We bet you know the struggle: if you’re massive and muscular — people always assume that you’re on steroids. Unfortunately, not all people understand that being on anabolics is not an easy way to get gains, and even fewer people understand that not all performance enhancement compounds are steroidal by nature.
It’s a small guide that you can send to your friends next time they’ll try to belittle your achievements in the gym by saying that you’re just «on steroids». Or it can help you stay closer to the natural gang and still get the gains no natty would ever achieve.
Why Not All Gear is Steroids
In short, because that’s not how the human body works, and that’s not how bodybuilding works, at all. Here are some simple arguments, why the world of performance enhancement is not limited to steroids:
- There are multiple ways to achieve muscle growth. Anabolic processes depend not just on Testosterone and hormones: human growth hormone aka somatropin, IGF-1 (fell free to check whether IGF-1 LR3 is in stock in our store now), insulin, a whole variety of substances can affect your muscles;
- Bodybuilding is not just about pure muscle mass. It’s about aesthetics. In order to achieve the body you want, you need to keep your fat level down, keep your skin condition up, keep an eye on excessive water retention, and so on;
- It’s not even limited to pure looks: performance itself matters as well. What’s the point of having an insane back and a 6-pack if you can’t lift anything? Endurance and strength matter as well — and there are ways to boost them without intervening in the core structure of sex hormones.
In short, it just doesn’t work like that. Bodybuilding was never a simple thing. There’s more science to it than just «take steroids and get big or don’t take steroids and stay small».
Performance Enhancement Without Steroids
Now — to clarify a bit. This article is not about eating healthy or protein shakes. It’s even not about one of these:
- Whey protein;
- Antioxidants and the right, testosterone-boosting food;
- Amino acids;
- Fatty acids like Omega-3 and other;
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
This is an incomplete list of things that are technically responsible for performance enhancement, but they are too weak compared to anabolic steroids.
Scientifically proven to boost your results in the gym? Yes.
As effective as, say, a Deca cycle? Hell no. Not even close.
Here we’ll talk about things that are JUST as powerful, or ALMOST as powerful as anabolic steroids in terms of transforming your body. Effective, backed by studies, in some cases — even time-tested compounds that are — technically — not steroidal.
And instead of talking about whole classes and families of substances, old and new, we’ll talk about the best of them.
Gear That is Not Gear: the Short List
One by one, the list of our favorites would look like this:
- GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 peptides;
- Ligandrol SARM.
Now that your eyes are probably rolled (yeah yeah, sarms bad), let’s take a closer look at why we are talking about these and not other things.
The magical compound that allows you to say that you’re a natty but never look like one: Clen is one of the oldest tricks in the book for PRO athletes. It has a special place in bodybuilding, being both an internationally acknowledged cheating compound and not technically the «gear» that can get you canceled from the big stage.
Clenbuterol is the ultimate weight loss compound. When you work out like crazy, you want the result of your work to be seen. You want to have as low body fat as possible, so every tiny muscle group that makes you sweat would pop out and get noticed.
How Clenbuterol works
Clen, being a Beta2-agonist, boosts your metabolic rate by slightly raising your body temperature. More calories, more energy get burned with little to no side effects, and as the result — you lose body fat. It’s not literal «melting», it’s just a simple explanation, but you can expect a boost in weight loss of about 10-20%.
When to take Clenbuterol
Surprisingly, NOT when your main objective is to lose fat. Clenbuterol is a weight loss compound, but do not overestimate it. It can help you:
- Break through a plateau;
- Get rid of the last few percents of excess body fat (you know that it’s unhealthy to eliminate it completely, right?);
- Prepare for the stage or for the summer season after fighting extra weight after the bulking cycle with all other methods.
Note that Clen has a relatively small list of areas when it can truly shine. It doesn’t mean that it won’t work for general weight loss, it’s just not where it’s the best thing you can use. After all, the best thing for weight loss is eating right and sleeping well.
However, we still have to acknowledge that Clenbuterol IS a powerful bodybuilding gear and a non-steroidal tool that you can use to push your physique beyond the limits. In combination with a nice calorie deficit, it’s just as powerful as the classic «cutting cycle» gear. And the best part is — it’s way, way less dangerous in terms of side effects.
Before you probably roll your eyes — don’t. We know that both peptides and sarms are largely anticipated. But what did you expect from an article on performance enhancement compounds that are NOT steroids?
We’re not going to talk about «that one new experimental thingy that already passed a half of rat studies and just one rat out of 10 died, what a success!», no. Let’s talk about the peptide class that’s been around longer than Superdrol: the GHRP peptides.
How GHRP Peptides Work
Both GHRP-2 and GHRP-6 (the difference is in their power) are easy to understand: GHRP just stands for Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides. That’s exactly what they do: release growth hormone. Not by themselves, but by mimicking ghrelin and activating your pituitary gland to produce more growth hormone, somatropin, naturally.
When to Take GHRP-6 or GHRP-2
Literally any time you want to boost your performance and get slight anti-aging benefits along the way. With GHRP peptides, despite their non-steroidal nature, you get all the classic steroidal benefits (even though they are mostly weaker) — and more:
- Muscle and strength growth
- Increased bone tissue density (aka fewer chances to break your legs or crack your knees in a deadlift);
- Better look (from skin condition to its tone);
- Boosted immunity and overall health (because that’s what growth hormone does).
The main benefits of GHRP peptides are simple: you get zero to none side effects (well, most likely) and you get it for a small portion of the price that you would have to pay for pure HGH.
We don’t even mention Human Growth Hormone in this guide because it’s in a different league budget-wise, way more expensive than anabolic steroids or other performance enhancement compounds.
Ligandrol aka LGD-4033 is that one thing that’s worth trying if you’re curious about SARMs but don’t really want to dive deep in it. Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators act in the same field as anabolic steroids and affect the same receptors, but do it selectively — not as the majority of classic anabolic steroids do.
How Ligandrol Works
It’s oral, so you take it as a regular pill. It gets to your digestive system, to your blood, and goes all around your body. Now, that’s where the main difference kicks in: instead of acting ALL around your body, it affects ONLY the receptors in your skeletal muscles.
When to Take Ligandrol
As a bulking compound, best time to take it during the off-season, when you’re typically going to bulk and need:
- Muscle growth;
- Strength gains;
- Endurance boost.
It’s a wet compound and it’s suppressive, so it’s the least different option from steroids. Slightly weaker, slightly less dangerous, and most importantly — it’s not an anabolic steroid.
Some Final Words
At the end of the day, all performance enhancement compounds are pretty much the same. These tricks, using non-steroidal or non-hormonal compounds, are going to work ONLY with people that are ready to dive into this world and process new information.
While there ARE ways to avoid anabolic steroids and still get comparable effects, there are NO ways to get the same effects, for the same price, in the same time frames, without steroids. Whether the hassle is worth it or not — you’re the one to decide.