Dubai: Gulf News spoke to four gym goers who are against the idea of taking performance enhancers for aesthetic improvement and would rather take the longer route to get a good-looking and healthy body. They share their experience of seeing obsessive gym goers and body builders abuse steroids and human growth hormones here in gyms across Dubai.
They said they are aware of the risks associated with taking them and believe trainers can take the blame for easily bringing them to people.
Mohammad Arafa, Egyptian, a regular gym goer for almost five years
“I focus on a healthy diet and good exercise without resorting to drugs or even legal supplements. I’ve known people who have taken it and have suffered medical problems as a result. Some of my friends who took steroids said they won’t take them again because of the side-effects they experienced. I know a friend who was about to undergo a surgery because his back was swollen as a result of the steroid injection injected in his back. Another friend had a serious problem in his kidney and others lost their hair. I blame trainers for this. They are making money by selling these drugs. They have a way of convincing people to get into it. The gym I go to does not allow steroid abusers.”
Omar Sa’ad Al Seyyed, 24, heads to the gym four times a week:
“There is awareness about the health risks associated with taking steroids at certain gyms in Dubai, so I believe the people who are taking it are aware of what they are getting into. I personally never was convinced about taking steroids, but others take the decision to take these drugs because they are not patient. I would go the extra mile to stay safe and not face health issues or anything.”
Mohammad J. (name changed to protect his identity) has seen people injecting steroids in fitting rooms and in parking lots outside gyms
“In the gym I used to go to a few months back, I was surprised to see people openly injecting steroids in different parts of their body. This was happening in the men’s dressing room and there was nobody to tell them it was illegal. In many cases, you can tell when people take steroids. Their bodies look unnatural and their muscles are too big, with veins popping out. In my old gym, there were banners warning about steroids and their use.”
Mohammad Hanoun, Jordanian, freelance trainer and gym goer for 10 years
“The gym I attended prohibited the use of steroids and they didn’t have trainers who ever promoted their use. But nowadays you do see trainers marketing the use of steroids. A lot of body builders who want to compete in competitions decide to take steroids. Also, people between the ages of 18 to 22 are easily tempted. I grew up understanding how harmful performance enhancers are and I chose to stay away from them. Many people abuse steroids because they can be flexible with their diet and can achieve lower body fat. As a freelancer, I tell them the path to take is natural bodybuilding.”