You heard that anabolic steroids are dangerous for your health, but you’re not sure if legal steroids have any effect?

While browsing online, I noticed that there are more adverts for legal steroids than ever before and that they are slowly but steadily entering the mainstream. However, I wasn’t quite certain what they are, how they work or if they have an effect.

Legal steroids are entering the market, and the main reason for their success is the fact that they are being presented as products that were once the “secret supplements” that only professional bodybuilders and Hollywood actors used.

In the beginning, they were ridiculously expensive, so people rather turned to black market anabolic steroids, but with increased popularity and mass production, prices plummeted, and now legal steroids have become a viable option.

So, I decided to pit legal steroids and anabolics against each other, and determine once and for all which is better.

Legal vs anabolics

What’s in the name?

To start off, I have to tell you the truth. There are actually no such things as “legal steroids”. They are called that to simplify the differentiation between them and anabolics.

So if they aren’t real steroids that are simply legal, what are they? They are muscle building sports nutrition products. We are talking about muscle building supplements that are sold legally, and that are advertised as legal steroids. Why? Well, it’s simple – because they bring results that are almost the same as those that illegal anabolic steroids offer.

Anabolic steroids are controlled substances such as Dianabo, Oxymethalone, Trenbalone and P-var. Simply said, they are man-made hormones that help build muscles.

Ease of procurement

The biggest difference between legal steroids and anabolics is the fact that they are not testosterone based, and they can be bought in your local store or online without any problems, or worries that you might be doing something illegal.

Anabolic steroids are prohibited in most countries, so you have to be well connected, and find a dealer in order to get them. Another major problem here is the fact that possession of illegal anabolic steroids, even for personal use is punishable by law. If you don’t have a prescription, you can get a year in prison and a minimum $1.000 fine if it is your first offense.

How they work

Legal steroids are made to work in sync with your body’s chemistry in order to boost testosterone levels, burn fat and bring desired results. This is why you can’t just use one supplement, but you have to balance them carefully so that they complement your workout regime and diet.

Anabolics are made to flood your body with hormones that push your body’s chemistry and alter it in order to get you where you want to be.

Effects and side-effects

Legal steroids are made with ingredients such as samento inner bark, beta sitosterol, wild yam root, nettle leaf extract, pepsin, choline bitartrate and many others that will mimic all the positive effects of anabolic steroids. And, yeah, there are no side-effects, because these are usually blends of prohormones, herbal boosters, and natural vitamins. You will still benefit from improved endurance, faster recovery, higher protein production that leads to muscle gain, and the increase in energy levels. Altogether, they will lead to what you seek – a significant increase in muscle mass.

Anabolic steroids are artificially made testosterone. They will do everything you want them to, everything people say they do, but they come with some serious side-effects too. Heart, liver and eye damage, severe acne, baldness, gynecomastia, testicular atrophy… This is why anabolics are scary. They are faster than the legal option, and a lot faster than the “natty” option, but the damage you can do to your body if you use them is irreparable.

Best examples of legal vs anabolic steroids

  1. D-Bal (Legal) vs Dianabol

Both are used for faster muscle gain, increased strength, and bridging cycles. Dianabol is an anabolic steroid often referred to as the granddaddy of steroids. D-Bal has the same muscle-building effect, it boosts nitrogen retention and increases synthesis of protein, making your muscles grow faster, but it lacks the negative side-effects that come with Dianabol. Plus, you don’t have to inject it.

  1. Testo-Max (Legal) vs Sustanon

Sustanon is there for additional strength and increase in lean muscle mass. Testo-Max has the same effect, it adds more energy to your workouts, speeds up your recovery, and it promotes the reduction of body fat. Sustanon is known to cause water retention and increase in estrogen levels that leads to development of breast tissue in men. Testo-Max, on the other hand, has no side-effects.

  1. Trenorol (Legal) vs Trenbolone

Trenbolone gives amazing strength, great physical conditioning and enables fast muscle gain. Trenorol does the same while increasing your red blood cell production, which in turn improves your vascularity, so your gains are pure muscle. The difference? Unlike Trenbolone, Trenorol does not cause insomnia, erectile dysfunction or liver and kidney stress, which makes it much better in my book.

  1. Anadrole (Legal) vs Oxymetholone

Oxymetholone is there to help you ward off fatigue for longer periods of time, speed up your recovery and to help you to get huge muscle gain in short time periods. Anadrole does the same thing, and it helps you retain lean muscle while burning fat quickly. However, Androle doesn’t cause headaches, jaundice, stomach pain or depression.

  1. DecaDuro (Legal) vs Deca Durabolin

Deca Durabolin first appeared in 1960, and it has the ability to enhance protein synthesis and nitrogen retention, causing increased muscle growth. DecaDuro is known to do the same thing while promoting faster post-workout recovery, reducing body fats and preserving lean muscles, but it doesn’t carry with it breast tenderness, continued painful erection, acne or enlarged prostate.

The verdict is…

Legal options are not really steroids, but when I take everything I found out into consideration, I simply can’t recommend anabolic steroids to anyone. Yes, anabolics are faster. Yes, you will have to put slightly more time and effort into your cycle if you use legal steroids.

But, even though anabolics are faster than legal steroids, legal options offer almost the same results, but they take out the risks.  This makes them, at least in my eyes, the decisive winners here.

Andrew has been a personal trainer since 2001 and was chosen as Canada's Top Fitness Professional in 2013 for his dedication to his clients' success.