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A Discussion With Paul Carter on Anabolic Steroids

I recently asked Paul Carter if he’d be willing to jump on Skype and record a discussion on the topic of anabolic steroids with me. We ended up talking for nearly 2 hours. The information contained within won’t be anything ground-breaking for serious lifters who have been around the block. However, for those who are ignorant and naive on the topic of steroids, you’ll definitely learn a thing or two.

Paul and I are not experts on the topic of anabolic steroids; we’re not medical doctors/endocrinologists and we aren’t involved in research on anabolic steroids, so take our advice with a grain of salt. Personally, I would like to see more discussion on anabolic steroids emerge over time in our field as it tends to be a taboo in strength & conditioning media. Here’s the video (my apologies, I don’t have an MP3 file for you):

Here are the various questions we tackled:

  1. What are the ethical issues involving anabolic steroids?
  2. What are the different types of anabolic steroids?
  3. What are the effects of testosterone/anabolic steroids?
  4. What other drugs are typically used in powerlifting/bodybuilding?
  5. What are some limitations of the literature involving anabolic steroids?
  6. What are some of the biggest misconceptions out there involving anabolic steroid usage?
  7. What are some of the more extreme anecdotes that we’ve witnessed in terms of great responders and poor responders?
  8. Why are there non-responders – what’s happening?
  9. What are typical ranges of testosterone levels for natural men?
  10. What are typical dosages for men taking TRT?
  11. What are typical dosages taken by average powerlifters and bodybuilders?
  12. What are extreme dosages taken by elite powerlifters and bodybuilders?
  13. What are some of the more well-known side-effects of anabolic steroids for men?
  14. What are some of the lesser-known side-effects of anabolic steroids for men?
  15. What are some of the side-effects of anabolic steroids for women?
  16. Would the same powerlifters and bodybuilders be dominating their sports if anabolic steroids didn’t exist?
  17. Would sports performance be highly influenced if anabolic steroids didn’t exist?
  18. Do anabolic steroid users need to train differently than natural lifters?
  19. What is some advice for those considering taking anabolic steroids?
  20. Where can people find out information about anabolic steroids?



  • Adam says:

    You might want to host that on something other than Youtube, they’ve been nixing entire channels for steroid-related videos for a while now.

  • Alison says:

    Woah that’s Paul Before? I don’t think u covered this but that’s something I’m curious about….how quickly do the effects leave? You hear of muscle memory after steroid use but I assume u don’t just take it for a year and always keep the gains…

  • Brad Josse says:

    HI Brett,

    Firstly, thank you for tackling this subject and sharing the information. That said, I found it EXTREMELY frustrating to try and listen to this interview because rather than asking questions and letting Paul answer them, you would introduce a question, then discuss yourself it for a while, then ask Paul but often answer yourself before he even had a chance to answer the question that you just asked him. Watch his body language and you will see that he’s just itching to answer a lot of questions, but you never give him a chance. I intend this to be constructive, so if you could actually just ask the question and let the man answer it rather than have 1 to 5 minute preambles, it would make for a much more efficient, intelligible, and informative interview (in my opinion, obviously!).

    Thank you again for sharing the information, and I hope that this critique of mine is received in the spirit of bettering the message rather than attacking the messenger.


    • Bret says:

      Brad, I listened to it too and found it painful. Part of the problem is that we recorded the same podcast several days prior but my computer screwed up. I ended up writing down all the questions we addressed, and it actually made for a worse recording because I was overfocused on 1) getting all my same points across (which still didn’t happen, which is frustrating as we left out some good material), and 2) following a pre-planned format (which doesn’t allow for natural conversation). Our first recording flowed much more naturally, and I didn’t interrupt as much. I won’t make this mistake again. Live and learn! At any rate, I’m aware of this and will do better in the future. Sorry to disappoint.

  • Jim Nonnemacher says:

    Haven’t had the chance to listen to this yet. But for anyone interested on an at length read on the use and consequences of AAS (Anabolic Androgen Steroids) I recommend that you get a copy of:

    Anabolic Steroids in Sport and Exercise, Second Edition, Editor Charles E. Yesalis

  • Brad Josse says:

    Hi Brett,

    And no worries at all! There is still plenty of good information in the interview, and you are consistently one of the best sources of fitness information out there. I’m grateful that you share as much as you do, and thank you for your considered and mature response.

    Keep up the good work,


  • Mike Cruickshank says:

    11 minutes in. I hope he was kidding, but haven’t you guys heard of gay for pay? There are heterosexual bodybuilders, both amateur and professional who do everything from posing to wrestling to sexual intercourse to pay for their drug bill.

    • Bret says:

      Good call Mike. I have heard these rumors too – pretty crazy!

      • Mike Cruickshank says:

        Thanks Bret. You are a very fun interview to listen to. I only picked up on that one because I had to go to bed after the first 15 minutes but will get to the rest of it this evening.

  • Smurf says:

    Hey Brett i recently purchased your sprinting Ebook! Good book! I was wondering do you have any recommendations on any WEIGHT training programs for sprinters in paticular! I was considering you Glutei maximus ebook but i wasn’t sure if its the right one for me, i trust your judgement and would like your recommendations!

  • Bret, Just a suggestion but you should consider getting an expert on this topic and that would probably be up for a video like you’ve done here. His name is William Llewellyn. He’s a scientist and the author of the book Anabolics. There’s no need in me listing this guys credentials just check out his bio on his website here:

    he’s a great guy with mind boggling information on steroids that is science based and not on bro science
    that we most often read and hear on the internet.

    I would love to see something transpire with you and Llewellyn.

    Thanks my friend!

  • Chris says:

    Layne Norton did a really good video log (#25) on Hormone Myths where he discusses a few of these very questions such as the myth that being at the top of the “normal” range of natural testosterone produces any more muscle mass than being at the bottom of the normal range. Only superphysiological increases in testosterone gets those big muscle building results. But, the relationship is not linear and just because superphysiological increases in testosterone gives superphysiological increases in muscle mass does not mean that a high normal range will also produce increases in muscle mass. Here’s the link:

    • Bret says:

      Chris, I initially agreed with Layne when I watched his vid. But check out the article he referenced in JAP (it’s a free article). The relationship is indeed pretty much linear. Of course, we’re talking averages here. As Paul and I mentioned, there’s a large variance with AAS.

  • Jeremy says:

    at 1:00 you talk about how some people are just naturally strong and where does it come from. I have found that, over a decade of tracking clients performance and results during lifestyle changes, the biggest factor of “natural” strength later in 20’s comes from the type of training done between the ages of 13 and 17 where hormones are highest nutrition tends to be more consistent since on a routine of school. Parents are also cooking meals consistently allowing for heal time and no car means going to sleep at a decent hour and longer sleep windows. This foundation building I’ve found when people miss this window of years have a significant gap in overall strength and ability to change their composition later in life. Just a food for thought when looking at peak performance athletes trying to find that extra 10%. Get a time machine

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