It wasn’t long after bodybuilders first started using anabolics in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s that cycling became popular. Bodybuilders generally follow different cycles than other athletes because of their goals. Bodybuilders use steroids for two purposes, to increase muscle mass and decrease bodyfat. Such other factors as endurance, stamina, and strength are secondary and while important for training purposes, play no role on a bodybuilding stage.
Cycling means alternating periods of anabolic steroids use with non-use. But bodybuilders competing at the national and professional levels seldom come off the drugs. For most of these people being “off” the juice just means taking lower amounts. There is rarely a point during the year when the person’s system is clear of the drugs. Generally speaking they stay on heavy amounts of steroids continuously.
Why Cycle? The primary reason why bodybuilders cycle steroids is to reduce the risk of side effects. It’s well known that the risk of side effects greatly increases with the length of time the person is on the drugs. A short 6 to 8 week cycle will probably not produce any serious medical issues, but most bodybuilders don’t limit themselves to such short cycles. They stay on for months, if not years at a time. It’s not surprising that many of these individuals start suffering side effects. Steroids Canada
A second reason for anabolic steroids cycling is to beat drug tests. Bodybuilders and other athletes got a free rise for the first 15 to 20 years of drug use, as a test for steroids wasn’t developed until the mid 1970’s. The first tests were easy to beat but it wasn’t long before the testers had closed the gap. By cycling the drugs between long acting and short acting, bodybuilders can often pass their drug test on contest day.
A third reason for cycling steroids is to increase their effectiveness. Most users report that they made their best gains on their first cycle. This is because their systems were not used to the drugs. But with each additional cycle their steroid receptors become less responsive to the drugs. This is why heavy users stay heavy users – small amounts just don’t produce significant results anymore. This “down regulation” of steroid receptors is one of the primary reasons why the first cycle of steroids is usually the most effective.