Ultimate newbie thread

  1. Ultimate newbie thread

    By Jason Meuller

    I have often been accused of being pro-steroid. Unfortunately, anabolic steroids belong to a long list of subjects that our society has forbidden any kind of intelligent discussion. It's impossible to criticize a homosexual without being labeled a homophobe. You can't discuss the possible merits of drug legalization because you are immediately branded a radical. Why in the world would someone want to defend the use of anabolic steroids, which have been clearly demonstrated to be killer drugs and the scourge of modern athletics?

    I'm considered somewhat of a steroid guru. As such, the vast majority of questions I get asked on a daily basis deal with the use of these drugs. One of the most disturbing aspects of my job is all of the emails I read from people with an interest in using steroids who have absolutely know idea of what they are getting themselves into. If I had to quantify it, I would say 9 out of 10 people who write me have no business considering the use of steroids.

    I'm not concerned with the reasons why a person wants to use these drugs. Quite frankly, I'd be the biggest hypocrite on the planet if I said it were ok to use steroids for competitive bodybuilding but not to better your self-esteem. As long as these drugs are being used for the sole purpose of physique enhancement, the motivation to use steroids is the same. These drugs will take your body past a point you could ever achieve naturally. So, if I'm not concerned with why someone wants to take steroids, what does concern me? Glad you asked. Let's begin.

    REASON #1
    A Total Lack of any Kind of Basic Knowledge of Anabolic Steroids
    I'm always amazed at the cavalier attitude many people exhibit about their steroid use. I can't tell you the number of times I've received an email from someone who's just started their first cycle and wants to know how effective the drugs are. Hello? Isn't this putting the cart before the horse? You've already taken your shots, swallowed the pills, and now you're writing to me wanting to know if you're using an effective stack? Sorry, you're a little too late.

    The Internet is an amazing tool that allows virtually unlimited research on just about every topic you can possibly think of. Obviously anyone who can send me an email also has access to the Internet. So why do I get asked asinine questions like this time and time again? At the end of this article I'll list several free online resources where individuals can get very good, unbiased knowledge about anabolic steroids.

    If you don't have access to the Internet, there are a plethora of books available on the subject of anabolic steroids. Several that come to mind are the World Anabolic Review, the Underground Steroid Handbooks 1 & II, Performance Enhancement with an Edge, and the Anabolic Reference Guide. Any one of these publications would impart enough information to the reader that they could make an informed, educated decision about steroid use, rather than simply jumping into the fray totally blind.

    Steroids are certainly not the killer drugs our government and mass media has portrayed them to be. At the same time, there can be very serious consequences, both medically and legally, with their use. I could never swallow a pill or inject myself with a drug without knowing all of the possible ramifications of doing so, yet I sometimes wonder if my attitude is representative of an ever-shrinking minority.

    REASON #2
    Anabolic Steroids are Illegal Without a Prescription
    I often wonder if this fact is lost upon people who use these drugs. The brazenness I see exhibited by people about their use is quite astonishing. Steroid users tend to associate with other steroid users. Every gym tends to have its "juiceheads" that all seem to run in the same circle. The Internet provides a comfortable haven for those to choose to use anabolic steroids, there are a variety of bodybuilding boards where athletes openly discuss their use of steroids and get advice from their peers. These groups tend to perpetuate the notion that steroids are somehow viewed differently by the criminal justice system.

    I must admit that most local police officers do tend to view steroid use as a victimless crime. However, if you manage to attract the attention of law enforcement at the federal level, say by having steroids imported to you, things are entirely different. Agents of the DEA, DOJ, Customs, and other federal agencies view anabolic steroids in the same dim light as most recreational drugs. Once you enter the system, you tend to find that most judges and prosecutors share this same attitude.

    I've been through the system because of steroids, and know a lot of other people who've been in my same situation. Judges and prosecutors have no mercy with steroid users. Steroid users are viewed as cheaters, bullies, people who prey on the weak of society. When I was facing charges of steroid trafficking back in 1996, the judge on my case made a comment that she thought steroids were worse than heroin. Needless to say, my ass puckered a bit after hearing this. I've heard enough anecdotal reports from associates and readers to know that once your caught, the consequences are not pleasant.

    Certainly steroid use and steroid trafficking are viewed as different ends of the same spectrum. Most steroid users busted on simple possession charges will find themselves on probation, probably having to simply pay a fine and submit to drug testing for a short period of time. Trafficking carries much harsher consequences. Here's the catch. A lot of drugs have set amounts that clearly define what is considered personal use and what is considered dealer quantities. Steroids are not defined in such a manner. Therefore, while you may get busted with what would clearly only be enough for personal use to those with even a rudimentary knowledge of anabolic steroids, the DA probably not going to fall into this category of people. While most prosecutors are very familiar with all manner of recreational drugs, anabolic steroid cases are rarely seen in most jurisdictions. Most public defenders or criminal defense attorneys know nothing about these drugs. So, the most knowledgeable party in the entire case is often you, the defendant. How much credibility do you think you'll have in your attempt to prove your stash was for personal use when your supporting documentation is the World Anabolic Review or Anabolic Reference Guide? About a year ago I tried to help an associate of mine prove that his positive drug test was a result of pro-hormone use. Although I sent him to court with a plethora of scientific references proving his position, both the prosecuting attorney and judge took the position that he was attempting to dazzle them with bull****. He's now finishing his last months in prison as a result of his positive test due to prohormones.

    REASON #3
    Anabolic Steroids are Very Psychologically Addictive
    What kind of psychobabble is this? Quite simply, once you start using steroids, you won't want to stop. Anabolic steroids take your body to a level you can never achieve naturally, and once that line is crossed, it's very hard to ever train clean again.

    I must have weighed around 230-235 lbs when I first started using steroids. I'd been stuck at this weight for a very long time. No matter how I ate, or how hard I trained, I wasn't breaking this natural plateau. Every athlete has a natural genetic limit as to how much muscle they can carry, even under the most optimal of conditions. Once that barrier is reached, you're not going to progress any further naturally. Oh, I've seen very dedicated natural bodybuilders add 5 lbs of lean body mass in a year after having seemingly reached their full genetic potential. I've also seen a lot of natural bodybuilders train for years at a time with very little change in their body whatsoever. For an athlete like this, the temptation to use steroids becomes greater and greater with each passing month.

    So, what happens when a natural bodybuilder like the one above decides to use steroids? He grows. In doing so, he smashes the natural barrier and his body begins to transform. Realistically, how do you ever go back to training naturally again? We can liken muscular size to crack, it's extremely addictive. I'm certain that most of you who have already gone over to the dark side can testify to this. It starts out with a small cycle, just one to add 15-20 lbs, then you'll quit. After you achieve your goal, you decide to do another to add a little more weight. Pretty soon this becomes a vicious cycle with no end in sight. You've become so desensitized to steroid use that you start taking more and more risks with your health. You initial goal of weighing a ripped 215 lbs went out the door 10 cycles ago, now you're shooting for 300 lbs and trying to score enough cash for that gyno surgery.

    REASON #4
    Steroid Have Serious Side Effects
    Let me ask you a question? Do you like having a full head of hair? I'm sure the thought of women's breasts excite you, but what about having a set of your own? Most importantly, it is your hope to fully enjoy the golden years of your life, aging gracefully like a fine bottle of wine? These are all things you need to carefully consider before using anabolic steroids.

    For the most part, most of the detrimental side effects of anabolic steroids are not life threatening. Using myself as an example, I'm completely bald because of steroid use. Now I'm fortunate in that I have a head that allows me to look attractive as a bald man, I actually prefer being bald over having hair. However, you probably don't, especially if you're white like me. As a general rule, white men look ridiculous bald, the only group that can successfully pull off the bald look and still look cool are African-Americans.

    Most bodybuilders develop gynocomastia to one degree or another if they use steroids for long enough. If you've been in a cave somewhere and don't know what this is, it's the condition commonly referred to as "*****-tits" in bodybuilding vernacular. Again, using myself as an example, after three years of steroid use, I had a nice pair growing. It was so bad that I couldn't go outside without wearing a shirt, and if I wore tight clothing (and what other kind is there when you weigh a muscular 295 lbs?) I had to put tape over my nipples. I was the butt of endless jokes from my loving friends. Every time we went out to breakfast and we ordered coffee, the joke was always the same. "Hey, we don't need any cream, we like to take ours straight from the tap." If we were out at bars, it was always the same story. "Hey ladies, if you're ordering a white Russian, don't worry about the milk, Jason can take care of you." It cost me $5,000 (ok, so I had my chest lipo'd too) and 6 weeks out of the gym in order to fix the damage caused by years of steroid abuse.

    Other common side effects include testicular atrophy, acne, edema (water retention), and a host of other conditions that tend to make you less than attractive. Now, we've all heard from the mainstream media how these drugs are killers and how they cause an untold number of deaths every year. For the longest time, the medical community denied that steroids even worked to improve athletic performance, effectively destroying any credibility they might have in trying to educate the public as to the real dangers of these drugs. Do I think anabolic steroids are killer drugs? No. However, I know for a fact that long-term abuse of anabolic steroids will shorten your life, and probably reduce your quality of life in your senior years. Steroids have a proven negative effect on cholesterol levels. Steroids will also cause hypertension in most people. Over time, these two factors will combine to negatively affect your cardiovascular health.

    It's been proven that most young people are unable to consider the negative long-term consequences of their actions. However, before you start using steroids, that's exactly what you need to do. Let's face it, we're not ever going to see people dropping dead from steroid use, and you can't overdose on steroids like you can with most recreational drugs. Having said that, what's your risk to benefit ratio? When you're sixty years old and undergoing a quadruple bypass, are the rewards of your steroid use in your youth going to be worth it? I'm not saying this is definitely going to happen, but it is a realistic possibility.

    I use anabolic steroids. Am I a hypocrite? After reading this article you might think so. My goal in writing this is not to scare someone into not using anabolic steroids, it's to give them a realistic assessment of the negative consequences of doing so. We live in a drug-culture that has taught us not to trust Big Brother. I really can't blame anyone for not trusting the government, media, or medical community when it comes to information on anabolic steroids. None of these sources has every done anything to really engender our trust. However, I think I have, and I want people to know what the possible consequences of their actions.


    "I'm new and I'm looking for a good fist cycle"

    Ok new guys this seems to be a big topic here so here is a post for you. First of all this is not a recipe just a guide line on what you should be researching. You need to learn about these substances in more depth than I will go into here. However, for the new member just coming to AR I think this will answer a lot of questions. If nothing else you will see that there is a lot of studying in your future and there is no quick way to cycle properly

    1st cut vs bulk
    A lot of people seem to feel you can both cut and bulk at the same time. Well I'm telling you right now to forget that idea. If your ready to start your journey down the dark path you should start it with a good old fashion bulking stack. Don't waist your first stack with a cutter. Save that for after you've gained some more size. If you feel like you need to cut, do it naturally before your first cycle.

    This IMO is where most mistakes are made. I try to keep it somewhat clean while bulking but some of you worry way too much about what you eat. This causes many of you to not eat enough. I also think people need to get more carbs while bulking. I've seen many people trying to bulk on what I would consider a cutting diet.

    For bulking I suggest high protein, med carbs and low fats. As a general rule I try to consume about 2 g of protein per lb daily while bulking although sometimes I don't get it all in. When I'm not bulking my carb intake is quite low so the boost in carbs gives me quite a treat.

    Do some research before you start any Anabolic cycle on how your body reacts to certain diets. If you in an advanced enough stage to be using Anabolics you should already know how you reacts to diets and exactly how many calories you need to eat to accomplish the weight you are looking to acquire. Ask for diet help if you need it. There are many people on AR who know more about diet than I ever will.

    Make sure you get a good multi-vit in the mix. Specially with low fat diets.

    The Gear
    The are many right and many wrong ways to do things here. There is no one magic formula for cycling. Many people do it many different ways. Many of those ways work well. Many don't. Things I may suggest others may say I'm way off base. I can only tell you what I have learned from experience. You have to make your own decisions for yourself

    Its become a common thing that many vets here suggest a test only first cycle. Thats fine. I'm sure you'll get some good gains from it. I myself like a little more in the mix. Like I said test only is fine if you want to stop there.

    The most coming thing to ad is deca. Yes its mild on the sides. Yes you get good gains. However, if you do chose deca it will mean that an anti estrogen alone will not prevent gyno 100%. Another substance such as bromo will be needed in case of progesterone related gyno. For this reason alone I suggest eq (Equipoise). The gains are not quit as big but you will keep more of them and that sounds like a good trade off to me.

    Dbol and other orals.
    I know many of you would like to ad these to a first stack. I did and from experience let me tell you its not a good idea. The side effects are just too high. I was doubled over in bed from my the pains in my liver. Other have had pains from excessive back pumps to the point of missing workouts. trust me on this one save the orals till you know how your gonna react to a all injectable cycle it will make it easier

    I suggest you run test at about 500mg. Some say thats over kill and 250mg is plenty first time around. For some maybe. I know for a fact for me it wouldn't have been enough. I upped my doses mid cycle from 400mg to 600mg before I got satisfactory results from my test. To me 500mg is in no way shape or form excessive.

    For the eq or deca I would run it at 300-400mg. Ran mine at 400mg. I felt it had a great effect on me.

    Other thing you need to be taking
    Lots of water. I am not ****ting you when I say on a cycle I drink 2+ gallons a day. I just drink it out of a 1 gallon jug. Hope you don't get in trouble at work for being in the bathroom every 15 min.

    Anti estrogen. I personally take nolva though out the whole cycle @ 20mg. If I feel itchy or sore nipples I up it to 50mg till its gone. Then its back to 20mg. I run it till I'm done with my PCT (post cycle therapy). Other good things to run with or instead of nolva liquadex, ferma, arimidex. Read around you'll see a couple others. nolva for me is simply cheap available and effective.

    Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) I follow the idea that Clomid alone is a perfectly fine PCT for most cycles. I will say for any kinda cycle your going to be doing here it is. The thing is you wanna start your Clomid when the majority of the anabolics are out of your system. For that you need to know that test Enathate (which is the test I recommend you use right now) after 2 weeks will diminish enough to Begin PCT. For deca and eq it will be roughly 3 weeks. So you will simply end the eq/deca a week before the test.

    The correct way to run clomid:
    day 1 300mg
    day 2-11 100mg ed (every day)
    day 12-21 50 mg ed

    Final thought
    For the most part this is very general. I tried to keep it that way. I did not intend this to be a all you need to know about steroids by Ron type of thing. I do not have all the answers. There are many things to learn and I just wanted to give you a good step in the right direction. I have been on this board for years and all I have learned it has taught me. Still everyday I learn something new. Take your time. Read the threads. Read the educational forum. Ask questions. There are many very smart Bros on here. Take advantage of them. Steroids are not a quick fix like some people think. They are a drug you are putting into your body. Make sure before you do this you know what they are and what they will do to you.

    Steroid Side Effects And How To Avoid Them
    This chapter, along with the chapter on the proper use of ancillary medications, are two of the most important chapters in this book. Why? Because AAS have side effects, and long-term use of AAS can have a profound effect on longevity and overall quality of life in later years if preventative measures are not taken. Having used steroids myself for over 10 years now, I have suffered through virtually ever side effect listed in this chapter, and have consequently educated myself on how to avoid them.

    Regardless of your age, it’s important to always bear in mind that the use of AAS for the purposes of gaining an edge in sport can be an inherently unhealthy endeavor. There is a distinct difference between the doses of hormones or drugs that are used in slowing the aging process through hormone replacement therapy (hereafter referred to as HRT, please see the chapter on HRT by Dr. Ramon Scruggs for further clarification) and those that are used to enhance performance. If one is to properly use performance enhancing drugs, it is vital that they know the potential side effects of drugs they are using, know how to combat these side effects, and most importantly, actually implement the knowledge they have. Time and time again I’ve seen a bodybuilder develop gynecomastia (commonly referred to as “***** tits” in the bodybuilding vernacular) despite the fact that the individual in question knew this was a possibility and also knew the preventative measures to take. One should not engage in the use of AAS or any other performance enhancing drug if the maintenance of proper health is not of primary concern.

    Compounding the problem of treating the side effects of AAS is the hysteria surrounding their use in the first place. Many bodybuilders that use steroids find themselves to be social pariahs, muscular misfits if you will, and end up finding comfort in the company of others that engage in steroid use as well. Because a bodybuilder wears his sport, he’s branded a steroid user by many regardless of whether that’s the case or not. Often times, the shame one feels regarding their steroid use will cause them to suffer through the side effects associated with their use, rather than seeking competent medical help. Truth be told, it’s very difficult to find competent medical help to treat the side effects of steroids, as most doctors simply have no idea how to properly do so. More often than not, the physicians I worked with for most of my years on steroids were completely clueless as to how one might ameliorate the negative side effects of these drugs, and would simply tell me to “get off the steroids”. I say this not to dissuade those of you reading this from seeking out the advice of a doctor regarding the side effects of steroid use, just to prepare you for a probable response.

    Most of the side effects related to steroids are cosmetic and will disappear when one discontinues their use. But those that aren’t are the most important to understand and treat as necessary. Most of these cannot be seen or felt, and all are related to issues of cardiovascular health. Steroids can adversely affect cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and hypertension, which over time can and will lead to an increase in heart disease. Always monitor your resting hear rate and blood pressure on a weekly basis when taking steroids and have your cholesterol and triglycerides checked every six months if you are using steroid consistently. These are not problems you can live with, ignore them and you may very well die much earlier than you would have otherwise. Ask yourself this question: “How much is every year of my life worth to me?” If you ignore the potential for an increased risk of heart disease when using anabolic steroids, you are essentially answering the question with, “Very little indeed.”

    Before we begin a look at the actual side effects themselves and how to treat them, it’s important to note that not all AAS are created equal!! At times, for the sake of brevity, I will lump all AAS together, but the fact remains that some steroids will cause more negative side effects than others. One of the points of this book is to allow you to make that distinction, and walk away with the knowledge of how to use them as safely as possible. Below is a list of steroids most commonly associated with the side effects listed in this chapter:

    Anadrol-50 (Oxymetholone)
    Dianabol (Methandrostenolone)
    Halotestin (Fluoxymesterone)
    Testosterone and its various esters

    Unfortunately for us, these also happen to be most of THE most effective AAS (with the exception of Halotestin) for building LBM. Generally, the maxim that the more effective a steroid is the more side effects it has holds true.

    Finally, before we begin, readers will notice that I do not advocate the use of estrogen blockers such as Nolvadex, Clomid (I do post cycle, but not for the purposes of estrogen suppression), or Proviron. With anti-aromatases like arimidex (anastrazole), femara (letrozole), and to a lesser extent Cytadren (aminoglutethiamide) becoming cheaper and more readily available, use of estrogen blockers should be relegated to the bodybuilding archives. For a complete explanation as to why, read the chapter Proper Use of Ancillary Medications Both On and Off Cycle.

    AAS Side Effects

    Acne: One of the primary indicators of steroid use is acne, and I’m sure many of you reading this have either experienced acne caused by steroids or have seen someone who has. Like all steroid side effects, the degree to which someone will suffer from acne varies from individual to individual. The more androgenic a compound is, the more profound effect it will have on increasing oil production in the skin via stimulation of the sebaceous glands. Having said that, I’ve seen individuals use incredibly androgenic stacks and never have a hint or a pimple or blemish, and I’ve seen athletes (especially women) use very mild anabolics and suffer from horrible acne.

    Treating acne is very important, both for physical and psychological reasons. Untreated acne can cause permanent scarring of the skin if it becomes severe enough, resulting in a pockmarked area that can only be smoothed through expensive plastic surgery. And acne can have a very powerful negative psychological effect on someone suffering from it, branding someone a steroid user and further isolating them from “normal” society. Severe acne can and will detract from the most aesthetic of physiques, and take away from ones overall presentation.

    Depending on the severity, there are several options for the treatment of acne. Since acne is generally caused by the more androgenic steroids, there is always the option of switching to steroids that have few androgenic properties, such as nandrolone, oxandrolone, or primobolan. Light cases can commonly be controlled through frequent washings of the effected area (to remove excess dirt and oil before pores become clogged and infected) and the use of over the counter topical treatments. Moderate cases will generally respond to the use of Retin-A coupled with use of an antibiotic (such as tetracycline) which kills the bacteria which feeds off the oil created by the sebaceous gland. Severe cases of acne should be treated with Accutane, a prescription drug manufactured by Roche that is very effective at permanently eliminating acne. Accutane has a host of unpleasant side effects itself, and treatments are both lengthy and costly (health insurance is a must), but its use is much better than the possibility of permanent scarring from cystic acne. Fortunately, while acne is one of the most commonly seen side effects, it’s also the easiest to treat, as competent Dermatologists can easily be found.

    It should also be noted that acne commonly become an issue for bodybuilders that do not cycle off steroids correctly, which will often cause a severe imbalance between levels of androgens and estrogens. Preparation for your off cycle period is equally important as the time spent on steroids, so use of an anti-aromatase both on and immediately following a cycle containing AAS that can convert to estrogen is a must.

    Aggression: Men, due to their higher natural production of testosterone, are generally more aggressive than women. AAS, especially those that are extremely androgenic, will further increase aggression in both males and females. This can be beneficial as long as the individual in question can focus the aggression appropriately, such as the lifting of heavier weights during training. There often seems to be a direct correlation between ones ability to control aggression and ones intelligence.

    There is nothing worse than an out of control steroid user who is unable or unwilling to control their aggression. Before beginning a cycle of AAS, especially one containing strong androgens, you must prepare yourself mentally for the fact that you are in all likelihood going to be more aggressive than normal, and consequently take the time to assess the nature of your reactions while using them.


    Controlling yourself during a cycle is simply a matter of maturity, intelligence, and discipline. If you find that you are becoming easily irritated, constantly arguing with others, or becoming extremely upset over minor things, the use of androgenic compounds should be reduced or eliminated altogether. Might does not make right, and any bodybuilder who allows steroids to control their demeanor is simply affirming the stereotypes people have about overly muscular people.

    Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: BPH is simply an enlargement of the prostate, a walnut-sized gland that surrounds the urethra whose function is to squeeze fluid into the urethra as sperm move through during sexual climax. This fluid, which helps make up semen, energizes the sperm and makes the vaginal canal less acidic. This condition is now considered a normal part of aging for men, with more than half of men in their 60’s and upwards of 90% of men in their 70’s-80’s will show some symptoms. As the prostate enlarges, the layer of tissue surrounding it stops it from expanding, causing the gland to press against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritable. The bladder begins to contract even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself. Urine remains in the bladder. The narrowing of the urethra and partial emptying of the bladder cause many of the problems associated with BPH.

    Although no conclusive medical evidence exists that long term use of testosterone will lead to an increase in BPH or an acceleration in its development, such a conclusion can readily be made by understanding the mechanisms through which BPH develops. DHT is a primary culprit in the development of BPH, and it is theorized that estrogen may play a role as well. Men who cannot produce DHT do not develop BPH, and the primary treatment for BPH is Proscar (Finasteride), which inhibits the 5a-reductase enzyme. It is this enzyme which is responsible for converting testosterone (along with Halotestin) into DHT. Studies done with animals have suggested that BPH may occur because the higher amount of estrogen within the gland increases the activity of substances that promote cell growth.

    Knowing that use of testosterone will increase both levels of DHT and estrogen if the appropriate accessory medications are not used, you can see where I draw my conclusions. It is highly likely that long term use of testosterone, whether it be for performance enhancement of hormone replacement therapy purposes, will accelerate the onset of BPH. Thusly, one should use both an anti-aromatase and 5a-reducatase inhibitor when using testosterone.

    Birth Defects: This applies only to female steroid users, as steroid use by males cannot induce birth defects. Any female using steroids should have a pregnancy test before doing so and use an effective form of birth control while on them. When used by a female who is pregnant, AAS can cause Adreno-genital syndrome, which will result in the inappropriate growth of the genitals in a developing fetus.

    Cancer: Steroids are commonly believed to cause cancer, even by many who use them. This is primarily for one reason, the hysteria surrounding the death on former football great Lyle Alzado, who died of a brain tumor in 1992. Prior to his death, Lyle went on a very public campaign divulging his many years of steroid abuse, and pointing the figure at AAS as the causative factor behind his cancer. The media latched on to this and exploited it for all it was worth, despite the fact that Lyle’s own physician readily admitted that AAS could in no way caused the cancer the killed his patient.
    The fact is that the number of cases that have directly linked steroids to cancer is statistically insignificant, and all are related to the use of C17 alpha alkylated compounds. Again, C 17 alpha aklylation is a chemical modification that allows steroids to be used orally. This makes them mildly hepatotoxic, and continued use over long periods of time can place serious stress on the liver. The few cases of liver damage and subsequent cancer that have been confirmed to be related to the use of AAS have occurred in primarily in sick patients whose liver function had already been compromised in some fashion, not athletes. Furthermore, the steroid involved in these cases was almost always Anadrol-50. This makes complete sense, as Anadrol comes in a very high dose per pill (50 mg) when compared to other oral steroids. Furthermore, the amount of Anadrol that was often to prescribed to patients was astronomical, the Physician’s Desk Reference (known as the PDR, the reference guide physicians use when prescribing drugs) recommended 1-5 mg/kg of body weight per day. To put this into perspective, a 200 lb individual would be given anywhere between 100-500 mg of Anadrol per day. This is between 2-10 tabs of Anadrol daily. Anyone having used real Anadrol (and there’s very few that have, almost ALL of the oxymetholone available today is severely underdosed) knows that even 100 mg is an incredibly effective dose that will always be accompanied by a host of negative side effects.

    My point is not to minimize the dangers of long term use of 17-AA AAS, but the truth is that short term use of them (4-8 weeks) is a relatively safe proposition.

    Cardiovascular Disease: Refer to chapter

    Depression: Use of AAS can have a profound affect on an individual’s disposition. Depression is most commonly exhibited in male bodybuilders post cycle, when estrogen levels can be incredibly high and endogenous production of testosterone has been suppressed. This can leave a male bodybuilder with a hormone profile more resembling that of a woman, and this can play a profound role in their attitude and outlook on life. More than once I’ve seen incredibly muscular and normally stoic males reduced to tears over sappy television commercials and lamenting their deteriorating condition as the imbalance of estrogen/testosterone wreaks havoc on them physically and mentally. Once again, this can be avoided through use of proper ancillary medications both on and off cycle. Estrogen levels must be kept in check at all times to ensure both maximum gains and minimum side effects. Please refer to the chapter, Proper Use of Ancillary Medications Both On and Off Cycle for more information.

    Edema: Many AAS will affect the amount of will affect the amount of water that is stores in the various tissues of the body. To some degree this can be beneficial, the strength that one will gain through the retention of water in muscle and connective tissues will certainly help add additional LBM over time. However, the moon face of a bodybuilder on a bulking cycle suffering from extreme edema is both physically repugnant and inherently unhealthy. One should not ignore the fact that water retention can have a negative impact on both blood pressure and renal function.
    Edema is associated with increased levels of estrogen, and thus the culprit for it is once again the aromatizing androgens. An athlete should always prepare for this when using these steroids, through proper application of anti-aromatases like arimidex, femara, or Cytadren.

    Gynecomastia: Primarily referred to as “***** tits” or gyno, gynecomastia refers to enlargement of the male breasts. Male breast tissue is ripe with estrogen receptors, just as in that of a female. Consequently, elevated estrogen levels can cause swelling and eventual growth of this tissue, leaving a man with unsightly lumps beneath both nipples. The effect is exactly that experienced by a male pre-op transsexual receiving female hormones to induce the growth of the breasts, albeit on a lesser scale. Untreated, the swollen breast tissue will harden, becoming permanent fixtures underneath your nipples until removed by surgery.

    Because elevated levels of estrogen are the primary culprit behind the development of gyno, one should always use an anti-aromatase when using steroids that aromatize. This would normally be during a bulking cycle, when the use of strong, aromatizing androgens becomes a necessity. Unlike many others that have commented on the subject of gynecomastia and estrogen suppression, I would not wait until the effects of estrogen can be seen or felt before incorporating the proper ancillary drugs into my regime, they should be in place from Day 1!

    It should be noted that I do recommend use of an estrogen antagonist when using Anadrol-50 (oxymetholone), as this drug exhibits estrogen-like activity despite the fact that it does not aromatize. Because of this, the estrogenic effects of Anadrol cannot be combated using an anti-aromatase, and one would need use an estrogen receptor antagonist such as Nolvadex or Clomid.

    There are several AAS that exhibit progestational activity, such as many of the nandrolones or trenbolone (which is derived from nandrolone). It is possible that these steroids could produce or exacerbate gyno in a very small percentage of extremely sensitive individuals, even without elevated estrogen levels. Male bodybuilders that are extremely sensitive to the effects of progestins will have a very hard time avoiding the development of gyno, since the majority of effective steroids either aromatize, exhibit estrogenic qualities on their own (Anadrol), or have progestenic activity. These individuals would need to totally suppress estrogen production while on cycle (using both an anti-aromatase and an estrogen antagonist) or find someway to acquire the drug RU-486, the so-called abortion pill. Use of RU-486 would be the ideal situation for these individuals, as it is a progesterone antagonist. Unfortunately, this drug is nearly impossible to obtain.


    Simple guidelines and simple explanations for the simply newbie:

    You must understand esters. Esters are attached to anabolic steroids 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:
    • Enanthate
    • Cypionate
    • Decanoate
    • Phenylpropionate
    • Propionate
    • Isocaproate
    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. 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:
    Trenbolone (fina)
    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. Mass Cycles:
    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:

    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.


    Injection FAQ:

    *What size needle do I need?
    The smaller the gauge the larger the needle.
    22 or 23 Gauge, 1.5 Inch is ideal for injections into the glutes.
    22 or 23 Gauge, 1.0 inch is ideal for injections into the delts/quads.

    *Will it hurt much?
    It hurts about as much as a good pinch, but that is all. After the first couple of times you poke, you get used to it.

    *For drawing from a vial:
    ***ALWAYS wash hands before injecting***
    Wipe the top of the vial with an alcohol swab before the needle enters - do this every time you pull the bottle out from storage (do not blow on the top of the vial. Let the alcohol evaporate)
    Pull back on the syringe approximately as much as you are going to fill it (i.e. - if you are going to draw one cc then first load one cc of air) poke the needle into the vial.
    Inject the air into the bottle so that you have created a vacuum effect and drawing will be easier
    *Pull back on the plunger until the desired amount is achieved (you may do this with the bottle upside down so that you can 'flick' the syringe to get the bubbles to settle while you are still in penetration
    *Once you have the amount you are looking for you will either (A). be ready to switch needles or (B). you may leave the needle on for pulling from another vial if you are going to mix
    *So (A). you will pull back on the plunger once you are out of the vial to get the remaining liquid out from the drawing needle's base
    *Poking the needle in to the vial dulls it. At this point you may want to switch to a fresh (sharp) needle You have now drawn from the vial.

    ***Be careful not to touch the needle to ANYTHING. Think about it, you are injecting deep in to your body. Any foreign particles will be transferred deep in your tissue and you risk a nasty infection.
    *Get all bubbles out of the needle - flick it until they rise to the top and then push them through the needle - make sure you get them completely out of the needle as well - don't worry about the juice dripping down the needle and don't even wipe it as it makes for great lubrication
    *In the injection spot - for glute you will look down on the 'cheek' and imagine splitting it into 4 quadrants, you would inject into the upper most outer quadrant. For the leg, if you were sitting down you will inject into the outer part of the leg (but more on top, not on the side) where you have the most 'meat'
    *Clean the site with alcohol and you are ready to inject
    *Quickly pierce the skin and steadily push the needle into the muscle. Push in smoothly until you have but a couple centimeters left of the needle (you never inject all the way in as you want to make sure some is still visible in case the needle should break off and you need to retrieve it)
    *Aspirate the syringe - pull back slightly on the plunger - you will see one of two things. (A). You will see a couple small air bubbles that when you stop applying pressure upward on the plunger will readily go back into the muscle or (B). Droplets of blood. (A) being the obviously favorable one. If there is blood you must pull out, switch needles and start over.
    *If all is well you may begin injecting. Push in slowly - you will come to find that you can 'listen' to your body and it will let you know how much it is willing to receive at once - when I inject myself I apply consistent pressure to the plunger but I go in only as fast or slow as my muscle wants to at that time. Going too fast will potentially result in an abscess. When you have completed this, wait a few seconds and then pull out and take your alcohol swab and firmly press down and massage the site to make sure everything stays in the muscle and the massage will also prevent soreness in the morning. You may bleed just a little bit, so it helps to tape the alcohol soaked cotton ball to your injection site.

    Miscellaneous Tips:
    *If you are self-injecting, it helps to stretch out first. If you are poking yourself on the right cheek, use your right hand to poke, and support (under) the needle with your left hand. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it can be done.
    *Never inject more than 3ccs at a time
    *Never mix your water and oil based gear
    *With the winny shake well and you can inject water based with a slightly smaller gauge but in either case a 22-23g will work fine.
    *Rotate injection spots. This will keep your receptors fresh. So right glute, right delt, right leg, left leg, left delt left glute - this will give you ample time off in between - it is up to you how much of the winny you want to inject versus take orally - but you could potentially be taking quite a few shots - make sure you dont hit an injection spot more than once per wk - you are using 6 sites so you should be fine

    Will also keep you from building scar tissue
    *Injections are great after a shower so the muscle is relaxed and it also helps to roll the syringe in your hand or run under hot water to heat the liquid to make it easier on you.
    ***ALWAYS wash hands before injecting

  6. This should be a STICKY and given to all NEWBS that enter AM.

    Good read!

    Reps should be given... NOW!

  7. a must read.
    i agree - should be a sticky.

  8. Definitely a good thread

  9. good read, I gave you rep for that

  10. remove the links, they include sources.(not good sources BTW)

  11. good info!


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