T Nation

Is a Test Base Really Necessary?

Whenever I see someone asking if they should run a winny, var, Tbol, even DECA cycle, people always say “run test as a base”. Why is that necessary? Would that not cause MORE suppression?

What are the differences between a simple test and actual steroids (like the ones mentioned above)?

YES! A Test base is necessary. End of discussion.
Now to answer your question as to why it is, you first need to understand that suppression is a binary state given the amount of AAS you will likely be injecting, you can’t be more suppressed by using 600mg of Test E instead of 400mg for instance, in both cases your body will no longer produce natural levels of Test hence the temporary shutdown.
In theory you could take any steroid you want and disregard Testosterone, but your body won’t have any Test to function properly and believe me you don’t want to go on a full cycle without any Test in your system.
That being said the difference between Test (testosterone is a Steroid btw) and other steroids is that all other AAS are based off of Test with modifications to the chemical structure which most often gives the anabolic steroids very different characteristics.
Hope that answers your question!

For most guys it is necessary, if you don’t want a loss of libido, or potential erection problems.
It doesn’t have to be a large amount though, 125-250mg/week will do the job.
The other steroids that you mentioned are less androgenic than testosterone. They can be beneficial for people that get androgenic side effects from a high testosterone cycle(eg hair loss, acne, excessive body hair growth, aggression). You add the less androgenic steroids with the testosterone to customise your stack, and structure your goal eg cutting or bulking, or strength.
Best practice is to start with a 400-500mg/week test only cycle. That will give you an idea of how you react to testosterone. If you develop androgenic side effects you can reduce the testosterone for your next cycle and add one less androgenic compound.

Yes some people do deca only cycles and have no problems. Another guy might do it and get erectile dysfunction for 2 or more years. Deca potential problems are not just due to being less androgenic, but also prolactin related. Do you really want to take that risk?

The dudes above did a great job explaining the theoretical side of it and i second them.
Now here’s a real life example. I once was misled into thinking that anavar is really mild and won’t cause any significant suppression so i was convinced to run a var only cycle. I took 80 mg ED and this was my first cycle. I was enjoying the gains at first. Pumps, veins, STRENGTH, dry look. 5 weeks into the cycle i couldn’t have a proper erection anymore, i was grumpy most of the time and mood dropped to zero. Moreover, after finishing the cycle i couldn’t keep any of my gains because i was test deprived for very long despite running a PCT. So don’t take the bait!

I get that, but suppose you did take test as a base along with the anavar, would that have not caused MORE suppression? Given that your body is receiving extra steroidal hormones, resulting in your recovery being slower

Can you explain further what you meant by “suppression is a binary state”?

The short answer is, no. A test base isnt necessary for every cycle. HOWEVER you must have a replacement for test which can aromatise to keep oestrogen levels normal.

There are some people that use EQ or Dbol as a replacement for test, obviously dbol will not be suitable for a longer cycle but for 4 weeks alongside Tren Ace it seems to work well.

Personally, I dislike test but I do run a low dose of it, usually no higher than 150-200mg per week.


It’s just like being pregnant…you can’t be ‘partially pregnant’ or ‘half pregnant’…you’re pregnant. The same thing applies to gear use. You’re body is going to detect a high level of AAS in your body and interpret that as testosterone…it’s natural response is going to be “WTF ,what’s going on here?!” It will then try to adjust these levels by doing the only thing it can and that’s sending a signal to your nuts to take a vacation for a while; that’s supression.

Mandatory probably not. Highly suggested I think so.

I’m not a fan of testosterone myself. I don’t particularly like how I feel when using really high doses.

I also don’t like how I feel when I’m running on little to no testosterone.

I find a happy medium when running a elevated trt dose alongside other compounds. In my opinion testosterone is best used for exactly what this thread is about “a base” as for building muscle and cutting fat I have a whole tool box of sharper tools that can accomplish this much more efficiently.

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Just to put my 2 cents in. In a study about dose response (linked) it showed that even injecting 25 mg of Test a week caused almost full shutdown. I would have thought that at 25 mg, the body would still keep producing some, but that is contrary to the study. The group that injected 25 mg per week ended up dropping their total Test by more than half.


Basically the conclusion is if you inject Test your body stops making it. Even if low dose.

Your body needs testosterone to function properly. Can you live without it for 10 weeks? Sure. Not ideal, but you won’t die. But…

Our jacked and very smart friend @Singhbuilder makes an excellent point. For 10 weeks you could go without testosterone if your body is getting something that mimics it in several ways, including as he pointed out some estrogen. Dianabol at a low dose (like 10mg/d) could absolutely serve as a baseline test replacement for a cycle that is built around other compounds. So why isn’t that done more often? Well, because test is dirt cheap, easily accessible, not hepatotoxic like dbol, and if you’re already pinning other drugs you would just use test with them. It’s not a good option for most guys, because most guys respond really, really well to testosterone. But for those who simply do not do well on higher doses of test it would be a reasonable enough alternative. You run some additional risk of libido issues, but maybe that trade off is worth it for a guy who has bad reactions to higher (or even replacement levels of) testosterone.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse this plan. I feel amazing on testosterone at several varying doses, and as such I would never imagine using something else. But this post is an acknowledgment that not everyone is like me and that some simply hate using test for various reasons. If you are new to steroids you should absolutely not do what I have said here. You use testosterone until you know for sure that it doesn’t agree with you. Chances are you’ll do well on it. This particular post is directed only at the small minority that has issues with test and is seeking an alternative.

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It’s kinda like an on/off switch, doesn’t matter what you put in your body or even at what dose … pretty much any AAS at any dose will shut you down, you can’t be more suppressed by using 400mg of Test instead of 25 like mnben87 mentioned.
I probably exaggerated the fact that a Test base is obligatory, but as I said you can disregard Test if you insist but your body will need something that mimics it’s effects to function normally.
As mentioned, Dbol can mimic it’s estrogens effects, but why not just take good old Test since it’s a naturally occurring compound in the body and you can run it longer, I wouldn’t run any cycle without it but hey that’s me

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