Common Sense Cycling

Common Sense Cycling

Many bodybuilders, especially the ones that would like to start using anabolic androgenic steroids, ask themselves which steroids are the best for their purposes. I’m running discussion forums for a long time. And I see the same questions over and over again. Luckily science helps us a bit. Steroids where studied in the time of HIV and later for HRT (hormone Replacement Therapy) and male anti-conception.

Most authorities are developing a broader view and just accept that many young people use a lot of drugs. Recreative drugs but also drugs to improve their looks. They grew up in a society that accepted plastic surgery, fake boobs, “speed” – “crystal-meth” – XTC and especially marihuana, as normal. Authorities discovered that just banning it, clogged the justice system and prisons. And it is just useless. Social media shows what’s going on on the other side of the world. And ordering illegal substances is just a mouse-click away. That’s why now they opt for information and research, esp. in the Baltic countries and central Europe.


What does science tells us? One of the most interesting studies was the one that was performed on humans. Thus there was no need to question if these results were valid in humans, since most research is done on rodents or monkeys.

Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Nandrolone Esters in Oil Vehicle: Effects of Ester, Injection Site and Injection Volume. Minto et all, JPET 281:93–102, 1997

Volume and Concentration

Steroids come in all shapes and sizes. In other words, you can find nandrolone (or Testosterone or boldenone) esters in 25 mg/ml, 50 mg/ml, 100 mg/ml, 200 mg/ml and so forth. Is a 400 mg injection using two milliliters of a 200 mg/ml oily solution the same as using four milliliters of a 100 mg/ml solution? After all, the net amount is still 400 mg, right? Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

Steroid concentration in the solution greatly affects the dynamics and kinetics. In this study, some of the men received a 100 mg/ml injection of nandrolone decanoate and other men received a 100 mg injection using a 25 mg/ml solution (which means they received four milliliters, of course). Those that received the 100 mg/ml injection reached significantly higher (between 30% and 50%) plasma levels of nandrolone than those who got 100 mg via the 25 mg/ml solution. To top it off, the 100 mg/ml group’s plasma nandrolone level

stayed elevated for a little bit longer; however, the length of suppression of endogenous Testosterone was almost identical.

What does this tell us? It tells us that if we want to maximize plasma levels of hormone (and thereby, maximize gains in lean muscle) we want to opt for the most concentrated version of whatever steroid(s) we decide we’re going to use. If we?re using Testosterone, we surely want to use a 200mg/ml enanthate over something like 100mg enanthate. If we’re using nandrolone, we want to use 300mg/ml stuff over 50mg/ml or 100mg/ml nandrolone decanoate made by others.

Most of the regular readers know that I advise UG Labs. Because of this research I advised Hard Core Labs to create T 500. It was made for their first clients, the strongman and powerlifters from Iceland and other Scandinavian countries. They were very experienced big, strong, muscular guys, that competed for years. You cannot extrapolate their needs and usage to a newbie.

Still many fresh starting bodybuilders/strongman decide to use T-500. Just read the forums many find out that it is too strong for their virgin muscles.

This the same if a 15 year old decides to try drinking alcohol. He isn’t smart if he starts with a bottle of whiskey, is he? Actually such a strong dose is mostly only tolerated by advanced users. Your body develops a tolerance, just as with many compounds, coffee, alcohol, ephedrine, clenbuterol, etc. . For those that don’t tolerate T-500, I created a milder compound for Hard Core Labs called SuperTest 300 mg/ml.

Concentration and injection site

The researchers did an experiment with 23 healthy, non-obese men aged between 18 and 40. They divided the men up into 4 groups and injected each group with a different nandrolone preparation. All preparations contained 100 mg nandrolone. Then the researchers measured the amount of nandrolone in the men’s blood each day for the next 32 days.

The first group were given an injection of 100 mg nandrolone phenylpropionate in their buttock. Nandrolone phenyl propionate used to be an ingredient in Organon’s Durabolin, and is now found in UG preparations. Phenylpropionate is an ester that does not remain in the blood as long as Decanoate. The 100 mg was in an ampoule of 4ml Arachis oil. The second group got the same kind of injection, but containing nandrolone decanoate, the steroid in Deca-Durabolin. The third group also got an injection containing 100 mg nandrolone decanoate in the buttocks, but this time the nandrolone was concentrated in 1 ml Arachis oil. And finally, the fourth group were injected with 100 mg nandrolone decanoate, dissolved in 1 ml Arachis oil, in the shoulder muscle.

Nandrolone phenylpropionate gives a rapid peak in the blood, but the peak subsides after 4-5 days. Nandrolone decanoate doesn’t cause a peak, but remains present for much longer in the blood. More nandrolone enters the blood if you inject it in a more concentrated form: 1 ml instead of 4 ml.

Injecting into the buttocks results in more nandrolone in the blood than injecting into the shoulders. After nandrolone decanoate injection, the highest bioavailability and peak nandrolone levels were observed with the 1-ml gluteal injection. Thus, the bioavailability and physiological effects of a nandrolone ester in an oil vehicle are greatest when the ester is injected in a small (1 ml vs. 4 ml) volume and into the gluteal vs. deltoid muscle.

The researchers concluded that the side-chain ester and the injection site and volume influence the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of nandrolone esters in an oil vehicle in men.

In the table above the shaded part shows the total amount of nandrolone that shows up in the blood after four separate injections. Look at the ‘area under the curve’.


Other research and what almost every bodybuilder has experienced during one of his cycles is called Synergism, or 1 + 1 = 3.

On the graphic you see the pharmacokinetic profile of Schering Testoviron® Depot (110 mg testosterone enanthate and 25 mg testosterone propionate) in comparison to the pharmacokinetics of the individual testosterone esters in the mixture.

Because I was aware of the phenomenon and the above study. I advised to create a few synergistical mixtures.

One is the above pictured DuoDeca and the other one is SuperTest we discussed above also.

An old one is was AndroBolic, a base for every cycle, containing Nandrolone Decanoate 100 mg/ml and Testosterone Decanoate 100 mg/ml. About 10 years ago HCL decided to stop producing AndroBolic because of low sales. If I would advise on this product today I would probably advise to dose it on 300 mg/ml instead of 200 mg/ml.

Son of a PiP!

Some compounds are more aggressive on the tissue then others. And then especially on virgin muscles as I explained before. Shorter esters are much more notorious then the longer estrifications. For our book a physicist explained that the short chain of propionate and acetate resembled red ant poison and bee poison.

Just like the shorter estrifications you can find a wealth of complaints on the discussion forums about Testosterone Enanthate. Especially the guys that decided to inject their Test Enanthate in the quads.

From the JuicedMuscle forum: !

I juiced oil based Testosterone Enanthate and got mean case of pips the next day, I made the mistake of forgetting to warm the oil and didn’t massage too much =P (my fault). So is there anything I can do to speed up the recovery? it’s a bad case so I am thinking it will be sore for about 7 days but I got leg work in 3? Hot cold water?
Icy hot, stretching, making the leg more active, resting the leg?

I got a compression bandage on it right now because walking to the kitchen my leg almost buckled, it feels okay with the warmth of the bandage? but when I stand to walk I am all gimpy and my leg is stiff as a board. Also getting into the car, walking up stairs, sitting on the toilet is a task in itself and putting on socks? UGG….”

“..any advice on a fast recovery would be fantastic”. :)

“What gear specifically and how much?
Testosterone Enanthate cripples my thighs if I inject there. I switched to pinning ventro glute and glutes only. For me the pip is much less and much more tolerable. If it’s your first time injecting then you’re gonna get bad pip anywhere you pin the first couple of times. It’s part of the game unfortunately”.

It’s always smart to inject in your butt-cheeks. They tolerate shorter estrifications and Testosterone Enanthate which is also very harsh on the quads or shoulder. And in case of an infection ..a scar on the butt is no eyecatcher. Just look on google how much this happens with the shoulder. Also water based roids …butt-cheek..

On most people this is the biggest muscle which can hold bigger depots.. Plus you can’t inject between muscles. Most people that have PIP on Test E change to Test Cyp or the even better bearable Test Decanoate or Undecanoate.

I know a competing bodybuilder that only pins Test Decanoate, because he “feels” good on it. And he knows ..cause he pinned everything and a looot of it during his career.

Half life

An important consideration when planning a steroid cycle, in particular the timing of dosing to be administered, is the active half-life of the drug being employed. The half-life may be defined as the time (t) the level is half of the starting level of a given compound; at time 2t, the level is a quarter of the starting level, and at time 3t, the level is an eighth of the starting level, and so on.

This information is vital in the timing of the dosing when attempting to achieve a more stable blood concentration, which leads to greater overall results and maintenance of gains. Some fluctuations of concentration levels are acceptable, and are also mostly unavoidable, but should be kept to a minimum.

In the search for long-acting testosterone preparations suited for substitution therapy of hypogonadal men, testosterone undecanoate (TU) dissolved in either tea seed oil or castor oil was investigated.


* In study I, 1000 mg TU in tea seed oil (125 mg/ml) were injected in equal parts into the gluteal muscles of seven hypogonadal men.

* In study II, 1000mg TU in castor oil (250 mg/ml) were injected into one gluteal muscle of 14 patients.


In comparison with published data on testosterone enanthate, most widely used for i.m. injections, the kinetic profiles of both TU preparations showed extended half-lives and serum levels not exceeding the upper limit of normal. The TU-castor oil preparation had a longer half-life than TU in tea seed oil 34 vs 21 days, testosterone undecanoate in tea seed oil had a half-life of 21 days, testosterone undecanoate in castor oil had a half-life of 34 days. European Journal of Endocrinology 140 414–419

What does this mean for a bodybuilder. It means that there is difference between the solvents, carriers (oils) an Underground Lab uses. Thus it’s no nonsense that a compound from one labs yields better results than the same compound from another lab. Excluding the quality and potency of the raw powders (API’s).

The slower the ester , the more potent the steroid

Testosterone esters have a stronger anabolic effect because they are ‘ slower ‘ . This is the conclusion of German endocrinologists from experiments on monkeys. Their research was meant to study the possibilities of testosterone as a means of birth control for men.

The researchers did experiments with three different testosterone esters . Two of them are known in the doping world : the short-acting testosterone enanthate and long-acting testosterone undecanoate . The third compound was testosterone buciclate. Testostosterone buciclate is a long acting ester to which the World Health Organisation performs a lot of research .

Pharmaceutical companies are working on a contraceptive injection that men only need to inject once a month. The researchers wanted to know if there are no specific side-effects because of the long acting esters.

The researchers calculated in ‘ pure testosterone . Esters are compounds of fatty acids, and in the case of testosterone , thus compounds of testosterone with a fatty acid . The longer that fatty acid is , the slower the ester . And the longer a fatty acid, the heavier an ester . As a result, one hundred milligrams of testosterone decanoate ( slow ester) contains less testosterone , than one hundred milligrams of testosterone propionate ( short- ester) .

Athletes and coaches forget that sometimes, and conclude out of studies in which researchers compare different esters with each other , that short-acting esters are ‘violent ‘, and that nothing is ‘ stronger ‘ than testosterone itself . It is clear from these studies that testosterone levels, after an injection of some short-acting ester, are higher.

A calculation . The molecular weight of testosterone enanthate is 400.6 . The molecular weight of testosterone undecanoate is 456.7 . One hundred milligrams of testosterone enanthate thus contains 1.14 times more testosterone than one hundred milligrams of testosterone – undecanoate. But from the table, you can deduce that one hundred milligrams of testosterone undecanoate is at least 2.5 times as effective as hundred milligrams of testosterone enanthate . Short esters violent? No way .

Because the researchers in this study ensured that all the monkeys were given the same amount of “pure” testosterone , they could prove that the esterification does matter . Long slow esters work better . At least on monkeys.


Low dose of testosterone plus a couple of oxandrolone tabs just as effective as a megadose of testosterone

If you get men to train for 20 weeks and inject them with 600 mg testosterone enanthate, they’ll gain 8 kg extra fat free mass, according to some studies. But it’s possible to make the same gains with less, doctors at the University of California discovered. You can achieve almost the same results with a light course of oxandrolone and testosterone enanthate, and you only have to take them for 8 weeks.

In 1999 the researchers published the results of a trial in the prestigious JAMA. It was a reaction to studies in which researchers had given HIV-infected men heavy doses, such as 600 mg nandrolone decanoate per week. The HIV subjects also did weight training. The researchers don’t think high doses are necessary. So they decided to do a trial using 22 HIV patients, giving some 20 mg oxandrolone daily, and all a weekly 100 mg injection of testosterone enanthate. The course lasted 8 weeks.

The men did 1 hour of weight training 3 times a week. Under guidance from a trainer they did 6 basic exercises for the main upper body muscle groups and 3 exercises for the lower body. They used weights that were 80 percent of the weight at which they could just manage 1 rep [1RM].

Eleven of the men were given a weekly injection of 100 mg testosterone enanthate and took a placebo. The other eleven men were given 20 mg oxandrolone each day.

The figure shows that the oxandrolone group had gained almost 8 kg fat free mass after 8 weeks.

The men in the oxandrolone group also gained strength faster than the other men. The gain in maximal weight for the bench press and the leg press was 10 and 20 kg respectively for the placebo group. For the men in the oxandrolone group the figures were 20 and 30 kg.

The men in the oxandrolone group also lost a few ounces more fat than the men in the placebo group.

So it’s not necessary to do a 20-week course of 600 mg to gain 8 kg fat free mass, the researchers conclude. It’s possible to achieve the same results with lower doses.

But even the mild oxandrolone-testosterone course was not without side effects.

To summarise

  • Use a mixed compound, or mix compounds
  • Use a high dosed compound
  • Inject the glute (gluteus maximus)
  • Don’t use compounds that will give you PIP (post injection pain)
  • Add an oral steroid
  • Use a long estrificated compound


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