Based on the currently known actions of androgens as anabolic compounds, we conclude that skeletal muscle represents a relatively minor target for anabolic steroids, if the androgen receptor is considered a limiting step in steroid action. The possibility exists that steroids are able to exert other cellular effects such as through regulation of post-transcriptional events or through the glucocorticoid receptor. Muscle overload by weight training may also increase the number of androgen binding sites, thus making the trained muscles more susceptible to anabolic compounds. Women with fewer circulating androgens and more androgen receptors than men are likely to be influenced to a greater extent than men by anabolic steroid administration. However, a great deal of research is needed to explore these possibilities and to further substantiate the biochemical functioning and mechanisms of anabolic steroid action in muscle.