15 Ways to Spot Someone on Steroids

bodybuilders potentially on steroids

Steroid users are more common than you might think, and you probably have a few in your gym right now. Some, however, do not own up to their own usage and would rather lie about which wacky supplements they use to get this jacked. In reality, it’s a concoction of Test, GH, and Var. So, let’s look at 15 ways to spot someone on Steroids.

Key Takeaways

  • Steroid users have different characteristics but some are found in most users
  • Low or Weak Steroid use is not always visible
  • The longer or more a person uses, the more apparent it will become

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15 Ways to Spot a Steroid User

1. Change in Muscle Mass

This is probably the easiest way to spot if someone is taking something. If they used to be quite a bit scrawnier, smaller, or weaker than they are now and suddenly gained quite a bit of size, it might not just be egg whites and chicken breast, bro.

Figure 1: To be fair, Calum Von Moger did a lot more than just take Steroids

This is something that usually happens rapidly. Unlike natural muscle building which can take years, gains on gear come a bit faster (but not THAT much faster, don’t be fooled!).

2. Change in Muscle Appearance

Those that have spent quite a bit of time around bodybuilders and other Steroid users will know that muscles just have a certain look when the person is using gear. It’s quite hard to describe, but the muscle looks dense, drier, and a lot fuller.

This look is often missing in newer Steroid users and also in those who carry a bit of timber. The dry and aesthetic look will become much more apparent when the person is lean.

3. Balding

This might be a point that is harder to spot in the modern world, but a lot of Steroid users will bald a lot faster than other men. One of the side effects of Steroids (Dihydrotestosterone especially) is that it will cause balding to happen, and it is responsible for Male Pattern Baldness.

Figure 4: There are ways to cure or prevent this such as Minoxidill, Hair Transplants, or just accepting your fate and rocking a globe

Again, this isn’t a perfect indication as Steroid users can prevent this, technically. Also, it could just be genetic, and most men will suffer from Male Pattern Baldness at some point.

4. Acne

One of the side effects of Steroid use is more sweat and oil production in the skin. Couple that with the likeliness of the user training quite a lot and being too large to wash their own back, chances of acne or backne forming are quite prevalent.

Similar to how there are ways to prevent hair loss, you could avoid acne as well. It really isn’t that prevalent anymore, but if you see someone suffering from a lot all of a sudden it might be a sign.

5. Facial Hair

Full transparency, I am a user. I can tell you from personal experience that once I started using Testosterone that my beard grew a lot fuller than it did ever before. It did not grow faster or longer (moot point), but it grew in places never did before.

Figure 5: While IFBB Pro Fouad Abiad’s beard is not solely due to his Steroid use, it’s still one of the most beautiful beards amongst the Pro’s

This is not something that all guys will have – some will shave. But it’s a point to look at with all the other factors on this list to spot a user.

6. Boulder Shoulders

Often called ‘Tren-shoulders’, boulder shoulders simply refer to someone who has large, round and jacked shoulders. This is a common trait amongst users (along with large traps) because there are more Androgen receptors for Steroids to bind to in the shoulders.

Figure 6: Derek from MPMD is probably the most famous for his Tren Shoulders, and you can see exactly what I mean by big, round, carved, and slightly unsettling

7. Mental Changes

You might not realize this, but ‘Roid Rage’ has been blown out of reality so far that users never even use the term. Roid Rage doesn’t even really exist, however, there are certain Steroids that can affect the mental side of users.

These Steroids are limited to Nandrolones, such as Deca Durabolin, Trenbolone, and Oxymetholone (Not a Nandrolone, but acts like one). These compounds can make the user seem a bit hazy and forgetful, and just shifts their mentality in an individual way.

8. Pinning Sites

Something that most people don’t even consider is that you have to pin the stuff; multiple times per week. That means you have to load a syringe with 0.25 – 4ml of oil and inject it into the belly of a muscle. This, as you might expect, does cause swelling and scarring.

Figure 7: There are multiple points on the body where you can inject intramuscularly, so, be on the lookout for swelling or bruising

Sometimes, especially with beginners, injections don’t always go smoothly and you get a bit of swelling, redness, and in the worst cases, infections.

9. Check their Grammer

This is a point I noticed myself, and it’s a really fine point to make but I do believe it makes sense. Steroids and other PEDs have hard names. Cypionate, Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone, Oxandrolone, Pregnyl, etc.

These are not easy words to say, and I noticed that the only people I knew that knows how to pronounce these words are users themselves. It’s like a little Fight Club lingo… If you think someone might be using, try have them read the following statement:

“He was taking 500mg of Cyp, 300mg of Sust, and a small dose of 400mg of Tren Ace and Enth. He was also taking Halotestin and Stanazolol.”

These words are supposed to sound a certain way (you can find that on Youtube), and if this person nails every word (and perhaps raises an eye to the doses) they’re probably taking some themselves.

10. Ability to Change

This ties in strongly with point 1, but Steroid users have the ability to change their appearance a lot faster than natural folk. They can switch from a cut to a bulk and see changes immediately, and vice versa.

They also have a great ability to retain muscle mass while cutting and remain a lot leaner when bulking. This is the beauty of Steroid use at play.

11. (Female use) Virilization

Let’s jump in with the oddest of the female usage signs. Virilization is a term used to describe when a female develops male-like characteristics. A deeper voice, body hair growth, facial hair growth, and a stronger jawline.

Figure 8: Corinne Ingman is one of the best female bodybuilders on the planet and is very open about her own usage

12. (Female and Male use) Sexual Changes

For females, one of the more concerning changes will be a larger clitoris. We can’t really provide a figure for this section, but it does happen. An excess of androgen hormones, like testosterone, can cause your clitoris to grow in size.

In men, the change will reflect as decreasing testes size, or in other words, smaller balls.

13. Anxiety

Often Steroid users will find themselves a tad overwhelmed with everything happening in life. There isn’t really a ‘reason’ for this happening, it just tends to happen – especially when using the aforementioned Nandrolones.

14. Gyno

You might be surprised to learn that the male body needs estrogen. In fact, low estrogen is a cause of low libido. Estrogen comes from Testosterone which converts into estrogen via the aromatase enzyme. When you introduce more Testosterone, you end up with more Estrogen.

This excess E2 can lead to breast development in men, or Gyno.

Figure 9: A severe case of Gyno on a bodybuilder

15. Just ask Them

The world is beginning to become more accepting of everything. The world is more PC than ever before, and if Transgender people can take hormones to feel like themselves, why shouldn’t athletes be able to do the same?

Ask the person. Just ask them honestly, don’t accuse them, just ask.

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Are Steroids Safe?

Not really. All steroids carry some risk, and while you can do a lot to lower that risk, the risk will always be apparent.

Which Steroids are the easiest to hide?

Hide from your fiance? That’s another thing entirely, however, the steroid most athletes get caught with is TBol, so, there must be a reason for that.

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Ernst Peibst

Ernst Peibst | Writer

Ernst Peibst is an expert in anabolic steroids and PEDs with over 3,000 hours of research. He's been educating people for 7 years through his articles, written after studying science papers, expert books and consulting top doctors in the field. He is a former bodybuilder and creator of multiple fitness websites.

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