BASICS FOR BEGINNERS 101:
Simple guidelines and simple explanations for the simply newbie:
You must understand esters. Esters are attached to AAS compounds. The ester acts as a kind of time releasing vehicle. Esters are broken down in the blood stream and thus the AAS compound is freed. “Long-acting” esters slowly break down, and “fast-acting” esters break down more rapidly. Half-life describes this occurrence.
Ex: If a compound has a half-life of 3-4 days it’s generally a long acting ester since what this means is that it takes 3-4 days for the ester to have been broken down completely and now the test levels can only be “flushed” from the blood. Therefore shots are required every 3-4 days to keep the compound levels constant within the blood.
Common Ester names in no particular order:
There are blends, or mixtures of tests each with their own ester. These are mutli-esterified. An example is Sustanon 250, Omnadren 250, and Aratest.
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis (HPTA):
Secondly you must understand the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis and the affect Anabolic Androgenic steroids has on your HPTA. The use of AAS has a negative affect on your HPTA, which I’ll put in simple terms. For a detailed explanation see the following link:
XtremeMass.com Strength Training
The body is always looking to establish homeostasis, a balance in the body. Upon the introduction of AAS to the body, you begin to reduce your own production. Some AAS compounds are harsher to your HPTA and shut your natural production down hard. A rebound from this shutdown is taxing on the body upon discontinuing use of AAS. Other compounds must be used to help the body return to homeostasis.
The compounds that are harsh on your HPTA will also be harsh on your libido; your sexual drive, and for men can result in a limp penis.
Such compounds that are harsh on the HPTA are:
It is therefore, advisable for at least the sakes of sex, to keep Testosterone as a base for any AAS cycle.
Testosterone as a base:
There are limits to the length of cycle use. When you being AAS use, it takes time for the body to “swap” its natural testosterone with the synthetic compound. The times vary with the particular ester used. However a short AAS cycle will most likely only result in a shut down of HPTA and not leave the body exposed to the synthetic testosterone long enough for positive gains. Too long of a cycle, and your suppressed HPTA will have a harder time recovering.
Further, the body can develop more or less immunities to AAS on cycles ran too long and cycles ran at too high of a dose.
Secondly, the body has limits for how much it can grow. A longer, higher dosed cycle will not be more effective simply because of the body’s tolerance and limited ability to grow.
My own guideline for a first and second time user is any cycle ran less than 8 weeks is too short; any cycle ran longer than 15 weeks is excessive. 10-14 weeks is a good range for a first and second time user.
Estrogen levels will be elevated during the use of AAS. Remember Homeostasis. Application of either anti-estrogen or anti-aromatizer.
Anti-Estrogen V. Anti-Aromatizer?
The body has AS receptors and estrogen receptors. Your goal in using AAS is to flood the AS receptors. Your goal is not to flood the estrogen receptors.
How an anti-estrogen works is that it attaches itself to the estrogen receptors so that estrogen will not. Therefore the estrogen remains free floating in your blood stream but unable to leech onto the receptors and take action.
How and anti-aromatizer works is that it prevents the aromatization of steroids. It prevents the compounds conversion into estrogen. This however has the ability to weaken the effect of the steroid compound.
Zero estrogen is not desirable. Some estrogen is necessary, but too much can cause complications such as gynocomastia (man boobies) and water retention to name a few.
Common side effects while on Anabolic Steroids:
Users may experience a number of side effects due to increased synthetic testosterone levels as well as due to increased estrogen levels.
• Cardiovascular complications: High blood pressure can result from use of AAS and with heart problems should seek medical consultation. Combined water/sodium retention and the fact that steroids actually can elevate the cholesterol and triglyceride levels gives explanation to this condition. It is also why some athletes experience a reduction in stamina.
• Acne may result from AAS use, but can be combated a number of ways that should be researched.
• Aggression may also increase while on AAS, however some experience this aggression during high exertion activities, and will otherwise feel somewhat lethargic. Feelings of lethargy, sleepiness throughout the day while on AAS may result. This will be largely affected by the amount of physical activity performed throughout the day.
• Hair loss on the scalp can occur. This condition, as with the others, is dependent on the individual. Certain individuals predisposed to premature Hair loss may be at a greater risk for this side effect.
• Hair gain, or activation of hair follicles on the body may also occur. Hair follicles on the chest, back, arms and other places may be stimulated.
• Certain steroids are I 7-alpha alky-lated and are toxic to the liver. It is important to note this and limit intake of foods and beverages that will also be strenuous on the liver.
• As previously noted, AAS use will result in a reduced testosterone production, a decreased spermatogenesis, and in some cases testicular atrophy. The degree of suppression depends on the duration of the steroid intake, the administered steroid, and the dosage of the steroid
• Most steroids cause a water and electrolyte imbalance in the body This results in an increased storage of water and sodium which further results in a swelling of tissue (edema)
• Gastrointestinal symptoms such as epigastric fullness, diarrhea, nausea or even vomiting may result and are associated solely with the use of oral, I 7-alpha alkylated steroids. The oral compounds can be administered with food to reduce these side effects.
• Feminization may result in males if estrogen levels are not kept in check. The most popular feminization side effect of estrogen is gynocomastia.
• Females may experience masculinization effects.
• Kidney complications: The kidneys are under more strain during steroid intake. They are involved in the filtration and excretion of toxic by-products. A high blood pressure as well as variations in the water and electrolyte balance of the body can lead to long-term changes in the kidney's function.
There may be more side effects not listed. All side effects should be researched and understood. There are ways to alleviate some of the symptoms. Remedies and counter-actions should be researched before use of AAS.
What happens at the end of a cycle:
So now the steroids are leaving your body, and overall testosterone levels are dropping. Estrogen is still free floating in the bloodstream. You HPTA is under stimulated. Your body is not in balance and your muscle gains are being threatened to catabolism. Estrogen is catabolic, and since your test levels are not yet recovered the estrogen levels must be put into check all while trying to get your HPTA back as quickly as possible. This is done by some form of Post Cycle Therapy.
Why the body enters a state of catabolism after a cycles end:
The catabolic state is caused by low levels of testosterone combined with high levels of cortisol and estrogen. As said before, some of the androgens you take while on steroids will be converted to estrogen as your body attempts to balance itself out. After your external souce of androgens is stopped (once the cycle ends) your body still has all that extra estrogen and cortisol still floating around.
Along with gyno, high levels of estrogen can also lead to increased fat storage and the catabolism of lean muscle mass. I will not explain the details as to why estrogen can cause catabolism of lean muscle.
Cortisol is hormone, now being called a stress hormone. It is an adrenal hormone that is secreted when the body undergoes physical or psychological stress. Obviously when you take steroids you are putting your body through stress. When cortisol is secreted, it causes a breakdown of muscle protein, leading to release of amino acids (the "building blocks" of protein) into the bloodstream. It does this to raise blood sugar levels to help the brain. However we are not trying to help our brains, we’re meat heads and want bigger muscles, so cortisol does not work in our favor.
We can keep the estrogen catabolism in check by using anti-estrogens.
We can keep the cortisol catabolism in check by consuming superfluous levels of protein and calories.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT):
An anti-estrogen is needed upon the completion of your cycle for sure. With all that free floating estrogen you need to prevent the estrogen from attaching to your receptors and causing their damage. The wrath of estrogen in the aftermath of a cycle is referred to a back lashing of estrogen.
You also need something to help stimulate your HPTA. Something needs to be done about your own testosterone production to combat catabolism, to restore libido and avoid depression.
A very successful compound to stimulate the HPTA is Clomid. Clomid stimulates the hypophysis to release more gonadotropin so that a faster and higher release of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) occurs. This results in an elevated endogenous (body's own) testosterone level. Sorry I threw some mighty big words out there.
A good PCT combo is Nolvadex and Clomid. Nolvadex is an anti-estrogen.
Typical of a Nolvadex and Clomid PCT is as such:
Day1 300mg Clomid + 20mg Nolvadex Day 2-11 100mg Clomid + 20mg Nolvadex Day12-21 50mg Clomid + 20mg Nolvadex Timing the PCT correctly:
Back to applying the concept of Esters. Compounds bound to long acting esters require a longer waiting period for PCT to be administered. Likewise, compounds bound to short acting esters require a shorter waiting period for PCT to be administered.
Steroid.....Time After Administration.....Clomid Length
Aratest...........................3 weeks........3 weeks
Anadrol50/Anapolan50........8-12 hours.....3 weeks
Deca Durobolan................3 weeks........4 weeks
Dianabol..........................4-8 hours.......3 weeks
Equipoise.........................17-21 days.....3 weeks
Finajet/Trenbolone............3 days...........3 weeks
Primobolan Depot..............10-14 days.....2 weeks
Sustanon.........................3 weeks........3 weeks
Test Cypionate.................2 weeks........3 weeks
Test Enthenate/Testoviron..2 weeks........3 weeks
Test Propionate.................3 days..........3 weeks
Test Suspension................4-8 hours......2 weeks
Winstrol...........................8-12 hours.....2 weeks
Nutrition and Sleep:
Calorie levels must be increased during AAS use. For the body to grow it needs fuel and since it is growing at an incredible rate you will consume an incredible amount of food. At least you should. Adequate calorie levels for a bulking cycle should be between 4,500 and 5,500 depending on the individual’s size. Calories must also be slightly increased during PCT to help counter the cortisol reactions.
When you sleep you grow. Simple as that. Your muscles are relaxed and the body is in a state of repair.
I want to end this with a few simple beginner cycles. These can be used as a reference, or a guide to building your own personal one. Keep in mind your goals should be reasonable as well as your dosages.
First timer cycles:
In between bulk and cut cycles:
Wk 1-10 Test Enanthate 400mg each week
Wk 1-15 Nolvadex 20mg each day
Wk 12-15 Clomid (dose using the guideline I listed above)
*That is 14 days after last shot.
Wk 1-10 Test Cypionate 400mg each week
Wk 1-15 Nolvadex 20m each day
Wk 12-15 Clomid *That is 14 days after last shot.
Second timer cycles:
Wk 1-13 Test Enanthate/Cypionate 400-500mg each week
Wk 1-12 Equipoise 300-400mg each week
Wk 1-18 Nolvadex 20mg each day
Wk 15-18 Clomid *That is 14 days after last shot.
*note the Equipoise ran 100mg less than the test also one week shorter
Wk 1-11 Test Enanthate/Cypionate 400-500mg each week
Wk 1-10 Deca Durabolin 300-400mg each week
Wk 1-16 Nolvadex 20mg each day
Wk 13-16 Clomid *That is 14 days after last shot.
*note the Deca Durabolin ran 100mg less than the test and also one week shorter
Wk 1-10 Sustanon 250 500mg each week
Wk 2-10 Anavar 35mg each day
Wk 1-16 Nolvadex 20mg each day
Wk 13-16 Clomid *That is 21 days after last shot.
2nd + timer cut cycles:
wk 1-14 Testosterone Propionate 70mg ed (or 150mg eod)
wk 1-13 Trenbolone Acetate 50mg ed (or 100mg eod)
wk 1-16 Nolvadex wk 14-16 Clomid (started 3 days after last shot of prop)
wk 1-13 Testosterone Enanthate 350-500mg ew
wk 1-12 Trenbolone Enanthate 200-400mg ew
wk 1-12 Equipoise 300-400mg ew
wk 1-18 Nolvadex wk 15-18 Clomid #3:
wk 1-10 Testosterone Propionate 70mg ed or 150 eod
wk 6-12 Winstrol 50mg ed or 100mg eod
wk 1-10 Trenbolone Acetate 50mg ed or 100mg eod
wk 1-13 Nolvadex wk 10-13 Clomid *note once again that Tren, deca, winny, and equipoise are all ran at lower dosages than your test.
Using Clenbuterol and or T3/T4 along with a cutter (or bulking) cycle isn't a bad idea. Read up on Clen here at: Clenbuterol handbook - Anabolic Steroids - Steroid.com / Anabolic Review Forums
wk 1-4 Dianabol 20-40mg ed
wk 1-15 Testosterone Enanthate 350-500mg ew
wk 3-14 Deca Durabolin 200-400mg ew
wk 6-14 Anavar 20-40mg ed
wk 1-4 Testosterone Propionate 50mg ed (or 100mg eod)
wk 1-12 Sustanon 350-500mg ew
wk 1-10 Deca Durabolin
wk 6-14 Anavar 20-40mg ed
wk 11-15 Testosterone Propionate 50mg ed (or 100mg eod)
I could go on and on, but all would have testosterone as a base. NOTE: the preceeding cycles are not perfect, modifications can be made to fit the individuals liking.
1ml = 1cc
1g = 1000mg
1g = 1000000mcg
If a vial reads 250mg/ml that means it has 250mg per ml, and each ml is a cc. So if you withdraw 1cc and inject you are injecting 250mg.
The following is the amount (in grams) of testosterone per 100mg of finished compound.
Testosterone Cypionate: 70mg
Testosterone Decanoate: 65mg
Testosterone Enantate: 72mg
Testosterone Isocaproate: 75mg
Testosterone Phenylpropionate: 69mg
Testosterone Propionate: 84mg
Testosterone Suspension: 100mg
Testosterone Undecanoate: 63mg
What this gives you is the concentration that each esterfied testosterone compound has. So when the ester has been broken down in the body, that’s how much concentration is released into the blood stream. The higher the concentration does not necessarily mean a better compound.
I hope I covered all the basis pretty well. I wish I could credit all my sources, but I would just extend credit to everyone at AR. I did some outside reading, but I didn’t document like I should have.
I hope that Newbies read this and understand it. Best of luck for anyone doing research. Be safe.
A "cycle experience" thread on low/moderate dosages of AAS:
Anabolic Steroids - Steroid .com
I want to state that this is something I put together as a starting place. It is intended to be a thread for beginners, so that they can get an easy grasp on using AAS. It is not law. There may be said information that is incorrect. I am ever updating it for corrections. This is merely a starting point at most. There are many things to learn that should sprout from reading this thread.