These are compounds called Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AAS). Don't be fooled into thinking that just because they are labeled as such, the compound is nothing less than that of an actual steroid. Some have speculated that they are separated into classes based upon their ability to bind or not to bind to androgen receptors. I on the other hand have found otherwise. William Llewellyn says "Such classification only, and upon reasonable investigation are clearly invalid." Just in case you are wondering what classifications these compounds may be speculated to fall under, I will define them according to that belief. "Pro-hormone," is a term thrown around in forums quite often and is misleading to the everyday workout enthusiast, bodybuilder, and teenager looking to gain muscle. This term gives individuals the ignorant "ok," based on its legality and label of being a pro-hormone and not steroid. When an individual succumbs to this way of thinking there can be dire consequences. This article is a compilation of my beliefs from research that are more than likely shared by many others. The purpose of my efforts in writing this is to inform and educate new users and those who might have some questions regarding pro-hormones. I hope everyone who reads this finds it of some use.
FIRST TIME USERS GUIDE
First time users (21 and older) of pro-hormones should not be tempted by the use of the more potent AAS. It's good to start out with a "mild" type of pro-hormone. By starting out with a mild compound, this allows individuals to get their feet wet in the world of AAS. Never stack two or more compounds on your first cycle as you are just getting started, and don't want to cause any unnecessary side-effect occurrences. I personally recommend H-Drol as the sides are very mild to nonexistent in most users. Although, some users may not experience any associated sides, this does not mean that you are in the clear. Users are still highly advised to plan for PCT and use a SERM, as you can still be shutdown. SERM is referred to as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, used to control estrogen. I will explain it's importance later on. Shutdown is the result of high amounts of exogenous hormones (testosterone) being administered, which results in your body hindering (to stop) the production of its own testosterone. This is commonly associated with testicular atrophy. Highly aromatizing androgens (or easily converted to estrogen) are going to cause this easier than non-aromatizing anabolics.
Cycles with methylated PHs should last no longer than 4-5 weeks at the recommended dosage. Limiting your cycle to this time period will relieve the stress being put on your liver from the methylated compounds. Temptation of running the pro-hormone past a period of 4-5 weeks should be avoided by new users, as gains are most likely to plateau around week 4.5. New users that continue to cycle past the suggested time frame should only expect side effects to heighten or become more exaggerated. Advanced users can quite possibly lengthen their methylated cycle to 6 weeks on certain compounds. This is not recommended for compounds with high toxicity risks such as Superdrol. None-methylated compounds can be cycled for 8-10 weeks without the risking liver toxicity.
o Novice users:
o Limit cycle length to 4-5 weeks.
o Take the recommended dosage.
o Advanced users can cycle up to 6 weeks.
Compounds without a methyl attachment are called non-methyls. These compounds are not as effective as methylated compounds on a milligram to milligram basis. However, these compounds are very effective when dosed at the correct amount and period of time. BOLD is a good example of non-methyl that will produce amazing gains without the risk of liver stress. BOLD's effectiveness should not be underestimated as individuals can experience the same side effects as methylated pro-hormones. Since there is a low to zero chance of liver toxicity from these compounds, cycle lengths can be ran to a period of 8 weeks. There have been some individuals who go over 8 weeks and into 10 weeks, but I believe this to be considerable among users who have experience with past cycles. New users or advanced users that want a liver friendly cycle will enjoy both steady strength and muscle gains that are comparable to four week methyl cycles if ran at the appropriate dose.
o EX: Non-Methylated Prohormones:
o - BOLD
o - Propadrol
o - Furazadrol
o - Tren, Trenaplex, Trenadrol
PCT (Post Cycle Therapy)
PCT is a used practice when coming off of a cycle of AAS (Anabolic Androgenic Steroids) to regain homeostasis of testosterone and estrogen and keep the gains of your cycle in tact. This will be the most important part of keeping gains made "on cycle." If performed improperly, you risk losing gained muscle/strength and libido (not good). A very common occurrence when PCT is neglected is the formation of breast tissue around the nipples, called "gynecomastia." The use of a SERM is the best choice for accomplishing the prevention of breast tissue in PCT. A SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) should be the foundation of your PCT. Never start a cycle before obtaining all the necessary components of your PCT, and never leave your SERM out of the equation. You don"t want to be without SERM when your cycle ends or you could run into some estrogen related sides. Adding a SERM to your PCT is the most important recovery tool that is neglected by many users and usually ends up with a bundle of problems that could have been solved with the use of a SERM. Users may want to add a Natural Testosterone booster into PCT to bring sex drive/libido up to par if need be. Cortisol Controllers are not an essential either, but many believe in their use for fighting the catabolic effects one would see in PCT. Creatine (in my belief) should be an essential part of ones PCT to keep muscle hydrated and strength levels high. Creatine is also a very useful anti-catabolic tool in PCT efforts. Dieting during PCT should be the same as "on cycle." With the newly acquired muscle there is a higher caloric intake that you must meet in order to retain new muscle mass. I cannot stress this fact enough to everyone; if you don't eat and diet properly then you will be more than likely to lose gains, fast!
Aromatase Inhibitors, inhibit/stop the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. The use of over the counter AIs (Aromatase Inhibitors) are sometimes used in place of a SERM for mild cycles or when one is unavailable. Although, some are very effective at eradicating estrogen, their use should not be used in PCT as the foundation for recovery. The use of O.T.C AI's is considered by most; inefficient at accomplishing the goal of PCT and is not recommended for fully recovering from a cycle. AI's can be used during cycle to prevent gynecomastia from aromatizing androgens such as testosterone and Dianabol. Individuals using Cycles in which a mild compound is involved such as H-Drol/halodrol, an O.T.C AI + natural testosterone booster could quite possibly accomplish the task of recovering from a mild PH cycle. Even though I say this, one should always have a SERM on hand while using O.T.C. products for recovery.
SERMs inhibit estrogen like actions in certain tissues of the body/ regulate estrogen to a manageable level in PCT. A SERM cannot and should not be a question when dealing with anything more than the suggested "mild" pro-hormones. Aromatase Inhibitors should only be used for the suggested "mild" PH's and never for compounds which are given a characteristic that is considered more than mild. Some will tell you that taking an O.T.C type PCT is ok, where an AI such as: "Novedex-XT," is the foundation for their Superdrol cycle. This is simply not true and is very misleading. To believe an individual will fully recover with a O.T.C product like Novedex-XT is ridiculous. Here are some general PCT plans for both mild and advanced compounds:
Sample PCT for mild PH cycle:
o AI (6-OXO/Formestane/ATD)
- Taper from max dosage week by week (4 weeks total)
o Natural Testosterone Booster (Blue-Up/Alpha Drive XL)
- Run throughout the beginning of PCT.
o Liver care (Anabolic Innovations: Cycle Support)
o **optional** Cortisol control ( SNS: Reduce-XT)
Sample PCT for Advanced PH cycle:
o SERM (Nolvadex)
- Natty Testosterone Booster
- Liver Care
- **optional** Cortisol Control
Liver Support (on cycle) and Options:
- Anabolic Innovations: Cycle Support
- Liver Longer
- **There are many more, but these seem to be the most popular.
Natural Testosterone Support Options:
- Anabolic Innovations: Post Cycle Support
- Universal Animal Stak
- Leviathan Reloaded