This is a article I wrote for MD online, due to all the newbies around here i feel I should post it here.

Discipline and dedication are principles that you are going to have to master if you are serious about bodybuilding, being consistent with your diet and training will help you succeed in achieving your goals. Don't have tunnel vision in thinking you will only build muscle if your taking AAS, below are some of the main principles you need to consider before taking any AAS

In humans your Endocrine system is not fully functional until an average age of 25yrs, although the main development is up to around 21yrs it still fluctuates a little bit up to its fully functional age. There is a risk of permanently damaging your HPTA if you take AAS to young and you could end up with symptoms of andropause and HRT for life. Symptoms could be Limp dick, low libido, depression, low energy, low endurance, erection problems and many more but.......are these the types of symptoms you want to have in your 20's?. Believe me its hard to cope with these in your 40's yet alone in your prime of your life.

Around this age your Testosterone levels are the highest they going to be in your life naturally, so use what you have and don't take the risk of damage, I am passionate about this because ive seen it many times with young kids wanting to looking like their heroes and they think the answer is in an injection/tablet.

Taking AAS to young can also cause problems with development, one other main problem is premature sealing of your epiphyeal bone and the consequences mean that you wont grow as big as your genetics could allow you to, there is a test which can be done to see if your growth plates have sealed yet but the average age is around 21yrs old.

You need a few years of hard training under your belt before even considering taking any kind of anabolic support, people who jump on a cycle to soon without having some quality years under their belt usually results in injuries, it takes time to develop your connective tissue, tendons and nervous system to heavy overload training. Slowly getting your own system use to these kinds of extreme's will only help in muscle growth later on when you do decide to start taking AAS.

Build a solid foundation for muscle tissue to grow and maintaining and development will be far greater than without it. Many younger guys will start cycling before they have reached their genetic potential which is crazy when a good solid diet and training program will be far beneficial and productive to muscle building.

Workouts should be mainly focused on basic movements with a priority of over loading the muscle each and ever time you train, increasing your strength and ability to lift in proper form will help with building the foundation for future development

A lot of younger bodybuilders don't know how to eat. Researching and understanding how your own body responds will help you get to your natural limit, the right food at the right time and a full understanding of proteins,carbs, and fats will only help you succeed in achieving your natural goals. Keeping a diet diary will also help you understand the importance of macro, nutrients, calories and should help you see in which areas you could be going wrong in adding lean muscle tissue.

No matter how much anabolic support you have it will be worthless without proper nutrition, food will help build and maintain your valued muscle weather its natural, cycling or in PCT. Adjusting your food intake and consuming muscle building foods coupled with a solid training program will help you achieve your natural limit and foundation before you start AAS use.

This area is a huge problem with the younger guys and I can't express enough how important diet/food is when first starting out, post and pre training nutrition are very important and understanding how to load and feed the body will help push growth and create a very natural anabolic environment.