(Note: Picture not related? Get over it! You try scouring through hundreds of pictures of half naked muscular men looking for something even half related…)
Steroids and weightlifting are inexorably bound. It is likely that when you see someone who has achieved an extraordinary physique, you immediately start to question their substance use. If you are serious about your physique, it is even likely you’ve considered using them.
And why not? The benefits include: increased muscle mass,
decreased bodyfat, increased strength, and increased sense of well-being and libido. I don’t know about you, but to me, this seems like the cat’s meow. A simple prick with an oil filled needle once or twice a week and everything you do becomes better. It’s the very essence of human. It’s everything you want, and it’s fast.
So am I for or against steroid use? Get ready for disappointment. It depends.
It really doesn’t matter how I feel about it. The fact is, I know a lot about it (and drugs in general). I’m condensing over a year of reading from various scientific journals, reference books, and online forums into something practical for you.
So we’ll start at the beginning, as that only seems natural:
Testosterone is largely recommended as the base steroid for any cycle. Normally a longer acting ester such as enanthate or cypionate is used. These esters cause a gradual release of free testosterone in the body, with levels peaking at day three (post injection) and slowly declining thereafter, reaching physiological levels at around the two-week mark. There are longer acting testosterone esters such as decanoate and undecanoate, which can be injected as little as once a month, however the exit of these esters from the body is a little less predictable (as has been shown in studies using nandrolone decanoate, “deca”).
Why testosterone as the base? Glad you asked. There are two main reasons.
First, testosterone is your own natural steroid, and anything that is not testosterone, while still being a steroid, is going to cause shutdown of the HPTA axis (more on this later) without giving you test in it’s place. This is where you run into problems with libido and energy levels, often seen with users of over-the-counter pro hormones (which are just loophole steroids). This is the opposite of what you’re expecting on steroids. Why make it suck?
Secondly, and more importantly, testosterone doesn’t just do one thing in the body. It is acted on by a number of enzymes and is a part of a shit ton of biochemical pathways, some of which modern science doesn’t even know about yet. Things that you don’t expect to be affected by test often are, which is part of the reason you see those same users of pro hormones often getting sick during their cycles. So, in essence, you keep test in the cycle because it needs to be there, and you know its safe because you’ve been on it your whole life.
I know what you’re thinking…and yes, testosterone must be injected. Testosterone Gel and capsules are used medically to treat waning sex drive and replace hormones in aging men. The thing is, neither of these treatments produces muscle growth or fat loss because they can’t achieve the kind of supraphysiological levels of testosterone that injections can. So man up.
My friend said I could just take Winny and get shredded (Dbol/huge).
Your friend is a dumbass that will never keep his gains. You should already know why you don’t take orals by themselves. I know, it may be appealing to first time users and guys who just aren’t that serious because you don’t want to stick yourself with a needle, but it’s pretty necessary. Oral steroids (almost) all have a chemical modification on them that makes them resistant to metabolism by the liver. This is necessary because if you take a steroid orally (let’s say testosterone) these same liver enzymes tear it apart so it never makes it to your blood stream.
But this same chemical modification makes these drugs very liver-toxic. So much so that using them for more than six weeks can lead to acute liver failure. This is dependent on dose, drug strength, and preexisting conditions, but still, it’s quite short. When you compare the 12 weeks that is standard for a testosterone cycle, you just have less time to grow. True, people tend to get big quicker with oral steroids, but as a general rule, the faster you blow up, the faster you shrink when it’s all over. Don’t forget the end goal is to keep muscle mass you’ve gained when it’s all said and done.
Steroids have side effects (oh shit!). Some individuals may be predisposed to certain things (acne, gynecomastia, MPB, BPH, etc) and may want to use drugs to reduce side effects and in so doing make the overall cycle more comfortable. I’m going to go over the few you may want to use.
Male Pattern Baldness/Benign Prostate Hyperplasia: Finasteride/Dutasteride
Both of these drugs inhibit an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase. This is the enzyme responsible for converting Testosterone into its more powerful brother, DHT. DHT has been linked to male pattern baldness and prostate issues pretty conclusively. Some may find this useful. However, try to keep your dose low. DHT is responsible for many of the positive effects from testosterone, so you don’t want to destroy it.
Acne Vulgaris: Accutane
I can personally attest to the potency of this drug. Since puberty I’ve had acne, not cystic horrible acne, but consistently annoying, self esteem lowering acne. After just a week and a half of using this product, my face was completely clear. This shit works, and it works well. But it has its own list of side effects and trying to get a script from a doctor is next to impossible because the medical community has their head up their ass.
A caveat, this stuff will dry you out. Buy some lotion to keep on you and chapstick as these will be a necessity.
There are other options for estrogen control. Some will say SERMs (will be discussed in post cycle drugs article) are the way to go, but if you want something to be effective without question, use one of these guys. They are used medically to treat estrogen-dependent breast cancer. They inhibit the enzyme aromatase, which converts testosterone into estrogen. They lower estrogen levels drastically.
Another warning, just like DHT, estrogen has effects you want to have around, so try for the most moderate dosing you can.
Cholesterol: SERMs or supplements
Some of you that are hip to pharmaceuticals may notice that I did not mention statins. There is a good reason; I am firmly against the use of statins if it can be at all avoided. Skewed cholesterol should be attacked from every which direction BUT statin use. SERMs have beneficial effects on cholesterol levels and may keep your gyno in check. So I would go with those first. After that, supplements such as policosanol and garlic can be looked into.
- Beginner (basic): 750 mg Test each week
- Divide dose between two shots weekly
- Use a 23 gage needle head for maximum comfort
- Use alcohol wipes to maintain sterility on both vial top and injection site
- Cycle length: 12 weeks
- Post Cycle is necessary
- Further drugs are not necessary, but will be explored further in other articles
- Use ancillary drugs as needed
- Consume more protein, as your body can utilize more for muscle growth on cycle
- Google injection site procedure, common areas are quads, delts and glutes
- DO NOT do an oral-only cycle or use any oral for more than six weeks
- Get blood work done if at all possible to make sure your panels are within range
- Continue to read my articles because they’re so jam-packed with knowledge
Steroids and their alternatives should always be used safely and with caution. Abuse of these kinds of supplements can lead to necessary drug treatment.