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Anabolic Steroids 101: A Complete Guide To Types, Pills, Gains and Side Effects

In medical terms, anabolic androgenic steroids are synthetic derivatives of natural Testosterone or its twin brother, dihydrotestosterone. When you have a synthetic version of something natural, it’s hard to stand an urge to improve it, right? That’s exactly how all modern steroids were made.

So you’ve heard a ton of confusing information about anabolic steroids, harsh side effects, and miraculous gains they can give you. Some facts are alerting, so you probably want to research the subject a bit deeper before you will (maybe) give AAS a try.

The problem is, you have no proper starting point. Most forums nowadays are gatekeeping circle-jerks, and most articles on the Web are either insufficient, boring-ass Wikipedia clones, or incompetent advertising of greedy underground shops. I’ve seen dozens of shitty guides, and with all the experience under my belt, I know how to make the opposite. Here you can get the information to decide whether you want to dive into this world or not, and where to start if you do.

What Are Anabolic Steroids

A little heads up for starters. In short, Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS) are performance boosters. The class of compounds that can give you extra endurance, muscle growth, fat burning, and strength.

With steroids, workouts are just significantly more productive, and that’s why they are so popular among athletes of all kinds.

In medical terms, AAS are synthetic derivatives of natural Testosterone or its twin brother, dihydrotestosterone. When you have a synthetic version of something natural, it’s hard to stand an urge to improve it, right? That’s exactly how all modern steroids were made.

How (And Why) Different Steroids Are Made

Natural Testosterone is a primary male sex hormone. It is responsible for anabolic processes that boost muscle growth and androgenic processes that define male characteristics development. Testosterone itself is the standard and the measuring unit for all AAS: it’s 100% anabolic and 100% androgenic.

While anabolic processes are useful for bodybuilders, androgenic ones can lead to some unpleasant side effects. That’s why all the changes have sense in the first hand.

All synthetic derivatives of Testosterone (Anabolic Steroids) are either boosted on the anabolic part or weakened on the androgenic part.

By modifications, scientists also alter the half-life of the substances to prolong their activity and change the administration way to injectable, oral, or a gel. Some other changes can affect the interaction of steroids with other substances in your body, for example – to prevent the aromatization (conversion to Estrogen). Not so hard, right? Still, people manage to mess up the thing catastrophically.

Myths & Questions about Anabolic Steroids

Now let’s get all the incorrect stereotypical shit out of your head. Steroids have overgrown with spooky-scary urban legends in the last decades. Most of them are made up by housewives and office managers who see the gym only on pictures. Here are the most popular myths on AAS:

Anabolic Steroids Benefits

Now to the best part of it. What’s all the buzz about, why do athletes take Anabolic Steroids for about 60 years now? Here is just an incomplete list.

Muscle Gains

Yeah, we all want to be big and massive. Muscle hypertrophy (i.e., growth) affects all your skeletal muscles – from calves to biceps, quads, back and – yes – deltoids.

How do steroids make you bigger? In short, by nitrogen retention and protein synthesis boost. This is what «Anabolic» means if we oversimplify the thing. Protein is a building material for your muscle tissue. Anabolic Steroids turn your cells into unstoppable protein-making factories, so every workout results in more gains than it would naturally.

And how big EXACTLY can you get? Most articles on the Web push the 6,1kg (13lbs) number. However, this number is based on just one study (10 weeks of controlled 600mg testosterone cycle), and it’s from 1996. A couple of things worth highlighting here:

  1. It’s a solo cycle. Should’ve they added a Dianabol kickstart to the study, results of the same men would go up to 15-16lbs. Add Dianabol AND some Deca to the Testosterone base, it would be about 20 lbs in 10 weeks of just one cycle. And we’re talking about THOSE guys, not you.
  2. It’s just ONE cycle of 10 weeks. Some steroids require 16 weeks to kick in. Their next cycle (which they could’ve started safely in a month or so after a proper PCT) would give more and more pure muscle on top of the recorded result, not to mention the possibilities (sigh, and the risks) of blasting and cruising.

I want you to remember the thing: NEVER try to google «how much muscle can steroid_name give me». It’s a beginner’s mistake. The results are totally personal. Your pre-existing stats, genetics, experience, age, starting weights, health condition, even sleep schedule, and stress levels can affect the result. There are no limits and no guarantees. You can be the lucky one to set a record for a particular compound or get nothing but side effects and muscle loss. Start on moderate dosage, test your limits, see how things work for you, and keep track of your cycles effectiveness. That’s the only way to predict YOUR results.

Strength Gains

Being big is great, but you don’t want to run around the gym, fighting beginners for 5lbs weights, right? That would just look dumb. That’s why AAS also give you power. Raw power and weight gains are the second most popular benefit among athletes who do it not just for the girls or to get beach body ready by summer. Depending on the exercise and your current weights, get ready to put additional 5-20% lbs on the bar. Yes, here I can give you exact numbers (note that it’s a percentage, not exact weight though) because it’s a sort of common knowledge that’s already in the books and guides of all kinds. Of course, you can get even more, and that’s just an approximate number, which also by 90% depends on the gear you use.

Fat Loss

You definitely CAN lose fat on Anabolic Steroids, just keep in mind that these substances were created for muscle growth in the first place, not for fat loss. Fat burning capabilities come from multiple side processes that different AAS trigger:

  1. Enhanced IGF-1 (Insulin-like Groth Factor) production. This little fellow is responsible not just for the resistance of your muscle to catabolic breakdown, but for fat loss as well.
  2. Metabolism acceleration. The faster your body burns calories, the less of them go to your fat tissue. Some steroids (such as Trenbolone) act like jet engines for your metabolic rates.
  3. Cortisol levels decrease. This is one of the properties of pure Testosterone. Cortisol is – hands down – one of the worst hormones for bodybuilding. It causes both stress and fat build-up. Testosterone blocks this bad guy, so you can enjoy a decrease in body fat percentage.

Now, I want to be precise. Even though it’s possible, Anabolic Steroids are not the best option for pure fat loss. Peptides are, if you ask me — especially HGH-Frag. However, you will never lose a single pound of fat without a proper diet. 90% of success is forged in the kitchen. Count your calories, maintain a slight deficit, learn to cook healthy things, avoid trans-fats, and fast food. It’s just necessary for cutting. No steroids will save you from getting fatter if you will sit on your ass all day and feast on Wendy’s cheeseburgers instead of hardcore workouts.

Endurance Boost

This is more of a bonus thing that causes multiple other practical benefits. This is how it works: AAS boost Red Blood Cells (RBC) production. RBC’s are responsible for oxygen transportation around your body. More oxygen = more «food» for your muscle cells so that they can stay active longer. And this is what it gives you practically:

  • More reps capacity. Try not 1 or 2 extra reps, but 5 of them – you’ll be surprised how much hidden power you’ve had.
  • Less time needed between sets during the workout. The better intensity and more time for different muscle groups come handy.
  • Less time needed to recover after a hardcore workout. You’ll be fine by the morning, even after the hardest leg days.

Other Benefits

Of course, muscle growth, strength, and fat loss are not the only effects you get. These are just three main benefits that you can expect from all Anabolic Steroids. Among other effects are:

  • Muscle Hardness – Works only with «dry» compounds (Anavar is the best example) that don’t cause water retention. Muscles get significantly harder to the touch, so you get less additional volume, but better density.
  • Extreme Pumping Effect – Pumps that last outside the gym, due to enhanced RBC production. Sometimes you can get notable pumps even from your daily routine tasks.
  • Appetite Gains – Not the type of gains you wanted, but the one you needed. It comes especially handy on hardcore bulking cycles, when you need to consume an ungodly amount of calories every day.
  • Mental Improvements – It’s vital to set targets and achieve results, especially for a man. With AAS, you can achieve results that you didn’t even expect to. It makes you feel more confident and self-righteous.
  • Libido Boost  – When you take extra Testosterone, the liquid manliness, what else would you expect? Better erections are caused by boosted RBC production, and your desire to put them to action comes from the changes in the hormonal system. Of course, this effect works only when you take AAS in the right protocol. Otherwise, you can get the opposite result. With some compounds, you should be extra careful – being rock-hard every time you need it 24/7 and getting a so-called «Deca Dick» (soft, helpless Willy) are dangerously close, when we talk about Nandrolone.

Injectable Anabolic Steroids List

It’s time for you and steroids to meet face to face. I’ll play the role of the only guy you know at a party and give you a little briefing on every substance.

Injectable Steroids

Injectable steroids were developed for a reason – to avoid your liver. It breaks them apart in a matter of minutes if they’re not «armored» through processes like 17-alpha-alkylation (which is harmful to them). Besides, almost all classic steroids are injectable. Here is a list, you’ll probably notice some familiar names here.

Testosterone Esters

This family owns the house. Testosterone is the active compound, ester – is just a form that defines the half-life and active period in your body.

Compound NameSpecialtyHalf-Life
Testosterone EnanthateBulking, cutting, TRT, mass gains14 Days
Testosterone Cypionate Bulking, cutting, TRT, mass gains16 Days
Testosterone PropionateBulking, cutting, TRT, mass gains2-3 Days
Testosterone Esters Overview

Testosterone Enanthate

The most popular and the longest ester (remains active for 2+ weeks), traditional first AAS cycle for beginners. A standard base for less androgenic compounds, used by pro athletes. Gives you 8-13 lbs of pure muscle in about a month.

Testosterone Cypionate

Acts for about 16 days. Mostly similar to Testosterone Enanthate, the difference between esters length is just one atom. Has slightly more anabolic properties. It’s easier to get high-quality Cypionate in the US and Canada, so the key difference here is availability in your region.

Testosterone Propionate

Acts for about 2-3 days. Due to short half-life, it causes less water retention, which makes it the «driest» ester. On the downside, it should be injected every other day and costs a bit more than other options.

Nandrolone Esters

Nandrolone is an old-school bulking compound. Technically it is Testosterone with just one lacking part, but a tiny modification makes it 150% anabolic and 30% androgenic. It has two major options that vary in terms of the half-life

Compound NameSpecialtyHalf-Life
Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca Durabolin, Deca)Bulking, joints, and tendons improvement14 Days
Nandrolone Phenpropionate (NPP, Durabolin)Bulking, cutting, TRT, mass gains16 Days
Nandrolone Esters Overview

Nandrolone Decanoate (aka Deca Durabolin, Deca)

Should never be used alone, needs a testosterone base. Can give you the notorious «Deca dick» (troubled erections and suppressed libido) on a high dosage. It’s a long-acting compound, give it some time to kick in.

Nandrolone Phenpropionate (aka NPP, Durabolin)

A faster form of Deca, gives you the same effects a month earlier, but you need to inject it 3-4 times a week, not just once a week, like Deca. Fantastic joints healing effect is still here, though.

Methenolone (aka Primobolan)

Administration: Injectable;

Specialty: Power gains, plateau breaker, stack booster.

Details: Quite expensive, but makes a great stack with Testosterone. Side effects are close to zilch, and most athletes report absolute zero of them on moderate dosage. It gives you more power gains than muscle mass and works at a slow rate. Effects mostly depend on your diet – with the proper ratio, you can turn it to an effective bulking compound, even though it’s a DHT derivative, and bulking is not a primary target. Also, suitable for girls.

Trenbolone (aka Tren, Finajet)

Administration: Injectable;

Specialty: Mass gains, strength gains, overall performance boost;

Details: The golden classic of bulking compounds. Gear of choice for most old-school athletes, because it gives you both weight gains and visual mass growth. May cause a bloated look and definitely requires a PCT after the cycle. Also, anecdotally, the most «aggression-provoking» gear, even though it’s nothing but bro-science. It causes blood pressure spikes but makes you an unstoppable beast in bed. Along with PCT requires a girlfriend. Otherwise, you’ll run out of socks by the end of the cycle.

Oral Anabolic Steroids List

Nobody likes syringes and needles, right? Well, do I have some good news for you – some steroids are oral and come in pills, just like your ordinary painkillers. It’s more practical, convenient and more comfortable. However, it’s also awful for your liver, and not ALL steroids have an oral form. Here are the most popular of them:

Compound NameSpecialty
Anavar – OxandroloneLean muscle mass, weight loss, polishing your gains
Dianabol – MethandrostenoloneCycle booster, rapid gains, kickstarter
Anadrol – OxymetholoneFast visual blow up, strength gains, fast recovery
Winstrol – StanozololKickstarter, vascularity, pumping, muscle hardness, cutting
Halostein –  FluoxymesteroneStrength, strength, strength – and some endurance;
Equipoise (EQ) –  BoldenoneMuscle growth environment creation
Masteron –  DrostanoloneFaster recovery, supportive gear for hardcore bulking cycles and blasting
Testosterone Esters Overview

Oxandrolone (aka Anavar, Oxandrin)

Administration: Oral (comes in pills);

Details: This is a steroid of choice for female athletes, almost non-androgenic, but you can’t run it solo. Well tolerated by beginners, commonly used by the end of the cycle to highlight the relief.

Methandrostenolone (aka Dianabol)

Administration: Oral (comes in pills);

Details: The first AAS to be less androgenic than Testosterone, the first substance to be invented, especially for bodybuilding (by Dr. John Ziegler, the godfather of steroids). Hepatotoxic – overdosing is dangerous. Works best at the very beginning of the cycle when you wait for the main compound to kick in.

Oxymetholone (aka Anadrol)

Administration: Oral (comes in pills);

Details: messed up blood pressure guaranteed, but excellent pumping effect in the gym. A rival to Dianabol in terms of speed of gains. Does not concert directly to Estrogen, but still requires a serious base compound.

Stanozolol (aka Winstrol, Winny)

Administration: Oral (comes in pills);

Details: You will feel your joints, and it’s not a good thing. Similar to Anavar in effects, but cheaper – Anavar is often faked with Winstrol. Keeps your gains after the cycle. Dry compound – mild to none water retention.

Fluoxymesterone (aka Halotestin, Halo)

Administration: Oral (most popular) or Injectable;

Details: Some serious gourmet shit for professionals. It’s Powerful, and I mean POWERFUL here, not just «powerful». Great for weightlifters – concentrates on hardness and performance, not volume. One of the worst steroids for your liver (not just 17-alpha-alkylated, also has additional fluorine part).

Supportive Steroids

These guys may seem like a bunch of nerds that discuss D&D in the corner at every party, but don’t you mess with them: each «supportive» compound is STILL an extremely potent steroid itself, even though they work best in stacks and are rarely used alone. Need a hardcore sidekick for your main compound? Choose your fighter:

Boldenone (aka Equipoise, EQ)

Administration: Injectable;

Details: EQ itself is hardly a muscle builder. It shines best in synergy with other AAS and boosts your cycle with enhanced red blood cell production, and better endurance. It also gives you fantastic pumps, vascularity, and hardness. Just don’t run it solo, think of EQ as of a secondary compound, another supportive option for your blast.

Drostanolone (aka Masteron, Mast)

Administration: Injectable;

Details: Derived from dihydrotestosterone, highly androgenic, and weaker on the anabolic side. Mostly used to counter side effects from other steroids, combat aromatization, keep libido, and mental state on point while on a powerful cycle. It also allows you to run Testosterone or other compounds in higher dosage with zero to none consequences.

PCT  After Anabolic Steroids – How and Why

Post-cycle therapy is vital for any cycle. Even if someone tells you that it’s a waste of time and money. Even if you think that your cycle was mild. Even if you are offered eternal life or PCT, and you’ve just finished your cycle, choose PCT – you don’t want to spend the whole eternity in a suppressed state, so it’s the only right choice. Seriously, I can’t stress it more – PCT is a must after ANY anabolic steroids cycle. This is why:

Your body needs Testosterone to function correctly. When you start the AAS cycle, you get it in extra amounts through injections or pills. Your balls stop producing your natural Testosterone because you have enough of it already from AAS. When you stop the cycle, your balls are still too suppressed to make enough Testosterone. You have no external source ALREADY, and no natural production YET. Without enough Testosterone, Estrogen takes the wheel, and your body starts to suffer: moobs, depression, troubled erections, boosted catabolic processes (loss of muscle tissue), zero motivation, and possible chronic prostate issues are the consequences.

With PCT, you give your balls some time to get back to normal when you stop your main compounds. Your testosterone levels should climb high again, and PCT is the ladder. You have two main options:

Both give you an ability to restore the cycle, both should be started in 2 weeks after your last AAS pill or injection, and both are long-standing, trustworthy PCT compounds. You can read more about them and choose the one you like more.

It’s not that important, whether you go for Nolva or Clomid. The most important thing here is NOT to be one of those suicidal fellas who skip PCT entirely.

Steroids for Women

Well, I would say that there is no such thing. Anabolic Steroids are seriously dangerous for women. In medical terms, they can trigger irreversible virilization (aka masculinization). Some modern studies claim the opposite, but I want these experts to say this in front of Rosemary Jennings, Tammy Jones, and Carmella Cureton portraits.

So far, we have all the evidence to say that MOST anabolic androgenic steroids are a no-go zone for women. The life-long effects may include:

  • Body and facial hair growth. Moustache, hands, belly, back areas – no wax stripes will save you;
  • Voice changes. Works as a benefit only if you’ve always wanted to be a voice actress for Hulk Hogan;
  • Facial structure changes. Disappearing cheekbones, bigger jaw, more muscular brow ridges, etc.;
  • Messed up periods. You can have only one adequate cycle at a time, and if it’s a steroids cycle – forget about predictability in the other one;
  • Clitoris enlargement and sensitivity increase. We’re talking about constant 24/7 sensitivity, not just during the sexy time;
  • Extra wrinkles. Your skin loses elasticity all over the body, not just on the face – cellulite would be the smallest of your problems.

Sounds fucked up, right? Why would anyone ever go for it, and so on. However, let’s be realistic here. Thousands of women worldwide start AAS cycles every year, and they are aware of these risks. It’s just wrong to have an alert sign by the entrance and hope that everyone will listen to it, with no safety rules provided for the inside. If you’re a woman, I hope that starting a steroid cycle is not an overnight decision for you, and you jump on the AAS train consciously. Here is what you should be aware beforehand to minimize the risk of masculinization:

  • Don’t run gear on long cycles. Eight weeks should be your peak;
  • Constant bloodwork is a must. For men, once every two weeks is enough, for women – every week tests are vital to jump off on time, in case something goes wrong;
  • Blasting and cruising is not an option if you want to stay at least relatively feminine;
  • Female dosage should be significantly lower than male;
  • Choose less-androgenic steroids: Anavar would totally work for you with mild-to-none side effects.

Anabolic Steroids Side Effects

AAS are by no means a free lunch. Anyone who says that they are entirely harmless is a bullshit actor. Steroids affect your body in a complicated way, and there is always room for some risk. Here I’ll list the most critical areas that you should pay attention to.

Heart Side Effects

Yes, being the most “popular” reason for death in the world, the heart should always be first on your extra caution list. Anabolic steroids affect it, not in the best way. Most Testosterone derivatives enhance RBC production. On the one hand, it gives you better oxygen transportation and, therefore – boosted endurance, as I’ve mentioned in the benefits part. On the other, you get more blood volume in general, and your heart is not ready for this. Additional pressure leads to multiple problems. Among the most common heart-related side effects that you may encounter:

  • Blood pressure spikes. Those prone to it can even get frequent nose bleedings;
  • Hot flashes;
  • Face flushing. Not a mere one you used to get when you lied to your parents in early school years, but a deep tomato color, full Ferrari F1 vibes;
  • A racing heartbeat, aka tachycardia. Especially during workouts, Hardcore 90s rave party rhythms in your temples;
  • Dizziness;
  • Chest pain. A red flag, either lower the dosage or drop the cycle if you get severe discomfort in your chest area;
  • Fainting. This one is reserved for those with pre-existing heart problems, but you should keep an eye on the possibility, just in case.

Aromatizations

Oh, a cruel mistress that turns your whole hormonal system into trash. This is how it works step-by-step:

  1. You get extra Testosterone from AAS;
  2. Your body thinks that everything over your natural level is excessive and starts to get rid of it (of the part that you don’t use in your workouts, of course);
  3. Aromatase enzymes (little self-sufficient cells) connect to testosterone molecules and convert it… no, not to Islam. To Estrogen, female sex hormone (mainly Estradiol);
  4. Estrogen connects to receptors all over your body, mainly in the chest area, and messes things up;
  5. If you don’t counter it, you get man boobs.

Not like it’s an unstoppable process, but you should be aware that it’s in the core nature of most Anabolic Steroids, and the risk will always hang over you, like an anvil from Looney Tunes cartoons. One wrong step and you get a whole bunch of hormonal issues, including:

  • Acne;
  • Balding;
  • Gynecomastia (said moobs, duh);
  • The female pattern of fat distribution, mostly around your hips and waist;
  • Severe mood swings and easier irritability.

Yes, aromatization IS that bad. Having too many female hormones in your male body couldn’t be a good thing by definition. Luckily, the problem has been around since the very beginning of the era of steroids, so we know pretty damn much about various means of countering it:

  1. Record your track and go for blood works. Some people are heavy aromatizers, and others are almost immune to it. To learn personal capabilities, you should go to the nearest hospital and do a regular blood test on Estrogen levels (the E2). For best results, take two tests: one before the cycle to learn your natural E2 level (yes, you have some even without steroids), and one in the middle of the cycle.
  2. Keep your AAS dosage under control and watch out for red flags. Aromatisation is a dose-dependent process, so the lower you go – the fewer risks you face. Of course, you shouldn’t just take smallest doses – it would make the whole going on gear thing pointless. Instead, just START low with new compounds and enhance your dosage throughout the cycle to its peak. When your nipples start to itch, hairs get thinner and “weaker”, fat starts to accumulate around the waist area at least a little, stop right there and cut your dose.
  3. Take Aromatase Inhibitors (aka AI’s), if needed. This is a class of compounds that basically deactivates the cells responsible for the process. You take them right on cycle (all of them are oral) and enjoy your low E2 levels. Aromasin, Arimidex, or Femara are the compounds of choice for most athletes. [HERE] you can read more on them, it’s a whole different class and a whole different subject.

It’s hard to fight with your own body’s natural processes, but it’s possible, and you can avoid most of the risks. The good thing here is that aromatization is a reversible process that gets back to normal after the PCT.

Liver Side Effects

Oh yes, the little Jesus Christ of your internal organs that dies for your toxins only to be resurrected on the next day. The primary function of your liver is to fight harmful substances in your body and guess where Anabolic Steroids are on its list? Right in the “seek and destroy” part of it. The liver is capable of breaking down most AAS in a matter of minutes. Obviously, that’s not enough time for them to make a difference you need. So far, we have two ways to fool your liver:

  1. Injectables. When you inject something intramuscularly or subcutaneously (in the thin fat layer under your skin), the substance avoids the liver and goes directly into your bloodstream. That’s why most steroids are injectable – it’s just the fastest and safest way for them to reach the destination.
  2. 17-alpha-alkylation. It is armoring the compound to make it resistant to your liver. In medical terms, it’s just a small addition to the molecule in the 17th position, but it does wonders to the compound’s half-life and makes oral steroids possible and practical. The bad thing is, your liver doesn’t like it. Think of it not just of a tank armor, but more as of a spiked wooden barricade around the compound. Your liver will try to break the thing down anyways, but it will get damaged in the process.

Luckily, the effect is not powerful enough to cause any severe liver inflammation, hepatitis, or other chronic diseases (if you go for usual dosage, of course), and your liver should get back to normal in a couple of weeks after the cycle. However, additional medical tests and hepatoprotectors to make sure that you are safe would be a reasonable addition to your cycle

Lipids Side Effects 

You should know that you have two kinds of cholesterol that vary in terms of density:

  • HDL – high-density lipoprotein – is a «good» one;
  • LDL – low-density lipoprotein – is a «bad» one.

The higher the LDL levels are, the more your chances to get a thrombosis, heart disease development, or stroke you have. Anabolic Steroids boost your bad cholesterol production and limit the god one. Extra attention to your diet and liver values is critical.

Acne

This one belongs to the Aromatisation part, but it can be triggered independently as well. AAS cause acne because of enhanced oil from skin production. It clogs your hair follicles under the dead skin cells. AAS-related acne is not like pimples that you could have in teenage years – it occurs mostly on your chest, hands, and back, not on your face. There are two main ways to counter it:

  1. The easy way. Adjust your diet to limit skin oil production. Less sugar, less simple carbohydrates, more vegetables, and vitamins. It works with mild acne cases only, though.
  2. The hard way. Special medicine. You can go with any retinoids or antibiotics your doctor will prescribe. However, for the most severe cases, athletes traditionally go for Accutane.

Anabolic Steroids No-Go’s

Not going to make it a philosophical tractate, the concept here is obvious. You should NOT run Anabolic Steroids, in case:

You are younger than 25 years old. Your hormonal system is still in development, buddy, and you don’t want to mess it up for the rest of your life with just one inaccurate cycle. Go natural and learn to diet correctly, control your calories and workout intensity instead by now. It’s 90% of success even on steroids, so you don’t lose anything while waiting for a safe age to go on gear.

AND/OR

You have some pre-existing issues that can get worse with AAS. A whole stack of diseases, everything up to a fatal heart attack, is waiting around the corner for those who either run steroids, being AWARE that they shouldn’t, overdose or abuse AAS on prolonged cycles. Don’t be a dick to your body – if you KNOW that you shouldn’t run steroids, don’t do it. It’s a damn survival instinct. A shortlist of possible no-go’s includes:

  • Renal failure;
  • Liver failure;
  • Heart diseases;
  • Recent (about two weeks) surgical operations on anything;
  • Arterial hypertension;
  • Prostate tumor;
  • Any kind of tumors and oncological diseases;
  • Severe atherosclerosis.

First Steroids Cycle  

Now that you know all pros and cons, you can decide, whether you want to give AAS a try. Here comes the logical question – where to start? To be honest, it’s all up to you. Seriously, there are no strict regulations. However, some protocols are believed to be traditional for beginners.

The very first cycle, in my opinion, should be pure Testosterone, preferably in a long ester, such as Testosterone Enanthate.

This way you’ll understand how it feels to go on gear:

Solo Testosterone Enanthate Beginner’s Cycle:  

 Testosterone EnanthateNolvadex/ClomidBloodworks
Before the cycle  +
Week 1250mg 
Week 2250mg 
Week 3250mg+
Week 4250mg 
Week 5250mg 
Week 6250mg 
Week 7250mg 
Week 8250mg 
Week 9+
Week 10 
Week 1120-30mg 
Week 1220-30mg 
Week 13+

When you progress a bit, you can start your first stack – for example, a simple Deca Durabolin + Test E cycle. It will give you more gains, but will demand more discipline in terms of timing since Deca should work only on a highly androgenic base:

Deca Durabolin + Testosterone Enanthate Base Cycle 

 Testosterone EnanthateDeca DurabolinNolvadex/
Clomid PCT
Bloodworks
Before the cycle   +
Week 1400-500mg300mg 
Week 2400-500mg300mg 
Week 3400-500mg300mg+
Week 4400-500mg300mg 
Week 5400-500mg300mg 
Week 6400-500mg300mg 
Week 7400-500mg300mg 
Week 8400-500mg300mg 
Week 9400-500mg300mg 
Week 10400-500mg300mg 
Week 11+
Week 12 
Week 1320-30mg 
Week 1420-30mg 
Week 1510-20mg 
Week 16+

Now that you know, how to mix different compounds, you have to learn another thing – how to maintain your dosage during the cycle. You can go for te old-school pyramid scheme, or you can choose a modern plain cycle. This is how it works with Methandrostenalone (Dianabol):

 Solo Dianabol Cycle – Old School 

 DianabolNolvadex/
Clomid PCT
Bloodworks
Before the cycle  +
Week 110mg/day 
Week 215mg/day 
Week 320mg/day+
Week 425mg/day 
Week 530mg/day 
Week 630mg/day 
Week 720mg/day 
Week 810mg/day 
Week 9+
Week 10 
Week 1120mg 
Week 1220mg 
Week 1310mg (if necessary)+

Solo Dianabol Cycle – Modern

 DianabolNolvadex/
Clomid PCT
Bloodworks
Before the cycle  +
Week 130mg/day 
Week 230mg/day 
Week 330mg/day+
Week 430mg/day 
Week 530mg/day 
Week 630mg/day 
Week 730mg/day 
Week 830mg/day 
Week 9+
Week 10 
Week 1120mg 
Week 1220mg 
Week 1310mg (if necessary)+

In basic terms, it’s that easy. Just read compound profiles, learn their capabilities and go for best stacks.

Anabolic Steroids are around for over half a century now, all combinations are tested and you can find at least dozens of anecdotal reports on each combination.

Here are a few golden rules that I would strongly recommend you to follow, they apply to going on gear in general:

  • Never mix orals with other orals, only with injectables – unless you want to punish your liver for something;
  • You can mix different testosterone esters with each other, and it’s NOT a waste of money;
  • No «Blasting and cruising» (i.e., endless cycling), at least in your first couple of years. It can give you more gains, but the process is just shortening your career in bodybuilding;
  • Time on cycle should be at least 70% of your rest time after the cycle;
  • If you want to go for large doses, at least choose injectable AAS – don’t run extreme doses of orals;

Highly anabolic substances (>100% of Testosterone) should be mixed with highly androgenic compound to prevent most side effects of both and achieve the synergetic effect.

How to Choose Steroids – What is Pharm Grade  

Since AAS are mostly illegal, there are three ways they get produced. Here is a little tour for you:

  1. Totally underground labs. Such steroids bear all the risks of unofficial production: under-dosed substances, wrong compounds, and so on. Labs like these change names more often than you change shirts. The only benefit here is the price – shit-grade steroids are cheaper than other options. Among the main cons are quality, dosing, and guarantees – say, zero of them. Do you know what’s in your pill or vial? Even guys who made it don’t know. They just try to make a living. They don’t care about your health, your gains, or any consequences.
  2. Unofficially, in makeshift labs. These steroids come from countries with high corruption levels, such as India, Balkans, and the Middle East. Some people set up a labs unofficially in Canada or the US, hire a a couple of chemists and aim for as high quality as possible but still not without over and under-dosing. You can’t sue them because officially they don’t exist at all, so poor quality steroids are a game of chance 100% of the time.
  3. «Pharma grade». Officially produced for real medical or veterinary purposes, or made by pharmaceutical giants. You KNOW what’s in the vial and what you take, and that’s worth a few extra bucks. Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Apotex – just some of the reliable long-standing companies. However, the brand name is NOT enough to be sure. Every single Iranian malicious jerk, involved in the market, knows that athletes love «Pharma grade» steroids, and he just writes it all over the advertisement and the pack. Real Pharma grade companies rarely tell you how “Pharm Grade” they are it goes without saying.

It’s crucial to find a reliable source, and unfortunately, there is no universal advice on how to do it. Ask your friends, ask some guys in your gym who go on gear openly, ask people on forums. Keep in mind that it depends on your location. The market can change every half a year, and I want this guide to be a long-standing thing, so no advice on the current situation. All I can say on the market landscape at the moment is that of all dozens and dozens of websites that promise you «pharma grade» steroids in my region, only about 5 are the real deal. Others either sell shit-grade or have compromised themselves by selling fake compounds.

 Authors Note on Anabolic Steroids  

I’ll be honest, I’m sick and tired of consulting morons who take orals like sugar candies, inject approximately and by guesswork, run endless cycles to «feel juiced up» and take monstrous doses of whatever they can find, because «girls like big men». I’ve seen a full spectrum of idiots, and the worst thing about them is that it’s not even their fault. The mindless glorification of Anabolic Steroids and aggressive marketing are to blame. Foolish promises of malicious sellers resulted in a «magic bullet» image around AAS, and it’s just wrong. Steroids are nothing but instruments in your hands. Powerful just as much as dangerous, precise, and razor-sharp. You can hurt yourself with a hammer if you don’t know how to deal with it, but AAS are not a damn hammer – more like a chainsaw instead. You can cut off your dick with this thing, you know. So please, if you decide to dive into this world (and I’m not even exaggerating the thing right now, it’s a whole different dimension of bodybuilding), stay as disciplined as you can. Learn things, study everything about the compounds you’re about to take, stay as prudent and careful as possible. Only and only this way, you can get the best results and achieve your goals.

ROIDS101 M.D.https://roids101.com
My little mission is to give all the information you need about underground bodybuilding in a well-balanced mixture of scientific approach and practicality.

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