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There are three primary ways in which steroid users take anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS), namely: 1) orally - ingested by mouth, digested and metabolized like food; 2) injected - shot into the body (directly into muscle tissue, i.e. intramuscularly) with a hypodermic needle like many other medications and; 3) transdermally - absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream, again like certain forms of medication used in birth control, pain control, craving control, etc. These primary forms of AAS delivery generally include taking more than one steroid compound at a time, commonly referred to as stacking, and are often administered within very a controlled process known as cycling. This section will: expand on the methods of delivery, providing greater detail and clarity; discuss the pros and cons of each delivery method; explain what stacking is and why its used; define cycling and its importance and; provide in concert (stacking & cycling) examples of popularly stacked anabolic steroid cycles. The following is a small informational component of a larger educational website designed to raise awareness. More specifically, it is NOT intended to help readers learn how to take AAS, but rather to equip them with the truth about the WHATs, HOWs & WHYs behind the taking of anabolic steroids.

Dianabol Steroid users generally take oral steroids in pill form, among the more popular orals are Dianabol, b.k.a. Dbol (typically taken for quick size and strength), Ozandrolone, b.k.a. Anavar (an all-around compound that provides some of everything including weight gain, definition, vascularity, strength and enhanced recovery), and Stanazolol, b.k.a. Winstrol (primarily a finishing hormone that promotes definition, hardness/density and vascularity). There are several pros, or positive benefits to taking orals that make them very attractive to the novice, for example their pill form makes them especially convenient in a vitamin-like manner. There are no injections (often a fear of the novice), and theres no need for additional equipment or risk of infection. This form also lends itself well to disguise, as many users make a practice of putting them into other/prescribed medicine bottles for inconspicuous home storage and travel purposes. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, they are fast-acting providing rapid results which also degrade (leave the bodys system quickly) an important benefit for competitors and others who might be tested for steroidal substances.

winstrol Although orals are often taken singularly, in duos and sometimes even trios by beginners, this practice is frowned upon by the steroid community as established users rarely practice oral - only curanol usage. More experienced steroid users elect to supplementally stack (combine) orals with much higher doses of injectable AAS. Veteran users take orals because of their fast-acting and cycle impacting properties. They often administer them at the beginning of a cycle to jumpstart anabolic actions, while waiting for their injectables to kick-in. They also employ them near the end of cycles to change effects, increase overall cycle value, and to extend cycle length right up until the time of termination (more on this later). Depending on the cycle goal and the harshness of the compound, rare milder orals like Anavar and Primobolan can be, and are traditionally run throughout the full course of an injectable steroid cycle.

However, orals do possess cons or negative qualities as well. Generally speaking, they have short half-lives (the time it takes for one half of a drug to evacuate the body via absorption, degradation and elimination). Since their effects are so short lived, they require multiple dosing (doses taken more than once) during the day for optimal benefit. By taking multiple doses, the user anavar maintains his blood serum levels, which is to say he keeps the hormone active within his body for longer periods of time. All foods, supplements and medications that are ingested (taken by mouth); make two passes through the liver which is the bodys primary filter. The first liver pass severely weakens unprotected drugs/medications/hormones and renders them virtually inactive. Consequently, most oral AAS are 17-alpha alkylated (17-aa) meaning the steroid has been given the necessary protection to survive the first pass through the liver permitting it to continue into the bloodstream and begin its activity. A steroids unique chemical composition along with the 17-aa alteration necessarily makes the compound more hepatotoxic, or liver toxic (some more so than others) which has a host of temporarily negative affects on the liver, and serves as yet another reason experienced users restrict administration of orals. Primobolan has a rather unusual structure that naturally both resists liver breakdown making the 17-aa alteration unnecessary, and maintains a very low hepatotoxicity. Some orals like Primobolan and Winstrol possess the very rare quality of being available in both oral and injectable versions. Lastly, there are a couple of orals that although still used, have fallen out of mainstream favor because of their very high hepatotoxicity such as the DHT Anadrol 50, and Andriol (testosterone with the undecanoate ester attached).

 Injectable Steroids

injectable sterois Steroid users also inject AAS directly into muscle tissue where they are diffused (spread and absorbed) via capillaries directly into the bloodstream. This is the most common way AAS are taken, and as with orals they too possess pros and cons. Unlike orals, injectable steroids avoid the first pass through the liver making them substantially less hepatotoxic. Once in the bloodstream these hormones are carried straight to the appropriate receptor sites to begin immediately impacting the body. Most injectables are esterified (converted into chemical compounds formed by the bonding of an alcohol and one or more organic acids, with the loss of one water molecule per ester group formed). That mouthful of information simply means that the actions of injectable steroids can be controlled (sped up or slowed down) based on the users needs. For example, in the case of testosterone esterification permits users of longer esters (those that take longer to build up, but last longer in the body) like Cypionate and Enanthate to inject only once weekly, or twice for more even blood serum levels. Conversely, users of shorter esters (those that quickly build up to high serum levels, but are active for shorter periods within the body) like Propinate often inject every other day, or daily for more even serum levels. Obviously injectables require a certain amount of knowledge regarding how and where to shoot (inject), but they also require the necessary equipment, an understanding of sanitation, privacy for usage, safe equipment disposal, etc.

Injectable s teroids are ONLY intended for intramuscular, also called IM injections. This means that the needle has to go through the skin as well as the fat and tissue layers beneath it, then on into the muscle itself. Users have favorite injection muscle groups which include the buttocks, the outer quadriceps/thighs, and the lateral (top outside) surface of the hips. Other less popular muscle groups are often injected by experienced steroid users who require more frequent shots, and include the deltoids (shoulders), calves, pectorals (chest/breast muscle area), lats ( latissimus dorsi muscle), biceps and triceps.

Transdermal Steroids
The least used recreational method for taking AAS is transdermal delivery. The compound terms 'trans' meaning to move (in this case move or pass through), and 'dermal' meaning skin combine to refer to a steroid cream, gel or patch source that literally passes through the skin and directly into the bloodstream. For over 50 years, testosterone therapy has been used for the treatment of hypogonadism (a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough testosterone) for which Androgel (the gel testosterone preparation) & Androderm (the patch testosterone preparation) have been the favorite medications. In recent years transdermal delivery was adopted as a supplemental AAS user method. Self-sticking testosterone patches, and rub-on gels or creams can be applied anywhere on the body to get the same delivery effect.

Experimental examination of transdermal testosterone preparations reveal that the plasma concentration (amount of steroids in the blood) increased rapidly, and reach peak levels within 3-6 hours of the experimental patch's application. This speed is comparable to some of the better oral products which require only swallowing a pill as opposed to having patch stuck on the body for a day. Technically speaking, one could expect all of the above mentioned benefits of injectable testosterone from the transdermals if the milligram doses were the same, but they are not. The patch form Androderm both contains and provides 12.2mgs of testosterone (so the AAS users body would be littered with patches), whereas the gel form Androgel only provides10% of the total drug contained in the preparation... thus one hundred mgs of testosterone in the gel form, would yield a 10mg absorption amount in the body. Since transdermal delivery is far less efficient than the two methods discussed above it is rarely (and even then only supplementally) used by the recreational steroid taker. Similar to orals, this method is generally sought out by inexperienced users who are fleeing the injection method. It should also be noted that although the novice user almost invariably begins with orals or transdermals, once they experience the results of AAS, the vast majority is curiously driven past needle phobias and on into injectable steroid usage.

Stacking and Cycling

When two or more AAS are used at the same time, it is called stacking. Anyone who has ever made a sandwich, gone to a buffet, or mixed sodas at a Do-It-Yourself soda fountain is already familiar with the concept of stacking. Its the principle by which one determines what ingredients will go into the sandwich, which items to take from the buffet, and what flavors make up a soft drink. By combining these ingredients, foods and flavors, a very specific and customized result is achieved.

Just as each of the above affects the desired taste and dietary preferences, each compound within a stack affects the users desired result. Athletes stack AAS to produce a synergistic (combined) effect that helps to maximize the results of the steroids used. AAS are divided into three different families or groups of hormones (chemical messengers that signal actions or changes within the body) namely, Dihydrotestosterone ( DHT), 19 -Nortestosterone (19-Nors), and Testosterone (Test). Each of these families possesses a very distinct but variable (depending on the exact compound) set of properties regarding the type of changes that will be signaled to occur. It is the users job to thoroughly research and consider both the positive and negative effects related to these hormonal agents. Some positive properties include enhanced size, strength, endurance and recovery whereas some of the negative occurring effects can be acne, bloating, Gynecomastia (gyno), moodiness, erectile dysfunction, etc. After evaluating the steroid families and gaining a firm understanding of their properties the user can tailor an AAS stack with the same accuracy as a sandwich, buffet plate or soft drink. For example, a Test-based injectable steroid stacks well with the DHT Dianabol and the 19-Nor Deca-Durabolin (Deca) to produce a fast-acting, muscle gaining, strength promoting stack.

However, it is also very important for the steroid user to understand the doses, frequencies, and durations these hormones should be run at and for - a procedure commonly known as steroid cycling. This is the point at which the determination is made as to how much of a hormone will be used, i.e. dosages. Likewise, the cycle components must be fine tuned requiring decisions on how long each will be run/used and when certain compounds will be introduced and phased out i.e. duration, as well as how often each will be taken during the cycle i.e. frequency. Essentially AAS are cycled for two reasons. Firstly, the body can only grow for a limited and distinct period of time without experiencing a growth-free phase, similar to the growth spurts of childhood. Thus the steroid user spends on-cycle time growing, followed by off-cycle time. Secondly, steroids are synthetic male sex hormones, which depending on type, dosage, and duration suppress or completely oppress (shut down) the endocrine systems natural testosterone production. Since this suppression and/or oppression is not a good long-term change, the user must cycle off in order to restore his systems normal functioning and output.

As alluded to above, one very important thing to acknowledge when using AAS (whether taking one hormone, stacking or cycling) is the risk of harmful side effects. Within a steroid cycle, the users will often stack other non-anabolic hormones into their program to maximize specific cycle objectives for example: the addition of drugs like Clenbuterol and/or Cytomel/T3 augment cutting/definition cycles; others called aromatase inhibitors (estrogen reducing drugs) like Letrozole b.k.a. Letro and Anastrozole b.k.a Arimidex are often included to inhibit the conversion of excess testosterone to negatively cycle impacting estrogen and; incorporating post-cycle therapy (PCT) drugs such as the synthetic estrogens Tamoxifen b.k.a. Nolvadex, or Clomiphene Citrate b.k.a. Clomid (which act as anti-estrogens in the male body), can be used alone, together, or in conjunction with those like Mesterolone b.k.a. Proviron and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) during PCT to bridge the gap between the end of a steroid cycle (synthetic testosterone usage) and the restoration of the bodys natural testosterone production. These drugs too must be researched, and controlled in similar fashion to AAS. Thus, steroid cycles can be as simple or complex as the users individualized goals, cycle histories and levels of understanding. Below are three samples of AAS stacked cycles of varying complexity along with a beginning PCT sample, and an explanation of goal intention & rationale for the selected compounds, dosages & durations. These illustrations and commentaries will provide a better understanding of what stacking and cycling are along with the many nuances they require.

Sample 1 is an extremely popular and very simple first/novice steroid cycle. These particular versions of testosterone feature the slower more sustained esters (discussed earlier) which require fewer injections, while still promoting substantial strength and muscle mass increases. It is generally recommended that a novice begin with a Test-only cycle, but Dbol is often added in the first or second cycle for its fast-acting effects which jump-start this cycle to deliver instant gratification until the latent testosterone effects kick in somewhere between weeks 4 & 6. Note that Dbol is only run for four weeks because of its harsh impact on the liver, as discussed earlier in the Oral Steroids section.

Sample 1 Beginning Cycle

Week

Testosterone (Cypionate or Enanthate)

(optional)  Dianabol

1

500 mgs/w

20 mgs/d

2

500 mgs/w

20 mgs/d

3

500 mgs/w

20 mgs/d

4

500 mgs/w

20 mgs/d

5

500 mgs/w

 

6

500 mgs/w

 

7

500 mgs/w

 

8

500 mgs/w

 

9

500 mgs/w

 

10

500 mgs/w

 

11

500 mgs/w

 

12

500 mgs/w

 

d=day   w=week

 

 

Sample 2 is an extremely popular steroid combination that employs one member from each steroid family, a practice that eliminates redundancies in both positive and negative effects. The Test/Deca/Dbol stack is proven to be very effective for the rapid build-up of strength and muscle mass. In order to reduce increased estrogen levels and excessive water retention (negative side effects due to the aromatization of testosterone to estrogen) the mild aromatase inhibiting (AI) drug Anastrozole b.k.a. Arimidex is a sensible addition which can be added to novice cycles should estrogen-related problems occur.

 

Sample 2 Intermediate Cycle

Week

Testosterone
(Cypionate or Enanthate)

Deca-Durabolin
(Nandrolone Decanoate)

Dianabol
(Methandrostenolone)

Arimidex
(Anastrozole)

1

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

25-50 mgs/d

0.5 mgs/d

2

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

25-50 mgs/d

0.5 mgs/d

3

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

25-50 mgs/d

0.5 mgs/d

4

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

25-50 mgs/d

0.5 mgs/d

5

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

6

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

7

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

8

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

9

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

10

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

11

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

12

500 mgs/w

500 mgs/w

 

0.5 mgs/d

d=day   w=week

If necessary

 

Sample 3 is another extremely popular steroid combination. Since the advanced AAS user must consider the properties of his stack, as mentioned, he needs to know which compounds and ancillary drugs do what. Taking a closer look at the Testosterone component of this cycle, the Propionate (short ester) is used to promote both faster results and less water retention for cutting/definition purposes. The next drug in this cycle is Trenbolone Acetate (Tren) - a very anabolic and very androgenic 19-Nor derivative. In conjunction with a good bodybuilding diet results on this compound are seen almost daily. Although it initially hinders cardio workout capacity (a short-lived symptom), it simultaneously increases aggressiveness for a strong gym workout. Its also a progestin and can therefore cause sexual dysfunction which is another great reason to stack it with testosterone (a natural erectile and libido enhancer) in this cycle. Tren binds very strongly to the anabolic receptor which contributes to its reputation as a fat burning steroid. The final anabolic steroid that makes up this cycle is Masteron, which is a highly androgenic injectable steroid that is derived from DHT and again produces representation from all three steroid families. Masteron does not aromatize (convert) to estrogen and will in fact help combat estrogenic side effects which will aid in ridding the body of water. Since its DHT derived, many users find that it also helps stabilize mood during cutting cycles with more stringent dieting requirements. To cap off the reasoning for including Masteron, it has a receptor binding ability well above that of both Test and Tren which generates a nice fat-burning effect and also gives it a good strength building component. Notice the included kickstart to this cycle, before the switch over to Masteron is Anavar at 50mgs/day which is optimum when combined with these other compounds. As mentioned earlier, the use of an oral at the beginning provides immediate results (but here it just contributes to the already fast-acting short esters of Test & Tren), and the slight overlap (after the initial results from the Anavar begin to plateau) runs smoothly into Masteron usage. Those partial to Winstrol might add it as a substitution for the Anavar at the same dosage, depending on preference. In fact, since Winstrol binds very poorly to the androgen receptor, it may even provide some additional synergy with the Tren, which binds very strongly. The beauty of an advanced cycle is its flexibility, but the flip side of that is the need for greater understanding both of the users response to certain compounds and of how they are best stacked. Lastly, examination this cycle reveals that only one of the compounds being used (the testosterone) will be able to aromatize into estrogen. So, in this case, the Arimidex is being included just to help reduce some of the excess estrogen thereby providing a dryer on cycle appearance. If the user seeks further definition, is trying to get as ripped and dry as possible, then diet is going to have to be as clean as possible, and he might consider substituting a stronger AI like Letrozole for Arimidex during the last 4-6 weeks. These caveats (little rules and guidelines that govern changes) all serve to exhibit the level of understanding one must have during advanced steroid cycling.

Sample 3 Advanced Cycle

Week

Testosterone
(Propionate)

Trenbolone Acetate
(Nandrolone Decanoate)

Masteron
(Drostanolone Propionate)

Anavar
(Oxandrolone)

Arimidex

1

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

 

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

2

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

 

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

3

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

 

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

4

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

 

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

5

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

 

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

6

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

50mgs/d

.5mgs/d

7

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

8

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

9

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

10

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

11

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

12

100mgs/EOD

100mgs/EOD

75mgs/EOD

 

.5mgs/d

d=day EOD=Every Other Day

If necessary

 

 

Sample 4 illustrates the use of PCT. Either of the two primary anti-estrogens can be stacked onto end of cycles to serve as the PCT. The amounts and durations of these drugs are dependent upon the type of cycle that was run (beginning, intermediate or advanced). Nevertheless, the PCT regimen begins after the actions of the longest active steroid clears the body. This could be as early as the next day for rapid clearing orals, or as late as two weeks after the final injection of a long ester containing steroid. Here is what the standard PCT for a beginning cycle would look like:

Sample 4 PCT

Clomid/Nolva (One or the Other)

 

Week

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

1

300 mg

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

2

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

100 mg

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

3

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

50 mg

REFERENCES

IronmanMagazine.com, Anabolic Steroids

http://www.ironmagazine.com/anabolic_steroids.php

Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse, Steroids

http://www.gdcada.org/statistics/steroids.htm

Kryger, Abraham MD, DMD, Anabolic Steroids

Wellness MD Monterey Prevention Wellness Clinic

http://www.wellnessmd.com/anabolics.html

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Why do people abuse anabolic steroids? September 2006

http://www.nida.nih.gov/researchreports/steroids/anabolicsteroids3.html#how

Parris, Lisa eHow.Com, How to Take Testosterone Enanthate

http://www.ehow.com/how_5039160_testosterone-enanthate.html?ref=fuel&utm_source=yahoo&utm_medium=ssp&utm_campaign=yssp_art

SteroidsToday.Com, How to Use Anabolic Steroids, February 2009

http://www.steroidstoday.com/steroids/how-to-use-anabolic-steroids/


Source: http://www.steroids.org/How-Anabolic-Steroids-Are-Taken.php


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