T Nation

A Beginners Guide to Understanding AAS

Carefully consider the following questions, and try to answer them as best as you can. I guarantee that if you understand all the terms in bold, and can answer the questions attached, that you have attained a good level of understanding of AAS, and in my opinion, are ready to begin AAS usage, assuming of course that you are of proper age and training experience.

1.)What are Androgens? and what is their function? How is the Androgen Receptor site activated? How does this cause Protein Synthesis? How does this increase Satelite cell expression (aka brand spanking new muscle fibers)?

2.)What is anAnabolic? and what is the role of insulin and therefore glucose in hypertrophy and anabolism? What other Hormones does the Liver regulate that can contribute to muscular growth?

3.) What are Ester lengths? How do they effect the potency of the attached compound? (molecular weight - ester weight = potency of compound, IE: why Testosterone Propionate is more effective milligram for milligram than the larger Testosterone Enanthate molecule). What is the Half-Life of all the esters, and their relations to injection/dosing frequency? What is Alkylation? and how does it protect the active hormone through the harsh environment of the digestive tract and help in the absorption of the hormone into the blood stream? Why does alkylation make the compound Hepatoxic? Why does this limit both the length and dose of oral usage? What is Methylation? Is it more or less hepatoxic than alkylated compounds?

4.) Aromatase activity, where does it occurs? what does it do? and why is it important to suppress with an Aromatase Inhibitor when on AAS? Which compounds aromatize and which don’t? Why?

5.) Estrogens: Estrone, Estradiol and Estrione whats the difference between them? Seek to understand the love hate relationship with E, and why a balanced approach to Estrogen management is the only way to maintain skin quality, joint health and fuction, mood, libido, and erection hardness both during and off cycle. Selective Estrogen Receptor modulators what do they do? How do they differ from Aromatase inhibitors? When should they be used? Why are they so effective for Post Cycle Therapy?

6.) Human Chorionic Gonadtropin mimics Leutinizing Hormone, what is their function in the body? Why does using HCG prevent testicular atrophy? What other hormones do your Testes synthesize that contribute to a healthy functioning body and mind?

7.) Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Testicular-Axis how do these 3 organs work together to regulate hormone levels in your body? How does using exogenous Androgens suppress their activity? How do SERMs effect the HPTA axis? Why is it important to let all AAS clear your system before commencing SERM usage? How long should you stay ‘off’ after a cycle and PCT before starting another, to maintain HPTA function?

8.) Injection Protocols Why is it important to sterilize? What should you wipe down the top of your vials with? What is Aspiration and why is it important? Why should oils be injected intramuscularly ONLY? I generally recommend nursing resources for learning about injections.

This is not a complete guide, but rather a template for understanding.

There are a million and one threads full of answers, my thinking here is that a thread full of questions may actually facilitate a higher level of understanding. In the words of a certain Austrian bodybuilding icon “The knowing is in the doing”.

Post any questions/suggestions you may have.


maybe edit in some answers in multiple choice format?

just kidding. Great post

this is an awesome start up guide, a lot of researching for people todo so THEY can understand how everything effects their own bodies! good stuff!

I thought AAS doesn’t create new muscle fibers, only rebuilds them bigger and stronger?

Doesn’t only IGF-1 and thereby HGH (both not AAS) do that?

AAS increases IGF-1 but not by all that much.

Thanks for the ups guys

[quote]Ray567 wrote:
I thought AAS doesn’t create new muscle fibers, only rebuilds them bigger and stronger?

Doesn’t only IGF-1 and thereby HGH (both not AAS) do that?

AAS increases IGF-1 but not by all that much.[/quote]

You are correct that IGF-Iea and MGF, variants of IGF-1, effect the anabolic activity of Androgens, in addition to Somatotropin, Glucocorticoids, and Myostatin levels.

That being said Androgens do increase plasma IGF-1 levels, as well as local (MGF) levels. (Chen et al 2005.)

“Studies have demonstrated that androgen administration increases satellite cell numbers in animals and humans in a dose dependent manner. Moreover, androgens increase androgen receptor levels in satellite cells.” (Chen et al 2005.)

Androgens increase both the number and effectiveness, as judged by the number of Androgen Receptors expressed, of Satellite cells. (Joubert et al. 1994, Joubert and Tobin 1989, Nnodim 2001 & Mulvaney et al. 1988.)

In the presence of elevated Androgens, Satelite cells show increased AR concentration(Doumit et al. 1996), and therefore increased expression.

Therefore in the presence of rising androgen levels, increased Satellite cell expression will result in:

Myoblasts (Satellite Cells) -> Expressed through AR site activation -> Myotubes -> Fuse with existing Myofibres -> New muscle fibres.

In addition, higher levels of localized protein synthesis, induced by work load stimuli, and further increased by plasma androgen levels, will increase the net number of Myofibres (Seale & Rudnicki 2000.).