Can Steroids Make You Jump Higher? What Science Says

  • By: Dave Moffat
  • Date: September 5, 2023
Can Steroids Make You Jump Higher

Steroids, specifically anabolic steroids, are synthetic substances similar to the male hormone testosterone.

They promote the growth of skeletal muscle and the development of male sexual characteristics in both males and females. In the context of sports, steroids are often associated with increased strength and endurance, which is why some athletes resort to their use.

However, there are many misconceptions about steroids. One common myth is that they can directly enhance specific physical abilities, such as jumping height.

While steroids can increase muscle mass and strength, their effects on particular skills like jumping are complicated and subject to a variety of influences.

The purpose of this article is to explore the question: Can steroids make you jump higher?

Through a review of scientific literature, analysis of athlete case studies, and examination of the biological mechanisms involved, we will shed light on the potential impact of steroids on jumping height.

Biological Mechanism: How Steroids Could Make You Jump Higher

The biological process through which steroids could potentially increase jumping height is primarily linked to their impact on muscle mass and strength. Anabolic steroids work by mimicking the effects of testosterone in the body, a hormone that plays a vital role in the development of male characteristics, including muscle growth.

Steroids have been shown to increase protein synthesis within cells, leading to a rapid buildup of cellular tissue, especially in muscles. This process, known as anabolism, can lead to increased muscle mass and strength over time.

In theory, greater muscle mass and strength, particularly in the lower body, would enable an athlete to generate more force and jump higher.

However, it’s essential to note that jumping is not just about raw strength. It also involves technique, timing, and coordination, none of which are directly improved by steroid use.

An often overlooked aspect of steroid use is its potential impact on recovery time. Steroids can help reduce muscle damage and speed up recovery after intense workouts. This quicker recovery could allow athletes to train harder and more frequently, potentially leading to improvements in jumping ability over time.

That said, while steroids may theoretically contribute to increased jumping height through these mechanisms, their use comes with significant risks and side effects. Furthermore, the actual enhancement of athletic performance, such as jumping height, due to steroids is still a subject of ongoing research and debate.

Steroids and Athletic Performance

Numerous studies have been conducted investigating the impact of anabolic steroids on athletic performance. According to a review from the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the use of anabolic steroids can lead to an increase in muscle mass and strength, potentially enhancing athletic performance. However, the same study also highlights the adverse effects associated with these substances.

Another study from Sports Medicine also acknowledges that anabolic steroids appear to have the potential to increase lean muscle mass and strength. However, it emphasizes that other drugs, such as cocaine and sympathomimetic drugs, have little or no impact on performance, underlining that not all performance-enhancing substances are created equal.

The impact of steroids on female athletes has also been researched. A study published in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology questions whether anabolic-androgenic steroids have performance-enhancing effects in female athletes. The report evaluated serum hormones and athletic performance in 1332 female athletes, although the specific outcomes of this research were not detailed in the search results.

While these studies provide a scientific perspective, real-world examples also offer valuable insight. However, due to the ethical and legal issues surrounding steroid use, it’s challenging to obtain reliable data on specific athletes who have used steroids and their performance outcomes. Many athletes who have been found guilty of using steroids are typically penalized and their achievements often disregarded.

The Science Behind Steroids and Jumping Height

The theoretical link between steroid use and increased jumping height primarily rests on two key factors: the increase in muscle mass and strength, and the improved recovery time, both of which steroids have been shown to facilitate.

When anabolic steroids are introduced into the body, they mimic the effects of testosterone, a hormone that promotes muscle growth. Through increased protein synthesis within cells, steroids can lead to a rapid buildup of cellular tissue, particularly in muscles.

This process, known as anabolism, could result in increased muscle mass and strength. In the context of jumping height, stronger leg muscles might generate more force to propel the body upwards, theoretically leading to higher jumps.

Steroids also play a role in recovery after intense physical activity. They can help reduce muscle damage and inflammation, allowing for quicker recovery times. This means that athletes could potentially train harder and more frequently, focusing on exercises that enhance jumping ability, such as plyometric training.

However, it’s important to note that jumping involves more than just strength. It’s a complex motor skill that requires coordination, timing, and technique, aspects that steroids do not directly enhance.

Contrasting views exist in the scientific community regarding the impact of steroids on athletic performance.

Some studies suggest a clear performance enhancement due to increased muscle mass and strength, while others argue that the side effects of steroids such as potential kidney and liver damage, mood disorders, and cardiovascular issues may outweigh any potential benefits.

No study has definitively proven a direct correlation between steroid use and increased jumping height.

While the potential for steroids to increase jumping height exists in theory, it’s a multifaceted issue with many factors at play, and one that requires further research. The ethical and health implications of steroid use also make it a controversial topic within the field of sports science.

Case Studies: Steroids Making You Jump Higher

Several studies have been conducted examining the potential impact of steroids on jumping height. Here are a few key findings:

  1. A study published in the Acta Physiologica Scandinavica examined elite power athletes who self-administered androgenic and anabolic steroids. The study found significant improvements in maximal isometric force and jumping height curves in the experimental group compared to the control group.
  2. Research in the Aging Cell Journal investigated the association between intramuscular steroid hormones and muscle strength in women. The study found an increase in vertical jump height due to increased testosterone levels within the myotubes.
  3. A case study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research during a professional rugby union competition showed that increased testosterone to cortisol (T:C) ratios could improve jump squat strength.
  4. Another publication in the Journal of Comparative Physiology B discussed the combined roles of enhancers and constraints in animal movement, suggesting that improved locomotor performance could be associated with steroid use.
  5. An article on presented a case where protein supplementation resulted in greater increases in muscle hypertrophy and squat jump height, serving as an alternative to steroid use.

While these studies indicate a possible link between steroid use and increased jump height, it’s important to note that results can vary widely based on individual factors, and the potential risks and side effects associated with steroid use must be considered. More research is needed to fully understand the relationship between steroids and jumping height.


The relationship between steroid use and athletic performance, particularly in regards to jumping height, is complex and multifaceted. Research indicates that steroids can potentially increase muscle mass and strength, and improve recovery time, all of which could theoretically enhance an athlete’s ability to jump higher.

However, the direct impact of steroids on jumping height remains uncertain due to the complexity of this motor skill, which involves more than just physical strength.

While certain studies suggest a correlation between increased testosterone levels (which can be boosted by steroids) and improved vertical jump performance, it’s important to recognize the variability in these findings.

Individual factors, such as an athlete’s baseline strength and conditioning, their training regimen, and their genetic makeup, can all influence the effectiveness of steroids.

Moreover, the ethical and health implications of steroid use cannot be ignored. Steroid use is associated with numerous adverse effects, including potential kidney and liver damage, mood disorders, and cardiovascular issues.

The use of performance-enhancing substances is generally frowned upon and often penalized within professional sports.

For athletes and trainers, the key takeaway is that while steroids may offer some potential benefits in terms of strength and recovery, their use comes with significant risks and potential penalties. It’s crucial to consider these factors and to prioritize safe and ethical training practices.

For sports authorities, the challenge lies in maintaining a level playing field and ensuring the health and wellbeing of athletes. This involves not only enforcing rules against steroid use but also educating athletes about the potential risks and promoting healthier, safer alternatives for enhancing performance.

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Hi, I'm Dave Moffat the founder and Chief Editor of and certified International Personal Trainer and Certified Nutritionist. My passion has always been bodybuilding but with 15 years' experience in weight loss programs too, it's hard not to mention all that when you're working at your fitness level fullest (I hope). When Im not in the gym or spending time away from my family i often think about what advice would help others achieve theirs goals just like these inspired mine.