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What Happens After Taking Steroids for Building Muscle for 30 Days?

by Jeremy Ethier - May 18, 2024

What would happen if I took steroids for building muscle for 30 days?

I’m a lifetime natty, but nowadays it seems like so many athletes, actors, and even social media influencers are hopping on steroids for building muscle. It got me thinking, how serious are the side effects? Could I actually use them safely?

I wanted to speak to people with first-hand experience. What does that first month on juice feel like? And how much progress could I make?

The conversations I had were not only eye opening ...


I was like, what, shoulder pressing like 65, 70 pounds before I would show up one day. Never even tried. I was like, let's just do a hundred, 110, let's just do it. Let's just do it.


I lost my shit. I didn't know what to do. I was freaking out and I was like, I'm lactating. What's happening to me?

But they led me to a decision I never thought I would make.

First, I reached out to a veteran to show me the ropes about using steroids for building muscle.

Meet Jaws

Steroids for building muscle Jaws


Jaws is one of the world’s top bodybuilders, finishing in the Top 25 as a Mr. Olympia Competitor. And as he coached me through one of his posing routines, it was easy to see why he’s one of the best in the world. Here's our conversation:


Does your mom know you're taking steroids?


She's called me out on it. I've never admitted it.


Really? No? So, she doesn't know?


No, she doesn't know. She's never gotten me to admit it, no. She'll be like, do you use steroids? And I'm like, no, Mom. I'm like, everything's natural, just creatine.

Jaws won his first competition as a natural back in 2014.

But when he started competing on stage against enhanced bodybuilders, the decision to take steroids for building muscle was essentially “a must” if he wanted to keep advancing.

Why Jaws took steroids for building muscle

The Very First Time Jaws Used Steroids For Building Muscle

I got Jaws to walk me through the first day he used steroids.


The first day you had it in your hands and you were about to inject yourself with steroids for building muscle, walk me through what was going through your head.


I was definitely nervous. I didn't even want to poke myself to be honest, because the needles in my hand — it was on my glute, and I was shaking. I didn't want to poke my butt with a quivering hand. So I actually asked my girlfriend at the time to do it for me.

He was even willing to show me the different types of juice he takes.

Types of steroids for building muscle Jaws


Dang, so this is a lot of different stuff.


I have some steroids for building muscle, some meant for giving you a drier, harder, denser look. And some are really good for just performance enhancing, meaning strength building.

And though there are many different kinds, there’s pretty much one substance that all first-timers start with ...


Of course, we’ve all heard of testosterone. It’s a natural hormone that the body already produces. But injecting yourself with more than your body could ever produce naturally can lead to some pretty insane results. 

One study took 43 men and divided them into 2 groups.

Each week, the guys were given either 600 mg of testosterone or a placebo. Then, they were split up again into 2 groups that worked out, and 2 that didn’t.

10 weeks later, the guys who were taking testosterone had levels that were 3-6 times higher than normal, but(!), you probably expected that.

What is crazy is they found just taking testosterone without exercising was still extremely effective for building muscle.

In fact, it was so effective that the “testosterone-with-no-exercise group” built more muscle than the group that was exercising while taking a placebo.

How Did The Steroids Affect Him On The First Day?

So, for Jaws, who had already been training naturally for 8 years with several bodybuilding wins under his belt, I was curious to know how it affected him from day 1.


Did you work out that day?


I think I did, yeah. And I was just in my head thinking I'm already feeling stronger. Setting prs.

I definitely felt a difference in energy, more vitality, more like I'm ready to fuck shit up type of thing. And that's why I was so excited to go to the gym all the time, just constantly thinking about progression and getting stronger and getting bigger.

Meet Clement

Funnily enough, it wasn’t just Jaws who felt an immediate difference on steroids for building muscle.

I also spoke to Clement, a 26-year old ex-steroid user, who had a similar experience.

Clement who used to take steroids for building muscle


Yeah, the placebo kicked in right away. I thought I was the biggest dude in the world the next day, I swear.

Clement when he took steroids for building muscle

I was very motivated all the time. I definitely became the typical masculine person that made decisions super quick. I was always on the go. My brain was firing 24/7.

Their 30-Day Experience Of Taking Steroids For Building Muscle

Week 1

See, testosterone doesn’t just affect your muscles.

Creating such a big hormonal imbalance in your body can impact your mood, energy levels, confidence, libido … even your appetite.


I was eating more right away. I was so hungry all the damn time. Whether I was waking up right in the morning, or going to work, (or) after work. I wanted to eat 24/7, I'm not going to lie. And I indulged (in) a lot of food. But the crazy thing is I wasn't gaining too much at the same time.


You’re just burning through everything you eat. Like, I would have a cheat meal every day and maintain six pack abs. And I would actually look better after having the cheat meals. 

At this point, I’m thinking: More energy, more motivation … and looking better after cheat meals?! Where can I sign up? And this was before they even told me how it was affecting them in the gym.

Week 2+


Strength wise, I think it was two and a half weeks, three weeks, I started noticing some strength increases. And then as we progressed into the cycle, that's when we’re like, yeah, I just threw weights that I didn't know I could throw.

I would show up to the gym, and I was shoulder pressing like 65, 70 lbs before, I would show up one day — never even tried — I was like, let's just do 100, 110, let's just do it.


I didn't notice any actual changes or any differences really until the fourth week.

And once the fourth week hit, all of a sudden it was like I hit NOS when I was driving a car or something, my strength just skyrocketed. I started to jump in my numbers with my lifts. I was a powerbuilder back then, squatting, deadlifting, bench pressing. I was leaping up in my numbers and progressive overload way quicker than I was before.

My Burning Questions On Using Steroids For Building Muscle

How Much Muscle Can You Gain?

Now as for actual muscle growth, I looked into it and, according to the research, natural lifters can gain anywhere from 20-40 lbs of muscle in their lifetime. But, for guys on gear, it goes up to a whopping 45-120 lbs.

Personally, I’ve gained a total of around 30 lbs of muscle ever since I started working out.

Jeremy who has never taken steroids for building muscle

And the muscle building process has only gotten slower. I’m lucky if I can gain even just a couple pounds of muscle in a single year. But how would this change if I hopped on steroids for building muscle? Aka the juice?


If you’re enhanced, you can probably put on around 10 to 20 pounds of tissue in your first year.

I gotta say, after posing next to Jaws in the mirror and thinking about the possibility of being able to gain 10-20lbs of muscle in a single year, it’s tempting.

Steroids for building muscle Jeremy and Jaws

But if I was about to throw my Natty card away for life, there was just one question I needed Jaws to answer ...

Does It Affect The Size Of Things Down Under?


How has the size of your testes changed?


Oh okay. Well, I mean, if you Google search it, it's out there. Everyone knows your testes shrink… Your penis does not though. The penis stays the same, so don’t get the wrong idea. If anything, it looks bigger because your testes are a little smaller.

Yeah, the testes do shrink and it’s very noticeable.

It’s like peanuts.

As for why this happens, when you take an exogenous hormone, like testosterone, your body essentially thinks, “Hey, I don’t need to produce this anymore.”

You’re telling your brain that it's already getting what it needs from this external source.

And, for guys, since testosterone is primarily produced in the testes, well, they sort of just shrivel up because they’re no longer needed.

But this can create bigger complications.

The Realities Of Taking Steroids For Building Muscle


So now when you hop off (steroids) your testosterone tanks, your testes aren't actually producing anymore.

Sometimes people will negatively respond to an exogenous form of test where their testes think that, okay, I'm not going to ever need to produce test anymore.

And then all of a sudden you hop off that test and it's like that production, no matter what you do, no matter what kind of compounds you take to bring back the production of it, no matter how well you are optimizing your sleep, your stress, it doesn't change. And that's when you're kind of bound to take TRT.

… and for Jaws, this led to some complications.


I did notice ED issues. So erectile dysfunction.

Yeah, love getting a little personal with it. But yeah, it was hard for me to get it up, to be honest. And then it took some time to get my hormones back to normal levels.

This is where I started to get worried and unsure about using steroids for building muscle.

For one, I didn’t like the idea of being dependent on testosterone and injecting myself with a needle for the rest of my life. And as I found out from Clement, not every change that comes from taking testosterone is positive. 


How did your personality change at all when you were on it compared to off?


Very aggressive when I was on it, very transparent about that.

At the gym, buddy bumped into me … and I just completely flipped the switch. I was just like, watch where you’re going man, out loud. And I didn’t realize that when it came out of my mouth, but it was a very aggressive tone.

At this point, my decision wasn’t looking nearly as clear cut as it used to.  

I mean, what about all the actors and social media influencers on juice? Surely, not everyone who takes steroids for building muscle runs into these problems, right? Especially if they’re just using them for a short period of time?

Well, I wanted to learn more about the risks from an expert.

Understanding The Risks From John Lewett of J3 University

Luckily for me, there was no better person than steroids-coach and educator, John Jewett of J3 University.

John Jewett steroids coach


So a lot of the guys are worried about short-term side effects when you're young, right?

You're going to worry about your hair or testis shrinkage or acne. But the true dangers that I would be worried about, and that should always be in the back of your mind are the long-term effects of steroid use, which are absolutely very much pertinent even in short-term use.

If you jump in the deep end of the pool and you haven't learned how to do their basic swimming, you could easily drown in the side effect issues.

Talking to John, he explained that while many people make the mistakes of taking the wrong types of steroids for building muscle or the wrong dosage, even if you’re careful to do everything right, there’s still a chance you won't see the results you’re hoping for.


I've had guys that, man, they take a little bit and they get every single side effect … and then you have other guys that are using a bunch of steroids and they barely see any health deleterious effects.

Genetics determines everything.

It's why I'm not Michael Jordan playing basketball or your top pro bodybuilders. It's so genetic, everything around it.

There was an interesting study injecting 500 milligrams of testosterone in these different subjects. Some of the guys had testosterone levels that would triple while other guys didn't rise up that much at all. And it's purely down to how they metabolize the drugs differently.

And the reality is, if you end up having a bad reaction to steroids, the side effects can become life threatening. 

Cardiovascular Risks


I was on vacation one time and for the first time I felt like my chest area was hurting. That was my first scare because obviously Dr. Google says when you search online and a chest pain comes out of nowhere, you're probably going to die sometime soon.

I literally popped my iPhone up just to show some light on my chest, and I could see my heart pumping out of my chest.


What we see a lot of early deaths from are from the heart.

I've had some close bodybuilding friends that have passed away and indirectly related heart failure issues very young and there was a genetic history that aligned with that and probably a degree of being naive of what they were doing. And that led to early deaths in twenties and early thirties and it can happen.


The most scary thing was I think the doctor called it tachycardia, which was my heartbeat was not regular. I had to get a lot of ECG exams. I had a lot of get a ultrasounds as well.

The thing we're scared most of was an enlarged heart.


The big picture, what all these steroids for building muscle do, whether it's a testosterone derivative 19-nor or DHT is their main thing is that the androgen binds to an androgen receptor and that is its main job.

And what does that androgen receptor do? It builds muscle or prevents muscle breakdown.

But you don't just have androgen receptors in muscle, you have them on the heart, you have them on kidneys, you have them in the brain, so they influence all these other tissues as well.

Taking Steroids For Building Muscle Isn't For Everyone

I realized something important.

Up until now, my curiosity about taking steroids for building muscle was driven more by social media content than by conversations with real people.


There's a lot that goes behind the scenes with using steroids for building muscle that people don't realize.

I've seen a video on TikTok of a guy literally saying, I'm going to start my 30 day tren challenge, an 18-year-old kid, and then just documenting — and the kid has acne everywhere.

I'm like, what is this? Kid needs guidance, right?

Just because you're favorite influencer is using it and he looks okay, doesn't mean that you're going to have the same experience as he does.

And who knows what he's also going through privately behind the closed doors.

So you have to understand your situation, your intentions behind it, and if it's worth the risk that you may or may not even know are associated with it.

And for guys like Jaws, taking steroids for building muscle wasn’t just about looking good on the beach. 

Bodybuilding is his passion. And in his world, the line between a winning physique and long-term health issues is incredibly thin.


I spent eight years naturally, never wanted to touch a thing until I realized I'm at a disadvantage. I want to be an IFBB pro. That's my passion, my dream.

I knew there was a risk to it, and I was willing to accept that risk. 

It was inspiring for me to see what he, and many others in the sport, are willing to risk in pursuit of their dreams. 

But they’re not for everyone.


I realized that there's a lot more to life than just my body — health, my mental health, spiritual health, my family that I never considered.


I recommend no one actually to ever touch PEDs personally, as a bodybuilder. I don't recommend people touch it unless there's a reason for it.


If you're not planning to compete and need that extra bit of muscle, I just really don't see using steroids for building muscle being worth that extra risk. Having that extra five pounds of muscle? No one cares. No one cares about that at the end of the day.

As a natty, building more muscle sometimes feels painfully slow. But it still comes with its own set of rewards.


The natty has to put in way more work, which is why I respect people who stay natural for the rest of their whole lives, still grinding away at that one pound of muscle for that year.

And it's a lot harder and more disciplined and willpower to stay as a natural than if you're enhanced trying to build muscle or lose fat.


  • When it comes to steroids for building muscle, most beginners start with testosterone.
  • Taking steroids for building muscle can result in quick muscle and strength gains — quicker than you’d ever see as a natty — in the first few weeks and beyond.
  • However, there are both short- and long-term side effects to consider. For example, aggression issues, testicular atrophy, and organ enlargement/failure.
  • Not everyone responds favorably to taking steroids, too.
  • Unless the benefits clearly outweigh the risks (and this is highly individualistic, depending on your goals), taking steroids for building muscle just isn’t worth it for most people.

Will I Take Steroids For Building Muscle?

So after talking with Jaws, John and Clement, am I going to take the jump and start using steroids for building muscle?


For starters, my Filipino doctor mom would absolutely kill me if I did.

And even though I could probably see more improvement from 30 or 90 days of taking steroids for building muscle than I could in my next year or two of training as a natural, the progress would come with way too many risks that I’m not willing to take.

Pros and cons of taking steroids for building muscle

But I’ve also decided I would love to keep learning about this topic.

So I reached out to one of Jaw’s clients who is just about to start taking steroids. He’s agreed to let me follow his journey for the next 90 days, and I want to see if I can personally coach a natural lifter to keep up with the progress of someone taking juice.

We’ll have more to share from that experiment in about 3 months, but in the meantime if you want to discover the smartest way to build muscle as a natural, then check out this article where I interview 7 of the world’s smartest muscle building experts.

And for those who need more guidance and want a proven, easy to follow program that takes care of all the guesswork for you, take the quiz below:

Click the button below to take my analysis quiz to discover the best program for you:

Thanks for sticking to the end and I’ll see ya next time. 

By the way, here’s the article summed up into a YouTube video:

What Happens After Taking Steroids For 30 Days? (CONTROVERSIAL)

What Happens After Taking Steroids for Building Muscle for 30 Days?