Derek (More Plates More Dates):

“Any kind of synthetic anabolic stands out like a sore thumb when you’re doing urine analysis. So, why the f*ck would anybody in their right mind be using a compound with a…”

What’s up guys? Derek (moreplatesmoredates.com). Today, we are going to be reacting to the top 5 steroids in MMA and how they work. So this was a video a few of you guys sent me and I thought it was a, you know, pretty interesting topic to delve into, especially considering it’s another channel on YouTube. It’s talking about some of the same stuff I am and I kind of wanted to react, give kind of my analysis, if there’s anything to add and just sit back and enjoy.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

Performance-enhancing drugs or PEDs are a problem that plagues almost every sport and at one point were rampant throughout the UFC during the pre-USADA era. Half of the UFC’s roster looked like they were closer to gorillas and humans and were built like greek gods. But on July 1st, 2015, USADA came into the UFC and the era of horsemeat and mexican supplements came to an end.

Although PED use isn’t as blatant anymore that doesn’t mean some fighters aren’t trying to sneak around with some needles behind USADA’s back. There are dozens of PEDs that are floating around but in this video, we will focus on the top 5 PEDs seen in MMA and the benefits they give those who take them.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay, so, presumably, this is going to be based on the actual prevalence of them, rather than, like what the top 5 most effective like bang for the buck compounds are. I’m not really sure, but it sounds like it’s more like how many people have been caught using (like fill in the blank) in the top 5 occurring ones.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

The first PED is probably the most known and used PED in MMA in all of combat sports; testosterone. Specifically, Testosterone Replacement Therapy or TRT. From about 2010 until it’s banned on February 27, 2014, TRT was a widely used PED in the UFC and was still seen popping up afterwards. Fighters like Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Alistair Overeem, Ben Rothwell and “Bigfoot” Silva to name a few, were pop for TRT.

Testosterone is a sex hormone that’s found in everyone’s body. It regulates biological parameters like libido, muscle mass, fat distribution and the production of red blood cells among other things. TRT is medically used to treat hypogonadism or decreasing testosterone levels in ageing men. Fighters will cheat the system to get prescriptions for TRT by reducing their testosterone levels before getting them checked by a doctor. Long endurance based workouts such as long runs, especially if done after heavy lifting and without food, will reduce their levels. Sleep deprivation can also reduce testosterone levels by 10-15%. By combining the two, fighters can bring the testosterone down enough to sneak a prescription. TRT will increase muscle mass, bone density and strength while reducing recovery time.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

So, what a lot of people don’t realize about TRT is, even though it is you know, replacement therapy if you are getting a exogenous source of testosterone and you have this chronic level being elevated, even if it’s in the reference range like therapeutic normal levels, you’re maintaining that all week long, and it’s sustained. It doesn’t matter if you have a shitty diet, if you’re cutting weight, if you had a, you know, intense training session, none of that matters. You’ve just retained the same manually capped testosterone level the entire time. So obviously, there’s a huge performance enhancing advantage to be had from that as well as the disproportionate spike in free testosterone. You can leverage by using a bolus amount of exogenous androgens as you’re in, you know, TRT. You can manipulate the dosage frequency and administration in order to actually disproportionately raise your free relative to your total. And, so even though on paper you might have “oh I’m on replacement. It’s at 800 ng/DL total and it’s, you know, exactly the same as a guy who’s natural or produces this much.” It’s definitely not the case. It’s not following a diurnal rhythm. It’s not following the traditional pulsatile secretions that happen via your HPTA over the day you know, going in the morning and then going into the night time, the dips rises and the dips caused by just your normal diurnal rhythm as well as all the factors I mentioned previously with the lifestyle diet etc factors that will all play into how good your testosterone production is. And ultimately, it’s impossible to compare a natural to a guy who is just manually keeping that level all week long without any aberrations whatsoever as a result of, you know, those negative factors that can influence your hormone levels significantly.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Now, as far as TRT though, is it being leveraged the same way it was before the, you know, hammer came down on it a little bit? No, like there’s a lot of guys who f*cking melted after they started to look at it more seriously and now there’s a lot of people that just aren’t able to sustain the physiques that they once had, because they had to come off of what they were using. We see this in the UFC very very often. Well not often, but we saw it, you know, pretty blatantly. When USADA came into the picture and really started like, stepping up the enforcement and some guys just like completely fell apart. And you know, there’s other guys that didn’t as much but there is uh it’s a lot harder to get around the stuff now. It’s not as easy as just like: “Oh you know, let’s qualify for TRT and show up and I can just abuse the sh*t out of test.” You know, there’s a bit more brain power that goes into the use of testosterone now than it used to be.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

So, those who take TRT will be able to train harder, longer and will put on muscle and strength faster. And if you train hard enough, this will make you look like this. The benefits of TRT are very clear and led to huge success by fighters who used it like TRT Vitor and Overeem. The ban on TRT and a quick crackdown on testing, led to a sharp decline of TRT and the fighters that used it. Those who wanted to continue to find ways to use PEDs switch to sneakier and less detectable methods like the rest of the drugs we talked about in this video.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay. So when he’s mentioning that, he’s basically implying that testosterone is no longer used to get around drug test parameters, which I do not think is the case at all. I think it’s one of the most highly leveraged compounds. You know, it’s a lot harder to get away with. You can’t just get a test prescription, be like “here’s my TRT.” But there are ways to circumvent the parameters in my opinion and I do think it’s an oversight to say that “Oh, they’re not using it anymore now”. They’re using the next 4 things that he’s about to mention.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

The second PED on our list is HGH or Human Growth Hormone. HGH is naturally produced by the pituitary gland and has a variety of different biological functions, including inducing growth in children, adolescents, regulating body composition, muscle and bone growth and metabolism. HGH is prescribed medically for people with deficiencies or diseases like HIV which can affect HGH production in the body.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

It’s almost like when you actually look at HIV positive patients and the dosages they’re prescribed for muscle wasting, it’s kind of f*cking ridiculous and it kind of makes you think; is this just a money grab, when you have serostim prescribing upwards of like 20 iu of pharma-grade HGH. For muscle wasting, when you could otherwise get a more beneficial muscle wasting prevention effect from like a minor dose of something that isn’t going to drastically cause cardiomegaly and sh*t like insulin resistance, like the dosages prescribed for HIV patients with HGH are just f*cking astronomical and completely illogical in my opinion but yeah anyways.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

But when injected into a healthy athlete, it has pretty significant performance enhancing effects. The one that really applies to MMA is that it increases muscle mass while reducing body fat retention on the body. This can make one of the hardest aspects about being an MMA fighter significantly easier; weight cutting. Even if someone taking HGH loses fat and gains muscle but remains the same body weight. weight cutting will be much easier because muscles have a lot of water that can be cut while fat doesn’t have any. Many people also claim HGH increases recovery and strength….

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

So, I think it’s clear, this guy’s never used HGH if he’s talking about how potent the fat burning properties are because this is not something that’s gonna be a make or break in terms of you getting a sh*t ton of weight off and to be honest, the point of using HGH would not be, in my opinion, to leverage the, you know, intramuscular fullness and that kind of stuff that a bodybuilder would want. The kind of, you know, body composition changes rather it would be to leverage the increases in things like bone integrity, actually injury proofing your body and improving recovery time etc. But it’s not going to be like “oh we got to use this because it’s the best fat burning agent”, like it’s not for weight cutting. That’s not that would not be an ideal choice even if it was only, if that was the only goal they would not be a, you know, worth pursuing in my opinion just for that strength.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

… and it has anti-aging qualities but those claims haven’t been proven scientifically yet.

The next PED on our list is one of the strongest and most effective steroids on the black market. Stanozolol. A couple notable fighters who were caught using stanozolol…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

I don’t know if I would say stanozolol is one of the most potent steroids on the market. It’s certainly a, OG though.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

… include Tim Sylvia and Chris Cyborg. The reason it’s so effective is it has a high ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay. Every single anabolic steroid ever created has a higher ratio of anabolic to energetic activity. That is the entire point of creating an anabolic steroid. It is to improve on the tissue selectivity relative to the base androgen that they were derived from, which is testosterone. Testosterone has the unfavorable, you know, just as androgenic as it is anabolic, so it’s a 5-alpha reduction to DHT and it’s inherent androgenicity. And this is why it is not a viable intervention clinically for muscle wasting like women, children etc. So, the idea was to create these synthetic anabolic agents derived from testosterone that were then chemically modified in order to improve upon the tissue selectivity, to make them less virilizing agents and make them more anabolic to energetic. But it doesn’t mean, just because you have a better anabolic to energetic rating that is more potent to building muscle and testosterone. And it also doesn’t mean that like the winstrol comparison. He’s making it sound like it is the best anabolic steroid because it’s like the most tissue selective. And it’s like, no dude, like it’s it’s uh, you know, it has its place but i mean, it’s not like this special steroid or something like he’s making it out to be.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

Anabolic effects refer to the building and recovery of muscle and bone tissue whereas androgenic effects refer to the effects on hair growth, skin and prostate gland. Unlike testosterone which has a roughly 1:1 ratio, stanozolol is 30 times more anabolic than it is androgenic, and is only 22% as androgenic as testosterone.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

So, when he says these ratios like he’s looking at these traditional anabolic to energetic ratio charts based on Hershberger assays and rodent models and sh*t . And he’s making it sound like per 1 mg of stanozolol, you’re going to gain 30 times more muscle than per mg of testosterone and I promise you that is not the case whatsoever. This is a traditional or a classic misinterpretation of the clinical data and the super old primitive literature based on, you know, animal models and sh*t. This is not how steroids work. If you use a compound that has a higher abolic to energetic rating, it doesn’t necessarily mean that milligram for milligram is going to build (fill in the blank) multiple higher amount of muscle than testosterone does. It just doesn’t work like that.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

This means no excessive hair growth, estrogen production and large prostate or water retention that comes from TRT,…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

So he’s making it sound like it has no androgenic activity too which obviously is not the case. Now, certain compounds, they have differing effects on different tissues even if they’re designed to be tissue selective like winstrol for example. One of the worst steroids for your hair. Even though it is, you know, so much more anabolic than androgenic according to his, you know, ratio here. In practical application, you know, is it still gonna have endogenic outcomes like, yeah it is.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

…making stanozolol quite literally a steroid on steroids.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

No, it’s not a steroid on steroids. It’s a steroid and it does what it was designed to do.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

If that wasn’t enough, unlike testosterone and HGH which have to be injected, stanozolol can be taken orally. It’s also only detectable in the urine for less than 10 days after use whereas HGH can be detectable for up to 3 weeks. I’m sure you can see why this is a PED…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Dude, HGH is not detectable for up to 3 weeks with the traditional methods of testing right now. There are ways to detect it up to 3 weeks but those are not being deployed right now.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

…of choice for many cheaters out there.

Moving on to the next PED. This is one that has gotten a bit more media attention lately from high profile cases like T.J. Dillashaw, but has been around for decades, popularizing the mainstream media by athletes like Lance Armstrong.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

By the way, I should circle back to, I just realized that I’m sort of just like critiquing you know some of the uh description of the like pharmacology but I have not really talked about the practical application. The HGH, circling back to that, you know, I mentioned why it would be used and is it hard to detect? Yes, it’s extremely hard to detect so I don’t know why he’s saying it’s like, he’s implying it’s, dude, winstrol is way easier to detect than HGH. HGH is far harder to detect. So I’m not sure why he would say that and I would guarantee HGH use is far more prevalent in all sports than winstrol, a 100%. I highly doubt anybody, except for people that have very poor information or guidance, is using winstrol. Like no one’s using winstrol dude. That would be a horrible choice. HGH on the other hand, makes a lot more sense. And circling back to the anabolic agents, like if I was going to, like, compare even the prevalence of testosterone versus winstrol, like testosterone would be higher than winstrol too. Winstrol is any kind of synthetic anabolic that stands out like a sore thumb when you’re doing urine analysis. So why the f*ck would anybody in their right mind, be using a compound with a reasonably long detection time likes stanozolol, when you use a bioidentical anabolic agent that is far harder to get, you know, definitive confirmation testing on.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

EPO or erythropoietin is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally in the body. I’m sure you’ve noticed that the trend of most, if not all, PEDs increase or mimic hormones produced within the body to abnormal numbers. EPO comes from the kidneys and causes the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscles and tissues within your body. More red blood cells means more oxygen being transported, which means more endurance and cardio. Athletes will either take a recombinant human EPO or more commonly synthetic EPO, which will increase their red blood cell count dramatically. This will have a similar effect to altitude training but even more apparent and of course without having to move to the mountains.

EPO in MMA is an extreme advantage giving fighters nearly endless stamina while their clean opponent gasses out. EPO is also difficult and complex to detect. The test part is very expensive. So, it’s not tested for, often making it easier for cheaters to sneak under the radar.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Yes. So, when you’re looking at the biological passport that is typically the first thing we would defer to, when trying to determine is there some sort of aberration in your hematology profile. And it can be difficult to detect because it’s like you know there’s a decent amount of leeway within these reference ranges and it is bioidentical, and confirmation testing is done. It’s almost similar to testosterone, you know. You’re looking at certain ratios and you’re looking at certain biomarkers that have a reference range and you’re trying to determine does this fall outside of, you know, the deviation of this guy’s average based on his historical blood work, and then determine from there like does this warrant like subsequent testing, or is this guy, you know, warrant a random test based on, you know, (fill in the blank) reason. And it’s not an easy compound. Any of the bioidenticals are things that are a lot more problematic to detect unfortunately, because it’s a lot easier to, you have a lot more leeway in the testing parameters because this is something that is supposed to be there, so, it’s like expectedly if something’s supposed to be there. The testers have a lot harder time trying to determine, you know, does this come from a.. like synthetic source exogenously, or is this an endogenous, you know, just what’s supposed to be there to begin with.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

The last PED on today’s list is drostanolone. Drostanolone…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay. So, he’s talking about drostanolone which is also the, it’s the chemical name for masteron, if you know the anabolic steroid. Masteron is traditionally used in bodybuilding as well, actually a lot of different things, but I’ll let him give his description. I’ll give my feedback after.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

…androgenic anabolic steroid, similar to testosterone and is what Brian Ortega popped for back in 2018.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

I think a more fair comparison would be if he said, similar to stanozolol, because that’s actually what he talked about earlier, that this is an anabolic energetic steroid derived from, again, these are actually both technically DHT derivatives. That DHT is also derived from testosterone. So the root androgen is testosterone up at the top, then the DHTthat is converted through 5-alpha reductase. That molecule is chemically modified to create stanozolol, masteron/ drostanolone as well as a myriad of other compounds. And again, the idea was to be more tissue selective and anabolic relative to the endogeneity than testosterone is.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

Originally, it was a treatment for breast cancer but was dropped from medical use as medical advancements came along. But it was adopted by the bodybuilding community for its strong muscle mass building and energy boosting effects. Drostanolone isn’t known for having quite the same incredible boost in muscle mass and recovery seen by other anabolic steroids like stanozolol mentioned earlier in the video but it has other benefits.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay. So, as far as muscle building properties and its protein expression, how much different is it than other anabolic agents? Not really, they’re basically all pretty similar. If you actually look at it across the board, how it differs in is kind of how the body composition effects are going to differ based on its anti-estrogenic activity, it’s a lack of water retention. You know, certain interactions that don’t occur with certain chemical structures are going to be you know differ in the actual visual outcome. You get as well as, you know, your leverage in the gym. You know, certain other outcomes that are driven not as a result of the inherent like main attributes of its anabolic activity, but rather it’s satellite interactions with other receptors in the body and whatnot. So, masteron, it’s not like it’s a subpar muscle builder necessarily if you actually are measuring pure protein expression but it’s more so. It’s, you know, lack of intramuscular, you know, like hyper hydration and sh*t like that. That is not going to make it seem like it’s not going to inflate your scale weight, you know, excessively like something like a dianabol or like a deca. So, it’s not traditionally seen as a like “bulking steroid” and this is why it doesn’t put on as dramatic of size increases, but it’s because it’s not something that’s driving those different vectors. Those are kind of like side interactions that are not even really related to the protein expression itself, which is actually the actual accrual of new contractile tissue here. So, as far as masteron’s implementation, it is very dry, it basically drives pure protein expression and why is it good in MMA? Like, why would it be a reasonable choice? It’s because of that lack of increase in body weight relative to the increase in force production. So, if you can get a compound in your system like especially in the UFC when you have very very strict weight limits, you have different classes of weights that you have to stay within, you would ideally choose a compound that maximizes the performance outcomes with the least increase in body weight. You don’t want to push yourself into the next weight class just so you can use an anabolic steroid. So, ideally, you would use something that has the least impact on body weight increase and the maximum outcome on increasing force production. So, that is where it becomes a pretty like a reasonable choice for MMA and as well as the neurological aspect, the motor unit recruitment benefits you can get from this DHT derivative, it seems to be quite a bit more efficacious than others in that aspect when it comes to actual neurological support in the ring. So, I can see why it is a pretty like, I don’t know, commonly used compound historically.

However, again, this goes back to why would you be using a synthetic anabolic agent that’s very easily detected in urine analysis. You’d have to be pretty ballsy or you’d have to know some things about the testing parameters. So, it kind of depends like when you’re referring to these synthetic agents, your risk is a lot higher. So, I don’t think stanozolol and masteron are like highly abused compounds in MMA. I just think historically, I think people have been popped with them so that’s kind of why he’s talking about them here, but I don’t think anybody who’s smart is really using them right now.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

These benefits include steady increases in endurance,…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

And that’s not because of the compounds aren’t good choices. It’s more so the testing parameters is all I’m referring to.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

… energy, metabolism and can draw out excess water in the body. So, not only does drawstone alone increase muscle, it also makes weight cutting significantly easier and less stressful on the fighter. it can be detectable in the urine for up to 3 weeks though. So, it’s not the sneakiest PED on the market.

After hearing about the crazy benefits these PEDs can give a person, you might be thinking that they could turn you into a superhero and honestly speaking they might make you into the closest thing possible to a superhero, but not without its dangers.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Man just showing like a random f*ck it, a guy on, using a bunch of synthol. Like, that’s not relevant whatsoever. This is this probably isn’t even synthol, it’s just a guy’s pumped his muscles full of a bunch of f*cking oil and that’s it.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

We didn’t go over them in this video but all of these peds pose very toxic and potentially…

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Like that was not representative whatsoever of PEDs or even synthol used, to be honest.

MMA Access (YouTube Channel):

… lead those side effects to the users, and are not to be taken lightly. Since USADA was implemented into the UFC, the rampant routed out monsters that were in the octagon are gone, and less and less cheaters are slipping through the cracks. It’s far from a foolproof system but as time goes on and technology advances, PEDs will hopefully become a thing of the past.

Thanks for watching.

Derek (More Plates More Dates):

Okay, so, that was a pretty good video you know, a good sweeping overview of some of the compounds and the, you know, attributes of them like what they do in a performance aspect and what not. Hopefully you guys enjoyed it. Like, subscribe, check out my blog moreplatesmoredates.com, follow me on instagram @moreplates_moredates.

Check out MMA Access, I’m sure he has some other good videos that are MMA related. So, if you’re a fan of UFC, MMA in general, check them out and give them a sub.

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