The other significance of this study means that the claims made by many in regards to how the gains made as a result of anabolic steroid use are “temporary”, are quite simply not true. Of course, the retention of muscle mass following an anabolic steroid cycle is dependent on many different factors – individual genetics, dose and duration of anabolic steroid used on-cycle, training and nutrition post-cycle, as well as post cycle therapy (PCT) all play an active and dynamic role in how much muscle an individual will retain following an anabolic steroid cycle. With that being said, however, the results in the current study suggest that although muscle mass might be lost during the post-cycle period, there remains a dormant potential to experience significant muscle mass and performance changes in the long-term. How exactly one might take advantage of this and how exactly these processes work at the cellular and biochemical level remains to be entirely elucidated. We can only hope for future studies such as these in order to increase our knowledge and understanding of the wonderful world of muscle growth and performance enhancement.
I would like to quickly address a separate issue related to steroid use. Although I believe Bill Roberts has competently addressed this issue previously in earlier issues of MESO-Rx, I would like to make my own contribution here. It has been thought, and is still commonly believed, that using steroids decreases the number of “steroid” receptors. This argument is used to explain the fact that growth eventually stops while using a given amount of steroid. Once you understand all of the effects of testosterone on growth factor levels and muscle cells you come to realize that the opposite is in fact the case. Simply stated, supraphysiological levels of testosterone gives rise to increased numbers of myonuclei and thereby an increase in the number of total androgen receptors per muscle fiber. Therefor, the larger you get from using steroids, the more receptive your muscle become to the presence of testosterone. Keep in mind that I am referring to testosterone and testosterone esters. Not the neutered designer androgens that people take to avoid side effects (Fryburg, 1997). This is not an argument to rapidly increase the dosages you use. It takes time for these changes to occur and the benefits of higher testosterone levels will not be immediately realized.
The authors also did an experiment which focused on type IIb muscle fibers to test if previously hypertrophied muscles were more resistant to disuse, and subsequent weight on the muscle could result in a more efficient hypertrophic response. A 16% increase in cross-sectional area and 30% increase in myonuclear number was evident after 14 days of overload. They then denervated all muscles and discovered that after 2 weeks, both muscle groups (previously overloaded and non-overloaded) atrophied, but the previously overloaded muscles were 33% larger than those that were not.