If you are a steroid user, the chances are that you’ve been taught to use 23 guage or 25 guage needles for intramuscular injections of anabolic steroids. After all, this is what athletes and bodybuilders have been doing for decades. Furthermore, medical school and medical professionals all recommend and use either 21g to 23g and 1 to 1-1/2 inch long needles for intramuscular injections. Why would anyone consider doing anything differently?
What if there was a better and more optimal way to inject steroids? Are 21g and 23g needles the best size for steroid injections? It certainly is a tried, tested and convenient method preferred by nurses and doctors. But sometimes the procedures used by medical professionals represent what is the most convenient and quickest method and NOT necessarily what is optimal for the patient.
Medical professionals would much prefer to use a procedure that requires only 3 seconds over one that requires 30 seconds even if a gradual injection is better for the patient. And since most patients may have a high body fat percentage that requires the use of a long 1-inch or 1-1/2 inch needle, doctors will use the long needle even in cases when the patient has a low bodyfat and a shorter needle would suffice. Doctors tend to subscribe to the one-size-fits-all approach that works best for them and not necessarily best for their patient.
In most cases, bodybuilders who inject steroids would benefit from using smaller insulin syringes. These syringes are typically 29 guage and ½ inch long. The use of smaller needle sizes is much easier on the muscle tissue. Larger needles cause more muscle trauma and are much more likely to cause scar tissue especially with repeated injections over time. Furthermore, the slower injection speed (30+ seconds) that comes with the use of insulin syringes is also much easier on the muscle tissue than the faster injection speed (3 seconds) with 21g and 23g needles. When larger injection volumes are involved, three slow injections of 1 milliliter still cause less muscle trauma that a single fast injection of 3-milliliters.
The smaller needle size and slower injection speed associated with the use of insulin syringes make it optimal for steroid users seeking to minimize scar tissue and muscle tissue trauma.
In addition, the shallower depth required with insulin syringes means that steroid users have a wider selection of injection sites (e.g. delts, biceps, triceps, quads, etc). This allows them to avoid the problem of repeated injections in the same site.
An important factor that may have historically deterred steroid users from using insulin syringes is the fact that it is extremely difficult, and sometimes seemingly impossible, to draw the injectable solution utilizing an insulin syringe/needle.
There are two solutions to overcoming this difficulty. The most common solution is to ‘backload’ or ‘backfill’ the insulin syringe. This involves the use of a second larger guage needle/syringe to draw the solution from the vial or ampule. The plunger is removed from the insulin syringe and the barrel of the insulin syringe is backfilled with the solution.
Alternatively, the original insulin syringe can be used to both draw and inject the solution. Drawing the solution takes much longer than it would with a 21g or 21 guage needle. Instead of a few seconds, it could take 2-3 minutes. Few people have the patience to do this. But few people realize that you are not required to actively pull on the plunger for the full 2-3 minutes to fill the syringe. You are only required to draw waiting long enough to start the flow of oil into the syringe. You can then pull the plunger back to the desired fill point and set the vial on its side and go do something else. You can then return a few minutes later and the syringe will be filled and ready to use.
The optimal method of injecting steroids is not necessarily the most convenient. However, for those bodybuilders interested in optimizing every aspect of their pharmacological endeavors, there are several benefits to using insulin syringes for steroid injections.