I also feel very strongly that if one is going to use GH, it should be an FDA approved brand. These approved brands are required to go through years of tightly controlled trials to demonstrate their safety, purity, and efficacy on human subjects. Advances in technology over the years have made it a lot easier to produce rHGH that elicits GH activity at the receptor. Because of this, manufacturers now come from all over the globe. Often, these manufacturers produce what are referred to as “generic GH” on message boards, but I very much dislike that term. Calling something a “generic” implies it is a perfect replica of approved FDA brands that have lost their patent protection, which is not the case here. In fact, due to the extremely complex nature of the rHGH manufacturing process, the FDA does not even allow the use of the term “generic” when it comes to rHGH and instead uses the term “follow-on protein product” or FOPPs.
Often these off-label brands are a fraction of the cost, and therein lies the dilemma, as this can be very enticing. However, with this reduced cost to the consumer, there is also going to be no manufacturer’s guarantee as to what is in the vial or even how it was even manufactured. The bottom line is that the rHGH manufacturing process is extremely complex, and it is very easy for this process to falter at various stages resulting in protein variations that potentially lead to undesired effects, or even autoimmune responses.
You often see folks relying simply upon serum GH and/or IGF tests to conclude that a brand of GH is “good to go” but we must remember that getting hormone activity is the relatively easy part. Even GH molecules that have been altered or damaged during manufacturing can do this. However, these same damaged or mutated GH molecules can often simultaneously stimulate autoimmune responses. This could cause the body to have a degraded post-receptor response, even to its own endogenous secretions over time [431-432]. This does not even begin to touch on the question of what else is located within the vial, which is also anybody’s guess with these off-label brands.
GH should be used in a pulsatile fashion, to mimic in vivo conditions. In between these injections, a period of refractory must occur or one must consume an insulin-stimulating meal. Exogenous insulin can also be used to bypass many of the refractory period limitations, but this is beyond the scope of this article. Although the cumulation of daily doses should be supraphysiological, individual doses do not need to be highly dosed, as maximal stimulation of autocrine IGF-1 in skeletal muscle tissues happens to occur well within physiological GH concentrations. Anecdotally, there also appears to be a ceiling with which rHGH usage becomes additive in the presence of AAS. It may take some self-experimentation to find out where this individual saturation dose is, but most will find it to be somewhere in the 4-8 IUs/day range. Beyond this dose, most will tend to find that the cost justification as well as the risk/reward ratio tends to fall out of favor quickly.
Do not spend too much time hyper-focusing on when the GH injections must occur, because the elevations in autocrine IGF-1 come quickly and can stay elevated for days. Instead focus on the injection schedule that works best within the context of one’s day, while simultaneously keeping in mind the guidelines for the GH refractory period. Considerations may also be had for how small or large each injection would be, as some may find smaller and more frequent injections ideal while others may find larger and less frequent injections preferable. Of course, the larger the injection is, the higher the likelihood that one exceeds their autocrine IGF-1 ceiling.
Maximizing autocrine IGF-1 expression, while simultaneously keeping endocrine IGF-1 levels suppressed, is going to be a priority. There is evidence supporting the hypothesis that locally injecting GH can help to accomplish this goal, ultimately resulting in a lower chance of negative feedback regulations kicking in. There have been reports that significant increases in muscle size have been observed in as little as two weeks using local injections of IGF-1 .
Consider abstaining from compounds which may have detrimental effects on the overall goals at hand. Compounds such as AIs, SERMs, and thyroid have all been shown to demonstrate potential negative effects on the overall hypertrophy process and should be used sparingly, if at all.
This should come as no surprise to anyone – train hard, train smart, and train consistently. Although it was not directly addressed within the article, understand that resistance training has unique and additive impacts on hypertrophy. In fact, some of these mechanisms are not even mediated via the AR and/or GH/IGF axis . Understand that there is no “magic training split”, rather the key will be consistency and ensuring adequate workload is achieved, with progressive overload elements over time. Dialing in your training will only serve to produce an additive effect on top of the hypertrophy potential already present with hormones alone.
I will wrap this up now, and leave you with this. Despite the wealth of evidence presented in this article, we still must always remember that nothing is absolute in the hormone game. Even examining the entire body of evidence will amount to little more than accumulating a set of data which will leave one with an intelligent starting point for further self-experimentation. Along these lines, the best results in practice often come from those who use a combination of applicable scientific principles alongside real-world in the trenches experience. And, even with that said, very rarely will two individuals respond identically to the exogenous supplementation of hormones, so don’t think that it is going to be as simple as finding something that worked for one person and then applying it to someone else.
To this end, I would urge folks to use this article as a starting point for your own self-experimentation, or potentially even motivate others to perform further experiments should they already possess significant hormone experience. Furthermore, I would highly encourage you to dig into the vast number of references provided below to see if you come up with the same conclusions that I do. When something is being cited in the article, ensure the reference listed actually supports the claims being made. Always keep an open mind and try not to ever become married to a singular opinion, especially in the face of new evidence. And finally, never accept someone’s conclusions as gospel, even mine – it is okay to trust but always verify.
- Use a stack combining AAS and GH
- Ensure you utilize FDA grade GH and pharmaceutical grade AAS whenever possible
- Anchor your AAS stack with testosterone and/or nandrolone, use trenbolone sparingly
- Inject your GH in a pulsatile fashion, consider local injections if you have lagging body parts
- Most will find the GH ceiling to occur somewhere between 4-8 IUs/day sans insulin
- Avoid compounds which may result in detrimental effects on the hypertrophy process including AIs, SERMs, and thyroid
After sustained periods of supraphysiological “blasts” either take time off or use a TRT “cruise
- Obtain regular blood work, especially between periods of supraphysiological hormone usage
- Ensure lifestyle variables are in check, including but not limited to diet, training, stress, and sleep