Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to Avoid Side Effects

Side effects seen with steroid use include gynecomastia, alopecia (or hair loss), acne, and edema or water retention. Most of these can be avoided or the risks can at least be minimized. To prevent gyno, either use non-aromatizable steroids or nolvadex/clomiphene. Alopecia can be helped by using finasteride (Propecia). Acne can be helped by keeping your skin clean, using an over-the-counter product containing salicylic acid, and avoiding the more androgenic steroids.

Water retention can be avoided somewhat by closely monitoring sodium intake as well as sticking to non-aromatizable steroids. (Excessive sodium intake usually leads to excess water retention whether you're juicing or not.) As far as minimizing liver damage, simply don't use 17-AA steroids, and if you do, don't use them for prolonged periods of time. In truth, most of the horror stories you hear about steroid side effects come from people who didn't do any research and didn't put any thought or planning into their cycle. Still, there are risks.

The Quality of Human vs. Vet Steroids

Chances are, if you get a hold of some gear, it's going to be a veterinary product. The reason being is that it's much cheaper than human versions and is often just as good. Not to mention, it's also more available. The question that some people have is whether or not the vet steroids "work as well" as the human versions.

The fact is, as long as they're dosed correctly, they'll work just as well. I've heard some people say that nandrolone decanoate in veterinary form doesn't work as well for humans because it's meant for animals. This just isn't true. Look, the fact is nandrolone decanoate is nandrolone decanoate. Just because the label says it's for animal use only doesn't decrease the effectiveness.

Now, the only two things that should be of concern are under-dosed and unsterile products. Make no mistake about it, most of these "vet" companies know that humans consume much of their marketed products. They also know that a bad reputation will soon leave them broke. So most companies make sure that their products are sterile and dosed correctly in order to have repeat customers.

However, there are a few companies that screw up here and there. One such company is Brovel. According to Brock Strasser, quite a few guys report infections and such while using their products. In all fairness, I know a few guys who have practically lived on Brovel's T-200 and Norandren for years and have never had a problem. Still, Brock knows his stuff when it comes to this type of issue, so I personally wouldn't take the chance. Stick to what Brock deems as clean and correctly dosed and you should be fine.


How Much is this Going to Cost Me?

Costs can vary greatly depending on where you are, who you go through, and what brand you're getting. Just as with anything that you may purchase, shop around for the best deals or go directly to the source, if possible. In other words, bringing it back from Mexico yourself will be much cheaper than buying it from a local dealer. Each method has its own set of risks, of course.

Injection Techniques

Injection Techniques

Now, the injectable steroids are meant to be delivered intramuscularly, meaning, that you're going to have to inject relatively deep into the muscle. The "standard" needle is 22 gauge, 1.5 inch. This is used for injection into the buttocks. You can also use a smaller needle, like a 25 gauge, one inch, but it will take longer to inject and there's a chance you may not inject into the muscle fibers, depending on how much fat is on your ass. Generally though, most guys can get away with using a one inch needle. Also, you should take into account that although it will inject a lot faster, a larger gauge like 20 or below, will cause more pain and will damage more tissue.

The second most common injection site is the thigh. With this, you should only need a one inch needle. You can also inject into the shoulder as well as other places, but I'd prefer if you stuck with these two for now.

Okay, so now the question is, "Where exactly should you inject?" Well, if you're going to inject into the buttocks, you'll need to pick a cheek and then imagine a horizontal line beginning at the crack of your butt and extending outwards. Next, imagine a vertical line right down the middle of the first line. So now your butt cheek should be divided into four squares. The place to inject is in the upper most corner on the outermost section, i.e. the top right square.

For the thigh, a quick way to do it is to look at your hip and knee, and then imagine a line in between the two. This and a little bit lower are the areas you can inject. Make sure this is on the outside of your thigh!

Okay, so now you're ready. First thing? Wash your hands. Now find the spot, take a cotton swab and put some rubbing alcohol on it. Swab the area that you'll inject. Grab the syringe and push it in at a 90° angle. (Some say to hold the needle like you're about the throw a dart.) Once the needle is fully submerged, pull back on the plunger just slightly and look to see if any blood enters. If it does, pull out and find a new place, as you've entered a vein and you don't want to inject into a vein.

If no blood appears, begin to push the plunger. Remember, the slower you push, the less pain you'll feel. Once the liquid is gone, pull the syringe directly out and apply a cotton swab to the site. Hold tightly for about 30 seconds and then either tape it on or put a bandage on it. Pull your pants back up; you're done!

There's also an old trick that involves pulling the skin slightly over to one side before you stick in the needle. After you inject, let the skin go back to it's normal place. This is said to close the little path made by the needle to keep all your gear in your ass where it's supposed to be. This isn't that much of a worry in all honesty, but it's an option.

Discard the syringe in a safe place and use a new one for the next injection. Never use the same needle twice (it'll be dull, plus you'll risk infection by reusing it) and, of course, never share a needle with anyone, especially if your training partner just happens to be a Haitian hemophiliac homosexual intravenous drug user.

The Safest and Most Effective Cycles

The safest cycles would include, of course, the safest steroids, for a short period of time. The most effective cycle, on the other hand, is generally going to include the most risks. Such is the nature of steroids; the most effective stuff is also the most "dangerous," so to speak. Also keep in mind that there's no perfectly "safe" or risk-free steroid. One particular steroid may not give you gyno, but may be tough on the liver. Another may not be tough on the liver, but may increase the risk of your hair falling out. See what I mean? This is the "give and take" of the steroid game.


*As with all anabolic steroids, methenolone will cause some inhibition of your own Testosterone production and may cause some testicular atrophy, i.e. your balls may shrink a little. (They usually return to normal after you discontinue use, however.) You can greatly reduce these effects by simply using something like clomiphene (Clomid) both during and after the cycle.

The Tool Box

If you're going to use any injectable gear, then of course you're going to need some "darts." You can pick up syringes at your local pharmacy unless your state has certain restrictions. Also, you can purchase needles online. Just do a little searching around and you'll find several places that'll hook you up. Syringes will run you around 50 cents apiece. Note that it'll be more difficult to obtain needles (at least from the larger, more "legit" companies) if you live in California and Illinois. You'll usually need a doctor's prescription in those states. Still, if you look around enough, you can get what you need.

You'll need anywhere from a one inch to 1.5 inch, 25 to 22 gauge syringe. Remember, the bigger the gauge, the smaller the needle. Bill Roberts also writes about using super tiny insulin needles (29 or 30 gauge) and compensating for their narrow size by injecting very slowly, like for a full minute.

You'll want to get around ten or more syringes, depending on how many injections you plan on doing. Just go up to the pharmacist and ask for them. Try not to be wearing your Testosterone T-shirt. In most cases the pharmacist won't ask you anything, but some are "funny" and like to play God by telling you that they won't sell them to you or that they don't have them. If they do ask, simply tell them that you take injections of Testosterone for replacement therapy and you have to pick up some syringes. After this, go and get a bottle of rubbing alcohol and some cotton swabs. You may also want to get some band-aids.

Next up, you'll need to get some products that are a little more difficult to obtain. These are clomiphene, tamoxifen (Nolvadex), and possibly Anastrozole. Whether you choose tamoxifen or clomiphene is up to you. If you have an aromatizable steroid, it would be best to use tamoxifen or high dosages of clomiphene in order to prevent the large increases of estrogen from binding to receptors in areas like breast tissue. If you don't do this, you could end up with gynecomastia, aka bitch tits, dollies, and formerly known as Pamela Lees.

If the steroid doesn't aromatize, you'll still need something to help your endogenous (natural) Testosterone levels recover. That something should be clomiphene. While tamoxifen can also increase Testosterone levels, you'll need to use higher dosages to do so. Regardless, think of these things as necessary tools. These two will help save you a lot of trouble! Don't do a cycle unless you have one of them. Anastrozole can be an alternative when using an aromatizable steroid, although it's rather expensive. Remember, place clomiphene or tamoxifen in the same class as syringes and rubbing alcohol. In other words, you can't start the cycle until you have them. Most sources that sell steroids also sell Clomid and the like. Alternatively, you can read my article, Your Doctor, Your Dealer for more ideas on how to pick up what you need.

Steroids for Dummies

Anabolic Basics for Beginners
By Cy Willson




Check out this letter:

Dear Cy,

I've never done steroids before, but I'm thinking of giving them a go. I'll probably be using orals since they're safer, plus I'm not exactly ready to wrap tubing around my arm and start poking around for a vein! Anyway, I was wondering how many pills I should take. Thanks!

Tom

I know, I know, you probably have the urge to reach through your computer, drag Tom out on his undereducated butt, and beat some sense into him. Yep, me too. Tom obviously doesn't know enough about steroids to even be thinking about starting a cycle. He doesn't realize that steroids are designed for intramuscular use (not intravenous use), he thinks orals are safer, and based on his question, I don't think he even knows that there are different kinds of 'roids! The sad part is that there are actually a few steroid newbies out there who know less than Tom about what they're about to put into their bodies.

Well, with all of those "dummies" books that have surfaced lately, we've decided to create our own version dealing with steroids, just for guys like Tom and all those who are thinking of making the big leap into the world of anabolics. Heck, if I'm lucky, maybe this'll become as popular as Windows for Dummies or Nude Golf for Dummies. In short, this article should serve as a quick reference guide for all the steroid newbies out there.

Oh, and please don't take offense at the word "dummy," as it's not meant to insult your intelligence in any way. It's just a way of "funnin" with those guys who are steroid virgins as well as providing some rudiments of steroids and their usage. Just think of this as a "Gear 101" survey class and get ready to take some notes. Here we go!


Steroids: What the Heck are They Anyway?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic analogs or derivatives of Testosterone and nor-testosterone. In the 1930s, scientists found that these anabolic steroids could increase the growth of muscle in lab animals. The compounds were then used to treat debilitating diseases in humans.

In the 1950s, a doctor, John Ziegler had dispensed an oral anabolic steroid by the name of Dianabol. Soon after, athletes began to use this steroid in order to increase muscle mass and strength. Soon, more and more analogs and derivatives were being made available to athletes.

While all steroids have the same four ring carbon structure, simple chemical alterations produced different effects in terms of anabolic/androgenic activity. Anabolic activity refers to the steroid's ability to facilitate skeletal muscle growth, while androgenic activity refers to how potent the drug is at inducing the development of male sexual characteristics (facial hair, deep voice, the ability to channel surf and watch six TV programs at once, etc.)


How They do Dat?

Now, even though all of the exact mechanisms through which anabolic steroids exert their effects haven't been discovered, they all increase muscle mass to some degree. One way steroids are believed to work is by binding to the androgen receptor (AR). Once the steroid has bound to the AR, it begins to activate protein synthesis. This protein synthesis allows for an increase in muscle tissue over a rather short period of time. T-mag contributor Bill Roberts has classified steroids such as these as "Class I."

The other side of the coin would be steroids that bind to the AR slightly, or not at all. I think most of these steroids exert their effects by inhibiting the effects that glucocorticoids have upon muscle tissue. In other words, they prevent glucocorticoids from increasing glutamine synthetase and causing muscle tissue breakdown. This would be an anti-catabolic activity. This inhibition of glucocorticoids¹ effects may explain why most anabolic steroids work fairly well in the treatment of osteoperosis, since glucocorticoids can have influence or cause osteoperosis. This also backs up my belief, that on a mg per mg basis, Class II steroids will increase muscle tissue to a greater degree than Class I steroids.

While there still isn't a clear cut explanation of how anabolic steroids exert their effects, these two mechanisms help to explain most steroid actions. Bill Roberts refers to these steroids that don't exert their effects via the AR as "Class II." Also, keep in mind that some steroids work via the AR as well as through non-AR mechanisms. It should also be noted that anabolic steroids increase the retention of nitrogen, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, and chloride.


Steroid Flavors: The differences between various 'roids

Below I've compiled a list of some anabolic steroids, including their relative potency and some other info. Sometimes, the names of steroids can be confusing to a newbie. This is because you have the chemical name, the various brand names, and the slang or street names for each product.

For example, methandrostenolone is known to most people as Dianabol, but you probably hear it referred to as D-bol. Of course, you'll likely be using the veterinary version called Reforvit-B, whose street name is Reffie or Reffie-B. Got all that? Don't worry, the more you read the more you get used to all the terminology. To help you out, I've listed the chemical name as well as a few of the trade names for each 'roid.


Fluoxymesterone (Halotestin, Stenox)

This is a 17-alpha alkylated steroid. In other words, it's been altered in order to withstand the liver's "first pass" metabolism to a better degree, i.e., the liver doesn't inactivate the stuff before it can exert its effects. Without this alkylation, you'd need much higher concentrations to get results, as is the case with any 17-AA. Anyhow, this steroid appears to have a lower affinity for the AR, but can agonize the receptor at higher dosages.

As far as "real world" effects, fluoxymesterone has a reputation for increasing strength to a large degree. However, gains in muscle mass on this steroid aren't very great. In clinical settings, dosages range from 2.5 mg to 40 mg a day in divided dosages. However, bodybuilders have been known to use from 30 to 80 mg per day. It has a half-life of approximately 9.2 to 10 hours. (I'll talk about why knowing about half-lives is important later.) Oh yeah, and it doesn't aromatize. This means it's not likely to convert to estrogen, the female hormone. In the real world, that means the risk getting gyno (bitch tits, i.e. breast tissue growth in males) is small to nonexistent.


Methandrostenolone (Dianabol, Reforvit, Anabol)

This 17-AA steroid was the first to be introduced to athletes in the 50s. Bodybuilders caught on soon after, no doubt. It's aromatizable, and therefore can increase estrogen levels. Since it doesn't bind very well to the AR, it's thought that it works by antagonizing the effects of catabolic glucocorticoids.

D-bol has a great reputation for increasing both size and strength to a pretty good degree. While the half life isn't readily available in the literature, it can be assumed through deductive reasoning that it's around four to seven hours. Bodybuilders typically use around 25 to 100 mg per day depending on whether it's used alone or in conjunction with another steroid (a practice called stacking).


Stanozolol (Winstrol)

This steroid is also17-AA. It can't aromatize and doesn't bind very well to the AR. Consequently, it's likely to exert its anabolic effects in a similar fashion to that of methandrostenolone. In other words, it affects glucocorticoids in a beneficial manner.

Another benefit may be its ability to antagonize or block progesterone from binding to receptors. Progesterone is one of the reasons why certain anabolics cause water retention.

Stanozolol has a great reputation for increases in strength as well as moderate increases in muscle mass. Actually, these "moderate" gains are rather impressive, considering that this drug doesn't cause much water retention. In clinical settings, typical dosages are between 2 to 6 mg daily. In order to see desired effects, bodybuilders typically consume between 25 to 100 mg daily. While I can't locate any literature on its half-life, based on its molecular composition it would seem to have a slightly longer half-life than most of the other orals. I'd say it's likely to be in the range of 7 to15 hours.


Oxandrolone (sold as oxandrolone powder or Oxandrolona)

This is yet another 17-AA. It won't aromatize but appears as though it will bind to the AR as long as the dosages are high enough. It has a reputation for increasing strength gains, as well as having a "hardening" effect. This is supported somewhat, as oxandrolone was shown to reduce subcutaneous fat to a greater degree than Testosterone. Whether this is an inherent property of all 17-AA steroids or an effect that's unique to oxandrolone, I'm not sure.

Oxandrolone, along with most of the other synthetic steroids, are thought to be equally (if not more) anabolic than Testosterone on a milligram per milligram basis, while minimizing androgenic side effects. Oxandrolone was shown to have approximately six times the anabolic effect of methyltestosterone in human subjects, following oral doses. Oxandrolone may also increase the number of skeletal muscle androgen receptors.

In clinical settings, dosages have ranged from 1.25 to 80 mg per day. Bodybuilders may take anywhere from 25 to 160 mg per day. The half-life is approximately nine hours.


Methenolone Acetate and Enanthate (Primobolan)

This steroid doesn't aromatize and can either be ingested via the acetate version or injected via the enanthate. This steroid does bind rather well to the AR and is known for its mild gains in muscle mass. Still, considering that it'll cause next to zero water retention, these gains are rather good. (Note that some bodybuilders think certain steroids work better based solely on the weight they gain. In actuality, they could be just retaining a lot of water along with the muscle gains. These are the same guys who think they "lose" a lot of muscle after their cycle is completed, when they actually just lost much of the water they'd been holding.)

Clinical dosages that are commonly seen with methenolone range from 10 to 20 mg daily, sometimes a little higher for the oral version. For the enanthate version, dosages are usually 100 mg every two to four weeks. Bodybuilders typically use 400 to 1000 mg a week. The half-life appears to be very similar to Deca, perhaps slightly shorter. So with this in mind, I'd say the half-life would be around five to seven days.


Oxymetholone (Anadrol)

This 17-AA steroid can't aromatize, but has been known to have progestenic properties and thus, can cause water retention. It has a great reputation for increasing muscle mass and strength to a large degree. It's also thought to have a very high anabolic/androgenic ratio.

The typical dosage in clinical settings is one to five milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day. So, a 150 pound person would consume anywhere from 68 to 341 mg per day. However, the higher dosages aren't employed that often. Bodybuilders typically consume around 50 to 150 mg per day. While I can't find info on the half-life in the formal literature, it would seem it's similar to that of stanozolol. Obviously, this isn't a hard fact, but the half-life should be right in the neighborhood of 7 to15 hours. Only God and Bill Roberts know for sure.


Testosterone Enanthate, Cypionate, Propionate, Suspension (commonly called "T")

This steroid can aromatize and binds well to the AR. It's well known for its ability to produce great gains in muscle size and strength, provided that the dosages are high enough. It does cause quite a bit of water retention and has quite a few side effects when compared to the other anabolics.

Clinical dosages vary, but cypionate and enanthate are both injected every two to three weeks at dosages of around 200 to 300 mg. Propionate and suspension aren't preferred as they don't provide that long of a sustained release. Bodybuilders typically use around 500 to 1,000 mg per week. The cypionate ester has a half-life of around eight days. Enanthate is just slightly shorter and propionate is quite a bit shorter. By the way, Testosterone in a suspension has a half-life of only 10 to 100 minutes.


Nandrolone Decanoate and Laurate (usually referred to as Deca)

This steroid binds very well to the AR and doesn't aromatize. It can produce moderate gains in muscle mass with little water retention. However, it, like oxymetholone, can be progestenic leading to water retention when higher dosages are used.

In clinical settings, dosages are around 50 to 100 mg every three to four weeks. Bodybuilders use around 300 to 800 mg per week. The decanoate ester has a half-life of six to eight days and the laurate ester commonly seen in veterinary products has a slightly longer half-life.


How do I get these here steer-oids anyway?

Easy! Just call 1-555-I WANNA TO BE HYOOGE and tell Gunter what you want! Tell him Cy sent ya! Okay, you knew I couldn't give you a real source, right? Still, it doesn't take much searching to find some gear. Searching on the Web is one way, or you can do it the old fashioned and usually more expensive way and look for one of the local dealers. I mean don't go up to the largest guy in the gym and say in a loud voice, "Hey man, do you have any of that Reforvit stuff?" Just ask around in a discrete manner. Someone always knows a certain "guy." For a more in depth look, check out Chris Shugart's article called Getting the Gear.


How to Construct a Cycle: The Cliff Notes Version

The dosages should be determined after evaluating two things: one, what results you'd like to see and two, which drugs you're stacking. There are other factors to consider, but for the sake of simplicity we'll stick with these two for now.

Regardless of what type of results you're looking for, it would be wise to stack two drugs that work through different mechanisms in order to get a synergistic effect. For instance, you'd get better results by stacking nandrolone with stanozolol as opposed to nandrolone and oxandrolone. This is because nandrolone and oxandrolone both bind to the AR. I've given you a few examples of stacks below. I'll give a quick review afterward.

Stack 1: Nandrolone, 450 mg per week along with 50 mg per day of stanozolol

Stack 2: Nandrolone, 450 mg per week along with 50 mg per day of methandrostenolone

Stack 3: Oxandrolone, 40 mg per day along with 50 mg per day of stanozolol

Stack 4: Testosterone enanthate, 500 mg per week along with 50 mg stanozolol or methandrostenolone per day

Stack 5: Testosterone or nandrolone, 500 mg per week with 50 mg oxymetholone per day

Stack 6: Methenolone, 600 mg per week with 50 mg per day stanozolol

Let's take a closer look at the first stack. You'd inject 450 mg on day one and then six to eight days later another 450 mg and so on. The stanozolol (or any oral) would yield the best results when spread out as evenly as possible in order to allow the drug to remain in the bloodstream throughout the day.

Also, by knowing the half-lives of drugs, you can figure out, to an approximate level, how much of the drug is currently active in your body. So, if on day one you injected 450 mg, then on day seven or eight you should have around 225 mg that's still active. When you inject another 450 mg, you then have approximately 675 mg of nandrolone in your body at that moment. However, that number then begins to slowly decline in an instant. By simply applying the half-life, you can figure out just how much of the drug is still in your bloodstream.

As a quick note, half-lives can vary depending on a number of factors, and this is why most texts give you a range, like four to nine hours. One such thing is the size of the person. Generally speaking, the larger the body mass of the person, the shorter the half-life is going to be. While some guys will only ingest oral steroids on the days that they work out, you don't necessarily have to do this. Remember, you're recovering on those off days, so why not help accelerate the process?

The oxandrolone and stanozolol stack above (#3) would be for those who are "needle phobic." However, this particular stack shouldn't be used for too long, because the 17-AA are the steroids that are most associated with liver damage.

As far as how long to stay "on" and how long to go "off," here's my take: It really depends on what your goals are. I mean, if you want to gain 35 pounds in two months, then chances are you won't be able to cycle off and still attain that goal. If, however, you're keeping safety in mind and would only like to gain something like eight to twelve pounds, then a two to three week "on," followed for four to six weeks "off" cycle will suffice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How To Cycle Off From Steroids...

by Pat Arnold

Introduction

Heavy steroid using athletes, particularly weight lifters, bodybuilders, football players, hockey players, shotputters etc., are subject to many adverse consequences from continuous steroid use without a break. Adverse cardiovascular effects, liver stress, HPTA downregulation, excessive virilization (women) and psychological disturbances or dependency, are some of the major problems that may develop in these individuals. Additionally, users may develop a tolerance for anabolic steroids that can only be overcome by increasing the dosage or by ceasing the use altogether. The latter, of course, is a much healthier course of action than the former.

Coming off of steroids, particularly long-term usage, is certainly not easily done without considerable loss of muscle mass. Additionally, there can be psychological effects that include depression and loss of motivation. For many athletes, especially those with schedules that do not allow prolonged periods away from competition completely coming off of steroids is not considered an option. However, if these athletes knew how to take the right approach they just might be able to cycle off and have a good chance at maintaining much of their physical condition. This could enable them to increase their ultimate potential in their sports as well as their longevity in the competitive arena.

The Strategy
The off cycle regimen must consist of proper drug, nutritional, and training protocols. The primary goals to achieve are the following:

Minimization of protein catabolism

Maintenance of muscle glycogen levels

Maintenance of high-normal red blood cell levels

Minimization of fat deposition

Avoidance of injury, or injury aggravation

Maintenance of healthy attitude and psychological state

Drugs
This is an off steroids cycle and most certainly not an off drugs cycle. In fact, the proper use of non-steroidal drugs is the mainstay of this program and is vital to its success. I will describe the drugs to be used, why they are used, and how they should be used.

Growth Hormone

GH is probably the single most important drug to maintain muscle mass and bodyweight off of steroids. While GH is not known to be great for anabolic effects, it is very effective for anti-catabolism. Anti-catabolism, or minimization of muscle mass loss, is after all what we are most interested in here. GH has an overall anti-proteolytic effect on the body and shifts the body’s metabolism away from the utilization of amino acids and glucose for energy, and towards the use of fat. The end result will be a protective effect upon muscle protein and glycogen, and a mobilizing effect upon body fat.

Many bodybuilders have discovered how wonderful GH, at the proper dosages, is in maintaining their muscle mass off of steroids. Former IFBB pro Gary Strydom once commented that he didn’t care if the IFBB tested for steroids, as long as they didn’t test for GH.

Notice how I said “at the proper dosages”. That’s right, small dosages just won’t cut it. For most people a minimum of 4 i.u. a day is required to impart a proper metabolic response in the body. Some may go as high as 18 i.u. a day but at this levels many problems can occur (i.e. edema, nerve impingement).

There probably is no great advantage to taking GH more than once a day, though some may inject twice a day. GH primarily works through its conversion to IGF-1 and the half-life of IGF-1 in the body is plenty long (8-16 hours). So once a day administration will be good enough to maintain pretty constant levels of IGF-1 in the blood. Furthermore, evidence is also mounting that GH breaks down to certain active peptide fragments with specific biological functions (i.e. lipolysis) and that these have prolonged half lives. Therefore, the active lifetime of the intact GH molecule itself in the blood might be pretty irrelevant.

GH is not cheap through most channels. However, good GH can be obtained from Asia at a fraction of the cost (10 – 20%) that it is available elsewhere.

I think I should also mention now that there is a big misconception amongst people as to what the shelf life of GH is, and that most people grossly underestimate it. The Journal of Chemical Technology states that freeze dried GH products (unreconstituted) are quite stable under refrigerated conditions, and a 24-month shelf-life is typical at this temperature. Also, although solutions of GH at neutral pH readily deamidate (lose ammonia group from end of molecule), and storage of the reconstituted product is limited to a few weeks under refrigerated conditions, biological activity is relatively unaffected even after prolonged storage. So the stuff really stays pretty active in the ‘frig for a considerable time. By the way, reconstituted solutions of GH should NEVER be frozen (this will be the death of it).

Lis-Pro Insulin (Humalog®)

The use of insulin provides a couple of very important functions in the off steroid period. First of all, it helps preserve glycogen storage in the muscle. Steroids are very good at stimulating glycogen storage and this property likely plays an integral part in their performance enhancing benefits. Going off of steroids leads to a reversal of this and the result is muscular weakness, fatigue, and loss of size and bodyweight. The proper use of insulin can help minimize this.

Furthermore, insulin can help to minimize protein breakdown through its anti-proteolytic effects. Insulin is quite potent in regards to its protective effect on muscle protein, unfortunately it also is very potent in regards to its protective effect on maintaining body fat. Insulin therefore has to be used in the proper fashion to maximize the former, and minimize the latter.

The proper usage of insulin requires the fast acting insulin analog known as Lis-Pro insulin, or Humalog®. This altered insulin product is available only by prescription. It differs from other insulin in that it is absorbed quickly into the body after subcutaneous injection. The average time to peak blood levels is 90 minutes and generally it is out of your system in 3 to 4 hours.

Humalog® is to be taken immediately after training. The physiology of the body after intense training is such that the benefits of insulin can be maximized, while drawbacks are minimized. Muscle insulin sensitivity as well as insulin independent glucose uptake will peak in the 2-3 hours or so after training. In this time, insulin will preferentially stimulate glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis in muscle over fat. Additionally, high insulin levels at this time will help to counteract the catabolic state that exists in muscles right after they have been damaged by training. A discernible improvement in training recovery (less soreness and injury pain) is often noticed by individuals who utilize this technique.

Humalog® administration must be followed by intake of simple carbohydrates and protein within 20 minutes. A general rule is one unit of Humalog® per ten kilograms bodyweight, and ten grams of carbs and ten grams of protein per unit of Humalog®. That sounds like a lot of carbs and protein but it must be ingested. Whey protein is best, and glucose or maltodextrin can be used for the carbs. 5 grams of creatine can also be added as well as well as 5-10 grams of glutamine.

Erythropoietin (EPO)

Erythropoietin (EPO) is a protein hormone secreted by the kidneys and liver that stimulates red blood cell production (erythropoiesis). Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues of the body and so obviously are vital to maximal health and athletic performance.

When people take anabolic steroids, particularly some oral ones such as Anadrol®, erythropoiesis is stimulated. The result is an increase in the proportion of blood cells in the blood, also known as the hematocrit. This increase in the hematocrit is partially responsible for the energizing and recovery benefits of steroids. It may also contribute to the blood volume and vascularizing effects of anabolics.

When you go off anabolics, the increase in hematocrit gradually subsides and you return to pre-cycle lower levels (or below). This effect will take its toll on your physical condition and ability to train at high intensity. Therefore, administration of exogenous EPO can have obvious benefits in the steroid withdrawing athlete.

In addition to its effect in increasing hematocrit, there is some evidence that EPO has direct anabolic effects. It has been shown in rat studies to substantially increase weight gain and injury repair after surgery. Furthermore, EPO receptors are present on myoblasts (immature muscle cell progenitors) and may have a potential in muscle development and repair.

EPO is sold in recombinant form (rhEPO) for injection. One popular form is called Epogen®, and it is made for subcutaneous usage. A safe or starting dosage is usually 20 i.u. per kilogram bodyweight, 3 times/week. After two or three weeks, a maintanence dose of 20 iu/kg BW can be taken once a week. One should wait about two weeks after ceasing steroids to commence EPO therapy to avoid any excessive increases in hematocrit which can be quite dangerous. It is also very advisable to have periodic blood tests that include a hematocrit assay while taking EPO just to be safe. Interestingly, I think that this test is automatically done for free everytime you donate blood, and all you need to do is ask the nurse what your hematocrit is reading (just out of curiosity of course).

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trenbolone steroid profile

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 Tren. 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. Tren can therefore help bring about an incredibly hard, ripped physique and is an ideal product for competitive bodybuilders.

Tren 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 tren 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 Tren 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.

You need a proper PCT routine post cycle.