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How To Spot A Guy On Steroids

steroid guy

Fact: steroid use among guys is actually pretty common.

Much more so, in fact, than many people realize.

So when you see that guy in the gym benching 500 pounds, he hasn’t necessarily taken steroids, but there’s a good possibility that he has (at least at some point).

And steroid use isn’t just limited to massive, hulking brutes…

Quite a number of regular guys take steroids to try to get big and lean as fast as possible.

Now, before I get into this, I want to be clear that I am not here to knock steroids.

I don’t judge the guys who take them – and most of the guys I know that do bust their asses at the gym are equally focused on their diets.

But it is undeniable that steroids can radically accelerate muscular development, to a point that just isn’t attainable naturally.

The thing is, no one readily admits to taking steroids.

Even the guys that do take them, always say that they don’t.

And I get that. There is is a stigma, and no one wants to be judged.

But you’re curious, right?

You want to know if that dude that menacingly throws around 100s of pounds is on the juice?

Well, you’re in luck – cause I’m going to reveal the 9 most obvious signs that someone has been getting a little pharmaceutical encouragement.

Big Gut/Bloated Stomach

bloated stomach steroids

You ever seen one of those guys who is shredded – veins popping out everywhere?

Yet he also has a protruding, firm stomach that might make you think he somehow managed to get himself pregnant.

He might even have chiseled abs on that big stomach of his. We’re not talking about guys who had too many twinkies here.

Well, it’s a pretty good bet that he has taken HGH (Human Growth Hormone) at some point – and has been afflicted with the lovingly coined ‘GH Gut’.

And while HGH is not technically a steroid, per se, it is certainly a close cousin – and a likely indicator that the guy has at least dabbled in steroids as well.

Body Acne

acne steroids

Most of us don’t get much acne as adults.

Maybe the occasional pimple on your face or your back.

However, guys that take steroids often suffer from serious cases of body acne (like the picture above).

This happens because of the additional testosterone that the steroids help produce.

Testosterone can impact the way that the sebaceous glands function, leading to more body acne – especially on the back and shoulders.

Stretch Marks

steroid stretch marks

When a guy begins taking steroids, he will generally also start getting more muscular.

If he is also working hard at the gym, this can produce massive gains in a short period of time.

Unfortunately, the elasticity in the skin isn’t always equipped to accommodate for these sudden gains, leaving the guy with stretch marks where the skin failed to adjust.

These can be permanent scars in many cases, and most often occur around the sides of the chest, the upper lats, and sometimes the biceps.


gyno steroids

This is one that most guys hope they’ll never get!

Also known as “Moobs” or “Bitch Tits”, Gynecomastia is when guys have an enlargement in their breast tissue.

This tends to make their chest droop, nipples point down, and in some cases require one of these.

Not a pretty sight…

Gynecomastia generally is thought to be caused by a change in the ratio of testosterone to estrogen in guys’ bodies.

Men typically have around 20 times as much testosterone as women, whereas women have about 5 times as much estrogen as men.

However, when exogenous testosterone is introduced into the body, it gets converted into estrogen through a process called aromatization. This leads to higher concentrations of estrogen in some male steroid users, who then suffer the unfortunate consequences.

A Massive Increase In Muscle Mass

massive muscle steroids

Obviously fast muscle gains don’t always equal steroids.

Sometimes it is just a result of hard work and great genetics.

However, there is a limit to how much muscle a natural guy can put on in any given month.

For a moderately experienced lifter, putting on 1 pound of muscle each week would be a massive accomplishment, and probably not sustainable.

For a steroid user, however, these types of huge gains are not uncommon.

In fact, new steroid users can reportedly put on 20-30 pounds of muscle within just a few months!

Disproportionate Musculature

steroid shoulders

A natural weight lifter tends to have a certain proportionality.

And while some muscles may be more pronounced than others – based on the person’s genetics and training – there generally won’t be cartoonish irregularities to muscle growth in different parts of the body.

Steroid users, on the other hand, will often have disproportionately large upper body muscles.

This is especially true with the shoulders, traps, and back – since those muscles have more androgen receptors than other areas.

In fact, if a guy has freakishly big, boulderish shoulders, there is a high probability that he has taken steroids at some point.

Losing Fat & Gaining Muscle Simultaneously

muscle gain fat loss steroids

For most guys who aren’t juicing, it is almost impossible to gain any significant amount of muscle and lose fat at the same time.

You generally have to choose which one to prioritize, and then build your diet and caloric intake around that.

For guys on ‘roids, however, it is possible to do both at the same time.

So if that guy at your gym has been packing on muscle each week – and losing lots of body fat at the same time – then it is a good bet he’s on something.

Massive Muscles On Small Bones

steroids small frame

Ever see a guy who has muscles that are clearly too big for his bone structure?

He might have these tiny little wrists – with massive forearms that seem to have been artifically sewn on top of them.

As a general rule, the amount of muscle natural weight lifters can develop is somewhat dictated by their bone structure.

You just won’t see a guy with a tiny frame with muscles the size of someone that competes in strongman competitions.

Well, at least you won’t without some steroidal support…

Small Testicles

small balls steroids

Yes, this is obviously a joke!

I doubt that you are going to go examining the testicle size of the juiced meathead doing 800 pound squats.

Probably not a wise idea…

That being said, this is can be a side-effect of steroids, so I thought I’d include it anyway.

You see, your testicles are responsible for testosterone production.

When you are taking steroids, your body has a plentiful supply of external testosterone, causing your internal production to shut down.

This is what causes the testicular shrinkage.

However, it is important to note that this is reversible – and depending on how careful the steroid user is, their family jewels can return back to their normal size post-cycle.

Further Reading

Are you trying to figure out whether a specific fitness model, bodybuilder, or celebrity is using steroids?

If so, I would recommend checking out, which takes a fair-minded, evidence-based look at which of these guys are actually juicing.

Finally, it is worth remembering that just because a guy is big doesn’t mean that he is taking steroids, so you often have to carefully examine the details to determine the truth each case.

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