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Patterns of anabolic-androgenic steroid use, aesthetic doping, and body imagewithin the male Brazilian bodybuilding culture: an ethnographic approach

International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Azenildo Moura Santos,1 Michael S Bahrke,2Mauricio Yonamine3


The image of overly muscular bodiesmay appear to those not familiar with thise bodybuildingculture, that muscle is the symbol of masculinity. Much of the time, however, the pursuit of the ideal body, the result of focused discipline to reach the ultimate muscular shape, is often confounded by the concomitant use of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). The purpose of the present study was to investigate how ergogenic aids, in particular AAS,are included within the culture of bodybuilding in relationship to aesthetics, body image, and health risks.Using qualitative data, generated during an ethnographic investigation of the male bodybuilding culture in the city of Recife, Brazil. Including interviews, documentation of events, and field notes.The interviewees consisted of 11 males from the three gyms.  In addition, narcissism, and the patternof AAS useare noted, since they play a significant role in the bodybuilding culture.


aesthetic doping, anabolic-androgenic steroids, toxicity, health risks, bodybuilding