Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 19:42:03

Flexing Muscles Sans Steroids

Updated: April 28, 2012 11:22 am

Staying fit and toned with rippling effects of a chiseled body is what everyone likes but then it takes breaking a sweat to be in shape. Many live to eat but a very few eat to live and long. Body building and staying athletically fit are two different terms and again different is body building with a view to participating in competitions and looking in fine fettle.

Gyms galore

Going gymming is as vital as choosing a gym, not only well equipped but also having a trained and qualified trainer. Talwalkar’s GIP Noida, Barbarian and The Gym in north Delhi’s Hudson Lane are the real custodian of health. The chain of Gold gym has also entered the arena to make a difference on the turf. But times have undergone a sea change so have the traditions and health clubs, desi or traditional akharas run by the veterans like Guru Hanuman, Chandgi Ram that trained the likes of Satpal on the global map have almost been overshadowed by gymnasiums adequately equipped with modern machines. And many more are mushrooming overnight almost at every corner of the street with trainers without any formal training. These untrained trainers with superficial knowledge of muscle building, diet and work-out schedule, are busy minting fast bucks giving PT (Personal Training). And these unscrupulous trainers cash in on by promising clients to make them like what they want and see in the smoked glass of the gym mirror.

Age no bar

Physical fitness training can be done anywhere and also in any age. Manohar Aich from Kolkatta who turned 100 years a month ago, bagged the first Indian Mr Universe title in 1952 when there was no trend of such modernized and hi-tech gyms with sophisticated machines and he still works out breaching the age factor the main culprit.

Food supplement, dibba and chemical body

Dibba, a lingo in the common parlance of bodybuilding, a pack of protein whether in a tablet form or powder has become common practice and easily available or made available by the trainers in gyms with a small cut a given. Many gym goers are pretty obsessed with pumped-up biceps and six-packs this is leading them to risk their health with steroid-laced supplements.

Taking a closer look to find the makeshift gyms mushrooming in small towns or a swanky one in the metros where personal trainers load their students with steroids to look good. “Food supplement is no steroid. These protein shakes give one the desired effects,” experts say.

‘One should not confuse food supplements with steroids. Work- out in a gym enhances your metabolism and you need five to six meals in proper intervals and most times you may skip, food supplement helps compensate the gap. Protein is essential to replenishing and building muscles that have ruptured and got exhausted while taking exercise. This can be procured from other natural sources like pulses, vegetables, egg white etc. Food supplements have different bases like soya and whey, both are blended and isolated forms and this depends on your work-out regimen. Isolated form is rather hard to digest. Talking of the other dimension of the game is of steroids to bulge up speedily but then steroids taken for the purpose lead to certain complications and may prove to be fatal.’ Elaborated by veteran Bhupender Dhawan, a Dronacharya Awardee and the founder of The Gym Health Chain with 129 across the country.

Food supplements

A supplement is something added to the diet, typically to make up for a nutritional deficiency. It is meant to be used as a substitute for eating well. Supplements are like:


Caffeine: Caffeine has been used by endurance athletes for years as a way to stay alert and improve endurance.


Creatine: For some athletes, creatine supplementation improves repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise, such as sprinting, weight lifting, or power sports. It’s taken before a physical bout.


Glutamine: Glutamine (L- Glutamine) is classified as a nutritional supplement and is not regulated or banned by most sports organisations. It’s used to repair wear and tear of the muscles involved in an athletic feat.


Protein Supplements: Protein is a necessary nutrient to repair overworked and damaged muscles. Athletes and other professional body builders often guzzle protein shakes to enhance their endurance.

Myths and maths about steroids

Most scientific studies and researches across the world have proved that regular physical activity leads to a higher life expectancy and better quality of life by shedding extra pounds and keeping the body in trim. The great popularity of gyms, fitness centers and health clubs shows that exercise has become an integral part of life. Usually, it’s seen that those who go gymming face things like either they become cheesed off doing the same exercises over and over again or their muscles fatigue soon. Feeling the failure, they switch over to taking ‘medicines or drugs’. But this change continues as long as the drug taken stays inside the body and turns even worse than before when stopped, are the withdrawal symptoms one has to undergo.

Types of steroids

Too many steroids of different kinds remain afloat in the circle of bodybuilding and some of them are available in injection and some in capsule forms. They are used according to the abilities of a bodybuilder. There are steroids, reliable compounds when bulking up and there are many that are effective as flab cutting agents. There are also steroids that are great drugs for contest preparations. For bulking steroids, one can choose anabol or dianabol, neurobol, menobol, sustanon, stanazol and among all decadurobolin is customary in the circuit. These steroids are rapid mass builders, capable of giving muscle mass and strength gains at an unbelievably fast pace.

Side effects of steroids

The injection culture is reaching fever pitch. Wannabe pehelwans and models who want to be a short-cut likeable lean on steroids. They have a number of side effects and sometimes fatal. ‘Any steroid whether it’s oil or water based stays in the body from 8 to 10 months and can be detected easily in dope test. One should avoid taking steroids in any forms as they have terribly negative effects like impotency, brain haemorrhage, trembling, irritation, short fuse, hair loss and immature graying, allergy and other hormonal changes. Girls may have the beard cropping on the chin and the chest and the voice turning masculine. Besides, recovery and an injury take time to heal. Some steroids just for kicks may even take life. Creatine makes stones in the kidney and gall bladder’ Dinesh Aswal Gold Medalist (Common Wealth Games) and a qualified trainer avers.

For cutting up, anavar and primobolan are always on top of the list and such types are considered to be elite muscle hardeners. For contest preparations, the highly recommended steroids for this type of bodybuilding goal include halotestin, trenbolone, and masteron. These steroids will help one get rid of one’s unwanted adipose tissues resulting in hardening muscles. Those who use steroids can gain muscle mass at phenomenal rates and this is what lures the younger crowd.

Tongue tells your tummy

You are exactly what you eat, if you eat junk food you are… Go munching like nobody’s business adds inches around your waist. This pushes the paunch bulging out and the tummy tucking out of the shirt. Fats accumulate even faster if there is no work-out. The tummy is the first to come and the last to go. This needs a rigorous training schedule. “Weight is inimical to a human being. It has many complications related to high blood pressure, obesity, cardiac complications. I recommend that one should not go about bingeing oneself on anything one lays a hand on. Sensible eating controls the cholesterol level. Intake of calories will be taken care of by everybody and more importantly by those in 40s. Beer, cold drink, sweets surely lead to layers of stubborn cellulite. If you burn off by running the extra mile the other morning, it’s healthy. One should be choosy while eating. Eat less to eat long. In cities like Delhi and Mumbai where life is fast paced there’s no check on eating. People do injustice by skipping meals and hog platters at night which is suicidal,” Prem Bahadur Johny, an old time bodybuilder with Mr Delhi title seven times averred. Most gurus emphasise that diets, rest and work-out schedules go hand in hand. They believe that they should not carry home or office to gym. Any anxiety whatsoever may impact adversely and lead to blood pressure. “Why eat like a horse while finally going to bed, you had better give your dinner to your enemy. Once the waist line swells up it’s hard to squeeze in,” Bhupinder warns.

“Talking of iron game you should know as to how your body responds to the exercise you take. Don’t follow the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jay Cutler, Lee Haney or Ronnie Coleman they may be the idol and role model but you cannot work out like them. Climatic conditions play a big role as far as body building is concerned. After 40, one may go for cardiovascular training,” Johny says.

Lean the in-thing

More voguish and hot is lean, chiseled and sharp physique. Experts believe that cutting flab is not an overnight process. It needs a rigorous work-out and a strict diet chart to follow. Fat burner should be kept at bay. “I focus on hard training with proper fibre and protein diet and little carbs . Go brisk walking, jogging, sprinting, skipping, twister and train with light weights with more reps and five to seven seconds’ gap between two of the sets,” Dinesh Aswal affirms.

Laying emphasis on lean mass gain, Mukesh Singh a renowned body builder from Delhi, who bagged Mr India title four times lays emphasis on what to eat and what not to. He suggested cutting down on booze and beer. No fagging as it affects the stamina level.

Experts say that those who want to lose extra kilos should not go on a diet at all on the contrary they should eat at a regular interval of three hours so as to keep the metabolism enhanced and active. “One should not starve, take more of liquid foods. Last meal must be had before eight in the evening,” Pankaj a health trainer at Big Guns affirms.

“Drink gallons of water but in sips and gaps. Cut down carbonated water and fizzy drinks. Take honey and lemon with lukewarm water in the morning and go brisk walking for 15 minutes to get quick results. Besides, avoid much of caffeine and chromium,” Johny says.

Work-out regimen

Gymming or taking exercise depends on one’s body structure, age, profession and above all the purpose. One must be clear about oneself before stepping in a health club. Check out what he wants from himself, an Arnold or a Hrithik. “After 30, moderate weight training is rather recommendable and after 40 one should go for light weights plus cardio training, three day each but then after 35 onwards diets too must be kept under a strict check. One should train according to the profession one practices so as to avoid any incongruity. There are two. You either are going to be a professional trainer, bodybuilder or just you want to stay fit . All these things should be taken care of by a trained coach, purrs Mukesh Singh. Focusing on different training schedules Singh added, ‘we carry schedules like ectomorph, endomorph and mesomorph training, it’s important to note that there should be two days’ gap between two major parts. Avoid cheating method, train the weaker parts at least twice a week. If you want to shed pounds, it does not mean fasting as it slows the metabolism, if you lose 40 per cent fats you tend to lose 60 per cent muscle also by keeping starved. On the contrary eat quality food, regular work-out that includes aerobics and swimming. Cut down sugar and salt intake. But one can have a glass of red wine that helps the digestive organ,’ Singh concludes.

By Syed Wazid Ali

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