Pro bodybuilder Victor Martinez gets real about the steroid side effects that are actually true.

New year, new you. In the fitness world, that means gyms will get buried with new members. It also means that we will have more young and aspiring bodybuilders pushing their way onto the competition stage. It’s inevitable that this drive will bring some athletes to consider steroid use. That’s why we’re kicking off the new year by talking in-depth about steroid side effects. More specifically, steroid myths that have been perpetuated for decades. Which ones are complete myth? Which ones are true? Which ones are over-exaggerated? In our latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast, pro bodybuilder Victor Martinez gets honest about which steroid myths are actually true.

The last few years in bodybuilding were not easy ones. The sport was hit with a long list of athletes who passed away far too young. And while it is impossible to ever draw a direct line to steroids driving these deaths – many doctors would agree that it is likely a contributing factor. Athletes, coaches, and fans have demanded changes to help make the sport healthier. But one thing is for certain – steroids themselves will never go away.

But this week Victor Martinez and the GI crew aren’t interested in discussing the deep and depressing health realities behind steroids. Instead, we are focusing on the common stereotypes and myths about steroid side effects. Yes, this includes health issues but also other less mortal topics such as testicular shrinkage, effects on testosterone, voice changes, skin health, and sex.

Having gone through it all himself as a pro bodybuilder, Victor Martinez lends a helping hand to admit or deny certain side effects caused by steroids. Vlad Yudin pulls open a list of common steroid myths and runs through them one by one. Let’s jump into it.


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Is roid rage real?

Victor Martinez admits that emotional changes caused by steroid use is a very real thing. But to call it “roid rage” in this modern age is a bit misleading. Steroids affect your hormones. Due to this – it will have emotional effects on your mood. But that does not guarantee it will make you a more aggressive or angrier person. Instead, Martinez claims that steroid use simply enhances your baseline emotions. You feel them more intensely. So yes, if you are a secretly angry person – it might manifest as roid rage. But it can also enhance other emotions as well.

Do steroids cause testicular shrinkage and man boobs?

This is another myth that turns out to be true. Victor Martinez has known many people who have experienced testicular shrinkage. And of course, man boobs (or gyno as it’s often called), has been witnessed by many bodybuilding fans over the years. Again, steroids change your baseline hormones – so this will have an effect on you physically as well – especially around your private areas.

Victor Martinez also looks at the flip side of steroids myths as well. While steroids can cause shrinkage of the testicles, it can also lead to the growth of a woman’s clitoris and shrinking of her breasts. This is often why female bodybuilding athletes have breast implants done.

While all of these side effects revolved around sex organs – one would think this a huge turn off for those considering steroid use. But Victor Martinez sees the bright side of everything. When it comes to women at the very least, an increased clitoris means that a man can bring a woman to climax much faster and easier. So good news for those who have trouble pleasing a woman in the bedroom.

Do steroids cause heart complications and cardiovascular issues?

While the episode is kept more lighthearted throughout, it can’t be ignored that one side effect of steroid use recreationally often cited as heart health issues and even death. Victor Martinez doesn’t sugar coat it – steroids use over the long term does affect your cardiovascular system and heart.

This is the reason why many bodybuilders, coaches, and Victor Martinez himself emphasize the importance of having bloodwork done. Martinez wants all bodybuilders to know that bloodwork needs to be done multiple times per year. Not only that, but the results of the bloodwork need to be truly evaluated and changes made if there are any problems.

If a person goes only once a year to get bloodwork done – they don’t see the full picture of how their body fluctuates throughout steroid cycles. Even worse, if nothing is altered after warning signs pop up in bloodwork… well, then there’s really no benefit to getting the bloodwork done in the first place, right?

Victor Martinez is not a man against steroid use in bodybuilding. But he is against lying about the real impact it can have. Much like how concussions are a true risk in professional football, steroids are a real risk in bodybuilding. All aspiring athletes should know the risks and be truly educated on the realities of steroids before jumping into a decision.

That’s why Martinez thinks laws need to be changed and the taboo nature in our culture needs to be shifted. Education, honesty, and consistent work with your doctor is vital if you want to use steroids in bodybuilding.

Wrap Up

Beyond the biggest myths in bodybuilding, Victor Martinez and the GI crew discuss a few other current events that popped up during the holiday week – including Andrew Tate’s recent arrest for alleged rape and human trafficking. You can watch the full podcast in our latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast above. Make sure to check back every Tuesday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Jacob Ladon is a staff writer and former amateur bodybuilder. He has been passionate about bodybuilding since he was 15 years old and discovered the joys of training in the gym. He reports and comments on all bodybuilding related matters.