7 September 2023

'Roids & Revenue: The Hidden Business Costs of Steroids

In fitness, strength, and muscle building, anabolic steroids are often discussed, sometimes with awe and sometimes with disdain. Their immediate effects might seem tempting, especially to gym owners who want or feel under pressure to portray a particular image or standard of physical fitness.

Gym owners need to remember their influential role in their community. Choices in personal health and business operations can affect clientele and business growth. Embracing and promoting natural, safe, and ethical fitness practices will ensure the sustainable growth of their gym and the well-being of the community they serve.

The first critical dimension of the consequences of anabolic steroids relates to psychological effects, notably mood swings and challenges in maintaining focus. For gym owners, whose business demands physical prowess and a consistent and sharp mental state, this can severely impede their daily operations and long-term success.

Mood Instabilities: From Euphoria to Despair
Steroids are known to induce a broad spectrum of mood disturbances. Users may experience periods of mania, euphoria, irritability, aggressive behaviour, and even severe bouts of depression. These mood swings can make interpersonal relationships with staff, clients, and business partners fraught with tension. Such unpredictability can create an unstable work environment. It might also lead to the loss of customers if they feel they cannot rely on consistent interactions or feel threatened by aggressive behaviours.

Cognitive Effects: The Challenge of Maintaining Focus
Gym owners need a clear mind to juggle multiple tasks: scheduling, payroll, customer enquiries, equipment maintenance, etc. Steroid use has been linked to cognitive impairments, especially in the domains of attention and memory. Such side effects can lead to overlooked tasks, forgotten appointments, or financial miscalculations. In the dynamic environment of a gym, where safety is paramount, lapses in focus can also lead to accidents or oversights that jeopardise the well-being of your members.

The Long-Term Business Impact
Consistent mood fluctuations and difficulties in focus can erode the trust and confidence of a gym's clientele. If members sense that the owner is not mentally present or reliable, they might seek an alternative gym with a more stable environment. Additionally, staff turnover might increase if employees find it challenging to work under a leader whose mood and attention are unpredictable.

The impact of prolonged steroid usage also extends well beyond psychological effects.

Health Implications: Beyond the Physical Appearance
The health ramifications of steroid use can be significant. Anabolic steroids can lead to cardiovascular diseases, liver damage, and decreased fertility. As a gym owner, maintaining optimal health is paramount for personal well-being and setting a positive example for clients. Any adverse health repercussions can detract from daily business operations, lessen one's ability to interact with clients, and even lead to potential downtime if severe health issues arise.

Questionable Ethical Standards
Gym owners are not just business operators but leaders, role models, and sometimes even revered figures in their communities. Engaging in practices that involve the use of illegal or unethical substances can tarnish this image. Clients and employees often look up to gym owners for guidance on best practices in health and fitness. Steroid use can send mixed messages, undermining the very essence of what a fitness business promotes: health, hard work, and natural results.

Impact on Business Reputation
Word of mouth is potent in the fitness industry. If patrons or peers discover that a gym owner is using or endorsing steroids, it can negatively affect the gym's reputation. Trust, once broken, can be challenging to rebuild. With the rise of social media and online reviews, news can spread quickly, making damage control even harder.

Legal Repercussions and Business Operations
In many jurisdictions, possessing, using, or distributing anabolic steroids without a valid prescription is unlawful. Legal troubles can divert significant resources from the business, be it time, money, or energy. Potential fines, legal fees, or even time away from the business to attend legal proceedings can harm a gym's bottom line.

Financial Strain
While this might not be the first concern that comes to mind, it's worth noting. Regular steroid use is expensive. Allocating funds towards purchasing steroids means diverting money from potential business investments, whether new equipment, marketing, or staff training. Additionally, possible medical treatments for steroids' side effects can lead to unplanned expenses.


Running a personal training gym comes with its set of challenges. Maintaining the business's integrity, ensuring client satisfaction, and staying ahead of the competition requires undivided attention and a clear mind. Incorporating anabolic steroids into the equation can introduce unforeseen complications that divert focus from these primary objectives.

While the physical ramifications of anabolic steroids often take the spotlight, the psychological impacts are equally pressing, especially for those in leadership positions like gym owners. A successful fitness business thrives on consistency, trust, and effective communication. Any factors, such as steroid-induced mood swings or focus challenges that jeopardise these pillars, can have a cascading effect on business growth and reputation. These typically, then roll into family and personal life.

The era of "wellness" has, thankfully, long since moved on from the physical need to be "ripped". Taking a break from the 'roids could move your business and life forward more than you might expect.

Written by Chris Windram.


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