T Nation

AAS That Don't Increase Total T?

General question, which AAS’s don’t increase total T? Not interested in SHBG, Estradiol or others measures, just want to avoid increase in total T. Free T not being measured.

Anything that doesn’t have “testosterone” in the name will not increase TT. In fact, unless taking testosterone exogenously all the other AAS will lower TT.

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In school they said, no question is stupid, I guess. Where did you get that from?

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Where did I get what from, the question? I know some AAS can increase free T by binding SHBG, I haven’t seen much on if they impact total. There are testosterone derivatives, I don’t know how or if they impact total. I did a few hours of googling, and since there are a lot of smart guys here who may know, thought a forum would be a good idea for a stupid question.

So that makes sense. Other AAS will likely lower shbg. Shbg had an impact on clearance rate so they could indirectly impact tt. How much, I don’t know.


No. Lowered SHBG will raise FT, meaning the T that is unbound. It will not raise TT. TT is a thing that exists at number X. That is your constant. SHBG is an externality that directly influences FT.

FT = TT - whatever gets bound and is not useable

You have 1,000 apples (TT). Jim (SHBG) decides he needs 300 of those. You now have 700 apples left to use (FT). If Jim needs 600 apples then you only have 400 left. Get the idea?

The answer to your question is “all steroids that are not testosterone”. Everything else will influence your hormones one way or another by various mechanisms, but only testosterone raises testosterone.

Now, here’s the wrinkle: nandrolone will show up as TT if you get the incorrect type of blood test. Using the LC-MS-MS test will differentiate between nandrolone and testosterone. ELISA will not. So it will show higher TT, but technically you won’t have higher TT.

Hope this is illuminating.


So nandrolone was the wrinkle that made me ask the question. I did find one study that eluded to what you said. Would methenolone then be a good option, understanding that there is a possibility that it is counterfeit primo and actually test? Looking for an injectable that won’t show up in TT.

Well methenolone is not faked nearly as often as is claimed. And avoiding the fake version is easy if you use reputable sources. It’s not cheap, but it’s out there and it works.

The question is how long you have between the time you start and the next (what I’m assuming is trt related) blood work. If it’s something like 12 weeks you could run NPP for 10 weeks and be all clear by test time. But methenolone will be the safer option, with fewer (if any) side effects in exchange for less muscle built.

Just slam some bacto water in your cheeks every 3 days and workout hard and eat. I bet you get some gains and your T won’t change.

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I am not convinced of this. I remember @readalot making a pretty good case that TT could be lowered by using other AAS. Basically, if another AAS like Var is used it will lower SHBG. Lower SHBG usually means that a faster clearance rate for Testosterone.

Take a guy who has a steady TRT protocol, and add Var. Now his SHBG drops, Test clearance rate goes up, and TT goes down.

That’s believable. I wonder if the number is impacted enough for it to be noticeable though? That’s where I would become a little more skeptical. Like there could be some change, but if it’s 3% then that’s not worth thinking about vs if it’s 22%. Now I’m curious.

Hopefully Mr. Readalot will post since I tagged him, but I haven’t seen him around much. He did an example with Var (Oxandrolone as he would say), and it was somewhat significant. His analysis had FT stay pretty consistent with TT going down. I’ll admit that I didn’t fully understand all the ins and outs, the main claim was that SHBG going down increases the speed at which Testosterone is cleared, which seems reasonable and lines up with the TRT world in which low SHBG guys inject frequently to keep stable levels.

Edit: Here is the post I am thinking of with the example.

I do think how much his SHBG dropped with oxandrolone would be pretty uncommon 50 ->8, but in that example TT dropped 50%.

Basically, we have competing effects when SHBG drops. We have testosterone clearance rate going up, and we have less T bound to SHBG. FT goes up because of less SHBG, but FT could go down as TT is lower.

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Interesting. As someone who is perpetually in the single digits with SHBG I have to imagine that the impact of this would not be noticeable at all, vs someone who has much higher levels. Now I’ll need to dig in a little more.

Me too on looking into it more. I get the competing effects, I know how to quantify the effect of SHBG on FT if we know TT. I can’t quantify how dropping SHBG impacts clearance rates.

Yeah, I’d call the effect on Total T significant. That’s what’s funny about guys bumping up their T dose (see here for example) :smile: while on oxandrolone/similar. Depending on the SHBG impact, they may be just flushing all that extra exogenous Test in the toilet :-). It’s also what makes @iron_yuppie 's thread on orals at the tail end of a Test cycle even smarter than he thinks it is. Taking the oral at the end will decrease the time for your TT to come back down (again for guys with baseline reasonable SHBG) and then start PCT, etc.

Cheers guys! Take care of yourselves.


Youtube videos clearly more entertaining than my posts. But remember, the educational value of something typically inversely proportional to the entertainment value. Greg Doucette seems to be the rare exception since he does a decent job with both but you won’t find the above discussion on apparent/actual metabolic clearance rate of testosterone on any video or even in the peer-reviewed literature that I’ve found. :grinning:

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That’s a lot for me to read lol. Thank you!

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Just as a follow up to this, I had blood tests a few weeks apart. Test C dose was 150 for both. Primo of 100mg per week in split MWF with Test C dose first draw. TT was over 1300. A few weeks later, just Test C, TT was low 700’s. Tests taken same day, two days after last injection. So, it either slows the clearance rate of Test C or the primo was actually test c.