by Bill Roberts Testosterone, as the natural product drug and one of the most widely used anabolic steroids, is the most convenient choice for a reference drug to which all others will be compared. And while it is entirely possible to construct maximally-effective steroid cycles without employing testosterone, most do not do this, but instead use testosterone as their foundation. Either approach can be entirely sound.
As a bodybuilding drug, testosterone is almost always used as an injectable ester, due to poor oral bioavailability and the impracticality of high dose transdermal or sublingual delivery. Testosterone also is provided as an injectable suspension. Discussion here is in reference to these injectable preparations.
Pharmacologically, testosterone acts both via the androgen receptor and via other means. In practice, it is found to combine synergistically both with those anabolic steroids categorized as Class I and those categorized as Class II, and therefore is described as having mixed activity.
Particular properties of testosterone that are of note include that it converts enzymatically both to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and to estradiol (the most important of the estrogens.)
While with normal levels of testosterone and normal enzyme activity these conversions are in fact desirable, with supraphysiological testosterone levels caused by drug administration they can be undesirable. DHT is at least three times more potent (effective per milligram) than testosterone at the androgen receptor (AR): therefore, in those tissues which convert testosterone to DHT, there is effectively three times as much androgen as elsewhere in the body. Thus, whatever level of androgen is experienced by the muscle tissue is effectively multiplied threefold or more in the skin and in the prostate. This can be excessive.
Dutasteride (Avodart) can be used to keep DHT levels normalized despite heavy testosterone use. Most users do not do this out of concern for excessively reducing DHT, which may be a valid concern at full label dosing, but which I do not think is a concern with low-dose use ( tab every other day) in the context of a high-dose testosterone cycle.
Finasteride (Proscar) may be employed instead, if one wishes to use a 5alpha-reductase inhibitor. In this case, in the context of a high-dose testosterone cycle, one tab (5 mg) of this drug per day is unlikely to excessively decrease DHT.
Excess conversion to estrogen is another undesirable occurrence since it contributes to inhibition of the hypothalamic/pituitary/testicular axis (HPTA), can cause or aggravate gynecomastia, can cause bloating, and can give unfavorable fat pattern distribution. This conversion can be controlled by use of aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex or letrozole, and/or the effects of excess estradiol may be blocked in relevant tissues by Clomid or Nolvadex.
Among the most significant differences of synthetic anabolic steroids compared to testosterone is that they may avoid either or both of these enzymatic conversions. In the past, this was a very important advantage. However, now that these conversions can be well-controlled, high-dose testosterone need not have all the adverse side effects that once inevitably accompanied its use.
Testosterone used as the sole androgen is capable of giving very effective results, particularly with doses of one gram or more per week, and can give substantial results with only 500 mg/week. If no other drugs are used to control estrogen, however, side effects such as gynecomastia are fairly likely. Prostate enlargement, acne or worsening of acne, and acceleration of male pattern baldness (for those genetically susceptible to it) are more problematic with testosterone again, in the absence of enzymatic control than with many synthetics because of the effectively-higher androgen levels seen in these tissues as a result of local conversion to the more-potent DHT.
So, to minimize these effects, the choices for a highly-effective cycle that is low in side effects are to either control these enzymatic conversions with ancillary compounds while using testosterone at high dose; to instead use synthetics which do not undergo these conversions; or to combine moderate dose testosterone (100-200 mg/week) with synthetics.
An anti-aromatase is preferable in a testosterone cycle to a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) such as Clomid or Nolvadex for controlling estrogen because the SERMs either do nothing towards reducing effect of elevated estrogen in aggravating or causing acne, or themselves contribute adversely. Additionally, abnormally elevated estrogen levels may be deleterious for other reasons.
With regard to inhibition of the hypothalamic/pituitary/testicular axis (HPTA), 200 mg/week of injected testosterone is approximately 2/3 to 3./4 suppressive, while 100 mg/week is about 50% suppressive. For this reason, low dose testosterone use is not particularly efficient, as natural production is already worth 100-200 mg/week, and this is mostly lost with the first 200 mg/week of injectable that is used. The particular synthetics which are low-suppressive are, for this reason, more efficient for low-dose use than is testosterone.
In terms of planning HPTA recovery after a cycle, for the above reason there is little point in beginning post-cycle therapy (PCT) until testosterone levels from the cycle have fallen to being commensurate with use of no more than about 200 mg/week. So for example, if using 800 mg/week, it would be advisable to wait two half-lives. (After a number of days equal to the half life, levels will drop to that commensurate with 400 mg/week use, and after that same number of days again levels will again fall in half, now to levels to commensurate with 200 mg/week use.) So for example if the half-life of the ester used were 5 days, one would wait till 10 days after the last injection to begin PCT, when the drug in question is testosterone, due to the particulars of its suppressive properties.
With use of an anti-aromatase, 600-750 mg/week of injected testosterone is a good dosage range for a novice. Without an anti-aromatase, it may be preferred to limit usage to 500 mg/week, although there can be risk of gynecomastia at doses even as low as 200 mg/week if no anti-estrogen is used. More advanced users may favor a gram per week. Still-higher doses such as 2 grams per week generally provide only a small further increment in performance, with that generally being noticeable only if a plateau has been reached at 1 gram per week. Amounts higher than this are employed by some pro bodybuilders but probably with only a slight further incremental effect.
Originally posted here:
Word Count: 1051
- Testosterone Replacement Beneficial for Modern Men? - December 5th, 2018
- Low T - My life was falling apart because I had low testosterone - December 5th, 2018
- Baby Boomers find “The Fountain of Youth” in Testosterone - September 8th, 2018
- New Study Finds That Testosterone Does Not Increase Cardiovascular Risk - September 7th, 2018
- Eleven Foods that Can Drain Your Libido - September 6th, 2018
- Some Animal Research Suggests that High Testosterone May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk - September 6th, 2018
- The Truth Behind Common Male Sex Myths - August 27th, 2018
- Physiology of Testosterone - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone Injections for Low-T and Andropause - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone Therapy Allows Man to Have the Body That He Was Meant to Have - August 26th, 2018
- Could Civilization Have Been Formed as a Result of Declining Testosterone Levels in Males? - August 26th, 2018
- Testosterone and Aggression: How T-Levels Impact Human Response to External, Social Threats - August 21st, 2018
- Testosterone Deficiency Strongly Linked to Heart Attack Risk in New Study - August 19th, 2018
- Testosterone and Geriatric Frailty - August 18th, 2018
- Seven Types of Drugs That Can Inhibit Sex Drive and Libido - August 18th, 2018
- Low-T and Your Health - August 17th, 2018
- How to Build Muscle Quickly by Boosting Testosterone Levels - August 9th, 2018
- Andropause: Age-Associated Testosterone Decline - August 5th, 2018
- High-Dose Testosterone Injections May Be a Viable Palliative Late-Stage Prostate Cancer Treatment - August 5th, 2018
- Fortesta Brand Testosterone Therapy - August 3rd, 2018
- Testosterone Therapy and Androgen Deficiency Guide - August 2nd, 2018
- Testosterone Creams for Low Testosterone Treatment and Andropause - August 1st, 2018
- The Effects of Parenthood Upon Testosterone Levels - July 10th, 2018
- Testosterone, Anxiety, and Depression - July 9th, 2018
- Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate: The Real Facts - June 26th, 2018
- A Surprising Side Effect of Methadone Treatment: Suppressed Testosterone - June 26th, 2018
- Five Benefits of Testosterone That You Need to Know - June 26th, 2018
- The Testosterone Industry Globally is Booming - June 26th, 2018
- Increased Testosterone DOES NOT Cause Prostate Cancer to Spread - June 3rd, 2018
- Testosterone DOES NOT Cause Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries) in Older Men - May 31st, 2018
- Amygdala and it's Relationship to Testosterone and Fear - May 31st, 2018
- Oral Testosterone Pill Could Make Lipocine's Share Price SKYROCKET - May 31st, 2018
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Reduces the Risk of Serious Adverse Health Consequences! - May 25th, 2018
- Testosterone Replacement Therapy Boosts Aerobic Capacity - May 23rd, 2018
- More Sex: A Better Way to Boost Your Testosterone Levels - May 22nd, 2018
- Testosterone's Surprising Link to Men's 'Love Hormone' Oxytocin - May 17th, 2018
- Five Facts About Testosterone (That Maybe You Didn't Know) - May 16th, 2018
- Skinny Bartender with Low Testosterone Becomes a Ripped Bodybuilder - May 9th, 2018
- New Research Proves Testosterone Replacement Therapy is Safe for the Heart - May 5th, 2018
- Testicular Cancer Survivors are at Risk for Low Testosterone - May 3rd, 2018
- Manhood Washed Away: You Could Unknowingly be Annihilating Your Testosterone - May 2nd, 2018
- Testosterone: Should You Take it to Regain Your Libido and Youthful Energy? - May 1st, 2018
- Testosterone Nasal Gel: A New Form of Testosterone Replacement Therapy - May 1st, 2018
- The Truth About Testosterone | The Dr. Oz Show - June 9th, 2016
- What is Testosterone? What does Testosterone do? Find on - June 9th, 2016
- How Men Work | HowStuffWorks - May 28th, 2016
- 6 Ways to Increase Testosterone Levels Naturally - wikiHow - May 4th, 2016
- Testosterone: Common Questions | Testosterone Test: Total ... - May 4th, 2016
- Adrenalast Testosterone Booster | Boost Muscle Sexual ... - April 6th, 2016
- How to Lower Testosterone in Women | eHow - February 8th, 2016
- Testosterone Booster Reviews - Consumers Guides - February 8th, 2016
- A Harvard expert shares his thoughts on testosterone ... - February 8th, 2016
- Does Andro 400 Work; does it increase testosterone? - February 8th, 2016
- All About Testosterone! - Bodybuilding.com - February 8th, 2016
- 5 Natural Testosterone Boosters - Healthline - November 2nd, 2015
- Testosterone - Low-T and Androgen Replacement Therapy - November 2nd, 2015
- How long does it take for Testosterone replacement treatments and therapy to work? - October 24th, 2015
- Effect of vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels ... - October 17th, 2015
- Testosterone nasal gel works best at three doses a day, study finds - October 4th, 2015
- Testosterone: The Test | Testosterone Test: Total ... - October 1st, 2015
- Testosterone: A Major Breakthrough for Menopausal Women - October 1st, 2015
- Testosterone (film) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - October 1st, 2015
- Low Testosterone Treatment, Low T - AXIRON (testosterone ... - September 16th, 2015
- What Is Testosterone AndroGel - September 16th, 2015
- Testosterone Articles! - Bodybuilding.com - September 1st, 2015
- High and Low Testosterone Levels in Men MedicineNet - September 1st, 2015
- Nugenix Testosterone Booster NUGENIX GNC - September 1st, 2015
- Testosterone Transdermal Patch: MedlinePlus Drug Information - September 1st, 2015
- Testosterone Booster - Scientific Review on Usage, Dosage ... - September 1st, 2015
- You & Your Hormones | Hormones | Testosterone - September 1st, 2015
- Health portal - August 3rd, 2015
- Normal Testosterone Levels - Urology - MedHelp - July 26th, 2015
- Tribulus Terrestris Review Does It Raise Testosterone or ... - July 18th, 2015
- Lack of Energy May Mean Lack of Testosterone - DrAxe.com - July 18th, 2015
- How to Increase Testosterone Naturally: PaleoEdge - July 15th, 2015
- How to Deal with Testosterone Decline - Mercola.com - July 8th, 2015
- Testosterone Cypionate Watson :: Buy Testosterone ... - July 4th, 2015
- What Traders’ Testosterone Tells Us About Markets - June 11th, 2015
- Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) in Men - A Testosterone ... - May 26th, 2015
- Bio-Identical HRT and Testosterone Therapy in Women ... - May 24th, 2015