Using Testosterone for Muscle Gains

written by Growth Factor

If you were to give a survey to steroid users, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that testosterone would rank as #1 on almost everyone's list. It is by far one of the most effective tools in achieving maximum muscle and strength gains in the shortest time possible. Proper testosterone usage will blast you past your natural limitations. But in all its greatness, testosterone does have some serious side effects. These side effects are avoidable!

There are so many myths about testosterone that it has taken me over 2 months to start writing this article. Every time I think of starting, I get so frustrated at the media-induced paranoia against steroids. I just kept pushing it off. But I have finally decided that it is well worth my time to educate the open-minded people out there. As for the ignorant ones, I couldn't care less what they have to say!

Before I even begin, I'd like to address what I believe to be two of the most annoying myths about steroids:

The first myth is that testosterone supplementation leads to steroid-induced bouts of rage, better known as "roid-rage." I do not know how this rumor surfaced. I believe that it may have to do with football players, who were taught that violence is good, losing control. Testosterone has an effect on endorphin levels. EVERYONE I know that has used testosterone says that it brings about a general feeling of wellbeing. I can attest to this personally. There is no such thing as "roid-rage." It is a myth! If there is an asshole inside you, sure testosterone may bring it out even more. But it does not turn otherwise normal people into raging psychopaths.

The second myth I would like to address is the one that states "Steroids shrink your dick." Is this a joke? I would think so if it were not for the many people I have heard say this in seriousness. How could steroids possibly shrink your penis? I can not even imagine a possible way that testosterone supplementation would bring about penile shrinkage. This rumor was probably started over a misunderstanding. Testosterone usage will cause testicular shrinkage. But this is so easily avoidable that it should never happen to anyone with half a brain cell. I will discuss prevention of testicular shutdown in further detail later in this article.

Proper testosterone usage can yield amazing results. In a 3 month period, a first time steroid user can expect to gain 30-50 pounds. Once steroid usage has ceased, he may lose 10-15 pounds of water-weight, but should retain all the muscle gain. The rumor that all gains made on steroids will go away once you stop using it is utterly false! If you choose to allow you testicles to shutdown and stop testosterone supplementation without a taper, sure you'll lose a lot of the gains. But the fact remains, if you are properly educated in the use of testosterone, you should be able to gain a lot of muscle with minimal to almost non-existent side effects and keep most of those gains.

The first step in assessing whether or not testosterone is the steroid for you is taking a look at your goals. If your goal is maximum fat-loss with no interest in muscle gain, then testosterone is not for you. I will address the proper steroids for such a cycle in another article. Now if your goal is to gain as much muscle and strength as possible, then testosterone is for you.

After you have decided that you would like to supplement testosterone, the next step is choosing which form of testosterone you'd like to use. Testosterone is almost never found in pure form. Most of the time, some ester or another has been added to it. The purpose is to avoid a sudden rush of testosterone in your system. Esters will let the testosterone get absorbed in a time-released manner.

There are many forms of testosterone to choose from. Testosterone Propionate will hit your system in 2-3 days. Testosterone Suspension (which has no ester) will hit your system in 1 day. Testosterone Enanthate will take about 10 days. Sustanon (a blend of 4 different testosterones) will remain active in your system for periods of up to 4 weeks. The general rule is the faster acting a testosterone is, the more side effects you will experience from its use. So the goal is to find a testosterone that doesn't hit your system so fast that most of it is rapidly converted to estrogen and DHT while at the same time choosing a testosterone that is not so long acting that it will be hard to control. I suggest Testosterone Enanthate. It is my personal favorite.

The next step is to find a reliable brand of testosterone. There are many brands out there. Since it is impossible to test all brands and their subsequent batches, we have to go by personal experiences. One of the most unreliable brand names of testosterone is T200. Both Tornel and Brovel Labs in Mexico make T200. The Brovel version seems to be even worse that the Tornel. Users of T200 usually experience greater amounts of acne and balding. It has also been rumored that T200 has other additives such as estradiol and DHT. T200 is also grossly underdosed and a very "dirty" (bacteria and foreign substance wise) brand! One person I know even found a pubic hair in his Brovel T200 vial!!! Whenever you hear someone saying that he needs at least 1000 mg of testosterone to see good results, chances are he is on T200. 1000mg of T200 is probably only 500mg of testosterone enanthate! The most potent brands of testosterone out there are the Pakistani Sustanons and the Australian testosterone enanthate bladders. I suggest you use the Australian testosterone bladders by far, my favorite brand.

Next, you'll have to decide what type of doses you are going to be taking. For a beginner using a good quality testosterone, I suggest 500mg a week. Here is what a good beginner cycle's base looks like:

Weeks 1 to 10: 500mg testosterone enanthate per week
Week 11: 300mg testosterone enanthate
Week 12: 200mg testosterone enanthate

Now if that were all you would be doing, you most certainly will experience some side effects. Side effects usually are a result of the two paths testosterone can take once it hits your system.

The first path testosterone could take would be if 5alpha reductase turns it into DHT. Even though DHT has some beneficial effects on muscle gain, it is highly androgenic. DHT is the main cause of steroid's two biggest side effects: balding and enlargement of the prostate (i.e.- prostate hyperplasia). You know enough about balding, so I won't explain why you don't want it. Basically, DHT binds to the hair follicle in your head. It causes an inflammation that in turn starves your hair of oxygen. Thus, your hair dies. Having an enlarged prostate is definitely something you want to avoid. The frequent need to urinate aside, DHT has been shown to dramatically increase your chances of getting prostate cancer. So how do you avoid this? Take finasteride. Finasteride (also known by the brand names of Proscar and Propecia) has been shown to inhibit 5alpha reductase from converting testosterone to DHT. Research has shown it to be highly effective in treating and preventing baldness and prostate enlargement. I suggest you use the brand name Fincar. Fincar is made in India. Even though it contains the exact same chemical as Proscar (5mg of finasteride), its cost is significantly less than that of Proscar. I suggest using 1 to 1.25 mg of finasteride a day for every 500mg of testosterone you use. If you have a 5mg tablet, that means using one quarter tablet a day. Prolonged use has shown no adverse side effects in most subjects. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

I also suggest using Nizoral shampoo. Research has shown that it may prevent balding. For the $20/bottle cost, it is well worth it to use Nizoral shampoo. It also causes no noted negative side effects except a possible dryness of the hair. (11)

The next path that testosterone could take would be if it aromatizes into estrogen. Estrogen can cause the development of gynocomastia (also known as gyno). Gynocomastia is an often seen steroid side effect. It is the irreversible development of breasts in a male subject. Although it is harmless in nature, and very small, it often causes an immense amount of mental anguish in the subject. Estrogen also causes increased water retention, bloat, and an increased rate of fat gain. Getting rid of estrogen is very easy. I suggest the use of an anti-aromatase (i.e.- a substance that prevents testosterone from being converted into estrogen). Arimidex is number one on my list of anti-aromatases. Arimidex is the brand name for anastrozole. It comes in 1mg tablets. I suggest using one-eighth to one quarter of a mg of anastrozole per day per 500mg of testosterone that you use. That equates to using a quarter of a tablet every other day or every day. Anastrozole has been shown in countless research to cut down estrogen production by up to 90%. Prolonged use has been shown to be extremely safe. (11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20)

Another side effect of testosterone supplementation is testicular shutdown. The body senses all of the excess testosterone in your system and decides to stop producing its own. This causes your testicles to shrink and your sperm count to decrease significantly. The use of clomiphine citrate (more commonly known as clomid) can prevent this from happening. Clomid stimulates your body to keep producing its own testosterone. That way, testicular shutdown never comes about. Even though testicular shutdown is completely reversible once steroid use has ceased, it is a good idea to prevent it from ever happening. Once you stop using steroids, your body will start producing its own testosterone again. But this can take up to a month to happen. During that month, you will have significantly reduced amounts of testosterone in you system. Thus, you will most likely lose much of your gains once you stop using testosterone. To prevent testicular shutdown, I suggest using clomiphine citrate (AKA Clomid). I recommend 25mg of clomid per day per 500mg of testosterone you use. Since clomid most often comes in 50mg tablets, that would equate to one tablet every other day. If you are using 1000mg of testosterone, that equates to 1 tablet a day. Clomid has been shown extremely safe in many laboratory tests and medical research. (21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32)

Another side effect of testosterone supplementation is an increase in your cholesterol levels. That is why I suggest you follow a low-cholesterol diet when on testosterone. Most of the time you hear about someone having a heart attack because of steroid use, it is most likely due to the fact that the person refused to give up a high cholesterol diet when on steroids. I also suggest getting your blood work done on your first cycle. Personally, my cholesterol level went up from 170 to 200 when on a cycle. I did not stop eating junk food. In fact, I ate a lot more junk food. So personally, testosterone does not affect my cholesterol levels all that much. But you have to find out if it affects you for yourself. If it does, no big deal , just fix up your diet a little.

Testosterone supplementation also has an effect on your sebaceous glands. Your sebaceous glands are located in your skin. Their main responsibility is to produce oil. Testosterone enlarges this gland and cause the production of excess body oil. This in turn leads to acne, which can occur on your back and chest. If you experience this side effect, it is very easy to reverse. Taking 2 showers a day is your first step. Next, tan once or twice a week. If it is summer, go to the beach and swim in the ocean every so often. If it is winter, take a bath using 2 cups of Epson salt and .5 to 1 cup of chlorine bleach every so often.

So here is what a complete beginner's steroid cycle would look like (I've included legal supplements I suggest taking):

Weeks 1-10:
*500mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Fincar per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of clomid every other day (50mg)
*320mg of standardized Saw Palmetto Extract per day

Week 11:
*300mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Fincar per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of clomid every other day (50mg)
*320mg of standardized Saw Palmetto Extract per day

Week 12:
*200mg testosterone per week
*1 quarter tablet of Fincar per day (1.25mg)
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every other day (0.25mg)
*1 tablet of clomid every day (50mg)
*320mg of standardized Saw Palmetto Extract per day

Week 13:
*1.25mg of finasteride per day
*.25mg of Arimidex every other day
*100mg of clomid every day

Week 14:
*1 quarter tablet of Arimidex every 3rd day (0.25mg)
*50mg of clomid every day

People often get confused about training and dieting while on testosterone. First, to facilitate all the extra muscle building, it is strongly suggested that you increase daily caloric intake by around 2000 calories. Increase protein intake to 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per pound of lean bodyweight. Training should remain relatively unchanged. You may increase sets per body part by 2 additional sets per week. Sleep is another important factor. Get at least 8 hours a night; and that is bare minimum.

If you train, eat, and sleep right, you should expect to gain anywhere from 20-40 pounds off this cycle. About 5-10 pounds will be water, so don't be alarmed when you start losing the water at the end of your cycle. You will retain the muscle. I'd say water gain would make up approximately 10% of you overall weight gain. If you choose not to use an anti-aromatase, expect much more water gain, which will in turn cause greater overall weight gain.

If you have any more questions, feel free to email me at any time. Almost forgot, take as much time off between cycles as you are on. In other words, if you do a 12 weeks cycle (12 weeks of actual testosterone), then you should take 12 weeks off before your next cycle.


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