Short­cut that could cut lives short

New Straits Times - - News -

THE Malaysian Body Builder Junkies Club is warn­ing peo­ple about the dan­gers of abus­ing un­cer­ti­fied mus­cle-growth drugs.

Its founder, who is pop­u­larly known as Kapten Waja, said he had seen the fa­tal ef­fects of an­abolic steroid abuse.

“I’ve had many young friends who died sud­denly, leav­ing be­hind young kids. The hos­pi­tals and doc­tors weren’t able to di­ag­nose why th­ese peo­ple died sud­denly. But the rea­son is ob­vi­ous to us.

“The au­thor­i­ties should be vig­i­lant and en­sure that th­ese prod­ucts don’t make it into the country.

“It’s not just pro­tein shakes, it’s all sorts of steroids that are com­ing into our country and be­ing pushed at gyms.”

The 51-year-old body­builder, who has more than 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence in the sport, said young­sters needed to re­alise that steroid abuse did not just carry the dan­ger of in­stant death but also caused long-term side ef­fects that were ir­re­versible.

“High-blood pres­sure, kid­ney dis­ease, liver dam­age and nerve prob­lems are only some of the ef­fects of tak­ing steroids and body­build­ing sup­ple­ments.

“Those who are se­ri­ous about body­build­ing, es­pe­cially young­sters, should re­mem­ber that ex­er­cise is key.

“Hav­ing a sculpted body is a bonus for those who are dis­ci­plined and con­sis­tent. Be­ing overzeal­ous to the point of re­sort­ing to steroids and other sub­stances should not be an op­tion.

“I eat healthy and ex­er­cise ev­ery­day, and I don’t buy steroids and sup­ple­ments.

“I hope to em­power young­sters to know that there is no easy way to get the body that you want. Re­mem­ber that body­build­ing is about look­ing young, stylish and be­ing in the best of moods. That is what makes us stand out from the rest.

“Stay away from steroids. No good can come from it. Re­alise that there are many push­ers in the gyms. Don’t fall prey.”

He said those who took drugs and sup­ple­ments to get quick re­sults of­ten did not even bother to look at the in­gre­di­ents listed on the bot­tles.

“Us­ing steroids with­out a doc­tor’s ad­vice is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous, es­pe­cially in the long term,” he said.

“The prob­lem lies in the gym locker room where many are push­ing th­ese drugs with­out any knowl­edge of the side ef­fects and dan­gers. They are not qual­i­fied, yet they as­sume that a few ses­sions in the gym give them the ex­per­tise to push and teach oth­ers to body build.”

To­tal Well­ness Cen­tre founder and med­i­cal direc­tor Dr Alice Prethima Michael said many in Gen­er­a­tion Y were taken with the idea of hav­ing a sculpted body and did not know that the dan­gers of steroid abuse were real and life-threat­en­ing.

“They might suffer from ab­nor­mal fat de­posits around the breast area (male gy­neco­mas­tia). This causes kid­ney and liver dam­age, hair loss, acne and dark­en­ing of the skin, as well as dis­eases like di­a­betes and ex­treme weight gain.

“They will also suffer from poor wound heal­ing. They can ex­hibit ex­treme be­hav­iour, aggression or anx­i­ety. Th­ese symp­toms are very com­mon among peo­ple who abuse this kind of sub­stance.”

In­stead of tak­ing a short cut by tak­ing steroids, Dr Alice said, body­builders should have a healthy diet and regular mod­er­ate ex­er­cise.

“Re­sis­tance train­ing by grad­u­ally in­creas­ing weights is im­por­tant to build up healthy mus­cles with­out caus­ing in­jury to the joints. The diet can have higher amounts of good grade pro­teins, and or­ganic is pre­ferred.

“Healthy oils from sal­mon, mack­erel and nuts must be added to the diet. But, ex­clud­ing car­bo­hy­drates com­pletely or de­hy­drat­ing one­self by not drink­ing wa­ter to look edged is not good prac­tice.

“Of course, to re­main at op­ti­mal health and in good body shape ac­cord­ing to your age might re­quire tak­ing good sup­ple­ments such as omega oils, branched chain amino acids and an­tiox­i­dants un­der a doc­tor’s guid­ance.

“This can also be gained through your daily food in­take with­out re­sort­ing to ex­treme mea­sures.”

She said huge mus­cles did not nec­es­sar­ily trans­late into great phys­i­cal fit­ness.

“I have come across th­ese cases on and off — thin in­di­vid­u­als with smaller mus­cle def­i­ni­tion and a lit­tle ab­dom­i­nal fat or love han­dle want­ing to re­move the ex­tra fat and shift it to their chest area, ab­domen or bi­ceps to look more mus­cled.

“Many are ad­vised to take per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing and body­build­ing sup­ple­ments like growth hor­mones, testos­terone and steroids, as well as pow­ders con­tain­ing cre­a­ti­nine and dan­ger­ous an­abolic steroids,” Dr Alice said.

“They also lift weights be­yond their ca­pa­bil­i­ties, which can put them at a higher risk of mus­cu­lar skele­tal in­juries.”

Kapten Waja has been in­volved in body­build­ing for 30 years.

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