T Nation

Steroid Newbie Thread Extract

I claim NO responsibility for any of these posts. I have just took the best from the newbie thread and other sources and posted them in here. If you cannot find out how to grow muscle naturally, you should not even be considering steroids. Be at least 21, preferably around 23-25, and have trained for 4-5 years consistently and seriously.

You should have added at least 30 lbs of LBM naturally before you even consider trying to put it on with steroids. These drugs are not magic, they will not make your fat\lazy or skinny\lazy ass big and strong. For the love of God, read this forum or at least pick up a damn book if you are seriously interested in steroids. Sorry for the long post, I will break it up into 5 parts.

Source: http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=354419

  1. “What are the potential side effects of AAS use by teenagers?”

Teenagers have a very unstable endocrine system; the slightest amount of steroids will affect it greatly. The use of steroids during puberty will definitely stunt your growth. Steroids will close the epiphysials (growth plates) in your bones, causing them to stop growing.

So the height you are at when you start juicing will be the height you are at for the rest of your life. Also, steroid use during adolescence can potentially cause impotence and infertility, so if you want to be able to have kids, or even just plain old have sex when you get older you better think twice before injecting that needle or popping that tab!

  1. “I found an online pharmacy that says it is legal to order anabolic steroids from there, is this true?”

Definitely not! If you live in the United States, it is illegal to use, buy, sell, or possess steroids. Do not believe any “internet pharmacy” that says it is legal. Most of these pharmacies are run by feds who are looking for some stupid newbie to come along and order something with their home address using their credit card.

  1. “If I use steroids, I can slack off in the gym and still get huge.”

This is a common misconception with uneducated lifters who are looking to juice. Steroids are not a shortcut! Steroids simply increase the rate of protein synthesis in the body, which is useless unless you are forcing your muscles to use protein for repair. Also, by increasing protein synthesis you obviously need to take in more protein to be synthesized!

Amateur lifters should not use steroids, experienced lifters who have a very solid foundation of muscle and cannot achieve much more naturally should only use steroids.

  1. “I’ll start my cycle now, and in a few weeks when I need my other package, it would have already came in.”

Never start a cycle until you have all the gear needed to complete the cycle. I always recommend people to order a little extra of whatever they are using, just incase a vial breaks or some other mishap occurs. These are your hormones, and by stopping abruptly in the middle of a cycle can severely damage your endocrine system!

Also, you should have all necessary anti-estrogens and post cycle recovery. If gyno starts to appear, and you do not have any anti-estrogen, it’s going to be too late before you get some.

  1. “I do not want to inject, is it ok if I run Dianabol at 40mg/day for 10 weeks?”

No, oral cycles are not the way to go for a number of reasons. For one, they are very hard on the liver. Any type of 17aa steroid, Dianabol, Anadrol, Winstrol, etc. should not be run for any longer than 6 weeks. Another reason for needing injectibles is due to the half-life of orals, which is very short.

The half-life for Dianabol is 4-6 hours; this means that after coming off of a high dosage one day, the next day you are at next to nothing. This is very hard on the endocrine system, and you will not be able to retain much of the gains after the cycle is over.

Ohh and notice how I said oral CYCLES… not just ORAL :slight_smile: because we all know ORAL is always good!

  1. “What is a good beginner’s cycle?”

The following cycle is what I like to recommend to any newbie asking for a sample bulking cycle. It will allow for great gains in mass and strength, along with letting the user learn how well his body reacts to juice.

Weeks 1-8: 500mg Test/week
Weeks 1-8: 400mg Equipoise/week
Weeks 1-4: 30mg Dianabol Every Day

Make sure you have arimidex or proviron on hand during the cycle, and nolvadex and/or clomid for post-cycle.

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Here is a list of Slang that is commonly used:

ALA= Alpha Lipoic Acid
AS = Anabolic Steroids
AR = Androgen Receptor
BA = benzyl alcohol
BB = BodyBuilder/BodyBuilding/Benzyl Benzoate
BRO = You and I
CASE = The body part of a syringe
CC = cubic centimeter (one thousandth of a liter)
CLEN = Clenbuterol
CNS = Central Nervous System
CYP = Testosterone Cypionate
DART =Syringe/Needle
DBOL = Dianabol (Methandrostenolone)
DECA = Nandrolone Decanoate
DHT = Dihydrotestosterone
DNP = Dinitrophenol
DRINK WINNY = Yes you can drink Winny
ECA = Ephedrine/Caffeine/Aspirin
ED = Every Day
ENTH = Testosterone Enanthate
EOD = Every other day
E3D = Every third day
EQ = Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate)
FINA = Finaplix (Trenbolone Acetate)
GEAR= steroids
GH = Growth Hormone
GHB = GAMMA HYDROXYBUTYRATE
GYNO = Gynomastica (Bitch tits)
HGH = Human Growth Hormone
HPTA = Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis
IGF = Insulin Growth Factor
INJ = Inject, Injection
LH = Leutenizing Hormone
MCG = Micrograms
MG = Milligrams
ML = Milliliters
NYC = Norephedrine Yohimbe Caffiene
NOLVA = Nolvaldex
OTC = Over the counter
PIN = Needle
PRIMO = Primobolan, Primobolan Depot
PROP = Testosterone Propionate
SLIN = Insulin
SUST = Sustanon
T3 = Thyroid Hormone
TEST = Testosterone
TREN = Trenbolone
WINNY = Winstrol-V (Stanozolol)
17 AA = 17 Alpha Alkylated
1cc = 1ml

CRS = Can’t remember Shit
ot = off topic
O/T = off topic
LOL = Laugh out loud
LMAO = Laughing my ass off
LMFAO = laughing my fucking ass off
ROFLMAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off
ROFLMFAO = Rolling on the floor laughing my fu(king ass off
ROFLMGDMFAO = rolling on the floor laughing my god damn mother fucking ass off
BTW = By the way
IMO = In my opinion
IMHO = In my humble opinion
IMHO = In my honest opinion
WTF = What the fuck
stfu = shut the fuck up

An important consideration when planning a steroid cycle, in particular the timing of dosing to be administered, is the active half-life of the drug being employed.

The half-life may be defined as the time (t) the level is half of the starting level of a given compound; at time 2t, the level is a quarter of the starting level, and at time 3t, the level is an eighth of the starting level, and so on.

This information is vital in the timing of the dosing when attempting to achieve a more stable blood concentration, which leads to greater overall results and maintenance of gains. Some fluctuations of concentration levels are acceptable, and are also mostly unavoidable, but should be kept to a minimum.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Some of these half-lives were declared to be inaccurate, assume them as general estimates.

Oral steroids

Anadrol / Anapolan50 (oxymetholone) 8 to 9 hours
Anavar (oxandrolone) 9 hours
Dianabol (methandrostenolone, methandienone) 4.5 to 6 hours
Methyltestosterone 4 days
Winstrol (stanozolol)
(tablets or depot taken orally) 9 hours

Depot steroids

Deca-durabolin (Nandrolone decanate) 15 days
Equipoise 14 days
Finaject (trenbolone acetate) 3 days
Primobolan (methenolone enanthate) 10.5 days
Sustanon or Omnadren 15 to 18 days
Testosterone Cypionate 12 days
Testosterone Enanthate 10.5 days
Testosterone Propionate 4.5 days
Testosterone Suspension 1 day

  • Winstrol (stanozolol) 1 day

*Winstrol depot does not actually possess a classical half-life because it is un-esterified. Instead, the microcrystals dissolve slowly. Once they have all dissolved levels of the drug fall very rapidly. It is still an important consideration.

Steroid esters

Formate 1.5 days
Acetate 3 days
Propionate 4.5 days
Phenylpropionate 4.5 days
Butyrate 6 days
Valerate 7.5 days
Hexanoate 9 days
Caproate 9 days
Isocaproate 9 days
Heptanoate 10.5 days
Enanthate 10.5 days
Octanoate 12 days
Cypionate 12 days
Nonanoate 13.5 days
Decanoate 15 days
Undecanoate 16.5 days

Ancillaries

Arimidex 3 days
Clenbuterol 1.5 days
Clomid 5 days
Cytadren 6 hours
Ephedrine 6 hours
T3 10 hours

A practical example is if one was to inject 100mg of testosterone propionate and allow blood levels to peak. In 4.5 days time (half-life duration from the above tables) and providing no other injections had taken place, the level would be reduced to 50mg. Again, a further 4.5 days down the line and levels would have dropped to 25mg, and the value keeps halving every 4.5 days.

===========================
As well as the ester chain having an effect on the half-life of the AAS it also effects the concentration.

100mg of Testosterone Propionate contains more Testosterone (84mg) than 100mg of Testosterone Enanthate (72mg). So if you were taking a total of 1000mg of a Test ester a week, then it would be 840mg if Test.Prop was used but only 720mg if Test.Enanthate which is an extra 17%.

The following shows how much testosterone is in 100mg and the figure in parenthesis is the ester chain molecular weight (MW) in case you which to apply this to nandralone, trenbolone e.t.c. All you need is the MW of that steroid.

Testosterone (suspension) 100mg
Test. Prop 84mg (56.1)
Test. Isocaproate 75mg (98.2)
Test. Enanthate 72mg (112.2)
Test. Cypionate 70mg (124.2)
Test. Phenylpropionate 69mg (132.2)
Test. Decanoate 65mg (154.3)
Test. Undecanoate 63mg (168.3)

By: William Llewellyn
O.K. You have been on an awesome 4-month cycle of Sustanon and Dianabol. You?ve gained a massive 20 lbs, and are extremely pleased with your results. You can?t stop looking in the mirror. But there is a problem now starting to eat away at you. You are going to run out of steroids very soon (you know you need a break anyway), and your testicles are the size of raisins.

Your body is producing less testosterone than a 9-year-old girl, and you are scrambling to figure out what to do to avoid a nasty post-cycle crash that could potentially strip away some of your hard-earned muscle. The opinions on how to restore endogenous testosterone production post-cycle seem to be different everywhere you look.

What option is best? Without an understanding of exactly what is going on in your body, and why certain compounds help to correct the situation, choosing the right post-cycle program can be quite confusing. In this article I would therefore like to discuss the role of anti-estrogens and HCG during this delicate window of time, while detailing an effective strategy for their use.

The Axis

The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis, or HPTA for short, is the thermostat for your body?s natural production of testosterone. Too much testosterone and the furnace will shut off. Not enough, and the heat is turned up, to put it very simply. For the purposes of our discussion here we can look at this regulating process as having three levels.

At the top is the hypothalamic region of the brain, which releases the hormone GnRH (Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone) when it senses a need for more testosterone. GnRH sends a signal to the second level of the axis, the pituitary, which releases Luteinizing Hormone in response.
LH for short, this hormone stimulates the testes (level three) to secrete testosterone.

The same sex steroids (testosterone, estrogen) that are produced serve to counter-balance things, by providing negative feedback signals (primarily to the hypothalamus and pituitary) to lower the secretion of testosterone when too much of this hormone is sensed.

Synthetic steroids, of course, suppress testosterone the same way. This quick background of the testosterone-regulating axis is necessary to furthering our discussion, as we need to first look at the underlying mechanisms involved before we can understand why natural recovery of the HPTA post-cycle is a slow process. Only then can we implement an ancillary drug program to effectively deal with it.

Testicular Desensitization

Although steroids suppress testosterone production primarily by lowering the level of gonadotropic hormones discussed above, the big roadblock to a restored HPTA after we come off the drugs is surprisingly not the level of LH itself.

This problem is made clearly evident in a study published in Acta Endocrinologica back in 1975(1). Here blood parameters, including testosterone and LH levels, were monitored in male subjects whom were given testosterone enanthate injections of 250mg weekly for 21 weeks.

Subjects remained under investigation for an additional 18 weeks after the drug was discontinued. At the start of the study, LH levels became suppressed in direct relation to the rise in testosterone, which is to be expected. Things looked very different, however, once the steroids had been withdrawn (see Figure I).

LH levels went on the rise quickly (by the 3rd week), while testosterone barely budged for quite some time. In fact, on average it was more than 10 weeks before any noticeable movement started.

This lack of correlation makes clear that the problem in getting androgen levels restored is not the level of LH, but in fact testicular atrophy and desensitization to this hormone. After a period of inactivation the testes have apparently lost mass (atrophied), making them unable to perform the workload required by heightened levels of LH.
Post-Cycle LH Levels

Post Cycle Testosterone Levels

Figure I. LH and Testosterone measurements starting 1 week after the last injection of 250mg of testosterone enanthate (pretreated measures were 5 mU/ml and 4.5 ng/ml respectively).

Note that between weeks 1 and 5, as testosterone levels are declining due to the cessation of exogenous androgen administration, LH levels are already rebounding. From weeks 5 to 10 testosterone levels are at or very near baseline, to spite the substantial LH levels by this point. No significant increase in testosterone is noted until after the 10-week mark.

The Role Of Anti-Estrogens

It is important to understand that anti-estrogens alone do not do much to restore endogenous testosterone release after a cycle. Normally they only foster LH by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens, and we now see that LH rebounds quickly without help anyway.

Plus, post cycle there is not an elevated level of estrogen for anti-estrogens to block, as testosterone (now suppressed) is a major substrate used for the synthesis of estrogens in men. Serum estrogen levels will actually be lower here as a result, not higher.

Any estrogen rebound that occurs post-cycle likewise happens concurrently with a rebound in testosterone levels, not prior to it (note there is an imbalance in the ratio post cycle, but this is another topic altogether). We are seeing no mechanism in which anti-estrogenic drugs can really help here.

We can see why this fact would not be difficult to overlook, however. The medical literature is filled with references showing anti-estrogenic drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex to increase LH and testosterone levels, and in normal situations these drugs do indeed increase endogenous androgen production by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens.

Combine this with the fact that just as many studies can be found to show that steroid use lowers LH levels when suppressing testosterone, and we can see how easy it would be to jump to the conclusion that post-cycle we need to focus on restoring LH.

We would miss the true problem of testicular desensitization unless we were really looking into the actual recovery rates of the hormones involved. When we do, we immediately see little value in using anti-estrogenic drugs.

HCG

So we now see, contrary to the dominating opinion of the times, that anti-estrogens alone will do little to raise testosterone levels in the early weeks of the post-cycle window. This leaves us to focus on a very different level of the HPTA in order to hasten recovery: the testes. For this we will need the injectable drug HCG.

If you are not familiar with it, HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a prescription fertility agent that mimics the bodies own natural LH.

Although the testes are equally desensitized to this drug as LH (they both work through the same mechanism), we are administering it as a measured drug and are therefore not constrained by the limits of our own LH production. We similarly can use HCG to provide a bolus dose of LH (of our choosing), which works only to augment the recovering LH levels we already have in the body.

In essence we are looking to shock them with an overwhelmingly high level of LH activity, coming from both endogenous and exogenous sources.

We want it to reach a level far above what our body, even when supported by anti-estrogens, could possibly do on its own. The result can be a rapid restoration of original testicular mass and functioning, which would allow normal levels of testosterone to be output much sooner than without such an ancillary program.

What we are looking at now is HCG actually being the pivotal post-cycle drug, while anti-estrogens are relegated to a supportive role at best.

Finalizing The Program

An ideal post-cycle recovery program will focus on two things really. The first is hitting the testes hard with HCG. It is important, however, not to overuse this drug. Taken for too long, or at too high a dosage, the LH receptor will actually become desensitized to LH(2), which may further exacerbate our post-cycle problem instead of helping it (this is why I am not in favor of regular HCG use on-cycle).

My experience with HCG has led me to feel comfortable using it for a course of three weeks, at a dosage of maybe 5000-7500IU weekly.

Often the last week I limit the dose to 2,500IU, unless the cycle has been particularly long or potent. This is timed so at least half of the total administered drug dosage will be given when there is still exogenous steroid in the body. On our graph above this would be at about the 3-week mark after the last injection of testosterone.

This will give the testes some time to get back into shape before the baseline is actually hit with T levels. Secondly, Anti-estrogens are used to play a supportive role at the same time, so 20mg of Nolvadex or 50-100mg of Clomid would typically be added (my last article for Mind and Muscle discusses the comparative differences with these two agents).

This is to combat the suppressive effects of estrogen as testosterone levels start to go back up, as well as potential side effects (HCG has been shown to increase testicular aromatase activity as well (3)).

Although in the first couple of weeks the anti-estrogen does little, it may indeed be helpful when testosterone levels actually start to get back up near normal.

To further stimulate the HPTA, and support continuingly high LH levels, the anti-estrogen remains to be used for 2 to 3 weeks after the HCG therapy has been stopped. A sample program, as it would be instituted in our sample post-cycle window, is provided below.

Sample Post-cycle Plan:
Week Amount
Week 3: 5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
Week 4: 5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
Week 5: 2500IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
Week 6: 20mg Nolvadex daily
Week 7: 20mg Nolvadex daily
Week 8: 20mg Nolvadex daily

In Closing

I hope this article provided a well-needed new look at the mechanisms involved in post-cycle testosterone recovery. Indeed I believe it should debunk a commonly held belief these days, as we seen now that those advocating the sole use of Clomid post cycle are sorely missing the mark. The problem goes much deeper than just getting LH levels back.

In fact, we see that LH doesn?t even need much help kicking back into gear, and a drug like Clomid will do very little to help this anyway in the absence of significant estrogen levels anyway. HCG is a drug with undeniable usefulness during the post-cycle window, and many bodybuilders have been much too quick to abandon it.

It is truly fundamental to an effective recovery program, and would not consider any dose or combination of anti-estrogens or aromatase inhibitors capable of doing the job without it.

Measurements:

cc = cubic centimeter
ml = milliliter
mg = milligram
g = gram
IU = international unit

Notes:

  1. “cc” and “ml” measure the VOLUME of a chemical.

  2. “mg” and “g” measure the WEIGHT of a chemical.

  3. a “cc” and a “ml” are EQUAL in volume.

  4. 100 IU and 1cc/ml are EQUAL in volume.
    ============================
    Steroid References and Resources:

  5. William Llewellyn books: Anabolics 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 (soon)

  6. The Steroid Bible

  7. The World Anabolic Review (WAR)…an oldie but a goodie.

  8. Legal Muscle

  9. Chemical Muscle
    ==========================
    In response to site-injection questions:

I have read that you can inject into the biceps, triceps peak, top of triceps horse shoe, lateral delts, rear delts, glutes, thighs, and on some occassions, I have even heard of injecting in the lats and calves.

According to Chemical Muscle Enhancement, “any muscle could have been untilized for targeted site injection protocols.” The Author also notes that smaller muscles respond best to this technique, so he recommends delts, bi’s, and tri’s.

Also, never train a muscle that received an injection that day or the day before. IE, if you are going to train bi’s, wait until after your workout to inject the bi’s.

“It is important to do site-injections after the workout so as not to disturb the newly expanded muscle fiber area.” You will often be sore, but much, much larger.

According to the same author, “once had seen biceps that had been site injected a few hours before an arm workout, the bruising that developed looked like snake bites.”

The author recommends the following site injection protocol (remember to inject after the workout):

Day 1 Train legs, inject Tricep belly
Day 2 Train Chest, inject Triceps horse shoe
Day 3 Train Back, inject Biceps Peak
Day 4 Rest, Inject Lateral delts
Day 5 Train Arms, Inject Biceps Peak
Day 6 Train Shoulders/Traps, Inject Lateral Delt
Day 7 Rest, Inject Biceps Peak

Notice that he only injects in the bi’s, tri’s, and delts. Again, this is because he feels that smaller muscle groups get better results during site injections than larger muscle groups. But you can easily modify this protocol to meet your training schedule and if you want to rotate to the glutes and thighs.

Just remember to always aspirate.

Injection Technique example:

  1. Take a shower with soap
  2. Run vial under hot water till it feels luke warm
  3. Swab top of vial with alcoholic pad
  4. Swab injection site
  5. Take syringe/needle out of wrapper w/ 23g needle
  6. Draw 2 ccs of air into it
  7. Inject the 2 ccs of air into vial
  8. Turn vial upside down
  9. Draw out 1 mL
  10. Tap side of case to get air bubbles to come to the top
  11. Inject excess greater than 3/4 mL back into syringe
  12. Hold syringe needle side up and keep tapping it till all air bubbles come up
  13. Unscrew 23g needle
  14. Screw on 25g needle
  15. Swab the injection site again
  16. Push stopper on syringe till a bead of oil comes down the needle
  17. Hold needle like dart
  18. Stretch skin with other hand where you are going to inject
  19. Inject needle deep into muscle
  20. Once needle is in pull back on syringe for a few seconds to make sure no blood comes in.
  21. If no blood comes in, inject press on stopper slower taking 2-3 minutes to inject.
  22. Pull out needle quick
  23. Take another alcoholic pad and press firmly on injection spot to stop bleeding
    ============================
    Misc Links:

Injection site link: http://www.siteinjections.com/index3.htm
Another Injection site link : http://myphlip.pearsoncmg.com/altproducts/drugguide/ab2page.cfm?vbcid=6645&vid=1110
Injection site link: http://www.breastcancerprofessional.com/contents/public/onc/nursing.pdf

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INTRO:
So you want to create the perfect cycle for yourself. So how do you go about this? Well there?s a lot of things you need to know before you can sit down and create yourself a perfect cycle.

The most important thing you need to know is what your EXACT goals are for THIS cycle. From here you can figure out exactly what steroids are right for you and at what dosages.

BASICS:
So what about steroids, ancillaries, and other drugs do you need to know? You need to know the basics of the most popular drugs available:

Steroids
-Testosterone (Enan, Cyp, Prop, Suspension, Sust, Omna)
-Deca-Durabolin/Deca
-Equipose/EQ
-Dianabol/Dbol
-Winstrol/Winny
-Anadrol/Drol
-Halotestin/Halo
-Anavar/Var
-Tren/Fina
-Primobolan/Primo

Ancilliries:
-Nolvadex/Nolva (Tamoxifen)
-Arimidex/Arim (Anastrozole)
-Femera/Fem (Letrozole)
-Aromasin (Exemestane)
-Clomid
-HCG
-Provirion (technically a steroid, but oft considered an ancillary)
-Finasteride/Propecia/Proscar
-Bromocriptine/Bromo

Other BBing/Performance Enhancing Drugs:
-Clenbuterol/Clen
-Cytomel/Cynomel/T3
-DNP
-Insulin/Slin
-Human Growth Hormone/hGH/GH
-EPO

There are of course many other types of steroids, acilliries and sports enhancing drugs, but they are extremely rare. I won?t go into a full discussion about each of the drugs above, but will just list properties of the drugs and state which steroids have those properties:

-Large Mass Steroids: Test, Deca, Drol, Dbol and to a lesser extent: EQ, Primo
-Strength Steroids: Test, Drol, Dbol, Tren and to a lesser extent: Halo, Var
-Steroids that have low/no aromatization: Drol, EQ, Primo, Halo, Var, Tren, Winny
-Steroids that raise red blood cell count: EQ, Drol and to a lesser extent: most others
-Low-Lean Mass Steroids: Winny, Halo, Var, Tren
-Steroid with direct fat-burning properties: Test, Tren, Var
-Mostly Androgenic Steroids: EQ, Halo, Primo, Winny
-Mostly Anabolic Steroids: Deca, Dbol, Drol, Var
-Mostly even Androgenic/Anabolic Steroids: Test, Tren
-Liver Toxic Steroids: Dbol, Winny, Drol, Halo, Var
-Short Acting Steroids: Test Suspension, Test Prop, Dbol, Winny, Drol, Halo, Var, Tren
-Long Acting Steroids: Test Enan, Test Cyp, Deca, EQ, Primo, Sust, Omna
-Progestins: Deca, Anadrol
-Prolactins: Tren
-Acts like an estrogen: Anadrol
-Anti-Progestin: Winny* (anecdotal evidence)
-Drugs for Mass: Slin
-Drugs for Strength: Slin, GH
-Anti-Aromatases: Arimidex, Femera, Aromasin, Provirion
-Anti-Estrogens: Nolvadex, Clomid
-Anti-Androgens: Finasteride
-Fat Burners: Clen, T3, DNP, GH
-Anti-Prolactin: Bromo
-Stimulates LH release: HCG
-Aids HPTA recovery: Clomid, Nolva, GH
-Drugs that increase red-blood cell count: EPO, GH
-Drugs that raise IGF-1: Slin, GH

THEORY:
Ok so now that you know what drugs do what, we can begin to discuss what properties a cycle should have. From there we can begin to see how these drugs can be combined to form a ?stack.? The idea behind the stack is to create a synergy between the drugs involved to give an effect that?s greater than the sum of the parts.

Mass Cycles:
These are cycles were all out mass is required. Here we give no consideration to fat gain, water gain or any of that stuff. We are just looking to pack on as much muscle as possible (don?t forget, water and fat are GOOD for muscle gains).

To get all out mass, we need to attack our system from all angles. We need steroids that are highly androgenic and highly anabolic. We need steroids that are known to pack on a lot of mass. In general, steroids that do not aromatize, do not activate the ER and do not pack on a lot of mass aren?t needed.

For injectables we would rather have long acting esters than short ones, as the long acting esters tend to pool up in your blood and generally leave you with more hormone at any given point. For orals we prefer those that either aromatize heavily, or cause an explosion of mass by similar estrogenic properties.

The use of orals is mainly to kick off the mass cycle, gives you near instant results and puts your body in a good anabolic state when the long acting esters kick in.

With all that said the best steroids for mass are: Test Enan, Test Cyp, Deca, Dbol and Drol. Advanced users can also use things like Insulin and GH.

Cutting Cycles:
Realize that with the exception of Test, Tren and Anavar, no steroid has a direct impact on fat burning. Even Test, Tren and Var have limited effects on fat burning. You shouldn?t go into a cutting cycle with the mind set of ?These steroids are gonna help me loose fat.?

Instead you should think of the steroids as muscle sparring. Basically you?re using them to preserve the muscle that you have, while diet, cardio and your true fat burners (like Clen, DNP and T3) work on the fat.

All steroids listed above meet the first requirement; they will all help you retain muscle in a calorie deficient diet. However, if you are cutting you certainly do not want your steroids to be in the way either. Some steroids (drol) actually make it harder to loose fat. Others can bloat you up so bad that even with a low body fat percentage, most of your definition can be lost.

So what we need here is steroids are more androgenic than anabolic. We need steroids that have direct fat burning properties and steroids that do not aromatize heavily.

If we do use a long acting ester, we would prefer to use one that doesn?t aromatize heavily, if the injectable does aromatize significantly, we would prefer to use a short acting ester as short acting esters don?t pool up, and an anti-aromatase would be a good idea.

Best fat burners: Clen and T3. Advanced users may also use DNP and GH

Best steroids for cutting: Test Prop, Test Suspension, EQ, Primo, Tren, Winny, Halo, Provirion and Var.

Sports/Performance Enhancing Cycles:
Now I can?t claim that I know what?s really best for a non-bodybuilding athlete. But I can take a guess and you guys that do participate in sports can probably figure it out given my explanations.

First lets looks at sports that require strength without increased mass. Obviously any ?mass builder? is out the door. Any steroid that aromatizes heavily is not desirable here, as the extra water will certainly make you put on weight.

Your best drugs for this purpose would be: Halo, Winny, Var and GH. If you can afford a few extra pounds (like in the offseason or what not), Tren would also be a good steroid.

Now let?s looks at cycles for sports that require endurance. As we?ve discussed before, some steroids increase red blood cell count significantly; this equals better endurance performance. The best drugs to use for this purpose are EQ, GH and EPO. Because EPO can have such a drastic effect on red blood cell count, it is NOT recommended that you use it along with steroids.

POST-CYCLE THERAPY:
When you use any steroid, your HPTA will be suppressed. What this means is that your system is not producing and endogenous testosterone which means you won?t have any hormone to help maintain your gains. What good is cycle if you can?t keep your gains? So the key to cycling is to get your endogenous test back on track ASAP.

One thing that will hinder HPTA activation is excess estrogen, whether it be from aromatizable steroids used in your cycle or whether it be endogenous estrogen. Using anti-estrogens like Clomid and Nolva will help prevent this negative feedback

When your body sends out LH (leutinizing hormone), it signals your testicles to begin producing test again. During your cycle, LH release will be suppressed and will remain suppressed for a few weeks after your cycle. HCG mimics LH and helps your testicles start producing testosterone.

For our purposes we should view HCG as a ?bridge? between your cycle and the time your LH returns to normal function. However, HCG when used to heavily or for too long will actually suppress natural test production so it can be counter productive.

Different cycles will suppress your HPTA to different degrees. Cycles including Deca and Fina will be more suppressive than cycles including Var and Primo. I don?t have the energy to design a post cycle therapy for each cycle, so I will post here a post cycle therapy program that should help you recover from any sane and sensible cycle.

Before we outline the universal post-cycle therapy, we need to define when a cycle officially ends. If you are using long acting esters, your cycle ends 2-3 weeks after you take your last shot of the long ester (I wont explain why, just accept it Smile ). If you are using ONLY short acting steroids OR your last shot of long acting steroids was over 3 ago, and the only thing you?ve been running since then is short acting steroids, then your cycle officially ends the last day of administration of your steroids.

So given that, here is the universal post-cycle recovery program:
HCG
2 Weeks Before End of Cycle: HCG @ 1500IUs 3 times a week
1 Week Before End of Cycle: HCG @ 1500IUs 3 times a week
First Week Post-Cycle: HCG @ 1500IUs 2 times a week

Clomid
Day 1 Post Cycle: Clomid @ 300mg
Days 2-14: Clomid @ 100mg ED
Days 15-28: Clomid @ 50mg ED

Nolva
Days 1-28: Nolva @ 20mg ED

More advanced users can also experiment with GH, Slin and DNP.

SAMPLE CYCLES:
Now that we have all the theory of cycling down, lets look at how what cycles might actually look like. For all first cycles you want to limit your use to 1-2 injectables and 1 oral. All cycle should be followed by the standard post cycle therapy.

Beginner Mass Cycle:
Weeks 1-10: Test Enanthate @ 250mg per week
Weeks 1-10: Deca-Durabolin @ 200mg per week
Week 11: Start HCG therapy here
Week 13: Start the remainder of Post-Cycle therapy here.

Beginner Cutting Cycle:
Weeks 1-10: Test Prop @ 50mg ED
Weeks 1-10: Tren @ 75mg ED
Week 9: Start HCG therapy here
Week 11: Start the remainder of Post-Cycle therapy here.

My Favorite Mass Cycle (This is VERY advanced, don?t use this)
Weeks 1-10: Test Enan @ 1000mg per week
Weeks 1-10: Deca @ 600mg per week
Weeks 1-10: EQ @ 600mg per week
Weeks 1-4: Drol @ 75mg ED
Weeks 8-12: Dbol @ 40mg ED
Weeks 5-8: Slin @ 20IUs a day, 4 times a week
Weeks 1-16: GH @ 4IUs a day, 5 days a week
Normal Post Cycle Therapy (Cycle ends at Week 12) PLUS Slin @ 20IUs 4 times a week.

My Favorite Cutting Cycle (This is VERY advanced, don?t use this)
Weeks 1-12: Test Prop @ 100mg ED
Weeks 1-12: Tren @ 100mg ED
Weeks 1-12: Provirion @ 50mg ED
Weeks 1-10: EQ @ 600mg per week
Weeks 1-5: Var @ 40mg ED
Weeks 8-12: Winny @ 75mg-100mg ED
Weeks 1-12: Full-Blown T3 cycle
Weeks 1-16: GH @ 4IUs a day, 5 days a week
Normal Post Cycle Therapy (Cycle ends at Week 12) PLUS EPO and Clen alternated with ECA/NYC

A lot of cycling is about trail and error. There is no one perfect cycle, but steroids and other drugs do have distinct properties that are better suited for some goals. The guide should provide you with all that you need to know about cycling, and how to create your own cycles.

As you can see from my examples, cycles can go from very simple, to very complex. But even my most complex cycles are still built on the same basic principles as the beginner cycles.

HOW TO INJECT YOURSELF AND NOT LOSE YOUR LUNCH
By Dr. David T. Ryan
for elitfts

We decided to print this article for the safety of all athletes that choose to use anabolics. We do not condone the use of AAS, especially with young athletes and teenagers. But we do realize that there are people that do use them and wish to give them some information on how to inject properly.

If you have any moral or any other objections of the use of AAS, the please do not read the article. This is your choice as is the choice of those that use AAS. We have also decided to print this article as Dr. Ryan has had numerous obstacles in getting this published. We felt that this subject needed to be addressed.]

This whole article started with a shocking conversation I was having with a twenty year friend of mine and lifter. He was explaining about the procedure he would use to inject himself. The process of using an old/used needle to remove the solution from the bottle then applying a new ?fresh? needle to his syringe was rather shocking to me.

He smiled and indicated that boastfully that he had done this for over twenty years. All I could think about were the large fibrotic lesions in his glutes that prevented him from further injection in those sites.

All too commonly the issues that are important are often never discussed by professionals until it is too late. This problem with that type of injection protocol is that you are taking a needle out of your dirty body (do you eat off of your ass?) and apply that needle, for the sake of keeping a sharp point, into a solution, just happy to grow the bacteria that is lodged in the needle and on it?s surface.

Consider this, would you stick that needle into a bucket of paint then later shove that needle into your fresh bottle of EQ 200? Please consider that over the years of working medical research; I have seen bacteria grow in acid so strong you would have to open the chemical under a hood or burn your eyes and nose off ? it just takes time! NEVER STICK A NEEDLE FROM YOUR BODY BACK INTO ANYTHING THAT IS STERILE.

THESE ARE THE BASIC SAFE STEPS IN INJECTION:

  1. Wash your hands and anyone else involved should wash their hands. 2. Use only clean needles to remove and inject any solution. 3. Prepare the area with a prep solution (i.e. rubbing alcohol or other sterilizer) 4. LEARN TO Z TRACK (listed below) 5. Never inject more than 5 cc?s / ml. into any one injection site. 6. Keep all items clean and dry after the injection. 7. Store all items properly.
    Washing your hands may seem simple, but it is a very effective way to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.

Using a contaminated needle to remove solution from a bottle is playing Russian roulette with your health. Only use clean needles to puncture your skin or that of bottle. A single injection doesn?t dull the needle tip to any degree worth complaining about. It only helps in your head, maybe!

Various prep solutions are necessary to clean the injection site; this prevents the normal bacteria that are present on the surface of the skin from being pushed into the body.

Z Tracking

This is a simple process of pulling the skin to one side to allow for a hole to be made in the skin and then displacing that same hole after the injection has been made. This displacement stops the leakage of the injected solution to the skin surface.

Wash your hands and make sure that everyone else does too.
Prepare the area with alcohol.
Prepare the injection needle and solution
Firmly displace the skin to one side.
Inject the needle and aspirate to make sure you have no blood and then inject contents appropriately.
Release the skin pressure.
Remove the needle from the injection point.
Clean and dispose of all materials appropriately.
Taken from the nurses hand book (referenced below), notice how the displaced skin will stop the backflow of the injected solution.

For those of you who would like a diagram: Click Here

Follow these easy steps to providing a safer more effective injection. Common sense goes a long way in medicine and yes, this is still a form of medicine.

Anadrol 50 ? (oxymetholome)

Quick overview:

Active Life: Less than 16 hours
Drug Class: Highly Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 50-150 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes, high
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Yes, very high
Aromatization: Debatable
DHT Conversion: It is a derivative of DHT
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, extreme

Anadrol 50? is the U.S. brand name for oxymetholone, a very potent oral androgen. This compound was first made available in 1960, by the international drug firm Syntex. Since oxymetholone is quite reliable in its ability to increase red blood cell production (and effect characteristic of most anabolic/androgenic steroids), it showed great promise in treating cases of severe anemia. It turned out to be well suited for this purpose, and was popular for quite some time.

But recent years have brought fourth a number of new treatments, most notably the non-steroidal hormone Epogen (erythropoietin). This drug is shown to have a much more direct effect on the red blood cell count, without the side effects of a strong androgen. Syntex stopped in the U.S. in 1993, which was around the same time they decided to drop this item in a number of foreign countries as well.

Plenastril from Switzerland and Austria was dropped; following soon was Oxitosona from Spain. Many Athletes feared Anadrol 50 might be on the way out for good. But new HIV/AIDS studies have shown a new light on oxymetholone. These studies are finding (big surprise) exceptional anti-wasting properties to the compound and believe it can be used safely in many such cases.

Interest has been peaked, and as of 1998 Anadrol 50 is again being sold in the United States. This time we see the same Anadrol 50 brand name, but the manufacturer is the drug firm Unimed. Syntex continues to market & license this drug in a number of countries however (under a few different brand names).

Anadrol 50 is considered by many to be the most powerful steroid available, with results of this compound being extremely dramatic. A steroid novice experimenting with oxymetholone is likely to gain 20 to 30 pounds of massive bulk, and it can often be accomplished in less than 6 weeks, with only 50-100mg a day.

This steroid produces a lot of trouble with water retention, so let there be little doubt that much of this gain is simply bloat. But for the user this is often little consequence, feeling bigger and stronger on Anadrol 50 than any steroid they are likely to cross. Although the smooth look that results from water retention is often not attractive, it can aid quite a bit to the level of size and strength gained.

The muscle is fuller, will contract better and is provided a level of protection in the form of “lubrication” to the joints as some of this extra water is held into and around connective tissues. This will allow for more elasticity, and will hopefully decrease the chance for injury when lifting heavy. It should be noted however, that on the other hand the very rapid gain in mass might place too much stress on your connective tissues for this to compensate.

The tearing of pectoral and biceps tissue is commonly associated with heavy lifting while massing up on heavy androgens. There is such a thing as gaining too fast. Pronounced estrogen trouble also puts the user at risk for developing gynecomastia. Individuals sensitive to the effects of estrogen, or looking to retain a more quality look, will therefore often add Nolvadex to each cycle.

It is important to note however, that this drug does not directly convert to estrogen in the body. Oxymetholone is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone, which gives it a structure that cannot be aromatized. As such, many have speculated as to what makes this hormone so troublesome in terms of estrogenic side effects.

Some have suggested that it has progestational activity, similar to nandrolone, and is not actually estrogenic at all. Since the obvious side effects of both estrogens and progestins are very similar, this explanation might be a plausible one. However we do find medical studies looking at this possibility.

One such tested the progestational activity of various steroids including nandrolone, norethandrolone, methandrostenolone, testosterone and oxymetholone. It reported no significant progestational effect inherent in oxymetholone or methandrostenolone, slight activity with testosterone and strong progestational effect inherent in nandrolone and norethandrolone.

With such findings it starts to seem much more likely that oxymetholone can intrinsically activate the estrogen receptor itself, similar to but more profoundly than the estrogenic androgen methAndriol.

If this is the case we can only combat the estrogenic side effects of oxymetholone with estrogen receptor antagonists such as Nolvadex or Clomid, and not with an aromatase inhibitor. The strong anti-aromatase compounds such as Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin would prove to be totally useless with this steroid, as aromatase is not involved.

Anadrol 50 is also a very potent androgen. This factor tends to produce many pronounced, unwanted androgenic side effects. Oily skin, acne and body/facial hair growth can be seen very quickly with this drug. Many individuals respond with severe acne, often requiring medication to keep it under control.

Some of these individuals find that Accutaine works well, which is a strong prescription drug that acts on the sebaceous glands to reduce the release of oils. Those with a predisposition for male pattern baldness may want to stay away from Anadrol 50 completely, as this is certainly a possible side effect during therapy.

And while some very adventurous female athletes do experiment with this compound, it is much too androgenic to recommend. Irreversible virilization symptoms can be the result and may occur very quickly, possibly before you have a chance to take action.

It is interesting to note that Anadrol 50 does exhibit some tendency to convert to dihydrotestosterone, although this does not occur via the 5-alpha reductase enzyme (responsible for altering testosterone to form DHT) as it is already a dihydrotestosterone based steroid.

Aside from the added c-17 alpha alkylation, oxymetholone differs from DHT only by the addition of a 2-hydroxymethylene group. This grouping can be removed metabolically however, reducing oxymetholone to the potent androgen l7alpha-methyl dihydrotestosterone (mesterolone; methyldihydrotestosterone). There is little doubt that this biotransformation contributes at least at some level to the androgenic nature of this steroid, especially when we note that in its initial state Anadrol 50 has a notably low binding affinity for the androgen receptor.

So although we have the option of using the reductase inhibitor finasteride (Proscar) to reduce the androgenic nature of testosterone, it would be of no benefit with Anadrol 50 as this enzyme is not involved.

The principle drawback to Anadrol 50 is that it is a 17alpha alkylated compound. Although this design gives it the ability to withstand oral administration, it can be very stressful to the liver. Anadrol 50 is particularly dubious because we require such a high milligram amount per dosage.

The difference is great when comparing it to other oral steroids like Dianabol or Winstrol, which have the same chemical alteration. Since they have a slightly higher affinity for the androgen receptor, they are effective in much smaller doses. Anadrol 50 has a lower affinity, which may be why we have a 50mg tablet dosage.

When looking at the medical requirements, the recommended dosage for all ages has been 1 - 5 mg/kg of body weight. This would give a 220lb person a dosage as high as 10 Anadrol 50 tablets (500mg) per day. There should be little wonder why when liver cancer has been linked to steroid use, Anadrol 50 is generally the culprit.

Athletes actually never need such a high dosage and will take in the range of only 1-3 tablets per day. Many happily find that one tablet is all they need for exceptional results, and avoid higher amounts. Cautious users will also limit the intake of this compound to no longer than 4-6 weeks and have their liver enzymes checked regularly with a doctor.

Kidney functions may also need to be looked after during longer use, as water retention/high blood pressure can take a toll on the body. Before starting a cycle, one should know to give Anadrol 50 the respect it is due. It is a very powerful drug, but not always a friendly one.

When discontinuing Anadrol 50, the crash can be equally powerful. To begin with, the level of water retention will quickly diminish, dropping the user’s body weight dramatically. This should be expected, and not of much concern. What is of great concern is restoring endogenous testosterone production.

Anadrol 50 will quickly and effectively lower natural levels during a cycle, so HCG and Clomid/Nolvadex are a must when discontinuing a cycle.

The old practice of slowly tapering off your dosage is totally ineffective at raising testosterone levels. Without ancillary drugs, run away cortisol levels will likely strip much of the muscle that was gained during the cycle. If HCG and Clomid/Nolvadex are used properly, the person should be able to maintain a considerable amount of new muscle mass.

Before going off, some alternately choose to first switch over to a milder injectable like Deca-Durabolin. This is in an effort to harden up the new mass, and can prove to be an effective practice. Although a drop of weight due to water loss is likely when making the switch, the end result should be the retention of more (quality) muscle mass with a less pronounced crash.

Remember ancillaries though, as testosterone production will not be rebounding during Deca therapy.

Anavar

Active Life: 8-12 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 20-50 mg/day…Women 5-15 mg/day
Acne: Only in higher doses
Water Retention: Rare
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Yes, c17-alfa-alkylated steroid. Due to low doses, toxicity is low to medium
Aromatization: None
DHT Conversion: Low
Decrease HPTA function: Dose depandant

Anavar was the old U.S. brand name for the oral steroid oxandrolone, first produced in 1964 by the drug manufacturer Searle. It was designed as an extremely mild anabolic, one that could even be safely used as a growth stimulant in children. One immediately thinks of the standard worry, “steroids will stunt growth”.

But it is actually the excess estrogen produced by most steroids that is the culprit, just as it is the reason why women stop growing sooner and have a shorter average stature than men. Oxandrolone will not aromatize, and therefore the anabolic effect of the compound can actually promote linear growth.

Women usually tolerate this drug well at low doses, and at one time it was prescribed for the treatment of osteoporosis. As the opinions surrounding steroids began to change in the 1980’s, prescriptions for oxandrolone began to drop. Lagging sales probably led Searle to discontinue manufacture in 1989, and it had vanished from U.S. pharmacies until recently. Oxandrolone tablets are again available inside the U.S. by BTG, bearing the new brand name Oxandrin.

BTG purchased rights to the drug from Searle and it is now manufactured for the new purpose of treating HIV/AIDS related wasting syndrome.

Anavar is a mild anabolic with low androgenic activity. Its reduced androgenic activity is due to the fact that it is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Although one might think that this would make it a more androgenic steroid, it in fact creates a steroid that is less androgenic because it is already “5-alpha reduced”.

In other words, it lacks the capacity to interact with the 5-alpha reductase enzyme and convert to a more potent "dihydro° form. It is a simple matter of where a steroid is capable of being potentiated in the body, and with oxandrolone we do not have the same potential as testosterone, which is several times more active in androgen responsive tissues compared to muscle tissue due to its conversion to DHT.

It essence oxandrolone has a balanced level of potency in both muscle and androgenic target tissues such as the scalp, skin and prostate. This is a similar situation as is noted with Primobolan and Winstrol, which are also derived from dihydrotestosterone yet not known to be very androgenic substances.

This steroid works well for the promotion of strength and duality muscle mass gains, although it’s mild nature makes it less than ideal for bulking purposes. Among bodybuilders it is most commonly used during cutting phases of training when water retention is a concern.

The standard dosage for men is in the range of 20-50mg per day, a level that should produce noticeable results. It can be further combined with anabolics like Primobolan and Winstrol to elicit a harder, more defined look without added water retention.

Such combinations are very popular and can dramatically enhance the show physique. One can also add strong non-aromatizing androgens like Halotestin, Proviron or trenbolone. In this case the androgen really helps to harden up the muscles, while at the same time making conditions more favorable for fat reduction. Some athletes do choose to incorporate oxandrolone into bulking stacks, but usually with standard bulking drugs like testosterone or Dianabol.

The usual goal in this instance is an additional gain of strength, as well as more quality look to the androgen bulk. Women who fear the masculinizing effects of many steroids would be quite comfortable using this drug, as this is very rarely seen with low doses. Here a daily dosage of 5mg should illicit considerable growth without the noticeable androgenic side effects of other drugs.

Eager females may wish to addition mild anabolics like Winstrol, Primobolan or Durabolin. When combined with such anabolics, the user should notice faster, more pronounced muscle-building effects, but may also increase the likelihood of androgenic buildup.

Studies using low dosages of this compound note minimal interferences with natural testosterone production. Likewise when it is used alone in small amounts there is typically no need for ancillary drugs like Clomid/Nolvadex or HCG.

This has a lot to do with the fact that it does not convert to estrogen, which we know has an extremely profound effect on endogenous hormone production. Without estrogen to trigger negative feedback, we seem to note a higher threshold before inhibition is noted.

But at higher dosages of course, a suppression of natural testosterone levels will still occur with this drug as with any anabolic/androgenic steroid and therefore require post cycle therapy to restore the HPTA.

Anavar is also a 17alpha alkylated oral steroid, carrying an alteration that will put stress on the liver. It is important to point out however that dispite this alteration oxandrolone is generally very well tolerated. While liver enzyme tests will occasionally show elevated values, actual damage due to this steroid is not usually a problem.

Bio-Technology General states that oxandrolone is not as extensively metabolized by the liver as other l7aa orals are; evidenced by the fact that nearly a third of the compound is still intact when excreted in the urine. This may have to do with the understood milder nature of this agent (compared to other l7aa orals) in terms of hepatotoxicity.

One study comparing the effects of oxandrolone to other agents including as methyltestosterone, norethandrolone, fluoxymesterone and methAndriol clearly supports this notion.

Here it was demonstrated that oxandrolone causes the lowest sulfobromophthalein (BSP; a marker of liver stress) retention among all the alkylated orals tested. 20mg of oxandrolone in fact produced 72% less BSP retention than an equal dosage of fluoxyrnesterone, which is a considerable difference being that they possess the same liver-toxic alteration.

With such findings, combined with the fact that athletes rarely report trouble with this drug, most feel comfortable believing it to be much safer to use during longer cycles than most of other orals with this distinction. Although this may very well be true, the chance of liver damage still cannot be excluded, especially with hogher dosages.

At one time oxandrolone was also looked at as a possible drug for those suffering from disorders of high cholesterol or triglycerides. Early studies showed it to be capable of lowering total cholesterol and triglyceride values in certain types of hyperlipidemic patients, which initially this was thought to signify potential for this drug as a hypo-lipid (lipid lowering) agent.

With further investigation we find however that while use of this drug can be linked to a lowering of total cholesterol values, it is such that a redistribution in the ratio of good (HDL) to bad (LDL) cholesterol occurs, usually moving values in an unfavorable direction.

This would of course negate any positive effect that the drug might have on triglycerides or total cholesterol, and in fact make it a danger in terms of cardiac risk when taken for prolonged periods of time. Today we understand that as a group anabolic/androgenic steroids produce very unfavorable changes in lipid profiles, and are really not useful in disorders of lipid metabolism.

As an oral c17 alpha alkylated steroid, oxandrolone is probably even more risky to use than an injectable esterified injectable such as a testosterone or nandrolone in this regard.

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Andriol

Active Life: Less than 8 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 240-320 mg/day
Acne: Low
Water Retention: Yes, in higher doses - 280-400 mg/day
High Blood Pressure: Yes - Dosage related
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: Low to moderate
DHT Conversion: Yes in higher dosage
Decrease HPTA function: Low, except in higher dosages

Andriol is a unique oral testosterone product, developed by the international drug firm Organon. One of the more recently developed anabolic steroids, Andriol first became available in the early 1980’s. This compound contains 40 mg of testosterone undecanoate, based in oil (oleic acid) and sealed inside a capsule.

Subtracting the ester weight, this equates to a dosage of approximately 25mg of raw testosterone per cap. The design of this steroid is quite different from that of most oral steroids. Drugs administered orally generally enter the blood stream through the liver. When a steroid compound is given this way without some form of structural protection, it will be quickly broken down during the “first pass”.

This process leaves very little steroid intact, basically deactivating the drug. Adding a methyl group (c-17 AA) to the structure is one way to protect it from this process, however stress is also placed on the liver as a result. In some instances this stress can lead to actual damage to liver tissues, so the designers of this steroid sought another way to protect the testosterone molecule.

With Andriol, this was accomplished by making a form of testosterone that would be absorbed through the lymphatic system. This is due to its high fat solubility brought about by the ester, and its suspension in oil. Having the compound absorbed this way was thought to be very advantageous, as it allows the steroid to bypass the destructive first-pass through liver.

This should permit the compound to enter the blood stream intact, without the need for a harsh chemical alteration. The ester breaks off once it is in circulation of course, yielding free active Pharmacokinetics of Oral Testosterone. In design this steroid appears to be undecanoate that of a completely liver safe and orally active form of testosterone.

On paper this drug seems like a great oral testosterone product. Clean, safe and worlds apart from other oral testosterone derivatives like the crude methyltestosterone. But as we always hear in life, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. There are definitely some issues with Andriol.

The first problem is that bioavailability, although clearly worlds apart from trying to take straight testosterone orally, is probably not significant next to c17alpha alkylated orals. Athletes typically find that in doses of less than 240mg per day (6 capsules) effects are generally not seen at all. 240mg of testosterone ester daily, the primary male androgen, and only a meager effect.

When doses go higher, maybe 8-10 capsules (320-400mg), new muscle growth is slight to moderate at best, but no incredible bulky gains are ever reported. Logic leads one to believe that only a little testosterone is making its way into circulation. Testosterone is a powerful hormone no matter what the ester or form of administration.

If it were active in the blood stream, the results would have to be pronounced. When one injects an oil based testosterone ester like cypionate, a dosage of 400mg per week is more than sufficient to see results. 400mg Andriol per day should be packing on an incredible amount of mass.

Where does it all go? Individual problems with absorption may play a role into things here. Clearly there is little to be said except that this drug is unpredictable in its ability to be absorbed and utilized by the body. While one day you might be getting great absorption, perhaps the next day you are getting very little.

Studies with men were no better than with women, where again this drug was shown to be unpredictably absorbed and utilized with blood levels ranging from 11.5 to 60.1 nmol/L with 80mg twice daily.

One might also pay interest to the “mildness” of this compound as described by other bodybuilding materials. Andriol is often spoken about as some type of magic product, which to spite being a form of regular testosterone somehow allows for only minimal estrogen conversion.

You should know that the way a drug is administered includes a number of factors that can slightly alter its effect, the most predominant being the speed of release. This effects the time it takes for a peak blood level to be reached, and likely the length it takes to see results.

The primary reason Testosterone suspension seems more powerful than enanthate is because more drug is active on day one. At the same time estrogen builds up faster and side effects become pronounced very quickly. The ester is also part of the total weight, and 100mg testosterone contains a much larger quantity of testosterone molecules that testosterone plus ester, another reason for varying effect.

But these changes do not amount to all that much. The structure of testosterone is what allows it to break down into estrogen. The only way we can really prevent an androgen from converting to estrogen is to change the base molecule, not the ester. Once free in the blood stream we cannot prevent testosterone from being aromatized without interfering with the aromatase enzyme itself.

The lack of results and side effects often reported with Andriol must be going hand in hand with poor absorption.

Most athletes today consider Andriol a very poor buy. I know other references do find use for this drug, which is defendable because some amount of steroid clearly does enter the blood stream in tact. Technically it is still an oral testosterone, and definitely does not carry the same liver-toxicity risks associated with most steroids designed for this type of administration.

Those specifically looking for a mild oral at times do purchase this product, and occasionally are even satisfied with their results. But for most its high price and required high daily dosages usually causes them to avoided it when crossing it on the black market. Besides, if we want a mild steroid the last thing we really should shop for is a testosterone.

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Arimidex

Active Life: 48 hours
Drug Class: Aromatase inhibitor (Oral)
Average Dose: 0.25 - 1.0 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: May reduce bp when using aromatizable steroids
Liver Toxic: Yes
Decrease HPTA function: No

ArimidexR (generic name is anastrozole) is a newer drug developed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in women. It is manufactured by Zenica Pharmaceuticals and was approved for use in the United States at the end of December 1995. Specifically, Arimidex is the first in a new class of third-generation selective oral aromatase inhibitors…

It acts by blocking the enzyme aromatase, subsequently blocking the production of estrogen. Since many forms of breast cancer cells are stimulated by estrogen, it is hoped that by reducing amounts of estrogen in the body the progression of such a disease can be halted. This is the basic premise behind Nolvadex, except this drug blocks the action and not production of estrogen. The effects of Arimidex can be quite dramatic to say the least.

A daily dose of one tablet (1 mg) can produce estrogen suppression greater than 80 % in treated patients. With the powerful effect this drug has on hormone levels, it is only to be used (clinically) by post-menopausal women whose disease has progressed following treatment with Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate).

Side effects like hot flushes and hair thinning can be present, and would no doubt be much more severe in pre-menopausal patients.

For the steroid using male athlete, Arimidex shows great potential. Up to this point, drugs like Nolvadex and Proviron have been our weapons against excess estrogen. These drugs, especially in combination, do prove quite effective. But Arimidex appears able to do the job much more efficiently, and with less hassle. A single tablet daily (1 mg), the same dose use clinically, seems to be all one needs for an exceptional effect (some even report excellent results with only 0.25 mg daily).

When used with strong, readily aromatizing androgens such as Dianabol or testosterone, gynecomastia and water retention can be effectively blocked. In combination with Propecia (finasteride), we have a great advance. With the one drug halting estrogen conversion and the other blocking 5-alpha reduction , related side effects can be effectively minimized.

Here the strong androgen testosterone could theoretically provide incredible muscular growth, while at the same time being as tolerable as nandrolone. Additionally the quality of the muscle should be greater, the athlete appearing harder and much more defined without holding excess water.

There are some concerns with using an aromatase inhibitor such as this during prolonged steroid treatment however. While it will effectively reduce estrogenic side effects, it will also block the beneficial properties of estrogen from becoming apparent (namely its effect on cholesterol values).

Studies have clearly shown that when an aromatase inhibitor is used in conjunction with a steroid such as testosterone, suppression of HDL (good) cholesterol becomes much more pronounced. Apparently estrogen plays a role in minimizing the negative impact of steroid use.

Since the estrogen receptor antagonist Nolvadex is shown not to display an anti-estrogenic effect on cholesterol values, it is certainly the preferred from of estrogen maintenance for those concerned with cardiovascular health.

Arimidex has another principle drawback, namely the great price of this drug. Tablets can easily sell for $10 each, becoming quite costly with regular use. Clearly the price of an ancillary drug can be much greater than the steroids themselves, a situation destined not to be popular with recreational bodybuilders.

Competitors on the other hand are likely to welcome this item. It can ward off the side effects of strong androgen therapy much better than Nolvadex and/or Proviron, making heavy cycles much more comfortable. As the number of countries manufacturing this drug increases, we may be able to look forward to a reduction in price.

Privately compounded versions of “liquid Arimidex” have also been formulated “for research purposes” are also available. Generic tabs are also available and these two forms represent a very cost-effective alternative for buying the brand name drug.

Clenbuterol

Active Life: Up to 68 hours
Drug Class: Beta-2-symphatonimetric, thermalgenic(Oral)
Average Dose: Men 100-140 mcg/day…Women 80-100 mcg/day
Acne: No
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Sometimes
Liver Toxic: Unknown
Aromatization: None
Strong Thermogenic

Clenbuterol is a widely used bronchodilator in many parts of the world. The drug is most often prepared in 20mcg tablets, but it is also available in syrup and injectable form. Clenbuterol belongs to a broad group of drugs knows as sympathomimetics.

These drugs affect that sympathetic nervous system in a wide number of ways, largely mediated by the distribution of adrenoceptors. There are actually nine different types of these receptors in the body, which are classified as either alpha or beta and further subcategorized by type number.

Depending on the specific affinities of these agents for the various receptors, they can potentially be used in the treatment of conditions such as asthma, hypertension, cardiovascular shock, arrhythmias, migraine headaches and anaphylactic shock. The text Goodman and Gillman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics Edition does a good job of describing the diverse nature in which these drugs affect the body:

`Most of the actions of catecholamines and sympathomimetic agents can be classified into seven broad types: (1) peripheral excitatory action on certain types of smooth muscles such as those in blood vessels supplying the skin, kidney, and mucous membranes, and on the gland cells, such as those of the salivary and sweat glands; (2) a peripheral inhibitory action on certain other types of smooth muscle, such as those in the wall of the gut, in the bronchial tree, and in blood vessels supplying skeletal muscle; (3) a cardiac excitatory action, responsible for in increase in heart rate and force of contraction; (4) metabolic actions, such as an increase in the rate of glycogenolysis in liver and muscle and liberation of free fatty acids from adipose tissue; (5) endocrine actions, such as modulation of the secretion of insulin, rennin, and pituitary hormones; (6) CNS actions, such as respiratory stimulation and, with some of the drugs, an increase in wakefulness and psychomotor activity and a reduction in appetite; and (7) presynaptic actions that result in either inhibition or facilitation of the release of the neurotransmitters such as such as norepinephrine and acetylcholine."

The drug clenbuterol is specifically a selective beta-2 sympathomimetic, primarily affecting only one of the three subsets of beta-receptors. Of particular interest is the fact that this drug has little beta-1 stimulating activity. Since beta-1 receptors are closely tied to the cardiac effects of these agents, this allows clenbuterol to reduce reversible airway obstruction (and effect of beta-2 stimulation) with much less cardiovascular side effects compared to nonselective beta agonists. Clinical studies with this drug show it is extremely effective as a bronchodilator, with a low level of user complaints and high patient compliance. Clenbuterol also exhibits an extremely long half-life in the body, which is measured to be approximately 34 hours. This makes steady blood levels easy to achieve, requiring only a single or twice daily dosing schedule at most. This of course makes it much easier for the patient to use, and may tie in to its high compliance rate. In spite that clenbuterol is available in a wide number of other countries however; this compound has never been approved for use in the United States. The fact that there are a number of similar, effective asthma medications already available in this country may have something to do with this, as a prospective drug firm would likely not find it a profitable enough product to warrant undergoing the expense of the FDA approval process. Regardless, foreign clenbuterol preparations are widely available on the U.S. black market.

In animal studies, clenbuterol is shown to exhibit anabolic activity, so it is obviously an attractive trait to the athlete. This compound is additionally a known thermogenic, with beta-2 agonists like clenbuterol shown to directly stimulate fat cells and accelerate the breakdown of triglycerides to form free fatty acids. Its efficacy in this area makes clenbuterol a very attractive, and today almost mandatory, pre-contest drug. Those interested in this drug are most often hoping it will impart a little of both benefits, promoting the loss of body fat while imparting strength and muscle mass increases. But as was well pointed out by a review published in the August 1995 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the possible anabolic activities in humans are very questionable, and based only on animal data using much larger doses than would be required for bronchodilation. With such reports there has been a lot of debate lately as to whether or not clenbuterol is really anabolic at all. Some seem to swear by the fact that it builds muscle regardless, firmly sticking by “clen” as a great off-season or adjunct anabolic. To others such reports are confirmation that athletes have wasted valuable time and money on drugs that do not work as they are intended to by the user. This debate continues today, with many still using clenbuterol as a potential anabolic. With this in mind athletes will tailor their dosage and cycling of this product individually depending on which of the two “possible” results are more desired, and how much side effects are to be tolerated. The possible side effects of clenbuterol include those of other CNS stimulants, and include such occurrences as shaky hands, insomnia, sweating, increased blood pressure and nausea. These side effects will generally subside after a week or so of use however, once the user becomes accustomed to the drug. One would typically start a cycle by gradually increasing the dosage each day until a desired range is established. This process will minimize the unwanted side effects seen from the drug; which otherwise might be dramatic if a large dose is administered from the onset. Men generally end up in the range of 2-8 tablets per day, although some people do claim to tolerate even higher dosages. Women get by on less, generally 2-4 tablets daily. Very quickly, the drug will elevate the body temperature. The rise is not usually dramatic, perhaps a half of a Cegree or so, sometimes a little more. This elevation is due to your body burning excess energy (largely from fat) and is usually not uncomfortable. Now that it is working, the number of consecutive days clenbuterol can be used is believed to be dependent on the goal of the individual. To be clear, the athletic benefits of this drug will only last for a limited time and then diminish, largely due to beta-receptor down regulation. When using it for fat loss. the primary effect of the drug, it seems to work well for approximately 4-6 weeks. During this period users will want to constantly monitor their body temperature. We are assured clenbuterol is working by the temperature elevation. Once the temperature drops back to normal, clenbuterol is no longer exhibiting a thermogenic effect. At this point increasing the dosage would not be very effective, and a break for at least a few weeks should be taken before it is used again effectively. If one is looking for strength gains, clenbuterol appears to be effective for a much shorter period of time, around 3-4 weeks. This may be due to an absence of real anabolic effect, with the strength gain seen with clenbuterol possibly due only to the stimulant properties of the drug (similar to the strength boost seen by Ephedrine users). Again however, this is still debated.

Many competitors also find the fat burning effect of clenbuterol can be further enhanced by additional substances. When combined with thyroid hormones, specifically the powerful CytomelR, the thermogenic effect can become extremely dramatic. This can be to a point that the athlete could shred exceptional amounts of extra fat during contest preparations, without a dramatic restriction in calories. Such a mix can be further used during a steroid cycle, eliciting a much harder look from the anabolics. These cutting agents can often greatly inhibit extra fat storage during the cycle, even when using strong aromatizing androgens. A clenbuterol/thyroid mix is also common when using growth hormone, further enhancing the thermogenic and anabolic effect of this therapy.

Clomid

Active Life: 5-7 days
Drug Class: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 50-100 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: None
Decrease HPTA function: No, used to restore it
Strong gonadotropin stimulator/mild anti-estrogen

Clomid is the commonly referenced brand name for the drug clomiphene citrate. It is not an anabolic steroid, but a prescription drug generally prescribed to women as a fertility aid. This is due to the fact that clomiphene citrate shows a pronounced ability to stimulate ovulation. This is accomplished by blocking/minimizing the effects of estrogen in the body. To be more specific Clomid is chemically a synthetic estrogen with both agonist/antagonist properties, and is very similar in structure and action to Nolvadex. In certain target tissues it can block the ability of estrogen to bind with its corresponding receptor. Its clinical use is therefore to oppose the negative feedback of estrogens on the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, which enhances the release of LH and FSH. This of course can help to induce ovulation.

For athletic purposes, Clomid does not offer a tremendous benefit to women. In men however, the elevation in both follicle stimulating hormone and (primarily) luteinizing hormone will cause natural testosterone production to increase. This effect is especially beneficial to the athlete at the conclusion of a steroid cycle when endogenous testosterone levels are depressed. If endogenous testosterone levels are not brought beck to normal, a dramatic loss in size and strength is likely to occur once the anabolics have been removed. This is due to the fact that without testosterone (or other androgens), the catabolic hormone cortisol becomes the dominant force affecting muscle protein synthesis (quickly bringing about a catabolic metabolism). Often referred to as the post-steroid crash, it can quickly eat up much of your newly acquired muscle. Clomid can play a crucial role in preventing this crash in athletic performance. As for women, the only real use for Clomid is the possible management of endogenous estrogen levels near contest time. This can increase fat loss and muscularity, particularly in female trouble areas such as this hips and thighs. Clomid however often produces troubling side effects in women (discussed below), and is likewise not in very high demand among this group of athletes.

Male users generally find that a daily intake of 50-100 mg (1-2 tablets) over a four to six week period will bring testosterone production back to an acceptable level. A very common regime of dosing is; 300 md/day 1, 100 mg/day for days 2-11, and 50 mg/day for days 12-21. This raise in testosterone should occur slowly but evenly throughout the period of intake. Since an immediate boost in testosterone is often desirable, many prefer to combine Clomid with HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) for the first week or two after the steroids have been removed. The kick-start from HCG also helps to restore the normal ability for the testes to respond to endogenous LH, which may be hindered for some time after the cycle is ended due to a prolonged state of inactivity. Once the HCG is stopped, the user continues treatment with Clomid alone. HCG should not be used for longer than two or three weeks though, as the resulting increased testosterone and estrogen levels may again initiate negative feedback inhibition at the hypothalamus. When planning your ancillary drug program, it is also important to remember that injectable steroids can stay active for a long duration. Using ancillary drugs the first week after a long acting injectable like Sustanon has been stopped may prove to be wholly ineffective. Instead, the athlete should wait for two to three weeks, to a point where androgen levels will be diminishing. Here the body will be primed and ready to restore testosterone production.

Clomid and HCG are also occasionally used periodically during a steroid cycle, in an effort to prevent natural testosterone levels from diminishing. In many instances this practice can prove difficult however, especially when using strong androgens for longer periods of time. There is also no exact method for using the two drugs in this manner. Some have experimented by periodically administering small doses of HCG along with one or two tablets of Clomid, perhaps for a few days at a stretch followed by a longer break. An on/off schedule would be implemented; for fear that this combination may lose some effectiveness if used continuously for this purpose. This method of intake may prove to be effective, although it is really much more feasible to stimulate testosterone production after the cycle than to try and maintain it for the long duration during.

In addition to helping with the post-cycle testosterone crash, this drug can also help with elevated estrogen levels during a steroid cycle. A high estrogen bevel puts an athlete in serious risk of developing gynecomastia, which is an obvious unwanted side effect. With the intake of Clomid, the athlete can hopefully reduce his risk for developing gynecomastia. The estrogen “blocking” properties of Clomid appear to be slightly weaker than Nolvadex in comparison however, which is why it is not usually thought of as an equal substitute for estrogen maintenance. Of course both drugs have similar actions in the body. and are relatively interchangeable for this purpose. Clomid can likewise also be used as a maintenance anti-estrogen throughout the duration of steroid cycle with good confidence, just as is done with Nolvadex. In most instances this will prove equally sufficient, the drug effectively minimizing the activity of estrogen in the body and warding off gyno and excess water/fat retention. Unfortunately just as with Nolvadex this is not always the case however, and many find it necessary to addition another anti-estrogenic drug. The most common adjunct is Proviron, an oral DHT used to competitively lower aromatase activity and raise the androgen to estrogen ratio. The Clomid/Nolvadex and Proviron combination is extremely effective, although we could alternately replace them both with a more specific aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex,Femara, or Aromasin. While stronger at combating estrogen in most cases, these drugs are also typically much more costly.

As for toxicity and side effects, Clomid is considered a very safe drug. Bodybuilders seldom report any problems, but listed possible side effects do include hot flashes, nausea, dizziness, headaches and temporarily blurred vision. Such side effects usually only appear in females however, as they feel the effects of estrogen manipulation much more readily than men. While female athletes can clearly gain some benefit from this substance, estrogen manipulation is probably not the most comfortable way to go about cutting up. Should it still be used for such purposed and side effects do become pronounced, the drug of course is to be discontinued and (at least) a break taken from it.

Clomiphene citrate is widely available on the black market in a variety of brand names as well as generic tabs and liquid versions.

Cytomel

Drug Class: Synthetic thyroid hormone
Average Dose: 25-100 mcg/day
Comments: Significant suppression of Thyroid function during use

Cytomel is the popularly recognized brand name for the drug liothyronine sodium. This is not an anabolic steroid but a thyroid hormone. It is used medically to treat cases of thyroid insufficiency, obesity, certain metabolic disorders and fatigue. Specifically this drug is a pharmaceutical preparation of the natural thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T-3). When administered, Cytomel increases the patient’s metabolism. The result is an increased rate of cellular activity (noted by a more rapid utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins). Bodybuilders are particularly attracted to this drug for its ability to burn off body excess fat. Most often utilized during contest preparation, one can greatly decrease the amount of stored fat without being forced to severely restrict calories. To this end Cytomel is commonly used in conjunction with Clenbuterol and can produce extremely dramatic results. This combination has become very popular in recent years, no doubt responsible for many “ripped” on-stage physiques. It is also noted by many that when thyroid hormones are taken in conjunction with steroids, an increased anabolic effect can be seen (noticeably greater than if the steroids are used alone). This is likely due to faster utilization of proteins by the body, increasing the rate for new muscle accumulation.

Caution should be taken if one is considering using this drug. Cytomel comes with an extensive list of warnings and precautions which are not to be ignored. Side effects include, but are not limited to, heart palpitations, agitation, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, headaches, and psychic/metabolic disorders. It is a powerful hormone, and one that could potentially alter the normal functioning of the body if misused. When taking Cytomel, one must remember to increase the dosage slowly. Generally one 25mcg tablet is taken on the first day, and the dosage is thereafter increased by one tablet every three of four days for a maximum dosage of 100mcg. This will help the body adjust to the increased thyroid hormone, hopefully avoiding any sudden “shock” to the system. The daily dose should also be split evenly throughout the day, in an effort to keep blood levels steadier. Women are more sensitive to the side effects of Cytomel than men, and usually choose not to take no more than 50mcg daily.

It is important to stress that a cycle should last no longer than 6 weeks and it should never be halted abruptly. As slowly as the dosage was built up it should also be lowered, one tablet every 3-4 days. Taking Cytomel for too long and/or at too high a dosage can result in a permanent thyroid deficiency. After doing such, one might need to be treated with a drug like Cytomel for life. It is also a good idea to first consult your physician and have your thyroid function tested. An undiagnosed hyperfunction would not mix well with the added hormone. An athlete should also be sure never to purchase an injectable form of the drug. It is generally an emergency room product, much too powerful for athletic use. Since T-3 is the most powerful thyroid hormone athletes are using, this is generally not the starting point for a beginner. Before using such a powerful item, it is a good idea to become familiar with a weaker substance. The highly popular Triacana is very mild, allowing the user much more latitude (from severe side effects) than Cytomel. An in-between point is Synthroid (synthetic T-4), still weaker in action than Cytomel. Once the user is ready however, the fat burning effect of this hormone can be extremely dramatic.

Deca-Durabolin

Active Life: 14-16 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (injectable)
Average Dose: Men 300-800 mg/week…Women 50-100 mg/week
Acne: Yes, in higher dosages or sensitive individuals
Water Retention: Yes, but less than testosterone
High Blood Pressure: Dose depandant
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: Low, converts to less active norestrogens
DHT Conversion: No, converts to NOR-DHT with low activity
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, extreme
Other Info: Highly anabolic/moderate androgenic effects

Deca-Durabolin is the Organon brand name for the injectable steroid nandrolone decanoate. This compound came around early in the wave of commercial steroid development, first being made available as a prescription medication in 1962.

World wide “Deca” is one of the most widely used anabolic steroids. Its popularity is due to the simple fact that it exhibits many very favorable properties. Structurally nandrolone is very similar to testosterone, although it lacks a carbon atom at the 19th position (hence its other name 19-nortestosterone). The resulting structure is a steroid that exhibits much weaker androgenic properties than testosterone. Of primary interest is the fact that nandrolone will not break down to a more potent metabolite in androgen target tissues. You may remember this is a significant problem with testosterone. Although nandrolone does undergo reduction via the same (5-alpha reductase) enzyme that produces DHT from testosterone, the result in this case is dihydronandrolone. This metabolite is weaker than the parent nandroloness, and is far less likely to cause unwanted androgenic side effects. Strong occurrences of oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and hair loss occur very rarely. It is however possible for androgenic activity to become apparent with this as any steroid, but with nandrolone higher than normal doses are usually responsible.

Nandrolone also show an extremely lower tendency for estrogen conversion. For comparison, the rate has been estimated to be only about 20% of that seen with testosterones. This is because while the liver can convert nandrolone to estradiol, in other more active sites of steroid aromatization such as adipose tissue nandrolone is far less open to this process’. Consequently estrogen related side effects are a much lower concern with this drug. An anti-estrogen is likewise rarely needed with Deca, gynecomastia only a worry among sensitive individuals. At the same time water retention is not a usual concern. This effect can occur however, but is most often related to higher dosages. The addition of Proviron and/or Nolvadex should prove sufficient enough to significantly reduce any occurrence. Clearly Deca is a very safe choice among steroids. Actually, many consider it to be the best overall steroid for a man to use when weighing the side effects and results. It should also be noted that in HIV studies, Deca has been shown not only to be effective at safely bringing up the lean body weight of patient, but also to be beneficial to the immune system.

It is of note however that nandrolone is believed to have some activity as a progestin in the body. Although progesterone is a Carbolin 19 steroid, removal of this group as in 19-norprogesterone creates a hormone with greater binding affinity for its corresponding receptor. Sharing this trait, many 19-nor anabolic steroids are shown to have some affinity for the progesterone receptor as well. This can lead to some progestin-like activity in the body, and may intensify related side effects. The side effects associated with progesterone are actually quite similar to those of estrogen, including negative feedback inhibition of testosterone production, enhanced rate of fat storage and possibly gynecomastia. Many believe the progestin activity of Deca notably contributes to suppression of testosterone synthesis, which can be marked despite a low tendency for estrogen conversion.

Deca is not known as a very “fast” builder. The muscle building effect of this drug is quite noticeable, but not dramatic. The slow onset and mild properties of this steroid therefore make it more suited for cycles with a longer duration. In general one can expect to gain muscle weight at about half the rate of that with an equal amount of testosterone. A cycle lasting eight to twelve weeks seems to make the most sense, expecting to elicit a slow, even gain of quality mass. Although active in the body for much longer, Deca is usually injected once or twice per week. The dosage for men is usually in the range of 300-600mg/week. If looking to be specific, it is believed that Deca will exhibit its optimal effect (best gain/side effect ratio) at around 2mg per pound of lean bodyweight/weekly. Deca is also a popular steroid among female bodybuilders. They take a much lower dosage on average than men of course, usually around 50mg weekly. Although only slightly androgenic, women are occasionally confronted with virilization symptoms when taking this compound. Should this become a concern, the shorter acting nandrolone Durabolin would be a safer option. This drug stays active for only a few days, greatly reducing the impact of androgenic buildup if withdrawal were indicated.

Endogenous testosterone levels can be a concern with Deca-Durabolin, especially after long cycles. It is therefore mandatory to incorporate ancillary drugs at the conclusion of therapy. An estrogen antagonist such as Clomid or Nolvadex is therefore commonly used for a few weeks. These both provide a good level of testosterone stimulation, although they may take a couple of weeks to show the best effect. HCG injections could be added for extra reassurance, acting to rapidly restore the normal ability of the testes to respond to the resumed release of gonadotropins. For this purpose one could administer three injections of 2500-50001.U., spaced five days apart. After which point the antagonist is continued alone for a few more weeks in an effort to stabilize the production of testosterone. Remember not to begin post cycle therapy (PCT) until after Deca has been withdrawn for around three weeks. Deca stays active for quite some time so the ancillary drugs will not be able to exhibit their optimal effect when the steroid is still being released into the bloodstream. The major drawback for competitive purposes is that in many cases nandrolone metabolites will be detectable in a drug screen for up to a year (or more) after use. This is clearly due to the form of administration. Esterified compounds have a high affinity to stay stored in fatty tissues. While we can accurately estimate the time frame it will take for a given dose to enter circulation from an injection site, we cannot know for sure that 100% of the steroid will have been metabolized at any given point. Small amounts may indeed be stubborn in leaving fatty tissue, particularly after heavy, longer-term use. Some quantity of nandrolone decanoate may therefore be left to sporadically enter into the blood stream many months after use. This process may be further aggravated when dieting for a show, a time when body fat stores are being actively depleted (possibly freeing more steroid). This has no doubt been the cause for many unexpected positives on a drug screen. The fact that nandrolone has been isolated as the “hands-off” injectable for the drug tested athlete is most likely due to its popularity (and therefore common appearance on drug screens). The same risk would of course hold true for other long chain esterified injectables such as Equipoise, and Primobolan.

Those not worried about drug screens are likely to find the low water retention and good effect of this drug favorable for use in pre-contest cutting stacks. A combination of Deca and Winstrol during the weeks/months leading up to a show for example, is noted to greatly enhance to look of muscularity and definition. A strong non-aromatizing androgen like Halotestin or trenbolone could be further added, providing an enhanced level of hardness and density to the muscles. Being an acceptable anabolic, Deca can also be incorporated into bulk cycles with good results. The classic Deca and Dianabol cycle has been a basic for decades, and always seems to provide excellent muscle growth. A stronger androgen such as Anadrol or testosterone could also be substituted, producing greater results. When mixed with Deca, the androgen dosage can be kept lower than if used alone, hopefully making the cycle more comfortable. Additionally one may choose to continue Deca for a number of few weeks after the androgen has been stopped. This will hopefully harden up some of the bloat produced by the androgen, giving a more quality appearance. Remember that endogenous testosterone production will not resume during Deca therapy, and ancillaries are likewise still needed.

Dianabol

Active Life: 6-8 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 15-50 mg/day…Women 5-10 mg/day
Acne: Yes, especially in higher dosages
Water Retention: Yes, similar to testosterone
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Yes
Aromatization: Yes
DHT Conversion: No
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, dose and cycle length dependant

Dianabol is the old Ciba brand name for the oral steroid methandrostenolone. It is a derivative of testosterone, exhibiting strong anabolic and moderate androgenic properties. This compound was first made available in 1960, and it quickly became the most favored and widely used anabolic steroid in all forms of athletics. This is likely due to the fact that it is both easy to use and extremely effective. In the U.S. Dianabol production had meteoric history, exploding for quite some time, then quickly dropping out of sight. Many were nervous in the late 80’s when the last of the U.S. generics were removed from pharmacy shelves, the medical community finding no legitimate use for the drug anymore. But the fact that Dianabol has been off the U.S. market for over 10 years now has not cut its popularity. It remains the most commonly used black market oral steroid in the U.S. As long as there are countries manufacturing this steroid, it will probably remain so.

Similar to testosterone and Anadrol 50, Dianabol is a potent steroid, but also one which brings about noticeable side effects. For starters methandrostenolone is quite estrogenic. Gynecomastia is often a concern during treatment, and may present itself quite early into a cycle (particularly when higher doses are used). At the same time water retention can become a pronounced problem, causing a notable loss of muscle definition as both subcutaneous water and fat build. Sensitive individuals may therefore want to keep the estrogen under control with the addition of an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex and/or Proviron. The stronger drugs Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin (antiaromatase) would be a better choice if available.

In addition, androgenic side effects are common with this substance, and may include bouts of oily skin, acne and body/facial hair growth. Aggression may also be increased with a potent steroid such as this, so it would be wise not to let your disposition change for the worse during a cycle. With Dianabol there is also the possibility of aggravating a male pattern baldness condition. Sensitive individuals may therefore wish to avoid this drug and opt for a milder anabolic such as Deca-Durabolin. While Dianabol does convert to a more potent steroid via interaction with the 5-alpha reductase anzyme (the same enzyme responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone), it has extremely little affinity to do so in the human body’s. The androgenic metabolite 5alpha dihydromethandrostenolone is therefore produced only in trace amounts at best. Therefore the use of Proscar/Propecia would serve no real purpose.

Being moderately androgenic, Dianabol is really only a popular steroid with men. When used by women, strong virilization symptoms are of course a possible result. Some do however experiment with it, and find low doses (5mg) of this steroid extremely powerful for new muscle growth. Whenever taken, Dianabol will produce exceptional mass and strength gains. It’s effectiveness is often compared to other strong steroids like testosterone and Anadrol 50, and it is likewise a popular choice for bulking purposes. A daily dosage of 20-40mg is enough to give almost anybody dramatic results. Some do venture much higher in dosage, but this practice usually leads to a more profound incidence of side effects. It additionally combines well with a number of other steroids. It is noted to mix particularly well with the mild anabolic Deca-Durabolin. Together one can expect an exceptional muscle and strength gains, with side effects not much worse than one would expect from Dianabol alone. For all out mass, a long acting testosterone ester like enanthate can be used. With the similarly high estrogenic/androgenic properties of this androgen, side effects may be extreme with such a combination however. Gains would be great as well, which usually makes such an endeavor worthwhile to the user. As discussed earlier, ancillary drugs can be added to reduce the side effects associated with this kind of cycle.

In order to withstand oral administration, this compound is c17 alpha alkylated. We know that this alteration protects the drug from being deactivation by the liver (allowing nearly all of the drug entry into the bloodstream), however it can also be toxic to this organ. Prolonged exposure to c17 alpha alkylated substances can result in actual damage, possibly even the development of certain kinds of cancer. To be safe one might want to visit the doctor a couple of times during each cycle to keep an eye on their liver enzyme values. Cycles should also be kept short, usually less than 8 weeks long to avoid doing any noticeable damage. Jaundice (bile duct obstruction) is usually the first visible sign of liver trouble, and should be looked out for. This condition produces an unusual yellowing of the skin, as the body has trouble processing bilirubin. In addition to the skin, the whites of the eyes may also yellow, a clear indicator of trouble. Should this occur the drug should be discontinued immediately and a doctor visited. This is usually a point where further, permanent damage can be avoided.

It is also interesting to note that methandrostenolone is structurally identical to boldenone (EQ), except that it contains the added c17 alpha alkyl group discussed above. This fact makes clear the impact of altering a steroid in such a way, as these two compounds appear to act very differently in the body. The main dissimilarity seems to lie in the tendency for estrogenic side effects, which seems to be much more pronounced with Dianabol. Equipoise is known to be quite mild in this way, and users therefore commonly take this drug without any need of an anti-estrogen. Dianabol is much more estrogenic not because it is more easily aromatized, as in fact the 17 alpha methyl group and c1-2 double bond both slow the process of aromatization. The problem is that methandrostenolone converts to l7alpha methylestradiol, a more biologically active form of estrogen than regular estradiol. But Dianabol also appears to be much more potent in terms of muscle mass compared to boldenone, supporting the notion that estrogen does play an important role in anabolism. In fact boldenone and methandrostenolone differ so much in their potencies as anabolics that the two are rarely though of as related. As a result, the use of Dianabol is typically restricted to bulking phases of training while Equipoise is considered an excellent cutting or lean-mass building steroid.

The half-life of Dianabol is only about 3 to 4 hours, a relatively short time. This means that a single daily dosage schedule will produce a varying blood level, with ups and downs throughout the day. The user likewise has a choice, to either split up the tablets during the day or to take them all at one time. The usual recommendation has been to divide them and try to regulate the concentration in your blood. This however, will produce a lower peak blood level than if the tablets were taken all at once, so there may be a trade off with this option. The steroid researcher Bill Roberts also points out that a single-episode dosing schedule should have a less dramatic impact on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, as there is a sufficient period each day where steroid hormone levels are not extremely exaggerated. I tend to doubt hormonal stability can be maintained during such a cycle however, but do notice that anecdotal evidence often still supports single daily doses to be better for overall results. Perhaps this is the better option. Since we know the blood concentration will peak about 1.5 to 3 hours after administration, we may further wonder the best time to take our tablets. It seems logical that taking the pills earlier in the day, preferably some time before training, would be optimal. This would allow a considerable number of daytime hours for an androgen rich metabolism to heighten the uptake of nutrients, especially the critical hours following training.

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Durabolin

Quick Overview
Active Life: 2-3 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (injectable)
Average Dose: Men 150-600 mg/week…Women 50-100 mg/week
Acne: Yes, in higher dosages or sensitive individuals
Water Retention: Yes, but less than nandrolone decanoate
High Blood Pressure: Dose depandant
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: Low, converts to less active norestrogens
DHT Conversion: No, converts to NOR-DHT with low activity
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, moderate except in high dosages
Other Info: Highly anabolic/moderate androgenic effects

Durabolin is very similar to the popular Deca-Durabolin. Durabolin must be injected frequently and in regular intervals, every 2-3 days. The substance nandrolone-phenylpropionate quickly gets into the blood, where it remains active for two to three days. The dosage is around 50-150 mg per injection, or a total of 150-600 mg/week. Durabolin has a distinct anabolic effect which assists the protein synthesis and allows the protein to be stored in the muscle cell in large amounts. This is combined with a moderate androgenic component which stimulates the athlete’s regeneration and helps maintain the muscle mass during a diet. It shows that Durabolin stores much less water in the body than Deca-Durabolin. For this reason, Durabolin is more suitable for a preparation for a competition while Deca should be given preference for the buildup of strength and muscle mass. Durabolin, however, can be used for this purpose as well. The gains are fewer and slower than with Deca but of a higher quality and remain, for the most part, after discontinuing the compound. This is mostly due to the fact that lower dosages are used in most cases, resulting in less HPTA suppression.

The side effects of Durabolin are few. Water retention, high blood pressure, an elevated estrogen level, and virilization symptoms occur less often with Durabolin than with Deca-Durabolin. Female athletes therefore take Durabolin in weekly intervals since, due to its short duration of effect, no undesirable concentration of androgen takes place. Three to four day intervals between the relative injections are to be observed. Durabolin is one of the safest non-toxic steroids offering satisfactory results. Durabolin has no negative effect on the liver function so it can even be taken in cases of liver disease. Side effects occur only in rare cases and in persons who are extremely sensitive. Virilization symptoms in women such as huskiness, deep voice, hirsutism, acne, and increased libido are possible but occur only rarely if reasonable dosages are taken at reasonable intervals. Men usually experience no symptoms with Durabolin. Since the release of gonadotropins in the hypophysis is inhibited, a proper post cycle therapy of HCG and Nolvadex/Clomid is recommended.

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Ephedrine (ephedrine hydrochloride)

Ephedrine is a stimulant drug, belonging to a group of medicines known as sympathomimetics. Specifically it is both an alpha and beta adrenergenic agonist (you may remember Clenbuterol is a selective beta-2 agonist). In addition, ephedrine enhances the release of norepinephrine, a strong endogenous alpha agonist. The action of this compound is notably similar to that of the body’s primary adrenergic hormone epinephrine (adrenaline), which also exhibits action toward both alpha and beta receptors. When administered, ephedrine will notably increase the activity of the central nervous system, as well as have a stimulatory effect on other target cells. This will produce a number of effects beneficial to the athlete.

For starters, the user’s body temperature should rise slightly as more free fatty acids are produced from the breakdown of triglycerides in adipose tissue (stimulating the metabolism). This should help the user shed subcutaneous body fat stores, enhancing the look of definition in the physique. The anabolic effectiveness of steroids may also be increased with this substance (mildly), as the metabolic rate is a measure of fat, protein and carbohydrate conversion by the body. An enhanced metabolic state could clearly hasten the deposit of new muscle mass.

This stimulant effect of this drug will also increase the force of skeletal muscle contractions. For this reason ephedrine is commonly used by powerlifters before a competition, as the resultant (slight) strength and energy increase can clearly improve the weight totals on major lifts.

It may also provide a notable mental edge, as the user is more energetic and better able to concentrate on the tasks ahead. Many recreational weight lifters find this effect particularly welcome, and use 25-50mg of this stimulant as a regular adjunct to their training sessions. The user often feels capable of attacking the weights with much more intensity while taking ephedrine, and leaves the gym knowing they will have had a more productive workout. It is important that this compound not be used continuously for this purpose, as its effect will diminish as the body becomes accustomed to the drug.

In most instances the user will take the drug only two or three times per week, usually on those days personally “important” (like chest day). The athlete is also wise to take a break (one to two months) from ephedrine treatment after several weeks have past, so as to continue receiving the optimal effect from this drug. While the strength boosting effect of this drug is noteworthy, the primary application for ephedrine remains to be as a cutting agent. The athlete will generally take this drug a few times daily during dieting phases of training, at a dosage of 25 to 50mg per application.

The widely touted stack of ephedrine (25-50mg), caffeine (200mg) and aspirin (300mg) is shown to be extremely potent for fat loss. In this combination, the ephedrine and caffeine both act as notable thermogenic stimulants. The added aspirin also helps to inhibit lipogenesis by blocking the incorporation of acetate into fatty acids.

The athlete will be sure this stack is working by noticing an increase in body temperature, usually a degree or so (not an uncomfortable raise). This combination is taken two to three times daily, for a number of consecutive weeks. It is discontinued once the user’s body temperature drops back to normal, a clear sign these drugs are no longer working as desired. At this point increasing the dosages would not prove very efficient. Instead a break of several weeks should be taken, so that this stack may once again work at an optimal level.

Ephedrine can produce a number of unwelcome side effects that the user should be aware of. For starters, the stimulant effect can produce shaky hands, tremors, sweating, rapid heartbeat, dizziness and feelings of inner unrest. Often these effects subside as the user becomes more accustomed to the effect of this drug, or perhaps the dosage is lowered.

In general, those negatively impacted by caffeine would probably not like the stronger effects of ephedrine. The mental and physical state produced by this drug is also quite similar to that seen with Clenbuterol, so those who find little discomfort with this treatment should (presumably) be fine with this item (and vice versa).

While taking this drug one may also endure a notable loss of appetite, usually a welcome effect when dieting. Ephedrine is in fact a popular ingredient in combination (prescription) appetite suppressants. The user may further notice headaches and an increase in blood pressure with regular use of ephedrine. Those suffering from thyroid dysfunctions, high blood pressure or cardiac irregularities should also not be taking this drug, as it will certainly not mix well with such conditions.

As of late there is much discussion about the future availability of ephedrine. This is due to that fact that ephedrine tablets are used as the primary base for the manufacture of methamphetamine. This is you know is an illegal drug, made and sold illicitly. The structure of these two compounds is notably similar, as only a few chemicals are needed to change ephedrine into “meth”.

Since ephedrine is currently an over-the-counter product, underground manufacturers can easily obtain it. A trend involving large volume retail purchases for OTC ephedrine products has been developing, and many states are taking notice of it. With the widespread increase of amphetamine addiction (and related crime) ephedrine may soon join the list of federally controlled substances. While some states have already taken action to restrict the sale of this stimulant, federal action would probably be required in order have a major impact on availability.

Even if a particular state is aggressively preventing the sale of these products, a thriving mail-order market still exists to fill the demand. Thumbing through the back pages of many national magazines should make this clear, as we notice advertisements for companies which ship ephedrine tablets out by the thousand.

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Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 14-16 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 400-600 mg/week…Women 50-150 mg/week
Acne: Rare
Water Retention: Low
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: Some, about 50% less than testosterone
DHT Conversion: Low
Decrease HPTA function: Moderate

Equipoise? is the popular brand name for the veterinary injectable steroid boldenone undecylenate. It is a derivative of testosterone, which exhibits strong anabolic and moderately androgenic properties. The undecylenate ester greatly extends the activity of the drug (the undecylenate ester is only one carbon atom longer than decanoate), so that clinically injections would need to be repeated every three or four weeks. In the veterinary feild Equipoise is most commonly used on horses, exhibiting a pronounced effect on lean bodyweight, appetite and general disposition of the animal.

As with all steroids, this compound shows a marked ability for increasing red blood cell production. In recent years this compound has become a favorite among athletes. Many consider it an ideal replacement to Deca-Durabolin.

The side effects of Equipoise are generally mild. The structure of boldenone does allow it to convert into estrogen, but it does not have an extremely high affinity to do so. If we look at aromatization studies, they suggest that its rate of estrogen conversion should be about half that of testosterone’s. Water retention with this drug would therefore be slightly higher than that with Deca-Durabolin (with an estimated 20% conversion), but much less than we would find with a stronger compound as Testosterone.

While there is still a chance of encountering an estrogen related side effect as such when using Equipoise, problems are usually not encountered at a moderate dosage level. Gynecomastia might become a problem, but usually only with very sensitive individuals or (again) with those using higher dosages. If estrogenic effects become a problem, the addition of Nolvadex should of course make the cycle more tolerable. An anti-aromatase such as Arimidex, Femara, or Amonasin would be a stronger option, however probably not necessary with such a mild drug.

Although typically dosage related, Equipoise can also produce distinct androgenic side effects. Oily skin, acne, increased aggression and hair loss are all possible with this compound. Women find this drug quite comfortable, virilization symptoms usually unheard of when taken at low doses.

Boldenone does reduce to a more potent androgen (dihydroboldenone) via the 5alpha reductase enzyme (which produces DHT from testosterone), however its affinity for this interaction in the human body is low to nonexistent. Therefore the reductase inhibitor Proscar would not be of much use with Equipoise, as it would be blocking what is at best an insignificant path of metabolism for the steroid.

Although this drug is relatively mild, it still has a depressive effect on endogenous testosterone levels, therefore a proper post cycle therapy HCG and Clomid/Nolvadex is needed at the conclusion of each cycle to avoid a “crash”. A waiting time of around 3 weeks is required before starting PCT, enabling enough of the drug to clear one’s system to make PCT effective.

In order to maintain stable blood levels, Equipoise should be injected at least once per week. It is most commonly used at a dosage of 400-600mg per week for men, 50-150 mg per week for women.

Equipoise is not a rapid mass builder, but will provide a slow but steady gain of strength and quality muscle mass. The most positive effects of this drug are seen when it is used for longer cycles, usually lasting at least 10 weeks in length. The muscle gained should not be the smooth bulk seen with androgens, but instead a very defined and solid look. Since water bloat is not contributing greatly to the diameter of the muscle, much of the size gained on a cycle of Equipoise can be retained after the drug has been discontinued. It is interesting to note that structurally Equipoise and the classic bulking drug Dianabol are almost identical.

In the case of Equipoise the compound uses a l7beta ester (undecylenate), while Dianabol is 17 alpha alkylated. Aside from that difference, the drugs are basically the same. Of course they act quite differently in the body, which goes to show the 17-methylation effects more than just the oral efficancy of a steroid.

As discussed earlier, Equipoise is a very versatile compound. We can create a number of drug combinations with it depending on the desired result. For mass, one may want to stack it with Anadrol or an injectable testosterone. The result should be an incredible gain of muscle size and strength, without the same intensity of side effects if using the androgen (at a higher dose) alone.

When used in a cutting cycle, muscle hardness and density can be greatly improved when combining Equipoise with a non-aromatizable steroid such as trenbolone acetate, Halotestin, or Winstrol. For some however, even the low buildup of estrogen associated with this compound is enough to relegate its use to bulking cycles only.

Equipoise is not an ideal steroid for the drug tested athlete however. This drug has the tendency to produce detectable metabolites in the urine months after use, a worry most commonly associated with Deca-Durabolin. This is of course due to the high oil solubility of long chain esterified injectable steroids, a property which enables the drug to remain deposited in fatty tissues for extended periods of time. While this will reliably slow the release of steroid into the blood stream, it also allows small residual amounts to remain present in the body far after the initial injection.

The release of stubborn stores of hormone would no doubt also be enhanced around contest time, a period when the athlete drastically attempts to mobilize unwanted body fat. If enough were used in the off-season, the athlete may actually fail a drug screen for boldenone although many months may have past since the drug was last injected.

Femara (letrozole)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 2-4 days
Drug Class: Aromatase inhibitor (Oral)
Average Dose: 0.5 - 2.5 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: May reduce bp when using aronatizable steroids
Liver Toxic: Yes, dose dependant
Decrease HPTA function: No

Femara?(generic name is letrozole) is a new drug developed for the treatment of advanced breast cancer in women. Femara is the second in a new class of third-generation selective oral aromatase inhibitors… It acts by blocking the enzyme aromatase, subsequently blocking the production of estrogen. Since many forms of breast cancer cells are stimulated by estrogen, it is hoped that by reducing amounts of estrogen in the body the progression of such a disease can be halted. This is the basic premise behind Nolvadex, except this drug blocks the action and not production of estrogen.

The effects of Femara can be quite dramatic to say the least. A daily dose of one tablet (2.5 mg) can produce estrogen suppression greater than 80 % in treated patients. With the powerful effect this drug has on hormone levels, it is only to be used (clinically) by post-menopausal women whose disease has progressed following treatment with Nolvadex. Side effects like hot flushes and hair thinning can be present, and would no doubt be much more severe in pre-menopausal patients.

For the steroid using male athlete, Femara shows great potential. Up to this point, drugs like Nolvadex and Proviron have been our weapons against excess estrogen. These drugs, especially in combination, do prove quite effective. But Femara appears able to do the job much more efficiently, and with less hassle. Its use is only now catching on, but early reports have been excellent.

A single tablet daily, the same dose use clinically, seems to be all one needs for an exceptional effect (some even report excellent results with only 1/4 tablet daily). When used with strong, readily aromatizing androgens such as Dianabol or testosterone, gynecomastia and water retention can be effectively blocked. In combination with Propecia (finasteride), we have a great advance. With the one drug halting estrogen conversion and the other blocking 5-alpha reduction (testosterone, methyltestosterone and Halotestin only), related side effects can be effectively minimized. Here the strong androgen testosterone could theoretically provide incredible muscular growth, while at the same time being as tolerable as nandrolone. Additionally the quality of the muscle should be greater, the athlete appearing harder and much more defined without holding excess water.

There are some concerns with using an aromatase inhibitor such as this during prolonged steroid treatment however. While it will effectively reduce estrogenic side effects, it will also block the beneficial properties of estrogen from becoming apparent (namely its effect on cholesterol values). Studies have clearly shown that when an aromatase inhibitor is used in conjunction with a steroid such as testosterone, suppression of HDL (good) cholesterol becomes much more pronounced.

Apparently estrogen plays a role in minimizing the negative impact of steroid use. Since the estrogen receptor antagonist Nolvadex does not display an anti-estrogenic effect on cholesterol values, it is the preferred from of estrogen maintenance for those concerned with cardiovascular health.

Femara has another principle drawback, namely the great price of this drug. Tablets can be quite costly with regular use, but it can ward off the side effects of strong androgens much better than Nolvadex and/or Proviron, making heavy cycles much more comfortable.

As the number of countries manufacturing this drug increases, we may be able to look forward to a reduction in price. Privately compounded versions of "liquid Femara have also been formulated “for research purposes” and are currently circulating the black market. Generic tabs are also available and these two forms represent a very cost-effective alternative for buying the brand name drug.

Halotestin

Active Life: 6-8 hours
Drug Class: Highly Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 20-40 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Yes, very high
Aromatization: Debatable
DHT Conversion: No
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, moderate

Halotestin is the Upjohn brand name for the steroid fluoxymesterone. Structurally fluoxymesterone is a derivative of testosterone, differing from our base androgen by three structural alterations (specifically l7alpha-methyl, 11 beta-hydroxy and 9-fluoro group additions). The result is a potent oral steroid that exhibits extremely strong androgenic properties. This has a lot to due with the fact that it is derived from testosterone, and as such shares important similarities to this hormone. Most importantly, like testosterone, Halotestin appears to be a good substrate for the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. This is evidenced by the fact that a large number of its metabolites are found to be 5-alpha reduced androgens, which coupled with its outward androgenic nature, suggests it is converting to a much more active steroid in androgen responsive target tissues such as the skin, scalp and prostate.

The 11 beta-hydroxyl group also inhibits aromatization, making estrogen production impossible with this steroid. Estrogenic side effects such as water retention, fat fain and gynecomastia are therefore not a concern when taking this compound. Strong androgenic side effects are to be expected though, and in many cases are unavoidable. Oily skin and acne a very common for instance, at times requiring sensitive individuals to seek some form of topical or even prescription drug treatment to keep it under control. Hair loss is an additional worry, making Halotestin a poor choice for those with an existing condition. Aggression may also become very pronounced with this drug. This effect is often desired by users looking to “harness” this in order to increase the intensity of workouts or a competition. Clearly Halotestin is a strong androgen, and definitely one female athletes should stay away from. Masculinizing side effects can be intense, and may occur very rapidly with this substance. Even women daring enough to take Dianabol should think twice about this compound, as virilization symptoms are most often permanent.

Although Halotestin appears to be more androgenic than testosterone, the anabolic effect of it is not very strong. This makes it a great strength drug, but not the best for gaining serious muscle mass. The predominant effect seen when taking Halotestin is a harder, more dense look to the muscles without a notable size increase. It is therefore very useful for athletes in weight-restricted sports like wrestling, powerlifting and boxing. The strength gained from each cycle will not be accompanied by a great weight increase, allowing most competitors to stay within a specified weight range. Halotestin also makes an excellent drug for bodybuilding contest preparation. When the competitor has an acceptably low body fat percentage, the strong androgen level (in absence of excess estrogen) can elicit an extremely hard and defined (“ripped”) look to the muscles. The shift in androgen/estrogen ratio additionally seems to bring about a state in which the body may be more inclined to burn off excess fat and prevent new fat storage. The “hardening” effect of Halotestin would therefore be somewhat similar to that seen with trenbolone, although it will be without the same level of mass gain. Clearly non-aromatizing androgens such as Halotestin and trenbolone can play an important role during contest preparations.

The main concern with this steroid is that it can be a very toxic drug. This is due to the fact that fluoxymesterone is a 17 alpha alkylated compound, its structure altered to survive oral administration. l7alpha alkylation can be very harsh to the liver. The possibility of damage is therefore a legitimate concern with Halotestin, especially when used at higher doses or for prolonged periods of time. The total daily dosage is likewise best kept in the range of 20-40mg, used for no longer than 8 weeks. After which an equally long break (at a minimum) should be taken from all c17-AA orals. One should also resist the temptation to stack this drug with other alkylated orals if possible, and instead opt for orals without this alteration or esterified injectable compounds (which will not add to the strain on the liver).

In cutting phases a mild anabolic such as Deca-Durabolin or Equipoise might prove to be a good addition, as both provide good anabolic effect without excessive estrogen buildup. Here Halotestin will provide a well needed androgenic component, helping to promote a more solid and defined gain in muscle mass than obtained with an anabolic alone. Perhaps Primobolan Depot would even be a better choice, as with such a combination there is no buildup of estrogen (and likewise even less worry of water and fat retention). For mass we could alternately use an injectable testosterone. A mix of 400-800mg Testosterone enanthate and 20-30mg Halotestin for example, should prove to be an exceptional stack for strength and muscle gain. This however would be accompanied by a more significant level of side effects, both compounds exhibiting strong androgenic activity in the body.

Fluoxymesterone also seem to depress endogenous testosterone levels rather quickly with use, despite its complete lack of estrogen conversion. One therefore should consider ancillary drug use at the conclusion of each cycle in order to help restore the normal release of androgens in the body. Using a combination of HCG and Clomid/Nolvadex is of course the best option, the two drugs working well together to restore normal hormonal functioning. Although estrogen is not a problem with Halotestin, the use of an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex or Clomid is still indicated when discontinuing a cycle. Since HCG stimulates aromatase activity in the Leydig’s cells, here Nolvadex/Clomid help by blocking the activity of any excess estrogen that may be produced. Afterward they will also block the inhibitory effect of endogenous estrogens on the hypothalamus, stimulating the enhanced release of gonadotropins and supporting the normal biosynthesis of testosterone.

Since Halotestin is only used for a few specific purposes, it is not in high demand among athletes. Likewise it is not a very popular item on the black market. Investing in the manufacture of a counterfeit version would probably not pay off well, no doubt the reason we haven’t seen any yet. All of the various forms of Halotestin could therefore be assumed legitimate when found in circulation. Currently the most popular item found on the black market is the Stenox brand from Mexico, sold in boxes of 20 tablets. Although the dosage of these tablets is only 2.5mg, the low price usually asked for this preparation more than compensates. Overall, Halotestin is an effective steroid for a narrow range of uses, and is probably not the most ideal product for the recreational user.

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 64 hours
Drug Class: Leutenizing Hormone (LH) - Gonadotropin
Average Dose: debatable
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: No, but it will raise testosterone levels and increased aromatization may occur.

Chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone found in the female body during the early months of pregnancy (it is produced in the placenta). It is in fact the pregnancy indicator looked at by the over the counter pregnancy test kits, as due to its origin it is not found in the body at any other time. Blood levels of this hormone will become noticeable as early as seven days after ovulation. The level will rise evenly, reaching a peak at approximately two to three months into gestation.

After this point, the hormone level will drop gradually until the point of birth. As a prescription drug, HCG offers us some interesting benefits. In the United States, we have the two popular brands, Pregnyl, made by Organon, and Profasi, made by Serono. These are FDA approved for the treatment of undescended testicles in young boys, hypogonadism (underproduction of testosterone) and as a fertility drug used to aid in inducing ovulation in women.

When prepared as a medical item, this hormone comes from a human origin. Although there is often a fear of biological origin products, there is little research to be found regarding pathogen or sterility problems with HCG. The problems seen with human origin growth hormone are certainly not to be repeated with HCG, as this compound is obtained in a much different way.

While HCG offers the female no performance enhancing ability, it does prove very useful to the male steroid user. The obvious use of course being to stimulate the production of endogenous testosterone. The activity of HCG in the male body is due to its ability to mimic LH (luteinizing hormone), a pituitary hormone that stimulates the Leydig’s cells in the testes to manufacture testosterone. Restoring endogenous testosterone production is a special concern at the end of each steroid cycle, a time when a subnormal androgen level (due to steroid induced suppression) could be very costly.

The main concern is the action of cortisol, which in many ways is balanced out by the effect of androgens. Cortisol sends the opposite message to the muscles than testosterone, or to breakdown protein in the cell. Left unchecked (by an extremely low testosterone level) in the body, cortisol can quickly strip much of your new muscle mass away.

The main focus with HCG is to restore the normal ability of the testes to respond to endogenous luteinizing hormone. After a long period of inactivity, this ability may have been seriously reduced. In such a state testosterone levels may not reach a normal point, even though the release of endogenous LH has been resumed. Many who have suffered severe testicular shrinkage may be able to relate, as it is often some time before normal testicle size and feelings of virility are restored if ancillary drugs had not been used.

The excessive stimulation brought forth by administration of HCG can likewise cause the testicles to rapidly return to their normal size and level of activity. We are not simply looking for it to fix the problem however, as the resulting high testosterone level can itself trigger negative feedback inhibition at the hypothalamus.

Estrogen production is also heightened with the use of HCG, due to its ability to increase aromatase activity in the Leydig’s cells. This is due to the main action of HCG, namely the increase of cycIicAMP (a secondary messenger that regulates cellular activity). When stimulated by HCG, the ability of the testes to aromatize androgens could potentially be heightened several times greater than normal. This also may inhibit testosterone production, so we therefore use HCG only as a quick shock to the testes.

The usual protocol is to inject 1500-3000 I.U. every 4th or 5th day, for a duration usually no longer than 2 or 3 weeks. If used for too long or at too high a dose, the drug may actually function to desensitize the Leydig’s cells to luteinizing hormone, further hindering a return to homeostasis. Timing the initial dose is also very crucial.

If your were coming off a cycle of Sustanon for example, testosterone levels in your blood will likely stay elevated for at least 3 to 4 weeks after your last injection. Taking HCG on the day of your last shot would therefore be useless. Instead one would want to calculate the last week in which androgen levels are likely to be above normal, and begin ancillary drug therapy at this point. In this case HCG would be started around the third or fourth week. Likewise, after ending a cycle of Dianabol (an oral) your blood levels will be sub normal after the third day. Here you may want to begin HCG therapy a few days before your last intake of tablets, giving it a few days to take effect.

One would also want to give some thought to the level of suppression that the cycle might have brought about. After an 8 week cycle of Equipoise for example, 1500-2500 I.U. would likely be a sufficient initial dosage. The lower amount of hormonal suppression one associates with this drug would probably not require much more. On the other hand, 750-1000mg of Sustanon per week might incline the user to inject a much larger HCG dose, perhaps as much as 5000 I.U. for the opening application. It may thereafter also be a good idea to reduce the dosage on subsequent shots, so as to step down the intake of HCG during the two or three weeks of intake.

As discussed above, HCG acts only to mimic the action of LH. It is likewise not the perfect hormone to combat testosterone suppression, and for this reason it is used most often in conjunction with estrogen antagonists such as Clomid, Nolvadex or cyclofenil. These drugs have a different effect on the regulating system, namely inhibiting estrogen-induced suppression at the hypothalamus. This of course also helps to restore the release of testosterone, although through a much different mechanism than HCG.

A combination of both drugs appears to be very synergistic, HCG providing an immediate effect on the testes (shocking them out of inactivity) while the anti-estrogen helps later to block inhibition on the hypothalamus and resume the normal release of gonadotropins from the pituitary.

The typical procedure involves giving the Clomid/Nolvadex dose from the start with HCG, but continuing it alone for a few weeks once HCG has been discontinued. This practice should effectively raise testosterone levels, which will hopefully remain stable once Clomid/Nolvadex have been discontinued.

While unfortunately there is no way to retain all of the muscle gains produced by anabolic steroids, using ancillaries to restore a balanced hormonal state is the best way to minimize the loss felt with ending a cycle.
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Human Growth Hormone

Quick overview:

Active Life: Varies by injection method
Drug Class: Growth Hormone/IGF-1 Precursor (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 2-6 i.u. total daily
Acne: No
Water Retention: Rare
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: No
Comments: High Anabolic/No Androgenic effects

In the human body growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland. It exists at especially high levels during adolescence when it promotes the growth of tissues, protein deposition and the breakdown of subcutaneous fat stores. Upon maturation endogenous levels of GH decrease, but remain present in the body at a substantially lower level. In the body the actual structure of growth hormone is a sequence of 191 amino acids. Once scientists isolated this hormone, many became convinced it would exhibit exceptional therapeutic properties. It would be especially effective in cases of pituitary deficient dwarfism, the drug perhaps restoring much linear growth if administered during adolescence.

he 1980’s brought about the first prepared drugs containing Human Growth Hormone. The content was taken from a biological origin, the hormone being extracted from the pituitary glands of human corpses then prepared as a medical injection. This production method was short lived however, since it was linked to the spread of a rare and fatal brain disease.

Today virtually all forms of HGH are synthetically manufactured. The recombinant DNA process is very intricate; using transformed e-coli bacterial or mouse cell lines to genetically produce the hormone structure. It is highly unlikely you will ever cross the old biologically active item on the black market (such as Grorm), as all such products should now be discontinued.

Here in the United States two distinctly structured compounds are being manufactured for the pharmaceutical market. The item Humatrope by Eli Lilly Labs has the correct 191 amino acid sequence while Genentech’s Protropin has 192. This extra amino acid slightly increases the chance for developing an antibody reaction to the growth hormone. The 191 amino acid configuration is therefore considered more reliable, although the difference is not great. Protropin is still Anabolics 2002 considered an effective product and is prescribed regularly.

Outside of the U.S., the vast majority of HGH in circulation will be the correct 191 amino acid sequence so this distinction is not a great a concern.

The use of growth hormone has been increasing in popularity among athletes, due of course to the numerous benefits associated with use. To begin with, GH stimulates growth in most body tissues, primarily due to increases in cell number rather than size. This includes skeletal muscle tissue, and with the exception of eyes and brain all other body organs. The transport of amino acids is also increased, as is the rate of protein synthesis. All of these effect are actually mediated by IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), a highly anabolic hormone produced in the liver and other tissues in response to growth hormone (peak levels of IGF-1 are noted approximately 20 hours after HGH administration).

Growth hormone itself also stimulated triglyceride hydrolysis in adipose tissue, usually producing notable fat loss during treatment. GH also increases glucose output in the liver, and induces insulin resistance by blocking the activity of this hormone in target cells. A shift is seen where fats become a more primary source of fuel, further enhancing body fat loss.

Its growth promoting effect also seems to strengthen connective tissues, cartilage and tendons. This effect should reduce the susceptibility to injury (due to heavy weight training), and increase lifting ability (strength). HGH is also a safe drug for the “piss-test”. Although its use is banned by athletic committees, there is no reliable detection method. This makes clear its attraction to (among others) professional bodybuilders, strength athletes and Olympic competitors, who are able to use this drug straight through a competition.

There is talk however that a reliable test for the exogenous administration of growth hormone has been developed, and is close to being implemented. Until this happens, growth hormone will remain a highly sought after drug for the tested athlete.

But the degree in which HGH actually works for an athlete has been the topic of a long running debate. Some claim it to be the holy grail of anabolics, capable of amazing things. Able to provide incredible muscle growth and unbelievable fat loss in a very short period of time. Since it is used primarily by serious competitors who can afford such an expensive drug, a great body of myth further surrounds HGH discussion (among those personally unfamiliar). Many will state with the utmost confidence that the incredible mass of the Olympian competitors each year is 100% due to the use of HGH.

Others have crossed bodybuilding materials claiming it to be a complete waste of money, an ineffective anabolic and barely worthwhile for fat loss. With its high price tag, certainly an incredibly poor buy in the face of steroids. So we have a very wide variety of opinions regarding this drug, whom should we believe?

It is first important to understand why there the results obtained from this drug seem to vary so much. A logical factor in this regard would seem to be the price of this drug. Due to the elaborate manufacturing techniques used to produce it, it is extremely costly. Even a moderately dosed cycle could cost an athlete between $75-$150 per daily dosage. Most are unable or unwilling to spend so much, and instead tinker around with low dosages of the drug. Most who have used this item extensively claim it will only be effective at higher doses. Poor results would then be expected if low amounts were used, or the drug not administered daily. If you cannot commit to the full expense of an HGH cycle, you should really not be trying to use the drug.

The average male athlete will usually need a dosage in the range of 4 to 6 I.U. per day to elicit the best results. On the low end perhaps 1 to 2 I.U. can be used daily, but this is still a considerable expense. Daily dosing is important, as HGH has a very short life span in the body. Peak blood concentrations are noted quickly (2 to 6 hours) after injection, and the hormone is cleared from the body with a half-life of only 20-30 minutes. Clearly it does not stick around very long, making stable blood levels difficult to maintain.

The effects of this drug are also most pronounced when it is used for longer periods of time, often many months long. Some do use it for shorter periods, but generally only when looking for fat loss. For this purpose a cycle of at least four weeks would be used.

This compound can be administered in both an intramuscular and subcutaneous injection. “Sub-Q” injections are particularly noted for producing a localized loss of fat, requiring the user to change injection points regularly to even out the effect. A general loss of fat seems to be the one characteristic most people agree on. It appears that the fat burning properties of this drug are more quickly apparent, and less dependent on high doses.

Other drugs also need to be used in conjunction with HGH in order to elicit the best results. Your body seems to require an increased amount of thyroid hormones, insulin and androgens while HGH levels are elevated (HGH therapy in fact is shown to lower thyroid and insulin levels).

To begin with, the addition of thyroid hormones will greatly increase the thermogenic effectiveness of a cycle. Taking either Cytomel? or Synthroid? (prescription versions of T-3 and T-4) would seem to make the most sense (the more powerful Cytomel? is usually preferred).

Insulin as well is very welcome during a cycle, used most commonly in an anabolic routine as described in this book under the insulin heading. Aside from replacing lowered insulin levels, use of this hormone is important as it can increase receptor sensitivity to IGF-1, and reduce levels of IGF binding protein-1 allowing for more free circulating IGF-1 (growth hormone itself also lowers IGF binding protein levelss’).

Steroids as well prove very necessary for the full anabolic effect of GH to become evident. Particularly something with a notable androgenic component such as testosterone or trenbolone (if worried about estrogen) should be used. The added androgen is quite useful, as it promotes anabolism by enhancing muscle cell size (remember GH primarily effects cell number). Steroid use may also increase free IGF-1 via a lowering of IGF binding proteins. The combination of all of these (HGH, anabolics, insulin and T-3) proves to be the most synergistic combination, providing clearly amplified results. it is of course important to note that thyroid and insulin are particularly powerful drugs that involve a number of additional risks.

Release and action of GH and IGF-1: GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone) and SST (somatostatin) are released by the hypothalamus to stimulate or inhibit the output of GH by the pituitary. GH has direct effects on many tissues, as well as indirect effects via the production of IGF-1. IGF-1 also causes negative feedback inhibition at the pituitary and hypothalamus. Heightened release of somatostatin affects not only the release of GH, but insulin and thyroid hormones as well.

HGH itself does carry with it some of its own risks. The most predominantly discussed side effect would be acromegaly, or a noticeable thickening of the bones (notably the feet, forehead, hands, jaw and elbows). The drug can also enlarge vital organs such as the heart and kidney, and has been linked to hypoglycemia and diabetes (presumably due to its ability to induce insulin resistance). Theoretically, overuse of this hormone can bring about a number of conditions, some life threatening. Such problems however are extremely rare.

Among the many athletes using growth hormone, we have very few documented cases of a serious problem developing. When used periodically at a moderate dosage, the athlete should have little cause for worry. Of course if there are any noticeable changes in bone structure, skin texture or normal health and well being during use, HGH therapy should be completely halted.

In summary, the biggest mistake we can make with this drug is to get confused by the price tag. Even a relatively short cycle of this drug (and ancillaries) will cost in the thousand(s), not hundreds of dollars. We cannot jump to the conclusion that GH is therefore the most unbelievable anabolic. This hormone is simply very complex, and costly to manufacture (though it should be getting cheaper). If you were looking to achieve just a great mass gain the $1,000 would be better spent on steroids. Growth Hormone will not turn you into an overnight “freaky” monster and it is certainly not “the answer”. Yes, it is a very effective performance enhancement tool. But it is more a tool for the competitive athlete looking for more than steroids alone can provide.

There is little doubt that GH contributes considerably to the physiques and performance of many top bodybuilders and athletes. In this arena, the money spent on it is well justified, the drug obviously necessary. But outside of competitive sports it is usually not.

Insulin

By Dr William Bird

The performance-enhancing properties of insulin mean misuse of the hormone is becoming increasingly common in some sports. But health experts warn that those dabbling in the drug could cause themselves irreparable damage.

Almost the “perfect drug”

Recently, it emerged that a 31-year-old man was admitted to hospital in Yorkshire in a coma having taken too much insulin as part of a bodybuilding regime. Last year the 35-year-old holder of eight power-lifting titles in Scotland was in a coma for two months after suspected abuse of insulin.

Dr Rob Dawson is a GP who runs a confidential needle exchange scheme for bodybuilders and sportsmen. He says about 10 per cent of the 450 patients he regularly sees have said they use insulin.

Insulin is almost the perfect drug to increase stamina or endurance for athletes. It is readily available, cheap, difficult to detect and actually enhances performance. But it can be lethal.

“Insulin is bad for body builders.I cannot stress it enough. I would never ever use it,” says 45-year-old Mick Hart, an expert on bodybuilding. He runs a bodybuilding magazine and has written the acclaimed book, “The Layman’s Guide to Steroids”. He says, “As an authority in the sport, it is the deadliest thing that has ever hit the sport.”

Insulin info

Insulin is a natural hormone secreted from the pancreas, which controls the levels of glucose in the body. Diabetics need to inject it to prevent a rise in blood glucose. However if too much is injected and blood sugar falls to a very low level then this can lead to sweating, shaking and eventually a coma or death. It is important for anyone who injects themselves with insulin to know exactly how much they require.

For a few years, insulin has been used to help improve endurance in athletes as well as to build muscles for athletes.

Endurance athletes are helped because insulin helps glucose enter muscle cells. If more glucose enters the cell than is needed then it will stimulate glycogen formation. Glycogen is a kind of “power pack” that can be switched on very quickly.

In an article on insulin, growth hormone and sport, Dr Sonksen from St Thomas’ Hospital in London wrote, “Since performance in many events is known to be a function of muscle glycogen stores, bulking up these stores will most probably enhance performance.”

Insulin is used in bodybuilding to increase the bulk of muscles. Regular injections of short-acting insulin are combined with a high carbohydrate diet and this has two helpful effects.

Firstly, the insulin works in the same way as it does in endurance athletes - increasing the volume of glycogen and leading to an increase in muscle bulk.

The second effect is that it prevents the breakdown of muscle protein. This means more muscle is made than destroyed, thereby increasing the size of muscles.

But this method of bulking up carries risks. As in the case of the man in Yorkshire, it can lead to a drop in blood-sugar levels, leading to coma or even death.

Some experts also warn that used over the long-term, it could ironically, lead to the development of diabetes, as the body’s own ability to produce the hormone falters.

Aside from these problems, most athletes who use the hormone endanger themselves further because they are unsure of the dose that is required. What follows is a game of trial and error - lethal when injecting insulin. Without professional advice this can lead to dangerous practices.

“One [shot] might be good so two might be better and three might be better than that,” says Mick Hart. He says he has seen fellow bodybuilders admitted to hospital after taking too much insulin, believing that the bigger the dose the better.

Most people who abuse insulin in sport get hold of it from diabetics but there are reports from “underground” sources that private doctors may well be prescribing insulin to athletes who are not diabetics.

The nightmare scenario according to Hart is if we see criminal gangs importing poor grade insulin from the Far East or Russia. This will cause far more problems than sport faces at present.

What the judges say

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has very specific guidelines on the taking of insulin. Unsurprisingly, it permits only the treatment of athletes with certified insulin-dependent diabetes and considers it an offence if any other competitors take the substance.

The medical director of the IOC Dr Patrick Schamasch says they can detect the abuse of insulin because injectable insulin differs from natural insulin. Some forms of insulin come from animals such as pigs and some is human insulin but genetically manufactured. “We [at the IOC] are aware that insulin is used in athletes but we are confident that we are able to detect it,” he says.

Insulin may appear to be an effective way of boosting performance in a sport where the pressure to be the best is always on. But medics wonder how many more athletes will have to come to harm before its full danger is realised.

Lasix

Active Life: 6-8 hours (Diuretic effects)
Drug Class: Loop Diuretic (Oral)
Average Dose: 40-80 mg total in a 12 hour period
Acne: No
Water Retention: Obviously not
High Blood Pressure: No
Liver Toxic: Unknown
Aromatization: Not applicable

Lasix is a brand name for the drug furosemide, a very potent diuretic. Technically it belongs to a class of drugs known as loop diuretics, which will cause the body to excrete water as well as potassium, sodium and chloride. Loop diuretics are among the strongest such drugs available, having an extremely dramatic effect on fluid levels in the body. Potassium levels need to be particularly watched, Lasix greatly increasing the amount excreted. The use of a prescription potassium supplement therefore is often required to keep levels in balance, otherwise a serious heart complications might develop. Mistakes in potassium dosage have equally serious consequences, so Lasix is clearly a risky item to use. But when an athlete needs to shed water, it is very difficult to find something that works better.

Athletes use diuretics for a couple of specific purposes. Competitive athletes use these drugs to drop water weight, in an effort to make adjustments in their weight class standings. Since the weigh-in is most often a day or days before a competition/match, one can drop their bodyweight considerably and be back to normal within hours after rehydration. This logically seems to provide an unfair advantage, the athlete competing at a much heavier weight than believed. This advantage is only offset by the now near universal nature of this practice. Bodybuilders also rely heavily on diuretics when preparing for a contest. It can efficiently lower subcutaneous water concentrations, helping to produce that super-ripped look so common on stage today. Make no mistake; a winning look is extremely difficult to obtain without some form of diuretic.

This drug is prepared as both an oral tablet (usually 20-40mg per tablet) or IM/IV injection solution, the injection being much more rapid in effect. The dosage and method of administration is tailored to the individual, dependent on the desired goals and condition of the athlete. Tablets are the most common form of administration. Each oral Lasix tablet becomes effective about 1 hour after ingesting and will remain active for an additional 3 or 4 hours. The athlete will usually start with a mild dose, and add to this amount accordingly later in the day. The initial dosage is usually 20 to 40mg, with the maximum amount usually not to exceed 80mg. The user will attempt to calculate the optimal dosage, and determine the best intake schedule in relation to the show or competition. In order to minimize the side effects associated with this drug, it is generally used for no longer than a few days.

Since Lasix has such a strong effect on electrolyte and potassium levels, it is much safer to addition a potassium sparing agent like AldactoneR (spironolactone) than it is to keep increasing the amount of Lasix used. A combination of 50mg AldactoneR and 20mg Lasix would be a good starting point, having roughly the effect of a 40mg Lasix tablet without the notable potassium loss. This dosage is repeated 2-3 times during the day and the effect judged to determine the optimal dosage. It is important to remember that these drugs can be active for many hours. It can become difficult to control the dehydrating effect with an overlapping schedule, so one should be careful not to administer such diuretics too frequently.

Lasix is no doubt one of the most dangerous drugs a competitor will use. This can be seen on occasion when severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance takes the life of an ambitious athlete. Warning signs that Lasix may be causing severe dehydration include (not limited to) dizziness, cramping, vomiting, diarrhea, fainting and circulatory disturbances. Potassium depletion can be marked as well, so as discussed users often opt to take a prescription potassium supplement, also with its own set of dangers. One should use extreme caution when considering using Lasix or other diuretics; they are certainly not needed for recreational users.

This product is widely available. It is manufactured and sold under many different brand names, in many countries. No version of Lasix (or any other diuretic) is currently being counterfeited. When found on the black market it can therefore be trusted. Although it is doubtful these will circulate, make sure never to purchase the 500mg tablets. These are used only in severe medical conditions, and contain a dosage that could prove fatal to a healthy person.

Masteron (drostanolone propionate)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 2-3 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 300-500 mg/week
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: No
Aromatization: None
DHT Conversion: No, it is a DHT derivative
Decrease HPTA function: Yes
Other Info: Highly androgenic/moderately anabolic/moderate anti-estogenic

Masteron is an injectable preparation containing the steroid drostanolone propionate. Drostanolone is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone, most specifically 2alpha-methyldihydrotestosterone. As a result, the structure of this steroid is that of a moderate anabolic/potent androgen which does not aromatize to estrogen. Water retention and gynecomastia therefore do not come into play with this drug. Masteron may in fact exhibit anti-estrogenic activity in the body, competing with other substrates for binding to aromatase. This would reduce the conversion rate of other steroids, Masteron acting in the same way as the oral steroid Proviron.

Bodybuilders have a strong like for non-aromatizing androgens, and find Masteron very useful in a cutting phase. It is generally used for a number of weeks prior to a competition, in an effort to bring out an improved look of density and hardness to the muscles. As long as body fat percentage is low enough, Masteron should work very well.

Provided everything fits as if should, the user can achieve that “ripped” look so popular to professional bodybuilding. The androgenic effect can also be crucial during this period, a time when caloric intake is drastically lowered. The user is provided added “kick” or “drive” to push through the grueling training sessions leading up to the show. Recreational users might also be interested in Masteron.

Although dihydrotestosterone is not highly active in muscle tissue, the 2 alkylation present on drostanolone considerably intensifies its anabolic effect. It can therefore be used somewhat effectively as bulking agent, providing a consistent gain of high quality muscle mass. It can also be successfully combined with other steroids for an enhanced effect. Mixing drostanolone with an injectable anabolic such as Deca-Durabolin or Equipoise can prove quite useful for example, the two providing notably enhanced muscle gain without excessive water retention.

For greater mass gains, a stronger androgen such as Dianabol or an injectable testosterone would do the trick. The result here can be an extreme muscle gain, with a lower level of water retention & other estrogenic side effects than if these steroids were used alone (usually in higher doses). Masteron could of course be used during cutting phases of training as well. A cycle of this drug combined with Winstrol, Primobolan or Oxandrolone should provide great muscle retention and fat loss, during a period which can be very catabolic without steroids. It is an added benefit that none of these steroids aromatize, and therefore there is no additional worry of unwanted water and fat retention.

Since the propionate ester is used with this compound, injections need to be repeated at least every 3 or 4 days in order to maintain a consistent level of hormone in the blood. The weekly dosage is in the range of 300-500mg.

Since estrogen is not an issue, side effects are generally mild with this steroid. As discussed earlier, gynecomastia, water retention, and high blood pressureare not a problem. Masteron is also not liver toxic, so there is little concern stress will be placed on this organ, even during longer cycles.

The only real side effects would be from the basic androgenic properties of dihydrotestosterone. These includes oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth, aggression and accelerated hair loss. Since this compound is already a synthetic DHT, Proscar would have no impact on the level of androgenic effects. Men with a receding hairline or those with a predisposition for baldness may therefore wish to stay away from Masteron completely, as the potent androgenic effect of this steroid can easily accelerate this condition.

Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 5-7 days
Drug Class: Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (Oral)
Average Dose: 10-30 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: low

Nolvadex?, is the trade name for the drug tamoxifen citrate, it is a non-steroidal agent that demonstrates potent anti-estrogenic properties. The drug is technically an estrogen agonist/antagonist, which competitively binds to estrogen receptors in various target tissues. With the tamoxifen molecule bound to this receptor, estrogen is blocked from exerting any action, and an anti-estrogenic effect is achieved. Since many forms of breast cancer are responsive to estrogen, the ability of tamoxifen citrate to block its action in such cells has proven to be a very effective treatment. It is also utilized successfully as a preventative measure, taken by people with an extremely high familial tendency for breast cancer. While Nolvadex is effective against estrogen, it is not our strongest available remedy. We now have the drugs Arimidex, Femara, and Aromasin available to us, which notably prevents estrogen from being manufactured in the first place. Altering the effect of estrogen in the female body can cause a level of discomfort, so anti-estrogens are most bearable when used after the point of menopause. Since Nolvadex is milder in comparison, it is more widely applicable and usually the first treatment option.

As discussed earlier, an enzyme in the male body (aromatase) is capable of altering testosterone to form estradiol. The structure of estrogen is actually quite similar to testosterone, so its presence in the male body is not all that remarkable. Since this same enzyme can also aromatize many anabolic/androgenic steroids, the buildup of estrogens can be an important concern during intake. High levels can cause a number of unwanted side effects, a primary worry being gynecomastia or the development of female breast tissue in men. This can be first noticed by the appearance of swelling or a small lump under the nipple. If left to progress it can turn into a very unsightly development of tissue, often irreversible without surgery. Estrogen can also lead to an increase in the level of water retained in the body. The result here can be a notable loss of definition, the muscles beginning to look smooth and bloated due to the retention of subcutaneous fluid. Fat storage may also be increased as estrogen levels rise. This hormone is in fact the primary reason women have a higher body fat percentage, and different fat distribution (hips/thighs) than men. Individuals sensitive to the effects of estrogen will usually be sure to have an anti-estrogen on hand when taking problematic steroids, so as to minimize the impact of related side effects.

This drug also shows the ability to increase production of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in the male body. This is accomplished by blocking negative feedback inhibition caused by estrogen at the hypothalamus and pituitary, which fosters the release of the mentioned pituitary hormones. This of course is also the function of Clomid and cyclofenil. Since a higher release of LH can stimulate the Leydig’s cells in the testes to produce more testosterone, Nolvadex can have a positive impact on one’s serum testosterone level. This “testosterone stimulating” effect is an added benefit when preparing to conclude a steroid cycle (post cycle therapy or PCT). Since most anabolic/androgenic steroids will suppress endogenous testosterone production, Nolvadex can help restore a balance in hormone levels. Nolvadex should be preferred over Clomid for this purpose in fact, as side by side it is clearly the stronger agent. It has also been shown to increase LH responsiveness to Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone after time, while Clomid slightly lowers this sensitivity as the drug is used for several weeks…

In some cases the use of only an estrogen antagonists such as Nolvadex or Clomid may be sufficient for testosterone stimulating purposes, particularly when halting the use of a milder or shorter steroid program (which should have a less pronounced impact on the hormonal system). With stronger cycles most option to enhance the stimulating effect of these drugs with HCG, a hormone that mimics the action of LH. HCG use provides an excessive level of stimulation to the testes, which in essence may shock them out of a prolonged state of inactivity. In such a condition the Leydig’s cells may not be producing a normal amount of testosterone, even though the normal release of gonadotropins has been achieved. Nolvadex can be tricky at this point. Remember it only blocks the effect of estrogen that is present in the body. If it is removed at a time when estrogen levels are still unusually high, related side effects can quickly become a pronounced problem. Since HCG not only increases the production of testosterone but also enhances the rate of aromatization in the testes, anti-estrogens should not be discontinued until at least a couple of weeks after HCG is discontinued. The result otherwise of course could be many unwanted side effects that were previously under control. When using Nolvadex to ward off the effects of estrogen during the cycle, it should similarly not be removed until the user is confident that hormone levels are well under control. With a drug such as Sustanon, this may mean continuing it for several weeks after the last shot.

A typical daily dosage for men is in the range of 10 to 30mg, the amount would be dependent on the level of effect desired. It is advisable to begin with a low dosage and work up, to avoid taking an unnecessary amount. The time in which Nolvadex is started also relies on individual needs of the user. If an athlete with a known sensitivity to estrogen is starting a strong steroid cycle, Nolvadex should probably be added soon after the cycle had been initiated. If estrogen is probably not going to be a major problem during the cycle (but will likely be after), Nolvadex is administered around the time exogenous steroid levels will drop. It will be continued for some weeks after, until the point when natural testosterone is thought to be at an acceptable level. As mentioned HCG is often used at this point as well (see related profile for more detail). Women have also utilized Nolvadex in an effort to reduce the effect of their own endogenous estrogens. This can lower body fat concentrations, especially in stubborn areas like the hips and thighs. This is of course risky, as manipulating the effect of estrogen can become uncomfortable in women. Side effects like hot flashes, menstrual irregularities and a variety of complications with the reproductive system are all possible.

When looking for a stronger anti-estrogenic effect, Proviron can make a good addition to Nolvadex. Although this compound is technically an androgen, it may have a pronounced effect on the production of estrogen in the body. Its mode of action is therefore very different than that of Nolvadex. While Nolvadex only blocks the binding ability of free-floating estrogen, Proviron can minimize the creation of it. With each drug attacking estrogen via a different mechanism, we have a very synergistic combination. A daily intake of 20-30mg Nolvadex and 25-50mg Proviron can be extremely effective when dealing with a strong estrogenic cycle. Women often avoid adding Proviron to Nolvadex treatment (thought often it is still used to enhance fat loss), for fear of developing virilization symptoms (Proviron is an oral DHT). Virilizing effects can occur very quickly once there has been a dramatic rise in the activity of androgens (intensified by a decrease in estrogen activity), so at a minimum women should be careful with such a combination.

Of great interest also is that Nolvadex is an estrogen agonist in the liver, capable of activating the estrogen receptor and mimicking the actions of this sex hormone in this region of the body. As such it can have a markedly positive impact on HDL (good) cholesterol values, as does estrogen. Many similarly use this drug to counter some of the negative consequences of steroid use in regards to cholesterol values and cardiac risk, as steroids often suppress HDL and raise LDL levels considerably. in some instances an athlete is able to maintain a very favorable HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio, to spite the use of a moderate dosage (400mg weekly) of an injectable like testosterone or nandrolone. It would be foolish to think however that Nolvadex would be a sufficient remedy with the heavy use of c-l7alpha alkylated orals or extremely high dosed cycles in general.

It has been reported by many however that Nolvadex seems to slightly reduce to gains made during a steroid cycle. It appears that many androgenic/anabolic steroids will exhibit their most powerful anabolic effect when accompanied by a sufficient level of estrogen. This may be one reason why gains made with a strong androgen like testosterone are usually much more pronounced than when using an anabolic that aromatizes to a lower degree. It therefore seems like good advice to be aware of how much Nolvadex is actually needed before committing to it during a cycle. Many people in fact find it unnecessary, even when utilizing problematic compounds such as testosterone or Dianabol. Others however find they are troubled by water retention and gynecomastia, even with milder anabolics like Deca-Durabolin and Equipoise. The estrogenic response to steroid use is very individual, and may be influenced by factors such as age and body fat percentage (adipose tissue is a primary site of aromatization).

Nolvadex is certainly the most popular anti-estrogen used by athletes today, no doubt because it is simply an effective product. It is also widely manufactured, and easy to obtain. Since there never seems to be a lack of supply, there is little incentive to manufacture a counterfeit product. All of the various generics forms of this drug are no doubt trustworthy. Women should remember to be very cautious when considering the use of Nolvadex, as they are usually very sensitive to changes in the activity of estrogen. Men looking for a stronger anti-estrogenic effect may want to consider using Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin , three powerful new anti-aromatase compounds. They are much more effective for estrogen control.

Omnadren 250

Quick overview:

Active Life: Approx. 18 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: 250-1000 mg/week (males only)
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: Yes
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

Omnadren 250 is an oil-based injectable containing a blend of four different testosterone esters: Testosterone propionate, phenylpropionate, isocaproate and caproate. Being as it is a four-ester testosterone, Omnadren is most commonly compared to Sustanon. While it does contain Testosterone propionate, testosterone phenylpropionate and isocaproate in the same strength as Sustanon, the last ester is different. Please note however, that the older versions of Omnadren list isohexanoate and hexanoate as the final two ingredients. Hexanoate is simply another word for caproate, so the last ester (decanoate) is the only Sustanon constituent missing from Omnadren.

One of the only noticeable differences between Sustanon and Omnadren seems to be the speed in which estrogen buildup occurs. In comparison, the process appears to be slightly more pronounced with Omnadren. This is of course just a matter of timing, as the slowest releasing ester in Omnadren (caproate) is a little faster acting than enanthate. Blood testosterone levels will therefore peak much faster with this compound, not having the same gradual release time imposed by testosterone decanoate. Users likewise report water retention much earlier into a cycle.

While water retention may lead to a more rapid buildup of size and strength, it can become pronounced enough to cause a very smooth and watery look to develop (hiding muscle definition). In addition, the excess estrogen is likely to cause the development of gynecomastia. This effect is especially pronounced with Omnadren, usually presenting itself quickly after a cycle has been started.

Estrogen can also be responsible for increases in body fat storage during treatment, resulting in a further loss of definition. Individuals who are sensitive to the effects of estrogen, yet still seek the power of a testosterone, would therefore need to add an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex and/or Proviron. Arimidex,Femara, or Aromasin, 3 powerful anti-aromatase, are another option available to us. These three drug works much more efficiently than any other anti-estrogen. They would have great use with such a strong item as Omnadren, as the standard remedies would not be quite as effective.

Being a testosterone, you can also expect the typical set of androgenic side effects. Oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and increased aggression are all very common with this product. It can also bring out or aggravate a condition of male pattern baldness. We do however, have the option to addition Proscar (finasteride).

This is a drug that can effectively prevent testosterone from converting into DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in certain androgen target tissues. Since DHT is the primary culprit with testosterone’s androgenic side effects, adding Proscar to the cycle should allow it to be much more comfortable.

Omnadren is also likely to suppress endogenous testosterone production rather quickly. It is therefore a necessity to add a testosterone stimulating drug like HCG and/or Clomid/Nolvadex when concluding therapy.

Being a powerful, long acting testosterone blend, the effect of Omnadren is of course quite comparable to that of Sustanon (except that its release time is closer to cypionate or enanthate). It is similarly a powerful androgen, capable of providing great gains in mass and strength.

Due of the high level of water retention associated with testosterone, Omnadren is really only applicable for bulking purposes. While it is very effective alone, it is also combined often with a number of other steroids depending on the desired result.

Many athletes prefer to combine Omnadren with a strong anabolic like Deca-Durabolin or Equipoise for example, in an attempt to lower the overall testosterone dosage and run a more quality mass building cycle. On the other hand, power-lifters and those looking for dramatic gains in mass and strength (regardless of quality) may stack Omnadren with heavy orals such as Anadrol or Dianabol. Here of course the strength and weight gain should be even more extreme, although androgenic/estrogenic side effects are expected to be as well.

Although Omnadren stays active in the body for about two weeks, it is generally injected on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. A dosage of 250-750mg per week is more than sufficient to achieve great results. Some take advantage of the very low price of Omnadren (Europe) and take excessively large amounts. Beyond 750mg or 1000mg weekly added side effects will no doubt be greatly outweighing growth, so there is usually little need for such excess. With this drug we really don’t want to mistake water bloat for muscle growth.

And while a number of adventurous women do experiment with testosterone products, Omnadren is probably not a good choice. The long action of this compound, mixed with the highly androgenic nature of testosterone, makes a poor combination. Virilization symptoms can develop quite easily with a strong androgen, making a long acting product like Omnadren notably dangerous should problems become evident. Testosterone propionate is a much better choice should an androgen like this be absolutely necessary, as it will give the user much greater control over her blood testosterone level.

Due to the extremely low price for this drug in Poland, Omnadren is made readily available on the black market. Among bodybuilders, Omnadren is generally considered to be inferior to Sustanon however. Price may have something to do with this belief, as this drug is usually much cheaper than Sustanon. Counterteits are not a major concern, so it is considered a trustworthy item.

Don’t be alarmed if your Omnadren seems to have a different look than or you remember from previous experience. The packaging of this product seems to change quite often. For starters, the company name changed officially in 1991 from “Polfa” to “Jelfa”, although for years after the older version boxes could still be found in circulation.

The color of the boxes also varies, and has included pink & white, green & white, gray, and gray & blue. What is constant is that each box contains five ampules, protected in a white paper or plastic holder. The old ampules are clear glass, and are imprinted with red or black ink that will rub off easily. The newer version is identified by a paper ampule label, which currently bears black print.

Primobolan Depot (methenolone enanthate)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 10-14 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 200-400 mg/week…Women 50-100 mg/week
Acne: Yes, mainly in higher doses
Water Retention: Low
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: None
DHT Conversion: None
Decrease HPTA function: Yes

Primobolan? Depot is the injectable version of the steroid methenolone. It is the same compound as the one in Primobolan Orals (methenolone acetate), both produced by Schering. In this injectable version, an enanthate ester is added to the steroid, which makes for a slow and gradual release from the site of injection. Its length of activity would thus be quite similar to Testosterone enanthate, with blood levels remaining elevated for approximately two weeks. Methenolone itself is a long acting anabolic, with extremely low androgenic properties. It’s anabolic effect is also quite mild, its potency is considered to be slightly less than DecaDurabolin (nandrolone decanoate) on a milligram for milligram basis.

For this reason, Primobolan is most commonly used during cutting cycles when a mass increase is not the main goal. Some athletes do prefer to combine a mild anabolic like “Primo” with bulking drugs such as Dianabol, Anadrol, or testosterone however, presumably to lower the overall androgen dosage and minimize uncomfortable side effects. When choosing between Primobolan versions, the injectable is preferred over the oral, as it is much more cost effective.

Since Primobolan does not convert to estrogen, it displays many favorable characteristics. Estrogen related side effects should therefore not be seen at all when using this steroid. Sensitive individuals need not worry about developing gynecomastia, nor should they be noticing any water retention with this drug. The gains seen with Primobolan will be only quality muscle mass, and not the smooth bloat which accompanies most steroids open to aromatization.

During a cycle the user should additionally not have much trouble with blood pressure values, as this effect is also related (generally) to estrogen and water retention.

At a moderate dosage of 100-200mg weekly, Primobolan should also not interfere with endogenous testosterone levels as much as when taking an injectable nandrolone or testosterone. At higher dosages strong testosterone suppression will be noticed, as all steroids can act to suppress testosterone production at a given dosage. Here of course a proper post cycle therapy is a must.

Side effects in general are usually not much of a problem with Primobolan Depot. There is a chance one will notice a few residual androgenic effects such as oily skin, acne, increased facial/body hair growth or an aggravation of male pattern baldness condition. This steroid is still very mild however, and such problems are typically dose related.

Women will in fact find this preparation mild enough to use in most cases, observing it to be a very comfortable and effective anabolic. If both the oral and injectable were available for purchase, the faster acting oral should probably be given preference however. This is simply due to the fact that blood hormone levels are more difficult to control with a slow acting injectable, the user also having to wait many days for steroid levels to diminish if side effects become noticeable.

Overall, Primobolan Depot is actually considered to be one of the safest anabolic steroids available. Steroid novices, older athletes or those sensitive to side effects would undoubtedly find it a very favorable drug to use. The typical “safe” dosage for men is 100-200mg per week, a level that should produce at least some noticeable muscle growth.

In European medicine it is not uncommon for Primobolan to be used safely at such a dosage for extended periods of time. Among athletes, men may respond to weekly doses of 200mg but regular users will often inject much higher doses looking for a stronger anabolic effect. It is not uncommon for a bodybuilder to take as much as 600 or 800mg per week, a range which appears to be actually quite productive. Of course androgenic side effects may become more pronounced with such an amount, but in most instances it should still be quite tolerable.

In addition, it is most popular for male bodybuilders to stack Primobolan with other steroids in order to obtain a faster and more enhanced effect. During a dieting or cutting phase, a non-aromatizing androgen like Halotestin or trenbolone can be added. The strong androgenic component should help to bring about an added density and hardness to the muscles.

On the other hand (or in addition) we could add Winstrol, another mild anabolic steroid. The result of this combination should again be a notable increase of muscle mass and hardness, but in this case the gain should not be accompanied by greatly increased side effects.

As mentioned earlier, Primobolan Depot is also used effectively during bulking phases of training. The addition of testosterone, Dianabol or Anadrol would prove quite effective for adding new muscle mass. Of course we would have to deal with estrogenic side effects, but in such cases Primobolan should allow the user to take a much lower dosage of the more “toxic” drug and still receive acceptable results.

Women respond well to a dosage of 50-100mg per week, although (as stated above) the oral should usually be given preference. Additionally, some choose to include Winstrol Depot or Oxandrolone and receive a greatly enhanced anabolic effect. Remember though, androgenic activity can be a concern and should be watched, particularly when more than one anabolic is used at a time.

If stacking, it would be best to use a much lower starting dosage for each drug than if they were to be used alone. This is especially good advice if you are unfamiliar with the effect such a combination may have on you. A popular recommendation would also be to first experiment by stacking with oral Primobolan, and later venture into the injectable if this is still necessary.

Primobolan Tablets (methenolone acetate)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 4-6 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 50-150 mg/day…Women 50-75 mg/day
Acne: Rare
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Very low and only in very high dosages
Aromatization: None
DHT Conversion: No
Decrease HPTA function: Low
Comments: Moderately Anabolic/Low Androgenic

This section refers to the oral Primobolan? preparation, which contains the drug methenolone acetate. It is very similar in action to the injectable Primobolan? Depot (methenolone enanthate), but obviously here the drug is designed for oral administration.

At one time Schering was in fact also manufacturing an injectable methenolone acetate (Primobolan? acetate, out of manufacture since 1993), which proved to be very useful for pre-contest cutting purposes. This steroid is now gravely missed, as it was once a favorite among European competitors. Although we still have the acetate in oral form, it is a close, but not equal substitute (injection is a much more efficient form of delivery for this steroid).

Methenolone regardless of the ester is a very mild anabolic steroid. The androgenic activity of this compound is considerably low, as are its anabolic properties. One should not expect to achieve great gains in muscle mass with this drug. Instead, Primobolan? is utilized when the athlete has a specific need for a mild anabolic agent, most notably in cutting phases of training. It is also a drug of choice when side effects are a concern.

A welcome factor is that Primobolan? is not c17 alpha alkylated as most oral steroid are. Due to the absence of such an alteration, this compound is one of the few commercially produced oral steroids that is not notably stressful to the liver.

While liver enzymes values have been affected by this drug in some rare instances, actual damage due to use of this substance is not a documented problem. Unfortunately the 1 alkylation and 17-beta esterification of Primobolan? do not protect the compound very well during first pass however, so much of your initial dose will not make circulation. This is obviously why we need such high daily dose with the oral version of Primobolan?.

Primobolan? will also not aromatize, so estrogen related side effects are of no concern. This is very useful when leading up to a bodybuilding contest, as subcutaneous water retention (due to estrogen) can seriously lessen the look of hardness and definition to the muscles.

Non-aromatizing steroids are therefore indispensable to the competitor, helping to bring about a tight, solid build the weeks leading up to a show. And of course without excess estrogen there is little chance of the athlete developing gynecomastia. Likewise there should never be a need for anti-estrogen use with this steroid. Primobolan? is also said to have a low impact on endogenous testosterone production. Although this may well be true in small clinical doses, it will not hold true for the bodybuilder.

For example, in one study more than half of the patients receiving only 30-45 mg noted a suppression of gonadotropin levels of 15% to 65% a. This is a dose far less than most bodybuilders would use, and no doubt increasing it would only lead to worse suppression. One would therefore still need a testosterone stimulating drug like HCG or Clomid?/Nolvadex? when concluding a low-dose Primobolan? cycle, unless a deliberately small dose were being used.

It is also important to note that although the androgenic component of Primobolan? is low, side effects are still possible. One may therefore notice oily skin, acne and facial/body hair growth during treatment. Men with a predisposition for hair loss may also find it exacerbates this condition, and wish to avoid this item (nandrolone injectables are a much better choice).

While always possible, side effects rarely reach a point where they interfere with the progress of cycle. Primobolan? is clearly one of the milder and safer oral steroids in production. Female athletes, older or more sensitive individuals and steroid beginners will no doubt find this a comfortable steroid to experiment with.

The dosage for men is somewhere in the range of 75-150mg daily. This can obviously be tedious (and costly) if one can only obtain the 5mg tablets from Mexico and S. America. A mild anabolic such as Primobolan? is often used in conjunction with other steroids for optimal effect, so some users find a slightly lower dose effective when stacking.

During a dieting or cutting phase, thought to be its primary application, a non-aromatizing androgen like Halotestin? or trenbolone can be added for example. Such combinations would enhance the physique without water retention, and help bring out a harder and more defined look of muscularity. Non-aromatizing androgen/anabolic stacks like this are in fact very popular among competing bodybuilders. This compound is also occasionally used with more potent androgens during bulking phases of training.

The addition of testosterone, Dianabol or Anadrol 50? would prove effective for instance, although the gains are likely to be accompanied by some level of smoothness due to the added estrogenic component.

Among women, Primobolan? is one of the most popular steroids in use. At a dosage of 50-75mg daily, virilization symptoms are extremely uncommon. One would of course not expect a tremendous amount of muscle mass with this drug, and instead should expect a slow and steady (quality) increase.

Some women choose to further add-in other anabolics such as Winstrol? or oxandrolone, in an effort to increase the muscle building effectiveness of a cycle. While both of these compounds are quite tolerable to women, one must be sure not to use too high an accumulated dosage. Troublesome androgenic side effects are always a possibility with steroid use, even with very mild substances. Taken at too high a dosage, these weak anabolics can become a formidable danger to femininity.

It would therefore be the best advice not to use the normal dosage range of both, but instead start with a much lower dosage of each steroid to compensate for the other. On the black market Primobolan? orals are popular, but still much less commonly found than the injectable. This is due to the higher cost effectiveness of the injectable, which uses the same active compound but with 100% bioavailability due to the form of administration.

Proviron (mesterolone)

Quick overview:

Active Life: 8-12 hours (effects last about 24 hours)
Drug Class: Androgenic Steroid/Anti- Aromatization (Oral)
Average Dose: Men 25-100 mg/day…Women 25-50 mg/day
Acne: Rare
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: None
DHT Conversion: No, it is a derivative of DHT
Decrease HPTA function: No

Proviron? is the Schering brand name for the oral androgen mesterolone (1 methyl-dihydrotestosterone). Just as with DHT, the activity of this steroid is that of a strong androgen which does not aromatize into estrogen. In clinical situations Proviron is generally used to treat various types of sexual dysfunction, which often result from a low endogenous testosterone level. It can usually reverse problems of sexual disinterest and impotency, and is sometimes used to increase the sperm count. The drug does not stimulate the body to produce testosterone, but is simply an oral androgen substitute that is used to compensate for a lack of the natural male androgen.

Although this steroid is strongly androgenic, the anabolic effect of it is considered too weak for muscle building purposes. This is due to the fact that Proviron is rapidly reduced to inactive metabolites in muscle tissue, a trait also characteristic of dihydrotestosterone. The belief that the weak anabolic nature of this compound indicated a tendency to block the androgen receptor in muscle tissue, thereby reducing the gains of other more potent muscle building steroids, should likewise not be taken seriously.

In fact due to its extremely high affinity for plasma binding proteins such as SHBG, Proviron may actually work to increase the activity of other steroids by displacing a higher percentage into a free, unbound state. Among athletes Proviron is primarily used as an anti-estrogen. It is believed to act as an anti-aromatase in the body, preventing or slowing the conversion of steroids into estrogen. The result is somewhat comparable to Arimidex (though less profound), the drug acting to prevent the buildup of estrogen in the body. This is in direct contrast to Nolvadex, which only blocks the ability of estrogen to bind and activate receptors in certain tissues. The anti-aromatization effect is preferred, as it is a more direct and efficient means of dealing with the problem of estrogenic side effects. Another disadvantage of Nolvadex is that if discontinued too early, a rebound effect may occur as high serum estrogen levels are again free to take action. This of course could mean a rapid onset of side effects such as gynecomastia. Most actually prefer to use both Proviron and Nolvadex, especially during strongly estrogenic cycles. With each item attacking estrogen at a different angle, side effects are often greatly reduced.

The anti-estrogenic properties of Proviron are not unique to this compound. A number of steroids have in fact demonstrated similar activity. Dihydrotestosterone and Masteron (2methyl-dihydrotestosterone) for example have been successfully used as therapies for gynecomastia and breast cancer due to their strong anti-estrogenic effect. It has been suggested that nandrolone may even lower aromatase activity in peripheral tissues where it is more resistant to estrogen conversion (the most active site of nandrolone aromatization seems to be the liver). The anti-estrogenic effect of all of these compounds is presumably caused by their ability to compete with other substrates for binding to the aromatase enzyme. With the aromatase enzyme bound to the steroid, yet being unable to alter it, and inhibiting effect is achieved as it is temporarily blocked from interacting with other hormones.

This drug is also favored by many during contest preparations, when a lower estrogen/high androgen level is particularly sought after. This is especially beneficial when anabolics like Winstrol, oxandrolone and Primobolan are being used alone, as the androgenic content of these drugs is relatively low. Proviron can supplement a well needed androgen, and bring about an increase in the hardness and density of the muscles. Women in particular find a single 25mg tablet will efficiently shift the androgen/estrogen ratio, and can have a great impact on the physique. Since this is such a strong androgen however, extreme caution should be taken with administration. Higher dosages clearly have the potential to cause virilization symptoms quite readily. For this reason females will rarely take more than one tablet per day, and limit the length of intake to no longer than four or five weeks. One tablet used in conjunction with 10 or 20mg of Nolvadex can be even more efficient for muscle hardening, creating an environment where the body is much more inclined to burn off extra body fat (especially in female trouble areas like the hips and thighs).

The typical dosage for men is one to four 25 mg per tablets per day. This is a sufficient amount to prevent gynecomastia, the drug is often used throughout the entire cycle. As mentioned earlier, it is often combined with Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) or Clomid (clomiphene citrate) when heavily estrogenic steroids are being taken (Dianabol, testosterone etc.). Administering 50mg of Proviron and 20mg Nolvadex daily has proven extremely effective in such instances, and it is quite uncommon for higher dosages to be required. And just as we discussed for women, the androgenic nature of this compound is greatly welcome during contest preparation. Here again Proviron should noticeably benefit the hardness and density of the muscle, while at the same time increasing the tendency to burn off a greater amount of body fat. Proviron is usually well tolerated and side effects (men) are rare with dosages under 100 mg per day. Above this, one may develop an excessively high androgen level and encounter some problems. Typical androgenic side effects include oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and exacerbation of a male pattern baldness condition, and may occur even with the use of a moderate dosage. With the strong effect DHT has on the reproductive system, androgenic actions may also include an extreme heightening of male libido. And as discussed earlier, Women should be careful around Proviron. It is an androgen, and as such has the potential to produce virilization symptoms quite readily. This includes, of course, a deepening of the voice, menstrual irregularities, changes in skin texture and clitoral enlargement.

Proviron is also not a c17 alpha alkylated compound, an alteration commonly used with oral anabolic/androgenic steroids. Not using this structure in the case of Proviron removes the notable risk of liver toxicity we normally associate with oral drugs. It is therefore considered a “safe” oral, the user having no need to worry about serious complications with use. This steroid in fact utilizes the same 1-methylation we see present on Primobolan (methenolone), another well tolerated orally active compound. Alkylation at the one position also slows metabolism of the steroid during the first pass, although much less profoundly than 17 alpha alkylation. Likewise Proviron and Primobolan are resistant enough to breakdown to allow therapeutically beneficial blood levels to be achieved, although the overall bioavailability of these compounds is still much lower than methylated oral steroids.

The popularity of Proviron amongst bodybuilders has been increasing in recent years. Many experienced bodybuilders have in fact come to swear by it, incorporating it effectively in most markedly estrogenic cycles. Due to high demand Proviron is now very easy to obtain on the black market. Most versions will be manufactured by Schering, and should cost about $1-$2 per 25 mg tab. This drug is packaged in both push-through strips and small glass vials, so do not let this alarm you. There is currently no need to worry about authenticity with this drug, as no counterfeits are known to exist. If money and availability does not prevent it, Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin ares actually a much better choice than Proviron though. These drugs were designed specifically as an anti-aromatase, and works much more effectively than anything else we have available.

Sustanon 250

Quick overview:

Active Life: Approx. 21 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: 250-1000 mg/week (males only)
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization: Yes
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

Sustanon 250? is an oil-based injectable testosterone blend, developed by Organon. It typically contains four different testosterone esters: Testosterone propionate (30 mg); testosterone phenylpropionate (60 mg); testosterone isocaproate (60mg); and testosterone decanoate (100 mg), although a lower dosed version is also produced. An intelligently “engineered” testosterone, Sustanon is designed to provide a fast yet extended release of testosterone. The propionate and phenylpropionate esters in this product are quickly utilized, releasing into circulation within the first four days. The remaining esters are much slower to release, staying active in the body for about two and three weeks (respectively).

As with all testosterone products, Sustanon is a strong anabolic with pronounced androgenic activity. It is mainly used as a bulking drug, providing good gains in strength and muscle mass. Although it does convert to estrogen, as is the nature of testosterone, this injectable is noted as being slightly more tolerable than cypionate or enanthate. Such observations are only issues of timing however. With Sustanon, blood levels of testosterone are building more slowly, so side effects do not set in as fast. For equal blood hormone levels however, testosterone will break down equally without regard to ester. Also correlating with estrogen, water retention would be noticeable with Sustanon, unless steps were taken to minimize estrogen.
Many individuals like to use a combination of Nolvadex & Proviron, while others use an anti-aromatase like Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin, to help control estrogen related side effects.

Being a strong androgen, we can expect the typical side effects. This includes oily skin, acne body/facial hair growth and premature balding. The addition of Proscar/Propecia should be able to minimize such side effects, as it will limit the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone) . Sustanon will also suppress natural testosterone production rather quickly. The use of HCG and/or Clomid/Nolvadex are necessary at the conclusion of a cycle in order to avoid a hormonal crash. Remember though, Sustanon will remain active in the body for up to a month after your last injection was given. Beginning you post cycle drug therapy immediately after the steroid has been discontinued will not be very effective. Instead, HCG or Clomid/Nolvadex should be delayed three weeks, until you are near the point where blood androgen levels have dropped significantly.

Although Sustanon remains active in the body for approximately three weeks, injections are taken at least every 10 days. An effective dosage ranges from 250mg (one ampule) a week, to 1000mg (four ampules) weekly. Some athletes do use more extreme dosages of this steroid, but this is really not a recommended practice. When the dosage rises above 750-1000mg per week, increased side effects will no doubt be outweighing additional benefits. Basically you will receive a poor return on your investment, which with Sustanon can be substantial. Instead of taking unnecessarily large amounts, athletes interested in rapid size and strength will usually opt to addition another compound. For this purpose we find that Sustanon stacks extremely well with the potent orals Anadrol and Dianabol. On the other hand, Sustanon may work better with trenbolone or Winstrol if the athlete were seeking to maintain a harder, more defined look to his physique.

Sustanon 250 is probably the most sought after injectable testosterone. I must however emphasize that this is not due to an unusual potency of this testosterone combination however (remember esters only effect the release of testosterone), but simply because a “stack” of four different esters is a very good selling point. In many instances you will get a lot more for your money with enanthate, so don’t let the fancy stack fool you. Sustanon is however still very abundant on the U.S. black market, and doesn’t stay long on dealer’s shelves. In fact the high demand for this steroid has stirred new interest in its manufacture, particularly by veterinary companies in Mexico.

Testosterone cypionate

Quick overview:

Active Life: 15-16 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 250-1000 mg/week
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes, high
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low, except in mega dosages
Aromatization:Yes, high
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

American athletes have a long and fond relationship with Testosterone cypionate. While Testosterone enanthate is manufactured widely throughout the world, cypionate seems to be almost exclusively an American item. It is therefore not surprising that American athletes particularly favor this testosterone ester. But many claim this is not just a matter of simple pride, often swearing cypionate to be a superior product, providing a bit more of a “kick” than enanthate. At the same time it is said to produce a slightly higher level of water retention, but not enough for it to be easily discerned. Of course when we look at the situation objectively, we see these two steroids are really interchangeable, and cypionate is not at all superior. Both are long acting oil-based injectables, which will keep testosterone levels sufficiently elevated for approximately two weeks. Enanthate may be slightly better in terms of testosterone release, as this ester is one carbon atom lighter than cypionate (remember the ester is calculated in the steroids total milligram weight). The difference is so insignificant however that no one can rightly claim it to be noticeable (we are maybe talking a few milligrams per shot). Regardless, cypionate came to be the most popular testosterone ester on the U.S. black market for a very long time

As with all testosterone injectables, one can expect a considerable gain in muscle mass and strength during a cycle. Since testosterone readliy converts to estrogen, the mass gained from this drug is likely to be accompanied by quite a bit of water retention. The resulting loss of definition of course makes cypionate a very poor choice for dieting or cutting phases. The excess level of estrogen brought about by this drug can also cause one to develop gynecomastia rather quickly. Should one notice an uncomfortable soreness, swelling or lump under the nipple, an ancillary drug like Nolvadex should be added immediately. This will minimize the effect of estrogen greatly, making the steroid much more tolerable to use. The powerful anti-aromatases Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin are yet a better choice. Those who have a known sensitivity to estrogen may find it more beneficial to use ancillary drugs like Nolvadex and Proviron from the onset of the cycle, in order to prevent estrogen related side effects before they become apparent.

Since testosterone is the primary male androgen, we should also expect to see pronounced androgenic side effects with this drug. Much intensity is related to the rate in which the body converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This, as you know, is the devious metabolite responsible for the high prominence of androgenic side effects associated with testosterone use. This includes the development of oily skin, acne, body/facial hair growth and male pattern balding. Those worried that they may have a genetic predisposition toward male pattern baldness may wish to avoid testosterone altogether. Others opt to add the ancillary drug Proscar/Propecia, that prevents the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This can greatly reduce the chance for running into a hair loss problem, and will probably lower the intensity of other androgenic side effects. Although active in the body for much longer time, cypionate is injected on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in order to maintain stable blood levels. At a dosage of 250mg to 800mg per week we should certainly see dramatic results. It is interesting to note that while a large number of other steroidal compounds have been made available since testosterone injectables, they are still considered to be the dominant bulking agents among bodybuilders. There is little argument that these are among the most powerful mass drugs. When taking dosages above 800-1000mg per week there is little doubt that water retention will come to be the primary gain, far outweighing the new mass accumulation. The practice of “megadosing” is therefore inefficient, especially when we take into account the typical high cost of steroids today.

It is also important to remember that the use of an injectable testosterone will quickly suppress endogenous testosterone production. It is therefore mandatory to complete a proper post cycle therapy, constisting of HCG and Clomid or Nolvadex at the conclusion of a cycle. This should help the user avoid a strong “crash” due to hormonal imbalance, which can strip away much of the new muscle mass and strength. This is no doubt the reason why many athletes claim to be very disappointed with the final result of steroid use, as there is often only a slight permanent gain if anabolics are discontinued incorrectly. Of course we cannot expect to retain every pound of new bodyweight after a cycle. This is especially true whenever we are withdrawing a strong (aromatizing) androgen like testosterone, as a considerable drop in weight (and strength) is to be expected as retained water is excreted. This should not be of much concern; instead the user should focus on ancillary drug therapy so as to preserve the solid mass underneath. Another way athletes have found to lessen the “crash”, is to first replace the testosterone with a milder anabolic like Deca-Durabolin. This steroid is administered alone, at a typical dosage (200-400mg per week), for the following month or two. In this “stepping down” procedure the user is attempting to turn the watery bulk of a strong testosterone into the more solid muscularity we see with nandrolone preparations. In many instances this practice proves to be very effective. Of course we must remember to still administer ancillary drugs at the conclusion, as endogenous testosterone production will not be rebounding during the Deca therapy.

Testosterone enanthate

Quick overview:

Active Life: 15-16 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 250-1000 mg/week
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes, high
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low, except in mega dosages
Aromatization:Yes, high
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

Testosterone enanthate is an oil based injectable steroid, designed to slowly release testosterone from the injection site (depot). Once administered, serum concentrations of this hormone will rise for several days, and remain markedly elevated for approximately two weeks. It may actually take three weeks for the action of this drug to fully diminish. For medical purposes this is the most widely prescribed testosterone, used regularly to treat cases of hypogonadism and other disorders related to androgen deficiency. Since patients generally do not selfadminister such injections, a long acting steroid like this is a very welcome item. Therapy is clearly more comfortable in comparison to an ester like propionate, which requires a much more frequent dosage schedule.

Testosterone is a powerful hormone with notably prominent side effects. Much of which stem from the fact that testosterone exhibits a high tendency to convert into estrogen. Related side effects may therefore become a problem during a cycle. For starters, water retention can become quite noticeable. This can produce a clear loss of muscle definition, as subcutaneous fluids begin to build. The storage of excess body fat may further reduce the visibility of muscle features, another common problem with aromatizing steroids. The excess estrogen level during/after your cycle also has the potential to lead up to gynecomastia. Adding an ancillary drug like Nolvadex and/or Proviron is therefore advisable to those with a known sensitivity to this side effect. The anti-aromatase Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin are a much better choices though. It is believed that the use of an anti-estrogen can slightly lower the anabolic effect of most androgen cycles (estrogen and water weight are often thought to facilitate strength and muscle gain), so one might want to see if such drugs are actually necessary before committing to use. A little puffiness under the nipple is a sign that gynecomastia is developing. If this is left to further develop into pronounced swelling, soreness and the growth of small lumps under the nipples, some form of action should be taken immediately to treat it (obviously quitting the drug or adding ancillaries like Nolvadex).

Being a testosterone product, all the standard androgenic side effects are also to be expected. Oily skin, acne, aggressiveness, facial/body hair growth and male pattern baldness are all possible. Older or more sensitive individuals might therefore choose to avoid testosterone products, and look toward milder anabolics like DecaDurabolin or Equipoise which produce fewer side effects. Others may opt to add the drug Proscar/Propecia, which will minimize the conversion of testosterone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). With blood levels of this metabolite notably reduced, the impact of related side effects should also be reduced. With strong bulking drugs however, the user will generally expect to incur strong side effects and will often just tolerate them. Most athletes really do not find the testosterones all that uncomfortable (especially in the face of the end result), as can be seen with the great popularity of such compounds.

Although this particular ester is active for a much longer duration, most prefer to inject it on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in order to keep blood levels stable. The usual dosage would be in the range of 250mg-750mg a week. This level is quite sufficient, and should provide the user a rapid gain of strength and body weight. Above this level estrogenic side effects will no doubt become much more pronounced, possibly outweighing any new muscle gained. Those looking for greater bulk would be better served by adding an oral like Anadrol or Dianabol, combinations which prove to work great. If one wishes to use a testosterone yet retain a level of quality and definition to the physique, an injectable anabolic like DecaDurabolin or Equipoise may prove to be a better choice. Here we can use a lower dosage of enanthate, so as to gain an acceptable amount of muscle but keep the buildup of estrogen to a minimum.

With the proper administration of ancillary drugs, Nolva/Clomid and HCG, during post cycle recovery, much of the new muscle mass can be retained for a long time after the cycle has been stopped.

Testosterone propionate

Quick overview:

Active Life: 2-3 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 50-200 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes, high
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low
Aromatization:Yes, high
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

Testosterone propionate is a commonly manufactured, oil-based injectable testosterone compound. The propionate ester will slow the rate in which the steroid is released from the injection site, but only for a few days. Testosterone propionate is therefore much faster acting than other testosterone esters such as cypionate or enanthate, and requires a much more frequent dosing schedule, in order to maintain stable blood levels. While cypionate and enanthate are injected on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, propionate is usually injected every second. The propionate ester can be very irritating to the site of injection. In fact, many sensitive individuals choose to stay away from this steroid completely, their body reacting with a pronounced soreness and low-grade fever that may last for a few days.

Those who do not mind frequent injections will find propionate to be quite an effective steroid. As with all testosterones, it is a powerful mass drug, capable of producing rapid gains in size and strength. At the same time the buildup of estrogen and DHT (dihydrotestosterone) will be pronounced, so typical testosterone side effects are to be expected. Many consider propionate to be the mildest testosterone ester, and the preferred form for the dieting/cutting phases of training. Some will go so far as to say that propionate will harden the physique, while giving the user less water and fat retention than one typically expects to see with a testosterone. Realistically however, this is nonsense. The ester is removed before testosterone is active in the body, and likewise the ester cannot alter the activity of the parent steroid in any way, only slow its release. We can say that propionate might be the favored testosterone among female bodybuilders (for those who insist on testosterone use), as blood levels are easier to control with it compared to other esters. Should virilization symptoms develop, one would not wish to wait the weeks needed for testosterone concentrations to fall after a shot of enanthate for example.

During a typical cycle one will see action that is consistent with a testosterone. Users sensitive to gynecomastia and water retention may therefore need to add an anti-estrogen like Arimidex, Femara or Aromasin. Those particularly troubled by gynecomastia may find that a combination of Nolvadex and Proviron works especially well at preventing/halting this occurrence. Also unavoidable with a testosterone are androgenic side effects like oily skin, acne, increased aggression and body/facial hair growth. Those who may have a predisposition for male pattern baldness may also find that propionate will aggravate this condition. To help combat this one may choose to Propecia/Proscar, which will reduce the buildup of DHT in many androgen target tissues. This will help minimize related side effects (particularly hair loss) although it offers us no guarantees. And as with all testosterone products, propionate will also suppress endogenous testosterone production. The use of a testosterone stimulating drug like HCG and/or Clomid/Nolvadex is therefore a requirement in order to avoid enduring a post-cycle crash.

The most common dosage schedule for this compound (men) is to inject 50 to 100mg, every day or 2nd day. As with the more popular esters, the total weekly dosage would be in the range of 300-700mg. As with all testosterone compounds, this drug is most appropriately suited for bulking phases of training. Here it is most often combined with other strong agents such as Dianabol, Anadrol, or Deca-Durabolin, combinations that prove to work quite well. Propionate however is sometimes also used with nonaromatizing anabolics/androgens during cutting or dieting phases of training, a time when it’s fast action and androgenic nature are also appreciated. Popular stacks include a moderate dosage of propionate with an oral anabolic like Winstrol (15-35 mg daily), Primobolan (50-150mg daily) or oxandrolone (15-30mg daily). Provided the body fat percentage is sufficiently low, the look of dense muscularity can be notably improved (barring any excess estrogen buildup from the testosterone). One could also add a non-aromatizing androgen like trenbolone or Halotestin, which should have an even more extreme effect on subcutaneous body fat and muscle hardness. Of course with the added androgen content any related side effects will become much more pronounced.

Women who absolutely must use an injectable testosterone should only use this preparation. The dosage schedule should also be more spread out for a female bodybuilder, with injections coming every 5 to 7 days. The dosage obviously would be lower as well, generally in the range of 25mg to 50mg per injection. Androgenic activity should be less pronounced with this schedule, giving blood levels time to sufficiently decrease before the drug is administered again. In order to further reduce any risks, the duration of this cycle should not exceed 8 weeks. Should a stronger anabolic effect be needed, a small amount of Durabolin (Deca-Durabolin if unavailable), Oxandrolone or Winstrol could be added. Of course the risk of noticing virilizing effects from these drugs may increase, even with the addition of a mild anabolic. Since many of the masculinizing side effects of steroid use can be irreversible, it is very important for the female athlete to monitor the dosage, duration and incidence of side effects very closely.

Some Vet companies as well as UG labs are now even producing 250mg/ml dosage vials. This dosage is more shocking than it sounds at first next to all the 250mg enanthate and now cypionate products in circulation. Testosterone propionate is less oil soluble than Testosterone enanthate or cypionate, making a high dosage more difficult to achieve. Before this the highest concentration you could find of this steroid was 100mg/ml. Reaching 250 milligrams is no doubt a result of not simply adding more steroid to one ml of oil, but increasing the alcohol content in the solution considerably as well. This makes for a much more uncomfortable solution to inject. Although admittedly the highest dose of propionate you will ever find, users have been reporting that it is also intolerably painful. Most find they have to dilute the solution with other lower dosed steroids if they are to continue using the product. This should be no a surprise I guess with a steroid that already has a reputation as being painful to inject.

Testosterone suspension

Quick overview:

Active Life: less than 24 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 50-200 mg/day
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: Yes, high
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Low, except in mega dosages
Aromatization:Yes, high
DHT Conversion: Yes, high
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, severe

Testosterone suspension is an injectable preparation containing testosterone (no ester) in a water base. Since testosterone is not highly water soluble, the steroid will noticeably separate from the solution when the vial is left to sit. A quick shake will put the drug back into suspension, at least temporarily, so that it can be withdrawn in a consistent dosage. Although it may contain testosterone without the benefit of an ester, and contrary to popular belief, the microcrystal design of this injectable will sustain an elevated testosterone release for 2-3 days. Clearly the suspension we see today is not the basic water plus testosterone design used in the 1940’s. And since the drug will not leave circulation in a matter of hours, it is obviously useful.

Among bodybuilders, “suspension” is known to be an extremely potent mass agent. It is often ranked as the most powerful injectable steroid available, resulting in an incredibly rapid gain of muscle mass and strength. This is largely due to the very fast action of this drug, as the water-based steroid will begin to enter the blood stream almost immediately after an injection is given. Unlike longer esters such as enanthate or cypionate which take weeks for blood levels to reach maximiun theraputic levels, with suspension it is just a matter of days. Clearly the anabolic effect of this testosterone will be realized much more quickly than we would expect with an oil based (esterified) preparation.

It is also important to remember that 100mg of a testosterone ester is not equivalent to 100mg testosterone of pure testosterone (as in suspension). When an ester is present, its weight is obviously included in the preparation’s milligram total. Looking at Testosterone enanthate, 100mg of this compound equates to only 72mg of raw testosterone. So the bodybuilder who uses 400mg of enanthate weekly is really getting about 288mg of testosterone into his body each week. This is clearly a great increase over the endogenous testosterone level of the average male, which is in the range of 2.5 to 11 mg per day. But the general point is that during a cycle of Testosterone suspension we will often see a much more dramatic intake of testosterone on average than is typically utilized with oils. Following common advice, the athlete will commonly inject a full 100mg of testosterone daily, a total of 700 milligrams per week. This is up to 40 times the amount produced by a normal male. Those who have attempted such a cycle are rarely disappointed with the results, as such heavy doses of this hormone will produce nothing less than a dramatic weight gain.

The most popular practice with Testosterone suspension is to inject the drug every day. The dosage will vary greatly depending on the needs of the individual, but is most often in the range of 50mg to 100mg per shot. In most cases the results will be amazing. Although some users will complain about discomfort when injecting water-based steroids, suspension is usually well tolerated.

As would be expected with a strong androgen, suspension can produce a number of unpleasant side effects. As with any testosterone product there will be a high rate of estrogen conversion. Estrogen levels in fact build very quickly with Testosterone suspension, which is probably the worst testosterone to use when wishing to avoid water bloat. Gynecomastia can also develop very quickly during a cycle, and in many cases this drug will be intolerable without additionally taking an anti-estrogen. A combination of Nolvadex and Proviron is an effective way to avoid experiencing such side effects, and is often taken from the onset of a cycle in order to prevent such occurrences before they become a problem. Sensitive individuals may find an investment in the anti-aromatase Arimidex, Femara, or Aromasin to be wiser. These anti-aromatase drugs are much more effective at controlling estrogen. It is also important that the athlete monitor blood pressure and kidney functions closely during a heavy cycle, as water retention becomes more pronounced. Although testosterone puts very little strain on the liver, this drug can be harsh to the kidneys at higher dosages. Of course if the athlete is encountering noticeably high blood pressure or trouble urinating (pain or darkening of the urine), the cycle should probably be discontinued and the doctor paid a visit. Since it converts to DHT. one can therefore expect to endure oily skin, acne, increased aggression and body/facial hair growth during a typical cycle. Propecia/Proscar would be a good idea for those predisposed to male pattern baldness, as suspension is known to aggravate this condition quite easily. Men with an existing hair loss problem may actually prefer to stay far away from this steroid altogether, finding it to be just to strong an item to take risks with. The slower acting oil based injectables like enanthate or cypionate would be a much better place to start with if one still desires to use an injectable testosterone.

Endogenous testosterone production will be quickly and efficiently reduced when using suspension. This can often reach the point of severe testicular shrinkage (atrophy). Some athletes will periodically take HCG while on a cycle, in order to keep this effect to a minimum. Even if no such drug is used during, a combination of HCG and Clornid/Nolvadex should always be used as the cycle is discontinued.

Overall, suspension is an extremely powerful drug, but also one that is prone to causing many side effects. Those looking for only a potent mass agent need not look no further, Suspension will certainly get the job done.

Trenbolone Acetate

Quick overview:

Active Life: Around 2 days
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection)
Average Dose: Men 75 mg every day or two days
Acne: Yes
Water Retention: No
High Blood Pressure: Yes
Liver Toxic: Yes,debatable
Aromatization: No
DHT Conversion: No
Decrease HPTA function: Yes, moderate to extreme

Trenbolone is a very potent androgen with strong anabolic activity. It is well suited for the rapid buildup of strength and muscle mass, usually providing the user exceptional results in a relatively short time period. The anabolic effect of this drug is often compared to popular bulking agents such as testosterone or Dianabol, with one very important difference. Trenbolone does not convert to estrogen. This is indeed a very unique compound since mass drugs, almost as a rule, will aromatize (or cause other estrogen related troubles) heavily.

When we think of taking milder (regarding estrogen) steroids we usually expect much weaker muscle growth, but not so with Trenbolone. Here we do not have to worry about estrogen related side effects, yet still have an extremely potent mass/strength drug. There is no noticeable water retention, so the mass gained during a cycle of Trenbolone will be very hard and defined (providing fat levels are low enough).

Gynecomastia is also not much of a concern, so there shouldn’t be any need to addition an anti-estrogen if trenbolone is the only steroid administered.

The high androgen level resulting from this steroid, in the absence is excess estrogen, can also accelerate the burning of body fat. The result should be a much tighter physique, hopefully without the need for extreme dieting. Trenbolone can therefore help bring about an incredibly hard, ripped physique and is an ideal product for competitive bodybuilders.

Trenbolone is notably more potent than testosterone, and has an effect that is as much as three times as strong on a milligram for milligram basis. Likewise we can expect to see some level of androgenic side effects with use of this compound. Oily skin, aggressive behavior, acne and hair loss are therefore not uncommon during a cycle with this steroid. The androgenic nature of this drug of course makes it a very risky item for women to use, the chance for virilization symptoms extremely high with such a potent androgen.

Trenbolone is also much more potent than testosterone at suppressing endogenous androgen production. This makes clear the fact that estrogen is not the only culprit with negative feedback inhibition, as here there is no buildup of this hormone to report here. There is however some activity as a progestin inherent in this compound, as trenbolone is a 19-nortestosterone (nandrolone) derivative (a trait characteristic of these compounds). However it seems likely that much of its suppressive nature still stems from its powerful androgen action.

With the strong impact trenbolone has on endogenous testosterone, of course the use of a stimulating drug such as HCG and/or Clomid/Nolvadex is recommended when concluding steroid therapy (a combination is preferred). Without their use it may take a prolonged period of time for the hormonal balance to resume, as the testes may at first not be able to normally respond to the resumed output of endogenous gonadotropins due to an atrophied state.

Those who have used Trenbolone regularly would often claim it to be indispensable. A daily dosage of 37.5-75 mg is the most popular range when running a cycle.

While Trenbolone is quite potent when used alone, it was generally combined with other steroids for an even greater effect. During a cutting phase one could add a non-aromatizing anabolic such as Winstrol or Primobolan. Such combinations will elicit a greater level density and hardness to the muscle. One could also bulk with this drug, with the addition of stronger compounds like Dianabol or Testosterone. While the mass gain would be quite formidable with such a stack, some level of water retention would probably also accompany it.

Moderately effective anabolics such Deca-Durabolin or Equipoise would be somewhat of a halfway point, providing extra strength and mass but without the same level of water bloat we see with more readily aromatized steroids.

Winstrol (stanozolol)

Quick overview:

Active Life: around 48 hours
Drug Class: Anabolic/Androgenic Steroid (for injection or oral)
Average Dose: Men 50-100 mg/day…Women 25-50 mg/week
Acne: Rare
Water Retention: Rare
High Blood Pressure: Rare
Liver Toxic: Yes, it is a 17AA steroid
Aromatization: No, it is a DHT derivative
DHT Conversion: None
Decrease HPTA function: Low

Winstrol? is a popular brand name for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. This compound is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone, although its activity is much milder than this androgen in nature. It is technically classified as an anabolic steroid, shown to exhibit a slightly greater tendency for muscle growth than androgenic activity in early studies. While dihydrotestosterone really only provides androgenic side effects when administered, stanozolol instead provides quality muscle growth.

The anabolic properties of this substance are still mild in comparison to many stronger compounds, but it is still a ggod, reliable builder of muscle. Its anabolic properties could even be comparable to Dianabol, but Winstrol does not have the same tendency for water retention. Stanozolol also contains the same c17 methylation we see with Dianabol, an alteration used so that oral administration is possible. To spite this design however, there are many injectable versions of this steroid produced.

Since stanozolol is not capable of converting into estrogen, an anti-estrogen is not necessary when using this steroid, gynecomastia is not a concern even among the most sensitive individuals. Since estrogen is also the cause of water retention, instead of bulk look, Winstrol produces a lean, quality look with no fear of excess subcutaneous fluid retention. This makes it a great steroid to use during cutting cycles, when water and fat retention are a major concern. It is also very popular among athletes in combination strength/speed sports such as Track and Field.

The usual dosage for men is 35-75mg per day for the tablets and 25-50mg per day with the injectable version. It is often combined with other steroids depending on the desired result. For bulking purposes, a stronger androgen like testosterone, Dianabol or Anadrol is usually added. Here Winstrol will balance out the cycle a bit, giving us good anabolic effect with lower overall estrogenic activity than if taking such steroids alone.

The result should be a considerable gain in new muscle mass, with a more comfortable level of water and fat retention. For cutting phases Winstrol can be combined with a non-aromatizing androgen such as trenbolone or Halotestin. Such combinations should help bring about the strongly defined, hard look of muscularity so sought after among bodybuilders. Older, more sensitive individuals can add compounds like Primobolan, Deca-Durabolin or Equipoise when wishing to stack this steroid. Here they should see good results and fewer side effects than with standard androgen therapies.

Women usually take around 5-10mg daily. Although female athletes usually find stanozolol very tolerable, the injectable version is usually off limits.

With the structural (c17-AA) alteration, the tablets will also place a higher level of stress on the liver than the injectable (which avoids the “first pass”). During longer or higher dosed cycles, liver values should therefore be watched closely through regular blood work. Although less common, there is still a possibility of liver damage occuring with the injectable form. While it does not enter the body through the liver, it is still broken down by it, providing a lower (but more continuous) level of stress.

Such stress would of course be increased with the addition of other c17-AA oral compounds to a cycle of Winstrol. When using such combinations, cautious users would make every effort to limit the length of the cycle (preferably 6 to 8 weeks) and take some form of liver protectants. It should also be noted that both versions of Winstrol have been linked to strong adverse changes in HDL/LDL cholesterol levels.

This side effect is common with anabolic steroid therapy, and obviously can become a health concern as the dose/duration of intake increase above normal. The oral version should have a greater impact on cholesterol values than the injectable due to the method of administration, and may therefore be the worse choice of the two for those concerned and this side effect.

The oral use of stanozolol can also have a profound impact on levels of SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin). This is a characteristic of all anabolic/androgenic steroids, however its potency and form of administration make Winstrol particularly noteworthy in this regard. Since plasma binding proteins such as SHBG act to temporarily constrain steroid hormones from exerting activity, this effect would provide a greater percentage of free (unbound) steroid hormone in the body.

This may amount to an effective mechanism in which stanozolol could increase the potency of a concurrently used steroid. To further this purpose one could also addition Proviron, which has an extremely high affinity for SHBG. This affinity may cause Proviron to displace other weaker substrates for SHBG (such as testosterone), another mechanism in which the free hormone level may be increased. Adding Winstrol and Proviron to your next testosterone cycle may therefore prove very useful, markedly enhancing the free state of this potent muscle building androgen.

OK, this info comes through ‘Over 40’ and is such relevant info for newbies (and the rest of us too - lol) that I thought I would add it to this thread…

Cycle design considerations:

Introduction
In previous issues, we have discussed the pharmacology of anabolic steroids somewhat. However, ultimately, most are interested in having and understanding the answers to very simple questions, such as, “Which steroids should I use? How much of them should be used, and for how long? What other drugs are needed in combination with the steroids?” However there is no single correct answer for everyone.
I do need to stress that there is no recommendation that anyone “should” use these drugs. We are discussing use by those who have already made that decision for themselves.
The first thing to be considered is, “What are the goals?” And perhaps the second thing to be considered is, “Are those goals reasonable or should they be changed?” All too often I am asked questions from people who wish to add a lot of muscle and cut a lot of fat simultaneously and who want to use the mildest and safest drugs and they want to know what they should do. What they should do is to come up with some goals that do not contradict each other. In this article, we will consider goals and how to achieve them. In all cases we refer to use by male users. Females must use much lower doses to avoid virilization problems, and in fact even low dose use may lead to irreversible lowering of voice, increase of facial hair, etc. Therefore, use by women is a separate issue which is not being addressed here.

Muscle Mass
Let us consider the first goal mentioned: gaining muscle mass. Now this goal depends highly on how advanced one already is as a trainer and/or steroid user. Someone who is already 40 lb. more muscular than he could achieve naturally, and who wishes to add still more for the purposes of competitive bodybuilding, will simply find no use from a recommendation to use 500 mg/week of Sustanon. At best such a dose might allow him to maintain what he has, instead of slowly losing muscle while off drugs. Such an athlete will probably not achieve his goals with less than a gram per week of injectables, stacked with at least 50 mg/day of orals. And he may need more than this. He is already far beyond what he could attain naturally, and more yet will not come easily.

What of the person who, after several years of hard, quality training, is probably fairly close to his genetic limit under natural conditions? He would probably achieve excellent results with this same 500 mg/week dose of Sustanon, and undoubtedly would do so with some Dianabol added as well.

Another person may not even be close to his natural genetic limit in the first place, due to inconsistent or poor training, or novice status. Such a person can make excellent gains without anabolic/androgenic steroids (AAS) at all, and while AAS can increase the rate of gains, one cannot say that any particular drug regimen is necessary or advisable.

Yet another person, who simply wishes to have an attractive physique and appearance by conventional standards, and highly values the condition of his skin and hair, would be poorly served by the advice to use Sustanon or Dianabol at any dose. The likely worsening of his skin and possible acceleration of hair loss would not be worth it. He would be better served with a milder drug, which would allow him to achieve his goals with minimal cosmetic or health risk.

Fat Loss
And what about the second goal: losing fat? Well, this goal is at cross-purposes with gaining muscle. One simply cannot gain nearly as much muscle on reduced calories as on higher calories allowing a fat gain of perhaps 1 lb/week. The person would be best advised to divide muscle gains and fat loss into separate phases. If a person is not at a level of muscularity beyond what he can attain naturally, AAS really are not necessary for dieting down to moderate bodyfat levels such as 8%. However, AAS use can make the dieting easier and faster, especially for natural endomorphs. It does not seem that much of a dose is required in this application. 250 mg/week Sustanon or 400 mg/week Primobolan will be effective. That however is not the case for individuals who are well beyond their natural limits. They will shrink much faster on low dose steroids than on high dose steroids while dieting, and anything less than a gram per week would be obviously much less effective than doses actually used (2-4 grams per week not being unusual in elite circles.)

Safety
Estrogenic effects are one of the serious problems with AAS use. Most AAS either convert to estrogen or even if they may not, act to increase the effect of estrogen. Testosterone, Dianabol, and Anadrol? are particularly noted bad performers in this regard, and nandrolone (Deca) is not by any means immune to conversion to estrogen. Methenolone (Primobolan), trenbolone, oxandrolone, stanozolol (Winstrol), and dromostanolone (Masteron) are AAS which do not convert to estrogen at all and which avoid the problem entirely.

For those compounds which do convert to estrogen, the problems experienced include increased inhibition of natural hormone production (which however is not mediated only by the estrogen receptor, so the problem is not entirely solved by blocking estrogen), possible gynecomastia (abnormal development of breast tissue), liver problems, and water retention. We have previously discussed anti-estrogenic agents.

The other main area of concern with safety of these drugs is hepatotoxicity of oral anabolics. Primobolan oral does not have this problem, but on the other hand, is essentially useless for a male bodybuilder at 5 mg/tab. At least 100 mg/day would be needed even for mild effect, and this simply would be cost prohibitive. Oxandrolone has minimal liver toxicity, but is not known for greatly increasing gains, and is expensive. Stanozolol has some toxicity and is not particularly effective. This leaves methandrostenolone (Dianabol) and oxymetholone (Anadrol?.) Dianabol is rather mild in its liver toxicity, at least if it is not used for many weeks consecutively. Anadrol? can make some users feel rather ill rather quickly. In my opinion, if Dianabol will do the job, and it will in most cases, it is the better drug of the two. If nothing else, it is simply more pleasant for the user.

Cycle Planning
The next thing to be considered, after “What drug?” and “What dose?” is how long the drug should be used, or what pattern should be used if the drugs are varied.

Now again, we must consider the goals of the user. If we are speaking of an IFBB pro it simply is not realistic in today?s age to suggest that he should ever come off the drugs at all while competing. Others are not taking time off, and he would fall behind if he did choose to take off weeks and allow his system to return to normal periodically. Therefore, I am addressing here the concerns of the more average athlete who does not desire to be on drugs perpetually, and desires to maintain most of his gains while off drugs.

If gains are to be retained, losses at the end of the cycle must be avoided. Such losses occur if the natural hormonal axis, involving the hypothalamus, pituitary, and testes, is not producing normal levels of testosterone by the time that anabolic drugs are no longer providing significant levels to the system.

Incidentally, inhibition of each of these organs is somewhat independent of the others, and different factors are involved for each. We’ll look at those issues in a future article.
The risk factors for inhibition are principally length of the cycle, choice of AAS, dosage of AAS, and in the case of orals, dosage pattern of AAS.

Very simply, the longer the cycle, the greater the chance of recovery problems. And in calculating the cycle length, one must take into account the half life of the drug, and the time required for levels to injected drug to fall below inhibitory levels. This will be several half lives. Thus, some people speak of 2 week cycles using Sustanon, with 2 weeks “off,” which is then repeated. But they are incorrect in believing that they are doing 2 week cycles. Because substantial and inhibitory amounts of Sustanon will remain in the system during the “off” weeks, there is no recovery. If a person strings 4 of these cycles together, for example, he will have been on steroids for 16 weeks and may well have a difficult time recovering natural testosterone production afterwards. Thus, this is no solution.

The same type of scheme, however, can be quite successful with testosterone propionate with use of antiestrogens, as reported for example by Alexander Filippidis in a case study. With this shorter acting drug, there is actual time off between cycles.

Single short cycles, with many weeks allowed before beginning another new cycle, don?t seem so efficient. Usually, real strength gains don?t begin coming until the third week or so. While muscular weight may be gained in the first two weeks, it seems that the body is also adapting itself in a manner which will make growth very efficient in the next few weeks: or rather it would, if AAS were still available. Thus, I can?t recommend doing isolated cycles which are shorter than four weeks at the minimum, and really five or six weeks is probably more reasonable. Only in the case of short acting drugs, with very frequent cycles, are two or three week cycles a good idea in my opinion.

While it makes little sense to cut a stand-alone cycle too short, while the body is still ready to gain rapidly, on the other hand, heavy use beyond say 10 weeks becomes fairly likely to result in recovery problems. Furthermore, after the body has already grown a good deal and has been growing for many weeks, it is less ready to grow more. Thus, long cycles are inefficient in that regard, and furthermore are likely to result in greater losses after the cycle. Perhaps 6 weeks of heavy use and two to four weeks of light use is approximately optimal for conservative users.
The choice of AAS is quite critical towards the end of the cycle, so far as inhibition is concerned, but the inhibition issue is not so vital at the beginning. In other words, if one hits the system heavily at the beginning, but then lightly at the end, recovery will be better than if the reverse strategy were employed.
Primobolan, while not an exceptionally strong anabolic per milligram, seems to have a better ratio of anabolic to inhibitory activity than any other steroid, and is my recommendation as the injectable to use in the last weeks of a cycle.

It is not absolutely clear though that this is an intrinsic property of Primobolan. It may be due to the fact that Primobolan does not convert to estrogen, and perhaps (this is speculation) low dose trenbolone might give an equally favorable anabolic/inhibitory ratio.

Dosage for this use is somewhat less clear. Some have made excellent recoveries on a gram of Primobolan per week. In the US, however, such use would be quite expensive. In general, though, I don’t know if most people will recover well with that dose. 400 mg/week is still sufficient to saturate the androgen receptors (ARs) and is a more conservative approach for the last weeks of a cycle.

Where oral anabolics are concerned, once-a-day dosing results in much less inhibition than divided doses. It’s unknown what time of day is best, but morning has been used successfully, and makes sense since that timing will result in little drug being in the system at night and early morning, when LH and natural testosterone production are highest. Thus, switching to once a day dosing in the last few weeks would make sense.

Our goal throughout the cycle as a whole, however, cannot simply be to minimize inhibition. If it were, the answer would be simply to take no AAS at all, or to use very little.

In the early phases of the cycle, inhibition must simply be accepted if serious gains are desired. This is not because inhibition itself in any way leads to gains, but simply because there is inhibition mediated by the androgen receptor, and therefore high levels of androgen will cause some inhibition. And as long as inhibition is occurring anyway, gains may as well be as much as possible. I see no point in half-measures. Either be gaining as much as possible, or be setting yourself up for recovery while still making some decent gains or at least maintaining gains.
For the early part of the cycle, the inhibitory properties of the AAS used are of less importance than the mass-gaining properties.
Two anabolics reign supreme: testosterone and trenbolone (which is found in Parabolan or in illicit injectable preparations of Finaplix.) These AAS appear more effective for mass building than any other injectables.

They may be stacked to advantage: since one is unlikely to be able to afford or to obtain large amounts of Parabolan, it is worthwhile to add testosterone in order to obtain a higher total dose and greater results. Furthermore, there may be a synergistic effect. However, trenbolone itself, particularly in combination with Dianabol, can give excellent results. Oral AAS add their own benefits, not because of binding to different receptors, but probably because of their direct action on the liver, which produces various growth factors.

What about other injectables?
I see little point in stacking weaker injectables such as Deca or Primobolan in the heavy phase of the cycle. While on the one hand they probably won’t hurt ? if they bind to the AR, they will give essentially the same action as testosterone ? if the phase is heavy there is already enough AAS to saturate the receptors. There is no benefit there.

And there is little benefit from any possible non-AR-mediated activity, since these drugs do not seem to have much if any such effect. Nor can they act to reduce the side effects of the heavier anabolics. So there is little point to using them in the heavy phase of the cycle.
Side effects of testosterone are the main reason why people have been interested in weaker drugs such as Deca. However, with an effective aromatase inhibitor such as Cytadren at 250 mg/day, stacked with an effective estrogen receptor antagonist such as Clomid at 50-100 mg/day, testosterone becomes comparable to Deca in terms of side effects for equally effective doses of drug.

Some have found that Proscar acts to minimize effects of testosterone use on skin and hair. The objection that reduced conversion to DHT might reduce muscular growth may have some validity. This might be true either because of loss of DHT activity on nervous tissue, or because of possible loss of non-AR-mediated effects of androstanediol, a DHT metabolite, or an indirect effect not occurring in muscle tissue itself. DHT itself is not an effective anabolic for muscle tissue.

If one chooses to use Proscar to minimize risk of hair loss, I would suggest topical use to the scalp, or if used orally, certainly not in excess of the recommended dose for medically-indicated use.

Recovery
There is one side effect cannot be blocked: if one uses heavy doses of testosterone and/or trenbolone for months, and then ends the cycle, losses of muscle will occur because of poor recovery. LH production will be low, and because it has been low for some time, very often it may take some considerable time for the pituitary to again produce normal levels. Furthermore, testicular atrophy may have occurred, although such can be avoided with occasional use of hCG during the heavy phase of the cycle.

Because of recovery problems, it is wise to limit the heavy phase to 5-8 weeks, and then switch to Primobolan for the last several weeks of the cycle, beginning two weeks after the last injection of long acting ester. Once a day dosing of orals might be concurrent with this.
If long acting esters were used, then the existing drug from the heavy phase will have significant anabolic effectiveness for 2-3 weeks after injection, depending on dose, and thus no injectables would need to be used in those weeks.

After that point, if Primobolan is not available, one might wish to continue with once-a-day dosing of orals, very low dose (100 mg/week) testosterone with use of antiestrogens, or even perhaps use of androdiol or norandrodiol. A balance must be struck, however: there is a middle ground that we do not want to be in. There is a range where there is still some anabolic support yet there is fairly little inhibitory effect, but past this range, there still is not great anabolic effect, but there is substantial inhibition. One does not want to spend more time than necessary in this middle ground, but pass through it relatively quickly. Once in the light phase, the dose must remain low enough to allow recovery of natural hormone production to occur.
Clomid use should continue until the user is confident that natural testosterone levels have returned to normal.

Ultimately, there cannot be one answer for everyone. Different users will have different needs. The above is generally good advice for reasonably conservative bodybuilders who wish substantial results. Those desiring either more moderate or more extreme results would need to adjust their plans accordingly.

Turanabol

Pharmaceutical Name: Turanabol

Chemical name: Chlorodehydromethyltestosterone

Chem. Abstr. Name:
4-chloro-17a-methyl-17b-hydroxyandrosta-1,4-dien-3-on3

Description:
Turanabol is an oral steroid which was developed during the early 1960’s. It has a predominantly anabolic effect which is combined with a relatively low androgenic component. On a scale of 1 to 100 the androgenic effect is very low - only 6 - and the anabolic effect is 53. (In comparison: the androgenic effect of methandienone is 45 and its anabolic effect is 90.) Turanabol is recommended in wasting diseases and HIV symptoms since it does not aromatize.

Oral-Turinabol thus has milligram for milligram a lower effect than Dianabol. It is therefore not a steroid that causes a rapid gain in strength, weight, and muscle mass. Rather, the achievable results manifest themselves in a solid muscle gain and, if taken over several weeks, also in a good strength gain. The athlete will certainly not get a puffy look as is the case with Testosterone, Dianabol, and Anadrol 50. The maximum blood concentration of Oral-Turinabol when taking 10, 20 or 40 mg/day is 1.5 -3.5 or 4.5 times the endogenous testosterone concentration (also see Dianabol). This clearly shows that the effectiveness of this compound strongly depends on the dosage.

0.4 x pound (body weight) x days = number of tablets to take overall during the interval of intake
mg / tablet

An athlete weighing 200 pounds would take only 4 tablets of 5 mg (20mg/day.) In our experience bodybuilders take 8-10 tablets of 5 mg, that is 40-50 mg/day. Many enthusiastically report good results with this dosage: one builds a solid muscle mass, the strength gain is worthwhile seeing, the water retention is very low, and the estrogen caused side effects are rare. Not without good reason Oral Turanabol is also popular among powerlifters and weightlifters who appreciate these characteristics.
Due to its characteristics Oral Turanabol is also a suitable steroid both for men and women in competitions. A usually very effective stack for male bodybuilders consists of 50 mg Oral Turanabol/day, 228 mg Parabolan/week, and 150 mg Winstrol Depot/week. Those who have brought their body fat content to a low level by dieting and/or by using fatburning substances (e.g. Clenbuterol, Ephedrine, Salbutamol, Cytomel, Triacana), will find that the above steroid combination will manifest itself in hard, sharply defined but still dense and full muscles. No enlarged breasts, no estrogen surplus, and no watery, puffy looking muscle system. If Oral Turanabol were available on the U.S. black market for steroids, bodybuilders, powerlifters, and weightlifters would go crazy for this East German anabolic.

Oral Turanabol enjoys a great popularity since it is quickly broken down by the body and the metabolites are excreted relatively quickly through the urine. The often posed question regarding how many days before a test Oral Turanabol can be taken in order to be “clean” is difficult to answer specifically or in general. We know from a reliable source that athletes who only take Oral Turanabol as a steroid and who, in part, take dosages of 10- 15 tablets/day, have discontinued the com-pound exactly five days before a doping test and tested negative. These indications are supported by the fact that even positive urine analyses have rarely mentioned the names Oral-Turinabol or chlordehydromethyl-testosterone.

The potential side effects of Oral Turanabol usually depend on the dosage level and are gender-specific. in women, depending on their predisposition, the usual virilization symptoms occur and increase when dosages of more than 20 mg per day are taken over a prolonged time. In men the already discussed reduced testosterone production can rarely be avoided. Gynecomastia occurs rarely with Oral Turanabol Since the response of the water and electrolyte household is not overly dis-tinct athletes only rarely report water retention and high blood pressure. Acne, gastrointestinal pain, and uncontrolled aggressive behavior are also the exception rather than the rule with Oral Turanabol An increased libido is reported in most cases by both sexes. Since the substance chlordehydromethyltestosterone is 17-alpha alkylated the manufacturer in its package insert recommends that the liver func-tion be checked regularly since it can be negatively affected by high dosages and the risk of possible liver damage cannot be excluded. Thus Oral Turanabol is also a steroid that can be taken without interruption for long intervals. Studies of male athletes who over a period of six weeks were given 10 mg Oral Turanabol/day did not show any indications of health-threatening effects.

Methandriol Di Propioante

Average Dose: 100mg every 2 - 4 days
Half Life: 72hours
Water Retention: none
Aromatization: very slight
DHT Conversion: none

Methandriol Dipropionate is an injectable form of Methandriol and the effects have a longer duration. It is highly anabolic and androgenic and is good for build-up of strength and mass. Literature sites it as being somewhere between the Testosterones and Decabol.

The advantage is that it will not lead to as much water retention as the testosterones and would be similar to Deca in this regard. The main effect that Methandriol has and that is of most interest to athletes is it?s ?receptor sensitising? effects. Taken in combination it enhances the effects of the other steroids by sensitising the receptors in the muscle cell allowing more molecules to bind.

This effect is especially handy for people who have been on long steroid cycles and is experiencing typical plateaus with steroids that worked well before. At the same time it is rumoured to be very effective when used with Anaplex, there are countless ways that Methandriol can be useful as you can imagine.

The usual recommended dose for athletes is 100mgs every 2-4 days.

Typical side effects are similar to the Testosterones and the compound aromatizes only slightly so sensitive individuals may consider using Nolvadex by British Dragon.

Growth Hormone is a polypeptide hormone. This means it is composed of a long chain of amino acids, 191 to be exact. Under normal physiologic conditions, growth hormone is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. This is a gland that lies at the base of the brain in a bony cavity called the Sella Turcica. In addition to growth hormone, the anterior pituitary also secretes prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, and adrenal corticotropic hormone. The secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland is initiated by the hypothalamus, another gland in the brain that lies right next to the pituitary. The hypothalamus initiates growth hormone secretion by secreting growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH); at the same time it stops secreting a growth hormone inhibitory hormone called somatostatin. When somatostatin is turned off and GHRH is turned on, the pituitary will release growth hormone in bursts of activity.

These bursts of growth hormone release occur primarily during deep stages of sleep, such as stage 3 and stage 4. Once released in the blood, growth hormone is very short lived. It is generally completely metabolized and gone within a half-hour. During that time, however, it manages to reach the liver and many other cells in the body, and induce them to make another polypeptide hormone called Insulin-like Growth Factor One (IGF-1). It is really IGF-1 that travels around to the various tissues of the body to effect most of the benefits that we attribute to growth hormone. The secretion of growth hormone itself is regulated by a classic biofeedback loop. This means when levels of growth hormone in the blood reach a certain threshold, growth hormone stimulates receptors in the pituitary to stop further growth hormone secretion. It also stimulates receptors in the hypothalamus to stop GHRH and turn on somatostatin. IGF-1, which goes up in response to growth hormone, also feeds back on the pituitary and hypothalamus to help control growth hormone secretion. This is nature’s system of checks and balances to assure we don’t have too much of any one hormone.

Nomenclature

The nomenclature for growth hormone is a bit complicated, but understanding it from the beginning can save much confusion in the future. Somatropin refers to growth hormone of the same amino acid sequence as the naturally occurring growth hormone. Somatropin extracted from the human pituitary gland was originally designated (hGH, or pit-hGH). Manufactured growth hormone is made by recombinant DNA technology. This is a system of genetically modifying either bacteria cells or mammalian cells in tissue culture so that they include in their genome, the gene that directs the cell to make human growth hormone.

As the cells in the tissue culture grow and function, they will synthesize human growth hormone by the exact same process in the human pituitary. Since this is a natural process, human growth hormone is not considered a synthetic. The proper abbreviation for manufactured (recombinant) human growth hormone is rGH. Unfortunately, the abbreviations have been misused even in the medical community, and recombinant human growth hormone is commonly represented by the abbreviation hGH. The designation is no longer critical since human growth hormone of pituitary origin is no longer used in the United States, or anywhere in the world that I’m aware of. The term hGH or GH therefore, refers to human growth hormone from recombinant DNA technology. It is pure and 100% free of any contaminants or micro-organisms.

History

Prior to the advent of recombinant DNA technology, the only source of growth hormone was from human cadavers. More than 27,000 children worldwide were treated with growth hormone of this source (pit-hGH). Due to short supply, children were treated with low doses and interrupted regimens. As a result, their response and ultimate height was mitigated. Distribution of pit-hGH was stopped in the United States and most of Europe in 1985, with the emergence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. This is a rare and fatal spongiform encephalopathy, caused by a small pathogen called a prion. This is the same pathogen that causes “Mad Cow Disease” recently seen in Europe from infected cattle. It is impossible to catch Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease or any other infection from recombinant human growth hormone because it is not derived from a human or animal source, but from a purified tissue culture. For purposes of this discussion, the term growth hormone, GH or hGH will mean growth hormone made by recombinant DNA technology.

The bio-potency of commercially available growth hormone is typically represented by either milligrams or units. To put it simply, 1 milligram of growth hormone is equivalent to 3 units. The international units were developed by the World Health Organization in order to standardize growth hormone preparations because of the various production techniques used early on in the manufacturing process. By now, the manufacturing process has been streamlined and largely perfected so the bio-equivalency of the various brands of growth hormone (at least those manufactured and approved by the FDA for sale in the United States) are identical. Therefore, a typical 15-unit vial of growth hormone contains 5 mg, and a 4-unit vial contains 1.33 mg.

USES OF GROWTH HORMONE

Growth hormone was initially used for children of short stature who are growth hormone deficient, either because of an inactive pituitary, a tumor of the pituitary, or destruction of the pituitary by surgery or by radiation to remove a tumor. The other pituitary hormones were replaced along with GH. Growth hormone was used only until the children reached an acceptable adult height and then it was stopped because it was thought to be useful only for growth. The other pituitary hormones, however, which were thought to be more critical, were continued throughout adulthood. It wasn’t until much later that adult growth hormone deficiency was recognized to be a problem. It was discovered that adults who were deficient in growth hormone suffered from premature cardiovascular disease, reduced bone density, central obesity, decreased muscle mass, depressed mood, elevated levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, slower wound healing, fatigue, poor exercise tolerance and poor immune function. At that point the use of growth hormone began in this unfortunate population, resulting in improvement of all of the above. It wasn’t until 1990, however, that the benefits of growth hormone and the treatment of normal aging were recognized. The most recent new use of growth hormone is for the treatment of AIDS Wasting Syndrome. This is the condition of weakness, fatigue, and loss of muscle mass in AIDS patients.

Somatopause

Somatopause is an extrapolation of the term “menopause.” Menopause is the condition in women whereby the ovaries atrophy and cease to produce the sex hormones Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. Somatopause signifies the gradual decline in growth hormone production by the adult pituitary gland in both men and women that begins at approximately age 30 and continues at a steady rate throughout life. The decline in growth hormone level that occurs with Somatopause is accompanied by deterioration in the structure and functional capacity of our body, which is ultimately devastating to the human condition. In fact, there is absolutely no difference between the clinical signs and symptoms of aging and those of adult growth hormone deficiency described above. The late Dr. Daniel Rudman first described the benefits of growth hormone therapy in normal aging adults. Dr. Rudman published a landmark article in the New England Journal of Medicine on July 7th, 1990. In his article, Dr. Rudman showed that by putting healthy aging men on growth hormone for six months, he was able to decrease their body fat by 14.4%, increase muscle mass by 8.8%, increase skin thickness by 7.1%, and increase lumbar bone density by 1.6%. These exciting findings clearly inaugurated the movement to supplement growth hormone in healthy aging adults, which today is becoming commonplace.

Treatment Regimens

Growth hormone can be given either subcutaneously or by intra-muscular injection with equal therapeutic activity. Subcutaneous administration is now used almost exclusively because intra-muscular administration is fraught with an increase in side effects without any additional therapeutic benefit. Back in Dr. Rudman’s time, growth hormone was typically dosed three times a week in what we now consider a high dose regimen. People would typically receive 12-18 units per week given in injections of 4-6 units, three times a week. Although great benefits were seen, side effects were very common, and much more bothersome than those we see today. Currently we use only about half the weekly dose used in Dr. Rudman’s study, by smaller and more frequent injections, which provide both a better clinical response and far fewer side-effects. In one study on growth hormone deficient children, those that received daily injections increased their height during the study period by 9.7 centimeters more than those who received thrice-weekly injections.

The reason for this has to do with the biofeedback mechanism for growth hormone. Most of our natural pituitary growth hormone secretion occurs at night during deep stages of sleep. Injecting growth hormone at night raises the serum level of growth hormone precisely during the time the pituitary is scheduled to become active. This high serum level of growth hormone from the injection can suppress our natural pituitary function by negative feedback. We then not only lose the benefit of our own endogenous growth hormone, but also run the risk of surpressing the pituitary, thus making it “lazy”. For the most part, the pituitary has completed its function and is at rest by 5 a.m. Therefore injecting after awakening in the morning results in injecting “on top of the peak” of endogenous (our own) growth hormone, so as not to suppress the pituitary. By the time the pituitary is ready again for its nighttime activity, the growth hormone given in the morning injection has been completely metabolized. This eliminates the risk of pituitary suppression.

Benefits

The benefits of growth hormone use in somatopause which have been clearly documented in the medical literature include the following: a decrease in body fat, an increase in muscle mass, thickening of the skin with decreased wrinkling, improvement in the cholesterol profile, an increase in bone density, enhanced feeling of well being, a decrease in the waist to hip ratio (meaning fat is removed primarily from around the waist where it is associated with a high risk of coronary disease), improvement in aerobic capacity, enhanced immune function and a decrease in the frequency of illness.

Side-Effects

Side effects of growth hormone are generally mild and are largely associated with salt and water retention. The minority of patients that experience this typically complain of mild weight gain from water retention associated with a vague feeling of puffiness. This is sometimes accompanied by joint discomfort, particularly in the fingers, with a feeling of tightness when making a fist. Other joints may also become uncomfortable. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a well-known side effect of growth hormone that was more common in the early days when growth hormone was given in higher dose with lower frequency. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is also a function of fluid retention, which causes water to accumulate in the closed carpal tunnel compartment of the wrist, compressing the median nerve. This results in numbness and tingling in the palm and fingers.

These side effects are easily remedied by abstaining from growth hormone for about a week, and then resuming the treatment with a 20% dose reduction. Older patients are more subject to side effects and are generally started at a low dose of growth hormone than younger adults. Another potential side-effect of growth hormone is the elevation of blood sugar. Growth hormone mobilizes body fat, causing our fat cells to break themselves down and release free fatty acids into the blood stream. These free fatty acids are energy molecules which can be taken up by organs and many of our organs to be used for energy. When our muscles are consuming free fatty acids as a fuel, they are far less interested in sugar, therefore they tend to resist the effects of insulin, and extract less sugar from the blood. At the same time, growth hormone can increase glucose output from the liver to the blood. This combination of effects can raise blood sugar and raise insulin levels, neither of which is good. Fortunately, this is only a problem in people who eat a diet high in sugar and starch, and do little exercise.

Acromegaly

Acromegaly and giantism are diseases of growth hormone excess. These are typically seen by persons who have growth hormone secreting tumors. Giantism refers to the condition of growth hormone excess in children, where their ultimate height is far above normal because the growth hormone excess occurs when the epiphyseal plates of the bones are still open and the bones are growing. Acromegaly refers to growth hormone excess in adulthood after the epiphyses are closed and the bones are no longer growing. In these people the cartilage continues to grow, and the disease is characterized by enlargement of the nose, chin, ears, supra-orbital ridge (eyebrow area), hands and feet. Patients occasionally ask if acromegaly can result from growth hormone supplementation in adulthood. The answer is absolutely not. Acromegaly results in growth hormone levels that are two to ten times that of a normal adult. Keep in mind that when we supplement growth hormone in a controlled and monitored medical program, we bring the level only up to the mid-normal range of an adult. In fact, one would have to use ridiculously high doses by today’s standards to achieve the growth hormone levels seen in acromegaly.

Monitoring

Since growth hormone is metabolized so quickly, it is not easily measured in a blood test. The levels fluctuate widely, and measuring growth hormone is notoriously inaccurate. The best laboratory marker we have for growth hormone is the measurement of Insulin-like Growth Factor One (IGF-1). IGF-1 levels are much more stable in the blood and not only reflect the average daily growth hormone level, but directly reflect growth hormone activity; because IGF-1 is the hormone that carries out most of the benefits of growth hormone. So, despite claims about its shortcomings, it remains an excellent marker of growth hormone effect, and certainly the best one available in the laboratory.

There is one better marker of the benefit of growth hormone, however. It’s what we call the “clinical benefit”. This is the feedback we get from patients who are taking growth hormone. How they are feeling in terms of energy, well being, body composition, frequency of illness, their own physical appearance, etc. is far more valuable a marker than any blood test can be. What we really use the IGF-1 level for is to be certain beyond a doubt that we’re not giving too much growth hormone. We titrate the dose of growth hormone to get an optimal clinical response (a happy patient) even if the IGF-1 hasn’t reached a particular goal range. This often allows us to limit the dose and minimize patient costs. After all, we’re treating the patient, not the blood test.

Secretagogues

Secretagogues are preparations taken orally that are designed to stimulate the pituitary to secret more of our own (endogenous) growth hormone. Secretagogues are composed of amino acids or chains of amino acids called peptides. The usefulness and benefit of these products is extremely variable, with the benefit ranging from moderate to none whatsoever. A very large, and unfortunately, very deceptive industry has grown up around these products, and we recommend they be used only in a monitored program because they often simply don’t work. Measuring the IGF-1 level prior to commencing, and three months after starting a secretagogue program will give you a much better idea of its benefit or lack thereof.

Preparations of Growth Hormone

Although growth hormones is still under patent, several companies have paid royalties to the original developers of human growth hormone for the rights to manufacture and sell it. There are therefore a large number of companies now manufacturing and distributing growth hormone worldwide. Those available in the United States are, by brand name and the manufacturer’s name:

Pharmacia and Upjohn -Genotropin
Lilly -Humatrope
Novonordisk -Nordatropin
Genentech -Nutropin
Serono Laboratories -Saizen
Serono Laboratories -Serostim
Geref
Another option to the use of growth hormone is the use of growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) now manufactured only by Serono Laboratories and branded Geref. GHRH works by stimulating our pituitary to make our growth hormone. This seems a more natural and rational approach because we are stimulating the endocrine axis at a higher level, and increasing levels of growth hormone more naturally. We don’t prefer GHRH however, because we find it more difficult to achieve adequate levels of IGF-1, and it is a bit more expensive.

Summary

Originally taken only from human cadavers, and used only in children of short stature, growth hormone has had an interesting and controversial history. Fortunately, the understanding of its importance in adult physiology came at approximately the same time as recombinant DNA technology, which led to greater availability along with virtual safety.

Soon after this, the comparison was made between growth hormone deficient adults and aging adults. Because of the tremendous similarities, growth hormone began to be used and soon gained great popularity in the treatment of normal aging. Growth hormone is clearly useful and therapeutic in this regard as long as it is used in a carefully monitored, professionally managed program. Any growth hormone program must include proper nutrition and exercise with emphasis on a low glycemic diet.

Forms of Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
By David Leonardi, M.D.

The average person thinks of the damage of aging as an inevitable process of wear and tear. However, if wear and tear were the primary cause of aging in humans, a 60 year-old should have only twice the signs of aging as a 30 year-old.

Why do most 30-year-olds show few effects of aging, while the effects of aging are so obvious in a 60 year-old person? If wear and tear were the major cause of aging, a 90-year-old person would only have 3 times as much aging damage as a 30-year-old.

At the age of 30, people have spent most of their lives with fairly high levels of human growth hormone (HGH). HGH is responsible for growth during childhood – and for the repair and regeneration of human tissue throughout our lives. By the time we reach the age of 30, our HGH levels are only about 20 percent of their peak levels during childhood, and after the age of 30, they continue to decline at about 14 percent per decade, and often much more. By the time most of us are 30 years old, our bodies no longer produce enough HGH to repair all of the damage that is occurring in our bodies. As our HGH levels continue to decline, the damage that we call aging continues to accelerate.

The decline in HGH is not the only cause of the manifestations of aging. Even if our HGH levels remained at the level of a 25 year-old, we would continue to experience the effects of aging, but those effects would be greatly reduced until we reached a very advanced age. HGH does not affect the root cause of aging, as measured by maximum lifespan, but it can certainly affect many of the manifestations of aging.

By increasing the levels of HGH in our bodies, we can slow, or even reverse, many of the manifestations of aging. Ideally, this HGH replacement should begin at about the age of 30 years, but HGH replacement can be beneficial at any age above 30. In fact, for older people, HGH therapy can reverse the manifestations of aging by 5 to 15 years or more. There is no other single therapy currently available that can have the impact on the aging body that HGH can have.

What HGH therapy can do:

? Reduce excess body fat, especially abdominal fat. (The reduction of abdominal fat is the single most profound effect of HGH replacement.)
? Increase muscle mass (and physical strength if combined with moderate exercise).
? Reduce wrinkling of the skin and some other effects of skin aging.
? Re-grow internal organs that have atrophied with age.
? Increase bone density.
? Strengthen the immune system.
? Reverse cognitive decline.
? Stimulate production of the bone marrow cells that produce red blood cells.
? Reduce the probability that you will spend the last years of your life in a nursing home.

What HGH cannot do:

? It cannot eliminate the effects of oxidation damage, although it may alleviate some of it.
? It cannot undo the effects of cardiovascular disease, although it sometimes reduces some of its effects. It can also slow its progression by improving one’s cholesterol profile.
? It cannot eliminate the effects of the reduction of other hormones. In fact, a deficiency of certain other hormones will decrease the beneficial effects of HGH.
? It cannot significantly reverse the damage to human proteins caused by glucose, although it may reverse a little of this damage.
? Although it helps skin to look younger, it cannot eliminate all of the damage cause by sunlight and other ultraviolet sources.
? It cannot increase maximum lifespan.

HGH is produced by the pituitary gland. The ability of the pituitary gland to produce HGH declines very little with aging in most people. The decline with aging occurs one step back from the actual secretion of HGH. There are at least 3 substances which control HGH secretion:

? Growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), a substance which declines with age. Increasing levels of GHRH causes the pituitary to increase its output of HGH.
? Growth hormone releasing peptide (GHRP) is another substance that declines with age. Increasing levels of GHRP also causes the pituitary to increase its output of HGH.
? Somatostatin is a hormone that blocks the release of HGH by the pituitary gland. The natural production of somatostatin increases with age, and causes a corresponding decrease in HGH production by the pituitary gland.

The production of HGH is controlled by GHRH, GHRP, somatostatin, and other substances in the body. The degree to which changes in the levels of each of these substances is responsible for the decline in human growth hormone varies from individual to individual, and is somewhat gender-dependent.

(The only naturally-occuring growth hormone releasing peptide appears to be ghrelin. Ghrelin is a powerful appetite stimulant. When given to laboratory animals, the animals eat huge amounts of food. The weight gain induced by overeating completely overwhelms the fat burning caused by the growth hormone release, and the animals become obese. Pharmaceutical companies have produced synthetic growth hormone releasing peptides, such as GHRP-6 and hexarelin, which stimulate HGH in humans, but do not increase appetite significantly. These substances are not on the market yet, and probably won’t be for many years.)

The effects of HGH in the human body have been studied intensively for decades, but the factors that affect HGH production remain rather complex and mysterious. Part of the reason for this is that the quantities of these substances produced by the body are on the order of a milligram per day in adults. Most people only produce about a teaspoonful of these substances during their entire adult lives.

To make the HGH situation even more complex, HGH is normally released in pulses or bursts throughout the day. There are usually 10 to 20 surges of HGH release, with the largest release occurring shortly after you fall asleep. Is there any advantage to having HGH released in pulses? Or is this simply the body’s most efficient way of producing HGH? Nobody knows the answer to this important question.

There are three basic ways for increasing HGH:

? Taking a substance that increases the natural secretion of HGH by the pituitary gland.
? Using an injectable human growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH).
? Using injectable human growth hormone.

With current technology, taking a substance that increases the natural secretion of HGH generally works best for those between the ages of roughly 30 to 45 years.

For most people over 45, injectable HGH is most effective – and usually the only effective – option (although sermorelin, discussed below, can also be very effective). But let’s look at these three methods in greater detail.

(Unfortunately, some of these details get rather complicated because of the ever-changing legal situation surrounding this subject. I try to keep this chapter written as clearly as possible, but the number of re-writes that I have to do because of the ever-changing whims of governments makes this a very difficult subject to explain clearly.)

There are a number of substances that increase the natural secretion of HGH. Most of them are amino acids. The most effective and economical way of causing this HGH release seems to be taking 2 grams of the amino acid L-glutamine in the morning and taking 10 to 30 grams of the amino acid L-arginine before bedtime. Both of these amino acids must be taken on an empty stomach.

There has been only one scientific study showing that L-glutamine causes HGH release, but there is a large body of anecdotal evidence from anti-aging physicians and their patients that L-glutamine is actually effective in persons under about age 45.

There is a large body of scientific study on the effects of L-arginine on growth hormone release. In fact, the administration of a large dose of L-arginine is the standard test for the ability of the pituitary to release growth hormone. (Another test using insulin is actually more effective, but it is not accepted as the standard test by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.) Most scientists believe that L-arginine promotes HGH release by inhibiting somatostatin. L-arginine has many other benefits in addition to being a growth hormone releaser. See the chapter of this manual on Arginine for additional information about using arginine as a growth hormone releaser and for safety warnings about the use of arginine.

There are several problems with the use of amino acids as HGH releasers. Their effectiveness generally diminishes with age, and with continued use. This has led some people to the opinion that amino acids such as L-arginine are weak HGH releasers. This can be a dangerous assumption. In some young people, L-arginine may actually cause dangerously high levels of HGH release. Many young people use L-arginine, but it should not be used by anyone until at least 5 years after they have completed their long bone growth (unless they are under close medical supervision).

For most people, the doses of amino acids mentioned above (2 grams of L-glutamine and 10-30 grams of L-arginine) are about right for maintaining youthful levels of HGH beginning at about age 30, and continuing into the 40’s, and sometimes (but very rarely) beyond 50. In order to maintain its effectiveness, these amino acids should be used for about 6 weeks, then stopped for 2 or 3 weeks. The same 6-week ON, 2 or 3 weeks OFF cycle can be continued indefinitely. This cycling helps to maintain the effectiveness of the HGH release.

Unfortunately, the effectiveness of HGH release with amino acids is highly variable from individual to individual. For some people, it is not a very effective means of HGH release for any long period of time. For a few (very few) others, it maintains its effectiveness until the age of 60 and beyond.

For these amino acids to be effective, certain other substances must be present, and other substances must not be present.

In order for your body to naturally produce HGH, or to produce HGH in response to certain amino acids, the following things must NOT be present:

? Anti-cholinergic medicines. This includes most medicines that make you drowsy or dehydrated. The most common of these medicines are the antihistamines that make you drowsy, including Benadryl (or any other brand of diphenhydramine), Sominex, Nytol, Tylenol-PM, and Zyrtec. (Claritin, Clarinex and Allegra probably do not affect the HGH-releasing effect of amino acids or natural HGH release.)

? Alcohol, in any appreciable quantity, blunts the HGH-releasing effect of amino acids and also suppresses natural HGH release. An ounce or less of alcohol two or three hours before taking a HGH releaser will have little effect on HGH release, but using alcohol to get to sleep can dramatically suppress your natural HGH release during sleep.

? Eating protein or carbohydrate within 3 hours before (or one hour after) taking an amino-acid HGH releaser will significantly blunt the growth hormone release induced by these amino acids.

There are many commercial products that are advertised to promote HGH release. Many of them are simply extremely expensive versions of the amino acids known to cause HGH release. Some of these products do work, but often at an extremely inflated price. Most of these products (especially the heavily advertised ones) are simply very expensive scams. As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made it more difficult to obtain real human growth hormone, the number of HGH scams has grown by an incredible amount. If you search for information on HGH on the internet, you will find hundreds of these frauds and scams.

Many products are currently being advertised as Oral HGH sprays. The advertising for nearly all of the so-called “oral HGH sprays” is fraudulent. These products could not possibly work. They don’t contain enough HGH to have any biological effect, and all of the scientific evidence indicates that the HGH molecule is far too large to be absorbed through the membranes of the mouth. If HGH is swallowed, it is destroyed in the digestive tract before it can be absorbed into the blood stream.

Many “oral HGH” products advertise their HGH levels in nanograms. Keep in mind that the average daily injectable dose of HGH is 333,333 nanograms, whereas the advertised amount of HGH in “oral HGH sprays” is 600 to 2000 nanograms per day. Also, without refrigeration, more than 90 percent of the HGH in an ordinary liquid solution is lost every 24 hours.

The technology for getting a molecule as large as HGH to be absorbed through the membranes of the mouth or nose is a technology potentially worth billions of dollars. No company that develops such an advanced technology is going to use it on an over-the-counter product. At least one pharmaceutical company has developed a novel technology with the potential to enable the absorption of HGH through the membranes of the nose. The product is in phase 1 clinical trials by Nastech Pharmaceutical Company, Inc. If this product does make it to market, it won’t be for several years, and it will be available only by prescription.

The technology used to make an inhalable form of insulin was originally developed for use with human growth hormone. Genentech spent about $4 million on the use of this technology for an inhalable version of growth hormone between 1986 and 1989, but decided not to spend additional money to take the technology to market. Other companies have been sporadically working on an inhalable version of growth hormone, but it is a very technologically difficult project. Don’t expect an inhalable growth hormone to be on the market for several years.

The one way to enhance your HGH levels regardless of age, or other factors, is to use injectable HGH. For most people past the age of 45 years or so, this (or possibly sermorelin) is the only HGH option that really works well. The use of injectable HGH has been a subject shrouded in mystery for most people.

Any licensed physician can prescribe HGH, but few are willing to do so. It is best to find a physician who is familiar with HGH, and who has other patients using it. There are 3 excellent sources for locating an anti-aging physician, and these three sources are also the best for finding a physician to prescribe HGH therapy. Those lists of physicians are at the following web sites:

The American College for Advancement in Medicine

The Life Extension Foundation

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

Not all of the physicians on the above lists are familiar with HGH therapy, so ask before making an appointment.

Because of the news stories about athletes using excessive doses of HGH, and of bodybuilders who use high doses of HGH in an highly-experimental and medically-uncontrolled environment, governments at the state and federal levels in the U.S. have cracked down on many physicians who write too many HGH prescriptions. This has scared many physicians away from prescribing HGH for new patients and has made finding a physician much more difficult in the past year or two. Lawmakers at all levels of government in the United States believe that it is more important to prevent athletes from cheating than it is to keep ordinary adults healthy and out of nursing homes.

In addition, a number of prominent and powerful individuals have attacked all forms of anti-aging medicine in recent years. If you would like to see the kind of future that these people want for you, visit a local nursing home. A nursing home for the elderly contains the largest concentration of severely growth-hormone-deficient people that you will find anywhere. If you want to see how ill-informed are the opponents of the use of HGH against age-related conditions, do your own research at the National Library of Medicine web site referenced just below.

Because of the confusing way that the laws are written regarding the use of HGH, there has been a debate during the past few years among various attorneys and physicians about whether it is legal to prescribe HGH as an anti-aging treatment in the U.S. Since the FDA does not regard aging as a disease, and since HGH does not seem to affect the fundamental cause of aging, it is probably not legal to prescribe HGH for the nebulous diagnosis of “aging.” Prescribing HGH for specific symptoms (or clusters of symptoms) of aging is an entirely different matter. A very large body of scientific evidence exists that HGH is useful against various manifestations of aging. You will have more success getting a prescription for HGH if you have such symptoms. If you have reached middle age or later, and you have no more symptoms of aging than you did when you were 25, and if you have no genetic tendency to suffer any ill effects from aging, then you will probably have considerable difficulty in getting a prescription for HGH.

The FDA rules regarding the prescribing of HGH are ever-changing, and are usually written in a way that nobody can really understand. As of mid-2007, the strangely-worded FDA guidelines are increasingly being interpreted in a way that would prohibit all use of HGH in adults except for those who are so deficient that they are nearly ready for a nursing home. Under the current conditions, only a few doctors in the U.S. are willing to prescribe HGH for “off-label” conditions, even if they believe that the patient would clearly benefit from HGH replacement. Many older U.S. residents may have go outside the U.S. to get a legitimate prescription from a doctor and have the prescription filled by a pharmacy in that country. Even if you have a legitimate prescription from a physician in another country, and you clearly have a medical need for HGH, there is no guarantee that U.S. customs will allow you to bring back your prescribed medication. This situation may change, though. The increasing oppressiveness of the FDA is causing a backlash against that agency. The latest physician to get in to trouble with the FDA regarding his use of HGH has been acquitted of all charges – and he reportedly was subsequently hired by the FDA to help develop guidelines for the legal “off-label” use of HGH in adults. It is difficult to keep FDA information up-to-date in this chapter because it changes so frequently, and so many people within the FDA have different interpretations of their own rules.

You can do your own research on published scientific studies, starting at the National Library of Medicine web site at:

http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov/gw/

Unfortunately, there are not yet any really long-term clinical studies on the use of growth hormone replacement therapy. Most of the longer studies in persons suffering from only age-related conditions have used bizarre dosing regimens for HGH. This was understandable in the early studies, when the proper dosage in humans was unknown. It does NOT make sense that so many clinical studies continue to use such large doses. Overdosing on any hormone will inevitably lead to adverse effects. Most people using HGH to replace declining levels of growth hormone use one unit per day or less.

Since most physicians who will prescribe HGH are maintaining a very low profile, they are very difficult for most people to find. One additional very valuable source of information can be a local compounding pharmacy. Type the phrase “compounding pharmacy” and the name of your city (or a nearby city) into a search engine such as Google. Ask the compounding pharmacy for the name of a physician who prescribes human growth hormone or who prescribes other bio-identical hormones. There are a few large compounding pharmacies that distribute their prescriptions nationally, and even around the world. These large compounding pharmacies can often recommend doctors all over the country.

There are some very good physicians in other countries, especially Mexico, who will prescribe HGH. It will be necessary to have the prescription filled by a pharmacy in that country. In many countries, HGH is available without a prescription, so you should be able to buy the HGH from any legitimate source in the country where you get the prescription from a physician, then you should be able to bring up to a 90-day supply with you when you re-enter the United States. With the current restrictions on HGH in the United States, you may not be allowed to bring HGH across the border unless you have a doctor’s prescription; and even with a prescription, the medicine that you need may be confiscated by U.S. customs.

Most of the physicians who prescribe any hormone for you will want to do a comprehensive physical examination on your first visit. You will find that this initial consultation is well worth the money. Ask about cost first, though. With many physicians who prescribe natural hormone replacement, this initial exam will cost about $200 plus the costs of routine blood tests. The typical cost is often much higher in the coastal population centers, especially in New York, Florida and California. (A few “high-end” anti-aging clinics will charge $1,500 or more for an initial exam. The more expensive clinics may also want you to buy HGH directly from them for a highly inflated price – 4 or 5 times the price you would pay at your local drugstore.)

For preventive medicine, the ACAM physicians as the most likely to offer excellent service at a very reasonable cost, although most ACAM physicians are not comfortable prescribing HGH unless you are an established patient and the physician is thoroughly familiar with your medical history.

The physician who prescribes HGH will probably want to measure your IGF-1 levels before prescribing HGH, and again a few months after you begin taking HGH. IGF-1 is an abbreviation for Insulin-like Growth Factor 1. It is also known as Somatomedin-C. IGF-1 is a marker for HGH. Since natural HGH is released in surges, and it has a very short lifetime in the body, it is not practical to measure your HGH levels directly. Much of the HGH is used by the body to produce IGF-1, which has a fairly long lifetime in the body. An IGF-1 test generally costs about $100.

It was once thought that the effects of HGH were due to only to IGF-1. We know that IGF-1 has important effects, but the advantages that one gains with HGH are often not proportional to the increase it causes in IGF-1 levels. Some people on HGH therapy have only a small increase in IGF-1 levels, yet have large positive results from using HGH.

In spite of what a few government officials may say, there is no one universal medically-accepted test for measuring growth hormone deficiency in adults. It requires the judgement of a physician based upon a number of factors, and such judgements are always controversial.

Which brand of HGH?

The sharp reduction in the price of HGH during the 1990’s was due to the fact that several companies began producing it. Since the beginning of 2004, however, prices at most pharmacies have jumped by about 25 percent. The price is still going back up by a few percent per year. In the United States, injectable human growth hormone is available in the following brands:

? Humatrope (from Eli Lilly). This was the first brand of HGH to become widely available.
? Genotropin (from Pharmacia/Upjohn).
? Saizen (from Serono Laboratories).
? Norditropin (from Novo Nordisk)
? Nutropin (from Genentech)

In addition, Omnitrope, manufactured by the Sandoz division of Novartis, was approved by the FDA on May 31, 2006.

Serono also makes two additional brands of HGH, Serostim and Zorbtive, for special uses in diseases that require high doses of HGH.

All of these brands contain real high-quality injectable HGH made with recombinant DNA technology. Each of the brands is a little different in the packaging and mode of delivery, though.

In countries where Omnitrope is sold, the price has been about 25 percent less than the other brands. Despite its FDA approval more than a year ago, Omnitrope has not penetrated the U.S. market well at all.

Tev-Tropin is a form of HGH that is manufactured in Israel and approved for sale by the FDA in the United States. It is not completely identical to human growth hormone since it contains an extra amino acid. (Tev-Tropin contains 192 amino acids while natural HGH contains 191 amino acids.) Tev-Tropin is less expensive that other forms of HGH, though, and has undergone extensive safety testing.

Originally, the HGH package consisted of two vials. One vial contained powdered freeze-dried HGH. The other vial contained sterile water with a bacteriostatic preservative. When the user was ready to begin using the contents of the package, a certain amount of the sterile water would be drawn out of the second vial (with a needle and syringe) and injected into the first vial to dissolve the powdered HGH. The solution would then be ready for injection. The unused portion would have to be kept refrigerated. The entire vial of dissolved HGH would have to be used within 2 or 3 weeks.

The HGH is dissolved by the patient because HGH powder is much more durable than dissolved HGH. The dissolved HGH is very susceptible to being attacked by bacteria and degraded by proteolytic enzymes. HGH is always normally refrigerated, but if HGH powder is is left at room temperature for a few hours, no harm is done as long as the room is not too warm. Recently, some brands have developed formulations that can be kept outside of a refrigerator for extended periods, as long as they don’t get too warm. (Sterile powdered HGH can even be left in a cool room for days or weeks, but this is not a good idea.) After being dissolved in water, the un-refrigerated HGH solution ordinarily loses its much of its potency after a few hours, and becomes completely unusable in a day or two, especially if the room is warm. The HGH solution must be kept refrigerated (unless you have one of the newer special formulations that state otherwise).
HGH is still often sold with the HGH powder separate from the sterile water, but there are now several more convenient options for the mixing process.

In the Genotropin Intra-Mix cartridge, the HGH powder and the sterile water are in separate compartments of the same cartridge. Turning a knob on the handle at one end of the cartridge (until it screws all the way in – three turns) automatically mixes the HGH and the sterile water. Since there is no mixing needle exposed to the room air, better sterility is obtained, and the Intra-Mix cartridge is advertised to last 3 weeks after mixing. (In the past, most other brands were advertised to last only 2 weeks, but this situation is changing. The Norditropin Pen and the Genotropin Miniquick are both newer products with much longer lifetimes.)

Another nice thing about special devices such as the Genotropin Intra-Mix cartridge is that it is very expensive to counterfeit such packaging. Counterfeit medicines are always a potential problem, and the older conventional two-vial HGH package is very easy to counterfeit – and very profitable for any counterfeiter.

Genotropin Intra-Mix cartridges also have the most concentrated solution of HGH. With the 5.8 mg. (17.4 unit) cartridge, one unit of HGH is only 0.06 cc. This is about two drops. (This can be a significant psychological advantage when you’re first learning to inject HGH.)

Most HGH packages require you to inject the HGH using insulin syringes. (The same ones used by diabetics.) Usually, you will use the smallest size syringe. This is a 0.3 cc. syringe with an 8 mm. 31 gauge needle. This is a very short, very thin needle. The B-D Ultra-Fine II insulin syringe with the 31-gauge needle is far superior to the syringes with the 30-gauge needles that were the best available until rather recently.

Some HGH packages use a pen with a built-in needle. For those who wish to avoid needles completely, Saizen is available in the CoolClick cartridge which blasts the HGH through the skin in a very narrow jet. Buying Saizen with the CoolClick cartridge will increase the cost, though.

Depending upon where they are purchased, both the Genotropin Miniquick and the Norditropin Pen may actually cost less than the more conventional packaging.

HGH is sometimes measured in international units, and sometimes measured in milligrams (mg).

3 International Units = 1 milligram

Different doctors have different recommendations for the amount of HGH you should inject. The dose may depend upon your age and overall health. It is best to start with a low dose, such as one-half unit per day, and work up from there. Most physicians recommend taking 1 unit per day, 4 to 7 days a week.

Adverse effects from injectable HGH therapy are very rare as long as the amount of HGH used averages 1 unit or less per day. Most physicians familiar with adult HGH replacement therapy believe that 1.5 units per day reaches the point of diminishing returns, and more than 2 units per day begins to put you at some risk of side effects. (The clinical studies that resulted in frequent side effects from HGH used much larger doses. In fact, all the the most frequently-quoted clinical studies have used doses that we now know are ridiculously high doses.) In general, side effects of HGH are very rare in doses of 1 unit per day or less and common in doses above 2 units per day.

When you increase or decrease your dosage, it is best to do it very slowly. Even at doses below 2 units per day, abrupt changes in dosage can cause temporary problems such as water retention and headache in some people.

Many people experience increases in blood glucose levels when starting HGH. This effect usually goes away with time, but there appears to be a definite advantage to taking the prescription medicine metformin along with HGH to keep glucose levels under control. (Also, there is evidence that metformin can slow the aging process at a more fundamental level than HGH.) Alpha Lipoic Acid, a nutritional supplement, can also help to keep blood glucose levels under control.

Blood tests for thyroid function should be performed about three months after starting HGH. Growth hormone restores the ability of the body to convert the thyroid hormone T4 to T3, which is the active form. For this reason, it may decrease the need for thyroid, especially T3 replacement, in individuals with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). On the other hand, a recent medical study reported that growth hormone may unmask a previously undiagnosed thyroid problem. When the rest of the body begins functioning better, an aging thyroid gland may require assistance in the form of thyroid hormone supplementation. So your thyroid requirements may go up or down. There is no way to know without testing.

Anyone on any kind of hormone replacement therapy needs careful medical monitoring and frequent blood tests.

Since the largest natural HGH release in healthy young people occurs shortly after the onset of sleep, most doctors originally suggested that HGH be injected just before bedtime. Some people (especially those between 40 and 65 years old) report better results taking the HGH in the morning (or at some other time of the day), and letting their pituitary gland supply the nighttime HGH dose.

Most people over the age of 65 or 70 have a very small natural production of HGH after sleep onset, so injecting HGH just before bedtime is probably best for these older people.
There appears to be a definite advantage to dividing the HGH into a few smaller injections taken throughout the day. The advantage is usually not a large one, though, and most people find this far too inconvenient.

For most people, convenience outweighs the small advantages of one dosing schedule over another. Most people inject their growth hormone once a day at whatever time is the most convenient.

HGH requires a somewhat larger dose in women to achieve the same effectiveness as in men. Exactly why this is true is not well understood. It is known that taking oral estrogen cuts the effectiveness of HGH in half as compared with transdermal estrogen. Women taking oral estrogen should consider switching to patches or gels.

People who do not start HGH replacement until after the age of 70 may have to remain on a lower dosage than younger individuals in order to avoid adverse effects. Many people who do not begin HGH until after they are 70 should not go above about one-half unit per day. This will, of course, vary by individual.

For more information about the practical aspects of using HGH, and other hormones, the following book is one of the best available on the subject: Elmer Cranton, M.D. Resetting the Clock: 5 Anti-Aging Hormones That Are Revolutionizing the Quality and Length of Life. (M. Evans and Co. 1997)

More excellent information can also be found at Dr. Cranton’s web site. Dr. Cranton’s web site also includes updates of the book mentioned above.

References:
Jerry Emanuelson
The thymus gland: a target organ for growth hormone.
Savino W, Postel-Vinay MC, Smaniotto S, Dardenne M.
Laboratory on Thymus Research, Department of Immunology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro,
Scand J Immunol. 2002 May;55(5):442-52.
Age-associated loss of bone marrow hematopoietic cells is reversed by GH and accompanies thymic reconstitution.
French RA, Broussard SR, Meier WA, Minshall C, Arkins S, Zachary JF, Dantzer R, Kelley KW.
Laboratory of Immunophysiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois 61801, USA.
Endocrinology. 2002 Feb;143(2):690-9.

An excellent technical book on HGH for scientists and health care professionals:
GROWTH HORMONE IN ADULTS: Physiological and Clinical Aspects, edited by Anders Juul and Jens O. L. Jorgensen. Cambridge University Press: 2000. (Very highly recommended)

==============================
I personally don’t use gear nor am I considering buying some. Using gear is a personal choice and I don’t judge anyone for using it. I’m not a narc but I am studying this topic for legal research purposes. What I don’t understand is how the government allows cigs to be sold legally yet bans… well, we all know about politics.

Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. When Congress acts there is little connection between knowing and comprehension. Many people don’t get caught. I only want to offer an explanation of the change in the law that could affect one’s decision. Under federal law we have new anabolic steroids such as androstanediol, androstanedione, androstenediol, androstenedione, bolasterone, calusterone, methyldienolone, norandrostenediol and tetrahydrogestrinone just to name a few. What about meds from large corporations that killed some people a couple of years ago? The law is unfair and silly but it is still the law. Maybe if Arnold’s people can help amend the Constitution and he gets elected…

While many fellow lifters may be tempted to try a cycle you should be aware that there are risks involved. While most prosecutors don’t go after small fish all it takes is for an ADA or AUSA with a mind to make a name for himself to go after someone. The new law provides that steroid precursors are now classified as controlled substances just like heroin.

Also, prohormones are now Schedule III drugs, just like Vicodin. Persons who possess prohormones now face arrest and prosecution. While there a lot of factors that go into cases, if you get caught and if the prosecutor has an axe to grind you could spend a lot of money getting out of legal trouble. Thousands.

Let’s say you’re caught while possessing a single andro tablet, yes I said single, is now a federal crime punishable by up to a year in jail for a first offense, which applies retroactively. The good news is that it is unlikely that we will see local cops arresting possessors of the newly scheduled prohormones. Not just because they have to catch rapists, kiddie porn bastards, etc., but also because at present the products are controlled only at the federal level.

Some states have joined the bandwagor so be sure to check your state’s laws. Hypothetically, John Smith catches a case for gear possession. Nationally, most steroid cases are brought in state courts rather than federal district courts. What this means is that if a given substance is not scheduled by state statutes, then state courts dump the case because they can’t prosecute for a controlled substance crime. Other charges may be alive so John may not be out of the woods yet.

The bad news is that a lot of cases come from the casual user being charged as a dealer. Even some cops on gear have been caught and charged as dealers. In a typical case John Smith gets arrested for a gear charge for selling them to Bill Smith, no relation, who has his own legal problems and just got flipped.

Pursuant to the United States Code and various state statutes selling steroids, or possessing them with intent to sell is a felony. If John Smith was selling gear or possesses said gear unlawfully with intent to sell then he is facing five years in prison under federal law and up to seven years in prison under New York state law while his lawyer orders the imported tile.

To get the best deal possible can result in hiring a good lawyer and the cheapest one I found wants $5,000 just to start things moving. The odds of John going to prison depend on the facts of the case, the ADA, his criminal history, ties to the community, etc.

summarise

[quote]Thewannabe wrote:
Reserved for more information.

STICKY! STICKY! Thanks.[/quote]

You’re serious?

Overkill.

If the newbs don’t have the inclination to make it through the newbie thread on their own without it being summarized and spoonfed to them, then they sure as hell are not going to read through 6 or 10 or however many we intend to have stickies.

I think your heart is in the right place here, but there is already a perfectly good newbie thread up top. I didn’t have any problem navigating it.

I just preemptively stole the idea from a thread. People seemed to agree it was a good idea. Bah!

I think this is a good idea. Perhaps add in some of the key conversations and info added later on that thread, delete the non-informative posts here, and make this the new stickied newbie thread. Of course the first thing at the top of this thread needs to be a link to the original steroid newbie thread.

I hadn’t seen the discussion about this in the other thread. After having read what is planned, I retract my statement above. I’ll support this.

Pharmacies run by the feds?..i highly doubt that. Scammers yes.

[quote]Poacher1632 wrote:
Pharmacies run by the feds?..i highly doubt that. Scammers yes. [/quote]

Not brick and mortar pharmacies, or even legitimate online pharmacies, but fake sites set up as “pharmacies” that sell ONLY illegal substances such as steroids. Regardless, I really doubt there is any such website, but I could be wrong.

Any other opinions on this + a chat between a newbie and a vet.

I would really really apreatiate if a vet would privately talk with me I need some advice badly .

Make a post and ask your questions. Commenting on a 11yr old thread isn’t the best route to take.

1 Like

Thanks