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  Steroid University Course - 2
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Course 2 - How do anabolic Steroids Work

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How do anabolic Steroids WorkTestosterone is responsible for almost all of the developmental changes in a male during puberty. Pubescent anabolic changes include muscle, bone and red blood cell growth while androgenic effects include deepening of the voice, enlargement of the penis and testes, facial and body hair growth, increased aggression and libido. Anabolic steroids are used to mimic and enhance the anabolic properties while minimizing the negative androgenic properties. Unfortunately, the anabolic effect has a direct effect on the androgenic effect; therefore, the steroids that have been found to be the most anabolic are also the most androgenic in nature.

Anabolic steroids work by stimulating the receptor molecules in muscle cells. This activates the genes to produce proteins. After the steroid has entered the body, either through injection, ingestion, or transdermally; they are carried throughout the body by the bloodstream. Eventually, they make their way to muscle tissue where they attach to the cell wall and receptor sites in the muscle.

Steroid hormones cause changes within a cell by first passing through the cell membrane of the target cell. Because steroid hormones are fat-soluble, they are allowed passage through the phospholipid bilayer, which is just a fancy term for the outer layer of the cell membrane that is made up of fatty acids. Fat-insoluble molecules, such as nonsteroidal hormones, cannot pass through this fatty layer into the cell.

Once inside the cell the steroid hormone binds with specific receptors located in the cytoplasm (the liquid layer inside the cell which offers a cushiony layer of support) of the target cell.

The steroid hormone is then passed into the nucleus and binds to another specific receptor on the chromatin (a mass of genetic material composed of DNA and proteins which is located in the cell's nucleus). After binding to the chromatin messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules are produced through a process called transcription. These mRNA molecules are then transported into the cytoplasm. Through the process known as translation, the mRNA molecules allow for the further production of proteins. This increase in protein synthesis, which as we discussed previously, is the process in which the genetic code (carried by messenger RNA) directs cells to produce proteins from amino acids synthesis with in the muscle is how muscle size and strength is increased through AAS. This anabolic process also creates and anti-catabolic effect, which means that protein breakdown i.e. muscle loss) cannot happen in the presence of Anabolic Steroids.

In order for anabolic steroids to have the most beneficial effect on physical performance, heavy resistance training as well as proper nutrition is recommended. Research has proven that athletes experience increased strength, performance and endurance during training sessions while using anabolic steroids. The effectiveness of anabolic steroids is also directly dependent upon unbound receptor sites in muscle. Intense training sessions can increase the number of unbound receptor sites; therefore increasing the effectiveness of anabolic steroids.

Summary Recap
Steroid Hormone Mechanism of Action
The steroid hormone mechanism of action can be summarized as follows:
1. Steroid hormones pass through the cell membrane of the target cell.
2. The steroid hormone binds with a specific receptor in the cytoplasm.
3. The receptor bound steroid hormone travels into the nucleus and binds to another specific receptor on the chromatin.
The steroid hormone-receptor complex calls for the production of messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, which code for the production of proteins.

Course 3 - The History of Anabolic Steroids