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Anabolic steroids: the physiological effects of placebos

ARIEL, GIDEON; SAVILLE, WILLIAM

Medicine and Science in Sports: July 1972 - Volume 4 - Issue 2 - p 124–126
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Fifteen male varsity athletes were informed that some of them would be selected to receive an anabolic steroid (Dianabol). Instead, six selected subjects were given placebo pills. Taking the placebo apparently supplied the psychological inducement to increase strength gains above and beyond reasonable progression. Greater training gains were made during the placebo period in three out of four weight lifting exercises. The gains were statitsically significant when comparing the two regression lines for the pre-placebo and placebo periods.

Department of Exercise Sciences University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts 01002

©1972The American College of Sports Medicine