Jan 30, 2015

Muscle Gains with Testosterone Cycle

If you were to give a survey to steroid users, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that testosterone would rank as #1 on almost everyone's list. It is by far one of the most effective tools in achieving maximum muscle and strength gains in the shortest time possible. Proper testosterone usage will blast you past your natural limitations. But in all its greatness, testosterone does have some serious side effects. These side effects are avoidable!

Before I even begin, I'd like to address what I believe to be two of the most annoying myths about steroids:

The first myth is that testosterone supplementation leads to steroid-induced bouts of rage, better known as "roid-rage." I do not know how this rumor surfaced. I believe that it may have to do with football players, who were taught that violence is good, losing control. Testosterone has an effect on endorphin levels. Everyone I know that has used testosterone says that it brings about a general feeling of wellbeing. I can attest to this personally. There is no such thing as "roid-rage." It is a myth! If there is an asshole inside you, sure testosterone may bring it out even more. But it does not turn otherwise normal people into raging psychopaths.

The second myth I would like to address is the one that states "Steroids shrink your dick." Is this a joke? I would think so if it were not for the many people I have heard say this in seriousness. How could steroids possibly shrink your penis? I can not even imagine a possible way that testosterone supplementation would bring about penile shrinkage. This rumor was probably started over a misunderstanding. Testosterone usage will cause testicular shrinkage. But this is so easily avoidable that it should never happen to anyone with half a brain cell. I will discuss prevention of testicular shutdown in further detail later in this article.

Proper testosterone usage can yield amazing results. In a 3 month period, a first time steroid user can expect to gain 30-50 pounds. Once steroid usage has ceased, he may lose 10-15 pounds of water-weight, but should retain all the muscle gain. The rumor that all gains made on steroids will go away once you stop using it is utterly false! If you choose to allow you testicles to shutdown and stop testosterone supplementation without a taper, sure you'll lose a lot of the gains. But the fact remains, if you are properly educated in the use of testosterone, you should be able to gain a lot of muscle with minimal to almost non-existent side effects and keep most of those gains.

The first step in assessing whether or not testosterone is the steroid for you is taking a look at your goals. If your goal is maximum fat-loss with no interest in muscle gain, then testosterone is not for you. I will address the proper steroids for such a cycle in another article. Now if your goal is to gain as much muscle and strength as possible, then testosterone is for you. After you have decided that you would like to supplement testosterone, the next step is choosing which form of testosterone you'd like to use. Testosterone is almost never found in pure form. Most of the time, some ester or another has been added to it. The purpose is to avoid a sudden rush of testosterone in your system. Esters will let the testosterone get absorbed in a time-released manner.

There are many forms of testosterone to choose from. Testosterone Propionate will hit your system in 2-3 days. Testosterone Suspension (which has no ester) will hit your system in 1 day. Testosterone Enanthate will take about 10 days. Sustanon (a blend of 4 different testosterones) will remain active in your system for periods of up to 4 weeks. The general rule is the faster acting a testosterone is, the more side effects you will experience from its use. So the goal is to find a testosterone that doesn't hit your system so fast that most of it is rapidly converted to estrogen and DHT while at the same time choosing a testosterone that is not so long acting that it will be hard to control. I suggest Testosterone Enanthate. It is my personal favorite.

The next step is to find a reliable brand of testosterone. There are many brands out there. Since it is impossible to test all brands and their subsequent batches, we have to go by personal experiences.

Next, you'll have to decide what type of doses you are going to be taking. For a beginner using a good quality testosterone, I suggest 500mg a week. Here is what a good beginner cycle's base looks like:

  1. Weeks 1 to 10: 500mg testosterone enanthate per week
  2. Week 11:          300mg testosterone enanthate
  3. Week 12:         200mg testosterone enanthate

Now if that were all you would be doing, you most certainly will experience some side effects. Side effects usually are a result of the two paths testosterone can take once it hits your system.

The first path testosterone could take would be if 5alpha reductase turns it into DHT. Even though DHT has some beneficial effects on muscle gain, it is highly androgenic. DHT is the main cause of steroid's two biggest side effects: balding and enlargement of the prostate (i.e.- prostate hyperplasia). You know enough about balding, so I won't explain why you don't want it. Basically, DHT binds to the hair follicle in your head. It causes an inflammation that in turn starves your hair of oxygen. Thus, your hair dies. Having an enlarged prostate is definitely something you want to avoid. The frequent need to urinate aside, DHT has been shown to dramatically increase your chances of getting prostate cancer. So how do you avoid this? Take finasteride. Finasteride has been shown to inhibit 5alpha reductase from converting testosterone to DHT. Research has shown it to be highly effective in treating and preventing baldness and prostate enlargement.  I suggest using 1 to 1.25 mg of Finasteride a day for every 500mg of testosterone you use. If you have a 5mg tablet, that means using one quarter tablet a day. Prolonged use has shown no adverse side effects in most subjects.

The next path that testosterone could take would be if it aromatizes into estrogen. Estrogen can cause the development of gynocomastia (also known as gyno). Gynocomastia is an often seen steroid side effect. It is the irreversible development of breasts in a male subject. Although it is harmless in nature, and very small, it often causes an immense amount of mental anguish in the subject. Estrogen also causes increased water retention, bloat, and an increased rate of fat gain. Getting rid of estrogen is very easy. I suggest the use of an anti-aromatase (i.e.- a substance that prevents testosterone from being converted into estrogen). Arimidex is number one on my list of anti-aromatases. Arimidex is the brand name for anastrozole. It comes in 1mg tablets. I suggest using one-eighth to one quarter of a mg of anastrozole per day per 500mg of testosterone that you use. That equates to using a quarter of a tablet every other day or every day. Anastrozole has been shown in countless research to cut down estrogen production by up to 90%. Prolonged use has been shown to be extremely safe.

Another side effect of testosterone supplementation is testicular shutdown. The body senses all of the excess testosterone in your system and decides to stop producing its own. This causes your testicles to shrink and your sperm count to decrease significantly. The use of clomiphine citrate (more commonly known as clomid) can prevent this from happening. Clomid stimulates your body to keep producing its own testosterone. That way, testicular shutdown never comes about. Even though testicular shutdown is completely reversible once steroid use has ceased, it is a good idea to prevent it from ever happening. Once you stop using steroids, your body will start producing its own testosterone again. But this can take up to a month to happen. During that month, you will have significantly reduced amounts of testosterone in you system. Thus, you will most likely lose much of your gains once you stop using testosterone. To prevent testicular shutdown, I suggest using Clomiphine citrate. I recommend 25mg of Clomid per day per 500mg of testosterone you use. Since Clomid most often comes in 50mg tablets, that would equate to one tablet every other day. If you are using 1000mg of testosterone, that equates to 1 tablet a day. Clomid has been shown extremely safe in many laboratory tests and medical research.

Another side effect of testosterone supplementation is an increase in your cholesterol levels. That is why I suggest you follow a low-cholesterol diet when on testosterone. Most of the time you hear about someone having a heart attack because of steroid use, it is most likely due to the fact that the person refused to give up a high cholesterol diet when on steroids. I also suggest getting your blood work done on your first cycle. Personally, my cholesterol level went up from 170 to 200 when on a cycle. I did not stop eating junk food. In fact, I ate a lot more junk food. So personally, testosterone does not affect my cholesterol levels all that much. But you have to find out if it affects you for yourself. If it does, no big deal , just fix up your diet a little.

Testosterone supplementation also has an effect on your sebaceous glands. Your sebaceous glands are located in your skin. Their main responsibility is to produce oil. Testosterone enlarges this gland and cause the production of excess body oil. This in turn leads to acne, which can occur on your back and chest. If you experience this side effect, it is very easy to reverse. Taking 2 showers a day is your first step. Next, tan once or twice a week. If it is summer, go to the beach and swim in the ocean every so often. If it is winter, take a bath using 2 cups of Epson salt and .5 to 1 cup of chlorine bleach every so often.

So here is what a complete beginner's steroid cycle would look like:

Weeks 1-10:
*500mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Finasteride per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of Clomid every other day (50mg)

Week 11:
*300mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Finasteride per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of clomid every other day (50mg)

Week 12:
*200mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Finasteride per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of clomid every day (50mg)

Week 13:
*1.25mg of Finasteride per day
*.25mg of Arimidex every other day
*100mg of clomid every day

Week 14:
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every 3rd day (0.25mg)
*50mg of clomid every day

People often get confused about training and dieting while on testosterone. First, to facilitate all the extra muscle building, it is strongly suggested that you increase daily caloric intake by around 2000 calories. Increase protein intake to 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. Training should remain relatively unchanged. You may increase sets per body part by 2 additional sets per week. Sleep is another important factor. Get at least 8 hours a night; and that is bare minimum.

If you train, eat, and sleep right, you should expect to gain anywhere from 20-40 pounds off this cycle. About 5-10 pounds will be water, so don't be alarmed when you start losing the water at the end of your cycle. You will retain the muscle. I'd say water gain would make up approximately 10% of you overall weight gain. If you choose not to use an anti-aromatase, expect much more water gain, which will in turn cause greater overall weight gain.

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at any time. Almost forgot, take as much time off between cycles as you are on. In other words, if you do a 12 weeks cycle (12 weeks of actual testosterone), then you should take 12 weeks off before your next cycle.

Jan 22, 2015

Testosterone Propionate is a powerful steroid

In the world of anabolic steroids testosterone is king; in-fact, all anabolic steroids owe their allegiance to the testosterone hormone, for without it they would not exist. Of all the forms of anabolic steroids it is testosterone that was first and regarding mass production Testosterone Propionate was the first to hit the shelves in mass quantity ready for human use. Testosterone Propionate is one of the longest existing anabolic steroids and since its inception and into the present day it has remained one of the most popular of all time. Its popularity stems from many points but first and foremost it remains popular because it is simply pure testosterone, a hormone of great anabolic and androgenic power. Further, as we will shortly see testosterone is one of the more versatile hormones we can ever become acquainted with and while all testosterone forms are simply that, testosterone, Testosterone Propionate holds a special place in the hearts of many performance enhancers due to its fast acting nature. Regardless of anything else Testosterone Propionate is the easiest testosterone form to control, it is very easy to maintain stable levels, easy to control in-terms of side-effects and generally one of the more user friendly anabolic androgenic steroids anyone could ever choose.

Testosterone is a hormone produced by both men and women and is essential to our very functioning existence. As it is responsible for a host of functions we can see the majority of the functions when we examine low levels of the hormone and the negative effects it can cause. As for Testosterone Propionate, what we have is identical to the testosterone hormone you naturally produced, the only difference being Testosterone Propionate is synthetically manufactured.

How important is the testosterone hormone? Largely the examination of low levels can tell us everything we need to know and while low levels in of themselves are not life-threatening they can be beyond problematic and lead to many problems that can be life-threatening indeed; look at it like opening a door that should remained closed. Individuals who suffer from low testosterone and while more men will fall prey many women do as well, will often find symptoms such as increases in body-fat, loss of muscle tissue and strength, the inability to lose body-fat even when dieting and exercising, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction in men, a weakened immune system, lethargy, depression, a lack of mental focus, a lack of clarity of thought; the list goes on and on. Again, directly none of these conditions are life-threatening but you’d be hard pressed to make a positive argument regarding a single one. Further, it’s no secret, excess body-fat and a loss of muscle tissue is well-known to be the gateway to many serious physical problems, many of which are quite life-threatening indeed. An interesting note, in recent year’s low testosterone has also been linked to dementia, most notably regarding fatal Alzheimer’s disease.

For the individual who suffers from low levels, when he supplements with testosterone and Testosterone Propionate can be used for just that, he will in-fact see each and every area that was once found lacking improved upon and to a strong degree this is exactly how we can look at performance enhancing. For the performance enhancer the idea is simple, to take the levels of testosterone past what can be produced naturally thereby enhancing the traits and functions for what it is responsible for greatly. It really is that simple and is nowhere nearly as complicated as many like to make it out to be.

So how does it all work? By its nature and direct mode of action Testosterone Propionate as a pure testosterone form greatly increases nitrogen retention in the muscles as well as overall protein synthesis. Both of these traits are key factors in building lean tissue as well as preserving it and as lean tissue increases so does our overall metabolic rate. If nothing else this makes the hormone immeasurable in-terms of how truly beneficial it is but as you may have guessed its direct mode of action goes much deeper.

Testosterone Propionate will dramatically reduce and inhibit the release of glucocorticoid hormones in the body. This is important because these are the hormones that destroy muscle tissue and promote the storage of body-fat; while you may not be familiar with all glucocorticoid hormones you’ve probably heard of one, the most famous of all, cortisol. By supplementing and increasing our testosterone levels through the use of Testosterone Propionate we now have less cortisol in our body; again, promoting greater metabolic activity.

Testosterone also plays a key and vital role along with IGF-1, a naturally produced peptide hormone of immense anabolic power and importance. IGF-1 effects nearly every single cell in the human body and the more testosterone in your system the greater release of this peptide hormone there will be. IGF-1 also play a direct role alongside another peptide hormone, the most famous of all, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and it is the release of IGF-1 that plays a very important role in how much HGH you produce.

While this gives you a general understanding of the testosterone hormone you still need to understand the Propionate ester. Propionate is not a steroid, it is not a hormone, it is an ester that can be attached to a hormone and testosterone is not the only one. Propionate is one of the smaller esters we have available, not the smallest but pretty close; of the most common esters used the only smaller ester most will use will be Acetate. As a small ester based testosterone, Testosterone Propionate will become active and noticeable very quickly and as to be expected will carry a very short half-life; meaning, the total duration of activity is very short lived, thereby making frequent administration necessary. Testosterone Propionate carries a half-life of approximately 4 days and will need to be administered at least every 3 days with every other day being far more optimal. Further, as more of an interesting note, as the Propionate ester is so small it will take up very little mass in the compound; meaning a larger portion of the compound will be pure testosterone. For example, 100mg of Testosterone Propionate will yield more usable testosterone than 100mg of a larger ester based form such as Testosterone Cypionate. In the end, while worthy of note it is of little consequence since dosing can easily be adjusted to receive the same amount with any form.

As Testosterone Propionate is just that, testosterone it is for all intense purpose one of the very few perfect anabolic steroids. Individual goals can greatly vary from treating low testosterone, performance enhancement, bulking, cutting, improving athletic performance or simple vanity and Testosterone Propionate can have a place in each and every one. As is evident from the hormones description above Testosterone Propionate can greatly add muscle mass, increase strength, improve metabolic efficiency, improve athletic performance and grant you a greater sense of well-being; is there really much more you could want? Further, because Testosterone Propionate is such a fast acting anabolic steroid, while most will tolerate it very well if you are one of the few who does not for whatever reason, simply discontinuing use will be very simple as the hormone will clear in just a few days.

By-and-large the simplest way to look at the benefits are as we discussed above; when we understand what testosterone is responsible for we then understand why it’s important to make sure levels are adequate if they are lacking. Further, regarding performance enhancement when we understand again what the hormone is responsible for we understand very easily how increasing our levels increases its efficiency by in-which it functions, we literally enhance the performance of the testosterone hormone.

Anabolic steroids carry with them possible side-effects and as Testosterone Propionate is an anabolic androgenic steroid it too carries with it possible side-effects. However, it is very important to remember testosterone is not akin to taking medicine; although steroids are often labeled “Drugs” such a label is somewhat haphazard. As you recall, testosterone is a hormone you naturally produce and have so your entire life and by basic logic the presence of testosterone will generally be very well tolerated. Even so, when we present to our body anything in exogenous form there is always some level of risk; how great the risk varies from each and every item and in the world of anabolic steroids the level of risk varies with each and every one. In the case of Testosterone Propionate, as it is very well-tolerated in most healthy adult men most will not have any problems; however, responsible use will always be the safest route to follow. Of course it must be noted, “responsible use” can mean quite a few different things to different people but nevertheless, there are facts and there are real life experiences we can pull from to gauge our choices.

 Of the possible side-effects you will find they most commonly include Gynecomastia, water retention, high blood pressure and issues of a cholesterol nature as well as testicular atrophy; testicular atrophy being the one guaranteed side-effect in all men. Testicular atrophy occurs for one simple reason; the presence of anabolic androgenic steroids, even testosterone suppresses natural testosterone production. As testosterone is produced in the testicles and production comes to a halt the testicles simply shrink in size; no, contrary to popular belief they do not shrink to where you can barely see them, we’re speaking of a slight decline is fullness. Once use is discontinued your testicles will return to their normal size as natural testosterone production will begin yet again.

As for the other side-effects, they are by no means guaranteed but if they do occur they will do so because of the testosterone conversion process. Testosterone converts into estrogen via the aromatase process and as excess estrogen builds up such related side-effects can become problematic. Absolutely, the total dose of Testosterone Propionate you take will play a big role; the more testosterone in your system the more testosterone there is to convert into estrogen. Individual sensitivity will also play a large role but there are things we can do if we are sensitive or as simple precautionary measures and none is better than supplementing with an aromatase inhibitor (AI.) An AI inhibits the conversion to estrogen and further reduces the amount of estrogen in the body; as the brunt of potential side-effects are brought on by estrogen you an easily see how and why this can be so beneficial.

Go to any steroid related message board and you’ll find individuals who claim Testosterone Propionate is better suited for cutting cycles and that longer ester based testosterones should be used when bulking; the point, do not listen to these people. Testosterone Propionate can be used for any cycle, as can pretty much any testosterone form; Testosterone Propionate is a perfect steroid because it is pure testosterone and it is not the ester that deems it better for one purpose or the other. It is true, some people will hold a little less water when they use this small ester version but in most cases any water problems can be controlled with diet and the use of AI’s. As for bulking, again, as this is pure testosterone and testosterone is the best agent for a bulking cycle Testosterone Propionate can be perfect. Yes, you’ll need to inject frequently regardless of the end goal but sometimes this isn’t really a bad thing. Frequent injections of small ester based anabolics are often much easier to control in-terms of maintaining stable and peaked levels of a particular hormone. In the end, when making your choice you’ll find Testosterone Propionate to be a fine one regardless of anything else but other forms can be just as good.

For the Testosterone Replacement Therapy candidate generally dosing will fall in the 100mg-200mg per week range and rarely surpassing this amount. However, as frequent injections are necessary most physicians will generally opt for larger ester forms, most commonly Testosterone Cypionate so the patient only has to inject once per week.

For the performance enhancer the dosing will be much larger and the varying levels will be much wider too but he must necessarily inject frequently as discussed if he is going to maintain stability. Generally the minimal dose when supplementing for performance purposes will be 100mg every other day with 200mg every other day being as high as most will ever go. Yes, you an absolutely take more, there is no set in stone amount but understand such high-end doses can open up the doors to side-effects that you may have wished to remain shut. In elite level competitive sports, especially in elite level bodybuilding it is not uncommon to see doses surpass a 2,000mg per week range but this can be very harsh and there is simply no way such a dosing could ever be recommended in a responsible manner.

As with all cycles, as natural testosterone production will be suppressed, once use is discontinued and responsible use will include breaks Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is a must in order to aid and speed up the recovery process. This is where Testosterone Propionate has a bit of advantage over many other forms of testosterone; as a small ester that clears very quickly if your cycle ends with Testosterone Propionate and there is no other long ester gear present in your system your PCT plan can start almost immediately. Remember, the sooner we start our PCT the better off we’ll be and such rapid PCT application cannot be accomplished with long ester based testosterone. If your cycle ends with Testosterone Propionate you could reasonably wait 3 days before PCT therapy begins; if it ends with large ester gear you will need to wait approximately 2 weeks. 

Jan 13, 2015

Winstrol Depot (Stanozolol) by HardCoreLabs

Winstrol Depot (stanozolol injectable) is an anabolic steroid with interesting properties. It generally is not used as the foundation of an anabolic steroid cycle, and is not necessary for most cycles. Still, however, it has benefits in certain situations.

Winstrol Depot and Liver Toxicity

Winstrol differs from nearly all other injectables in being 17-alkylated, a property more typically associated with oral anabolic steroids. This results in liver toxicity not usually associated with injectables. Further, in terms of liver toxicity Winstrol may be more potent (have more effect per milligram) than most other alkylated steroids: for this reason I prefer for the injected amount to be limited to 50 mg/day, and period of use to be limited to 6 – 8 weeks.

Winstrol Depot and Joints and Tendons

Additionally, Winstrol may be more prone than other anabolic steroids to increasing tendon brittleness. I am not so concerned about this as to consider it a reason to never use Winstrol at all, but it is reason to limit the total weeks of use per year. I don’t have any firm guideline on that, but for example I consider six weeks of use twice per year a reasonable amount.
Further, Winstrol use sometimes leads to joint pain during a cycle.

Benefits of Winstrol Depot

So where is Winstrol of particular benefit? Most typically, I look to Winstrol where an athlete’s needs are for strength or speed with mass increase is unimportant or actually undesirable. Another situation is for physique enhancement if a “hardening” effect is desired but the user does not wish to use trenbolone.

Winstrol is a suitable choice for simpler purposes as well. For example, though not ordinarily used for mass gain it can provide significant mass advantages to a 500 mg/week body-recomp testosterone cycle, while not increasing estrogen or requiring use of an aromatase inhibitor. It will also increase fat loss effect compared to a steroid cycle using that amount of testosterone alone.

Winstrol Depot Half-Life

Winstrol differs from other injectable anabolic steroids in being an aqueous suspension of fine particles of steroid, instead of being an oil solution of an esterified compound. For this reason, it has unusual pharmacokinetics which do not follow the classic half-life pattern. Instead, there is a sustained effect which slowly tapers. The duration of action is probably at least a week. Individual particles of Stanozolol may remain at the injection site for extended periods of time, however, which can cause drug test failure.

Winstrol Depot and Women

While no anabolic steroid is completely safe for women, Stanozolol is a particularly unsuitable choice. First, even oral Winstrol is very problematic for women. Doses as low as 2 mg/day have caused side effects of virilization (though most women can tolerate somewhat more than this) but low dose use offers no remarkable anabolic benefit compared to other steroids. The injectable is an even worse choice for women because of its slow clearance.

Winstrol Depot Side Effects

Stanozolol does not aromatize (convert to estrogen) or undergo metabolism by the 5-alpha reducatase enzyme (5AR.) It does not convert to DHT. However, like all anabolic steroids nonetheless it has adverse side effect on the hair for those with the genetics for male pattern baldness.

To summarize, Winstrol Depot is a specialty anabolic steroid which usually does not need to be added to an anabolic steroid cycle for either athletic or bodybuilding purposes. It can add to mass gains but more usually is used for cutting, hardening, or increasing speed or strength without necessarily increasing muscle mass. Adverse side effects particular to Winstrol and different from other injectable anabolic steroids include liver toxicity, occasional joint problems, and possibly tendon brittleness.