This is the scenario: a guy, say age 21, becomes serious about gaining muscle. He’s 5′ 10″, 7″ wrists, 9″ ankles, average genetics for muscle size-and-proportioned. He’s played sports, but never done more than an occasional resistance workout. Now, he begins a good training-eating-and-resting program. With his genetics, he has the potential for naturally gaining 45 pounds of lean mass if he stays consistent with progressive training/proper eating for a continuous 3 to 4 years.
But, about three months after beginning his training, he starts taking steroids. He does three steroid cycles in the following 18 months, and includes proper post-cycle therapy. That entire time, he’s continuing to consistently train and eat properly. Before the end of two years, he’s gained 45 pounds of lean mass (which with steroids, by the way, is not necessarily typical but neither improbable). At that point, he permanently quits using steroids, but he does continue properly training and eating for another two years. At the end of four years, he carries the same 45 pounds of lean mass.
This is especially true for Hollywood actors. Let’s take Manu Bennett, for example (pictured above). Steroids were a part of his winning the role of Crixus in Spartacus . He used them in his mid-thirties to build an impressive physique for a role as a MMA fighter. The movie deal fell through and a broke Bennett was forced to earn a living as a day laborer. But the producers of Spartacus saw his photo and wanted him for the gladiator role. Bennett immediately began training (this time without steroids) and re-gained most of his muscle. From day laborer to action star—I’d say his cycle paid off. He is now in his mid-40’s and hasn’t ruled out using steroids to prepare for future roles. Can you blame him?