It’s something that’s thrusted into the face of us every day of our lives and as such, bodybuilding becomes quite an essential part of our existence.
Having that ripped, muscular appearance is something that pretty much every A-list celebrity under the sun has and instead of only hitting the gym in holiday season, a lot of us are now taking it much more seriously and trying to emulate the famous magazine bodies.
There’s just one problem with all of this; those same famous faces make it look much easier than it really is. Sure, some of the fitness DVDs that they release might hint that it takes just a few weeks of work – but that is seldom the case. In fact, it’s never the case.
To get that chiseled appearance, you need to invest significant amounts of time and hard work into it. It won’t happen overnight, it’s a long-term project – but something that can reap lifechanging results in terms of your appearance, and also your overall health. You will have to transform your diet, as well as the obvious exercise implications, but the results can be completely worth it.
Fortunately, life has been made a little easier over the last few years. Sure, we’ve been able to access steroids for decades and these can prompt unbelievable results – but as we all know it comes at a cost. More recently, legal steroids have entered the picture, and have made quite the storm in the market. They are a safer alternative and through the course of this guide we’ll highlight if you can use the best legal steroids to your advantage.
Table of contents
- What are legal steroids and what are the differences with anabolic steroids?
- Legal steroid manufacturers
- What products are available?
- Choosing the right product for your needs
- Product finder *
- The stacking philosophy
- The lowdown on cycles
What are legal steroids and what are the differences with anabolic steroids?
Don’t let anybody fool you about the effects of anabolic steroids. Sure, they’re a bit of a taboo subject which is completely reasonable considering their nasty side effects 1 , but nobody can argue their effectiveness. They are able to help a person boost their muscular size and strength emphatically but unfortunately, this comes at a very big cost.
In fact, if you were to look at some of the “biggest” celebrities around you’d soon see that they have relied on these steroids. Arnold Schwarzenegger was one man, as was Dwayne Johnson. Both of these guys used them in the very early stages of their careers, yet the fact that both have banished them completely perhaps tells more of a story.
Legal steroids aren’t as powerful – and you won’t get the same results. However, they are still very beneficial and as you have probably gathered, the ‘legal’ factor ultimately mans that they are safe to use. They are comprised of natural ingredients and as such, they don’t contain side effects.
To highlight the power of some of these components let’s look at some of the ingredients in detail. A common one is L-Carnitine. This has been found to boost energy and aid muscle growth 2, for the simple reason that it can transfer long-chain fatty acids into energy. Elsewhere, another common ingredient in these legal steroids is Tribulus Terrestris, with this fruit extract able to enhance our testosterone production. Considering this has a direct correlation with muscle growth and fat loss, this is pretty huge.
Bearing the above in mind, the aim of legal steroids is simple. The manufacturers will openly admit that they aren’t designed to directly replicate the benefits of anabolic steroids; unfortunately this is impossible. However, they are powerful and can at least mimic the way in which they work. You can therefore accelerate your progress significantly, without succumbing to the awful side effects that so many anabolic steroid users put themselves through.
Legal steroid manufacturers
One of the big problems with the legal steroids industry that it has become somewhat saturated. When we talk about this saturation it’s not necessarily in a good way either. The increased competition isn’t always benefiting the consumer; there are a lot of manufacturers who have entered the industry who aren’t providing a completely sound product. In other words, they have jumped on the bandwagon following all of the positive media coverage, and released a sub-standard product.
The internet hasn’t helped matters in this regard as it’s much easier for you to become subject to an online scam. It’s easy to buy a “fake” product from amazon or ebay – or one that doesn’t provide the benefits which legal steroids should.
Bearing this in mind, it’s worth identifying some of the trusted merchants. This list is likely to grow as time progresses, but the following three companies have been around since the beginning of legal steroids and are completely trusted by the industry.
We’ll start with the biggest name in the business; Crazy Bulk. This is one of the oldest brands around as well, which is obviously huge for trust issues, but they also have an array of benefits including their free shipping, excellent customer service and the genuine quality of their products.
One potential downside is that the company recommend that you stack their products, which can mean that you need to buy several at a time.
Next on the list is Flexx Labs, a company who were founded by American nutritionists who had over two decades of experience in sports supplementation behind them. It means that all of their products have immense scientific backing behind them, while all of their products are made in the U.S. as well. For piece of mind, Flexx Labs provide a money-back guarantee with purchases.
On the downside, you will have to pay for your shipping unless your purchase is over $150 – with shipping costs to outside of the U.S. being as much as $13.99.
Crazy Mass is another one of the big players in the industry and they have released countless products over the years. Their reputation is only enhanced through their cGMP certified facility, which undergoes an FDA inspection every year. Their shipping in the U.S. is free, while they also provide discrete packaging.
Something that some people hold against Crazy Mass is that they don’t always disclose all of the ingredients in their products, in a bid to protect their proprietary formulas.
While all three of the above are recommend, there’s no doubt that Crazy Bulk are the most established and would be the most recommended of the selection.
As you may have been able to identify following the descriptions above, this is brand which has few drawbacks associated with it. Instead, they’re known for all of the right reasons and by opting to use their products, you will be turning to a manufacturer who only relies on the highest quality ingredients which are put together in FDA-approved facilities.
If you have studied this industry for a prolonged period, you will have already understood that this isn’t the case with a large proportion of brands despite its obvious importance. Perhaps surprisingly, this occurs even though the brand price their supplements very competitively – with this most likely due to their immense reputation which has been able to afford them this power.
Similarly, there’s the delivery-factor. Again, this is something that you should never take for granted as while some companies might promise “free delivery” – in reality this comes at a cost.
The cost comes in the time it takes for the product to arrive on your doorstep – as most companies in the industry providing such an offer won’t use established shipping companies like FEDEX or UPS, but will rely on normal postage methods which are long and tedious. Crazy Bulk on the other hand have warehouses in both the UK and US which is hugely important; it means your goods are always conveniently located and delivery occurs within a maximum of five business days.
When all of the above is combined with their superb support system, which comes in the rare form of telephone and email, it will come as no surprise to read that they are seen as the most trusted brand in the business and their umpteen testimonials back this up.
What products are available?
Following on from the above, we’ll now take a look at some of the products that are available. To highlight the best in class, so to speak, we have only taken the examples from Crazy Bulk.
D-Bal has been based on Dianabol – which was once upon a time one of the most popular steroids around. It’s based upon nitrogen retention; meaning that your muscles will be able to retain more nitrogen as you use it 3. The knock-on effect of this is that more protein synthesis can occur and it should go without saying at this point that this is the core piece of bodybuilding.
Therefore, if you are looking to improve your strength and stamina, D-Bal can help you achieve these goals.
As the name probably indicates, Testo-Max is a legal steroid which can allow your testosterone levels to increase. This time, there’s no specific traditional steroid that Testo-Max is based on – although suffice to say historically many steroids were developed to enhance production of this vital hormone.
Testo-Max works by taking advantage of tribulus terrestris. This natural plant has been found to luteinize your hormone levels, allowing additional testosterone production 4 5. The upshot is that this is a supplement which can provide you with significant muscle and strength gains, as well as help your recovery time.
Trenorol has been based on Trenbolone – which was once again one of the most popular anabolic steroids of all time. It has been designed for anyone who wants to gain muscle mass.
Similarly to others we have mentioned, this legal steroid concentrates on nitrogen retention again. As well as this, Trenorol will make your body produce more red blood cells which has the effect of giving you more oxygen for workouts.
Back in the day, there used to be a steroid going by the name of Winstrol which was targeting those guys who wanted to boost their strength and just their general performance. Well, in the legal steroid era, Winsol has stepped in to replicate these effects.
Winsol is one of those supplements which will limit your water retention to record levels – allowing you to lose the flabby appearance that blights so many guys.
This next legal steroid has been based on Anadrol, which is an anabolic steroid designed to help guys who are looking to put on size and strength. As well as this, its properties mean that it is ideal for anyone who is looking to improve their recovery times.
It works through the process of delivering more red blood cells around the body – meaning that in turn, more oxygen flows as well. Not only does this fuel muscle growth, but the oxygen means that it will help your muscles recover more quickly after a workout as well.
Anyone who has an ounce of knowledge of the traditional steroids industry will probably already know the basis of this next supplement – Clenbutrol is based on the steroid of Clenbuterol.
Unlike some of the other supplements mentioned, this legal steroid is purely designed for burning fat and improving your cardiovascular performance.
It works by increasing your body’s internal temperature (to safe levels), which has the knock-on effect of increasing your metabolism 6 7. As we all know, when your metabolism is at its peak, you will start to tap into fat stores for energy and ultimately burn more of it.
Based on the traditional steroid Anavar, Anvarol has been released to boost your strength and also provide more energy without all of the nasty side effects.
This legal steroid works slightly differently to some of the others that we have looked at. This time, Anvarol will look to increase your phosphocreatine levels – with this then meaning that your body creates more ATP. The upshot of this is that your muscles immediately have more fuel (the ATP) to work and contract 8. It should go without saying that the more energy your muscles have, the harder they can work and the bigger gains that you can experience.
This final legal steroid we will look at is based on Deca-Durabolin.
The way in which Decaduro works is very similar to a lot of the others we have looked at in the way it targets nitrogen retention and the creation of more red blood cells. Ultimately, it’s able to boost your size and strength, whilst also cutting down your recovery times.
Choosing the right product for your needs
One criticism of the legal steroids industry is perhaps that it’s become a bit of a minefield. The popularity of the products mean that an increasing amount have entered the market and ultimately, it becomes difficult to identify which will work best for your needs.
Certainly, there’s no point in buying every legal steroid on the market. Firstly, your age comes into the picture and some products will only be designed for those of you who fall into a specific age bracket. As well as this, and perhaps more obviously, your fitness goals need to be considered.
For example, if you are looking to increase your size and strength, it should go without saying that you are going to need to turn to different types of legal steroids if you were looking to lose fat.
As well as the above, let’s not forget that some supplements will be more preferable for women than men. Many testosterone supplements only tend to be reversed for the latter for example, while on the subject of these products they can be particularly beneficial for the older generation who lose testosterone supply during the aging process.
Please use this product finder to determine which product suits your particular needs:
Product finder *
* Product Finder Legend
- Muscle Mass – Muscle mass is the effectively the size of muscle. If someone wants to ‘bulk up’, they will be looking to increase their muscle mass to achieve this.
- Strength – This refers to how physically strong a person is. It doesn’t revolve around the appearance of muscle (a strong person doesn’t have to be bulky) – just how much they are able to lift or manoeuvre.
- Lean Muscle – Lean muscle refers to the muscle which is gained without fat, or that muscle which remains intact once fat has been lost.
- Speed & Endurance – This is when a person wants to improve their capacity in the gym environment, so they are able to cope with a longer and more intense workout.
- Muscle Cutting & Definition – Muscle cutting refers to the process in which a person wants to improve their lean muscle. In other words, they are looking to retain their muscular definition, but lose fat at the same time.
- Muscle Hardening – This is where a person wants to harden their muscles – getting away from the “flabby” appearance that some unworked muscles can have.
- Size and Strength – This refers to people who want to boost the amount of work that their muscles can handle, as well as increasing the size of them at the same time. It’s a best of both worlds approach.
The stacking philosophy
Even though you are turning to natural steroids, you can still use many of the principles that exist in the traditional steroid world. One of these comes in the form of stacking.
Stacking is the process where you utilize several products at the same time to get the biggest advantage. You might take one type of supplement before your workout – and another immediately after.
The most common form of stacking comes in the shape of cutting and bulking.
When you cut, it effectively means that you are dropping body fat without compromising all of the muscle you have built up. If we turn to some of the supplements we have already spoken about, it means like something such as Clenbutrol is commonly used in a stacking program – for the simple reason that it helps you burn fat more easily.
Some people will turn towards the bulking phase before cutting (although it really depends on your goals and your body). The bulking phase involves ploughing on as much muscle as possible but to do this, you’ll need to consume a lot more calories. As such, you can also build up excess fat as well as your muscle – meaning that the logical next step is to turn to cutting where you can rid yourself of the fat, but still keep the hard-earned muscle.
If we turn to example products again, something like D-Bal can help you during this phase as it will promote fast muscle growth.
As such, the benefits of stacking are endless. It’s an essential segment of growing and you do have to go through the period of growth and leaning separately.
The lowdown on cycles
We’ve spoken about stacks – and next on the list is cycles. This is another term which you will regularly hear about and a lot of the time, it will be used in conjunction with stacks.
In simple terms, a cycle describes the period of time you use a steroid for. When you are using the steroid, it will be called the ‘on’ period. Suffice to say, when you stop using it, it will then be classed as an ‘off’ cycle.
Following on from the above, every time you stack products it should go without saying that you will be in the middle of an ‘on’ cycle.
While the timeframes can vary between products (and different advice will be on the packaging), if we were to look at some of the general information for legal steroids it would suggest that you should be cycling for a minimum of four weeks. Note that this is an absolute minimum and you’ll tend to reap the better rewards if you can stretch this period to eight weeks.
To coin some examples of different cycle lengths, if you were to turn to a Crazy Bulks bulking stack (comprised of D-Bal, DecaDuro, Trenorol and Testo Max) the advice is to keep your cycle for four weeks. This is because it is a bulking stack. Then, if you were to turn to a cutting stack made up of supplements like Anvarol, Testo Max, Clenbutrol and Winsol – you would increase this cycle to eight weeks.
To conclude, legal steroids are something which are slowly changing the bodybuilding industry. Once upon a time the temptation to dabble in anabolic steroids was huge; after all, the gains that these steroids had were significant and could transform your body. Unfortunately, they also caused a lot of side effects and regret, which is where the legal alternatives step into play.
As we have spoken about, these allow you to stay in legal and safe boundaries. Sure, the rewards might not be quite as monumental as some historic steroids – but they are still significant enough to prompt immense benefits and help you in your journey.
Such furor means that there are now umpteen merchants selling these problems – and this causes problems in themselves. It means that extra vigilance is key during the buying process, although the three companies who we have highlighted can provide you with that added layer of protection to ensure you are turning to trustworthy sources that only deal with the highest quality ingredients.
Finally, and it should go without saying, choosing the right product is key. It was key with anabolic steroids – and the same rules apply with the legal versions. This will all depend on your age and fitness requirements, while you also need to consider if you want to stack products and take advantage of several in one go.
If you can perfect this, you can reap much better results than if you were just tuning in to exercise alone. While nothing will replace hard work, the evidence is mounting that legal steroids can make your progress a little faster whilst still retaining the safety-factor at the same time.
- How to Get Stronger Without Also Getting Huge - June 28, 2017
- The Big Bulk: 5 Things Most of us do Completely Wrong While Bulking - May 15, 2017
- The Wrong Cut: 5 Mistakes That Need to be Avoided When Cutting - May 3, 2017
- A Pain in the Back: How to Avoid Back Injuries in The Gym for Good - May 1, 2017
- Clenbutrol / Clenbuterol - March 30, 2017
- Anvarol / Anavar - March 30, 2017
- DecaDuro / Deca - March 30, 2017
Sources & References
- Anabolic steroids side effects (WebMD) Why Steroids Are Bad for You
- L-Carnitine and muscle building (Bodybuilding.com) Your Expert Guide To L-Carnitine
- Nitrogen retention (National Institutes of Health (NIH)) Nitrogen retention and muscle protein synthesis
- Tribulus terrestris (Wikipedia) Tribulus terrestris
- Effects of Tribulus terrestris supplementation (National Institutes of Health (NIH)) The effect of five weeks of Tribulus terrestris supplementation on muscle strength and body composition
- Why turning down the thermostat could help win the battle of the bulge (Scientific American) Supercharging Brown Fat to Battle Obesity
- Effects of internal temperature on fat burning (Mercola) How to Burn Body Fat in Your Sleep
- Phosphocreatine and muscle building (US National Library of Medicine (NLM)) Creatine and Phosphocreatine: A Review of Their Use in Exercise and Sport