You’ve probably heard about the Testosterone base for orals a thousand times. Now — let’s talk about it in-depth for once. Here’s why you need it, and most importantly — how exactly to use it right.
What is a Testosterone base?
First, the definition:
Testosterone base is a small amount of injectable testosterone that you take alongside oral anabolic steroids or other injectables.
The key here is — SMALL amount. Test base is not a self-sufficient testosterone addition to your cycle. It’s not a part of the stack. It is what it is: just a base.
When do you NEED a Test base?
You really need it in just 3 cases:
When you take oral steroids
Nearly all orals are DHT-based. Including:
Dianabol is not DHT-based, Turinabol too, but we’d still recommend a Test base for them (so you can take higher, actually effective doses, without worrying too much about suppression). We’ll talk about the “why’s” a bit later in the text.
With Nandrolone-based steroids
The list here includes:
- NPP (Nandrolone Phenylpropionate);
- Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate);
- Trenbolone (both Enanthate and Acetate esters).
Nandrolone is not a replacement for testosterone, but it’s heavily suppressive.
When you take suppressive SARMs
Even though selective androgen receptor modulators are not supposed to be suppressive by definition, some of them are a hard kick for your testosterone. To be precise:
- YK-11 — suppressive even at mild doses;
- RAD-140 — dose-dependent suppression;
- LGD-4033 — dose-dependent;
- MK-2866 — dose-dependent;
- S4 Andarine — mildly suppressive.
Note that SARMs are not yet fully researched, and we can’t really say with 100% accuracy, which are suppressive in the long run, and which are not. In the community, it’s believed to be individual. We’d still recommend doing your best to be prepared for suppression and full-scale PCT after some of those, especially if you aim at higher doses.
When you DON’T NEED a testosterone base?
Contrary to popular belief, some exceptions really exist. You don’t need a testosterone base, when you:
- Take mild doses of Anavar (yes, it’s DHT-based, but mildly suppressive in minimal effective doses, 20mg ED and so);
- Blast and cruise or run as TRT Testosterone itself (obviously you don’t need a Test base for Test itself, but let’s put it here for clarity);
- Take non-suppressive peptides, SARMs, or other PEDs. You’ve got to be careful here, because — again — it’s all individual with SARMs. Some guys get the effects of, say, Ligandrol “for free” in terms of testosterone suppression, and others experience all the low-T side effects after the cycle.
To sum it up, you need a testosterone base only when you take something that suppresses your natural Testosterone and doesn’t compensate for it.
You obviously don’t need it with Creatine or Yohimbine, as those are not hormonal compounds, you don’t need it with Clenbuterol, since it’s also not a steroid, and other cases of popular bodybuilding drugs that have nothing to do with your natural testosterone.
Why do you even need it in the first place?
Because testosterone is irreplaceable. It’s a cornerstone for all systems in the male body. And orals, Nandrolone, or other gear, heavily suppress it.
Because you get suppressed
When you take oral steroids or Nandrolone-based gear, your HPTA (hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal axis, the mechanism responsible for natural testosterone production) slows down and stops.
Your body knows that there’s a ton of androgens in your blood (and it sees no difference between natural or injected hormones) and tries to control it by limiting the production of natural testosterone in your testicles.
As a result, your natural testosterone level goes down (it’s called suppression), and if you let things out of control — the production fully stops and the level goes to the very bottom of the chart (it’s called shut down).
From this point, you rely on exogenous (not natural) hormonal compounds to function properly. Your testicles get smaller because one of their most important functions is not needed anymore. You feel not extreme, but annoying nagging pain.
And while DHT or Nandrolone-based compounds can replace testosterone in terms of anabolic activity, they are structurally incapable of covering all the bases.
Because Testosterone is important in a hundred of aspects
Aside from the effects that you need from it, like muscle growth and high libido, Test plays a crucial role in a whole crazy-long list of processes in your body. And we’re not talking about the commonly-mentioned hair growth, bone density, or motivation.
Just to name a few, here’s what else your natural testosterone is responsible for:
- Normal metabolism — Test affects your glucose and insulin directly. If you don’t get enough of it for a long time, the risk diabetes goes through the roof;
- Prostate health — it’s heavily dependent on testosterone, in all its functions, including the semen production and fertility, not even mentioning the prostate cancer risks you get if your T levels are too low or too high;
- Your heart functions — the cardiovascular system, from blood vessels condition to HDL and LDL cholesterol ratio, is partly defined by testosterone. No Test equals higher risk of heart disease.
If that’s not enough, here’s some more. Testosterone also plays a big role, directly or not, in:
- Skin health;
- Wounds healing;
- Immunity strength;
- Kidney functions;
- Cognitive functions;
- Insulin sensitivity.
DHT from oral anabolic steroids, all the quirky Dianabol protocols and SARMs or peptides just can’t replace Testosterone in these functions.
Because testosterone is also responsible for healthy estrogen levels
You may have heard about this one from More Plates More Dates, and it’s a good point. While Testosterone and Estrogen are believed to be antipodes, one praised in the community and the other vilified, it’s not quite right.
Male body needs some estrogen to function properly, and that small fraction of it comes from aromatization.
Aromatization itself, when it’s controlled and limited, is not a bad thing. If you don’t have at least SOME Testosterone for aromatase enzymes to convert into SOME estrogen (not A LOT, but SOME), you risk experiencing all the low estrogen side effects. And they’re dangerously close to low testosterone side effects:
- Mood swings and irritability;
- Anxiety, depression, no motivation;
- Disrupted sleep patterns;
- Excessive water retention, swelling in your arms and legs;
- Sex life issues (no sex drive, no erections).
Low E is nearly just as bad as low T, and all these elements of your system are interconnected, mutually dependent, impossible one without the other.
How much testosterone do you need for a base?
Now to practice. You have 2 options:
- Make testosterone a full part of your cycle;
- Take it JUST as a base to avoid suppression.
With the first part, it’s simple: 500mg EW of Testosterone Enanthate, Cypionate or Propionate esters will do the trick. It’s an optimal volume to get all the benefits. Note that you need to treat it as a part of the cycle:
- Take AIs;
- Go for PCT only when the testosterone ester of your choice leaves your body;
- Introduce hCG for pre-PCT if needed.
With the base itself, it’s even easier:
100 to 150mg of Testosterone EW is more than enough to keep all the body functions that depend on Testosterone up and running.
The 150 mg dose is not enough to see any of the actual anabolic effects from testosterone, but it’s also not enough to:
- Make you bloated and reduce the quality of your “dry” gains if it’s your goal with orals;
- Push aromatization through the roof, so you may not need AIs if other compounds in the stack are not aromatizing, or if you take small doses and you’re not really a heavy aromatizer;
- Make any of the side effects of testosterone notable and uncomfortable, unless you’re prone to them.
In terms of Testosterone compound of choice, the market today has a ton of options, equally effective, and varying exclusively in convenience:
- Long-acting esters — Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate — for less frequent administrations;
- Short-acting esters — like Testosterone Propionate — for daily injections;
- Testobase, Testosterone Suspension (aqueous solution with no esters, pure Test as it is) — if you’re ready for daily or even multiple injections a day.
All in all, any Test that you’re used to will do. We won’t talk about “alternative base” options here because, at the end of the day, Testosterone is still the best you can get. Natural, safe in these minimal doses, and effective.
Your body can work properly only when all things are balanced, and that’s exactly why you need a Test base. If you want to intervene in the natural hormonal processes, seeking faster gains or more strength, you have to make up for it.
Some inconvenience in form of Testosterone injections is — let’s be honest here — not a big price to pay for all the benefits you get.