystic fibrosis, burn injuries, cancer, HIV, major injury or surgery etc. Akshay Chopra, is a graduate of the National Defence Academy & the Air Force Academy, and a former IAF pilot. He is one of the most qualified health, fitness & nutrition consultants in the country, and an author of multiple books & ebooks. He is among the few in the country to have a background of competitive athletics, military training and bodybuilding. He is the co-founder of the Body Mechanics chain of gyms, and India's first research based channel We R Stupid. You can check out his Youtube here.
  13. Salman Khan is one of those few actors who started the trend of bodybuilding in Bollywood. The only other actors of his era who were icons of bodybuilding in 90s were Sunil Shetty and Sanjay Dutt. However, it was Salman khan who first bared it all and flaunted a chiselled six pack. It's been more than 3 decades now that we have been seeing Salman in the same bodybuilding frame irrespective of the kind of role he plays in his movies. Last year, we saw a major change in his physique for his role in the movie, 'Sultan'. He gained good muscle mass in a very short period of time and there were questions whether he did it naturally or used steroids. Let's see what really happened back then. Salman's History Of Bodybuilding © Youtube Starting from the movie 'Maine Pyar Kiya' that was released in 1989, you can see how Salman's physique has grown over the years. If we go back to 1988, it was only his pectoral muscles which showed some development with all other muscles lagging way behind. It wasn't until late 90s when one could see a fully developed muscular Salman Khan. By early 2000s Salman had almost perfected his physique with low body fat percentage. Since then, we have been accustomed to see Salman taking off his shirt. All other actors get into shape for a specific role but Salman is so obsessed with a good physique that he prefers to be in the best of his shape at all times. Salman's Transformation For Sultan © YouTube Salman Khan was playing the role of a retired wrestler from Haryana for which he had to gain 10 kg of pure muscles. Since he was portraying the role of a heavy weight wrestler in the movie, he had to beef up to look like one. Salman wasn't really lean when he started gaining for the role as he is someone who is known for decent musculature, if not chiseled. Salman has never been a fan of those chiseled abs and always prefers a bulked up look with a body fat of around 11-12 percent. So for this role, he had to gain lean muscle mass where his muscles look big but he doesn't look too much bloated. Somewhat like a real life wrestler such as Sushil Kumar. That was the target for Salman and he did live up to the expectations by bulking up for the movie and looking like a real life retired wrestler who was once in good shape. However, a quick lean muscle gain of about 10 kilos made everyone question his achievement. The question was everywhere- did he use steroids for this transformation? Why Salman's Transformation Is Absolutely Natural © YouTube Okay, we are not talking about an amateur or even an intermediate level of weight lifter here; we are talking about someone who has been working out regularly for well over 30 years now. How many people do you know in your daily lives who have been working out since that long? I am sure, none. Imagine the kind of muscle maturity that Salman Khan has. As far as his bodybuilding journey is concerned, he never achieved a drastic result which could prove any steroid usage ever in his career. In his initial movies, he can easily be seen like any other amateur lifter whose body has just begun to respond to the weight training. It's only after a decade that you see a complete physique that Salman Khan portrays on screen. So when it comes to gaining lean muscle mass, I am sure that for someone like Salman Khan, it wouldn't be impossible to achieve naturally with good training and rigorous dieting. Another proof of this is his looks in the movie. He doesn't look jacked or something like his veins are popping out of his abs. It's just that he looked a little more beefed up than his usual self which is quite possible to achieve naturally. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  14. Aamir Khan's unbelievable transformation for his movie 'Dangal' broke the internet- both Indian and international. That transformation is easily one of the most drastic ones Bollywood has ever seen. However, that incredible effort from Aamir didn't go well with a few experts. Despite the kind of determination that Aamir Khan is known for; he was accused of steroid usage for his transformation. Whether there were any unnatural substances used in the transformation or not, is for the coaches to comment upon. In this article, we will look at both sides of the coin without any bias. Aamir's Role Demanded The Transformation © YouTube In 'Dangal', Aamir portrayed the role of Indian Wrestler Mahavir Singh Phogat who coached his daughter for the 2010 Common Wealth games. For this, Aamir had to enact the older 'father' and the young 'wrestler' in the same movie. This meant that he had to look old enough to look like a 50-year-old and young enough to look like an athlete in a span of a few months. Since he had to shoot for the 50-year-old first, he gained around 30 kilos for the role. His then weight was 96 kilos at 38% body fat. As soon as the role was completely shot, he went in for his transformation. Aamir then emerged as a completely different person, having lost a whopping 28 kilos and sitting at a shredded 9% body fat! This was really unbelievable, as he did this in just 5 months. Don't Forget That Aamir Has Undergone Transformations Before As Well © YouTube This was not the first time that Aamir had transformed himself for a movie. If you remember in 2009, he did a movie called 'Ghajini' where he sported a chiselled physique for the first time on the silver screen. Go back to the year 1998 when he did a movie called 'Ghulam', he was still in good shape if not absolutely chiselled. What started during 'Ghajini' went on with 'Dhoom 3' and 'PK' for almost a decade. In 'Dhoom 3' as well as 'PK', Aamir's physique was at its best. He had toned muscles with low body fat percentage. It was almost 6 to 7 years of shooting for these movies that Aamir was in top notch shape. Why It Looks Natural © YouTube First, I would like to discuss why Aamir Khan's body transformation looks absolutely natural. Like I discussed above, he trained himself rigorously for 'Ghajini' when he achieved a decent physique for the first time. And at that time, he admitted that it took almost a year of professional training and diet for him to achieve that feat, which sounds considerable. After that, apart from a couple of years, his physique has always been a talking point in every movie. He was constantly training and dieting for almost 6 to 7 years before he started shooting for 'Dangal'. With almost a decade of weight training and diet, Aamir already had decent muscle mass with good muscle maturity and muscle memory. Also, when he gained weight for 'Dangal', he did not stop weight training completely. He just went on huge calorie surpluses that lead to the weight gain. In fact, with excess calories and good weight training, his body gained good muscle mass along with that extra fat. Thus, in those 5 months of his transformation, all he had to do was get rid of that layer of fat on his muscles. Not to mention that muscle memory and muscle maturity played a crucial role here along with an unparalleled dedication that Aamir is known for. And for those experts who claim that he had those 3d 'delts' which are a sign of anabolic usage, well, if you look at Aamir's earlier transformation pictures, he always had good delts and traps since 'Ghajini'. They only got better with time. Also, physique looks comparatively huge on screen than what it actually is. The camera angles and other effects also add up to the total screen effect that you see. Why It Looks Unnatural So does this mean that Aamir did not take anabolic steroids? Well, like I said in the starting of this article itself, only Aamir or his trainer can comment on that. However, considering the time taken to achieve such a drastic transformation, it does raise an eyebrow for suspicion. You could say that since he is a celebrity and has crores of money riding on his name, he couldn't have left anything to chance. Also, since he is 50 plus now, why would he work so hard to do it naturally? Well, maybe that's Aamir Khan for you. Anuj Tyagi is a Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Sports Nutritionist and Therapeutic Exercise Specialist From American Council on Exercise (ACE) . He is the Founder of the website where he provides online Training. Though a Chartered Accountant by education, he has been closely associated with Fitness Industry since 2006. His motto is to transform people Naturally and he believes that the secret formula for Fitness is Consistency and commitment towards your Training and Nutrition. You can connect with him through Facebook and Youtube.
  15. Disclaimer: With this article, I, as a writer, do not promote or endorse the usage of PEDs or AAS for muscle building or any specific goal. If you wish to use it, it is as per your discretion. This piece is purely for information. The debate of 'is this bodybuilder or physique model natty?' seems to be going on since forever. And it won't stop anytime soon. In this article though, I am not going to spark another debate on that topic (at least not for now) and rather talk about how the performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs)/androgenic anabolic steroids (AAS) work and change things for people who take them and thus, what edge do they have over someone who is not taking these drugs. A Tell-All Research © YouTube An interesting study done by Bhasin et. al. in 1996 compared muscle gain rates among four groups. The study lasted for 10 weeks where the testosterone groups were given 600 mg of testosterone. The groups were: A - Placebo with no exercise B - Testosterone with no exercise C - Placebo with exercise D - Testosterone with exercise The results of the group were: A - No significant change in fat-free mass B - An average gain of 3.5 kilos of fat-free mass C - An average gain of 1.7 kilos of fat-free mass D - An average gain of 5.8 kilos of fat-free mass This means the group which did not even exercise and took testosterone gained twice the lean body mass compared to the group who did not take testosterone and exercised for 10 weeks. Basically, PEDs/AAS = better gains. © YouTube Let's Now Understand What Happens When You Work Out When you work out and lift weights, your muscles undergo trauma or damage and then muscle protein strands repair the damage caused to the fibers. Over time, these strands grow both in terms of number and size. Along with this, if your muscle protein synthesis (MPS) aka the rate at which your body stimulates/creates new muscle protein is higher than muscle protein breakdown (MPB) aka the rate at which the muscle protein is broken down, you gain net muscle. The degree of the muscle protein synthesis is largely regulated by the hormone testosterone and is a major reason that men have more muscle mass compared to women. What Happens When You Take Steroids © YouTube PEDs or AAS mimic natural testosterone, thus elevating the muscle protein synthesis and it is estimated that globally, 15% of gym goers use these substances. When you inject these drugs, your gene expression begins to change and that too from day 1 of injecting them. Steroids enter your cells and bind to the androgen receptors. Once they are bound to the androgen receptors, they can easily move into the nucleus and attach to your DNA. This, in turn, activates hundreds of genes in your body to increase muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle protein breakdown. Because of this, people on PEDs can have 3 to 5x more nuclei than a normal individual. And more nuclei meaning more muscle cells. PEDs can also reduce a person's fat cells meaning gaining muscle and losing fat. Furthermore, this increase in nuclei also has a protective effect against muscle damage meaning that you do not induce damage to your muscle fibers with even intense bouts of exercise and you can work out for longer hours without being exhausted. Add to this, the speedy recovery time (partly due to lesser damage in the first place) allows you to exercise more and hit the gym more frequently without any dip in the intensity of your sessions. All in all, the usage of PEDs or AAS results in the following: 1. Increased muscle size 2. Increase in strength 3. Protection of muscle fibers against damage 4. Increased exercise tolerance 5. Increased recovery Note- This article is just scratching the surface and only looking at the benefits or upsides of AAS/PEDs usage. As every coin has two sides, these drugs have a lot of documented downsides as well which is a topic for another article altogether. Author bio: Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company. He is regarded as someone who will make it easy for you to understand the process by putting things in the right context and providing science-based recommendations for natural bodybuilding. You can reach out to him at pratik@getsetgo.fitness and follow him on Instagram and Facebook.
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