DHT, the scalp, and Propecia
Dear Mr. Roberts:
Thanks for providing a remarkably honest voice on the topic of sports pharmacology. I know you’ve answered questions on steroid-related exacerbation of male pattern baldness (MPB), but how’s about one last one? Recognizing that a metabolite of DHT is the primary culprit in MPB,
Or, probably “a” culprit.
…older (35 plus) athletes with the obligatory prostate and MPB concerns would do well to avoid androgens which convert to DHT. Which specific compounds do NOT convert to DHT?
None of the synthetics do.
Using nandrolone decanoate as a prime anabolic agent, what more androgenic product would be optimal with which to stack it for size and strength gains with minimal MPB (and prostate) effects?
There is no such thing as an androgen that does not accelerate MPB, with the exception of low dose nandrolone (not because it has no effect at all, but because the suppression of testosterone may be more beneficial than the nandrolone is harmful.) The androgen receptor in the scalp is the same as that in the muscle.
Would it be preferable, for example, to use Dianabol at 15 to 20 mgs daily and partially counteract it with finesteride (Propecia)?
Dianabol is not metabolized by 5-alpha reductase and therefore Propecia will have no effect on its activity.
… or to seek an alternative that does not convert into DHT (even if it does metabolize into a different substance with some effects upon scalp hair follicles)? Further, since Propecia counteracts DHT only,
It counteracts the conversion of T to DHT.
…am I wrong in assuming that there is no point in taking it to counteract metabolites other than DHT?
You are right that there is no point to taking it for any of the synthetics.
Training volume and AAS
I have heard a lot of criticism of the 2-hour long workouts prescribed by some pro bodybuilders in their books or magazines. According to current wisdom, I structure my workouts into 3 or 4 separate workouts of 45 minutes to an hour each. Now, I don’t really WANT to be in the gym six days a week for two hours each time, but I was wondering if one could benefit from additional training volume because of the recuperative powers of AAS. Any thoughts?
It still remains true that one can only so much stimulate the muscles to grow, and training past that point just tears muscle down without necessarily causing increased growth past simply rebuilding what was torn down. (What isn’t true, of course, is Mentzer’s assertion that that point is reached after only one set of one exercise.)
I think that more than say 10 hours a week in the gym is excessive for anyone, and (if rest periods are brief) even three hours might be quite sufficient.
Prohormones and 2 on / 4 off ?
I realize this is a tough question to answer, but with your background I’d like you to take your best shot at Androdiol dosing. While we don’t know much about conversion rates, we do know it converts to testosterone and that the T elevation duration is short. With that in mind, I am trying to construct a reasonably effective yet safe dosing schedule.
1. Would you agree that the 2 weeks on / 4 weeks off cycle you recommend for short acting esters like propionates is well suited for Androdiol?
I suspect that if use past the afternoon is avoided, the amount of inhibition from Androdiol use may be negligible and I would expect the positive effect of Clomid on LH production to offset whatever there might be (if Clomid is used). Thus, being off of it four weeks out of every six is probably not necessary and probably quite wasteful. It would probably make more sense to be “on” 2/3 of the time rather than 1/3.
But if it is to be used around the clock, then yes, I’d expect inhibition problems with continuous use, which would be avoided with the 2 on / 4 off cycle.
2. Would you recommend high dosing (800 mg for a 170 lb person, 600 mg for a small 120 lb’er like myself) on a daily basis 7 days per week over these short cycles? Or would you consider even higher doses…
I doubt the stuff is harmful to males at even quite high doses; cost is probably the main factor. I’ve personally used 300 mg before workouts and after workouts, and consider it to have a moderate effect at that dose. More from the standpoint of improving training drive than anything else.
3. Would it be smarter/more effective to compress the dosing to a short period each day (ie, 300 mg 1 hour prior to workout followed by 300 mg shortly after training), or would you rather spread it out over 8 to 12 hours?
It would probably have more effect if in the system more hours per day, but at the cost of more inhibition, especially if it is still in the system while sleeping, when LH production is normally highest.
I’ve read posts on MFW suggesting a constant influx of androdiol (even taking it during the middle of the night) but this seems like a great way to shut down your natural test production.
4. Is something like Clomid necessary? Or would the short cycles provide a large degree of “safety.”
Clomid is not necessary for this, unless heavy dosing is being used.
I have 800mg of Deca and 1600mg of primobolan (injectable) at my disposal, what would you suggest would be the best way for me to do a cycle with gaining the best results. Also, can I incorporate D-ball into this stack and also how can Clanbuterol play a part in this cycle.
All 800 mg on day 1, then starting with week two, 200 mg of Primo every three or four days (400 mg/week) for the following four weeks. If legal I would use Dianabol at 10 mg five times per day for two weeks, then after that, only 10 mg on arising and again 4-6 hours later for the next four weeks.
Cholesterol and testosterone
I have naturally low testosterone levels (saliva tested). I also have a low cholesterol level (cholesterol total 109, HDL 51). Can this have an effect on my low levels of natural testosterone production?
I doubt it. Availability of cholesterol is not rate limiting for androgen synthesis.
Also, in the attempt to stay legal and almost use steriods I am looking at using testosterone boosters. 4-AD looks to be a good choice, with Tri-Bex 500 added. But, what I want to know is what if you add 5-AD, and/or 19-nor, and/or 19-nor-4AD? Will “T” levels only get so high and the additional “T” boosters are wasted? Or can they be synergistic or raise “T” levels even higher in different ways at the same time?
They are not synergistic but are additive. I would stay away from the 5-AD though unless you don’t care about estrogenic side effects.
For years now, I have been trying to get a hold of AS’s. I get together a program of what I need, find a source and then have to change my program because one or two of the products the source can’t get. I am now faced with that same situation again. My preferred AS is Dbol or Anadrol®, however, they cannot get them at my source in Spain. So it seems that what I can get, and has been on my previous lists is Anavar (oxandrolone), Proviron, Winstrol, Clenbuterol, Nolvadex and Clomid. I will only take pills. No needles (hence just the oral forms of the above). For the Anavar, i was told to take approximately 10/day, Winstrol 6/day.
You’re in something of a bind because nothing you have mentioned will give much results. The only two that are anabolics at all are Anavar and Winstrol, and I’d say you need 50-100 mg/day of either for even a rather mild effect. For example, 20 mg/day oxandrolone, if taken all in the morning, is essentially being off of steroids, giving only help in avoiding losses rather than stimulating gains. It is not very powerful.
Your best bang for the buck will come with Anadrol if it is fairly priced, but at the cost of rather high toxicity. Dianabol will give pretty good bang for the buck with good safety if you use Clomid. The anabolics you name just don’t give much effect for the dollar.
Two Weeks On / Four Off
When you say in the 2 weeks on / 4 off cycle, one could use 500mg of sustanon at the start, we should not use any other long lasting compounds after day 1 for example.
Also should one use other compounds during week 1.
Yes, orals will add quite a bit, as could short acting injectables.
Cycling ECA and creatine?
Does it make sense to cycle between an ECA stack and a Creatine supplementation for, say, some 6 weeks each?
It makes sense not to be on ECA all the time, but I personally have preferred just taking at least two days off per week.
It is a matter of debate whether it makes more sense to stay on creatine all the time, or to cycle it. At around $40 per kilogram, though, it certainly is cheap enough to use continually.
Loss of libido from steroid use
Dear Mr. Roberts,
My fiance just confessed to me after a month of unexplainable decreased libido, that he had done a six week cycle of testosterone. He has also used supplements for years. He gained 15 lb. of muscle. Well, a month and a half ago that he ran out–he has been off of both COLD TURKEY. Now he is on nothing. I dont know much about this topic but I know that you should taper off of any steroids. What should he do and how long will it take?
Clomid will help bring back natural testosterone production, taking 50 mg/day. In the meantime, Androdiol could be used when a boost is needed, but I’d suggest not doing so at night (even though that is when the boost might most be desired) because it would then be expected to adversely affect recovery of natural testosterone production, since most testosterone production occurs during the night.
Overweight condition and steroid use
I am an overweight male, mid 20’s. I have never used any AAS. I already have “bitch tits”(most likely from being overweight). I weigh 325 and am 5’10. My friends tell me I am not “fat”, but rather a big boy. l am not a total slob. I have benched 315 and am taking a karate class. I know l am obese and have very low self esteem. I have read that some people who take AAS have increased self esteem, which is understandable. So naturally l am interested in taking them. I have access to dianabol. My question is, should l take this at your recommended 2wk on 4 off or should I loose the weight first and then try it?
I think it makes more sense for most people to get about as far as they can get naturally before trying steroids. You can probably get great results with careful nutrition and good, dedicated training.
Clomid is equally effective against gyno.
What problems can l expect? What results can expect? Just strength and more size? I know it wont help with the weight but l am almost desperate. And l am definately confused at this point. Please help me and keep up the great website. Thank you.
Actually, it might help you lose the fat, contrary to what some say. I have seen some people of the endomorph body type who, for the first time in their lives, began losing fat easily when on even moderate-dose anabolic steroids.
I’d see how well you can do naturally, and only if that stalls would I consider the drug route, were it me.
Would my corticosteroid inhaler (fluticasone prop.) enter circulation? Also, would cort. antagonism from AAS affect the lungs? Thanks a lot!
Fluticasone is what is called a “soft drug”: it is designed so that it is active initially, but is metabolized in a controlled and predictable manner to an inactive substance. So it works effectively in your lungs but is very rapidly deactivated and therefore has very little systemic effect.
I suppose, but do not know, that high dose AAS use might necessitate a slight increase in corticosteroid dosage.
Synovex-H and estrogen
Hello, I am in need of some sound advice here. I am sure that you have heard of synovex-h, well, per 8 pellets there is 200mgs. Of testosterone propionate, but there is also 20mgs. of estradiol. I have heard hat ether will extract the estradiol from from the testosterone in the pellets, but is 20 mgs. really enough per 200mgs. of test. To increase the odds of gyno?
1) It is completely false that ether (or acetone) will carry away the estradiol while leaving behind the testosterone. In fact it will preferentially wash away testosterone.
2) Estradiol is extremely potent: 1 mg/day is a full replacement dose for a woman. Don’t consider 20 mg to be a negligible amount.
Clearing the system in time for blood tests
I’m preparing for the Nationals next September and I was wondering if you could give me some tips for the drug tests. When to stop using testosterone and what can I use till the end of my preparation.
Propionate: take your weekly dosage. Then divide by two as many times as necessary to get to about 100, and multiply that number of days by three. That number of days will get you down to a low level well below normal, and if normal T production is restored you will pass the test.
Enanthate: same, but multiply by two once before finding out how many times you need to divide by two, then multiply by six days.
Cypionate: same as enanthate, but multiply by eight days.
Sustanon: same method as propionate, but multiply by twelve days.
For example, suppose you were taking 1000 mg of enanthate per week. Doubling that gives 2000. You have to cut that in half four times to get to 125, which is close enough to 100. Multiply four by six days, and it would take 24 days for the level to be low enough that one could probably pass a urinalysis if natural testosterone production has gotten back up to normal by then.
These are conservative: it would be possible to push it a little closer.
Repetitions needed to gain mass
Hi Mr. Roberts
I know this question would have been asked a thousand times but I am very confused about it. In order to gain mass should i concentrate on heavy weights and less repetition or do more repetitions. and also how many sets do I do. Thank you.
The number of repetitions depends partly on muscle fiber type and will be different for different people, and for different muscles within the same person.
Instead, look at the weight being lifted as a percentage of the maximum weight you could lift with perfect form for one rep (1RM). Training weights of about 70-80% 1RM are most efficient for building mass, though weights as light as 60% or as heavy as 90% can be useful also if used in addition to the 70-80% range.
It may well be that you don’t want to, or can’t, get a 1RM for each exercise. Nonetheless you can estimate it fairly well if you can get a fairly low rep max, such as the maximum weight you can lift for 3, 4, or 5 reps, and a max for a medium weight, say 8 reps.
See how many pounds you gain per rep that you drop. You can assume that as reps decrease to 1 rep, you could continue to gain that many pounds per rep.
So let’s say you can bench 225 for four reps, or 195 for seven reps. Reducing three reps gains you 30 lbs. So you can assume that reducing from four reps to one rep will gain you another 30 lb, and you could estimate your 1RM as 255 lb. For muscular growth, the most effective training range would be 70-80% of that, or about 180 to 205, which in this case would be eight or nine reps down to six reps.
If you tried the same thing on squats, you might find a rep range more like 20 reps down to 8 rep: but different people are different.
As for sets, the more exercises being performed, the fewer the sets per exercise, and the higher the reps, the fewer the sets. 6-20 total sets per bodypart is a fairly typical range.
I was curious if winstrol or primo does cause hair loss.
Yes, they do. The androgen receptor in the scalp is the same androgen receptor as in muscle. There is no AAS that itself is effective at the ARs in muscle tissue but harmless to the scalp.
The one steroid that finds a loophole in this rule is nandrolone. Because of the high amount of 5alpha-reductase enzyme in the scalp, most nandrolone will be converted to DHN, which is much weaker than N. The result is, for whatever degree of activity there is at the ARs in muscle, there is much less activity in the scalp because of this deactivation.
Why Clomid in all 4 off weeks?
Just a quick question, what is the biochemical reason behind recommending the use of Clomid throughout the entire cycle. I understand its use throughout the 2 weeks on AAS, but why during the entire 4 weeks off? Thanks.
If only one cycle were being done, then four weeks of Clomid use would be unnecessary. One or two weeks would suffice. However, if one is going to be doing many cycles, that would not suffice.
LH production will be well below normal during the two on weeks. It will be somewhat below normal for at least part of week 3 as well. So if there are no weeks in which production is above normal, then the average for the six weeks is below normal, and testicular atrophy will result.
By using Clomid throughout, the weeks of high LH production counterbalance the weeks of low LH production, and testicle shrinkage does not occur.
Ornithine missing from protein powder
I have noticed that a large number of protein manufactures do not have ornithine listed on there product labels as one of the available amino acids. I am at a lost on this one, unless it is strictly a issue of manufacturing cost.
Ornithine is not one of the amino acids that is a structural component of proteins in general (the same is true of taurine). It is not present at all, or only in trace quantity, in many excellent kinds of high protein foods. It certainly is not present in whey or casein.
I was wondering if you can take deca as drops under the tongue rather than injection.
No: absorption would be virtually zero. You would be lucky to absorb one milligram that way.
Divide dose of Dianabol, or take all at once?
Bill , i recently purchased a cycle of 5mg dianabol and I started taking 5 pills about 1 hour before i workout in the morning and i just completed my 3rd week of my cycle. During week two i noticed a strength gain, my question is should I be taking all 25mgs at the same time or should I be splitting my dosage and or should I be increasing my dosage. Im a 30 year old male who has been consistently working out for the last 6 years.
It depends on what you want to do.
To minimize inhibition and keep testosterone production maximal taking it all at once in the morning would give the best result. This essentially is similar to being off steroids entirely.
Problem is, the results aren’t anything great either. Dividing the dose will give more results, but at the cost of more inhibition of testosterone production.
Over the longer term, the divided dose may give less results, because 25 mg/day Dianabol alone is not a great deal of steroid, and losing most of the natural testosterone production, if that took place, would take away a fair part of what the Dianabol was adding.
I think the most efficient plan is, if you’re going to inhibit natural testosterone, then use a really effective dose and get a lot of gains while inhibited. Or, use quite a low dose and avoid inhibition. The middle ground, where you have inhibition but not much gains, is undesirable.
Martial arts and AAS
I am a 25 year old SERIOUS combative athlete. I compete regularly in amateur boxing, and grappling sports such as Judo, Sambo and freestyle wrestling. I generally compete year round, looking to turn pro for boxing in late 99′. I have lots of experience with AAS. I was very intrigued with your recent atricle on 2 wks on 2-4 wks off for 24 wks. My primary goals are to enhance my recovery ability so I can train hard while avoiding overtraining. I generally do 2 a days, training in the morning then early evening 5-6 x per week. My weight class for boxing is 171-179 and for the grapping sports 175-184. I weigh between 178-185 year round & my B.F fluctuates between 5-9%. I have acess to almost everything except the Trenbolone, cytadren, G.H + oxymetholone. I was thinking for my next cycle of doing the regimen you described in your article. My questions are as follows:
1) Is this regimen you described optimal for an athlete like myself ?
It has the advantage, relative to longer cycles, of not having any low periods, and because of the briefness of the bulking cycles, making it easy to avoid overfatness while still making good gains. But being “on” all the time would give more results yet (at a cost to the health, of course.)
2) Can I use Test. Prop in place of the Trenbolone?
Yes. In fact, the original work done with this type of cycle, by Alexander Filippides, was with testosterone propionate, with excellent results.
3) would I be better off using Test. Prop. instead of Dianabol, or a combo of both, or possibly alternating?
Probably both would be best.
4) Would I be able to use Sust. 250 on the first day of the the first week I’m on or is the half- life to long?
You could use it if the dose is kept moderate, such as 500 mg on the first day.
“DHT receptors” ?
You frequently refer to the androgen receptors in the hypothalamus, which I believe you may have also referred to as “DHT” receptors.
I did not. That term is used by steroid ignoramuses such as Bill Phillips or my former executive editor.
You have also said that any anabolic has the potential to inhibit the secretion of gonadotrophin releasing hormone as a result of binding to these receptors. My question is why would a hormone different in many ways from DHT exhibit the same effects as DHT at said receptors. Couldn’t an anabolic like, for instance, primobolan attach to the DHT receptor and exhibit no DHT-like effects; and, therefore, not actually suppress one’s natural tesosterone? Thank you for any insight you can give me in this matter.
There is one androgen receptor. It is the same in the hypothalamus as in muscle.
Why 2 on / 4 off?
What is the reason behind staying “on cycle” for 2 weeks and going off for 4? i would think that 1 would work even better with 1 on 2 off.
You could certainly try it and see what happens. I am only reporting what has been done successfully. I know no one who has tried what you say.
The 2 on, 4 off system does give significant gains in the first week, so perhaps it would be acceptable to be “on” for only one week.
Safety of Clomid?
If a person were to use clomiphene citrate for an extended duration will the liver be poisoned?
That has not been seen yet, with extensive medical usage and study. Not at doses up to and including 100 mg/day for periods of a year or more.
TA vs. Dianabol
My questions mostly revolve around a cycle of finaplix I am contemplating. Q1. I hear/read about size vs. strength, mass steroids, etc. My question is other than water retention, which will soon go away when treatment ends, does a strength gain of 15% with d-ball, and a strength gain of 15% with finaplix equal the same lean mass gain? If not why is this.
I would expect the same, with the exception that water retention can add strength, so Dianabol (without sufficient anti-estrogens) might give an additional temporary strength increase that would be lost once the water was lost.
Q2. I am not currently able to obtain dianabol. What kind of results would one expect to see using fina alone over 6 weeks. 6weeks heavy, 3 weeks light. I understand you cannot give numbers….I guess I’m asking have you seen this done before and were “decent” gains made?
Not on the 2 on / 4 off, but on straight cycles such as 8 weeks TA alone has given good gains.
Would adding testosterone to this cycle be more beneficial than increasing the dosage of fina roughly the equivalent of the added testo?
It’s hard to say. TA is about three times more potent than testosterone, but I think there is a synergistic effect. That is to say, 175 mg/week TA may be comparable to 500 mg per week of test, but those amounts combined would give more results than either 350 mg/week TA alone, or a gram/week of test alone. However, if each milligram of test is taking away one milligram of the more potent TA, I doubt that that would give more results.
Q3. I plan to use DMSO with the finaplix. Do you have an idea of what percentage of the trenbolone acetate will actually be absorbed?
No, I don’t think anyone knows.
The reported results are from intramuscular injection. Results from DMSO seem to be less. I can’t quantitate how much less.
Complicated multidrug mixes
My dilemma: Is it fair, in your opinion, to extrapolate data from the study of one individual compound into a POOL of polypharmacy?
To some extent. The mechanism of action will be the same. If one understands the mechanism of action of the other drugs as well, and the relevant biochemistry, one can understand how the drugs may interact at the mechanistic level. If effects on regulation of drug metabolizing enzymes are known, and the metabolism of the drugs is known, then this interaction is also somewhat predictable. The same can be said of binding properties to carrier proteins.
In general, though, polypharmacy tends to result in a morass of confusion. The best way to straighten it out is to compare results from the same plan but lacking one element to the plan with that element included. If there is more than one change at a time, then nothing or little can be concluded.
Inferring, and speculating at this point could prove somewhat hazardous, yet relying on SUBJECTIVE inputs from bodybuilders could prove folklorish and distorted.
I would change that to, “is guaranteed to be folklorish and distorted.” That is why I do not rely on such.
Steroids and fertility
I am a 33 year old male.. Healthy and returning to the gym seriously after about a 3 year layoff.. I am considering a cycle of Deca… Sustanon…..Primabolin… I would like a suggestion on how you would use this cycle.. Also my wife and I are going to try to get pregnant in about 6 months and I have not been able to find any information regarding the effects of steroid usage on sperm. I do not want to anything that affect the health of my unborn baby.
Androgens have no direct harmful effect on sperm development: in fact, androgens are necessary. But if the androgens, then sperm production will be reduced, perhaps to zero, and over time the testicles will atrophy.
In short, any steroid plan that gives you testicular atrophy will lower your sperm count as well, perhaps to zero.
There are no mutagenic or other harmful effects on the sperm: it will not make any difference to the child whether the father was on steroids or not.
By the way, Clomid improves sperm count and quality.