Victor Martinez thinks too many new era bodybuilders are not cycling steroids – discusses the importance and process of steroid cycling.
For those who want to compete professionally in bodybuilding, there is a strong possibility PEDs will become a part of their life. It’s an open secret that most pro bodybuilders use steroids. While the healthiest and most legal option is to avoid these drugs altogether – it’s also important to educate those who will use these substances regardless. On this week’s Generation Iron Podcast episode, Victor Martinez explains everything you need to know about steroid cycling – and why the “off cycle” is extremely important for both health and bodybuilding longevity.
Anabolic steroids are an extremely powerful drug. Because of this, it’s common for pro bodybuilders (and other pro athletes who use PEDs) to go on a steroid cycle. This involves a period of time using steroids followed by a detox period where no PEDs are taken. The main goal of this is to take pressure off of your organs and to allow your hormones to reset.
While using these kinds of drugs are – a.) illegal and b.) damaging to your health – there is no real completely safe way to use PEDs like steroids. But cycling does help reduce the damage done and ensure a longer pro bodybuilding career for those who use them.
That’s why Victor Martinez and the GI crew buckle down and talk in detail about steroid cycles – most specifically about the details coming off of a cycle. It should be noted that our hosts are not medical professionals and their number one advice is to avoid using steroids completely – especially if you are not a competitive athlete or bodybuilder.
But for that small percentage who aim to be a pro bodybuilding champion or even a Mr. Olympia competitor (and will likely use steroids whether it is healthy or not), Victor Martinez hopes the information he can share will help those go into steroid use educated for the safest possible results. Let’s jump into it.
Victor Martinez believes that today’s generation of bodybuilders are using steroids without cycling
The biggest reason why this topic is being discussed this week is because Victor Martinez is noticing a worrying trend. From his experience speaking with the new generation – more and more bodybuilders are not cycling steroids. Instead, they are staying on steroids 365 days a year.
This is extremely dangerous and also actually hurts your success as a bodybuilder. So why would someone choose to stay on steroids all year knowing these dangerous downsides? It’s because steroids can become psychologically addicting.
Steroids don’t just make you recover faster and grow muscle faster. It makes you feel stronger. Steroids have often been described as making a person feel like superman in the gym. The hormone changes don’t just effect your physical performance – they effect your mood.
This is also true when you come off a steroid cycle. Your hormone levels drop and you can feel depressed. In addition to this, you feel less strong in the gym and associate your workouts with being less than ideal. It’s like a person who misses their morning coffee. It can be a complete mood and energy changer.
Due to this, some individuals will simply keep taking steroids and never cycle off. That way they can feel superhuman every single day. Of course, this will lead to extremely dangerous health effects – and certainly burn out your athletic career in a short period of time.
How to properly cycle off steroids
Victor Martinez shares his advice for cycling off steroids. The biggest fear by many is that the off cycle will lead to shrinking muscle. But there are protocols that can be followed in order to maintain muscle during an off cycle until you return back to another cycle of steroid use.
Victor Martinez explains that steroid cycles usually last between 8-14 weeks. After this, it is important to cycle off steroids. Martinez emphasizes the importance of this. When you cycle off – that means you completely stop. A weekend of no steroid use is not a detox.
Once you cycle off – how long should you stop using before starting up a new cycle? In Victor Martinez’s experience he advices the following:
- One month = okay
- Two months = good
- Three months = great
Victor Martinez strongly advises any bodybuilder to stretch their off-cycle as long as possible. Three months being the ideal. This gives your organs time to recover and also helps keep your hormone levels balanced.
Ultimately, no matter how strictly you cycle, the long term negative effects will become apparent. Your natural testosterone production will eventually drop and you will likely need Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT). But cycling steroids pushes these negative effects farther back and allows for a longer bodybuilding career – as well as mitigates the possible “worst case” damages that steroids can cause to your body and organs.
How to avoid losing muscle during a steroid off cycle
Victor Martinez also explains that a proper coach or mentor will be able to provide in detail protocols to help with the post-cycle crash. To avoid losing muscle, you must of course continue to train and stay strict on your diet. But there are also non-steroid substances that can be taken to extend your physique during that three month off-cycle period.
Martinez doesn’t go into detail – but mentions that products such as prohormones and HGH are often used by bodybuilders during the off-cycle. These are just two examples.
In today’s internet era, the conversation about steroids have become much more public. This also means that the means to obtain steroids has become easier. So it is more important now than ever to educate the masses about these substances and their “proper use” should an individual decide to take the risk.
Victor Martinez is worried that too many bodybuilders today are skipping cycles and staying on steroids for far too long. You can get his full advice by watching the latest episode of the Generation Iron Podcast above. Don’t forget to check back every Tuesday for new episodes only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.