If we want, that steroids work in a right way, they have to be absorbed and processed by individual cells. When the steroid goes through a cell’s membrane, it is tied in the cell’s cytosol on a specific receptor, which is made by a protein from one part. When the complex hormone-receptor is activated, the complex is translocated to the cell’s core, where it ties on a concrete place of chromatin. Thanks to it, proteins can be synthetized. Receptors have the ability to recognize anabolic steroids, it means, that they can tie a steroid molecule and enable the cells to process anabolic steroids.
Under normal circumstances, the receptors in your skeletal muscles are full of molecules of naturally produced testosterone. Thus, under „normal circumstances“, anabolic steroids have just a very little influence on the growth of muscles and strength. However, by training, the number of empty receptors is increased. This process increases the ability of the organism to process anabolic steroids and increases the effects of steroids. For this reason, the user of anabolic steroids has to train hardly and be on a good diet; otherwise he will not achieve a progress.
Women have a higher number of empty receptors, because they have a lower level of naturally produced testosterone. For this reason, they are more sensible on anabolic steroids.
There is a border, which does not depend on the training, where all the receptors in the body are full, already. If you have already reached this border, further increasing the doses will not bring the desired results. Unfortunately, these further doses make full receptors in other parts of the organism (prostate, heart, testicles …). An increased number of such receptors cause the side effects of anabolic steroids.
Testosterone and cortisol
Testosterone is a naturally produced hormone – an anabolic hormone, which leads to the growth of muscle fibres. And cortisol is a catabolic hormone, which „damages“ the fibres. These two hormones always have the growth of muscles under control. If the brain thinks, that the fibres need to growth, it increases the production of testosterone and decreases the production of cortisol. However, this process functions reversely, as well.
Steroids lead to growth of muscles, because they contribute to it by two means. Anabolic steroids make faster the production of new muscle cells and block the effects of cortisol simultaneously. Muscle cells contain receptors, which are able to bind molecules of various forms. Molecules of anabolic steroids and cortisol are of similar form, for this reason, the anabolic steroids are able to bind both anabolic steroids and cortisol. If the hormone wants to use its effects, it has to get to the receptor at first. If steroids are used, the number of anabolic hormones in the blood flow is much higher than the number of catabolic hormones and, for this reason, a majority of receptors, which can bind these molecules, is already full of molecules with anabolic effects. Thus, the anabolic molecules do not enable the catabolic ones to enter the receptors and the production of new muscle cells is increased. These effects are stronger, than the natural regulation of growth of muscles.
However, there is one problem. The organism carries on producing the catabolic molecules, mainly in the form of cortisol. The level of cortisol in blood is increased all the time, because its molecules cannot be processed in the receptors, which are full of molecules of anabolic steroids. The level of anabolic and catabolic steroids in the blood flow gets equal. After a receptor gets empty, the anabolic and catabolic molecules have an equal chance to fill it. At the end, the receptors contain a half of anabolic and a half of catabolic molecules. Under these circumstances, the further growth of muscles is impossible.
A bodybuilder, whose muscles do not grow anymore, can decide to increase the dose of steroids to stop the increasing amount of corticol in blood flow. Unfortunately, this variant is only a temporary solution. It is because this process is repeated soon again and further increasing of doses is pointless and dangerous.
Comming off steroids - carefully
For these reasons, some bodybuilders decide not to risk their health with increasing the doses and stop using steroids immediately. But you should never stop using steroids, when the maximal doses are used, because your body could suffer from a shock. It is for the reason, that the number of catabolic molecules would be much higher than the number of anabolic ones. A majority of receptors would be filled with catabolic molecules and a significant part of the gained muscles would be lost within short time.
You can regulate the level of cortisol with thy pyramid system of the use of steroids. This principle makes it possible to gain new muscles and keep it by balancing the level of anabolic and catabolic processes in the organism.