Drug use and fat loss pills for rapid results!!!! Such a contentious subject and one that people are so reluctant to discuss; yet on the other hand it infiltrates the fitness industry. I am seeing more and more people, younger and younger damaging their bodies (and mind) by taking whatever it is they are influenced to take because they want the results yesterday. It’s a very concerning generation of people that feel huge amounts of pressure to look a certain way and make progress at the rate of the next person. This is making drugs and certain “supplements” become so commonly used that they are consumed as willingly as vitamins. It’s a subject I have VERY little knowledge on and this is something I pride myself with. I am not one for forcing my opinions and I believe everyone has their own free choice; however my question… Is this any longer a choice or do people now feel there is no choice and this is just what they have to do in order to succeed or make progress at a fast rate?
I think social media and the world we live in has now made us hasty and impatient. Technology makes everything instant therefore we no longer have to wait for much in life we can just get things if we want them, same day, click of a button and in whatever shape, size or colour.
It doesn’t matter who you are, results are so important; if you are working out and eating well you expect to see results. The downfall to this is expectations are so high that they totally exceed realistic results. This is where people now are entering a fitness journey whether is it to compete or just look good in everyday life and feel huge amount of pressure to take illegal substances or supplements that are a risk to health.
Being a coach to everyday people, potential competitors as well as being an athlete myself I can totally relate to the pressures felt by people. For a coach they feel a huge amount of pressure from the client to get results; in order for their business to be successful they need to be producing results; results at a faster rate than the next trainer. For an athlete they need to be improving and gaining faster than the their fellow competitor and for everyday folk they need to have results quicker than they are willing to wait and they don’t want to have to sacrifice their life to get the desired results. Drugs are now so readily available; no longer are people sourcing from someone with knowledge. There are people selling them on the black market that do not have any fitness knowledge.
Feeling pressure can make it so easy for people to take whatever it is they need to take in order to get the results they crave. Coaches are prescribing ‘willy nilly’ with often very little knowledge around the impact they may be having on a persons health. What’s more I am seeing girls and guys only 18-23 taking “supplements” that are so damaging to their health by the time they become 30 they are going to be challenged with all kinds of health implications. Metabolic damage, thyroid damage, kidney and liver damage, pancreatic damage….the list goes on, all because of impatience.
Aside from the physical effects there are other dangers to taking drugs, these can be the mental implications that people may face and these can sometimes be more destructive. Drugs will change mood and chemical imbalances in the brain to affect behaviour, there is also a great risk of addiction. A user can become heavily reliant on the drugs as they feel if they stop using these drugs they will then go backwards or also carry the fear of failing. In some cases users become dependant on drugs to survive, their body adapts to the demand of the drugs to the extent that without them they increase further health risks. For example, the heart becomes enlarged with the use of steroids therefore to just stop taking them would be extremely unsafe. Thus when taking drugs one may also develop diminished results; this mean the amount one may take in the first instance will no longer be enough to have the same affect; the body is very smart and adapts very quickly. This can lead to huge amounts of stress ultimately the financial strain for people and often debt. I have even witnessed users replacing food to fund their drug supply. This is incredible that people start believing food therefore is less essential in building muscle than drugs yet on the other hand fat loss pills are taken to suppress appetite therefore people taking such are trying to stop themselves eating.
I feel it is my duty as a health and fitness role model to highlight to people the dangers around the use of fat loss medication or anabolic drugs with NO knowledge at all. One of the most common drugs that people seem to be taking at moment is T3’s, T5’s in order to speed up their metabolism. What people fail to realise, these are hormones produced by the thyroid which is a regulator for our metabolism and is a gland that I call “The Body’s Butterfly’ it is one of the most precious glands of the human body. Once the thyroid has been damaged it can take YEARS to rectify therefore in years to come people are going to be suffering huge health problems.
Drugs have been around for years therefore it is not just something of this generation but what is most concerning is the concoction people are taking. A eye opening conversation I found myself in was with a young 23 year old male who told me he takes x,y,z, all of which conflicted with one another. First off he was taking a testosterone replacement to increase muscle mass but one of the side effects of this particular testosterone replacement is that the body retains extra water in the muscles, this affected him psychologically as he felt he was getting “fat”. To combat this he was taking a drug (fat burner) called T3, this drug increase the metabolic rate and also increases the core temperature of the body thus burns more body fat. The repercussion of this is the body then starts to catabolise muscle in the process therefore contradicting the initial reason for taking the testosterone. Behaviour of this kind is so common due to the lack of knowledge that these young men and women have on the subject and feel the pressure to begin taking drugs of these sorts.
With the rise of social media stars that are keen to divulge their current steroid and drug cycles; the more socially accepted this issue has become. It is very concerning as these fitness icons carry a huge influence and are given platform to attend fitness expeditions and sell their various supplements whilst promoting the use of steroids above an beyond a super therapeutic level, these plans are being followed by individuals that may be half their body weight which put them in even more danger.
“Be patient, what’s the rush be in it for the the long haul, don’t give yourself a shelf life before you have even begun”
I am extremely concerned with the way that the fitness industry is evolving, what concerns me the most is the youngsters coming into the industry. One thing that is staggering when people approach me for coaching is how many times I have been asked what they need to take as they would be willing to take ANYTHING. There are some coaches working with people that are very young and naïve looking to be the next champion that will do whatever it takes to look a certain way; they put their trust in the coach and without a second thought or knowing what they are taking will be given banned “supplements”.
I am not writing the article to protest against drugs but raise awareness and hopefully those reading this may think twice about their future and health and not just live for the moment.
Be patient, take a little longer, live healthier for longer and have a more prosperous career and future.