Anabolic steroids increase exercise tolerance

Anabolic steroids are of course well-known in the sports and bodybuilding worlds as huge performance enhancers; specifically, they add muscle and strength, and cut fat mass. So how do they work? One way is by increasing exercise tolerance. The athlete who uses steroids can return to the gym or the field much more quickly than one who does not use them.

Anabolic steroids increase exercise tolerance.

The influence of an anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) on thymidine and amino acid uptake in rat hindlimb skeletal muscles during 14 days after a single exhaustive bout of weight lifting was determined. Adult male rats were divided randomly into Control or Steroid groups. Nandrolone decanoate was administered to the Steroid group 1 wk before the exercise bout. [3H]thymidine and [14C]leucine labeling were used to determine the serial changes in cellular mitotic activity, amino acid uptake, and myosin synthesis. Serum creatine kinase (CK) activity, used as a measure of muscle damage, increased 30 and 60 min after exercise in both groups. The total amount of weight lifted was higher, whereas CK levels were lower in Steroid than in Control rats. [3H]thymidine uptake peaked 2 days after exercise in both groups and was 90% higher in Control than in Steroid rats, reflecting a higher level of muscle damage. [14C]leucine uptake was approximately 80% higher at rest and recovered 33% faster postexercise in Steroid than in Control rats. In a separate group of rats, the in situ isometric mechanical properties of the plantaris muscle were determined. The only significant difference was a higher fatigue resistance in the Steroid compared with the Control group. Combined, these results indicate that AAS treatment 1) ameliorates CK efflux and the uptake of [3H]thymidine and enhances the rate of protein synthesis during recovery after a bout of weight lifting, all being consistent with there being less muscle damage, and 2) enhances in vivo work capacity and the in situ fatigue resistance of a primary plantarflexor muscle.

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2 comments
Kindke says December 7, 2013

This rings true with my experience, what I found very obvious while on gear was I could weight train the same muscle group everyday no problem, whereas before I would need several days recovery between exercising the same muscle group. Strength and the amount of reps I could do also went up dramatically long before I noticed any significant increases in muscle mass. DOMS also became non-existent on gear.

Im of the opinion that the reason testosterone has such a dramatic effect on confidence and risk taking is BECAUSE testosterone so potently increases physical capability through augmenting musculature performance. The ability to hunt and fight ( for mates ) is obviously quite dependent on your overall physical capability which in turn is dependent on your testosterone.

Rather like how hunger hormones that have dual functions of increasing appetite and also simultaneously promoting fat storage.

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Mangan says December 8, 2013

Thanks for the insight. Near as I can make out, T as well as steroids seem to have at least 2 modes of action, one being faster recovery. The other, as you’ll notice above, was massively higher rates of leucine uptake at rest. In a lot of the T studies, the subjects gain muscle w/o exercise, albeit they’re probably starting from a low baseline.

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