Human beings are curious creatures. We only use about ten percent of our brain’s power, yet have managed to land a man on the moon and put computers in everyone’s palm (Pilot) around the world. A total understanding of how the brain actually works would require brainpower greater than we possess, so it’s natural that we haven’t even begun to unlock our mental potential.
Humans have various peccadilloes, or virtues that make us unique and interesting. One such tendency of human nature is known as the placebo effect. This is the occurrence in which a patient given a pill and told of its benefits, will actually begin to see some of those benefits – even though the pill is a fake. In many studies, called blind studies, some of the patients are given actual working drugs, and others are given a placebo, such as a water pill. Often, not even the doctor giving the doses will know the difference. At the conclusion of the study, the results will show the group given fake drugs will almost always see a small percentage increase in gains. This is a result of the placebo effect. Their mental facilities convince them that muscular growth or weight loss is going to occur – and inexplicably – it usually does, even if to a smaller degree than those with legitimate drugs.
Athletes display the placebo effect perhaps more than any other group. This phenomenon has led to world records being broken when runners are given something as impotent as a sugar pill. What the mind believes, the body can achieve.
Beware of the placebo effect when using new supplements. Very often, a vacillator, or NOS product will cause a temporary cortisol release leading to high vascularity. With new veins popping out everywhere, many users experience an adrenaline rush which allows them to train harder, longer, and heavier than they have previously achieved. The supplement did nothing more than pull some water from under the skin and cause the veins to protrude a bit. But the excitement felt by the bodybuilder at seeing his arms come alive with ‘squiggly’ veins will lead to increased performance in the gym – which will in turn lead to new muscle growth, provided nutrition and recovery resources are adequate.
This phenomenon may be way many bodybuilders use steroids that are of impure, diluted, or outright counterfeit nature and still manage to see some gains when on a corrupted cycle. Either that, or they’re just too embarrassed to ever acknowledge to others that they were duped into buying something that didn’t work. There have been numerous documented cases of bodybuilders making decent gains on products which later ended up being determined to be counterfeit.
The bottom line is that you should take every supplement and anabolic steroid’s effects with a grain of salt. Your mind will often play tricks on you in terms of the results you’re seeing. Embrace this, and enjoy every benefit you experience. It’s okay to have a positive mindset and positive expectations for the compounds you’re using. It’s also important to keep your expectations realistic and never fall for any scams as a result of the placebo effect.