There’s no doubt steroids can help you get bigger, leaner, and stronger, but they’re not exactly safe. They’re also stigmatized, which is why many people who use them do so in secret. So why do people use steroids? How effective are steroids and how safe are they? What are the risks of steroids? Can you just do one cycle to get the benefits without the side effects? What’s the best way to come off of steroids and what’s it like to stop taking them? Are they addictive? These are just some of the questions I ask Greg Doucette in this interview.
In case you’re not familiar with him, Greg is an IFBB Pro Bodybuilder, world record-holding powerlifter, coach, author, and Youtuber with over 1.5 million subscribers who’s been open about his steroid use over the years. Because I’ve never used these performance enhancing and muscle building drugs, I thought it would be interesting to chat with someone who has.
In this podcast, we discuss . . .
- Perspectives on who should use steroids and who has “the right” to
- The risks and effectiveness of steroids
- Why genetics matter even when it comes to steroids
- The psychology of coming off steroids and how to do it right
- Why you can’t take just one cycle of steroids as a “cheat code”
- Why some people downplay the risks of steroids
- And more . . .
So if you’re interested in learning about the pros and cons of steroids and what it’s like to come off of these drugs, listen to this interview!
0:00 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://www.muscleforlife.show/vip
6:35 – What are your thoughts on the transparency of using steroids?
15:08 – What are the risks and benefits of taking steroids?
18:55 – Can you train less intensely and get a nice physique when taking steroids?
24:41 – Is it important for our body chemistry to be compatible with the steroids we take?
28:04 – What has your steroid journey looked like? Why HRT?
32:41 – Do you think people can take steroids for just one cycle?
35:11 – What are your thoughts on people who disagree with the risks of taking steroids?
39:26 – How do you handle the negative comments online?
45:53 – What is the proper way to come off of steroids?
48:54 – Where can you find you and your work?
Mentioned on the show:
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://www.muscleforlife.show/vip
Greg’s Website: www.gregdoucette.com
Greg’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLqH-U2TXzj1h7lyYQZLNQQ
Greg’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gregdoucetteifbbpro/?hl=en
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello. Hello and welcome to muscle for life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today for an interview about steroids, because there is no doubt that steroids work, they can help you get bigger leaner stronger. And far more so than you could ever get naturally, but steroids are not exactly safe.
And many people who use them don’t really understand the physical and the psychological risks of these drugs. What’s more steroid use is stigmatized. Maybe not as much as it was 10 years ago, but still. Online and on social media in particular steroid use is frowned upon by most people in the online fitness community.
And so many people use these drugs in secret. And in this episode, you’re gonna learn. About the details. You’re gonna learn why people use these drugs, how effective they are, how safe they are, what the actual risks are. If you can mitigate those risks or even eliminate them altogether by doing just one or two cycles of steroids, some people claim that’s the way to go do one or two cycles, gain a bunch of muscle and strength.
Get off the drugs retain most or all of that muscle and strength. And you’ve now massively shortcut the process to getting jacked. And there is more that my guests and I get into on the topic of steroid use. And my guest is Greg ETT, who is an if F B pro bodybuilder. He is a world record holding power lifter, a coach author, and very successful YouTuber.
He has over one and a half million subscribers on YouTube, and he has been very open about his steroid use over the years. And as I have never used these drugs, Whenever I have spoken about them or written about them. I’ve come at it from the perspective of scientific research and anecdotes from people who have used steroids.
And so I thought it might be interesting to get somebody on the show who has used steroids, who is open about it, and who likes to educate people and who knows what he’s talking about. And that’s. Why I invited Greg to the show, but first, how would you like to know a little secret that will help you get into the best shape of your life?
Here it is the business model for my V I P. Coaching service sucks. Boom, mic drop. And what in the fi Italy frack am I talking about? Well, while most coaching businesses try to keep their clients around for as long as possible, I take a different approach. You see my team and I, we don’t just help you.
Build your best body ever. I mean, we do that. We figure out your calories and macros, and we create custom diet and training plans based on your goals and your circumstances. And we make adjustments depending on how your body responds and we help you ingrain the right eating and exercise habits. So you can develop a healthy and a sustainable relationship with food and training.
And more, but then there’s the kicker, because once you are thrilled with your results, we ask you to fire. Seriously, you’ve heard the phrase, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Well, that summarizes how my one-on-one coaching service works and that’s why it doesn’t make nearly as much coin.
As it could, but I’m okay with that because my mission is not to just help you gain muscle and lose fat it’s to give you the tools and to give you the knowhow that you need to forge ahead in your fitness without me. So dig this when you sign up for my coaching, we don’t just take you by the hand and walk you through the entire process of building a body.
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That is muscle or life.show/vip, and schedule your free consultation call now. And let’s see if my one-on-one coaching service is right for you. Hey, Greg, it’s great to, to finally connect, we tried to do this some time ago, but there were technical issues and then, you know, you’re busy. And so I appreciate you making the time to do this.
Greg: Yeah. Glad to be here on the muscle for life podcast. I’m excited.
Mike: Yeah, same. And I wanted to. Bring you on the show to talk about steroids, which is something that I’ve talked about, I’ve written about, and I’ve gone over some research. I’ve shared other people’s anecdotes who have used steroids, but as I have not used steroids that.
Has been used to discount my opinions or my, even my interpretations of research and my recommendations for people, which I’ll just open with my general recommendation really, since the beginning has been, if you don’t want to be a professional bodybuilder at the highest level, and if you’re not.
Making a bunch of money with your physique. So if you’re not like a professional athlete or with your body or if you are not the next captain America or something, I don’t think that the risks warrant the rewards. I think it’s smarter to stay natural and understand that you are not gonna be as big lean or strong as people who are on drugs.
You also are not going to be risking your health. And so that has been my position. I don’t feel morally against steroid use. I’m just coming more from the angle of health and longevity. And so I wanted to bring you on this show to hear your thoughts on that. And then other, I have some other questions.
There are things just around steroid use and where I think it might be interesting to start is so years ago, Wrote a book and started producing fitness content. It seemed like there were. Many people who were open about steroid use. There were clearly people who were using steroids, anybody who knows the effects of these drugs could spot them very quickly, but not very many people were open about it.
And there was a time when I was younger. And I would get. maybe not accused, but people would wonder like, is Mike on steroids? I mean, you look at me now and you go, all right. If this dude is on drugs, that’s a waste of drugs. And at the time it was only because I had gotten really lean for a photo shoot.
You know, you get good pictures, you get really lean. You get a pump and. You can look half Natty as they say. Right. And so at that time when I would get questioned sometimes I would say, look, no, but if I do ever get on drugs, I’ll just tell you, I don’t understand why so many people are lying about it.
I think they have this idea that there’s like a moral stigma. When, in my opinion, I was saying this years ago, I’ll bet you, if I were just open about it, most of you would have no problem with it and then I could even educate you about, okay. So I was natural for however many years. Here’s what it took to get to this point naturally.
Here’s where I started using drugs. And here is the experience from that point. And I think that would probably be interesting to all of you. That’s how I would go about it. And I was saying at that time, at some point, someone’s gonna figure this out. I bet you more people are gonna do this and it’s gonna actually help their brands.
So to speak, it’s gonna be good marketing. And I fast forward to now it seems like. Is coming to fruition. I see more people now who are open about their drug use and who are saying exactly the same thing saying I don’t really understand why I would lie about it. And in fact, here, let me use my experiences to help educate you about these drugs and the pros and the cons.
So you can make a better decision.
Greg: There really does seem to have been a paradigm shift in thinking in regards to the use or not using of anabolic steroids. I remember when I was growing up and I’m 46, no one could talk about it. No one admitted to it. Even the professional body builders, who you just knew had to be on steroids, who wouldn’t admit it then as time got on.
And I think that is the case for everything. People are more and more accepting of things. And I think at this point, Okay. To admit that you’re on steroids, that people don’t completely judge you, although they still do not as much as they used to. Eventually I think that people are gonna be more accepting of people who are on H R T, but at this time I would still say that most people still do in fact lie and keep it secret.
Like it’s better than it was. There’s a huge shift in thinking, but most people are still lying. And to go back to what you first brought up about you know, If you think that you should only use steroids, if you’re a professional that for money and all that stuff, that’s a very common view. And I do appreciate that view and I think it’s very valid.
My however, my own personal view. It’s the exact opposite of that. I think that me, for example, have being been a professional body builder. I don’t think that gives me more right. Or more reason to take steroids than the average person from nothing. And for example, you mentioned your physique. That you’re natural and that you don’t look like you’re on steroids.
Honestly, most people who are on steroids, if they could look like you, they would be very happy with that. You look way better than the average person on steroids. And so I don’t personally think you’re on steroids. I could see why people would think that you were. Because the most people who take steroids, they don’t look like a professional body builder.
They just wanna look average. And most people on steroids are obese, overweight, and they wanna not look like that anymore. They want a way to get to just look okay with their shirts off. And they would certainly look at you and be like, I’ll take that. And so a lot of people that just have an over an overestimation of how effective they are, they think that you can go from nothing to pro body builder just with steroids.
But the fact is the pros already have ridiculously amazing genetics and the steroids just help that 15 or 20% extra. And so you take a natural guy with amazing genetics. They’re gonna beat 99% of the gut time, a guy who has horrible genetics, who’s taking every drug in the. And
Mike: when you say then steroids and normal people taking steroids, which you are, you’re absolutely right.
It’s a good point. When you say that word, though, what are you referring to? Are you just referring to HRT? So just like a moderate dose of testosterone or a large dose of testosterone and other stuff as well.
Greg: So, I guess I should point out that I think no one would argue that it’s not smarter to be natural, no matter who you are.
Like how is that an argument? It’s like, everyone should be natural. No one should drink. No one should do drugs. No one should speed. No one should text and drive. No one should drink. Like it’s like obvious, no one should do steroids, but. If you’re talking about who has the right to do it. I think that the average person who just wants to look okay on the beach has just as much right to do so as the Mr.
Olympia competitor who wants to win or the WWE wrestler or the Supreme athlete that just says, I need these steroids to make a living. I think that there’s no reason why I deserve it more in the same sense that when I go to the gym to train, I don’t deserve the equipment. Even though I have a show in a week or two, for example, Then the person who just wants to lose 10 pounds, like we all have the equal reason or incentive to do this.
Just it’s a lot of people say don’t use steroids unless you’re a pro body builder in my head. I’m like, I know people who use steroids and they just wanna look normal. They just wanna feel better. And so, in my opinion, we’re using them all for the same reason overall, and which is to improve our physique.
Mike: I mean, I guess then we should probably talk about risks, right? Because that would be the only counter argument. If there were no risks at all, then it would be an easy decision. I would be on drugs. Why? Why not? I would be bigger, leaner, stronger. And so what are your thoughts there?
Because when I hear somebody normal, just wanting to look good, well, Maybe they’re not obese, but whether let’s say they’re just kind of overweight normal, or maybe even underweight normal. You give them what a year of proper training and proper eating. They’re gonna look pretty good.
They’re not gonna look like a fitness model in a year, but they’re gonna look pretty good. They’re gonna look a lot better than 95% of people on the beach and that’s without drugs.
Greg: Yeah, absolutely. I think that most people, if they were willing to put in the work that everyone could get halfway to their dream physique, which is a message I keep preaching.
Like, try not to be perfect. Try not to think you need single digit body fat. Just get halfway to your goal. If you’re 300 pounds and you wish you were 200, you get to two 50, you’re gonna look pretty freaking good compared to where you’re at 300 it’s huge changes. And so why try to be. But the thing is, people are looking for the quick fix and they want to get there and they wanna do whatever it takes.
They’ll get breast implants, hair extensions, lipo, suction Brazilian butt lifts, hair, like everything. They’ll do anything to look better. And so steroids is, to me the same thing. Like if a woman’s using getting breast implants, to me, that’s the same thing as a guy using steroids, you’re trying to improve your physique now.
Is it healthy? Well, it’s debatable. Are breast implants healthy? Like, is that, I mean, For the most part probably are steroids healthy. Definitely not, but people, if they’re willing to trade that risk. I mean, they’re gonna do it. Like I can’t see anyone arguing with me and saying, no, getting drunk on Saturday or using wreck drugs is healthy, but yet we still do it.
And so my opinion is people should try not to do it or avoid doing it. And if they do decide to do it, use the lowest dose possible, which obviously would be something like HRT in the same sense that if you’re gonna drink well, don’t. As much as other people maybe just drink half as much, same with steroids.
The less you use the healthier it is now I’m not saying anyone should do it, but I’m saying, I know that people will do it. And so if you do it, you should try to mitigate the risk.
Mike: And that makes a lot of sense. Again, I think that that is, is right in line with my message, which has been, Hey, if you’re like most people you can.
Get the type of body you want without drugs, it might take longer than you would like, but you can do it. And I think it’s smarter just as I think it’s smarter. Ironically I’m someone who doesn’t drink never got into it and figured it’s not a habit worth taking up, but just as it’s smarter to not go get drunk every weekend, two questions.
So there’s the risks question. If you could just share some of those. Risks. And there are physical as well as psychological. Right. And then there are the benefits. There’s the efficacy. Maybe let’s start there because that one is a little bit more interesting. You mentioned a lot of people think that these drugs are more effective than they really are.
And you mentioned that there are quite a few people on drugs who don’t look quote unquote, like they’re on drugs. You wouldn’t think just looking at them. So, so yeah, if you could just talk to us about efficacy and then safety.
Greg: Okay. Well, the benefits of using steroids are basically gonna be, you’re able to build muscle a lot faster, probably 10 times faster.
And so whatever you could accomplish in a year, you’re probably gonna do it in a month. And so people see it as a shortcut. So obviously you’re gonna be able to recover from the gym better. You can lift bigger weights, the muscles are growing faster. And so really that just sums it up. Now, as far as being able to burn fat, arguably you can burn more calories because.
Calories you’re using are being used to build muscle. But with that, you usually experience an increase in appetite when your body’s using up more calories, it, your body kind of compensates by sending in more growlin or you’re more hungry, so eat more. So you can’t just take steroids. And it’s just a quick fix of getting ripped that unfortunately is not something that mostly happens.
And a lot of people who do take steroids are looking. Six pack, and it’s not going to do that. It’s going to give you bigger muscles, but you’re still gonna have that six pack covered by that layer of body fat, which is more likely gonna be fixed through diet and cardio. So that’s, to me the main benefits now, the negatives the worst is shortening your life.
I mean, that’s the worst part. Like you’re not going to live as long because. High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease getting increases in, in bad cholesterol, lower, good cholesterol. And so a host of those problems, never mind your liver, kidneys, those things, but what people usually talk about, because I can talk to somebody about you’ll die younger.
No one seems to actually, there’s literally more people worried about losing their hair and getting gyno. Then how long they’re gonna live. I don’t think young people. Can really look into the future. It’s I’m not worried about that. I’m here right now. I’m in my twenties or even they’re in their teens.
Yeah. Is it they’re in the fog of war? yeah. It’s like, I can. Look at 50 years from now, what, what will happen? I see right now, I’m not comfortable in my own skin. I don’t have confidence. I don’t have self-esteem. Maybe they’re trying to look better to attract a mate, whatever it is, but they just don’t like the way they look.
And so they get into steroids because they wanna look good and people will do almost anything for that. Let alone, if it’s not steroids, it’s drugs. Is there a drug you can give me that will crush my app. Like they’ll take it like it. They probably would trade 10 years off their life to lose 10 pounds.
Like a lot of people are just that far into doing anything to look good. Just think of people get into bulimia eating disorders. They’ll go through any diet in the world. They’ll starve themselves. They’ll do this crazy kind of diet. All to try to look better. It’s that important to people. And so there’s an obsession of society to look a certain way.
And these drugs like steroids, fat burners and all that stuff, it’s just to help with the people’s obsession on trying to look better. Now be
Mike: curious to hear your thoughts is so you can build muscle a lot faster, but what some people don’t understand is you’re just gonna get more out of what you’re doing, but there is a point where if you don’t know what you’re doing in the gym, it doesn’t matter how.
Extra drugs you take, like that might make might move the needle a little bit. But for example, if you are following a low volume training program of any kind regardless of frequency or intensity, that’s only to get you so far, right? Regardless of how many drugs you take. And I just know that I’ve come across people who.
Have this idea that if you take drugs and especially if you take not just testosterone, but other drugs that you can train in a very suboptimal way and get a great physique, doesn’t usually work out like that.
Greg: Right. Well, if you take steroids and you train less intensely, or like let’s, I’m on HRT, I do 140 milligrams a week.
Now, if I up my dose by tenfold, which I’ve done way bigger doses than that, let’s call it 25 fold. I could go to the gym once a week and make more gains than I’m going right now. For sure. Without question. So I could train. Way less and get a bigger, better physique, but it’s not gonna be at the level that I could if I trained all out.
But I also, I, before I took any steroids whatsoever, a hundred percent natural, I was still winning overall provincial championships against people on steroids. So even as a natural athlete, Without steroids. I still look better than 99% of competitors who were taking steroids, just because of genetics. I can say I worked so hard for it and everything, which of course I did, but it really comes down to your genetics.
And if you have really great genetics for putting on muscle, the steroids gonna make it work that much better. If you have horrible mu muscle building genetics, you take steroids, it’s gonna make it better, but you still won’t be able to put on as much muscle as you think. And so steroids do work, but typically guy’s gonna gain maybe 15 to 30 pounds of.
Just add that to whatever physique is. If you’re five, six, a hundred twenty five pounds, then you might get to five, six, a hundred fifty pounds at your biggest. I’m five, six and I 193. So if your genetics aren’t there, even with steroids, you’re gonna only get to where I was as a teenager with the steroids.
So it’s not gonna work as much as you think, not saying, or trying to downplay its effectiveness. I’m just trying to be accurate on its effectiveness. And some people have better receptors and they’re better able to make use of these anabolics they’re taking, it’s just, we all are different and unique.
Some are better responders than others. And so you give. The same hundred people, the same dose one, person’s gaining five pounds. Another one’s gonna gain 20. And it’s just so happens that your genetics dictate which one you’re gonna be.
Mike: That’s interesting. You bring up genetics because that’s even controversial something that I’ve written and spoken quite a bit about.
I’ve gone over, for example, Casey butt’s work, which I really liked for helping people predict or get an understanding of their genetic potential. But even the claim that. There is a genetic ceiling to muscle and strength gain. There is a point where you are gonna gain very little, additional muscle and strength.
They say that’s wrong and you can basically gain muscle and strength, continue gaining a significant amount of muscle and strength, even if significant is just a few pounds a year, more or less forever. I can think. I won’t name names, but I can think of at least a couple of people who are, I don’t know, they’re probably in their fifties and they’re of course, jacked, shredded strong on drugs, but pretend to be natural until they’re following.
This is their message that, you know, Hey I gained another four pounds of muscle this year. If I can do it, you can do it. But clearly you disagree. What are your thoughts on genetic potential for muscle and strength? Well, I
Greg: believe we all have a genetic ceiling, both natural and enhanced. So as a natural athlete, I trained as long as I could, whatever it was like 20 years.
And I got as big as I could. And I’m like I’m training. And is it possible that my diet was not optimal or I could have changed training a bit and maybe gained a pound more perhaps, but I’m sure I was at 99% there. And then when I took steroid. All of a sudden I had a new potential, which was even higher.
Now the further imagine elastic, the further I stretch that elastic, the harder it is to stretch it. And so when you’re just sitting at baseline, it’s very easy to put on muscle, cuz there’s no stretch pulling you back. You get to your natural genetic limit. You’re already there, but once you take steroids, you can pull it even further.
But once the elastic is at its stretch limit, you can’t just pull it anymore. It’s not gonna. Stretch forever. And so you can’t just get as big as you want. You can’t just say I’ll add more steroids and I’ll get bigger. There becomes a point where in fact, the more steroids you add, the less muscle you build, I’ve taken steroids at such high doses, that it was limiting my progress.
Once you can’t sleep anymore, once you can’t train, once you feel like garbage, and I’m talking about like almost debilitating sickness from taking so much steroids, it’s not gonna work anymore. You take trend. For example anate or acetate, doesn’t matter if you take too high of a dose, you can’t sit still and feel normal.
You can’t sleep, you have anxiety, you feel like shit, and you can’t wait to stop taking it. And so you can’t just double the dose. And I took as high as 700 milligrams at one point per week, and I just couldn’t handle it. Now. I know other guys who took 1400, they took double my dose and they were able to train on that.
But everyone has a limit of how much steroids they actually can utilize. And so if you keep upping that dose. It makes it worse. And so I would make better gains on 500 milligrams of trend than 700 because it’s 700. I can’t sleep. And if you can’t sleep, you can’t recover. And so you really have to keep that in mind and understand that steroids everyone’s gonna react to them differently.
Some people react to them really well in small doses. I think I’m one of those, like, even on HRT, I feel amazing on this low dose, but if I take a crazy dose, I might put on 15 pounds of muscle, but that’s it. You would think. Being 193 pounds on such a small dose prescribed for my doctor, that if I went crazy and took what the Mr.
Olympia took, that I could become the Mr. Olympia, but yet I’ve already done that. And I didn’t get that big. So for me, I didn’t respond that well, other people, they respond amazing and they just keep growing. They’re just freaks and they can put on 60 pounds of muscle. I’m not one of those guys you don’t know, unless you try you, can’t just look at someone and say, oh, if you took steroids, eventually you’d become 300 pounds of muscle.
You, you can’t.
Mike: And how much at a, at the highest level of body building, how much of it is just this point of chemistry. It sounds like a lot of it is who responds best to drugs and who can take the most drugs, because at that level, everybody has great genetics, right? I mean, it’s like, you know, guys in the NFL, they’re all outstanding athletes.
How much truth is there in that. At the high level, it, a lot of it now is mostly about the chemistry or is that not correct?
Greg: Well, am I made a video about this and I talked about your potential. It’s basically we’ve got four categories and one is your potential to build muscle in low doses.
So let’s call it 25%. The next is, can you build more muscle with really high doses and keep pushing the envelope? That’s where I’m not as good. Another is your genetics of. How good is your structure? Like, do you have wide shoulders, a small waist, your height and all that stuff. And another genetic thing that I’m a firm believer on is how is your work ethic?
How is your motivation? How is your brain chemistry towards suffering and being able to willing to put in the work? You have a guy like David Goggins, that’ll say, oh, you can just, will yourself run a hundred miles? I don’t believe that I’ve trained with athletes my entire life in various sports and 99% of the time I could outwork.
I rarely would see somebody that was willing to. Train harder, run, harder, swim, faster, push themselves more. And the ones who do they’re usually are really gonna Excel, but you and I’ve coached these sports. I was a PHZ teacher for years. I coached a number of sports. And so for me, I believe body builders is the same thing.
We have some guys with the best. Genetics, they look amazing, but they have shitty genetics for putting in the work. They won’t train six days a week. They won’t train to failure. They’ll half workouts and you all see that. Then we have other guys, they train soul frigging hard. They put their soul into it, but their genetics suck.
They have narrow shoulders and they just could never get the X frame. And so depending on how much of each of those four categories that you have, that’s gonna ultimately dictate just your end results. And so at the top level, They all have a lot of everything. They all have ridiculously good genetics.
Now maybe on a scale of 100, like Chris Bumstead is at 95%, but it’s not perfect. His biceps are not perfect, but another guy might be a pro and he’s shorter and blockier, but his genetics were putting on muscle are still through the roof. So everyone’s genetics are quite high up and almost all of them willing to work hard is really high up.
I mean, the dieting, the suffering to do that. And then almost all of them respond extremely. To steroid reduce. However you could say that maybe in classic physique, they don’t respond to steroids as much as an open body building, cuz like the big Grammys are 300 pounds versus the crisp steads are 240 pounds.
Hey there. If
Mike: you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend or a loved one or a not so loved one? Who might want to learn something new word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show.
So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. So you’re now on H R T why have you. Come off of drugs that you were using previously, why H RT and what has that experience been like for you? I guess I’m particularly interested in the psychology because I’ve spoken with people over the years who were once using a lot more than that, and very big, very strong, very lean and.
They would just talk to me about the negative, psychological experience of when they would even cycle off and lower energy levels and smaller. And it a lot that would often drive them back to adding more bigger doses.
Greg: I don’t think that steroids are addictive in the sense that like you can get addicted to cocaine or something like that.
I don’t feel that they’re addictive that way. Although I do feel there’s an addiction to how you looked and how you felt and being like, I want to look like I did. And so when you take steroids and you see yourself putting on all that muscle and you see how much better you look and how much strong you are, Can kind of be addictive because other people give you a lot of compliments.
Like when I started taking steroids, it was like, wow, you look so big. You’re so strong. You’re so much. And so the compliments, the dopamine you’re getting from hearing your friends and strangers coming up to you and saying, wow, you look phenomenal. And then, so that can be addictive to maybe that’s why I did 59 body BI shows.
Cuz every time you do a show, you get shredded, your abs look amazing. You’re in the gym. The veins are popping out and people are like, wow, you look so good. And so you hear that all the time. And so that can become addictive and. For me, the reason I had to stop was just purely health. I was like, okay, look, I’m in my forties.
Now there’s body wheelers that are dying. They’re getting heart attacks and I’m not an idiot. I have a master’s in kinesiology. I know the dangers of what I’m doing. Although I still opted to abuse steroids. I still said, well, here are the risks. I want it that bad. I want to be a pro body Villa. I want to Excel for me.
It was easy to be natural, cuz I was always making improve. So as you’re improving, I saw no reason to take drugs, but once my improvement stopped, I was like, well, I wanna keep getting better. I wanna get a ProCard I want this or that. And so that’s when I used it. My decision to stop was purely for health benefits.
I would absolutely love to go on a health on a cycle right now. If I thought I could just triple my HRT dose and have no negative side effects and live the same life I would, without question to it, I wouldn’t even think about it. I would absolutely want to take steroids and do a cycle like I’ve done in the past.
And so the only reason I don’t is because. I wanna be healthy and I wanna be here longer. Now what people experience, I think mentally is that you see your physique and you’re getting your dopamine from all the compliments that people are giving you from how you look. And so I had to find a different way to do that.
And so what I do right now is like, I see your bike in the back. I race bikes on swift. And so I had to switch sports essentially and start somewhere else where. I was getting so much dopamine, so much excitement, so much joy from sport from being able to improve myself and to get better. And I needed a new challenge.
And so when I started bike racing, now I can’t wait to get on the bike and I race. I raced like yesterday and I’m always on the bike and I’m trying to get better. And so I’m seeing improvements versus body building. I’m not getting bigger or stronger. I’m way weaker. I have less muscle. I still haven’t.
I haven’t lost any muscle in the last year. And I actually put on a little bit, despite all the cardio I’m doing, so I’m doing good just to maintain what I have intellectually. I can realize that I’m at 46 and that to have muscle at this age, eventually it’s gonna go down. And so I just have to basically sit there and accept that, but it is mentally.
Difficult to just know that you’re not going to look the way you once did. I mean, I can look at old photos and they’re like, man, my triceps were huge. I mean, I tore both triceps and bike accidents had my triceps reattached. So my muscles aren’t as big. And you get the compliment, the comments look how small your triceps are.
And it’s like, yeah, you know, it sucks, but what am I supposed to do? And so if you just listen to everyone shitting on you or hating on you, what kind of life are you gonna give? And so you have to like, look at what’s good about you. Focus on. So I’m having fun with the bike and improvements. And I still like getting a pump in the gym, so I still train everything and you just have to be happy elsewhere.
And if you get into body billing and you get into taking steroids and you say, I’ll just do that one cycle, then I’ll stop. That almost never happens because once you’ve experienced feeling like fricking Superman by being on steroids and improving faster than ever before 10 times faster, probably for a couple months.
It’s hard to stop and then lose that gains and lose all those compliments and have people not treat you the same anymore. And so that is difficult for most people.
Mike: I’m glad you brought that up because that was actually gonna be the, that was exactly you read my mind. That was not gonna be my question.
Cuz that’s something that many people have asked me. Well, what if I just did one or two years? And like you’re saying, I’m gonna, I’m gonna get maybe 7, 8, 9 years of gains. In, in those two years, like essentially I’m just gonna reach probably more or less my natural potential in just a couple of years.
And then the idea is like, and then I’ll just come off and. The jokes on you, it took you 10 years to get there. It
Greg: took me too. If that could work, I would, I’d be like, yeah, let’s do it. And I’ve coached people and I have to convince them, try not to take steroids. Let’s wait. A lot of people are like, no, I just wanna take steroids for like a year.
I’ll get to my natural genetic limit and I’ll come off and I’ll just keep it. I just want the shortcut. I just want the cheat coat to get there and then I’ll stop. And I’m like, there is not the problem and it’s worse. And this is, I like, I gotta warn people once you’ve gained at an accelerated rate, the gym is no longer as fun.
Once you go on that first cycle and you put on 10 pounds of muscle and you probably will in three months, like a normal person, probably gonna put 10 pounds quality muscle in three months, it’s then shitty to go to the gym in the next three months and continuously lose strength every single week. So I’ve done it.
I go on steroids. I’m, I’ve done many cycles for 10 years. I go on a steroid cycle and then I stop. And when I stop every single week, I get weaker. I literally. Have less strength, like after a cycle’s over than if I was natural, like I have no strength. I have no drive. I’m worse because your testosterone levels say I’m at like 700 and something nanograms for deciliter.
So you’re on a big steroid cycle, say you’re at 5,000 nanograms for deciliter. You feel like Superman and you’re gaining like crazy. Then you come off and your testosterone levels are down to. Like in the tank. So then you go from feeling normal, a normal guy, that’s natural to Superman to feeling like a girl, like you have the testosterone levels of a woman.
And so you’re losing, you’re not just maintaining, you’re losing. And so once you’ve experienced gaining a pound or to a muscle every month, let’s say, and then you go to losing it, or then it takes you five years to get to where you were when you did that cycle. It’s not fun. So the gym becomes shitty so long as you’re making any.
Say it’s three pounds of muscle a year. The gym is gonna be fun all the time, cuz you always are getting better even by a little bit. But if you gain a lot of muscle, then you lose some it’s shit. And so anyone that starts steroids young 18, 19, 20, early twenties, it sucks for you. And I feel bad because you’re gonna have all this fun for the two or three years that the steroids work, then you’re gonna get to that genetic ceiling limit again.
And then it’s not gonna be funding more. And if you ever come off, you’re just gonna hate the.
Mike: And what do you have to say to people who say that the risks are overblown who would disagree with even some of the things that you’ve said, oh, well, I came off because of health and it’s taking years off of your life.
The more you use these drugs as, you know, many people either. They don’t wanna look at it. So they just say nah that’s the that’s not true. Or some people they do try to get into the weeds and they try to poke holes in research. And again, their argument is the risks are far overblown.
Use these drugs, large amounts of testosterone. Plus other drugs will be just fine. Yada Y yada.
Greg: Everyone is going to justify or self justify their actions. We’re all looking for the cop out mechanism so that we don’t judge ourselves as a horrible human being. We’re always trying to like mentally feel good about ourselves.
And so if we make stupid choices, we will rationalize and justify why we’re doing that. When you see somebody who’s morbidly obese and you say you should lose weight, cuz it’s gonna lower your. They will have justified in their heads that it’s okay. That it’s not a big deal, because if they don’t, how could they continue to live their life?
If you’re using recreational drugs, you can’t sit there and think I’m an idiot every single day that you there’s no way every day you’re thinking, well, that was so stupid to me. I’m drinking, doing drugs. Like I’m an idiot. So you just justify it. So you downplay everything. I’m done a video about the dangers of Audi BL to.
Equal on power with morbid obesity. So somebody who’s 250 pounds of muscle versus 250 pounds of fat. I feel like they’re about equal even though they’re shredded two 50, the steroid use that’s gotten to do that is gonna have as much harm as being obese. And if you look at the blood work, you have the person who’s taking tests, Andre, all these things, high blood pressure, messed up cholesterol, all these different things.
It’s similar to the one who’s morbid the obese who has the high cholesterol and high blood pressure and so on. So you’re doing the same damage to your body. And so people will always say, right, you’re a hypo. You’re saying all these dangers and stuff, but you did it. And I said, yep, I am. There’s no difference from what I did to me being Nico avocado.
Well, I’m not sure if you know, he’s 400 pounds, he’s a YouTube eater. He’s a mock muck bang eater. He went from under 200 pounds to 400 by binge eating for four years, gain 200 pounds of fat. He’s a beast
Mike: but he probably has a lot of subscribers.
Greg: Millions of subscribers, billions of views, more than a billion guys, a multimillionaire he’s crazy.
I’ve done nine videos on this guy, I believe at this point. So super popular binge eating to me. There’s no difference from that than being the Mr. Olympia champion or doing what I did for 10 years, but what’s the difference. Well, I stopped. I’m not still doing it. So if I continue to use steroids from say the age of 30, onto 40, onto 50 to 60, that would, to me be the same damage wise as being a horrible eater from age 30, 40, 50, 60.
And so if you’re listening to this right now in you’re morbidly obese, you can stop, you can put the fork down, you can exercise and you. Get better. It’s not gonna undo all the damage that it was done from say being overweight for 10 years, but it’s certainly gonna help. And if you’re listening to this right now, and you’ve been using tests and Tran and using steroid cycles and so on for the last 10 years, it’s not that you didn’t do any damage, but if you stop and start a healthy lifestyle at this point, You certainly are gonna live longer, have a greater life expectancy than if you just keep doing what you’re doing.
And so that’s my response to people. I’m like, yeah, I did some stupid things. It’s certainly not good. I chose that because at the time the dopamine that make me feel good from making that decision. Outweighed the negative side effects that steroids obviously are gonna cause. And it’s not like I didn’t do education research on it.
I knew it’s not good for me, but I chose to do it anyway. Now mind you, I got my blood work done and I was proactive with my health. And if I saw high blood pressure, I’d be like, okay, I’m gonna stop. But I never, I was lucky my gen genetics. That allowed me to use the steroids. They seemed to come out good.
I don’t know if I didn’t do any underlying damage that I don’t know. Maybe when I’m older, I’ll find out. Oh, geez. It really did mess up. I don’t know. But at least I was getting my blood work done. At least I was being monitored by a doctor, other people I was coached them and be like, you need to go to a doctor and find out like, no, I don’t want to know, because what happens if there’s something, some bad news?
I’m like, well, if there’s bad news, you’ll stop. No, I don’t wanna stop. I can’t stop. And so that’s when it’s really in.
Mike: Yeah, that’s a tough spot to be in. You mentioned people needling you about your physi or your triceps, and you obviously have a big following online, a big YouTube channel.
A lot of people say a lot of things online. Does any of that get to you or if not how do you block it out psychologically? Is it just your personality? I
Greg: think I was made fun of a lot in my younger years. So I kind of got used to being shit on or teased or what have you. So it just became whatever.
And even as far as high school, I said, man, not giving a shit about things is gonna make my life a lot easier. And so I said, well, I’m just gonna stop giving a shit about what people say. And so I be the guy that would go up and do a speech in front of the class. And if they all made fun of me, I’m like, how does it matter if they all laugh at me?
And I do this speech. How does it matter? And other people be like, I can’t speak in front of this public. Like, what if I screw up? And I’m like, well, so what, so once you stop caring, it’s so much easier. And so when I started making videos and started getting more popular, I just stopped caring as much. I’m like, why do I care about sounding perfect and sounding smart and saying everything proper?
I’m listen, say a bunch of stuff. If I make mistakes, people laugh at me for being an idiot or moron and we’ll go on with it. And so. I think that really helped reading a bunch of comments. The only time it bothers me, I suppose, is when they. Make up a lie, cuz if it’s a truth, like you’re an asshole and I’m like being an asshole then that, to me, that’s not bad, but when they lie they say something like they, you made up the fact that you have a twin.
Like I read these different comments, you’re lying about having a twin. I’m like, but I literally have one. So that annoys me because I’m like, but it’s the truth. But overall, the comments don’t really bother me because they’re helping me. So in my mind, I’m like all these negative comments are allowing me to be successful.
So that’s, what’s helping me. I think if I didn’t have the hate that I had, as I became more and more popular, I wouldn’t have got to where I am today. So I kind of owe a thank you to the people for. Shitting on me, because if you get a thousand negative comments in a video, and then some people are like, why did they say that?
And they start defending you that helps your channel. The controversy helps some of these Nadier knots and stuff. And people say, I don’t agree with you, coach Greg. You’re an idiot. You said he’s natural. He’s actually not natural. You’re stupid. And so that. John propels you forward. And in real life in person where it matters, no one ever says anything.
No one ever comes up to me and says anything that like not one person has ever walked up to me to get a photo or talk to me or, and said anything bad ever not once. And so why would I worry about what people are saying when in the real world, like, in reality, not like in some fictitious place where people write comments that they have never met you, that which doesn’t matter.
It does not have an impact on you because in the real world, it’s all positive.
Mike: And I don’t know about you, but I’ve found I’m thinking more of book reviews. But often I’ve gotten good feedback from. Critical book reviews or just even critical comments online. And so what I’ve always done is I’ve kind of sorted them into two buckets.
One is just to add hominem. Yeah. You’re a moron, whatever stuff that there’s no, I can’t use that. What am I supposed to do? Be less dumb. Okay. That’s not very useful advice. Fine, but there, there have been a lot of criticisms of me and my work over the years that I’ve found useful because people are mentioning something specific.
I can understand. And even that I agree with, again, especially with books early on, people would point out information that was missing. It would’ve been really good to, to, if you would’ve answered these questions. Ah, that’s a good point. Yeah. I’ll note that down. Or, you know, or just similar types of comments where if I.
Don’t instinctively just have kind of a bunker mentality. And if I’m, if I don’t instinctively just go to defensive have having to obsessively be right about everything that I do. I’ve I’ve gotten value from, I, I don’t, I wouldn’t even say quote unquote haters, but just people who have negative things to say about me and
And so yes, exactly. The criticism you got for your book, that’s gonna help you cuz more people are gonna be talking about it. I specifically remember when I released my cookbook book is way overpriced. There’s no pictures, it’s a ripoff. And then people are like nine, $9 for a book. And so everyone started looking up this book, but like I had full intention to sell for 199.
When people heard that, they’re like, what are you talking about? They’re like, I’ll just wait for the sale. You know how people always market half price. I’m like. What do you mean I’m quitting the price up? And so the next book I made was 149 and I have the hard copy. It’s $200. And so the controversy from that was crazy.
I’m like, yeah, but you guys not know how good this book is. Like it’s selling it because that’s what it’s worth like. I was charging money for coaching plans, charging a lot of money and people were like making major change in their lives. I’m like, why would I want to discount this? And then not have people hire me.
So I had to put the price at the place that I thought it should be at. And so the negativity I got from trying to sell this book, Helped me. And so I could see that it would help you. So if people are gonna talk about your book, whether it’s good or bad, it gives you the chance to defend yourself. And I see nurture and learn and know a lot about it.
Certainly if you research about it and use it and have both experiences, that’s even better. But I don’t think that somebody who just researches doesn’t know about it. I mean, and I’ll defend you even more in saying that a lot of my friends who had been using steroids, I learned a lot from them. And then I started reading about.
Online. And I’m like what you guys are all saying. Makes no sense to me based on the research that I did. And so before I ever even took a steroid, I knew more than probably 99% of people who were using them. I’m like, You should know everything about a drug that you’re gonna put into your body, you should become an expert on it.
And so I’ve been researching for years before I even started using it.
Mike: Yeah. And that’s something that I guess actually we are getting to now just that point of, well, you haven’t used drugs. And so your ideas of interpretations of research are somehow invalidated because you haven’t personally done it.
That, that. Always seemed silly to me for obvious reasons. Like, so, so then apply that to like cancer. You’re saying, I can’t understand things about how cancer works and how maybe some cancer treatment works and cancer research because I haven’t had cancer. Come on guys. That’s silly. But one, one more question for you before you run off to the gym coming off of steroids.
So let’s say there are some people listening who have been using drugs, dabbling in drugs, and they have now decided. Probably not the best decision like Greg I wanna go maybe just H R T. And we don’t have to, that’d be a whole, probably a whole nother discussion itself, but for people who want to come off of drugs, are there good and bad ways to come off cold Turkey or use certain drugs to wean off?
Greg: Absolutely. I think that if you have taken steroids, the best way to come off would be to do a P CT. Some people would say, just go cold Turkey, just stop completely. I think that’s the worst thing you can do because you’re gonna experience the dramatic side effects, the withdrawal from stopping the loss of libido.
You won’t be able to get an erection, like that’ll happen. Almost anyone you’ll have such a. Poor sex drive that you won’t even think about having sex is horrible and you’re gonna lose so much muscle a P CT. What it does is it gets your body back to normal faster. And so wouldn’t, you want to get back to normal, faster.
So one or two years to recover, to feel normal. And so when I came off completely, I had to make a decision. Do I wanna just take a P PCT and. Obviously a hundred percent natural. I would not have this much muscle. Like I’m five, six, a hundred and ninety three pounds. That’s what I am. If I were completely a hundred percent natural, I probably would go down to 173 pounds.
If I had have stopped everything before I might then recover and then build back maybe 5, 6, 7 pounds of muscle. And then I, maybe it would’ve ended up at 180, but I certainly wouldn’t walk around at 193 pounds. And. For me having been 200 plus pounds of muscle and been on stairs for 10 years, I think that’s too much to have asked for me to just go cold Turkey and stop and lose all my muscle.
So rather than losing all of it, perhaps I lost half of it, but that’s somewhere in the middle. That’s something that I can handle mentally and physically, I now feel good. And for me it wouldn’t be worth it. And so my advice to other people, if you’ve just done a cycle or two, you probably can get off and feel a hundred percent normal if you’ve been doing it for many years and you just go.
With a P PCT. I don’t know if you’re gonna be able to handle it, but I can’t speak for these people. If you’re young twenties, thirties, I don’t think you need H R T if you’re in your forties, fifties, you’ve been using steroids. I almost think that for most people who are probably gonna need H HRT, because your testosterone levels at this point probably already would’ve went down.
And if you are thinking about using steroids and you’re not sure what to do, my advice, do the lowest dose that makes you happy rather than jumping on a cycle. Try an H RT dose doesn’t mean an HRT, but try a low dose and see maybe that’s enough, maybe just 150 milligrams or 200 milligrams of test rather than 500 a thousand.
Maybe that’s enough to keep you happy. You can always go up the dose from there, but if you start at a high dose, I’m gonna use test and trend on my first cycle. How do you then use a lower cycle? Cause once your body is used to this much and you give it that much, you feel smaller. So it’s better to start low.
And eventually if you need to, you can go up makes a lot
Mike: of sense. Well, I know you have to run off to the gym, so I don’t wanna keep you any longer. And thanks again for taking the time to do this. And why don’t we just wrap up quickly with where people can find you and find your work. And you mentioned you have a cookbook and if there’s anything else you want people to know about, let’s tell ’em
Greg: well, Well known for having a, an anabolic cookbook.
I have several of them. I also have several training books. I do coaching plans, Greg duce.com. You can go on that website. You can follow me on Instagram, Greg Duce, IP pro. And really, if you can’t remember anything just type Greg Duce on YouTube and you’ll find. Something that comes up, whether you wanna learn about how to lose weight, build muscle or some controversy or somebody’s natural or not, or literally anything I have over 2100 videos at this point, there’s gotta be something for everyone.
I do a variety of videos for both people who are natural and intense. And so please check me out. And I’ll say
Mike: as a final comment I think it’s kind of cool to see how much popularity you’ve gained on, on, I’ve seen it particularly on YouTube. I’m sure elsewhere, though, as you had mentioned earlier in the interview where you just decided, Hey, I’m just gonna make videos and sometimes I’m gonna misspeak and people are gonna say whatever they’re gonna say, but I have a good story.
I have information to share, and I’m just gonna put it out there. And I think you’ve done a very good job of that. Obviously 2100 videos. You’ve worked very hard at it and you have a good personality for it. So there’s a genetic quote unquote factor. There is a little bit of an X factor, right?
You’re fun to watch and you’re animated. But it’s just, it’s it. It’s nice to see. It’s nice to see. People can just get into it. Something they’re passionate about. Good information. Just put it out there, be consistent. And I’m guessing that you, when you first started doing it, maybe you had an idea that it could become this whole thing, but that I’m guessing you didn’t have a master plan.
And I say that, cuz when I got into, when I wrote my first book, I didn’t have a master plan. It was just a book that I wished somebody would’ve given me when I was 17. And it just says, Hey. Don’t worry about the body building magazines and all the stuff that you read on forums and that people say in the locker room, just do these things and you’re gonna get mostly to where you
Greg: wanna be.
Well, thanks for all the compliments. And like literally I made YouTube and I did not think I would get. 10% of what I got to, like 1% would’ve been like a dream. I made videos. I was hoping to get more clients for coaching. That’s all it was for. I literally was like, I need more clients. I need to coach more people, not just in my Halifax area, but around the world.
So I started making videos cause I’m like, well, I should be able to coach from a distance. And then. As the popularity got better and people are like, man, I want these recipes that you keep talking about in your videos. And I made this cookbook and I was actually nervous. I was like, this might hurt my business.
Like, no one’s gonna hire me for coaching because they’re gonna have my cookbook. And so I was scared. And then once I saw how many sales I got from the cookbook, which was a hundred times more than expected, I was like, okay, that was not a bad decision to do after all. And so I’ve toned a lot further back on coaching, cuz there’s no time.
And I ended up going all in into making videos, doing two videos a day on average, I have 30 videos prerecorded right now that are done that I could literally die into be videos for the next month, every single day, you know? So. You know, just working hard, trying to be successful. And I realize there’s a lot of luck to this.
I don’t think that I’m just better than anyone. I just think I got lucky the right place at the right time, the right kind of videos with the knowledge and the experience from a lot of years of doing things and just telling people what I think and not lying and not being like a bullshitter. And I think people like it.
Mike: Yeah, clearly they do. Clearly. They do. So, anyways, congrats again. Don’t wanna keep you any longer, but I just wanted to say that and thank you again for taking the time to do this. Yeah.
Greg: Great interview. Happy to answer your questions.
Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because.
It makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you. And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have.
Ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share. Shoot me an email Mike muscle for life.com, muscle F or life.com. And let me know what I could do better or just what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future. I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback.
So thanks again for listening to this episode. And I hope to hear from you.