T Nation

A Few Simple Questions


Been doing a lot of research on steroids, and there is a few things i just can't seem to find answers to, and just want actual explanation rather than the typical things i keep seeing on forums ie " you dumb newbie i'm so pumped on steroids and want to bitch slap you for thinking of oral only because i'm better than you" answers.

Now, I've done enough research that tells me you need a base ( test injections ) to keep your body functions working as normal WHILE on cycle --> got it. Aside from your hpta of course.

My problem lies-in where every "oral-only" search I've done, again, dictates that it's optimal to have a base in order to keep cognitive/libido and other such functions in check with test because how a MALE body works, fair enough. HPTA is suppressed/shut down regardless of oral/inj/or both...So after a proper PCT wouldn't the outcome of returning to "normal" hypothetically be the same taking either direction? So, what is the real problem with oral only? ( i'm more curious to an educated answer and don't want to do it, without a test base ).

To clarify in case of a conflicting pattern, the only answers I've dug up is that it's hard on the liver even though most cycles have an oral steroid added ( what the fuck? suddenly it's not hard on your liver cause you're injecting? get out of here ( that's how some ""vets"" make it sound )) and to have normal function during a cycle. I also get that 10-12 weeks on some form of testosterone injection will yield better results. I just don't understand why an oral only cycle is made out to be so bad, especially if someone is not looking to gain big weight and huge gains? I need the specifics of why.

Again, i'm not interested in oral only, i'm trying to get informed. Maybe with information answered i can direct others to make a better choice. Right now if someone at the gym asks , " what is so bad about a oral-only cycle?", all i got is what i've wrote here, basically. That is NOT enough to turn someone away from doing it.

Hope this kind of makes sense.. I'd make a terrible writer.


With oral-only, in almost all instances 100% of what you're taking is hepatoxic.

In a mixed oral/injectable cycle, typically less than half is hepatoxic.

In an injectable-only cycle, none of it is.

Oral-only cycles can be effective but often are poor because the particular combinations chosen don't complement each other. So for example, oxandrolone plus Dianabol is very effective, but Dianabol plus Anadrol is considerably less so. Judging from what gets posted, most oral-only cycles are poorly planned and executed.

It's not really inherent to it that oral-only cycles must be poor-to-fair, but in most cases they are. The worsened balance of anabolic effect to hepatotoxic effect, however, is inherent when the orals are 17-alkylated, which is almost always the case.

"Bad" is a strong word and wouldn't be an accurate summary of all oral-only cycles.


You have to understand there's a difference between suppressed and shutdown. Your body doesn't just turn off production the moment it senses exogenous hormones. It is when exogenous test levels exceed what it is capable of producing for a prolonged period of time that it goes from gradual suppression to eventual shutdown.

Conversely, recovery can start as soon as exogeneous test falls to a level not exceeding what your body is capable of producing naturally. This is when the SERM comes into play to expediate recovery by stimulating LH, or it may take months before natural test production is fully restored.

If this is the case, and this person is not near his genetic limit, it would be in his best interests to honestly evaluate if the risks of playing with hormones justify the returns as such gains can be attained naturally or with proper supplementation, albeit over a longer timeframe.

Of course an oral combined with testosterone will yield far better results lol. People don't pin 1000mg of test twice a week and spend money on anciliaries for nothing. :slightly_smiling:


Thanks guys, very good replies.

I guess with much of the research I've been doing lately, oral only seems to be the "don't even go there" notion. It's hard to get good answers, so i posted my own thread. I found/still find it a bit odd, but these responses have definitely cleared some things up for me. So simple, haven't been able to get info till now. lol. Thank you.

I guess the next step is to understand compound combinations and such. Any websites recommended? I don't think i'm ready for steroids even at 29 but i want to learn more about it.


A few more questions actually.

I see this a ton on forums ( no any actual research documents mind you ), but "they" say that oral only is a waste because you keep none of the gains. How can you keep nothing at all?<-- what leads to this idea?...

I mean the steroids you put in your body via any method is there, and you become more anabolic. You lose some after because your body's test levels plummet and the body is not used to having that new weight around but it makes no sense. Too many people jacked on orals at my gym not to believe the stuff works. ( even if no planning or research was done, as mentioned by Bill, which is dumb, so dangerous to fuck with hormones and people seem to do it without a second thought )

I'll concede though, with all these kids at the gym i go to getting huge and me being natural and working out 5+ years, and these noobs already almost as strong as me and i'm no slouch by any means, looking ripped and jacked, made me consider orals ( and a weak shoulder from 4 shoulder reconstructions) which has brought me to this point. Shoulder is the main reason i've considered the use but it still scares me ( not the injections, try nerve blockers in your neck, fun times ), guess that means i'm not ready. haha.


Part of the "not keeping gains" comes from inaccurately figuring gains in the first place.

I recommend, at any given moment in a cycle, estimating gains by taking weight gain and then subtracting out estimated water weight gain and estimated fat gain (if any.)

For example, on any cycle that I'd consider reasonably strong for myself, from experience I fairly rapidly put on 9 lb of water weight, and lose it fairly rapidly at the end of the cycle. This isn't any ugly, watery bloat, nor is it a result of letting aromatization get out of control: my muscles hold more glycogen and glyogen-associated water when on-cycle and getting plenty of carbs. That's my personal water figure. Another person's may be different. So, say I ended a cycle at 214. And the cycle was with short-acting compounds.

If a week later I'm at 205, I don't decide that I've lost 9 lb of my "gains." Actually I've lost none.

Oral only cycles often have a lot of bloat, partly because oral-only guys tend not to be so sophisticated in their drug use (if they were, they probably wouldn't be doing oral only) and estrogen is likely out of control. They lose the bloat, their scale weight drops considerably -- probably more than 9 lb -- and they cry about "lost gains."


This is true. It is a survival mechanism and the body's attempt to return to homeostasis i.e, it's previous set point. The body will want to preserve fat and dump muscle. (Though not as severely as people often make it out to be as most of the time, as Bill explained above with great clarity, people are just losing water/glycogen)

It is the same as when you forcefeed yourself while bulking up a substantial amount naturally. You would want to hold the weight for a couple of months before cutting, after which, gaining back that weight requires less calories than before.

What is "jacked" to you may not be what I see as "jacked". I've not seen many "jacked" noobs around in gyms. And I've been in gyms with loads of gear users. I've seen bloated idiots with average muscularity that balloon up and shrink periodically though.


Although I can't explain exactly why, I think there is some truth behind the idea that the longer you stay on, the more your gained weight is 'stabilized'.

On my first cycle I gained about 25lb within the first half of the cycle, and gained almost no weight in the second half of the cycle.
Somehow without even reading about it, I sensed that because I had been sitting at the exact same bodyweight (to the pound) for so many weeks that my body would not be overly eager to lose it once I came off. (I was right!)

I think because oral only cycles are typically short and because you usually are gaining weight for the entire cycle, that when you end your orals and go straight to PCT it is too 'abrubt' of a change (this is just my opinion).

On a similar note about needing to use a Test base:
I have read that if you run something like Tren without Test that it is significantly detrimental to your HTPA recovery time after PCT compared to if you ran it with Test.
Is this true and if so how?


i think one of the issues with the "oral-only" cycle ideas are here, is with the people that are looking to use them. a lot of them are guys that haven't been lifting very long, don't eat enough and are looking to lose bodyfat more so than gain muscle (hence so many of the cycles based around Anavar or Winny).

^many of these guys also presume that orals cause less stress on the body then regular test, and like Bill said, do not manage estrogen, etc..

but anyway, there's plenty of data, both clinical and real world that shows a guy can make great gains on an oral only cycle, as long as they do everything else, as well.



this makes no sense.... can you elaborate?


I got the impression about this when someone else was asking a question about running a tren only cycle.
From what I remember, several people responded by telling him that he risks seriously screwing himself up permanently by not using Test.

Maybe this isn't a common belief and I had the wrong impression (now that I have looked at other sites about this).


What is "jacked" to you may not be what I see as "jacked". I've not seen many "jacked" noobs around in gyms. And I've been in gyms with loads of gear users. I've seen bloated idiots with average muscularity that balloon up and shrink periodically though.[/quote]

I get what you're saying, makes a lot of sense.

Thanks for the replies, again. Finally some simple answers. lol


No, this is not true. I think some fellas got confused with the term "replacement dose" of test to prevent the side effects of suppression, thinking it actually prevented suppression. I recall one beginner who was under this impression.


I get what you're saying, makes a lot of sense.

Thanks for the replies, again. Finally some simple answers. lol[/quote]

Note: I'm not saying you can tell if someone's on gear just by looking at his physique.


Usually i ascertain if someone is on gear by simply asking them - lol.

The "noobs" i'm talking about in fact are. Incredible inflation and definition and strength so far. I think a couple are using dbol as a standalone and one other guy has been on m1ts for over 2 months ( so stupid, lol... tried telling him.. ). I asked this particular guy if he has a solid pct and he says he's taking milk thistle and hawthorn berry extract ( lol, wtf? )... What do you do, eh?

I definitely don't assume anything though, i have some friends natural who look outstanding and are stronger then guys on gear 30 lbs heavier than them. You just never know. Even i think i'm pretty strong being natural as well but all this was just picking at the back of my mind and i want to learn more about it for perhaps future use. Curiosity, you know?


A milk thistle and hawthorne berry pct eh? Thats a new one lol. Should have slapped his ass in the face.


Incredibly strong and defined noobs on dbol alone? Who are these guys? You sure you didn't run into Kevin Levrone?


hahahahaha, maybe they're just genetically gifted.


I didn't even know what to reply... He seemed to have it all under control. lol