Fred was in his mid-20s when a car accident on a busy Auckland road left him with serious injuries that would require months of rehabilitation.
In the months after the accident, his weight dropped from 82kg to 60kg.
Working out at his local gym in an attempt to get back in shape, he noticed how massive a lot of the people using the weights room seemed to be.
"There's got to be an easier way," he thought to himself.
There was. He spoke to a friend, who spoke to a friend, then forked out $350 for an anabolic steroid that was a blend of four types of testosterone. Getting hold of the syringes was even easier. He simply walked into a chemist and said he needed them to inject steroids.
After Googling how to inject the steroid into the muscle in his shoulder, he and a friend - who also paid $350 for an eight-week course - injected each other.
"We freaked out a couple of times," *Fred told the Herald. "I injected my mate and he starting pissing out blood."
The whole process was a little scary, but highly effective.
Fred put on 10kg of muscle throughout the eight-week cycle. In no time he was bench pressing around 100kg.
There were side-effects. Initially his sexual appetite and self-confidence went through the roof.
" ... It's really intense. You eat more. I gained 10 kilos. My mates were gym freaks who had been training for four or five years and what they were lifting, I was catching and passing them."
There were also mood swings, swollen testicles and, once he cycled off the steroid, mild depression.
"I flipped my lid a couple of times, but I knew it was the roids. I knew when to back it off and just let it go."
Drinking alcohol provoked even more aggression, so he tried to avoid it.
All up, he liked how he felt.
"I was a small guy and when I got bigger people noticed me. They'd say, 'You are looking really good.' You feel really good, and when you start to lose that it can be quite depressing."
So he went back for more, this time taking a nandrolone-based steroid. It wasn't as effective.
His steroid-taking days are now over, he says.
"I'm with a partner now. I suggested to her that I wouldn't mind getting back into it and she said, 'I'd rather you not.'
"But to be honest with you, it felt good. You are just at the top of your game. You're really confident and when you are confident everything comes your way."
* Not his real name