Tag Archive: training

99.99% of women will tell you “I don’t want to build muscles, just lose fat and tone”.

Now guys, keep on reading, this is going to come back to you!

When I even mention the words “weight training” to women they freak! They immediately conjure up the images that the media has brainwashed us to think of how women look that do weight training.


If a woman does serious weight training naturally (without anabolic steroids) then the female hormone, estrogen, can and will never give her the appearance of a male in terms of muscle shape and size. This will ONLY happen when she starts using testosterone (anabolic steroids) that provides her with an abundance of the male hormone and thus starts changing the shape and appearance of her body and muscles.

Those women who understand this have risen to incredible heights with fantastic feminine body shapes.

A woman must do the same exercises that a man performs to get her body to look great. That exercises is NOT cardio. It is intense weight training, covering systematically all muscle groups stimulating muscle growth.

Those interested in the program I’ve been following: available now fully customised (for women also) on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: 


When growth occurs in both men and women, THAT is when the body starts taking on incredible shape. Muscles are what gives the body shape NOT low body fat! You can have incredible low body fat and you will look terrible, especially naked. Muscles are the key in BOTH men and women to give that killer shape.

The female hormone (estrogen) will only allow a muscle growth within the confines of this hormone, which means more subtle, feminine shaped muscles.

The male hormone is a potent muscle-building hormone and will allow muscle to grow within the confines of this hormone which means bigger size and more manly shaped muscles.

Now regarding the guys, NONE of the top bodybuilder of today are natural. They can only achieve such great size by using anabolics and other substances.

The male hormone will limit growth for men to an athletic and aesthetic body with serious weight training. ONLY by using anabolic steroids and the likes can you grow pass this natural limit.





This clearly indicates the incredible effect, natural muscle development has on both the male and female body.

This is NOT called toning! This is called serious and intense resistance weight training. There is no other way for both men and women. To stimulate and build the muscles to achieve an awesome and incredible shaped physique.

So guys back to you! If any guy tells me he does not want to build muscles because he doesn’t want to look muscled, with respect, you have no idea what you are talking about. Muscles give shape to the body and muscle development in a natural environment only results in an incredible aesthetic physique.

If you tell me you want a shapeless body, then well, I understand but will still question your sanity!


Click here to view video “Supplements that WORK”

Wish you all happy training


Gert Louw

Click here to view video “The 5 BIGGEST bodybuilding mistakes

My road to bodybuilding started after the age of 40. It took me nearly 6 years being older and wiser to learn from my mistakes. Now at over 50 I am in the best shape of my life. But very often I wish I had the knowledge I had now when I was in my 20’s.

For those who are prepared to listen to the people who have walked the path and put a lid on their ego’s, this info can be extremely valuable and can mean a serious reduction in time to reach a great body.

So here follows my list of the 5 biggest mistakes people (and me) made when you start out with bodybuilding:

Insufficient training intensity

The pro’s in any sport reach such a high limit because they do not just push their body to failure but they use their mind to force their body literally past it’s abilities.

If you think you are training to failure it is time to review. Use your focus and mind to force you further into the unknown to the very brink of your bodies and minds abilities. This is where serious growth occurs.

 Working through pain

If you think it is the “manly” thing to work through pain – WRONG! Especially in bodybuilding when pain is experienced it spells danger and you MUST listen to it and attend to solving or alleviating the problem. Tendon and joints issues do NOT disappear – it gets worse and can derail your efforts for months! The quicker you give attention to it the quicker it is solved and the quicker you grow.

 Bad technique or form

Many guys starting out think form is not that important and that you must just be able to lift or push the weight and all is good. This asks for injury but even worse than that you will find that you will struggle to isolate muscles and as such never achieve an aesthetic look. When you do an exercise focus to ONLY use the muscle exercised – keep your elbows / shoulders, etc, stable and prevent them from swinging to help lift weights. You MUST get a mind muscle connection and visualize just that muscle working with every rep.

 Not weighing food / counting calories

Your diet not in place you WILL fail. If you ever want to reach incredible shredded muscle heights you MUST weigh your food and count calories.

 Average standards

Do you for one moment think that any of the professional bodybuilders had mediocre standards driving them. You MUST reach for the stars and apply the highest standards possible. Arnold, Lou Ferrigno and Ryan Terry amongst others do not have magic genes. They did not accept average standards and simply MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I am over 50 now and my shape is better than most 20 y/o top bodybuilders. Simply because I refuse to employ average standards.



Wish you Happy Training

Gert Louw


After many requests I finally made a video on my building phase training program. This is the program I follow to add maximum muscle mass.

No fancy stuff, hardcore and sticking to the basics with lots of compound moves.

  • I train only 4 days a week due to the heavy intensity lifting.
  • My Training days are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • My rest days are Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Before every training session I will do a 10 min warm-up with light weights.

Cardio? Well what you must accept is that cardio is a MUSCLE KILLER!
Your muscle size will be directly equivalent to the amount of cardio you do. More cardio = smaller muscles no matter how good you train or diet.

So in the building phase I severely limit cardio (in fact I am not doing any!).

My body-fat levels are solely determined by my building phase diet: http://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/

My weight is 90.3kg right now and at 1.75m tall that is a lot of muscle and my heaviest ever, so I am moving into new territory…nice!


Here follows the video I did – hope u enjoy and maybe learn something…

Click on the following link to view video: “Training program for MAX muscle growth”


Wish you guys much growth!


gertx3 gertX2

Click here to play video “How to eradicate joint pain”


Joint pain is probably the most common injury a bodybuilder struggle with. And the bad part is, as you pass the 40 y/o mark the challenges increases drastically to walk the narrow pain-free road with your joints.

In this article I will explain how to train to avoid /minimizing joint pain and then also give some options as a last resort for effective treatment considerations.


When we speak about joint pain then we generally refer to any of the following:


The good news is that all three can be nearly fully avoided, even for us older folks. (I am not taking into account genetic predisposition to arthritis or similar conditions)


A very effective avoidance principle

Few of us employ the basic training principles required for avoidance. It is so simple but our aim and eagerness to grow is the main culprit here.

The human body CANNOT take increasing punishment month after month for an extended period.

IT WILL BREAK! And the first to go is your tendons, joints and immune system.

Younger guys can get away with it to a certain degree but as you age your body has less testosterone and growth hormone available and the healing and repair slows down = breaking easier.

The avoidance principle is as follows: A Three month Building Phase must be applied and followed by a three-month Cutting Phase in a very specific way and repeated.

Click here to play video “Cutting & Building phases explained”


During the Building phase you will punish your body severely and consume higher calories. This is where growth occurs. You will increase the weight sizes (sets of 8 reps) with a maximum of 10% every 14 days. NOT MORE THAN 10%! Even if you feel you have to power, DON’T! Your tendons and joints need time to strengthen in a structured gradual approach. Bypassing this step-up gradual approach and you WILL run into joint and tendons problems. This I guarantee you.

The Building phase will be continued for a 3 month period.

Click here to play video “Building Phase diet”


At the end of the 3 months you will enter the Cutting Phase. This Cutting phase’s purpose is to allow for tendon and joint healing and to cut the body fat down for a shredded look with fewer calories consumed daily compared to the Building phase.  You will cut the weight sizes lifted on ALL exercises by 30% and increase the reps per set to be 15-20 for all exercises (from the 8 reps per set on the Building phase). You do NOT train to failure in the Cutting phase. Your body needs time to repair and strengthen the tendons and joints after the hammering of the Building phase. This is a CRITICAL approach for joint health and the moment you bypass this alternating Building/Cutting phase approach you WILL run into problems.

The Cutting phase is NOT a phase for growing muscles but simply to maintain them while allowing the body time (3-months) to heal and strengthen tendons and joints.

Click here to play video “Cutting phase DIET”


Three months is considered the safest and best approach for the length of the phases. If you lengthen the time of the Building phase, the risk for joint/tendon injury will skyrocket.

I again emphasize: Do NOT underestimate the importance this approach is playing for joint health. It is also a method employed by most successful bodybuilders.


Just a short note on TENDONITIS

Tendonitis is inflammation/damage of tendons and can sometimes be dealt with an over the counter medication like aspirin or ibuprofen (ask your health care worker).

Tendonitis can be fairly easily avoided/managed by applying the following basic principles:

  • Warm up thoroughly, gradually building the intensity level of your workout. Cool down after the session.
  • Train for a new sport before you start it. Start building strength and flexibility in the muscles you will use a few weeks or months in advance.
  • Learn the proper method/technique and use the proper equipment for any exercise or activity.
  • Work out regularly, not just once a week (4 to 5 days a week)
  • SLOWLY increase weight sizes (not more than 10% every 14 days)


Short note on Bursitis (Tennis/Golfers Elbow)

One of the primary reasons for tennis/golfers elbow is bad form/technique. The critical aspect that must be avoided is bending the wrist up or down when handling any weight. The wrist and hand must be 100% in a straight line with the forearm. The bending of the wrist inwards and outwards places severe stress on the elbow and it’s workings and is usually a primary cause for Bursitis.


Tips on how to deal with joint paint after exercise

  • Ice: The most straightforward solution is to apply ice to the affected joint. Immediately after an intense workout, put ice on your muscles and joints to prevent inflammation and speed up the healing process. However, ice will not solve everybody’s joint troubles.
  • Eat more raw vegetables: The vitamins and minerals in raw vegetables contain a number of helpful things that ease your joint pain. Designed specifically to fight the effects of muscle oxidation, natural vegetables are often your best option.
  • Avoiding painful exercises: Some workouts are more painful than others. Depending on your body’s shape, size, and flexibility, certain workouts could negatively affect your joints. If you haven’t been noticing significant gains from a specific workout, but have experienced joint pain, then you might want to cut that workout from your routine.


Supplements which treat joint pain
If bodybuilding is one of the most important things in your life, then you may want to consider taking a supplement to help ease your joint pain.

  • Omega 3 & 6 is a rather important supplement when dealing with joint pain. 3 tablets morning and 3 tablets evening usually sufficient. Also make sure you get enough good fat in – Peanut Butter, Avocado, extra virgin olive oil, etc…
  • Super Cissus has been show to help control joint pain. It is no wonder supplement but might help some to relief pain.
  • There is a natural substance found in high concentrations in our joint structures known as Glucosamine. Numerous double-blind studies have shown that Glucosamine produces better results in the treatment of joint pain than traditional drug therapy. The main function of glucosamine is to stimulate the manufacture of substances necessary for joint repair. Glucosamine is a well-tolerated, natural treatment. There have been no reported adverse reactions. In rare instances, some gastric discomfort was reported but was easily relieved by taking the supplement with food.
  • Other supplements worth trying: MSM and Chondroitin.
  • Deca Durabulin (an anabolic steroid) is available as a prescription from doctors for treating severe joint pain. It has great success (as many bodybuilders in the past can testify too) and is also a great lean muscle builder. So if you think you fall in this category – speak to your doctor and get the added benefit of muscle growth minus the pain.


Word of Warning

Any supplement (creatine for example) or anabolic steroid that enhances your power levels drastically with immediate effect will put you at severe high risk for joint problems. You might have the power now but your joints and tendons are not strengthened to deal with the power. Many, many anabolic steroid users run into this injury territory.


Wish you happy training and GROW. Cheers…

Gert Louw



This is the first time that my past 10 years life story and motivation for my transformation has been put to video, thanks to two people who crossed my path (Adriaan Fourie and Gary King)

It is not something I talk easily about because of all the emotions involved. I see this step of making the video as part of the emotional healing process.

The purpose of this video is meant to inspire and give hope to those that feel they are in a hopeless situation.

Life is beautiful and precious and we can never throw in the towel. There is so much beauty in this life but we have to get up and find it. We don’t have to search far but we must take that first steps.

Whatever you might be facing today, there IS HOPE!

Gert Louw


Yes, it is possible to have amazingly shaped muscular legs without resorting to weightlifting.

This article is for the person who wants aesthetic shaped legs without excessive muscle size.

The program being suggested here, is also great for cardio fitness and might initially be difficult for the novice due to the rather high fitness level required.

If so, start of with less reps per set and shorter distances for lunges, etc.

Here is a quick overview of the program:

Frequency: 3 times per week.


  1. Walking forward lunges (with weight on shoulders) – 4 sets of +- 30m
  2. Sideways lunges (with weight on shoulders) – 4 sets of +- 30m
  3. Medicine ball throwing squat – 3 sets of 30
  4. Standing Knee-ups (elbow height) – 3 sets of 30
  5. Knee-ups and squats combined – 3 sets of 15
  6. Standing squat – 3 sets of 20

Points of note

  1. This program will suite both guys and girls.
  2. Lunges are an amazing aesthetic leg shaper – do not substitute it with something else.
  3. All squats must be performed going not lower than 90 degrees with lower/upper leg angle. This puts strain on the lower back and also more pressure on knees.
  4. The knee-up and squat combined is rather intense and you might initially struggle with it. But it is a GREAT exercise for balanced growth. Even if you just do 2 reps per set the first 2 weeks, then up the amount of reps by small steps every 2nd week until you reached your desired goal.
  5. Hydrate well during this training – you are going to sweat.
  6. Start of with no weight on shoulders and lightest medicine ball possible and work it up very slowly by increasing in smallest portions every two weeks.
  7. The knee-ups is also a great abdominal shaper.
  8. Eat correct for growth (every 3-4 hours), rest enough for growth (do NOT overtrain) and train HARD for results.
aesthetic leg training

aesthetic leg training

Wish you success! Cheers…

Gert Louw

As the years progressed, I have evolved my training regimen from my original transformation program (http://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-program/) to be more focused and more goal oriented in nature.

In this video I discussed the routine I am currently applying for bicep and tricep growth when I am on my 3-month cutting phase.

Cutting phase implies the process of bringing bodyfat down to enhance the muscled ripped look while keeping muscle size or even slightly increasing it.

In short, the arm routine for the cutting phase involves performing two huge super sets: Super Set One and Super Set Two.


  • Super Set One consists of a bicep exercise (20 reps) + tricep exercise (20 reps) +bicep exercise (20 reps) performed back to back with no resting in between.
  • When you completed above set for Super Set One, rest for 3 minutes and repeat Super Set One for a total of three times.
  • SLOW (!) and very CONTROLLED (!) movements during every rep.
  • Visualize the target muscle during each rep in your head and get a very focused “mind muscle” connection. Feel only the target muscle work to perform the movement.
  • During all triceps and bicep exercises, keep the elbows as stationary as possible to make sure that only the bicep do the lifting. The more you move the elbows the more involved the shoulders (and to lesser extend pecs and back) become to lift the weight.
  • Use full range of motion for exercises, meaning widest possible angle to make sure that the whole bicep/tricep muscle gets a workout.
  • You MUST (!) fail with each exercise on the 20th (last) rep of each set. [very important – key principle for growth]

When finished with 3 x Super Set One, stretch for 5 minutes to relax muscles (perform various stretching exercises involving the biceps, triceps and shoulders).

This not only help the muscle recover better but also enhances blood flow plus it helps keeping the veins more elastic and prevent hardening of arteries to and extent. It is also believed to be an important factor in obtaining aesthetic looking muscles.

SUPER SET TWO (the same as above with the following differences)

  • Perform 3 different exercises (biceps + triceps +biceps) than those you did in Super Set One.
  • When finished with 3 x Super Set TWO, stretch for 5 minutes to relax muscles (perform various stretching exercises involving the biceps, triceps and shoulders).

End of your routine with 15-20 minutes of moderate cardio.

Be wary of too much cardio. Cardio is a muscle size killer. You cannot expect to have  big muscle size and do a lot of cardio. The two goes against each other.

If you have body fat you want to get rid of you should do that via fine tuning your diet and not through excessive cardio.


Before training (stick to basics don’t waste your money on fancy stuff!):

  • 45 minutes before training 8 tablets BCAA’s (prevent a catabolic state during training)
  • 45 minutes before training 5g L-Glutamine

After training:

  • Immediately after training eat 1 apple or banana.
  • Immediately after the apple/banana drink a serving fast absorption whey protein.
  • 1-2 hours after training eat a small fat-free meal containing a decent protein serving.


Any questions, please feel free to contact me.


Gert Louw


gert louw

For the last week I’ve been doing something new.

I’ve read about this new “surprise” fitness study which discuss the benefits of taking a paracetamol tablet before intense workout/aerobic.
This allows the athlete to train longer,since the effect of paracetamol is to keep the body temperature lower for longer thus allowing the athlete a much more effective session.

So I decided to test this theory….I got nothing to loose because it is a very safe painkiller and at my age…well, there are MANY pains and aches to contend with during training.

I started taking my one tablet 40 minutes before training for the past week
and I believe it elevated my training to a new level. I now train with
significant higher intensity for longer and also feel less pain
throughout the training…next day muscle soreness is also significantly
less than normal.

My max weight has also drastically increased on all excercises (between 10% to 20%)…but I believe it to be an outflow of the above positive factors.

Regarding the safety of it…well paracetamol is just about the safest of all painkiller tablets and is very easy on both kidneys and liver. I think the importance is not to take more than one tablet and to take it only on training days.

Try it and let me know if u agree with me.

Since I’ve started training (for the past 8 years) I believe it to be the single thing that made the most difference for me in my training…but maybe it is just me?

Anyway…happy training!



Injuries will be one of the main obstacles for anyone in serious training, especially for the over 40 crowd. Even the youth don’t escape it, but us more mature subjects has less flexibility in our muscles and tendons. This result in injuries.

For a 20-year-old one month from training does little harm. For a 45-year-old it is a severe setback (due to the lower testosterone and growth hormone levels).

So the older you are the wiser you need to train!


I am going to focus here on just the most common injuries:

  • Tennis and Golfers elbow.
  • Muscle tear prevention.
  • What to do when a muscle is torn?

Tennis and Golfers elbow


Tennis elbow is the tearing or damage of the tendon on the outside of the elbow and golfers elbow the damage on the inside of the elbow. Both hurts like hell and can derail your training completely.

If you already have the condition, step number one is to go to the doctor and get and injection to get the inflammation under control. That should be followed up by about 10 days of anti-inflamatories to keep the inflammation down and allow for healing.

You should be able to keep training but the following training guidance is critical.

Train correct to allow healing or prevention of Tennis/Golfers elbow.

How to prevent Tennis/Golfers elbow?

For guys (and girls) who lift…there is a simple rule to prevent both those conditions: Keep your wrist straight. Your hand must ALWAYS be completely straight and aligned with your forearm. This should be during the WHOLE movement. NEVER bent your wrist up or down while lifting or carrying weights. That focus the tension on the inside or outside tendon (depending on which way the wrist is bent, bent upwards = outside tendon, bent downwards = inside tendon) and result in the tear or damage.

Concentrate on this during your whole workout. Never ever bend your wrist while lifting weights or train on machines or even while holding weights. Keep the hand and forearm always a perfect straight line. That place equal pressure and stress on both the front and back tendons and lower the change for damage.


Muscle tears

Just about 99.99% of muscle tears (shoulder, bicep, leg) is a result of failure to warm up the muscle sufficiently.

What to do to prevent a muscle tear?

  • Make sure you do proper warming up. Basically that means get the blood flowing and just start to break a sweat. (It takes me 7 – 10 minutes). That could be treadmill or similar cardio exercise.
  • Before you jump into lifting heavy you need to do at least 40 reps with a light weight to make sure the target muscle is well warmed up.
  • Now you should be ready to start lifting heavy, but I always make sure my first set is just 50% of my max weight. My 2nd set is at full force.

Another point of note here: I believe stretching the target muscle after each set keeps your muscle and to a lesser extend the tendons flexible. Many fitness people don’t support the stretching benefits (some research has been done which actually support some aspects of their thinking.) However, I believe in the stretching even if it just to help the muscle relax after the intense contractions. Choose for yourself but stretching has only helped me in my training.

I am speculating and say that that stretching might even influence the muscles eventual shape. Intense lifting make the muscle tense up. Stretching help it relaxes and does the opposite than the intense contraction. I believe it does play a part in the aesthetics of the muscle even if a small part.

What to do when a muscle is torn?


Do not run off to your physio!

Go straight to a sports medical doctor.

He will most probably send you for a scan to confirm the suspicion. If that suspicion is confirmed a small operation need to be done to attach the muscle again.

It is CRITICAL that the muscle is attached as soon as possible. If you want to fix this 2 months or so down the line…sorry but that muscle cannot be attached anymore.

IMMEDIATELY get to your doctor and make sure no muscle was torn.

If a muscle is only partly torn then no operation is needed and with some treatment (injections + anti inflamatories + physio) the situation can be remedied. But if the muscle is completely torn, YOU HAVE TO GET OPERATED and quick!


Steroids and muscle tears

To the steroid crowd, you need to be very carefull of tearing muscles and tendons. Some anabolic steroids will make the muscle stronger and more powerfull instantly but the tendons stay weak. It means you can more easily get injured. Even if you have the power, be carefull to lift too fast too quickly because the tendons needs time to grow and get strong before you can jump too much in weight size lifted.


Diet effects on tendons and muscle tears – Make sure you get a good amount of omega 3, 6 & 9 in. This has been shown to help keep joint and tendons healthy.


LEARN FROM MY INJURY: The bicep has two muscles – upper and lower. Four months ago I’ve torn my left arms lower bicep muscle. I thought it was just a small tear and went to the physio instead of the doctor. Not a good move. Today my doctor told me that he thinks my bottom muscle has been completely torn off and that he cannot attach it because it must be attached very soon after the tear occurred. So my left bicep will only function with one muscle and theoretically be 50% weaker.  NEW UPDATE 7 Feb 2013 – Just went for proper scans of the bicep and it showed that the lower bicep muscle is intact, slightly deformed due to the tear but intact. The problem is rather the tendon of the bicep which is partly torn as a result of lifting too heavy while the bicep tear was not healed properly…so nothing that some injections + anti-inflamatories + wise training won’t remedy…praise God!


Be wise…train wise…and grow!



To Steroid or Not…

We are at a time where all anabolic steroids are banned substances to the degree that in many cases it is even considered worse than street drugs like cocaine and the likes.

Considering that anabolic steroids are in its pure form normal testosterone which already is flowing in our veins and which define us as men, it somehow raises an eyebrow about what is going on here?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the successful road for making lasting lifestyle changes lies not in anabolic steroids neither in diet drugs. It lies in changing your lifestyle in such a way that your body performs optimal to grow muscle (or lose fat) without applying such substances.

I make a claim: 99% of all competing bodybuilders take anabolic steroids. In fact most of all the seriously competing athletes (of all sports) take anabolic steroids or banned substances. Take a peep into some fitness forums or just read some “unoffical” reports of the olympic games or talk to those in the mix.

It is not a matter of wrong to use it, but rather a wrong when you get caught out.

Plus it is VERY easy for these athletes to use it and not get caught out. I’ll explain later.

So the controlling mechanism to stop the steroid abuse is failing miserably. This makes the testing and catching out of guilty parties a farce. I honestly feel sorry for people who get caught out with testing and now must face the brunt of the world while just about all the other athletes are just continue juggling their use of anabolic steroids.

Yes, no other athlete should have an unjust advantage over the other, but the fact is the system is failing miserably.

Those interested in the program I’ve been following: available now fully customised on all levels, just for you. Every little secret, every hard-earned practical fact, every scientific study that actually support the (very) few supplements between all the thousand ridiculous advertisement claims have been filtered en incorporated into one system that MAKES A DIFFERENCE click here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

Gert Louw WENDYHOUSE small

But, what make it “wrong”, and is it really “wrong”?

There are many sides to the story and I am not gonna settle the bill with just this one article…but to fitness enthusiasts I would like to shed some light on certain aspects of anabolic steroids.

I make another statement: You are doing much more harm to your body by taking a diet pill than by taking an anabolic steroid in its purest form (testosterone). Overdosing on diet pills (even over the counter medication) might even kill you where no person has ever died from a SINGLE dose of steroid overdosing or abuse.

The reason why non-athletes use a diet pill is because they want to look better…exactly the same reason why non-athletes use anabolic steroids. The testosterone in its pure form is a natural substance for the body, the diet pill is not!

But the anabolic steroid is considered illegal and by using this natural product you can end you up in jail.

There are reasons why we are in this situation. So many teenagers and people started using steroids that it led to lawmakers trying to apply methods to control it. But in the effort to control it, it was made illegal.

Double standards are being applied and it is not solving the problem .

If you’re a fitness enthusiast it is important that you are aware of exactly what an anabolic steroid is.

Let’s look at some key anabolic steroids and facts surrounding them:

There are two groups: 17-Alpha steroids and the non-17-Alpha steroids.

The 17-alpha steroid is what creates the stir in the media. They are potentially harmful and since they are the cheapest and often in pill form, they get abused by youngsters without knowing the harm it can cause.

The main problem of the alpha 17 steroid is that it is hepatoxic. (The liver cannot easily break the steroid down before it is released in to the blood stream.) The liver has to work harder to break down these steroids.

Examples: winstrol, anavar/oxandrolone, dianabol, halotestin.

The non-17-alpha steroids has much less side effects with some having nearly no side effects at all (primobolan). This often get’s overlooked in discussion about steroids. When the media refer to steroids, they nearly always refer to the alpha 17 steroids. But they are uneducated in the matter.

Examples of non alpha 17 steroids: testosterone propionate, testosterone enanthate, equipoise, primobolan, masteron.

With abusing even non-alpha-17 steroids there will be side effects as with any other medication getting abused. But by using low recommended dosages it is generally very safe.

Teenage abuse

A danger that teenagers are unaware off, is that any anabolic steroid will disrupt your HPTA function which means zero fertility and shrinking testicals (depending on the steroid used of course) while on the steroid cycle.

With some anabolic steroids there is almost no effect on the HPTA axis (Primobolan & anavar) but with just about all the others (in both groups) this is a normal effect of the steroid because the body realizes it does not have to produce its own testosterone anymore. (remember the testes…are the testosterone factories.)

It is not such a big problem as it sound since when discontinuing the steroid the HPTA axis will normalize by itself and the testical size will get back to its original size. However what youngsters don’t realize is that if they are continuing too long on the steroid and don’t give the HPTA axis regular intervals to recover (3 months on, 3 months off), they can permanently damage their sperm production and become infertile. This is a real threat and young guys must truly be aware of this – it is not something to be trifled with.

Anabolic Steroid users should strongly consider to follow a post cycle treatment program to help normalize the testosterone production of the testes. This typically involves Nolvadex or Clomid (to stop the estrogen backlash until the testosterone levels has been normalized again – take about 3-4 weeks) and in severe cases HCG injections to stimulate the testes to produce testosterone again (but be carefull since overdoing the HCG can cause the “bitch tits” problem).

I spoke to my medical doctor (a fitness enthusiast himself) and he mentioned that one of his patients, a teenage rugby player, told him that he was the only person in his team who is not using steroids.

So there is real reason the be concerned…

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Another problem that youngsters don’t realize, is that testosterone help stop bone growth (a natural function of testosterone), meaning, it stop you from growing taller. So if you take it before the age of 25 you are speeding up your process of halting your growth. Growth continues to occur at a slow pace until the age of 25. The ONLY steroid that does not halt bone growth in youngsters “seems” to be anavar (which at high dosages or long cycles can damage your liver but with shorter cycles generally safe).

Let’s quickly delve into some of the other possible side effects of anabolic steroids that is often listed in the media:

  1. Liver damage (quite possible with extended use of alpha 17 steroids, very unlikely with moderate use of non alpha 17 steroids).
  2. Loosing hair – become bald. (unfortunately the more testosterone you have in your system the quicker you will loose your hair…that is the fact and this does NOT mean ALL bald guys is steroid users! They are just very virile!)
  3. Acne (Can be a problem with high dosages of anabolic steroids in both groups – very dependant on the specific steroid used).
  4. High blood pressure. (Only a problem when higher dosages are used – but some steroids are more prone to raise blood pressure than others. Primobolan and Anavar, for example has nearly no effect.)
  5. Shrinking testical size (That can happen but will be restored as soon as anabolic steroid is discontinued)
  6. Bitch Tits” (Some men is prone to fat around the nipples and that will make them more susceptible to get this condition on anabolics. It is normally a result of stopping a steroid cycle abruptly and not tapering off the usage which result in the “bitch tits” or when the backlash estrogen gets too high during a anabolic cycle.)
  7. Steroid rage. (If you were a bastard before steroid use you will just be a bigger one on it. If you were a nice guy before, you will still be a nice guy on it…this is just a myth.)
  8. Hardened Arteries. There is no denying that steroid abuse will result in a degree of hardening of the arteries. Many research studies have proven this. But the practicality of this is that, a bodybuilder/fitness enthusiast with moderate anabolic steroids use (and not more than 2 short cycles per year) is by his fitness and lifestyle choices MUCH healthier (with less damage to the body) than a person who smoke, uses alcohol and is overweight, all of which none (overweight/smoking/drinking alcohol) is prohibited by law. It really is a completely double standard system and law makers try to use the anabolic steroids harmful effects as the reason for the laws, but conveniently give no attention to MUCH more harmful abuses and lifestyles and that results in the huge problematic anabolic steroid black market usage.

What effect does an anabolic steroid have?

An anabolic steroid is NOT a wonder pill as many are thinking. If you take it you will add a few kilogram (3-5kg) of muscle, but that muscle will still be covered in fat and will still be loose and not well-formed. To get a body worth looking at NOTHING helps but hard work training and diet!

Another class steroids (like Trenbolone, Primobolan, Winstrol, Anavar) can help shredding fat while keeping muscle. But the same hold here. If you do not eat correctly and train hard during the process there will be little changes. Training and eating right is, and ALWAYS will be, the key, not anabolic steroids. Steroids helps and can do wonders but not in the absence of focussed training and dieting.

The route that should have been taken to control steroids:

By making steroids illegal a whole underground black market has been established. For many decent people who enters this territory it means breaking the law to use it or even just have it in your possession. Breaking the law once, makes it so much easier to do it again for something else. It creates an environment not conducive to create a law-abiding society.

A MUCH better solution (with much less double standards) would have been to put the various steroids according to their danger levels in different classes of medication with the least dangerous class being available over the counter but controlled dispersion (meaning monitoring the amounts and durations dispensed on a national database per person to prevent abuse.)

In its purest form it is less harmful than diet pills and over the counter medication…it should be treated that way.

Why can athletes use it and get tested negative?

Any anabolic steroid in oil suspension (which need to be injected) is still detectable in your system for up to 8 months, sometimes even longer. Athletes use the pill form of steroids which in most cases is undetectable within a week. Even some injectables steroid that is suspended in water instead of oil quickly leaves the body without traces.

I believe nothing must replace the act of living healthy with a structured training regime and focussed diet plan. I am against the abuse of anabolics and can only see a place for anabolics where natural test levels are low and/or a person wants to shed serious fat. I can only support very light and safe cycles within the constraints of above.
My personal story is a long one and not the average one about anabolics.
After I was attacked at 40, my prognosis was not good (few years to live), the doctors had me for a few years for a few months per year on Somatropin (growth hormone). This was done in an effort to help stimulate healing and growth of my badly damaged internal organs (especially kidneys and liver) and also combatting side effects from medication.
I had a big battle with the doctor and believe anabolics would be the better option, so I did a serious personal research project on anabolics and growth hormone to try to disprove the doctor. He won the battle, but I gained a very good skill set on all things anabolics and growth hormone.
Since age 50 my doctor put me on TRT therapy (Nebido , 1 a month inejection. dose equals to 200mg test per week) when my test levels dropped to the min levels. Anabolics steroids in general is pretty much a no-go zone for me due to my kidneys functioning only at 50% since age 40 and also serious problems with my liver.
Be under no misconception – when your natural testosterone levels falls below minimum values it poses a serious health risk (various scientific studies have confirm this): heart problems, serious depression, no energy, restless, fatigue, impotence and no interest in sex amongst other. It is CRUCIAL that a male (especially older individuals) must regularly ensure that their testosterone levels are checked and healthy. When one substitute low testosterone levels with external testosterone in natural form and do not exceed maximum allowed testosterone levels then virtually no side effects are experiencing because the body sees it as and treat it as normal. However if you start it will be a lifelong treatment. It should be rather closer to the upper values and not close to the minimum values. Due to the political incorrectness of even mentioning testosterone to a medical doctors some of them have a totally skewed view about administering TRT…I would rather not say how I feel about doctors like that! Find yourself one you can work with…traditionally doctors specialising in treating athletes, fitness/sports injuries are more open to start TRT treatment when needed.

Regarding gaining serious size with anabolics.

To gain serious size, one must also do serious anabolic cycles. The mild use of anabolics will never bring serious size but will keep slowly adding quality muscle. Mild use can even promote health but serious use can, and will have a negative impact on short and long-term health. I am not supporting the use of any type of heavy cycle simply due to health risk. The only cycles I support and will be ready to coach people on are very mild and very safe cycles. It will not have dramatic effects but will still have positive effects nonetheless.
But anabolics will be meaningless if you are not dedicated with your diet and training. Diet and training is the core aspect for any great body.
A healthy body WILL respond greatly to correct diet and training without the use of anabolics – ALWAYS remember that!
Now if you HAVE to do an anabolic steroid cycle then at the very least choose from the safer options, meaning non alpha 17 steroids and only certain one’s in this group.
It is never perfectly safe but 1 short cycle like the one below should do minimal damage…but ALWAYS under a doctors supervision so that at the very least he can monitor you liver, cholesterol, kidneys and bloodpressure/heart rate.

A Typical safe cycle

If u want to venture the anabolic route no matter what, NEVER do it without a doctor monitoring the following:

  • fasting cholesterol,
  • liver (ALT & AST),
  • kidney and
  • blood pressure values.

The blood work must be done BEFORE you start, after 6 weeks and at end of cycle.

Blood pressure and resting heart should be monitored every evening.

Sports Doctors are much more open to the idea of anabolics due to the type of clients they treat. Make contact with one of them and ONLY do your cycle under their supervision. And LISTEN to what they say. They have a great deal of experience in this field.

The following cycle of anabolics is considered one of the safest and can be done for a cutting or building phase.

For 12 weeks:

Every day:

  • 40 mg Proviron in morning and 40 mg Proviron in evening (tablets). This results in more free testosterone available in your system and also provide a more lean and hard look to the muscles. (NEVER exceed 160 mg per day)

Every 2nd day (all injectables – make sure u follow injection protocols to the letter!):

  • 50mg Testosterone Propionate in cutting phase – every 2nd day. NEVER exceed 200mg per week. Do NOT use the enanthate variant. It stays too long active in the body (14 days) in case of complications (fast heart rate, high blood pressure, water retention).
  • 100mg Trenbelone acetate – every 2nd day. But, be forewarn, many guys have an adverse affect from Trenbelone which can easily result in lung infection and bronchitus. A much safer choice is Deca Durabolin at 350mg per week. (Can be exchanged with Primobolan Depot, Equipose (100mg every 2nd day) at same quantities).
  • ADD 100mg Masteron Propionate from week 7 to week 12 – every 2nd day. This provide a hardening effect to the muscles but must only be used when bodyfat levels is below 10%. Masteron is known to raise cholesterol levels drastically! Can only be used for short duration and never if you already have raised cholesterol levels.

Testosterone Propionate is used because it is only bio-available for 4 days in body, so If there are any complications (water rentention, fast heart rate, blood pressure) then it can be brought quickly under control by lowering dosage or stop taking it altogether.

Deca-Durabolin/Masteron/Primobolan Depot/Equipose/Trenbelone Acetate is considered “safe” anabolics at low dosages and can help protect muscle in a low calorie environment.

None of these anabolics are known for liver toxicity or placing pressure on kidneys, but it is always advised that 4L to 6L water must be consumed per day while on cycles. They are not known for high blood pressure problems either (except potentially Testosterone Propionate in higher dosages and maybe Trenbelone). But be aware – ALL anabolics will raise your bad cholesterol, some more than other. Although these are considered mild it will still have an effect. Therefor NEVER do a cycle unless you had your cholesterol checked and it is within normal parameters.

Be very careful with Testosterone (prop or any other variant). Increasing the dosage can result in severe increases in blood pressure, heart rate and water retention. Therefore always start with the minimum suggested dosage and monitor your body’s reaction carefully. Although testosterone is safe for the body, too much of it can have severe side effects, like with anything in life!

Post Cycle Treatment (PCT)

ALL anabolics will to various degrees shut down your own testosterone production. Especially Testosterone Propionate. Generally it is not a problem if you follow 3 simple rules:

  • Stick to recommended dosages.
  • Do not do your cycle for longer than 12 weeks.
  • Do a PCT program at the end of your cycle.

There are varying degrees of PCT protocols treatments that will depend on the quantities anabolics used in your cycle.

PCT for high quantities anabolics used:

  • Day 1-10: HCG at 500iu per day and Proviron at 100mg per day
  • Day 11-15: Nolvadex at 60mg per day
  • Day 16-20: Nolvadex at 40mg per day
  • Day 21-30: Nolvadex at 20mg per day
  • Clomid at 150mg per day.

PCT for low to medium quantities anabolics used:

  • Day 11-15: Nolvadex at 60mg per day
  • Day 16-20: Nolvadex at 40mg per day
  • Day 21-30: Nolvadex at 20mg per day

It is again emphasized that the above undertaking MUST be done only under a doctor’s supervision accompanied by all the necessary blood work. Choose a doctor that specialises in sport related injuries/treatments. They are much more open to the idea of anabolics and although they can never prescribe an anabolic they will be prepared to work with you and monitor your health while you are doing cycles.

Get yourself a home blood pressure monitor machine and measure your blood pressure and resting heart rate every evening. And if u still want kids or u are under 35…steroids is a no-no!

Happy training without steroids!

Gert Louw

Misinformation is skewing the truth. Controlled human studies should be performed in order to put to bed all the myths and fallacies that surround anabolic steroid use and in order to take away the stigma associated with the use. Anabolic steroids have their place within sports and other recreations. But just like any other drug, they should not be abused. Be safe.


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