My doctor wants to put me on hCG after my testosterone levels were only 105 per dl. How will this effect my body weight and muscle size? I had a prescription for 200 mg testosterone cypionate for low testosterone levels for the last year. I’ve been off the testosterone for the last 5 months. To increase my testosterone levels, do I have to use this?
The hCG will help increase your natural testosterone, by acting like LH.
This is normal therapy when the cause of low testosterone is low LH.
However it doesn’t solve the problem of why you have low LH.
Pretty much, yes.
Wouldn’t it *reduce* serum testosterone levels by increasing serum estrogen levels through antagonism (assuming no direct HPGA activity)?
No, it is an antagonist because it binds to estrogen receptors and prevents estrogen from working there. I think I see what you are thinking. Because certain other writers have claimed that if the receptors “overflow,” then the hormone “goes elsewhere and causes side effects.” You are thinking the same thing.
No, the number of receptors is absolutely negligible compared to the number of molecules of estrogen, and whether the receptors are blocked or not doesn’t change serum level.
If the stuff helps bring nads back on-line by reducing estrogen what happens to the poor saps who have no endogenous testosterone after a cycle then use Clomid to get it up again?
Very often they still have significant estrogen levels, and therefore, significant estrogen-induced suppression of the HPTA. Reducing this suppression will help restore normal LH production.
The process may take time, sometimes months. This is why I prefer shorter cycles, to avoid chronic suppression. That’s a problem worth avoiding.
I was under the impression that HCG was the bombtrac but it doesn’t exactly do what I want it to. I don’t want to trick my body and delay the inevitable. What exactly does Clomid do that makes it so effective in increasing endogenous levels of testosterone?
It blocks estrogen receptors, and odd though it may seem, the body “decides” how much more testosterone to produce largely (but not entirely) from what the estrogen levels are. If estrogen levels are sensed as being low, then the pituitary (usually) will produce more LH to compensate. This causes more testosterone to be produced.
Your article on the history of AAS was great. In it, if I read correctly, you said that DHT inhibits aromatase. Realizing that hormonally spurred events in the body involve many factors, might it be safe to conclude anyway, that someone who outwardly exhibits high amounts of DHT (allopecia, hirsutism) would be an unlikely candidate for gynecomastia at reasonable levels of a test ester such as enanthate?
Not really, because, besides DHT levels, there are genetic factors causing different individuals to have different overall hairiness, or to have male pattern baldness. These signs do not necessarily indicate unusually high DHT levels.
Thank you for the great column on Clomid! I have a few questions about the use of Proscar / Propecia to minimize DHT while on differing dosages of testosterone esters:
By blocking DHT, will this compromise the effectiveness of testosterone therapy in terms of athletic and bodybuilding performance? Doesn’t DHT have some performance-enhancing effects?
Yes, but if testosterone levels are very high from endogenous use,then partial inhibition of 5AR is probably going to, at most, keep DHT to normal levels. Thus there would be no loss relative to that.
Throw in some CNS-effective androgens, for example trenbolone, and there should be no problem.
Does blocking DHT affect circulating estrogen levels or the likelihood of estrogen-related side effects like gynecomastia?
For an athlete on 1,000 mg / week of testosterone enanthate, what would be an effective dosage of finasteride to minimize the chance of hair loss? Prostate enlargement? How about 2,000 mg /week? 4,000 mg / week?
I personally wouldn’t use more than the recommended pharmaceutical dosage, or 5 mg/day. More might not be safe and might at some point cause DHT levels to become abnormally low.
What is the relationship between estrogen / DHT with regard to hair loss? Do both need to be controlled? Or is DHT the main culprit?
I’m not a hair loss guru. Essentially as I understand it the problems are genetic predisposition, immune response, androgen receptor agonists (which includes all AAS), and not DHT itself, but a DHT metabolite.
Does DHT exert its effects at the same receptor as testosterone and other androgens or is it separate?
The same. Thus, DHT itself is not a particular culprit. However, it has at least one metabolite which binds to some other, presumably pharmacologically-active receptor in bald scalp tissue (not an AR.)
First off, thank you so much for the real info on bodybuilding and drug use. There is so much bad information out there. My question is regarding the use of equipoise to achieve a shredded physique. I have a 50 ml bottle and intend to use it while dieting. My questions are:
1. How often should I inject and how much?
That depends on how much you can afford, and what your goals are, and how concerned you are with side effects.
2. What type of diet should I use to keep the most muscle? (I was going to use Body Opus – Duchaine)
BodyOpus is a good diet. However, I believe that all diets can work well, except for diets high in both fat and carbohydrates, and diets which never replenish carbohydrates. Some people, however, definitely do better on one particular type of diet for any particular purpose. So you need to experiment.
3. Do I need to use anti-estrogens?
Clomid would be effective. Some will not need it. It is a matter of individual differences.
Antiaromatase drugs would probably help also, if you are one of those persons who have problems with estrogen from Equipoise. You should be able to tell whether you are or not by water retention.
4. How should I come off of it? Should I use HCG, Clenbuterol, etc.?
HCG is best used, if it is used, during the cycle, not after, to keep the testicles in working order.
Clomid, after the cycle, will help to restore natural LH production.
Clenbuterol is not necessary.
I have what you call “bitch tits”! The question is how can i reduce or shrink the “bitch tits”? Please help me…
Usually, reduction in estrogen levels, or estrogen activity, will reduce gynecomastia somewhat.
There is only one way to get rid of it entirely: surgery. Dr. Bruce Nadler advertises his services in this area and I have heard nothing but the highest praise for his work.
Dear Mr. Roberts;
I’m 45, overweight about 30 pounds (255#) white male, 6 foot tall. My doctor just put me on Testosterone Cypionate 400mg, injected every two weeks to get my sex life going and get my testosterone levels back to normal.
That’s a pretty good dose, Steven! You are lucky you do not have a doctor who wants to give you only 200 mg every two weeks.
BUT I am also lifting weights, and although I took dianabol for a short time back in the 70’s, I am really not up on this stuff and sort of in the dark. Since I am just beginning to make strides at the gym I am really excited that I am now getting steroids legally…perfect timing. I work out 4 times a week for an hour with a trainer. I do not powerlift.
My questions are many, but the main ones are this:
1. As steroids go, the above type and dosage…is this a good one and the dosage sufficient for great muscle mass production?
The dose is a little more than a replacement dose, which is typically thought to be about 100 mg/week. Your training should definitely become much more productive!
This dose is not high enough, though, to get you more than perhaps 20 pounds (very roughly speaking) more muscular than you could get with normal testosterone levels.
Still, that should be a great improvement!
2. How would body builders rate this brand? Scale of 1 to 10?
Genuine, pharmaceutical testosterone, any ester, is ALWAYS a 10.
3. Will this automatically produce, if any, weight loss?
No. Your metabolism may speed up somewhat, and for that reason (if you don’t also eat more) you may lose fat.
4. Should I be supplementing this with protein drinks?
Getting 30-40 grams of protein every two or three hours, whether from real food or supplements, is a good idea. I would make sure to still be getting a good part of the diet from real food.
5. Just got my first injection 4 days ago…when do you think it will start kicking in?
I’d expect noticeable changes (not monstrous changes) in 3-4 weeks if you train well.
I am in day 1 of the Body Opus diet. I have a bottle of Maxi-Gain (50 cc’s) and 50 tablets of clenbuterol. What is the most effective way to use these two supplements in conjunction with the diet to optimize my fat burning and at the same time retaining (or building) muscle. What is the best cycle to use? Thank you.
Unfortunately, the fastest way to build the most muscle is NOT to be losing fat at the same time. You are really at cross purposes here.
I recommend focusing simply on retaining muscle while dieting. The only exception to that is with a relatively novice trainer, one who has gained less than 25 lb of muscle from his starting point, or 10 pounds of muscle from her starting point.
Novices can gain some muscle while losing fat. More advanced trainers really cannot, though they might regain previously-obtained muscle while dieting.
So, why not bulk up first, then cut? Don’t bulk up too fat though. I think it is a bad idea to put on more than say one pound of fat per week, or to go past 12-14% bodyfat.
I have recently taken my first cycle of Sustanon, (mexican) and my back and arms have recently broken out bad with acne. What would you suggest that is not oil based and will not make me break out as bad.
Deca and Primo are really your two choices there, and perhaps Equipoise or Winstrol.
The oil of the steroid, by the way, has nothing to do with the problem.
My first cycle ever was D-bol and from it I got gynecomastia, behind the nipple, and had surgery to get it removed. Should I take something like tamoxifen every time now. I am worried about that estrogen build up again.
It depends. If it was removed absolutely completely, you may not now be very subject to gyno. Very often though, a tiny trace remains, in which case you would be highly prone to gyno again. There is no way to tell that I know of.
I would use antiestrogens anyway if possible.
How much primobolan depot ist needet for a cutting cycle – if no other AAS is used?
400 mg/week should suffice. Maybe 200 mg/week would still help avoid muscle loss, but I am not sure. I don’t know anyone who likes to go that low.
What are your thoughts on the current trend of using oral insulin agents like Glucophage, Phenformin, etc. in bodybuilding?
Probably not of value. For size, injectable insulin will be used. Perhaps newer oral delivery forms of insulin itself will become popular.
What will be the next big trend in your opinion in bodybuilding pharmaceutical usage?
I don’t know what is out there on the immediate horizon beyond what there already is, and using more of it.
Ultimately drugs which change gene expression, for example, antisense RNA oligonucleotides to block catabolic protein products, might be used. Perhaps their use might even be targeted to specific muscles via injection of liposomes directly to that muscle. One target might be myostatin.
Don’t expect the pharmaceutical firms to be focusing on bodybuilders as a market, though. If these drugs are produced, most likely they will be for veterinary purposes.
What about the new wave of supposed “legal” androgens like androstenedione? What is your take on their effectiveness?
Less effective than pharmaceutical anabolics. More effective than any other legal substance except perhaps creatine.
The more frequently they are taken, and the higher doses that are taken, the more the results will be, but the side effects will become the same as, or worse than, the pharmaceutical anabolics at some point.
Once a day dosing does not seem to be leading to problems of depressed HPTA function in users. At least no one is complaining about it. Frequent dosing probably would cause that problem.
Without antiestrogens, androstenedione certainly does raise estrogen levels somewhat, and can lead to gyno. The diols should be less prone to this, as should the nor products.
I would like to know what side effects my husband may encounter when taking androstenedione and nor-anderstendione. He wants to build muscles and gain weight. I am concerned that he will become more aggressive and/or addicted to them.
I would not be worried about either.
The only “addiction” that can occur is that he may like the results and fall into a “more is better” mentality. This is not physical addiction. It is like deciding that you want to get more of anything. It might be wise to plan a limit beforehand, assuming that money is an issue in your family as it is for almost everybody.
I would not recommend using more than a total of 200 mg per day, certainly not more than 400 mg. Beyond that, one might as well just use anabolic steroids and get more results for less money. (Where legal of course.)
I’d also like to know if there is any information about how it could effect us if we try to concieve a child???
There would be an effect if YOU used it, but not if he used it. It is normal for the male to have testosterone in the body, and it is normal for levels to vary quite a lot.
Actually, if he used these supplements very heavily, it could result in a temporary reduction in sperm count, the same as is seen with anabolic steroid use. This would be reversible.
Has there been ANY studies regarding these supplements??
So far as increasing muscular weight in humans? Nope.
Would it be efficient to stack androdiol and 5-androdiol together?
I am now stacking androdiol, norandrostene, and tribulus terrestris together and getting great results, would adding androdiol 5 increase the results?
It might increase your bra size.
Also, should I purchase some chrysin to go along with the stack?
Probably not, why not get a real antiestrogen like Clomid?
How much 5-AD should a person take in one day without increasing risks of side effects?
None. It is estrogenic and a poor choice for men.
I have been training pretty hard now for about five weeks. I’ve lost 12 pounds of body fat and have gained five pounds of muscle. As you can tell I just started getting serious about lifting. I want to know what supplements are truly good for someone like me… age 22, weight: 120, height: 5’3″, lift weights: 4 days/week, aerobics: twice/week, to keep fat down and to help me build/create more muscle?
MRP’s (meal replacement products) such as Met-Rx and competing products, are good because they make it much easier to provide yourself with good nutrition every two or three hours. That often just isn’t practical with “real food.” They also make sure that you get enough vitamins and minerals. Very often, multivitamin/mineral tablets don’t contain all the calcium or magnesium you need, for example, because they just won’t fit into a small pill!
Creatine is also good and may be worth 10 lbs of size or so, certainly 5, and you may feel stronger in the gym.
I like using ephedrine and caffeine before workouts myself. They definitely improve my focus and aggression on the weights.
Often, ephedrine products are called ECA stacks (ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin.)
I work out with two guys and they really push me hard when were training, it’s fun, but they always tell me I should start taking stuff like primobolan, and winstrol. I’ve done alot of reading on all types of steroids, including the side effects, and I don’t really think (for the size I want to be) that I should be taking stuff like that.
You’re making a smart decision. You can make a lot of gains right now, very fast, training naturally. And you will learn your body and learn how to lift much better while training naturally.
I did one cycle of, well I better just say a very good fat burner, and was very pleased with it, but I want something that I can buy through a store and that doesn’t produce acne…what about Ripped Fuel?
Make sure it still contains ephedrine or Ma Huang.
TwinLab generally makes excellent products.
However, generally, if the products contain the same amount of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin, then they are the same, and there’s no need to pay top dollar.
Hello Mr. Roberts,
I am Vishal Man Chaturvedi from INDIA. My brother is a beginner bodybuilder and he is having pain on rear deltoids while doing exercises of chest. Because of this, chest is his weakest part of body. I had already provided him some rear deltoid exercises to make them strong – still its not working. Please suggest how to develop his chest.
Sincerely Yours ,
Vishal Man Chaturvedi
Hello, Mr Chaturvedi!
I suspect your brother’s pain is more from the rotator cuff, which stabilizes the shoulder, than from the rear deltoids themselves.
If you wish to buy a book, The 7-Minute Rotator Cuff Solution from Health for Life is generally well thought of.
If not, a simple exercise may suffice.
Find something, perhaps a preacher bench or other bench, on which to rest the elbow. The upper arm should angled so the elbow is forward of the body a little, and below the shoulder a little. You would be standing or perhaps sitting, with the upper body straight.
With a light dumbbell, or using a cable, keep the upper arm at that same angle and lift the weight from where the forearm is level with the ground, to where the forearm is straight up, and then back down.
This exercise is good for strengthening muscles in the rotator cuff which are needed to stabilize the bench press.
Your brother should also be certain to bench press correctly. Many people like to lift their shoulders up as well, since that makes the weight go higher. Don’t do it! The shoulders should stay down, hard, against the bench, and the shoulder blades should be pulled together.
Also, many times the rack holds the barbell too high, forcing the lifter to use poor form and to lift his shoulders up from the bench to take the weight or to return it. And many times the lifter positions himself so that the rack is far forward of his shoulders. These things can cause problems for the rotator cuff. If that is the case, let the spotter (person helping him) hand the barbell to him, and take it back when he is done. This can make a difference.
I hope this solves his problems!
I am an avid female fitness nut as well as bodybuilder. However, my question to you does not concern myself, but my boyfriend. He is literally driving me crazy He started to use creatine and has seen amazing results. Anyway, in trying to cut-up and get the ripped look, he’s stopped the creatine – he was doing about 10-15 grams a day – which in turn has affected his strength and he is becoming quite discouraged. I told him that he should use the creatine as maintenance (smaller dosage) rather than the initial loading. He is currently using Hydroxycuts as well. I dont know much about the product, but the ingredients are powerful energy boosters so, I dont understand why his stength has been affected so much. Wouldn’t this compensate for what he’s lost from the creatine as far as energy goes?
No, the “energy boosters” really don’t do much for strength, although ECA does help one get an extra rep in many cases, and just have more intensity in lifting.
You are correct in what you are saying. When creatine is stopped, after a while, the gains produced by it go away, or at least some of them do. Five grams per day would be enough to maintain the gains. It is a question of whether having the extra muscle is worth spending the money for 5 grams per day.
I’m always reading about how great L-glutamine is, but recently I’ve read that most oral glutamine never reaches the muscle tissue. If this is true, are glutamine caps and powder just a waste of money? Also, would EAS’s Cytovol be a good alternative?
Josh, I think that glutamine is very important, but, if one is already getting a lot of glutamine from the diet, then a little more from supplements won’t make any difference.
Someone who is already using a lot of Met-Rx and Designer Protein, for example, would already have a lot of glutamine in their diet.
I don’t know about EAS Cytovol. I did try EAS GKG about two years ago, which was a glutamine product hyped by Phillips, and it did nothing for me. But perhaps it would have helped someone who was getting less glutamine from other sources.
I have been prescribed betamethasone muscular injections to help the healing of an anterior clavicular joint. Will this also have any effect on muscle growth?
Betamethasone is a glucocorticoid steroid, like cortisol. It will have a negative effect on muscle growth. How severe that is depends on the dose, of course.
Getting your joint healed is absolutely necessary though, so that is a price to be paid! Any muscle lost will swiftly come back.
I am about to try some Anadrol® and it is very hard on the liver.
I have heard of somthing called “Milk Thistle” that is soposed to help protect the liver while taking Anadrol®. What is Milk Thistle?
Milk Thistle is also known as silymarin, and is an herb which acts as an antioxidant.
No one has shown that it does anything to make 17-alkylated steroids less hepatotoxic.
It is one of those things that won’t hurt if taken as directed, and might help, but I wouldn’t bet on it.