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Taking Steroids Without Working Out (6 Facts You Must Know)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

In my experience as a trainer for over ten years, I’ve never seen an incredible physique without effort. Even steroid users put in the work.

While I fully understand how steroids work, I decided to research to what degree they enable gains without working out.

So, I teamed up with an endocrinologist and spent a few weeks reviewing and discussing the scientific literature on the matter.

In this article, we’ll look at what happens if you take anabolic steroids without working out, how steroids increase muscle mass, as well as the dangers of taking steroids.

Quick Summary

  • Anabolics provide certain gains regardless of training, but whether steroid users work out or not, they will still experience the side effects of steroid use.
  • Anabolic steroids help you gain more muscle by introducing more testosterone than what your body naturally produces.
  • Most bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids do so in conjunction with a strict weight training routine and high-protein diet.

What Happens if You Take Anabolic Steroids Without Working Out?

A man holding a syringe at home

When you take anabolic steroids without working out, your testosterone levels increase, allowing your muscle tissue to grow [1].

But you won’t experience the same muscle gain compared to someone taking steroids and working out.

How much muscle you gain or maintain without working out will depend on how much or what combination of steroids you take.

If you take a cocktail of different anabolic steroids without exercising, you’re likely to build more muscle mass than someone who takes only one type of steroid.

The results will be likewise if you take higher doses.

However, doing a steroid cycle without working out is almost like eating a high-protein diet without exercising.

You will gain some amount of muscle, but it won’t be a significant change.

Gaining muscle — with or without steroids — takes a lot of discipline. Most bodybuilders who put on a lot of muscle size take steroids in conjunction with a high-protein diet and strict lifting routine.

Can Steroids Help You Lose Fat Without Working Out?

Close up shot of a person's belly with a measuring tape

Yes, steroids can help you lose fat without working out. However, the amount of fat you lose greatly depends on your diet and lifestyle.

Certain steroids like clenbuterol are known for increasing your body’s metabolic rate, which speeds up your fat loss without cardio or resistance training [2].

Clenbuterol increases your body temperature through thermogenesis — a process where your body produces heat by metabolizing fat or the food you eat [3].

Once your temperature and metabolism are high, fat loss becomes easier because your body starts burning more calories than you eat.

If you take clenbuterol without exercising but go on a caloric deficit, you’ll still drop pounds fairly quickly or won’t gain weight for the most part.

The combination of thermogenesis and caloric deficit will help you lose weight faster.

Usually, bodybuilders who want to cut and gain fat-free mass take clenbuterol to look leaner. Just like other anabolic steroids, it has a more potent effect when taken alongside diet and exercise for weight loss.

How Do They Build Muscle Mass?

A male lifting a dumbbell

Steroids help you build muscle mass and strength by increasing your testosterone.

Testosterone is a sex hormone (present in both men and women) responsible, among other things, for male sex characteristics like muscle growth, facial hair growth, and a deepened voice.

Specifically speaking, testosterone is an androgen. Androgens are hormones that are heavily involved with body maturation and sexual development.

Before we get into the science of how steroids build muscle, we need to understand how testosterone plays a role in the process.

Anabolic Effects of Testosterone

Testosterone has what are called anabolic effects, which include building muscle and increasing bone density [4].

If you maintain healthy T-levels, which differ with age, it will be easier to develop and maintain muscle mass [5].

Likewise, if you have low T-levels, you will experience a decrease in muscle and have a difficult time building it.

“Low testosterone cause depression, lethargy, and fatigue that can keep you from exercising to lose fat and build muscle.”

- Dr. Ronald Tamler, MD

How Anabolic Steroids Work as Testosterone

Anabolic steroids are designed to increase your T-levels by giving your body an external source of testosterone (known as exogenous testosterone).

So, when you start a steroid cycle, your body decreases the natural production of testosterone because it receives it from the steroids.

Depending on how much you take, your body composition will respond with the corresponding anabolic effect.

An Unfair Advantage

A man in the gym flexing his muscles

While steroid usage without exercise won’t give you the same results as with exercise, studies report something interesting.

Research suggests that you may gain more lean muscle and strength from using steroids and not working out than lifting naturally [6].

This study consisted of four groups.

Two experimental groups:

  • Testosterone group that didn’t work out
  • Testosterone group that worked out

Two control groups:

  • Placebo group that didn’t work out
  • Placebo group that worked out

The experimental groups were given 600 mg of testosterone per week for 10 weeks.

The study found that the testosterone group that worked out experienced the highest strength and muscle gains, and the placebo group that didn’t work out received little to no gains.

However, the interesting piece here is that the testosterone group that didn’t work out showed better results with muscle size and strength than the placebo group who worked out.

This study showed that steroids give you an unfair advantage. But the gains aren’t worth the risk on account of the many side effects of steroids.

Side Effects

A man in the gym lifting dumbbells

Regardless of the weight training and keeping gains after a steroid cycle, most of the side effects will be the same.

That’s because people who take anabolic steroids for medical purposes also report seeing similar side effects.

Here are some of the most common physical and psychological side effects steroid users experience.

  • Male infertility: Abuse of steroids may cause infertility in men through hypogonadism — when testicles fail to produce hormones required for reproduction [7].
  • Increased risk of prostate cancer: Research suggests a correlation between steroid misuse and prostate disease [8]. Even elderly male patients who were treated with anabolic steroids had an increased risk of prostate cancer [9].
  • Gynecomastia (male breasts): Anabolic steroid use is associated with the formation of male breasts because it causes hormonal imbalance [10].
  • Myocardial damage: Research studies on clenbuterol found that this anabolic steroid may cause damage to the heart’s muscular tissue [11].
  • Side effects on women: In women, misuse of anabolic steroids can cause male-pattern baldness, excessive body hair growth, coarse skin, decreased breast size, and deepened voice [12].
  • Psychological side effects: Many reports found that people who use steroids show increased signs of irritability, verbal aggression, and violent tendencies due to hormonal changes [13].

Are There Better Alternatives to Steroid Use?

A person mixing a pre-workout drink

Yes, there are better alternatives to steroid use: legal steroids and a high-protein diet. However, to get the muscle-building effects of both of these, you’ll need to lift weights and control what you eat.

Let’s look at how these means can help you with muscle gain and fat loss.

Legal steroids are bulking supplements that naturally boost your testosterone so you can gain muscle and lose body fat quickly.

They’re especially helpful if you suffer from low testosterone. Using only natural ingredients, legal steroids can help you slightly push the genetic barriers that don’t allow you to grow muscle.

Many natural bodybuilders use legal steroids to build muscle size, enhance their strength, and shed fat because they don’t wreak havoc on their health.

Testosterone-Boosting Foods

There are several wholesome foods that help you naturally improve testosterone production and enhance muscle-protein synthesis.

Foods like ginger, oysters, pomegranates, green leafy vegetables, fish oil, onions, and extra-virgin olive oil have many health benefits in addition to boosting your natural testosterone [14].

A testosterone diet plan rich in muscle-building foods and legal bodybuilding steroids, combined with a muscle-definition workout routine, can put you well beyond your current capacity to increase and build lean muscle mass.

Healthy Lifestyle

A poor lifestyle can significantly reduce your testosterone production, making it difficult to gain muscle and get rid of fat.

Poor sleep, bad diet, and lack of exercise can also significantly affect your T-levels [15].

By fixing these, you can avoid the effects of low testosterone and build muscle quickly without having to resort to anabolic steroids for exogenous testosterone.

FAQs

Can Natural Steroids Help You Build Muscle Without Working Out?

No, natural steroids cannot help you build muscle without working out. Unlike their illegal counterparts, legal steroids raise your natural testosterone levels.

But they don’t change your hormonal balance the way anabolic steroids do.

Can You Make Gains With HGH Without Working Out?

Yes, you can make gains with human growth hormone (HGH) without working out.

HGH stimulates your cell metabolism and liver-insulin-protein production. This plays a major role in bone, organ, and muscle growth.

What We Recommend

While anabolic steroids can help you build muscle and lose weight without having to work out, their side effects don’t make them worth the risk, in the least.

For people looking to gain muscle quickly, safely, and naturally, we highly recommend going with only the best legal steroids.

We’ve had clients take these for a month, measured their blood testosterone, and documented a significant increase.

They won’t turn you into Chris Bumstead in a week, but they’ll help you achieve your fitness goals safely and more rapidly.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160183/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319927
  3. https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-you-need-to-know-about-clenbuterol-for-bodybuilding
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/performance-enhancing-drugs/art-20046134
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2917954/
  6. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199607043350101
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4744441/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955334/
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/anabolic-steroid-oral-route-parenteral-route/before-using/drg-20069323
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11715139/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23844963/
  12. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/what-are-side-effects-anabolic-steroid-misuse
  13. https://nida.nih.gov/publications/research-reports/steroids-other-appearance-performance-enhancing-drugs-apeds/how-does-anabolic-steroid-misuse-affect-behavior
  14. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323759#top-8-testosterone-boosting-foods
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4445839/
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