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Muscle Building and Steroids

Muscle Building and Steroids

Author: Amanda Soderlind

Determine the effects that exercise and steroids has on your muscles.

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Muscle Building

Source: Video and Images Created by Amanda Soderlind

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In this lesson today we will talk about muscle building and how aerobic exercise and strength training can have an effect on muscles. So aerobic exercise and strength training both do have an effect on muscles, but the effects that they have are different.

So let's start by talking about the effects that aerobic exercise can have on muscles. When we talk about aerobic exercise, we're talking about exercises such as running, swimming, jogging, biking. These are exercises that increase your heart rate.

So when you are doing aerobic exercise, the effect that it has on your muscles is that it will actually increase the quantity and the size of mitochondria in muscle cells. And if you will remember, if you know about the structure of a cell, the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. And the function of the mitochondria is to produce ATP energy for the cell.

So by increasing the size and the quantity of mitochondria, muscles are able to produce more energy and therefore can sustain the aerobic activity for a long period of time. A person who does a lot of aerobic exercise will also have more capillaries running to the muscles.

And by having more capillaries running to the muscles, it means that you have more blood going to those muscles providing more oxygen. And you also will have a more myoglobin. The levels of myoglobin will then increase as well. And myoglobin is a protein that binds to oxygen.

So you're having an increase in blood flow and an increase in oxygen to those muscles, providing more oxygen and then also able to remove carbon dioxide at a faster rate as well. And muscles over time from aerobic exercise will be able to work longer without tiring.

So if you start, for example, let's say you don't run or jog very often. And you started running or jogging today, and maybe you did so three or four times a week. Over time, your muscles would be able to adapt to that exercise. Your mitochondria would increase.

More capillaries would run to those muscles in your legs. And you would be able to run for a longer period of time without tiring out. So that's the effects of aerobic exercise on a muscle.

Strength training can have effects on muscles as well. So strength training would be something like weightlifting. So when you're doing this, you're lifting weights, and you're increasing the force that your muscles can exert. So this is affecting your fast muscle fibers. And if you'll remember, you have fast muscle fibers and slow muscle fibers.

So fast muscle fibers are being affected in strength training. More myofibrils are being produced. Therefore muscles are increasing in size and also becoming stronger. And muscles that go through a lot of strength training can be very strong, but they don't have much endurance.

So they can't sustain the activity for a very long period of time. And creatine is a substance that's naturally found in muscles. It works to replace ATP while the muscles are working out. So oftentimes people who do a lot of strength training will take creatine as a supplement.

And therefore ATP can be produced in their muscles more quickly. So that way, they can sustain this activity for a longer period of time. So a lot of athletes, it can be common for them to take creatine as a substance because they can then produce more ATP at a faster rate to sustain their activity for a longer amount of time.

So strength training and aerobic exercise both have effects on muscles, but their effects that they have are different. So if you want to have the best workout possible, the best thing that you can do is really to combine strength training and aerobics so muscles really get the best of both worlds.

So this lesson has been an overview on the effects of aerobic exercise and strength training on muscles.


Source: Anabolic Steroid Image; Public Domain:

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[INAUDIBLE] today on anabolic steroids. We will be discussing what anabolic steroids are, how and why they're used, and the effects that they have on the people who use them.

So anabolic steroids are something that you may be familiar with. They've become quite popular in recent years on the news for athletes who have been using them to enhance their performance. So because of that, they've become illegal. They're now illegal for anybody to use. And the sports industry has been regulating it more stringently because of that. So anabolic steroids are something that athletes or people will use in order to enhance their physical performance or to build muscle.

So the word anabolic refers to the ability to help build muscle. Anabolic steroids help a person build more muscle. And basically they're just a synthetic substance that mimics testosterone. Testosterone is the male sex hormone. And people who take anabolic steroids will either take them orally, or they can inject themselves with a steroid, basically, as I said, to build muscle and enhance their physical performance.

So as I mentioned, this is something that's very popular, especially among athletes or bodybuilders. Because they really want to enhance that performance and build that muscle. So anabolic steroids can have very negative effects on the body. So some general effects that they have is that they can include liver damage, jaundice, infertility, baldness, high blood pressure, liver and kidney tumors, aggressive behavior, mood swings, and depression. So if you think about these, these some pretty serious side effects. And some of these can be life threatening and irreversible.

And it's not only males that take anabolic steroids. We most often in the news hear about male athletes and their problems with anabolic steroids. But females can also be known to take steroids as well. So we're going to take a look at some male-specific and female-specific side effects.

So aside from these effects that we had mentioned up here, some male-specific effects are that it can cause the male to have reduced sperm count and increased risk of prostate cancers. Males can actually develop breasts. And their testicles will shrink because of the use of these steroids.

And with females, because they're injecting themselves with this male sex hormone, will have side effects such as growing facial hair, an abnormal menstrual cycle, a deepened voice, and baldness. So as I mentioned, these side effects can range from very, very serious ones to ones that are more on the surface but still not side effects that a person would want to deal with.

So this lesson has been an overview on the uses and side effects of anabolic steroids.

Video Transcription

Terms to Know
Aerobic Exercise

A type of physical activity that gradually conditions slow muscles to work for longer periods of time.

Anabolic Steroids

A substance that mimics testosterone used to build muscle and enhance physical performance.


A substance found naturally in muscles or used as a supplement to replenish ATP during workouts. Replenishing ATP allows muscles to sustain activity for longer periods of time.


A disorder associated with liver function. Jaundice can be caused by the use of steroids.


The largest of the visceral organs, the liver produces bile and secretes it into the gallbladder to be stored; also processes nutrients such as amino acids and carbohydrates and also “detoxifies” the blood.


A pigment that binds oxygen for the use of ATP production.

Strength Training

A type of physical activity that increases the size of the muscles and has an effect mainly on fast muscle fibers.


The hormone that controls the development of the male reproductive system, as well as many tissues in both the male and female body.