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Should Training Vary During “Off Weeks And “On Weeks”?




           Steroids are drugs used for various purposes and diseases. Anabolic steroids are used by bodybuilders during the trainings to hasten the process of muscle development. Steroids work by increasing testosterone level in blood which in turn increases the nutrient flow to the muscles by redirecting it from blood. These nutrients are mainly amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Glucose is also redirected since it is required for energy expenditure in the process of formation of proteins.

        There are various schedules used for bodybuilding while ingesting anabolic steroids. A short steroid cycle  is a two week cycle in which steroid is taken for two weeks followed by abstinence for another two weeks.

              This may be repeated depending on the final result. In a long steroid cycle, steroid is taken for eight weeks and then discontinued for two weeks. There are many schedule combinations available which are to be chosen based on the requirement of the user.

Effects of steroids:

Being on steroids for even short times, trigger following effects:

  1. Increased blood pressure.
  2. Acne.
  3. Increased irritability.
  4. Increase in hunger and appetite.

           All these are due to steroids and have to be managed well by the user. Each one can be used in a constructive way. For example, increase in hunger may be used to increase intake of protein foods and increased anger and irritability may be used in the gym for working out. One thing to remember while on steroids is to work out with a preformed schedule. No amount of drugs without exercise will build up your muscles. For example, if you have chosen a short two week on and two weeks off schedule, then your workout has to be in accordance with the intake of drugs.

             You will need to increase your workout in terms of time, reps, sets and weight used while you are on steroids. This is the time when your muscles are under stress and require the already increased intake and flow of nutrients. These nutrients will help prevent injury to your muscles and instead build them up.

How to vary your on schedule from off schedule?

There are certain ways by which you can vary your on schedule from your off schedule such as follows:

 1- Change the weight.

           Almost all exercises make use of weights to increase stress on the muscles. This stress helps in a faster growth of muscles. You can start your exercise with a weight that you are comfortable with and slowly increase it every week especially when on steroids. The difference between maximum weights must be at least 5-10% more when you are on steroids.For example, if you are exercising with 180lb while not on steroids, you should increase it to at least 200 lbs when on steroids.

What is progressive overload and how it affects your muscle gains  is a must to read post if you are not familiar with notion of "progressive overload".

 2- Change the reps.

             A rep or repetition is a term used to describe the basic step of an exercise. For example, one push up is also called as one rep. Increasing the number of reps will generate more stress for a longer time and while you are on steroids this is exactly what you need to build your muscles.

Related post: The optimal number of reps for each set

 3- Change the sets.

        A set is a group of reps of a particular exercise performed in a given time interval. Any exercise is usually done in sets to give the muscle groups a break in between. For example, if you do 3sets of bench-press while not taking steroids, you should increase it to 5 or 6 sets when on anabolic steroids.

Related post: How many sets for each exercise

Bottom line:

           All of the above variations can also be used in combination.  The variation between off and on steroid exercise schedules has to be planned in a careful manner, preferably with the help of a professional trainer, to avoid damaging your muscles and promote growth.

          Make sure you don't repeat these 8 mistakes people make with steroids.  Educate yourself on the use of steroids!


Building muscle mass is what I like to talk about. If your aim is to build a solid body, then my posts would be very beneficial to you. I always want to know your opinion, so don't hesitate to drop a line below or contact me.

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