T Nation

HPTA Suppression Avoidable?

When using artificial anabolic steroids that is…?

Sorry if the question doesnt seem practical - I’m asking out of interest really. From light reading of the endocrine system I have the impression that it reacts very quickly to any imbalance, as if to suggest even 1 day on more than natural AS levels would cause some degree of suppression.

I’ve also read here opinions that it takes a couple of weeks to suffer significant suppression, perhaps this is why the 2 week cycle seems popular lately?

It may be that suppression starts on day 1 but recovery to normal natural output is possible if you are clear within a couple of weeks, but takes longer if you stay on for longer. Of course PCT may be needed in either case.

Then there’s the view that very little gain is made on ultra short cycles, although I would guess every day counts - isn’t 8 weeks just 4 times the gain of 2 weeks or is there a kind of ‘momentum’ build up over time in muscle growth within the hormonally enhanced body?

An alternative strategy i’ve read about, both being promoted and denigrated, is the idea of tapering. One version suggests that dosages are lowered until just under what you would produce naturally and this gently coaxes the HPTA back into action over several weeks without a sudden drop and a few weeks on PCT trying to get back quickly.

On this i’d have to ask what is a realistic dose - wouldnt it be very small indeed to come under the natural output? I would guess tiny amounts of andriol or primo, if practicable - and it would have to go on for some time too.

I’d be interested in your anecdotal evidence and experience, or pointers to studies of HPTA suppression.

Interesting stuff, TB, i’ll keep an eye on your two week cycle post to see what you say about HPTA supression. If it is minimal and bounces back very quickly then it says alot for 2 week cycles.

Also interesting will be the gains, to see if you're roughly gaining a quarter of an 8 weeks cycle, whihc means short cycles start to look advantageous for low level users.

yeah, i’ve read that 3 weeks is the cut-off point to avoid a large degree of supression. a friend of mine just did a 3 weeker, and gained a decent amount of strenght and size hile dropping a few pounds of bodyfat. however, he’s gained massive amounts of strength since the cycle, so i’m not sure why he’s gone up so much. i think he used Nolva and Clomid for PCT for 3 weeks…

one thing i owuldn’t use is Andriol, though. i’ve never heard of anyone gaining off of that…

i could be wrong, but think you might need higher doses of AAS for shorter cycles, since you don’t have as much time to utilize them…

If there is a gap in the HPTA response then i wonder if that’s influences by dosage too, i.e. if you megadose even for a few days then the HPTA takes a hit anyway.

Its interesting that the shutdown is reported by some as being delayed, what may be happening is that the system shutdown takes time to happen, or it happens slowly in small steps rather than all at once. I’d be interested in views (or better still facts!) on this.

I’ve heard the same regarding Andriol, i think that really is a drug intended for only the most modest response in older men, as the manufacturer appears to suggest.

I think from the reading i’ve been doing that the key to longer cycles is the consistent ability to train intensely a few days a week and recover - that allows the weight gain over and above a short cycle where the train/recover/adapt process doesnt get that same duration. After all if Test increases protein synthesis it’s not going to wait around for a few weeks to start doing so, it should theoretically start doing so as soon as its available. I’d be happy to be corrected by more expert analysis though.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Building muscle takes time. Using AAS for very short peroids is not going to build muscle that you are going to keep. It may add short term increases in size due to water retention, and increased creatine storage, but true muscle gains are going to take longer than a few days, and that is all you really have before you are shut down.

Also it is a serious waste of time to use such a small amount of AAS, if you are looking for AAS-like gains, you will need to use higher doseages, that will shut you down.

Yes there is research out there for example that points to using 25mg of test E per week, is non suppressive to your natural test production, however that isn’t enough to see any increase in muscle mass e.t.c, and your body will quickly manufacture more SBHG anyways to bind up the extra test, so again big waste of time, unless you are hypogonadic.

How long does it usually take to come out of being shut down?

[quote]Prisoner#22 wrote:
You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

Building muscle takes time. Using AAS for very short peroids is not going to build muscle that you are going to keep. It may add short term increases in size due to water retention, and increased creatine storage, but true muscle gains are going to take longer than a few days, and that is all you really have before you are shut down.

[/quote]

That’s interesting, and for practical effective use of AAS i’m sure that longer cycles and accepting shutdown are the way to go.

True muscle gains presumably means protein synthesis, satellite cells adding their mass to the whole as I believe is current theory. In this context any protein synthesis that happens is real growth and as it is augmented by natural T daily it would, in theory, be augmented by even 1 day of AAS - albeit the difference would be barely noticeable, but i suspect there would be a difference nevertheless.

This thinking follows the idea that muscles are built, generally, day after day, i.e. a year of growth can be shown in terms of 365 days of growth rather than specific growth periods discrete from the ‘day to day’

Unless there is time time delay factor that means unusually high levels of AS gets ignored for a short while, which would mean very short cycles would be out of the system before having any effect beyond the norm.

I dont know if there is research on this specifically, or how long it actually takes for HPTA suppression, and whether it happens in steps but it’s a fascinating area.

Growth actually does happen in cycles, so timing AAS usage during the peak period of your natural growth cycle or just after can give you an advantage.

Using orals, suspensions or short length esters are a must though as recover will be strung out quite long if not.

If not being tested, I would not recomend this method though, as longer cycles are way more advantagous, as you still need a full pct after a 3 week course of AAS as you would after say a 6 or 12 week course, but the gains would be much less.

Are testosterone cremes/gels for hypogonadism considered AAS?

what exactly is AAS?

[quote]Jugar wrote:
Are testosterone cremes/gels for hypogonadism considered AAS?

what exactly is AAS?[/quote]

Yes, the gel/ cream or patch is just the delivery system.

Anabolic, Androgenic Steroid is what AAS stands for, and testosterone, is the steroid that fits this bill to a tea more than any other steroid.

Prisoner#22,

What do the studies show about taking endogenous testosterone to restore back to normal?

I just started taking TRT 2 days ago to address low T levels but they would only be bringing it back to physiological normal…I thought bodybuilders took much higher levels of T.

I talked to my doctor about HCG and that is something we’ll be looking at soon in a few weeks…however I have read that Progesterone/DHEA are pre-cursors to T and I came up low on those in my initial blood work so I think possibly upping those would help my body create its own T naturally.

So here are my main questions?

  1. How long into TRT does the HPTA start to shut down permanently…meaning you won’t ever return to pre-TRT levels?

  2. Are progesterone/DHEA supplementation products things that will shut down the HPTA?

  3. Does HCG shutdown the HPTA…I know your testicles stay awake but does coming off that have any permanent effects too?

It would take one looong ass, borderline toxic cycle to make ur test production halt permanently. You cuold probably do a 20 week cycle and it would probably be back to normal within a year.

Also, HCG would be a very good idea for cycles over 10 weeks. As far as I know, when you come off HCG, it doesnt rebound and stall your normal production like an AAS would. If it does, it would be a very minor and unnoticeable effect.

A WARNING TO ALL-------- DHEA is next on the list to be banned. it is illegal to ship to canada, it is now illegal for high school athletes to use in some states, and more legislation is being put into motion. basically, the pharm. companies dont like any competition, so in order to stay rich, they limit it to an expensive prescription-only pill.

[quote]Jugar wrote:
Prisoner#22,

What do the studies show about taking endogenous testosterone to restore back to normal?

CHECK OUT MY TEST TAPER THREAD.

I just started taking TRT 2 days ago to address low T levels but they would only be bringing it back to physiological normal…I thought bodybuilders took much higher levels of T.

THE GOAL IS TO BE NORMAL ON TRT. BODYBUILDING REQUIRES SUPRAPHYSIOLOGICAL LEVELS OF TEST TO BE AT LEAST 6X WHAT YOU WOULD NORMALLY PRODUCE

I talked to my doctor about HCG and that is something we’ll be looking at soon in a few weeks…however I have read that Progesterone/DHEA are pre-cursors to T and I came up low on those in my initial blood work so I think possibly upping those would help my body create its own T naturally.

NOPE, PROGESTERONE WILL KILL YOUR PRODUCTION AND DHEA WON’T DO ANYTHING POSITIVE FOR YOUR OWN NATURAL PRODUCTION EITHER

So here are my main questions?

  1. How long into TRT does the HPTA start to shut down permanently…meaning you won’t ever return to pre-TRT levels?

IF YOU NEED TRT, YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO PRODUCE NATURALLY WHAT YOUR TRT CAN GIVE YOU SYNTHETICALLY. THAT IS JUST A FACT YOU WILL HAVE TO ACCEPT. KEEP IN MIND AS YOU AGE YOUR NATURAL T LEVELS WILL DROP EVEN MORE AS WELL

  1. Are progesterone/DHEA supplementation products things that will shut down the HPTA?

YES, MORE THAN LIKELY.

  1. Does HCG shutdown the HPTA…I know your testicles stay awake but does coming off that have any permanent effects too?[/quote]

Yes, HCG takes over the workload of the pituitary gland, which secretes lutinizing hormone. As long as you use HCG. There is no need for your pituitary to secrete any, as your hypothalmus will never tell your pitutitary to do so, so long as there is sufficient Testosterone/ aromatising to estrogen in your body
being stimulated via HCG.

Prisoner#22,

In my blood work results, I’m showing that my DHEA/Progesterone/Cortisol levels were low…could adrenal insufficiency be affecting natural testerone production?

Looking at the hormone synthesis here:
http://www.drlam.com/A3R_brief_in_doc_format/adrenal_fatigue.cfm#3

It seems to indicate that Progesterone/DHEA seem to make androstenedione which makes testosterone. It also indicates that Progesterone makes Cortisol which aids the adrenal gland function.

So what I don’t understand is how does having physiological levels of progesterone for a man help kill your testosterone? The synthesis graph seems to indicate it would help it.