General Overview of Steroids in Sports: Rationale Beyond Layman Ignorance of Strength and Size

   What is the main difference between professional sports and amateur sports? Strength, speed, and recovery between games/competitions and workouts are a critical factor in all levels of sports. You cannot work harder than everyone else and edge the competition if you are always sore, tired, or injured. I think everyone would agree on this one.

   One could say it is the level of skill and or talent of the athletes involved (depending on how you define skill and talent). Skill for the purpose of further understanding performance enhancing drug use in sport can be defined as the following:

   Talent = Pick the right parents. The ultimate level of ability that an individual is capable of achieving in a given sport/endeavor. This is the one we have all been told by coaches from little league to pop-warner: "few ever reach".

   Skill = an acquired ability to perform a given task from practice, practice, practice. Most people have a much higher ability to obtain "skills" in a given endeavor than they have in "potential".    Many athletes never play the sport that they would have been best at, given their genetic make-up and degree of "talent". The ability to develop skill allows one to further climb the ladder of their "potential". Without practice there is no potential - it would never be realized. So, wouldn't we agree that at some fundamental level, every single athlete in every single sport once-upon-a-time acquired the same set of rudimentary skills? Yup. Agree once again, moving on...

   So what role do anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing drugs play in all this? Well, can anabolics go back in time and change your parents...you know upgrade to a higher genetic standard? Nope. I know if you could I would have used them at age 13 to form a hybrid between Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Bruce Lee.

   Okay, so we come down to only one category where anabolic steroids can really help you: skill acquisition.Wait a second...how much practice do you think an athlete really puts in by the time they reach "pro" status? Ridiculous time right? Well, is it fair to say that even the laziest of "pro" athletes worked extremely hard at "practicing" their skills at some point? Of course.

See, everyone is in agreement so far, I don't see where all the debate comes from. Can there really be two sides to this story?

   Well, what is it that anabolic steroids do? At the most basic level anabolic steroids increase the nitrogen balance of the body, favoring a "positive-nitrogen-balance". Huh that is suppose to be the basic level? Yep - for all those fellow juice enthusiasts out there let me get the rest of the class up to speed. Nitrogen Balance: The Net build-up and break-down of various tissues in the body - muscle, bone, organ, yes even brain tissue is included. But for now, lets keep it to muscle and bone.

Defintions:Layman "Nitrogen Balance" = Recovery

Negative Nitrogen Balance = Poor and Incomplete RecoveryPositive Nitrogen Balance = Full Recovery

Anabolic = tissue building process or healing/building-upCatabolic = tissue wasting or breaking-down process    So anabolic steroids generally increase the rate and the extent of the recovery (super-compensation for those fellow muscle nerds out there). So lets get this straight...the harder you work on steroids, the harder you can work...on steroids.

Watson, I do believe you've got it!

TRANSLATION

Only Hard Work Allows Steroids To Make Your Hard Work Possible!

Bottom Line: At elite levels of sport Only Athletes Who Work the Hardest Will Get Significant Benefit From Anabolic Steroids.

   Lets look into each and every anabolic steroid with respect to its distinct properties, advantages, and disadvantages in various sports to better get an understanding of the science behind the anabolic chemistry of sport.