A guide line for all new members?

pumpingiron22

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
I' have noticed a big rush of new member and I have noticed that. There jumping
strait to the underground section. alot of them are young too young IMO.
Some have no knowlege or history of anabolics or pct and are just buying anything and every thing out there. Some out there not doing thing correctly and expecting certin results. which could alter are results of good sources here. I think for the safety for them and us .we should have guide lines. I think this would be a great time to get some thing together.
p.s If I could get some help putting it together as I spell pretty shitty.
These would not be rules just guide lines to help our new fellow members.
 
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pumpingiron22

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
AAS Beginners Guide - Anabolic Steroids Discussion and Bodybuilding Forum
DISCLAIMER:

The information you are about to read was gathered from sources including textbooks, professional athletes, avid steroid users, online sources, medical studies and my own personal experience. Neither I or the creators of these readings assumes any liability for the information presented in this thread. This information is not meant to be applied, not intended to provide medical advice, but instead be used as a reference guide to provide a summary of information for entertainment purposes only. Understand the rewards vs. the risks and be aware of the laws in your country. If one decides to use any of these drugs discussed, consult with appropriate medical authorities. I do not advocate you to engage in any illegal activities!

I'm going to try and keep this as simple as possible for readers to easily navigate through and find/seek any answers they are searching for. Again, in this write-up you will find combined information and articles gathered over the years regarding AAS usage, compound profiles, cycle templates, ancillary usage, side effects, and information to remedy side effects in order to be safe as possible. After all, safety is our main goal here and we care about your health and well being.


Research

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that someone new to body building is that they need steroids to grow. That's not the case at all. Steroids are NOT a miracle drug and if you don't know what you are doing then serious health problems can come of it. Steroids are for those who have been training for at least a few years and have hit their genetic plateau and need a boost, they're not for someone who has just started training and has never researched them. Research is the main thing when it comes to steroids and it will help keep you safe from unwanted health problems or side effects. Researching them doesn't mean looking around on the internet for a few hours and calling that knowledge, it means taking a year or more to know exactly what it is they do, how they work and how to safely cycle them. If you are thinking about starting a cycle then do yourself a favor and research all compounds and get to know them and not just the common ones. Lets face it, if you don't know how to train, which most new guys don't, or if you don't have a good diet pan then all the steroids in the world won't help you out. - Gringo

Firstly how do I research?

Here are some pointers.
• Books - because they are published by professionals and contain vital information; The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, Anabolics, Strength Training Anatomy and many more.
• Internet – Google obviously but be careful because not all the right information is there you need to analysis it and compare it to what you know and other truths you may find. Comparing is a great tool because when you come into situations of discussions you will understand some things others will say and think ‘hey I read that, let me correct you’.
• Look for Medical Studies, if you have a buddy that has the resources at school to find them then use that because nothing beats a medical study.
• References to studies or information you may find, even google it to see if the reference is real you will be surprised at some being fake. -Anthony

Caution when buying steroids

I think one thing that should also be added is the possibility of buying fake steroids. Don't just get them from anyone who offers them to you or from any internet site claiming to have legit and quality steroids. Come on now, do you honestly think they will tell you they are selling fake or contaminated steroids? No they wont, they just want to scam you and take your money. Doing research on what labs are still around and what ones have a good reputation is a must before buying any type of steroids, pill form or injectable. Who knows what it is you might be injecting into your body, if you're real lucky it might be legit, if you're not so lucky it might just be plain oil and if your luck really sucks then it could be contaminated oil that will leave you in the hospital with a blood infection or a nasty abscess. And I might add that if steroids are not legal in your country then you shouldn't consider buying them! The penalties can be severe if caught and especially if you use the mail system to get them.

Am I old enough?

Yes if you're over 24, No if you're under. You run the risks of premature closing of growth plates which means you won't get any taller and your shoulders won't get wider, etc. if you use them too young. Your endocrine system is also at a vital stage in your life, which should incidentally provide you with plenty of natural testosterone anyway!

Of course there are other considerations such as training experience of the individual. For example, it would be unwise for a 25 year old who has been training only a few months to want to use steroids. Their training and diet knowledge are likely to be limited (these should be 100% in check to make 'proper use' of a steroid cycle). Not only that, but there will be massive potential for natural gains, without the need to even think about steroids!

Furthermore, cycling before the age of 2024-5 will put you at a high risk of temporary to permanent damage to your HPTA, andropause, TRT, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. Your hormones should not be tampered with while still in the stage of maturation. Use your already naturally high test levels to your advantage.

You should have a significant amount of training under your belt (4-5 years at least) before any Steroids are considered. This will not only allow you to toy around with a few diet and training methods (possibly eliminating the reason for cycling in the first place) but will also you adequate time to let your CNS, bones/joints/tendons/muscles to mature so that you will have the proper foundation for when you begin your cycle. Cycling on a frame that is delicate and inexperienced runs many risks including temporary to permanent injury to any of the above mentioned. Bodybuilding isn't a sprint, and there is no rush to jump on steroids and get big. Transforming the body takes time, patience, dedication and discipline. There are no short cuts!

Diet is probably the most important and vital tool is growing and gaining muscle/shedding fat. With a strong diet as your backbone, the steroids will not live up to their hype. No matter what your doses and duration of steroids you are taking, it just won't be worth the time and money spent without the sufficient calories and macros behind it. The 2 literally go hand in hand. A lack of diet will provide a lack of results, even with anabolic support. Having this experience will make cycling in the future easier and much more enjoyable, believe me.
 

pumpingiron22

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
AnabolicMinds.com Forum
Total newbie guide to steroids


I decided to make this post to share and compact some of the info I’ve learned here over the years and maybe add to the general knowledge of this board. Most of this can be found on here using the search function which I recommend everyone to use. I've been a member since 2003 and just recently made my firsts posts because the search function has answered all my questions to this point. Anywho I’ve talked to some friends who are relatively new to lifting and they have absolutely NO knowledge of how to use steroids, so I though there must be many out there like this and in my attempt to explain the proper use of steroids I found some of the newbie guides on here insufficient so I thought I would write my own. I hope you guys learn something, please let me know if i made any mistakes, this is a working draft. This is part 1, part two will cover the actual steroid use, i will poast that in a few days.

When should I use steroids?
roviron is basically a steroid but its main effect is of lowering aromatization and also freeing up more test so your levels of free test are higher than normal. I have no experience with this but many people love this during cycle as it increases levels of free test, but it also suppresses the HPTA. I don't know too much about this once and if you’re a newbie stick with the arimidex.

Aromisin works a little differently than the above mentioned AIs. It works not by stopping estrogen production but instead it deactivated the binding enzyme that allows estrogen to bind, therefore the level of estrogen remains mostly unaffected in your body, but it pretty much becomes ineffective, except for some functions such as keeping your lipid levels stable, unlike the other AI's that screw up your cholesterol. There is also no rebound effect. This is one powerful AI and its use by a newbie I wouldn't suggest. Stick to the tried and true I prefer arimidex.

Other AI that can be used to control estrogen are ATD and 6-oxo as mentioned earlier. These are steroidal inhibitors (ATD, 6-oxo, aromisin) which means they do not completely destroy your estrogen levels like letro or arimidex. They permanently bind to the aromisin enzyme and deactivate it permanently, the only way for the body to keep estrogen production up is to produce more aromitase. Whereas nonsteroidal AI such as letro and dex bind for a period of time then release the aromitase enzyme so the levels of aromitase are not lower and may actually increase which open the possibility of a estrogen rebound. I find 6-oxo outdated and too weak so I prefer ATD. A small dose of perhaps 25-50mg ED or even EOD due to its longer half-life may be enough to keep bloat and estrogen under control. I plan on trying this out on a test e cycle to see how it affects me, once again as I’ve pointed out several times is that YMMV. I hope it is becoming clear to you newbies out there that everyone reacts differently to these substances which is part of the reason you have to spend years researching and lifting to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to run a successful cycle with minimal sides. If gyno starts to develop I would switch from the ATD to something like dex or letro as this is more effective and reversing gyno and I wouldn't want to take any chances when it comes to gyno.

Other ancillaries that can be used on a cycle depend on the side effects that develop. The AI's will control estrogen which in turn prevents bloat and gyno. Some people find that steroids cause hair loss. This is due to the androgenic (this is the property of testosterone that causes the "male" characteristics such as deep voice, body hair, etc.. it also causes strength, aggression and horniness effects of the roid and some roids are more androgenic than others. How androgenic a steroid is measured by the androgenic: anabolic ratio. Anabolic is the muscle building property. Testosterone has a 1:1 ratio. The androgenic property is what causes hair loss, this is most prevalent in people susceptible to male pattern baldness. Testosterone is broken down into DHT (by the 5AR enzyme) which is A LOT more androgenic than testosterone and is mainly responsible for the hair loss, though the steroid itself can bind to receptors in your scalp and cause hair loss. So drugs that control DHT conversion are what’s called for here. Another thing to keep in mind if your worried about hair loss is that certain steroids are actually based on DHT therefore they can cause more hair loss, an example of a DHT structure based roid is winny.

Finasteride (propecia) is one drug that lowers the conversion of steroids into DHT. This is used at a dose of 1-2mg a day to combat hair loss.

Dutasteride is another drug that prevents the conversion into dht, it is a lot more powerful than finasteride, but it also has a very long half life of over 5 weeks so if you experience side effects from it they will be around for a long side. I do not recommend the use of this drug. Its dosage would be around .25-.5mg ED.

A safer option than those oral drugs are drugs that you apply to the scalp itself. Spironolactone works a little different by being essentially an anti-androgen. It is applied to the scalp and therefore prevents androgens (dht, test, steroids) from binding to the receptor in the scalp. If taken orally it has the same effect but its systematic (whole body) not just localized as in a topical application to the scalp. There are other hair-loss prevention drugs, but there are threads on here that go into greater detailed if your are interested. A little hair loss is to be expected during any cycle, though generally it’s not noticeable unless you are prone to MPB. I don't recommend you use any hair loss product during a cycle unless your are shedding a s**tload and it really bothers you. Keep in mind that DHT is a important androgen and is responsible for a good amount of the strength gains that we get from a test cycle, taking a dht blocker will reduce your gains in size and especially strength. Not worth it in my opinion.

If running any orals then liver protection is pretty important. Milk thistle at 1000mg ED and NAC at 1000mg ED I find to be sufficient to have at least some protective effect on the liver. The most important thing to keep in mind is to NOT DRINK. If you are willing to put drugs into your body to grow than you should not drink especially when using an oral substance. If you can't keep yourself from drinking while on a cycle then you are neither mature enough nor smart enough to be running a cycle. You will end up hurting yourself. Few things piss me off as bad as someone running an oral and getting drunk. If your on a injectable cycle only than, well, 1-2 drinks once or twice during a cycle is acceptable I guess, just keep in mind that alcohol will stop protein anabolism for up to 24 hrs. So judge for yourself if it's worth it.

Cardiovascular health can be maintained by using red rice yeast (especially if using an oral, the methylation of an oral steroid causes the liver to be very inefficient in processing lipids and your levels get very messed up), garlic, and policosanol. I think that red rice yeast is the most effective, perhaps as effective as prescription statins (RYR is also a statin). Also the most important thing you can do for your heart is cardio and a clean diet. I think a little cardio during cycle is good and won't inhibit your gains, more on that later. Blood pressure should be controlled using hawthorn berry and celery seed, hawthorn berry takes a few weeks to kick in. Different steroids have different effects on BP. The injectables are generally the safest whereas orals are the harshest on your body. I hope this is starting illustrate to you newbies that these "legal prohormones" are some dangerous s*** if used recklessly by inexperienced folk. I'm not one to really recommend any products, but Cycle support by Annabolic Innovations covers just about any side that isn't controlled by pharmaceuticals mention in this post. Buy two boxes and run it at half dose (once a day instead of twice a day) to keep yourself healthy, much cheaper than buying all the supps separately and once a day seems to have enough active ingredients to work, unless you are on an oral then I would run it twice a day.

Libido can be reduced during a cycle, this depends on the steroid used and the level of estrogen in your body. Using something like deca or trenbolone by itself will cause you some serious limp d*** because they suppress natural testosterone production greatly and the levels of estrogen in your body drops because these roids are not really aromatized. If they are run with test then this side effect is a lot rarer. By in any case some tadalafil (cialis) at 12-25mg will get your member up to the duty at hand (or mouth he he he). Tribulus has some reports of helping here as well. Cialis seems to be safer than Viagra due to it being a much more potent PDE5 enzyme inhibitor (the enzyme that will prevent an erection). AIs will also cause a drop in libido. Another thing that can cause a drop in libido is prolactin, but this will be discussed in the next section.


Gyno!!!
One of the biggest fears of steroid use is the development of gyno. This is also one thing along with roid rage and shrunken balls and even shrunken penis that most people especially newbies know about when it comes to steroids. If fact these three things are probably the first thing that pops in mind when a newbie/uneducated person thinks of roids. Gyno is caused by estrogen levels that are elevated beyond normal amounts. It can also be caused by elevated progesterone and prolactin levels, but these are usually only responsible when estrogen levels are also high. The individual sensitivity varies greatly, so whether you are prone to gyno or not you won't know till you run your first cycle, even then it might take a few cycles to see how susceptible you are. There are two ways of tackling this problem. One is in estrogen control, the other is estrogen receptor antagonism with a serm.

It appears to me that running a SERM throughout the cycle at a low dose is a good effective way of preventing gyno. Nolva, clomid, toremifene, or raloxifene are SERMs that can be run during cycle to prevent gyno. These are also better choices than running an ai because it will keep estrogen in your system which will keep exerting some beneficial effects such as glycogen synthesis, bone density, and blood lipids. Which should you run? Well I would rule out clomid because it has too many side effects especially the emotional ones, also it can desensitize the testes to LH which is bad. Toremifene is a great SERM, but I believe its purpose is best served in post cycle therapy, and it's pretty expensive to run during a cycle. So we are left with tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Tamoxifen is the preferred SERM to run during a cycle to prevent gyno. It can be run at doses starting at 10mg ED and increasing if any signs of gyno begin to appear. If gyno begins to appear increasing the dose to 60mg ed till the gyno recedes then tapering the dose back down to maybe 20mg Ed should be OK. Once again you can run the nolva the whole cycle which I recommend, this is a newbie guide so this will be your first cycle better to stay safe than sorry and run the nolva 10mg ED form day one. If on a test cycle maybe you can wait till weeks 3-4 when the test starts to kick in or when you start seeing signs of bloat which would indicated that your test and estrogen levels are rising and then begin the SERM.

Raloxifene is a relatively newcomer to the steroid scene. A medical study comparing tamoxifen and raloxifene at reducing pubertal gyno (gyno caused during puberty due to hormonal imbalances) showed that ralox was a good deal more effective at not only in the percentage of subjects it reduced the gyno in, but also in the level of gyno reduction. Ralox seems to be the better choice for a gyno prevention/treatment SERM during cycle. Ralox can also be used for PCT but the feedback is limited and I would suggest this best serves its purpose in preventing/reducing gyno. The dosage used is still up in the air. I have done some research and have a hard time finding any consistent numbers when it comes to dosage. I would recommend maybe 30mg ED and working your way up if that seems to be ineffective. If gyno symptoms begin to appear it is imperative that you increase the dosage immediately to treat the gyno. The faster you take action to treat the gyno the more likely it is to go away. Wait t long and it may become permanent.

Gyno can also be treated/prevented by using an AI such as arimidex or letro. Letro is the more powerful of the two, but it can take up to two weeks to take full effect so arimidex might be the better choice. If I was to show signs of gyno I would take a dose of perhaps 60-90mg ralox ED along with .5-1mg arimidex ed. The arimidex shouldn't affect the levels of ralox in the blood as letro would do to nolva. Once the gyno resides the arimidex would be decreased to .25mg ed (basically to the lowest dose that is still effective for you) and the ralox back but to a dose higher than was originally used for prevention, so over 30mg ed. The ai's are best used to treat gyno with SERM. If you're looking for just prevention with a AI use the lowest dose possible as to not hinder gains and prevent possible side effects.

Gyno can also be caused by increased levels of progesterone and prolactin. Prolactin will actually cause lactation. These two hormones usually will not cause gyno unless estrogen is also present so in order to treat gyno caused by progesterone and prolactin we must first treat the excess estrogen. That would be done by using the protocol found above, in addition to that we would add some progesterone/prolactin inhibitors. It is difficult to tell whether it is estrogen or progesterone/prolactin that causes the gyno. If your first cycle is test/tren or test/deca you will not know whether the estrogen form the test is causing gyno or the progesterone form the tren/deca is causing the gyno. Therefore it is best to run test alone for a first cycle, but more on that in part 2.

Cabergoline is the drug you would use to treat prolactin/progesterone caused gyno. If running a roid such as tren/deca then the ideal thing to prevent prolactin/progesterone gyno would be to keep the estrogen is check, but if gyno begins to develop you need to throw in some prolactin control in the form of Cabergoline. Start with a dose of .25mg twice a week and increase your dose from there. There are side effects from this drug. It is supposedly a good sex enhancer because it will allow to keep an erection longer and get it back up faster, but it has negative effects because it also affects dopamine. Taking too much for too long can give you hallucinations.

Few! That’s a lot of typing. The purpose of this part was to introduce you to all the things associated with steroid use. Most of you newbies believe that steroid use is as simple as taking a shot once a week and that’s it, well I hope this part has opened your eyes a bit. The pure size of this guide in itself should show you how much there is when it comes to running a cycle of "juice". As you can see this is only part one f my guide, I haven't even touched on the actually use of the steroid. Like I said in the beginning it is my experience that the biggest hole of knowledge a newbie has when it comes to steroid use is all the extras that come along with steroid use such as PCT, estrogen control, etc... The thing is that this guide only covers the surface of what one must know to run a successful side effect free cycle and maintain most of the gains. The point I’m trying to get across is that there is so much to learn and research about steroid use that one must do before running a first cycle. Well this is it for part one of my newbie guide, part two will dive into the meat and bones of steroid use, the actual steroids themselves. This part 1 of my guide is actually not complete. I've been typing for hours and have to go to work so it's a "working draft" if you will. I appreciate any input or comments or possible edits you guys can suggest to this guide. I will update it when I have a chance implementing any comments I get from you all. Please please please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or stated something wrong in here, I’m human and not all knowing so I’m sure there are mistakes and would like to fix them so people won't be reading bad information. I'll have part 2 up in the next few days I hope.

Well you should have several years of lifting experience before you make the jump to juice. If you are still growing naturally then steroids will be counterproductive to you. You will not realize your full potential until you have grown naturally, more importantly it takes years of experience to learn how your body responds to lifting and to get your technique and nutrition in order. I suggest AT LEAST 3 years lifting before you even decide to think about steroids. It is ok to start researching steroids when you first start lifting because I’ve been researching for three years and still have a lot to learn. Secondly you have to be over 21yrs and preferable at least 25 before you begin a cycle. This is so your body has finished growing to the point it is ready to accept steroids. If you use before your 21 your bone growth plates will fuse prematurely and you will not grow to your full skeletal body structure, also using before your 21 has the risk of damaging your HPTA and your hormonal balance which might be very difficult to bring back.

What about "prohormones" and "legal steroid"?

Supplements such as ergomax, pheraplex, superdrol, halodrol, etc... are in fact designer steroids. They come will all the risks and side effects as the illegal roids, but due to their legal status are usually viewed as safe by people. They are not safe and I will argue they are more dangerous than illegal steroids. The illegal steroids have decades of medical research behind them so we have a good idea of what they do to the human body, but these new designer steroids in most cases have no medical research behind them. Therefore we have little idea of what damage they may cause to the body and all we really know about them is from user feedback which really doesn't reveal much about their pharmacological properties. Also people try to infer their properties by comparing them to the illegal steroids that they are based off, but this is only good to a certain extent. Even the addition of one atom to a steroid can completely change its effects so this isn't reliable to learning about its effects on the body. The exact chemical in compounds such as Methoxy-TST are not even know and are kept secret so we have no idea what it even is. For all we know this can be an illegal steroid, or a modified steroid that is pretty dangerous, we just don't know. Personally I don't suggest being a guinea pig for these new compounds. Also these legal roids are all oral and therefore carry the risk of a damaged lipid profile and liver toxicity. The liver and heart is not something you want to mess with.
I believe it's ok to use a "prohormone" as a first cycle. I would suggest a mild one like halodrol to get your feet wet before moving on to the illegal roids, but in the end it's better to just stick with the real deal if you will.

Biggest newbie mistake
The biggest mistake people make when starting roids is not knowing anything about the HPTA and the use of anti-estrogens. There are many people I’ve met that used prohormones or even real juice without any post cycle therapy and then are stunned as to why they lose all their gains or even worse suffer gyno or HPTA shutdown for extended periods of time. If there is one thing a beginner must know is the proper use of post cycle therapy. I think your education in this area is even more important than your education on the use of the roid. I have a friend who insists on using testosterone without any PCT, he has even run some prohormones without PCT, that’s a real stupid and dangerous way to treat your body. In fact I consider the misunderstand and little knowledge of PCT in newbies such a problem I will spend most of this post talking about the facets of a cycle other than the actual steroid use.

PCT
After a cycle one must run a SERM to restart the HPTA. The HPTA is the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis. A simple explanation of what this is your body's system of producing testosterone (and estrogen). The hypothalamus releases hormones which trigger the pituitary to release hormones such as LH which signal the testicles to produce testosterone (and sperm). When you use a steroid the higher levels of testosterone/estrogen in your body cause a feedback to the HPTA. The main hormone responsible for suppressing the HPTA is estrogen, but testosterone also has an effect. The HPTA tries to balance the hormone levels in your body because the body likes to maintain a homeostasis and stops production of FSH and LH which cause the testicles to slow and even stop producing testosterone. ALL steroids cause a slowdown of your testosterone production and ALL steroids will cause a complete shutdown if used for a long enough period of time. Some are more likely to shut you down than other. M1T is reported to cause almost complete shutdown in a matter of days. Tren and deca are also pretty notorious at shutting you down hard. So when you finish your cycle you must use a SERM to restart your natural production as fast as possible and to keep as much of your gains as possible, because that is what we all want isn't it? To keep our gains.
SERMs are drugs that attach to the estrogen receptors in our body in places as our breasts and more importantly our HPTA. By blocking the estrogen from binding to the HPTA our body is fooled into thinking that our hormone levels are real low so it begins to ramp up it's production of testosterone. The HPTA takes high levels of estrogen as a sign that there is too much testosterone in the body and lowers the production of testosterone; therefore by blocking the binding of estrogen to the hypothalamus the HPTA takes this as a signal that testosterone levels are too low. This happens because most of the estrogen in the man's body is produced from the aromatization of testosterone. For most cycles I recommend a four week PCT. Even for substances such as halodrol or short cycles such as 3 weeks of superdrol should have a 4 week PCT. Longer PCT can be used for long cycles lasting 12 weeks or more.
There are 4 SERMs which are currently used in PCT. They are: Tamoxifen (nolva), Clomid, and toremifene. They are all related to each other and basically do the same thing but to different degrees. The classic PCT consists of Clomid for four weeks run at
300mg day 1 as a frontload
150mg days 2-7
100mg days 8-21
50mg days 22-28

These are just suggested doses and you might have to adjust. Clomid does have side effects such as moodiness so people started using tamoxifen as the serm of choice due to less side effects, the debate to which is better still continues and some of the old school users still prefer clomid just because that's what they have used and been taught to use in their life. Nolva is run as followed:
60mg days 1-7
40mg days 8-14
30mg days 15-21
20mg days 22-18

Once again just a personal suggestion, your mileage may vary. Remember that nolva is also a little liver toxic. Nolva dose have a benefit as acting as an estrogen in the liver so it will help bring your cholesterol back to normal during PCT.

Some individuals like to run clomid and nolva together. I don't see much need to run more than 1 SERM at a time unless there is severe shutdown. In either case the clomid should be used together with the nolva for the first week due to clomids ability to increase LH quite rapidly then for weeks 2-4 just run the nolva. That's my personal opinion.

Finally there is the newest comer to the PCT regiment and that is toremifene. This is my personal favorite and in comparing it to nolva which I also have experience with I will only use toremifene from now on. There is a study showing that toremifene actually lowers LH production, but my experience and the experience o pretty much everyone that has used toremifene as a PCT and posted on here will agree that toremifene is amazing for PCT. It tends to bring your HPTA up almost overnight. It'll get your balls swinging in no time and there are many reports of a greatly reduced "crash" when used as the PCT SERM. It should be dosed like this
120mg days 1-3/4
90mg days 4-14
60mg days 15-21
30mg days 22-28

I prefer to run it at 120mg for days 1-7, but for lighter cycles and things such as halodrol days 1-4 is fine.

AI such as ATD, 6-oxo, or ones such as arimidex, letro, should not be used for PCT. ATD is sometimes run inversely to the serm during PCT to prevent any estrogen rebound from the serm. Remember SERMs do not halt estrogen production; they just keep the estrogen from activating the receptors so when you come of the SERM there is an elevated estrogen level in your body so a weaker AI such as ATD can be used to keep estrogen at a normal level. AI run as the sole agent in a PCT is foolish, there was a little while when ATD came out that people were running it as the only PCT agent and reported that it worked well, but since then this is no longer really the case, a serm must always be used as the main PCT drug. Also the steroid you use determines is you should use an AI during PCT. Steroids that aromatize (aromatize means that enzymes in the body convert a percentage of testosterone into estrogen) such as test will see a benefit from using an AI during PCT. Steroids with little aromatization such as superdrol will not benefit from an AI. I believe that the delayed onset gyno caused by superdrol in some users may be linked to using an AI such as ATD for the PCT. Since there will be little estrogen during the start of post cycle therapy the AI will drive the levels to almost 0 and when your PCT ends there is a rebound effect. Of course this is only my opinion, there are no studies showing this. I mention ATD here a lot because this is the best AI to be run during PCT if one is to be run. It doesn’t fully block the production of estrogen which is good because some estrogen is needed, secondly AI such as arimidex and letro are too powerful and cause a rebound effect after their use is halted whereas it is believed that ATD has no rebound effect. My personal use of ATD is as follows during PCT

120mg toremifene days 1-7 0mg ATD
90mg T days 8-14 0mg ATD
60mg T days 15-21 25mg ATD
30mg T days 22-28 50mg ATD
weeks 5-6 50mg ATD

I like to run it like that to prevent estrogen rebound from lowering the SERM and to continue boosting testosterone after the SERM is ended, yet I don’t start the ATD till day 15 to allow my body to have some level of estrogen and I run it two weeks past PCT for the test boosting effects of the ATD.

HCG
I think no cycle lasting 8+ weeks is complete without the use of HCG. HCG is a hormone produced by pregnant women, but it has the effect of mimicking LH in the male's body and this signals the testes to produce testosterone. During PCT the natural production of LH resumes quite quickly, but if the testes have atrophied which happens on cycles lasting as long as 8+ weeks then even if proper amounts of LH is being produced the testes are simple to small and unable to produced a good amount of testosterone. HCG used to be used in the last weeks of a cycle at doses upwards of 1000-5000IU every few days. This is now no longer seen as the proper way to run HCG. Such use will desensitize the testes to LH and be counter productive. Also it will cause a large spike in estrogen which can further suppress the HPTA and possible cause gyno. The new line of thought is to run HCG throughout the cycle at a dose of 250-500IU twice a week leading up to one week before beginning the SERM PCT. This prevents the testes form atrophying and once the PCT is begun they are at almost fully size and ready to produce the testosterone needed by your body. This is a cheap addition to any cycle lasting 8+ weeks and user feedback has been pretty great with claims that there is very little crash during PCT and that the PCT is the least difficult ever. I think the use of HCG during cycle is gaining popularity and will become as standard as the use of a SERM for PCT in the future. A new compound also beginning to see some use is HMG or human menopausal gonadtropin (SP?), this acts like HCG with the added benefit of mimicking FSH which increases the production of sperm In the testes. So far though there hasn't been much feedback on this though what I’ve seen claims it is quite effective, I would stick to just HCG for now.

Ancillaries during cycle
There are side effects that will be encountered during a cycle, and to minimize these side effects there are certain drugs that can be used to make the cycle more user friendly and safer. The main worry usually associated with a cycle is gyno. Gyno is the growth of breast tissue in men due to a high level of estrogen. Certain steroids such as testosterone are aromatized(converted to estrogen) in the body at a pretty high rate, dianabol also causes a great increase in estrogen. We don't want to completely reduce estrogen because it is necessary to keep our cholesterol in check as well as being somewhat anabolic by up-regulation androgen receptors (making more receptors for the steroid to bind to in the muscle to make it more effective) as well as glycogen storage(the carb fuel stored in muscle). The Ai used for this purpose are arimidex, letro, aromasin, and proviron.

Letro in my opinion is too strong of an AI and will kill your libido, though if you start to get signs of gyno you might want to deal with the lowered libido and use letro is lower your estrogen. There is one benefit of letro and that is that it doesn’t lower IGF (insulin growth factor, basically the hormone that signals your body to repair damaged muscle and cause it to grow) levels like arimidex dose. Letro can be used at low doses EOD to keep estrogen under control which will lower the chance of developing gyno and preventing bloat to a degree. The doses are very dependent on the user, steroid used, level of estrogen, bloat, proneness to gyno, etc... so I will leave dosages out cause you will have to research and experiment yourself to see what works. Personally I would save this for only instances where gyno starts to develop. Letro also causes a marked rebound of estrogen after its use is stopped. The use of letro with a SERM particularly tamoxifen causes a lowering of the levels of the tamoxifen by up to 40%, so using them both together is counterproductive.

Arimidex is my AI of choice, though I haven't tried aromisin or proviron so there will be disagreement here. Used at doses of .25 ED throughout the cycle(for me, YMMV) it controls bloat and prevents gyno. I would run it starting in week 3-4 of a test e cycle if I start to see some excessive water bloat, once again this is what I DO, so what you do might be completely different. Most users suggest to not run an AI until it's necessary as it will hinder your gains somewhat. The price of arimidex is also to my liking and doesn't lower estrogen as much as letro. Arimidex causes little estrogen rebound, especially when compared to letro.
 

Capt Forest

Member
300mg day 1 as a frontload
150mg days 2-7
100mg days 8-21
50mg days 22-28


That is a lot of clomid. especially for a 4 - 6 week ph/ds cycle. When I was on pct from an epistane cycle I used only clomid for 28 days dosed at 50mg for the first 14 days and then 25mg for the last 14. I recovered quite nicely and maintained about 70% of my overall gains on the cycle. Just my experience.
 

Bigfire

Member
Great read!! Thanks for putting in the time to put this together. I'm 38 and have done several cycles in my life but never considered the HCG. Do agree with the moodiness from clomid and usually go with nolva. Like the idea of a quicker recovery during PCT with the addition on HCG!
 

BrownTown

Member
Good post, im new to the board but not new to the scene. I guess I assumed most people would do the proper research before delving into this lifestyle but that's not the case. Hopefully they see hiit post and actually read it. We all need to understand that we are using hormones and you can do some serious irreparable damage if you don't take time to research and read a little bit.
 

beezil

Member
PI,

you should link this thread to the code of conduct thread.

it goes hand and hand... members control the sources. what better way than when they are new?
 

sin

Member
Is there anyway to set a minimum amount of posts to gain entry into the UG section? I'd be happy to lose my privileges temporarily in order to prove my self knowledgeable and to keep the safety of the labs and consumers ( I could see some kid gettin on ug and ordering and leading to problems for a lot) and also aid in the legitimacy of these labs by not even giving them the temptation to scam an inexperienced user ( though, hopefully any labs present have enough moral fortitude to not do so). Just my thoughts, I'm new to the forum obviously but I see there are some people who have invested a lot of time here and definitely don't want to see them lose what they have here due to the mistakes of a new member.
 

pumpingiron22

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
Edited Version.

DISCLAIMER:

The information you are about to read was gathered from sources including textbooks, professional athletes, avid steroid users, online sources, medical studies and my own personal experience. Neither I or the creators of these readings assumes any liability for the information presented in this thread. This information is not meant to be applied, not intended to provide medical advice, but instead be used as a reference guide to provide a summary of information for entertainment purposes only. Understand the rewards vs. the risks and be aware of the laws in your country. If one decides to use any of these drugs discussed, consult with appropriate medical authorities. I do not advocate you to engage in any illegal activities!

I'm going to try and keep this as simple as possible for readers to easily navigate through and find/seek any answers they are searching for. Again, in this write-up you will find combined information and articles gathered over the years regarding AAS usage, compound profiles, cycle templates, ancillary usage, side effects, and information to remedy side effects in order to be safe as possible. After all, safety is our main goal here and we care about your health and well being.

1. Are you over the age of 18 and between 20-25 years of age?


This is the period when the body is still growing and reaching adult maturity. When you're 18 years of age this is when your natural (endogenousTestosterone) is at its highest levels due to puberty. The Hypothalamic Pituitary Axis (HPTA) or endocrine system has increased growth factors, such asTestosterone and Growth hormone for the body to develop. This needs to be taken advantage of so using steroids, which will cause a decrease in endogenous Testosterone should be avoided. High levels of Testosterone, whether it be from using anabolic steroids or natural levels is attributed to increased muscle mass, aggression, increased strength and cognitive function so utilising this one in a lifetime opportunity is logical. The HPTA is also not fully developed at this stage of life and using anabolic steroids can cause harm and damage its efficiency later in life to produce endogenous hormones.


2. Have you posted your diet in the Nutrition Forum?

Chances are, we are going to find things wrong with your diet. It could be your breakfast, macronutrients, post work out shake or he majority of your diet program not suiting your goals, so please post your diet in this forum for critique. Once you have a solid diet plan or nutrition program and its been followed for at least a 1-2 years or more, then we can consider using anabolic steroids to take your physique that bit further. Thats why anabolic steroids should be used in the end, as diet manipulation and training changes can produce much more muscle mass or fat loss, but the vast majority of steroid users dont have tis background.

If you're someone who doesn't have a solid clean high in protein diet and uses anabolic steroids chances are you're going to gain a ton of weight. Muscle, fat and strength, but because there is no base of muscle or training present, almost all of these hard earned gains will be lost post cycle when you come off of the steroids you're using, which is why this base of nutrition is a wise and better idea for the long term user.


3. Training... Have you posted your training program in the Training or Workout Forum?


If not, please do so, as chances are we can agin find things wrong with your training regime or cardio routine. Training needs to change as the body adapts and grows. Intensity should vary from high-low and lot-high. Reps should change in length, sets, drop sets, rest pause, super sets and giant sets needs to be utilised. Change the way you lift the weight but make sure you stay safe.

The same can be said for cardio routines, change it up. Long slow duration one week, then utilising HITT or interval training. The body is excellent at adapting and becoming the most efficient it can be, but this often works against us when trying to trigger and maintain fat loss or add lean muscle mass to our frame.


4. After you have done the above there is some final questions before you begin this journey...


Do your goals really permit the use of anabolic steroids?

What do you want to obtain?

Can you not obtain this without the use of anabolic steroids and just nutrition and supplements?

If the all these questions is - YES... Then you may be ready to start your journey about these hormones and how they affect the body, both positively and negatively.
Useful Tips

1.Research

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that someone new to body building is that they need steroids to grow. That's not the case at all. Steroids are NOT a miracle drug and if you don't know what you are doing then serious health problems can come of it. Steroids are for those who have been training for at least a few years and have hit their genetic plateau and need a boost, they're not for someone who has just started training and has never researched them. Research is the main thing when it comes to steroids and it will help keep you safe from unwanted health problems or side effects. Researching them doesn't mean looking around on the internet for a few hours and calling that knowledge, it means taking a year or more to know exactly what it is they do, how they work and how to safely cycle them. If you are thinking about starting a cycle then do yourself a favor and research all compounds and get to know them and not just the common ones. Lets face it, if you don't know how to train, which most new guys don't, or if you don't have a good diet pan then all the steroids in the world won't help you out. - Gringo

Firstly how do I research?

Here are some pointers.
• Books - because they are published by professionals and contain vital information; The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, Anabolics, Strength Training Anatomy and many more.
• Internet – Google obviously but be careful because not all the right information is there you need to analysis it and compare it to what you know and other truths you may find. Comparing is a great tool because when you come into situations of discussions you will understand some things others will say and think ‘hey I read that, let me correct you’.
• Look for Medical Studies, if you have a buddy that has the resources at school to find them then use that because nothing beats a medical study.
• References to studies or information you may find, even google it to see if the reference is real you will be surprised at some being fake. -Anthony

2.Caution when buying steroids

I think one thing that should also be added is the possibility of buying fake steroids. Don't just get them from anyone who offers them to you or from any internet site claiming to have legit and quality steroids. Come on now, do you honestly think they will tell you they are selling fake or contaminated steroids? No they wont, they just want to scam you and take your money. Doing research on what labs are still around and what ones have a good reputation is a must before buying any type of steroids, pill form or injectable. Who knows what it is you might be injecting into your body, if you're real lucky it might be legit, if you're not so lucky it might just be plain oil and if your luck really sucks then it could be contaminated oil that will leave you in the hospital with a blood infection or a nasty abscess. And I might add that if steroids are not legal in your country then you shouldn't consider buying them! The penalties can be severe if caught and especially if you use the mail system to get them.

3.Am I old enough?

Yes if you're over 24, No if you're under. You run the risks of premature closing of growth plates which means you won't get any taller and your shoulders won't get wider, etc. if you use them too young. Your endocrine system is also at a vital stage in your life, which should incidentally provide you with plenty of natural testosterone anyway!

Of course there are other considerations such as training experience of the individual. For example, it would be unwise for a 25 year old who has been training only a few months to want to use steroids. Their training and diet knowledge are likely to be limited (these should be 100% in check to make 'proper use' of a steroid cycle). Not only that, but there will be massive potential for natural gains, without the need to even think about steroids!

Furthermore, cycling before the age of 2024-5 will put you at a high risk of temporary to permanent damage to your HPTA, andropause, TRT, erectile dysfunction, and low libido. Your hormones should not be tampered with while still in the stage of maturation. Use your already naturally high test levels to your advantage.

You should have a significant amount of training under your belt (4-5 years at least) before any Steroids are considered. This will not only allow you to toy around with a few diet and training methods (possibly eliminating the reason for cycling in the first place) but will also you adequate time to let your CNS, bones/joints/tendons/muscles to mature so that you will have the proper foundation for when you begin your cycle. Cycling on a frame that is delicate and inexperienced runs many risks including temporary to permanent injury to any of the above mentioned. Bodybuilding isn't a sprint, and there is no rush to jump on steroids and get big. Transforming the body takes time, patience, dedication and discipline. 4.There are no short cuts!

Diet is probably the most important and vital tool is growing and gaining muscle/shedding fat. With a strong diet as your backbone, the steroids will not live up to their hype. No matter what your doses and duration of steroids you are taking, it just won't be worth the time and money spent without the sufficient calories and macros behind it. The 2 literally go hand in hand. A lack of diet will provide a lack of results, even with anabolic support. Having this experience will make cycling in the future easier and much more enjoyable, believe me.
5.When should I use steroids?
roviron is basically a steroid but its main effect is of lowering aromatization and also freeing up more test so your levels of free test are higher than normal. I have no experience with this but many people love this during cycle as it increases levels of free test, but it also suppresses the HPTA. I don't know too much about this once and if you’re a newbie stick with the arimidex.

Aromisin works a little differently than the above mentioned AIs. It works not by stopping estrogen production but instead it deactivated the binding enzyme that allows estrogen to bind, therefore the level of estrogen remains mostly unaffected in your body, but it pretty much becomes ineffective, except for some functions such as keeping your lipid levels stable, unlike the other AI's that screw up your cholesterol. There is also no rebound effect. This is one powerful AI and its use by a newbie I wouldn't suggest. Stick to the tried and true I prefer arimidex.

Other AI that can be used to control estrogen are ATD and 6-oxo as mentioned earlier. These are steroidal inhibitors (ATD, 6-oxo, aromisin) which means they do not completely destroy your estrogen levels like letroor arimidex. They permanently bind to the aromisin enzyme and deactivate it permanently, the only way for the body to keep estrogen production up is to produce more aromitase. Whereas nonsteroidal AI such asletro and dex bind for a period of time then release the aromitase enzyme so the levels of aromitase are not lower and may actually increase which open the possibility of a estrogen rebound. I find 6-oxo outdated and too weak so I prefer ATD. A small dose of perhaps 25-50mg ED or even EOD due to its longer half-life may be enough to keep bloat and estrogen under control. I plan on trying this out on a test e cycle to see how it affects me, once again as I’ve pointed out several times is that YMMV. I hope it is becoming clear to you newbies out there that everyone reacts differently to these substances which is part of the reason you have to spend years researching and lifting to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to run a successful cycle with minimal sides. If gyno starts to develop I would switch from the ATD to something like dex or letro as this is more effective and reversing gyno and I wouldn't want to take any chances when it comes to gyno.

Other ancillaries that can be used on a cycle depend on the side effects that develop. The AI's will control estrogen which in turn prevents bloat and gyno. Some people find that steroids cause hair loss. This is due to the androgenic (this is the property of testosterone that causes the "male" characteristics such as deep voice, body hair, etc.. it also causes strength, aggression and horniness effects of the roid and some roids are more androgenic than others. How androgenic a steroid is measured by the androgenic: anabolic ratio. Anabolic is the muscle building property. Testosterone has a 1:1 ratio. The androgenic property is what causes hair loss, this is most prevalent in people susceptible to male pattern baldness. Testosterone is broken down into DHT (by the 5AR enzyme) which is A LOT more androgenic than testosterone and is mainly responsible for the hair loss, though the steroid itself can bind to receptors in your scalp and cause hair loss. So drugs that control DHT conversion are what’s called for here. Another thing to keep in mind if your worried about hair loss is that certain steroids are actually based on DHT therefore they can cause more hair loss, an example of a DHT structure based roid is winny.

Libido can be reduced during a cycle, this depends on the steroid used and the level of estrogen in your body. Using something like deca or trenbolone by itself will cause you some serious limp d*** because they suppress natural testosterone production greatly and the levels of estrogen in your body drops because these roids are not really aromatized. If they are run with test then this side effect is a lot rarer. By in any case some tadalafil (cialis) at 12-25mg will get your member up to the duty at hand (or mouth he he he). Tribulus has some reports of helping here as well. Cialis seems to be safer than Viagra due to it being a much more potent PDE5 enzyme inhibitor (the enzyme that will prevent an erection). AIs will also cause a drop in libido. Another thing that can cause a drop in libido is prolactin, but this will be discussed in the next section.


Gyno!!!
One of the biggest fears of steroid use is the development of gyno. This is also one thing along with roid rage and shrunken balls and even shrunken penis that most people especially newbies know about when it comes to steroids. If fact these three things are probably the first thing that pops in mind when a newbie/uneducated person thinks of roids. Gyno is caused by estrogen levels that are elevated beyond normal amounts. It can also be caused by elevated progesterone and prolactin levels, but these are usually only responsible when estrogen levels are also high. The individual sensitivity varies greatly, so whether you are prone to gyno or not you won't know till you run your first cycle, even then it might take a few cycles to see how susceptible you are. There are two ways of tackling this problem. One is in estrogen control, the other is estrogen receptor antagonism with a serm.

can also be used for PCT but the feedback is limited and I would suggest this best serves its purpose in preventing/reducing gyno. The dosage used is still up in the air. I have done some research and have a hard time finding any consistent numbers when it comes to dosage. I would recommend maybe 30mg ED and working your way up if that seems to be ineffective. If gyno symptoms begin to appear it is imperative that you increase the dosage immediately to treat the gyno. The faster you take action to treat the gyno the more likely it is to go away. Wait t long and it may become permanent.

Gyno can also be treated/prevented by using an AI such as arimidex or letro. Letro is the more powerful of the two, but it can take up to two weeks to take full effect so arimidex might be the better choice. If I was to show signs of gyno I would take a dose of perhaps 60-90mg ralox ED along with .5-1mg arimidex ed. The arimidex shouldn't affect the levels of ralox in the blood as letro would do to nolva. Once the gyno resides the arimidex would be decreased to .25mg ed (basically to the lowest dose that is still effective for you) and the ralox back but to a dose higher than was originally used for prevention, so over 30mg ed. The ai's are best used to treat gyno with SERM. If you're looking for just prevention with a AI use the lowest dose possible as to not hinder gains and prevent possible side effects.

Gyno can also be caused by increased levels of progesterone and prolactin. Prolactin will actually cause lactation. These two hormones usually will not cause gyno unless estrogen is also present so in order to treat gyno caused by progesterone and prolactin we must first treat the excess estrogen. That would be done by using the protocol found above, in addition to that we would add some progesterone/prolactin inhibitors. It is difficult to tell whether it is estrogen or progesterone/prolactin that causes the gyno. If your first cycle is test/tren or test/deca you will not know whether the estrogen form the test is causing gyno or the progesterone form the tren/deca is causing the gyno. Therefore it is best to run test alone for a first cycle, but more on that in part 2.

Cabergoline is the drug you would use to treat prolactin/progesterone caused gyno. If running a roid such as tren/deca then the ideal thing to prevent prolactin/progesterone gyno would be to keep the estrogen is check, but if gyno begins to develop you need to throw in some prolactin control in the form of Cabergoline. Start with a dose of .25mg twice a week and increase your dose from there. There are side effects from this drug. It is supposedly a good sex enhancer because it will allow to keep an erection longer and get it back up faster, but it has negative effects because it also affects dopamine. Taking too much for too long can give you hallucinations.

Please please please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or stated something wrong in here, I’m human and not all knowing so I’m sure there are mistakes and would like to fix them so people won't be reading bad information. I'll have part 2 up in the next few days I hope.

Well you should have several years of lifting experience before you make the jump to juice. If you are still growing naturally then steroids will be counterproductive to you. You will not realize your full potential until you have grown naturally, more importantly it takes years of experience to learn how your body responds to lifting and to get your technique and nutrition in order. I suggest AT LEAST 3 years lifting before you even decide to think about steroids. It is ok to start researching steroids when you first start lifting because I’ve been researching for three years and still have a lot to learn. Secondly you have to be over 21yrs and preferable at least 25 before you begin a cycle. This is so your body has finished growing to the point it is ready to accept steroids. If you use before your 21 your bone growth plates will fuse prematurely and you will not grow to your full skeletal body structure, also using before your 21 has the risk of damaging your HPTA and your hormonal balance which might be very difficult to bring back.

What about "prohormones" and "legal steroid"?

Supplements such as ergomax, pheraplex, superdrol, halodrol, etc... are in fact designer steroids. They come will all the risks and side effects as the illegal roids, but due to their legal status are usually viewed as safe by people. They are not safe and I will argue they are more dangerous than illegal steroids. The illegal steroids have decades of medical research behind them so we have a good idea of what they do to the human body, but these new designer steroids in most cases have no medical research behind them. Therefore we have little idea of what damage they may cause to the body and all we really know about them is from user feedback which really doesn't reveal much about their pharmacological properties. Also people try to infer their properties by comparing them to the illegal steroids that they are based off, but this is only good to a certain extent. Even the addition of one atom to a steroid can completely change its effects so this isn't reliable to learning about its effects on the body. The exact chemical in compounds such as Methoxy-TST are not even know and are kept secret so we have no idea what it even is. For all we know this can be an illegal steroid, or a modified steroid that is pretty dangerous, we just don't know. Personally I don't suggest being a guinea pig for these new compounds. Also these legal roids are all oral and therefore carry the risk of a damaged lipid profile and liver toxicity. The liver and heart is not something you want to mess with.
I believe it's ok to use a "prohormone" as a first cycle. I would suggest a mild one like halodrol to get your feet wet before moving on to the illegal roids, but in the end it's better to just stick with the real deal if you will.

Biggest newbie mistake
The biggest mistake people make when starting roids is not knowing anything about the HPTA and the use of anti-estrogens. There are many people I’ve met that used prohormones or even real juice without any post cycle therapy and then are stunned as to why they lose all their gains or even worse suffer gyno or HPTA shutdown for extended periods of time. If there is one thing a beginner must know is the proper use of post cycle therapy. I think your education in this area is even more important than your education on the use of the roid. I have a friend who insists on using testosterone without any PCT, he has even run some prohormones without PCT, that’s a real stupid and dangerous way to treat your body. In fact I consider the misunderstand and little knowledge of PCT in newbies such a problem I will spend most of this post talking about the facets of a cycle other than the actual steroid use.

PCT
After a cycle one must run a SERM to restart the HPTA. The HPTA is the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis. A simple explanation of what this is your body's system of producing testosterone (and estrogen). The hypothalamus releases hormones which trigger the pituitary to release hormones such as LH which signal the testicles to produce testosterone (and sperm). When you use a steroid the higher levels of testosterone/estrogen in your body cause a feedback to the HPTA. The main hormone responsible for suppressing the HPTA is estrogen, but testosterone also has an effect. The HPTA tries to balance the hormone levels in your body because the body likes to maintain a homeostasis and stops production of FSH and LH which cause the testicles to slow and even stop producing testosterone. ALL steroids cause a slowdown of your testosterone production and ALL steroids will cause a complete shutdown if used for a long enough period of time. Some are more likely to shut you down than other. M1T is reported to cause almost complete shutdown in a matter of days. Tren and deca are also pretty notorious at shutting you down hard. So when you finish your cycle you must use a SERM to restart your natural production as fast as possible and to keep as much of your gains as possible, because that is what we all want isn't it? To keep our gains.
SERMs are drugs that attach to the estrogen receptors in our body in places as our breasts and more importantly our HPTA. By blocking the estrogen from binding to the HPTA our body is fooled into thinking that our hormone levels are real low so it begins to ramp up it's production of testosterone. The HPTA takes high levels of estrogen as a sign that there is too much testosterone in the body and lowers the production of testosterone; therefore by blocking the binding of estrogen to the hypothalamus the HPTA takes this as a signal that testosterone levels are too low. This happens because most of the estrogen in the man's body is produced from the aromatization of testosterone. For most cycles I recommend a four week PCT. Even for substances such as halodrol or short cycles such as 3 weeks of superdrol should have a 4 week PCT. Longer PCT can be used for long cycles lasting 12 weeks or more.
There are 4 SERMs which are currently used in PCT. They are: Tamoxifen (nolva), Clomid, and toremifene. They are all related to each other and basically do the same thing but to different degrees. The classic PCT consists of Clomid for four weeks run at
300mg day 1 as a frontload
150mg days 2-7
100mg days 8-21
50mg days 22-28

These are just suggested doses and you might have to adjust. Clomid does have side effects such as moodiness so people started using tamoxifen as the serm of choice due to less side effects, the debate to which is better still continues and some of the old school users still prefer clomid just because that's what they have used and been taught to use in their life. Nolva is run as followed:
60mg days 1-7
40mg days 8-14
30mg days 15-21
20mg days 22-18

Once again just a personal suggestion, your mileage may vary. Remember that nolva is also a little liver toxic. Nolva dose have a benefit as acting as an estrogen in the liver so it will help bring your cholesterol back to normal during PCT.

Some individuals like to run clomid and nolva together. I don't see much need to run more than 1 SERM at a time unless there is severe shutdown. In either case the clomid should be used together with the nolva for the first week due to clomids ability to increase LH quite rapidly then for weeks 2-4 just run the nolva. That's my personal opinion.

Finally there is the newest comer to the PCT regiment and that is toremifene. This is my personal favorite and in comparing it to nolva which I also have experience with I will only use toremifene from now on. There is a study showing that toremifene actually lowers LH production, but my experience and the experience o pretty much everyone that has used toremifene as a PCT and posted on here will agree that toremifene is amazing for PCT. It tends to bring your HPTA up almost overnight. It'll get your balls swinging in no time and there are many reports of a greatly reduced "crash" when used as the PCT SERM. It should be dosed like this
120mg days 1-3/4
90mg days 4-14
60mg days 15-21
30mg days 22-28

I prefer to run it at 120mg for days 1-7, but for lighter cycles and things such as halodrol days 1-4 is fine.

AI such as ATD, 6-oxo, or ones such as arimidex, letro, should not be used for PCT. ATD is sometimes run inversely to the serm during PCT to prevent any estrogen rebound from the serm. Remember SERMs do not halt estrogen production; they just keep the estrogen from activating the receptors so when you come of the SERM there is an elevated estrogen level in your body so a weaker AI such as ATD can be used to keep estrogen at a normal level. AI run as the sole agent in a PCT is foolish, there was a little while when ATD came out that people were running it as the only PCT agent and reported that it worked well, but since then this is no longer really the case, a serm must always be used as the main PCT drug. Also the steroid you use determines is you should use an AI during PCT. Steroids that aromatize (aromatize means that enzymes in the body convert a percentage of testosterone into estrogen) such as test will see a benefit from using an AI during PCT. Steroids with little aromatization such as superdrol will not benefit from an AI. I believe that the delayed onset gyno caused by superdrol in some users may be linked to using an AI such as ATD for the PCT. Since there will be little estrogen during the start of post cycle therapy the AI will drive the levels to almost 0 and when your PCT ends there is a rebound effect. Of course this is only my opinion, there are no studies showing this. I mention ATD here a lot because this is the best AI to be run during PCT if one is to be run. It doesn’t fully block the production of estrogen which is good because some estrogen is needed, secondly AI such as arimidex and letro are too powerful and cause a rebound effect after their use is halted whereas it is believed that ATD has no rebound effect. My personal use of ATD is as follows during PCT

120mg toremifene days 1-7 0mg ATD
90mg T days 8-14 0mg ATD
60mg T days 15-21 25mg ATD
30mg T days 22-28 50mg ATD
weeks 5-6 50mg ATD

I like to run it like that to prevent estrogen rebound from lowering the SERM and to continue boosting testosterone after the SERM is ended, yet I don’t start the ATD till day 15 to allow my body to have some level of estrogen and I run it two weeks past PCT for the test boosting effects of the ATD.

HCG
I think no cycle lasting 8+ weeks is complete without the use of HCG. HCG is a hormone produced by pregnant women, but it has the effect of mimicking LH in the male's body and this signals the testes to produce testosterone. During PCT the natural production of LH resumes quite quickly, but if the testes have atrophied which happens on cycles lasting as long as 8+ weeks then even if proper amounts of LH is being produced the testes are simple to small and unable to produced a good amount of testosterone. HCG used to be used in the last weeks of a cycle at doses upwards of 1000-5000IU every few days. This is now no longer seen as the proper way to run HCG. Such use will desensitize the testes to LH and be counter productive. Also it will cause a large spike in estrogen which can further suppress the HPTA and possible cause gyno. The new line of thought is to run HCG throughout the cycle at a dose of 250-500IU twice a week leading up to one week before beginning the SERM PCT. This prevents the testes form atrophying and once the PCT is begun they are at almost fully size and ready to produce the testosterone needed by your body. This is a cheap addition to any cycle lasting 8+ weeks and user feedback has been pretty great with claims that there is very little crash during PCT and that the PCT is the least difficult ever. I think the use of HCG during cycle is gaining popularity and will become as standard as the use of a SERM for PCT in the future. A new compound also beginning to see some use is HMG or human menopausal gonadtropin (SP?), this acts like HCG with the added benefit of mimicking FSH which increases the production of sperm In the testes. So far though there hasn't been much feedback on this though what I’ve seen claims it is quite effective, I would stick to just HCG for now.

Ancillaries during cycle
There are side effects that will be encountered during a cycle, and to minimize these side effects there are certain drugs that can be used to make the cycle more user friendly and safer. The main worry usually associated with a cycle is gyno. Gyno is the growth of breast tissue in men due to a high level of estrogen. Certain steroids such as testosterone are aromatized(converted to estrogen) in the body at a pretty high rate, dianabol also causes a great increase in estrogen. We don't want to completely reduce estrogen because it is necessary to keep our cholesterol in check as well as being somewhat anabolic by up-regulation androgen receptors (making more receptors for the steroid to bind to in the muscle to make it more effective) as well as glycogen storage(the carb fuel stored in muscle). The Ai used for this purpose are arimidex, letro, aromasin, and proviron.

Letro in my opinion is too strong of an AI and will kill your libido, though if you start to get signs of gyno you might want to deal with the lowered libido and use letro is lower your estrogen. There is one benefit of letro and that is that it doesn’t lower IGF (insulin growth factor, basically the hormone that signals your body to repair damaged muscle and cause it to grow) levels like arimidex dose. Letro can be used at low doses EOD to keep estrogen under control which will lower the chance of developing gyno and preventing bloat to a degree. The doses are very dependent on the user, steroid used, level of estrogen, bloat, proneness to gyno, etc... so I will leave dosages out cause you will have to research and experiment yourself to see what works. Personally I would save this for only instances where gyno starts to develop. Letro also causes a marked rebound of estrogen after its use is stopped. The use of letro with a SERM particularly tamoxifen causes a lowering of the levels of the tamoxifen by up to 40%, so using them both together is counterproductive.

Arimidex is my AI of choice, though I haven't tried aromisin or proviron so there will be disagreement here. Used at doses of .25 ED throughout the cycle(for me, YMMV) it controls bloat and prevents gyno. I would run it starting in week 3-4 of a test e cycle if I start to see some excessive water bloat, once again this is what I DO, so what you do might be completely different. Most users suggest to not run an AI until it's necessary as it will hinder your gains somewhat. The price of arimidex is also to my liking and doesn't lower estrogen as much as letro. Arimidex causes little estrogen rebound, especially when compared to letro.

KEY TERMS


This article will attempt to describe, in layman's terms, the fate of Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids (AAS) in the human body. The intent is to look at steroids from a general view, not to describe the different individual steroids. Of course, the author does not condone the use of steroids by anyone not under the care and supervision of a qualified medical professional.

TYPES OF STEROIDS

Anabolic/Androgenic Steroids can be roughly classified into two types, oral and injectable. When you eat food or consume anything orally, the great majority of the ingested substances pass through the liver prior to entering the bloodstream. For this reason, "injectable" AAS cannot be taken orally because the liver will deactivate the steroids in this "first pass". Deactivation in the liver usually involves the addition of one or more hydroxyl (OH) groups to increase the solubility of the molecule in water, making excretion in the urine more easily accomplished.

Oral Steroids

Oral steroids involve modification of the parent steroid to make it harder for the liver to degrade the steroid molecules. This modification is almost always the addition of an alkyl (methyl) group at the 17 position of the steroid ring. The liver can still degrade the steroid, but not as effectively as the un-modified steroid. Therefore, oral steroids make several cycles through the bloodstream before being excreted. Most oral steroids are, to various degrees, excreted from the body unchanged.

Injectable Steroids

The injectable AAS are very effectively degraded in just a single pass through the liver. If this is so, then how can the injectables be effective? The answer is called a "depot" (or reservoir), which allows a regular release of steroid into the bloodstream. As steroid is removed from the bloodstream by the liver, more steroid is being released into the bloodstream from the depot. There are several ways to provide such a reservoir of the steroid.

Suspension

The first way is to use pure testosterone (a crystalline solid) suspended in water. Testosterone has a low solubility in water, and the crystals slowly dissolve in the watery environment of the tissue in which it is injected. The dissolved testosterone is carried throughout the body by the bloodstream. For Testosterone suspension, the "depot" is the actual physical site where the injection is made. The crystals do not migrate to other parts of the body, and the presence of the crystalline testosterone can cause some pain at the injection site. The testosterone dissolves at a (relatively) constant rate, and lasts for a few days in the body. Winstrol suspension is similar.

Esters

The other way to provide a depot of steroid is to use a water-insoluble form of the steroid that can be converted in the body to the parent steroid, which has some solubility in water (bloodstream). Most commonly, the parent molecule is esterified with an organic acid, and the resulting ester is soluble in oil, but only very slightly soluble in water. Commonly used organic acid groups are acetate (C2), propionate (C3), enanthate (C7), decanoate (C10), and undecylenate (C11). The longer the carbon chain of the acid, the more oil-soluble the ester, and the longer it takes for the ester to turn into the parent steroid (de-esterification). A type of enzyme that is found throughout the body facilitates the de-esterification reaction to form the parent steroid from the ester. The enzyme actually catalyzes the reaction in both directions, so it can also attach an organic acid back onto the parent steroid. So, for example, testosterone enanthate can actually be turned into testosterone palmitate. There is some good evidence that steroid esters are, to some extent, stored in fat cells. It is commonly believed that esters form a depot of oil/ester that stays at the injection site. This is not true. While the depot concept holds true for esters (because they slowly release the parent steroid over time), the esters actually disperse throughout the body after injection, prior to (and during) the de-esterification reaction to form the parent steroid. They do not stay at the injection site. For example, the ester testosterone enanthate has been found in tissues throughout the body, including hair samples of subjects who have injected T200. If a bio-contaminant is introduced at the time of injection (non-sterile conditions), the body will attempt to encapsulate the contaminated material, and an abscess will form. In this case it appears as if the ester has remained at the injection site. But under normal sterile conditions, the oily solution will disperse. Injecting too much at one site or injecting too frequently at one site will not cause an abscess.

Transport of Steroids in the Bloodstream

Once the steroid has been released from the depot (or the oral steroid has been absorbed from the intestine), it is transported throughout the body in the bloodstream. Carrier proteins (Albumin and Sex Hormone binding Globulin) bind about 98% of testosterone under natural conditions. Thus, only 2% of the hormone is free to carry out its actions. When exogenous steroid is present, the level of free steroid is much higher than 2%. Bear in mind that the hormone is not permanently bound to the some of the proteins, but is constantly binding and un-binding from the protein. At any given time, about 2% of the hormone is un-bound in the natural state. So, if the 2% unbound hormone were to magically disappear, then the proteins would release more hormone such that 2% (of the remaining total) would come unbound. The bloodstream is the mechanism by which the hormones reach their target tissues (muscle).

ACTION OF STEROIDS

Androgen Receptor Activation

Once a free molecule of steroid reaches the muscle cell, it diffuses into the cell. The diffusion can be with or without transport-protein assistance. Once in the cell, the AAS is makes its way to the cell nucleus where it can bind with an androgen receptor (AR), and activate the receptor. Two of these activated receptor complexes join together to form the androgen response element (ARE). The ARE interacts with DNA in the nucleus, and increases the transcription of certain genes (such as muscle protein genes). As long as the ARE is intact, it accelerates gene transcription. Remember, though, that the AAS and the receptor are in a state of flux (binding and un-binding), just like with the Carrier proteins. So the ARE can be deactivated just by losing one of the two AAS that are bound to the AR's. This equilibrium situation explains why 1 gram per week testosterone is more effective than 1/2 gram per week, even though 1/2 gram appears to be more than enough to saturate all the AR's in the body. The higher concentration makes it more likely that the receptors will be occupied by an AAS, and the ARE will be intact for a longer period of time, on average.

Other Actions

Activation of the androgen receptor is a key mechanism in the action of AAS. However, this mechanism by itself does not explain the differences between steroids (i.e., nandrolone activates the AR better than testosterone, but is not as good of a mass-building product). Other actions involve primarily the central nervous system, and involve actions such as motor activation (muscle coordination) and mood (i.e., aggressiveness). The mechanism by which AAS effect these actions is not well understood at this time. Another effect occurs in the liver, where some steroids cause the release of certain Growth Factors. The different actions of the different AAS explains why a stack of two different types of AAS is often better than one by itself.

Elimination of Steroids

The liver is a primary route to deactivation of steroids, the chemical structure is changed here to make the steroid more soluble in water for excretion through the kidneys. A good portion of many steroids also are excreted as-is, without any alteration by the liver, or by formation of the sulphate, which is more water soluble. Many in the medical community have believed that AAS cause liver damage because levels of certain enzymes (AST and ALT) are elevated when steroids are used. Elevated levels of these enzymes are seen in patients with liver damage from other causes, so the conclusion is that AAS must cause liver damage because these enzymes are elevated. Recent work, however, has shown that a true marker of liver damage, GGT, remains unchanged when some AAS are used, and now it is questioned whether AAS are really damaging to the liver (the 17 alpha-alkylated AAS do cause damage in some rare cases, and this damage is reversible upon cessation of steroid use). The same thought processes were used to claim kidney damage, but that is unlikely as well.

NEWBIE TIPS


Tip 1 - Do Your Research.
Tip 2 - Don't do a DBOL ONLY cycle! EVER!

There are plenty of good reasons for this - Obviously in that Dianabol is a 17-alpha alkylated steroid, warranting short-term use. Since Dianabol has little Androgen receptor activity, it functions particularly synergistic with compounds that have a strong Androgen receptor activity as is the case for all the aforementioned. In other words - stack it! Forgetting about the science here - do you want to make muscle, strength and water gains and end up feeling pumped and huge by the end of your cycle only to realize that the dianabol mainly gained you water and a few weeks after the cycle you lose it all?

Dianabol is a methylated compound with a certain toxicity, so in the interest of safety you wouldn't use it longer than 6 weeks on end, 8 weeks at the absolute maximum and only under supervision of a medical professional who can monitor your liver values. Arnold was said to use it for eight weeks at a time (of course this is only speculation), but even if this was the case, Arnold was on a whole other level than most beginners. Don't copy what he did and expect the same results - his workouts, nutrition program and steroid stacks were designed for his body and his genetics - never copy him or anybody else for that matter. Dianabol heavily aromatizes so its not particularly useful during cutting and with 6-8 weeks of use maximum, that leaves the option open - Stack it with another, injectable, compound that can be used for longer terms (beginning of stack when other compound is least active).

Dianabol is mainly meant to kick start your cycle gains. This is normally done by stacking it with a longer acting product, such as testosterone enanthate or cypionate, deca or equipose. For best use, include it early in a stack (see sample stack #2 listed below). You would run it with your 500mg of sustanon weekly as follows:

Weeks 1-4: Dianabol - 20-25 mg daily.

This should be more than sufficient for a beginner and just fine to kickstart your mass gains. Sometimes less is more! When it comes to 17-alpha alkylated drugs, this is one of those times. Liver health is something that you should be very important to you.

When stacking with a longer-acting product, such as testosterone enanthate or cypionate, Deca or Equipoise, the best use is early on in the stack. Dianabol is a very fast-acting steroid and most injectables don't start showing their real value for 2-3 weeks. That makes it particularly useful to kick off a cycle with.

NEEDLES & SYRINGE
• Resheath needles when finished. Store used needles/syringes in a needle disposal container, a bleach bottle (thick plastic) or a coffee can (thick metal).
• The container should not be see-through.
• Dispose of the entire container when it is full.
• NEVER store needles/syringes in a container that can be easily punctured (soda cans, glass bottles, juice bottles, milk cartons, etc).
• NEVER flush needles/syringes down the toilet. Some of this waste can eventually end up back in the environment.
• NEVER dispose of needles/syringes in a recycle bin.
• NEVER dispose of loose needle/syringes in the garbage.
• NEVER store needles/syringes (used or unused) in areas where children or animals have access.
 
AnabolicMinds.com Forum
Total newbie guide to steroids


I decided to make this post to share and compact some of the info I’ve learned here over the years and maybe add to the general knowledge of this board. Most of this can be found on here using the search function which I recommend everyone to use. I've been a member since 2003 and just recently made my firsts posts because the search function has answered all my questions to this point. Anywho I’ve talked to some friends who are relatively new to lifting and they have absolutely NO knowledge of how to use steroids, so I though there must be many out there like this and in my attempt to explain the proper use of steroids I found some of the newbie guides on here insufficient so I thought I would write my own. I hope you guys learn something, please let me know if i made any mistakes, this is a working draft. This is part 1, part two will cover the actual steroid use, i will poast that in a few days.

When should I use steroids?
roviron is basically a steroid but its main effect is of lowering aromatization and also freeing up more test so your levels of free test are higher than normal. I have no experience with this but many people love this during cycle as it increases levels of free test, but it also suppresses the HPTA. I don't know too much about this once and if you’re a newbie stick with the arimidex.

Aromisin works a little differently than the above mentioned AIs. It works not by stopping estrogen production but instead it deactivated the binding enzyme that allows estrogen to bind, therefore the level of estrogen remains mostly unaffected in your body, but it pretty much becomes ineffective, except for some functions such as keeping your lipid levels stable, unlike the other AI's that screw up your cholesterol. There is also no rebound effect. This is one powerful AI and its use by a newbie I wouldn't suggest. Stick to the tried and true I prefer arimidex.

Other AI that can be used to control estrogen are ATD and 6-oxo as mentioned earlier. These are steroidal inhibitors (ATD, 6-oxo, aromisin) which means they do not completely destroy your estrogen levels like letro or arimidex. They permanently bind to the aromisin enzyme and deactivate it permanently, the only way for the body to keep estrogen production up is to produce more aromitase. Whereas nonsteroidal AI such as letro and dex bind for a period of time then release the aromitase enzyme so the levels of aromitase are not lower and may actually increase which open the possibility of a estrogen rebound. I find 6-oxo outdated and too weak so I prefer ATD. A small dose of perhaps 25-50mg ED or even EOD due to its longer half-life may be enough to keep bloat and estrogen under control. I plan on trying this out on a test e cycle to see how it affects me, once again as I’ve pointed out several times is that YMMV. I hope it is becoming clear to you newbies out there that everyone reacts differently to these substances which is part of the reason you have to spend years researching and lifting to gain the experience and knowledge necessary to run a successful cycle with minimal sides. If gyno starts to develop I would switch from the ATD to something like dex or letro as this is more effective and reversing gyno and I wouldn't want to take any chances when it comes to gyno.

Other ancillaries that can be used on a cycle depend on the side effects that develop. The AI's will control estrogen which in turn prevents bloat and gyno. Some people find that steroids cause hair loss. This is due to the androgenic (this is the property of testosterone that causes the "male" characteristics such as deep voice, body hair, etc.. it also causes strength, aggression and horniness effects of the roid and some roids are more androgenic than others. How androgenic a steroid is measured by the androgenic: anabolic ratio. Anabolic is the muscle building property. Testosterone has a 1:1 ratio. The androgenic property is what causes hair loss, this is most prevalent in people susceptible to male pattern baldness. Testosterone is broken down into DHT (by the 5AR enzyme) which is A LOT more androgenic than testosterone and is mainly responsible for the hair loss, though the steroid itself can bind to receptors in your scalp and cause hair loss. So drugs that control DHT conversion are what’s called for here. Another thing to keep in mind if your worried about hair loss is that certain steroids are actually based on DHT therefore they can cause more hair loss, an example of a DHT structure based roid is winny.

Finasteride (propecia) is one drug that lowers the conversion of steroids into DHT. This is used at a dose of 1-2mg a day to combat hair loss.

Dutasteride is another drug that prevents the conversion into dht, it is a lot more powerful than finasteride, but it also has a very long half life of over 5 weeks so if you experience side effects from it they will be around for a long side. I do not recommend the use of this drug. Its dosage would be around .25-.5mg ED.

A safer option than those oral drugs are drugs that you apply to the scalp itself. Spironolactone works a little different by being essentially an anti-androgen. It is applied to the scalp and therefore prevents androgens (dht, test, steroids) from binding to the receptor in the scalp. If taken orally it has the same effect but its systematic (whole body) not just localized as in a topical application to the scalp. There are other hair-loss prevention drugs, but there are threads on here that go into greater detailed if your are interested. A little hair loss is to be expected during any cycle, though generally it’s not noticeable unless you are prone to MPB. I don't recommend you use any hair loss product during a cycle unless your are shedding a s**tload and it really bothers you. Keep in mind that DHT is a important androgen and is responsible for a good amount of the strength gains that we get from a test cycle, taking a dht blocker will reduce your gains in size and especially strength. Not worth it in my opinion.

If running any orals then liver protection is pretty important. Milk thistle at 1000mg ED and NAC at 1000mg ED I find to be sufficient to have at least some protective effect on the liver. The most important thing to keep in mind is to NOT DRINK. If you are willing to put drugs into your body to grow than you should not drink especially when using an oral substance. If you can't keep yourself from drinking while on a cycle then you are neither mature enough nor smart enough to be running a cycle. You will end up hurting yourself. Few things piss me off as bad as someone running an oral and getting drunk. If your on a injectable cycle only than, well, 1-2 drinks once or twice during a cycle is acceptable I guess, just keep in mind that alcohol will stop protein anabolism for up to 24 hrs. So judge for yourself if it's worth it.

Cardiovascular health can be maintained by using red rice yeast (especially if using an oral, the methylation of an oral steroid causes the liver to be very inefficient in processing lipids and your levels get very messed up), garlic, and policosanol. I think that red rice yeast is the most effective, perhaps as effective as prescription statins (RYR is also a statin). Also the most important thing you can do for your heart is cardio and a clean diet. I think a little cardio during cycle is good and won't inhibit your gains, more on that later. Blood pressure should be controlled using hawthorn berry and celery seed, hawthorn berry takes a few weeks to kick in. Different steroids have different effects on BP. The injectables are generally the safest whereas orals are the harshest on your body. I hope this is starting illustrate to you newbies that these "legal prohormones" are some dangerous s*** if used recklessly by inexperienced folk. I'm not one to really recommend any products, but Cycle support by Annabolic Innovations covers just about any side that isn't controlled by pharmaceuticals mention in this post. Buy two boxes and run it at half dose (once a day instead of twice a day) to keep yourself healthy, much cheaper than buying all the supps separately and once a day seems to have enough active ingredients to work, unless you are on an oral then I would run it twice a day.

Libido can be reduced during a cycle, this depends on the steroid used and the level of estrogen in your body. Using something like deca or trenbolone by itself will cause you some serious limp d*** because they suppress natural testosterone production greatly and the levels of estrogen in your body drops because these roids are not really aromatized. If they are run with test then this side effect is a lot rarer. By in any case some tadalafil (cialis) at 12-25mg will get your member up to the duty at hand (or mouth he he he). Tribulus has some reports of helping here as well. Cialis seems to be safer than Viagra due to it being a much more potent PDE5 enzyme inhibitor (the enzyme that will prevent an erection). AIs will also cause a drop in libido. Another thing that can cause a drop in libido is prolactin, but this will be discussed in the next section.


Gyno!!!
One of the biggest fears of steroid use is the development of gyno. This is also one thing along with roid rage and shrunken balls and even shrunken penis that most people especially newbies know about when it comes to steroids. If fact these three things are probably the first thing that pops in mind when a newbie/uneducated person thinks of roids. Gyno is caused by estrogen levels that are elevated beyond normal amounts. It can also be caused by elevated progesterone and prolactin levels, but these are usually only responsible when estrogen levels are also high. The individual sensitivity varies greatly, so whether you are prone to gyno or not you won't know till you run your first cycle, even then it might take a few cycles to see how susceptible you are. There are two ways of tackling this problem. One is in estrogen control, the other is estrogen receptor antagonism with a serm.

It appears to me that running a SERM throughout the cycle at a low dose is a good effective way of preventing gyno. Nolva, clomid, toremifene, or raloxifene are SERMs that can be run during cycle to prevent gyno. These are also better choices than running an ai because it will keep estrogen in your system which will keep exerting some beneficial effects such as glycogen synthesis, bone density, and blood lipids. Which should you run? Well I would rule out clomid because it has too many side effects especially the emotional ones, also it can desensitize the testes to LH which is bad. Toremifene is a great SERM, but I believe its purpose is best served in post cycle therapy, and it's pretty expensive to run during a cycle. So we are left with tamoxifen and raloxifene.

Tamoxifen is the preferred SERM to run during a cycle to prevent gyno. It can be run at doses starting at 10mg ED and increasing if any signs of gyno begin to appear. If gyno begins to appear increasing the dose to 60mg ed till the gyno recedes then tapering the dose back down to maybe 20mg Ed should be OK. Once again you can run the nolva the whole cycle which I recommend, this is a newbie guide so this will be your first cycle better to stay safe than sorry and run the nolva 10mg ED form day one. If on a test cycle maybe you can wait till weeks 3-4 when the test starts to kick in or when you start seeing signs of bloat which would indicated that your test and estrogen levels are rising and then begin the SERM.

Raloxifene is a relatively newcomer to the steroid scene. A medical study comparing tamoxifen and raloxifene at reducing pubertal gyno (gyno caused during puberty due to hormonal imbalances) showed that ralox was a good deal more effective at not only in the percentage of subjects it reduced the gyno in, but also in the level of gyno reduction. Ralox seems to be the better choice for a gyno prevention/treatment SERM during cycle. Ralox can also be used for PCT but the feedback is limited and I would suggest this best serves its purpose in preventing/reducing gyno. The dosage used is still up in the air. I have done some research and have a hard time finding any consistent numbers when it comes to dosage. I would recommend maybe 30mg ED and working your way up if that seems to be ineffective. If gyno symptoms begin to appear it is imperative that you increase the dosage immediately to treat the gyno. The faster you take action to treat the gyno the more likely it is to go away. Wait t long and it may become permanent.

Gyno can also be treated/prevented by using an AI such as arimidex or letro. Letro is the more powerful of the two, but it can take up to two weeks to take full effect so arimidex might be the better choice. If I was to show signs of gyno I would take a dose of perhaps 60-90mg ralox ED along with .5-1mg arimidex ed. The arimidex shouldn't affect the levels of ralox in the blood as letro would do to nolva. Once the gyno resides the arimidex would be decreased to .25mg ed (basically to the lowest dose that is still effective for you) and the ralox back but to a dose higher than was originally used for prevention, so over 30mg ed. The ai's are best used to treat gyno with SERM. If you're looking for just prevention with a AI use the lowest dose possible as to not hinder gains and prevent possible side effects.

Gyno can also be caused by increased levels of progesterone and prolactin. Prolactin will actually cause lactation. These two hormones usually will not cause gyno unless estrogen is also present so in order to treat gyno caused by progesterone and prolactin we must first treat the excess estrogen. That would be done by using the protocol found above, in addition to that we would add some progesterone/prolactin inhibitors. It is difficult to tell whether it is estrogen or progesterone/prolactin that causes the gyno. If your first cycle is test/tren or test/deca you will not know whether the estrogen form the test is causing gyno or the progesterone form the tren/deca is causing the gyno. Therefore it is best to run test alone for a first cycle, but more on that in part 2.

Cabergoline is the drug you would use to treat prolactin/progesterone caused gyno. If running a roid such as tren/deca then the ideal thing to prevent prolactin/progesterone gyno would be to keep the estrogen is check, but if gyno begins to develop you need to throw in some prolactin control in the form of Cabergoline. Start with a dose of .25mg twice a week and increase your dose from there. There are side effects from this drug. It is supposedly a good sex enhancer because it will allow to keep an erection longer and get it back up faster, but it has negative effects because it also affects dopamine. Taking too much for too long can give you hallucinations.

Few! That’s a lot of typing. The purpose of this part was to introduce you to all the things associated with steroid use. Most of you newbies believe that steroid use is as simple as taking a shot once a week and that’s it, well I hope this part has opened your eyes a bit. The pure size of this guide in itself should show you how much there is when it comes to running a cycle of "juice". As you can see this is only part one f my guide, I haven't even touched on the actually use of the steroid. Like I said in the beginning it is my experience that the biggest hole of knowledge a newbie has when it comes to steroid use is all the extras that come along with steroid use such as PCT, estrogen control, etc... The thing is that this guide only covers the surface of what one must know to run a successful side effect free cycle and maintain most of the gains. The point I’m trying to get across is that there is so much to learn and research about steroid use that one must do before running a first cycle. Well this is it for part one of my newbie guide, part two will dive into the meat and bones of steroid use, the actual steroids themselves. This part 1 of my guide is actually not complete. I've been typing for hours and have to go to work so it's a "working draft" if you will. I appreciate any input or comments or possible edits you guys can suggest to this guide. I will update it when I have a chance implementing any comments I get from you all. Please please please let me know if I’ve made any mistakes or stated something wrong in here, I’m human and not all knowing so I’m sure there are mistakes and would like to fix them so people won't be reading bad information. I'll have part 2 up in the next few days I hope.

Well you should have several years of lifting experience before you make the jump to juice. If you are still growing naturally then steroids will be counterproductive to you. You will not realize your full potential until you have grown naturally, more importantly it takes years of experience to learn how your body responds to lifting and to get your technique and nutrition in order. I suggest AT LEAST 3 years lifting before you even decide to think about steroids. It is ok to start researching steroids when you first start lifting because I’ve been researching for three years and still have a lot to learn. Secondly you have to be over 21yrs and preferable at least 25 before you begin a cycle. This is so your body has finished growing to the point it is ready to accept steroids. If you use before your 21 your bone growth plates will fuse prematurely and you will not grow to your full skeletal body structure, also using before your 21 has the risk of damaging your HPTA and your hormonal balance which might be very difficult to bring back.

What about "prohormones" and "legal steroid"?

Supplements such as ergomax, pheraplex, superdrol, halodrol, etc... are in fact designer steroids. They come will all the risks and side effects as the illegal roids, but due to their legal status are usually viewed as safe by people. They are not safe and I will argue they are more dangerous than illegal steroids. The illegal steroids have decades of medical research behind them so we have a good idea of what they do to the human body, but these new designer steroids in most cases have no medical research behind them. Therefore we have little idea of what damage they may cause to the body and all we really know about them is from user feedback which really doesn't reveal much about their pharmacological properties. Also people try to infer their properties by comparing them to the illegal steroids that they are based off, but this is only good to a certain extent. Even the addition of one atom to a steroid can completely change its effects so this isn't reliable to learning about its effects on the body. The exact chemical in compounds such as Methoxy-TST are not even know and are kept secret so we have no idea what it even is. For all we know this can be an illegal steroid, or a modified steroid that is pretty dangerous, we just don't know. Personally I don't suggest being a guinea pig for these new compounds. Also these legal roids are all oral and therefore carry the risk of a damaged lipid profile and liver toxicity. The liver and heart is not something you want to mess with.
I believe it's ok to use a "prohormone" as a first cycle. I would suggest a mild one like halodrol to get your feet wet before moving on to the illegal roids, but in the end it's better to just stick with the real deal if you will.

Biggest newbie mistake
The biggest mistake people make when starting roids is not knowing anything about the HPTA and the use of anti-estrogens. There are many people I’ve met that used prohormones or even real juice without any post cycle therapy and then are stunned as to why they lose all their gains or even worse suffer gyno or HPTA shutdown for extended periods of time. If there is one thing a beginner must know is the proper use of post cycle therapy. I think your education in this area is even more important than your education on the use of the roid. I have a friend who insists on using testosterone without any PCT, he has even run some prohormones without PCT, that’s a real stupid and dangerous way to treat your body. In fact I consider the misunderstand and little knowledge of PCT in newbies such a problem I will spend most of this post talking about the facets of a cycle other than the actual steroid use.

PCT
After a cycle one must run a SERM to restart the HPTA. The HPTA is the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis. A simple explanation of what this is your body's system of producing testosterone (and estrogen). The hypothalamus releases hormones which trigger the pituitary to release hormones such as LH which signal the testicles to produce testosterone (and sperm). When you use a steroid the higher levels of testosterone/estrogen in your body cause a feedback to the HPTA. The main hormone responsible for suppressing the HPTA is estrogen, but testosterone also has an effect. The HPTA tries to balance the hormone levels in your body because the body likes to maintain a homeostasis and stops production of FSH and LH which cause the testicles to slow and even stop producing testosterone. ALL steroids cause a slowdown of your testosterone production and ALL steroids will cause a complete shutdown if used for a long enough period of time. Some are more likely to shut you down than other. M1T is reported to cause almost complete shutdown in a matter of days. Tren and deca are also pretty notorious at shutting you down hard. So when you finish your cycle you must use a SERM to restart your natural production as fast as possible and to keep as much of your gains as possible, because that is what we all want isn't it? To keep our gains.
SERMs are drugs that attach to the estrogen receptors in our body in places as our breasts and more importantly our HPTA. By blocking the estrogen from binding to the HPTA our body is fooled into thinking that our hormone levels are real low so it begins to ramp up it's production of testosterone. The HPTA takes high levels of estrogen as a sign that there is too much testosterone in the body and lowers the production of testosterone; therefore by blocking the binding of estrogen to the hypothalamus the HPTA takes this as a signal that testosterone levels are too low. This happens because most of the estrogen in the man's body is produced from the aromatization of testosterone. For most cycles I recommend a four week PCT. Even for substances such as halodrol or short cycles such as 3 weeks of superdrol should have a 4 week PCT. Longer PCT can be used for long cycles lasting 12 weeks or more.
There are 4 SERMs which are currently used in PCT. They are: Tamoxifen (nolva), Clomid, and toremifene. They are all related to each other and basically do the same thing but to different degrees. The classic PCT consists of Clomid for four weeks run at
300mg day 1 as a frontload
150mg days 2-7
100mg days 8-21
50mg days 22-28

These are just suggested doses and you might have to adjust. Clomid does have side effects such as moodiness so people started using tamoxifen as the serm of choice due to less side effects, the debate to which is better still continues and some of the old school users still prefer clomid just because that's what they have used and been taught to use in their life. Nolva is run as followed:
60mg days 1-7
40mg days 8-14
30mg days 15-21
20mg days 22-18

Once again just a personal suggestion, your mileage may vary. Remember that nolva is also a little liver toxic. Nolva dose have a benefit as acting as an estrogen in the liver so it will help bring your cholesterol back to normal during PCT.

Some individuals like to run clomid and nolva together. I don't see much need to run more than 1 SERM at a time unless there is severe shutdown. In either case the clomid should be used together with the nolva for the first week due to clomids ability to increase LH quite rapidly then for weeks 2-4 just run the nolva. That's my personal opinion.

Finally there is the newest comer to the PCT regiment and that is toremifene. This is my personal favorite and in comparing it to nolva which I also have experience with I will only use toremifene from now on. There is a study showing that toremifene actually lowers LH production, but my experience and the experience o pretty much everyone that has used toremifene as a PCT and posted on here will agree that toremifene is amazing for PCT. It tends to bring your HPTA up almost overnight. It'll get your balls swinging in no time and there are many reports of a greatly reduced "crash" when used as the PCT SERM. It should be dosed like this
120mg days 1-3/4
90mg days 4-14
60mg days 15-21
30mg days 22-28

I prefer to run it at 120mg for days 1-7, but for lighter cycles and things such as halodrol days 1-4 is fine.

AI such as ATD, 6-oxo, or ones such as arimidex, letro, should not be used for PCT. ATD is sometimes run inversely to the serm during PCT to prevent any estrogen rebound from the serm. Remember SERMs do not halt estrogen production; they just keep the estrogen from activating the receptors so when you come of the SERM there is an elevated estrogen level in your body so a weaker AI such as ATD can be used to keep estrogen at a normal level. AI run as the sole agent in a PCT is foolish, there was a little while when ATD came out that people were running it as the only PCT agent and reported that it worked well, but since then this is no longer really the case, a serm must always be used as the main PCT drug. Also the steroid you use determines is you should use an AI during PCT. Steroids that aromatize (aromatize means that enzymes in the body convert a percentage of testosterone into estrogen) such as test will see a benefit from using an AI during PCT. Steroids with little aromatization such as superdrol will not benefit from an AI. I believe that the delayed onset gyno caused by superdrol in some users may be linked to using an AI such as ATD for the PCT. Since there will be little estrogen during the start of post cycle therapy the AI will drive the levels to almost 0 and when your PCT ends there is a rebound effect. Of course this is only my opinion, there are no studies showing this. I mention ATD here a lot because this is the best AI to be run during PCT if one is to be run. It doesn’t fully block the production of estrogen which is good because some estrogen is needed, secondly AI such as arimidex and letro are too powerful and cause a rebound effect after their use is halted whereas it is believed that ATD has no rebound effect. My personal use of ATD is as follows during PCT

120mg toremifene days 1-7 0mg ATD
90mg T days 8-14 0mg ATD
60mg T days 15-21 25mg ATD
30mg T days 22-28 50mg ATD
weeks 5-6 50mg ATD

I like to run it like that to prevent estrogen rebound from lowering the SERM and to continue boosting testosterone after the SERM is ended, yet I don’t start the ATD till day 15 to allow my body to have some level of estrogen and I run it two weeks past PCT for the test boosting effects of the ATD.

HCG
I think no cycle lasting 8+ weeks is complete without the use of HCG. HCG is a hormone produced by pregnant women, but it has the effect of mimicking LH in the male's body and this signals the testes to produce testosterone. During PCT the natural production of LH resumes quite quickly, but if the testes have atrophied which happens on cycles lasting as long as 8+ weeks then even if proper amounts of LH is being produced the testes are simple to small and unable to produced a good amount of testosterone. HCG used to be used in the last weeks of a cycle at doses upwards of 1000-5000IU every few days. This is now no longer seen as the proper way to run HCG. Such use will desensitize the testes to LH and be counter productive. Also it will cause a large spike in estrogen which can further suppress the HPTA and possible cause gyno. The new line of thought is to run HCG throughout the cycle at a dose of 250-500IU twice a week leading up to one week before beginning the SERM PCT. This prevents the testes form atrophying and once the PCT is begun they are at almost fully size and ready to produce the testosterone needed by your body. This is a cheap addition to any cycle lasting 8+ weeks and user feedback has been pretty great with claims that there is very little crash during PCT and that the PCT is the least difficult ever. I think the use of HCG during cycle is gaining popularity and will become as standard as the use of a SERM for PCT in the future. A new compound also beginning to see some use is HMG or human menopausal gonadtropin (SP?), this acts like HCG with the added benefit of mimicking FSH which increases the production of sperm In the testes. So far though there hasn't been much feedback on this though what I’ve seen claims it is quite effective, I would stick to just HCG for now.

Ancillaries during cycle
There are side effects that will be encountered during a cycle, and to minimize these side effects there are certain drugs that can be used to make the cycle more user friendly and safer. The main worry usually associated with a cycle is gyno. Gyno is the growth of breast tissue in men due to a high level of estrogen. Certain steroids such as testosterone are aromatized(converted to estrogen) in the body at a pretty high rate, dianabol also causes a great increase in estrogen. We don't want to completely reduce estrogen because it is necessary to keep our cholesterol in check as well as being somewhat anabolic by up-regulation androgen receptors (making more receptors for the steroid to bind to in the muscle to make it more effective) as well as glycogen storage(the carb fuel stored in muscle). The Ai used for this purpose are arimidex, letro, aromasin, and proviron.

Letro in my opinion is too strong of an AI and will kill your libido, though if you start to get signs of gyno you might want to deal with the lowered libido and use letro is lower your estrogen. There is one benefit of letro and that is that it doesn’t lower IGF (insulin growth factor, basically the hormone that signals your body to repair damaged muscle and cause it to grow) levels like arimidex dose. Letro can be used at low doses EOD to keep estrogen under control which will lower the chance of developing gyno and preventing bloat to a degree. The doses are very dependent on the user, steroid used, level of estrogen, bloat, proneness to gyno, etc... so I will leave dosages out cause you will have to research and experiment yourself to see what works. Personally I would save this for only instances where gyno starts to develop. Letro also causes a marked rebound of estrogen after its use is stopped. The use of letro with a SERM particularly tamoxifen causes a lowering of the levels of the tamoxifen by up to 40%, so using them both together is counterproductive.

Arimidex is my AI of choice, though I haven't tried aromisin or proviron so there will be disagreement here. Used at doses of .25 ED throughout the cycle(for me, YMMV) it controls bloat and prevents gyno. I would run it starting in week 3-4 of a test e cycle if I start to see some excessive water bloat, once again this is what I DO, so what you do might be completely different. Most users suggest to not run an AI until it's necessary as it will hinder your gains somewhat. The price of arimidex is also to my liking and doesn't lower estrogen as much as letro. Arimidex causes little estrogen rebound, especially when compared to letro.

Thank you pump. Reintroducing this info will help beginners and experienced users alike man. Sharing info like that is what this forum is all about man, Bravo!
 

pumpingiron22

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