How Common Is Steroid Use In Gyms

How Common Is Steroid Use In Gyms in 2024?

Published on: July 29, 2023
Last Updated: July 29, 2023

How Common Is Steroid Use In Gyms in 2024?

Published on: July 29, 2023
Last Updated: July 29, 2023

Quick Answer 🔍

How common is steroid use in gyms 2024?

Estimates suggest 4 million American men are using steroids to boost muscle mass.

Even if you’ve never been to the gym, you’ll have heard of steroids.

You’ve probably seen images of pumped up bodybuilders and wondered if they’ve been using steroids. 

It’s not just professional weightlifters, an array of athletes have used steroids.

That’s despite them being banned in most sports.

Some of the most famous names in sport who’ve been caught using steroids, include Dwain Chambers, Jose Canseco, and even Lance Armstrong. 

Steroids in professional sport is an issue, specifically for fairness in competitions.

That doesn’t necessarily apply to the average gym user, they are simply using them to improve performance and look better. 

What is surprising is the answer to ‘How common is steroid use in gyms?’ 

Key Statistics

  • Estimates suggest 4 million American men are using steroids to boost muscle mass
  • 70% of steroid users know about the negative side effects
  • Men most likely to use steroids are aged between 22-35
  • It’s not illegal to have steroids
  • Half of users don’t realize they should be cycling steroid use
  • Approximately 20% of gym goers use steroids
  • Men are three times more likely to use steroids
  • 75% of male gym users have considered steroids
  • 96% of male gym users want to be bigger
  • 20% of users admit to sharing needles

How Common Is Steroid Use In Gyms?

Steroid c822

1. Estimates Suggest 4 Million American Men Are Using Steroids To Boost Muscle Mass

Professional athletes tend to have extremely well-defined physiques.

In many cases this is a result of years of hard work. 

The average gym goer doesn’t have the time available to train in the same way.

However, between images of professional athletes and the constant bombardment of ‘perfect’ social media personalities, many men feel the urge to be bigger and look more ‘manly’.

As a result, an estimated 33% of the global population are using steroids to improve their body image.

That includes an estimated 4 million Americans.  

The biggest issue here is body image. The desire to shortcut to the perfect body means steroid use is growing dramatically, regardless of potential side effects. 


2. 70% Of Steroid Users Know About The Negative Side Effects

A recent survey by Pavlov First Saint Petersburg State Medical University took a look at 550 men who are already regulars at gyms.

The survey asked an array of questions, including ones on steroid use. 

It was conducted anonymously, encouraging people to be honest.

The survey found that 30% of the men were using steroids.

However, researchers were more concerned to find that 70% of the users knew about the side effects of steroid use and yet still used them. 

While there are still more things to discover about steroids, the list of side effects is already long. 

(National Institute On Drug Abuse)

3. Men Most Likely To Use Steroids Are Aged Between 22-35

Another survey issued questionnaires to 762 gym goers, over 500 of which met the survey criteria. 

Of these, it was discovered that the majority of respondents were male and 74.3% of them were aged between 22-35 years old. 

The facts aren’t particularly surprising as young males are generally those focused on getting the ‘perfect’ body and willing to take the necessary shortcuts. 

After all, when you’re young you often feel invulnerable and you’re less likely to be worried about future side effects.

(National Institute On Drug Abuse)

4. It’s Not Illegal To Have Steroids

You’ve read the news and heard about the various athletes that have been caught using steroids.

They generally lose their titles and are often banned from the sport. 

Alongside this, steroids are not publicly offered for sale and, even in gyms, you need to know the right person if you want to buy them. 

However, despite appearances, steroid possession and use is not illegal. 

Professional athletes must comply with the rules of their sport. These define what can and can’t be taken. 

For the general population, it’s not illegal to have and use steroids.

However, it is illegal to have steroids if you are intending on supplying them to others.

Supplying steroids to others is illegal. 

You should note this is a class C drug. That means, if you’re caught supplying you can face a long jail sentence. 


5. Half Of Users Don’t Realize They Should Be Cycling Steroid Use

Steroids are known to cause a variety of issues within the body.

As mentioned, 70% of users know this. 

The best way to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk is to cycle steroids.

This means using them for ten weeks then avoiding them for ten weeks. 

It gives your body time to recover and reduces the likelihood of negative effects.

This is important.

However, as many users find their information from their supplier and online, they don’t realize this is an important part of steroid use. 

It’s estimated that half of all steroid users are unaware they should be cycling steroid use. 

(College Of New Jersey)

6. Approximately 20% Of Gym Goers Use Steroids

Muscle Gain 823

The BMC performed a survey across 100 gyms in Curitiba.

The questionnaires were anonymous and all respondents completed them themselves. 

In total, there were 5773 respondents. The results showed the prevalence of steroids in gyms.

Approximately 80% of respondents stated they weren’t using steroids, although ten percent of these confessed to using in the past.

What was interesting was the number of users or former users.

It corresponded to 16.9% of men and 6.5% of women. 

In general, beginners at the gyms were not interested in using steroids, those who had been working out for years were more likely to be using steroids. 

(BMC Public Health)

7. Men Are Three Times More Likely To Use Steroids

The same survey looked at the ratio of male users to female users.

With male users at 16.9% and female at 6.5%, the ratio of male to female users is 2.6.

That means there are 2.6 men using it for every female. 

In general, male users are looking to build mass.

Female users are split between improving muscle and simply using recreationally. 

The survey suggested that the gym environment encourages the use of steroids, suggesting measures need to be put in place to educate gym goers on the dangers of steroids. 

(BMC Public Health)

8. 75% Of Male Gym Users Have Considered Steroids

Another survey, this time performed by Medichecks, on 500 male gym goers, found that an impressive 75% of them had thought about using steroids. 

The survey found that, of those who had thought about using steroids, 96% of them were unhappy with their bodies. 

Interestingly, 61% of the group wanted bigger, more muscular bodies.

The remaining 39% were after better definition or even weight loss.

The phenomenon of needing to be bigger and more muscular is often referred to as ‘bigorexia’.

It’s similar to anorexia, except, instead of constantly feeling you should be thinner, steroid users constantly feel they should be bigger. 


9. 96% Of Male Gym Users Want To Be Bigger

The Medichecks poll found that 96% of male gym users wanted to be bigger, even those that hadn’t thought about using steroids. 

This perception of not being big enough contributes to steroid use.

The image that steroids make you bigger is still prevalent. After all, this image helps suppliers sell the drug. 

However, the truth is, while steroids can help, they only work if you are lifting heavy at the same time. In short, you still have to put the work in. 

Of course, they also have a long list of side effects. 


10. 20% Of Users Admit To Sharing Needles

Perhaps one of the most concerning statistics in this rapport is how common needle sharing is.

A UK survey looked at 21 gyms across the country and confirmed the male to female ratio of 2.6.

However, it also highlighted another danger. 20% of respondents admitted to sharing a needle with a friend. 

While there have been several high-profile diseases, such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C, and even Covid, this hasn’t stopped people from sharing needles. 

Any steroid user doing so doesn’t just run the risk of steroid side effects.

They are also placing themselves at higher risk of catching other infections, some of which can be very serious or deadly.  

(PMC Survey)

Risks Associated With Steroid Use

Steroid c826

All the surveys come to one clear conclusion, the severe risks associated with steroid use are not fully appreciated.

It’s worth knowing what they are before you start using steroids.

After all, these side effects will affect 90% of people that use steroids. 

Enlargement Of Heart

Your heart is essential to your health as it pumps blood around your body.

Blood carries nutrition, water, and oxygen, helping to keep all your cells and organs healthy. 

Steroid use can cause the heart muscles to enlarge. Surprisingly, this isn’t a good thing.

Enlarged heart muscles can cause blood flow problems and lead to a variety of cardiovascular issues. 

Stunted Growth

Steroids help muscles to grow.

However, if you use them when you’re young they can also speed up the bone growing process and then trigger it to stop. 

This can leave you shorter than you should be.

Naturally, this only applies to younger people who are still in the growing stage. 

Serious Acne

Acne is never pleasant but is a side-effect of puberty.

However, steroids can multiply the effects, giving you very serious acne. 

It’s highly likely that the acne will leave scars, effectively damaging the look of your face forever. 

This can lead to confidence and self-esteem issues which can really affect your ability to succeed in life. 

Heart Disease

It’s not just enlarged muscles that are an issue. Steroids can also weaken the heart, making it more likely to suffer from heart disease.

This can seem surprising when you’re working out to make your body stronger and fitter.

However, it is a common side effect. 

Liver Problems

Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body.

Unfortunately, steroid use can cause tumors to grow on your liver, depleting its ability to work properly. 

This will place a strain on your other organs and you’re likely to need medical intervention to remove the tumor.

That’s not going to help your quest for the ‘perfect’ body. 

Mood Swings

Steroids effectively boost testosterone production. This causes hormonal imbalances, making it difficult to control your mood. 

Long-term users are likely to have violent mood swings and may even be violent or aggressive. 

You should also note that steroids will increase the likelihood of you going bald.

Strangely, in women, it can trigger baldness and an excess production of body and facial hair. 

Summing Up

If you’re wondering how common is steroid use in gyms then you’re probably thinking about using steroids yourself. 

The statistics and facts surrounding these drugs should convince you that they are not necessary to improve the look of your body.

Additionally, they are likely to cause you a variety of health issues in the future. 

In short, it’s probably best to avoid them. 


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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.