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heavyiron
01-04-2010, 06:36 PM
By Leigh Penman

Testosterone Cypionate is a testosterone which has undergone 17 beta-estrification. Due to the length of its ester (8 carbons) it is stored mostly in adipose (fat) tissue upon intra-muscular injection from where it is released at a slow and steady rate. It peaks at 24-48 hours and then exhibits a slow and steady release over the course of 12 days. Although the compound stays in your system for up to three weeks, most athletes choose to inject it on a weekly basis.

Testosterone itself is a highly anabolic and androgenic hormone (rating 100 on each index). Its primary mode of action is to increase nitrogen retention in the muscle. It is also known to increase levels of growth factor IGF-1 in both muscle tissue and in the liver.

In addition to this, testosterone increases the activity of ’satellite cells’. These are cells which surround the muscle tissue and play an active role in repairing damaged muscle tissue and contribute to the growth of new muscle.

Other factors linked with testosterone administration include a reduction in catabolic glucocorticoid hormones and an increase in red blood cell production (which contributes to increased stamina and endurance as well as a better ‘muscle pump’ when working out. Recent research also points to testosterone being a possible protective agent in the war against heart disease as well as a positive contributor to the fat loss process.

SIDE EFFECTS

The downside of a long acting ester like Cypionate is that it can lead to more water retention (although this can be somewhat alleviated by ensuring adequate water consumption and keeping a check on your intake of carbohydrates). Testosterone is also metabolized in the body to the female hormone estrogen by the aromatize enzyme. This can result in gynecomastia (the growth of breast tissue in men) some fat gain, testicular shrinkage and an increase in blood pressure. Hair loss and possible swelling of the prostate are also potential side effects.

STACKING TIPS

Although using testosterone by itself is perfectly acceptable, it is often stacked with substances such as Deca Durabolin, Equipoise, Primobolan or oral compounds with a high anabolic index (e.g. Winstrol, Anavar). This is a good idea in terms of both muscle growth and collagen synthesis. Testosterone increases protein synthesis by about 50-60% but it also reduces collagen synthesis by 50%. Since collagen is the substance joints and ligaments are composed of you can see how important it is to the recipe for muscle growth and protection form injury.

FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Anti-estrogens are essential when undertaking a cycle of testosterone. After a cycle is completed testosterone levels are usually suppressed and levels of estradiol are usually high due to aromatization. The use of HCG, Nolvadex/Clomid is usually the prescribed after cycle therapy. HCG injections should be started during the final week of the cycle and continued for 3-4 weeks (usually 1500-3000 i.u. every 5-6 days). HCG acts as an alternative to LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and kick starts normal testosterone production. Then about two weeks after the final shot of testosterone Nolvadex/Clomid should be started. The normal dose being up to 40mg Nolvadex or 150mg Clomid every days for two weeks. This can be followed by two more weeks of either 20mg Nolvadex or 100mg Clomid following the discontinuance of HCG.

EFFECTIVE DOSAGE

The usually dosage for Testosterone Cypionate is anything from 400 – 1000mg per week. Higher doses have been reported but, as always, increased dosages go hand in hand with increased side effects.


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heavyiron
01-04-2010, 07:44 PM
Testosterone cycle design


Almost weekly someone posts on the Chemical Enhancement forum asking about first cycle advice. The most common questions are; “what steroid should I take?” “How long should I take it?” and “What will the effects be?” There are literally dozens of steroids available and that makes it difficult for a first time user to choose. The following information will attempt to provide enough information for a first time user to make an educated decision about anabolic androgenic steroid use.
Testosterone is one of the most effective, safe and available steroids today, therefore I believe Testosterone is the best first cycle choice. The following text outlines the benefits and risks of Testosterone administration based on a clinical human trial of 61 healthy men in 2001. The purpose of the trial was to determine the dose dependency of testosterone’s effects on fat-free mass and muscle performance. In this trial 61 men, 18-35years old were randomized into 5 groups receiving weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, 600 mg of Testosterone Enanthate for 20 weeks. They had previous weight-lifting experience and normal T levels. Their nutritional intake was standardized and they did not undertake any strength training during the trial. The only two groups that reported significant muscle building benefits were the 300 and 600 mg groups so any dose lower than 300mg will not be considered in this essay. 12 men participated in the 300 mg group and 13 men in the 600 mg group.
600mg of Testosterone a week for 20 weeks resulted in the following benefits. Increased fat free mass, muscle strength, muscle power, muscle volume, hemoglobin and IGF-1.
The same 600 mg administration resulted in 2 side effects. HDL cholesterol was negatively correlated and 2 men developed acne.
The normal range for total T in men is 241-827 ng/dl according to Labcorp and 260-1000 ng/dl according to Quest Laboratories. The normal range for IGF-1 is 81-225 according to Labcorp. Total T and IGF-1 levels were taken after 16 weeks and resulted in the following;

Total Testosterone
300 mg group-1,345 ng/dl a 691 ng increase from baseline
600 mg group-2,370 ng/dl a 1,737 ng increase from baseline
IGF-1
300 mg group-388 ng/dl a 74 ng increase from baseline
600 mg group-304 ng/dl a 77 ng increase from baseline

Body composition was measured after 20 weeks.

Fat Free Mass by underwater weighing
300 mg group-5.2kg (11.4lbs) increase
600 mg group-7.9kg (17.38lbs) increase
Fat Mass by underwater weighing
300 mg group-.5kg (1.1lbs) decrease
600 mg group-1.1kg (2.42lbs) decrease
Thigh Muscle Volume
300 mg group-84 cubic centimeter increase
600 mg group-126 cubic centimeter increase
Quadriceps Muscle Volume
300 mg group-43 cubic centimeter increase
600 mg group-68 cubic centimeter increase
Leg Press Strength
300 mg group-72.2kg (158.8lbs) increase
600 mg group-76.5kg (168.3lbs) increase
Leg Power
300 mg group-38.6 watt increase
600 mg group-48.1 watt increase
Hemoglobin
300 mg group-6.1 gram per liter increase
600 mg group-14.2 gram per liter increase
Plasma HDL Cholesterol
300 mg group-5.7 mg/dl decrease
600 mg group-8.4 mg/dl decrease
Acne
300 mg group-7 of the 12 men developed acne
600 mg group-2 of the 13 men developed acne

There were no significant changes in PSA or liver enzymes at any dose up to 600mg. However, long-term effects of androgen administration on the prostate, cardiovascular risk, and behavior are unknown. The study demonstrated that there is a dose dependant relationship with testosterone administration. In other words the more testosterone administered the greater the muscle building effects and potential for side effects.

Given the results of the study and based on years of personal experience I believe the first time user can safely use between 300-600 mg of testosterone enanthate or cypionate per week for 8-12 weeks. Because it is desirable to have even blood androgen levels I advise at least 2 equal injections per week. The following graph demonstrates that testosterone cypionate peaks within 1-2 days after injection and falls off to almost baseline by day 10. Therefore waiting 7 days between injections of cypionate would cause wide fluctuations in blood androgen levels.

Pharmacokinetics of Testosterone cypionate Injection
http://www.anabolicweb.com/Testosteron_CYP/testosterone_cypionate.jpg
Figure. Pharmacokinetics of 200mg Testosterone cypionate injection. Source: Comparison of Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone in serum after injection of Testosterone enanthate or Testosterone cypionate. Schulte-Beerbuhl M, Nieschlag E. Fertility and Sterility 33 (1980) 201-3.

If a first time user wanted to use 600 mg of cypionate or enanthate per week he would inject 300 mg on Tuesday and another 300 mg on Saturday each week for 10 weeks. When injecting long heavy esters like cypionate with this frequency I tend to have less acne then 1 injection per week.
There are a number of esters which provide varying release times. Acetate or propionate esters extend the release time of testosterone a couple of days. In contrast, a deconate ester prolongs the release of testosterone about 3 weeks. Testosterone enanthate and cypionate are almost identical esters. The use of an ester allows for a less frequent injection schedule than using a water based testosterone like suspension which has no ester at all and is rapidly in and out of your system after injection. The published release times are not exact and are many times based on a single injection not many multiple injections which can delay the release of the hormone. Other factors affect release times of esters such as scar tissue and the muscle group injected. Only a blood test can confirm when the active hormone has cleared your system.
Esters not only effect release times but also the potency of the Testosterone as esters make up part of the steroid weight. This must be taken into account when calculating dosages. The longer the release time the less free hormone. For example propionate is about 15% more potent mg. for mg. then enanthate so 500mg of propionate would equal about 575 mg. of enanthate. The following chart illustrates the free base equivalents for several compounds.
http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/9865/estarweightum5.jpg (http://imageshack.us/)

Although it was not indicated in the trial, during or after the steroid cycle some men are prone to gynecomastia which is the formation of female like breast tissue. This is due to excessive estrogen as the body tries to balance out the sex hormones. A selective estrogen receptor modulator or S.E.R.M. such as Tamoxifen can be used effectively to combat gynecamastia in an emergency as it competes for the estrogen receptor which in turn inhibits estrogens effects. It is highly recommended that a S.E.R.M. be available during treatment of Testosterone. 10-40mg daily is an effective dose however dosage is dependant on how much testosterone is administered as well as the individual himself.
The decision to use steroids should not be taken lightly and should be the last consideration after implementing a solid nutritional, training and recovery plan. It is advised to get blood work when using these medications.

Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men;
http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/281/6/E1172 (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/281/6/E1172)




Ancillaries during the cycle




Aromatase Inhibitor


I briefly wrote about using Tamoxifen above for emergency gynecomastia treatment however I am convinced that there is a better strategy for controlling estrogen during a steroid cycle. Rather than waiting for the side effects of estrogen to present an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex or Aromasin should be used on cycle to control Estrogen and keep free testosterone levels high. 0.5mg-1mg Arimidex daily OR 10-25mg Aromasin daily. Start with the lower dose and then see how that controls water retention, blood pressure and libido and make adjustments as needed. A blood test would be the most ideal way to determine the dosage of the AI. Free T needs to be in the high range and estradiol between 10-25 pg/ml.



Human Chorionic Gonadotropin


Testosterone-Induced gonadotropin suppression tends to cause atrophy of the testes and decreases intratesticular testosterone. In other words, when a male administers testosterone his testes shrink because they are suppressed. A simple way to restore ITT levels and maintain the mass of the testes is to administer HCG during testosterone treatment. During a study it was determined that HCG is dose dependant and that approximately 300iu HCG taken every other day restored ITT levels. This is 1,050iu HCG weekly. I recommend 500iu twice weekly while on testosterone treatment. On a very heavy cycle a third dose of 500iu could be added but that is typically not needed. HCG will not only keep ITT levels and the mass of the testes normal but will also aid in keeping the male fertile.



Sample cycle with ancillaries



Sunday 10mg Aromasin
Monday 10mg Aromasin/500iu HCG
Tuesday 10mg Aromasin/300mg Enanthate
Wednesday 10mg Aromasin
Thursday 10mg Aromasin
Friday 10mg Aromasin/500iu HCG
Saturday 10mg Aromasin/300mg Enanthate



For all you guys who want to add multiple compounds to your first course I advise against it because if you have side effects then you will not know which compound is causing the sides. I have gotton a ton of PM's over the years and there is always some reason that I am given for using multiple compounds on the first run but there really is no need. However my cycle sample above may not be for everyone so I am offering an alternative to the flat cycle design. If you want to run a first cycle with a little more horespower than you may want to consider a modified pyramiding cycle. I have done over 20 pyramid courses and must say they are my favorite way to run aas. The human body is always fighting for homeostasis so the concept is to increase dose before gains plateau. Based on the 2009 myostatin study we can design a cycle that is effective for 10 weeks using this strategy. The following first cycle is for men that want a little more performance with added risk while only using Testosterone. The first 5 weeks a standard dose is administered to evaluate how your body responds and to determine if sides are manageable. If sides are manageable then increase the dose.


Sample first course #2


Week 1-5 600mg Testosterone weekly
Week 6-8 800mg Testosterone weekly
Week 9-10 1 gram Testosterone weekly


10 mg Aromasin daily with the goal of keeping Estradiol between 10pg/ml-25pg/ml. Only blood work can confirm if you are in this range.


500iu HCG twice weekly.



Post Cycle therapy


I strongly believe that an AI should be used as long as there is an aromatizing compound being administered. In this case Testosterone and HCG aromatize therefore using an AI until these meds clear and a few weeks longer is what I am recommending. There is some evidence that adding Nolva to an AI does not increase the effectiveness of estro control therefore Nolva has no real advantage alongside an AI unless one is experiencing gyno. Additionally Nolva has been shown to reduce IGF-1 and GH levels when used alone. This is not a big deal on cycle as testosterone increases IGF-1 in a dose dependant relationship. However off cycle this is a problem. PCT is a fragile time and lower IGF-1 and GH levels is not desirable. I am recommending an AI that is specific to men that can be used on cycle and during PCT. It is my conclusion that Aromasin is the obvious choice.

I recommend the following PCT protocol for esters like Cypionate and Enanthate;

Day 1-16 : 2500iu HCG every other day. (You may use less HCG if your testes are normal in size AND you have been using HCG on cycle, i.e. 1,000iu HCG eod.)

100/100/100/50 Clomid (50mg taken twice per day weeks 1-3)

20mg/20mg/20mg/10mg Aromasin (20mg daily for 3 weeks, 10mg daily in week 4)

3g Vit C every day split in 3 doses

10g creatine daily

The HCG is administered BEFORE the ester clears to increase the mass of the testes and bring back ITT levels. This will allow the testes to sustain output of testosterone sooner.

Clomid is universally accepted as THE testosterone recovery tool. It blocks estrogen from the HPTA and stimulates the production of GNRH then initiates the production of LH, which in turn signals the testis (if not atrophied) to produce testosterone.

Aromasin or a similar aromatase inhibitor is for testosterone recovery and it is used to keep the testosterone/estrogen balance in favor of testosterone. It is also helps to keep any additionally occurring estrogen from HCG low to none.

Cortisol is catabolic. It is the enemy of all anabolism and must be kept in check. While it is blocked when under the influence of AAS, it is free to attach to the Anabolic Receptors (AR) once the steroids leave. Due to this blockage Cortisol tends to accumulate and increase when on. A low level is desirable however since it is important for other vital functions such as control of inflammation. Balance is the key. Vitimin C keeps the exercise induced rise of Cortisol in check.

The use of Creatine has shown to increase ATP metabolism and cellular water storage among many other things. This is beneficial because it provides for heightened nutrient storage and a slight increase in anabolism as well as workout stamina.

References

Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men;

Pharmacokinetics and Dose Finding of a Potent Aromatase Inhibitor, Aromasin (Exemestane), in Young Males

Low-Dose Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Maintains Intratesticular Testosterone in Normal Men with Testosterone-Induced Gonadotropin Suppression

Use of clomiphene citrate to reverse premature andropause secondary to steroid abuse.

Changes in the Endocrinological Milieu After Clomiphene Citrate Treatment for Oligozoospermia: The Clinical Significance of the Estradiol/Testosterone Ratio as a Prognostic Value

Special thanks to those men and women who have influnced my thinking over the years in regards to aas use. In particular I would like to thank Ulter from AFBOARD, Dr Pangloss, Sassy69 and Warrior.

Written by heavyiron

heavyiron
01-05-2010, 12:02 AM
This proves that testosterone is dose dependant. In other words the more you use the more it works to increase IGF-1, strength, fat free mass, size and power.


Vol. 281, Issue 6, E1172-E1181, December 2001

Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men

Shalender Bhasin1, Linda Woodhouse1, Richard Casaburi3, Atam B. Singh1, Dimple Bhasin3, Nancy Berman3, Xianghong Chen4, Kevin E. Yarasheski4, Lynne Magliano2, Connie Dzekov1, Jeanne Dzekov1, Rachelle Bross3, Jeffrey Phillips3, Indrani Sinha-Hikim1, Ruoquing Shen1, and Thomas W. Storer2

1 Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles 90059; 2 Laboratory for Exercise Sciences, El Camino College, and 3 Harbor-University of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance, California 90502; and 4 Biomedical Mass Spectrometric Research Resource, Department of Internal Medicine, Washington University, School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110

http://ajpendo.physiology.org/icons/toc/rarrow.gif ABSTRACT

Testosterone increases muscle mass and strength and regulates other physiological processes, but we do not know whether testosterone effects are dose dependent and whether dose requirements for maintaining various androgen-dependent processes are similar. To determine the effects of graded doses of testosterone on body composition, muscle size, strength, power, sexual and cognitive functions, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), plasma lipids, hemoglobin, and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) levels, 61 eugonadal men, 18-35 yr, were randomized to one of five groups to receive monthly injections of a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist, to suppress endogenous testosterone secretion, and weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, or 600 mg of testosterone enanthate for 20 wk. Energy and protein intakes were standardized. The administration of the GnRH agonist plus graded doses of testosterone resulted in mean nadir testosterone concentrations of 253, 306, 542, 1,345, and 2,370 ng/dl at the 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively. Fat-free mass increased dose dependently in men receiving 125, 300, or 600 mg of testosterone weekly (change +3.4, 5.2, and 7.9 kg, respectively). The changes in fat-free mass were highly dependent on testosterone dose (P = 0.0001) and correlated with log testosterone concentrations (r = 0.73, P = 0.0001). Changes in leg press strength, leg power, thigh and quadriceps muscle volumes, hemoglobin, and IGF-I were positively correlated with testosterone concentrations, whereas changes in fat mass and plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were negatively correlated. Sexual function, visual-spatial cognition and mood, and PSA levels did not change significantly at any dose. We conclude that changes in circulating testosterone concentrations, induced by GnRH agonist and testosterone administration, are associated with testosterone dose- and concentration-dependent changes in fat-free mass, muscle size, strength and power, fat mass, hemoglobin, HDL cholesterol, and IGF-I levels, in conformity with a single linear dose-response relationship. However, different androgen-dependent processes have different testosterone dose-response relationships.

heavyiron
01-05-2010, 12:04 AM
Vol. 283, Issue 1, E154-E164, July 2002

Testosterone-induced increase in muscle size in healthy young men is associated with muscle fiber hypertrophy

Indrani Sinha-Hikim1, Jorge Artaza1, Linda Woodhouse1, Nestor Gonzalez-Cadavid1, Atam B. Singh1, Martin I. Lee1, Thomas W. Storer1, Richard Casaburi2, Ruoquing Shen1, and Shalender Bhasin1

1 Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, 90059; and 2 Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Physiology and Medicine, Harbor-University of California at Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance, California 90509

http://ajpendo.physiology.org/icons/toc/rarrow.gif ABSTRACT

Administration of replacement doses of testosterone to healthy hypogonadal men and supraphysiological doses to eugonadal men increases muscle size. To determine whether testosterone-induced increase in muscle size is due to muscle fiber hypertrophy, 61 healthy men, 18-35 yr of age, received monthly injections of a long-acting gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist to suppress endogenous testosterone secretion and weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, or 600 mg testosterone enanthate (TE) for 20 wk. Thigh muscle volume was measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, and muscle biopsies were obtained from vastus lateralis muscle in 39 men before and after 20 wk of combined treatment with GnRH agonist and testosterone. Administration of GnRH agonist plus TE resulted in mean nadir testosterone concentrations of 234, 289, 695, 1,344, and 2,435 ng/dl at the 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively. Graded doses of testosterone administration were associated with testosterone dose and concentration-dependent increase in muscle volume measured by MRI (changes in vastus lateralis volume, http://ajpendo.physiology.org/math/12pt/normal/minus.gif4, +7, +15, +32, and +48 ml at 25-, 50-, 125-, 300-, and 600-mg doses, respectively). Changes in cross-sectional areas of both type I and II fibers were dependent on testosterone dose and significantly correlated with total (r = 0.35, and 0.44, P < 0.0001 for type I and II fibers, respectively) and free (r = 0.34 and 0.35, P < 0.005) testosterone concentrations during treatment. The men receiving 300 and 600 mg of TE weekly experienced significant increases from baseline in areas of type I (baseline vs. 20 wk, 3,176 ± 186 vs. 4,201 ± 252 µm2, P < 0.05 at 300-mg dose, and 3,347 ± 253 vs. 4,984 ± 374 µm2, P = 0.006 at 600-mg dose) muscle fibers; the men in the 600-mg group also had significant increments in cross-sectional area of type II (4,060 ± 401 vs. 5,526 ± 544 µm2, P = 0.03) fibers. The relative proportions of type I and type II fibers did not change significantly after treatment in any group. The myonuclear number per fiber increased significantly in men receiving the 300- and 600-mg doses of TE and was significantly correlated with testosterone concentration and muscle fiber cross-sectional area. In conclusion, the increases in muscle volume in healthy eugonadal men treated with graded doses of testosterone are associated with concentration-dependent increases in cross-sectional areas of both type I and type II muscle fibers and myonuclear number. We conclude that the testosterone induced increase in muscle volume is due to muscle fiber hypertrophy.

heavyiron
01-05-2010, 12:06 AM
Not only does Testosterone make your muscles bigger but it also is associated with more satellite cells.




Testosterone-induced muscle hypertrophy is associated with an increase in satellite cell number in healthy, young men

Indrani Sinha-Hikim,1 Stephen M. Roth,2 Martin I. Lee,1 and Shalender Bhasin1

1Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, California 90059; and 2Department of Human Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvamia 15261
Submitted 22 August 2002 ; accepted in final form 26 March 2003

http://ajpendo.physiology.org/icons/toc/rarrow.gif ABSTRACT
(http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/285/1/E197#top)
(http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/285/1/E197#BIBL)
Testosterone (T) supplementation in men induces muscle fiber hypertrophy. We hypothesized that T-induced increase in muscle fiber size is associated with a dose-dependent increase in satellite cell number. We quantitated satellite cell and myonuclear number by using direct counting and spatial orientation methods in biopsies of vastus lateralis obtained at baseline and after 20 wk of treatment with a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist and a 125-, 300-, or 600-mg weekly dose of T enanthate. T administration was associated with a significant increase in myonuclear number in men receiving 300- and 600-mg doses. The posttreatment percent satellite cell number, obtained by direct counting, differed significantly among the three groups (ANCOVA P < 0.000001); the mean posttreatment values (5.0 and 15.0%) in men treated with 300- and 600-mg doses were greater than baseline (2.5 and 2.5%, respectively, P < 0.05 vs. baseline). The absolute satellite cell number measured by spatial orientation at 20 wk (1.5 and 4.0/mm) was significantly greater than baseline (0.3 and 0.6/mm) in men receiving the 300- and 600-mg doses (P < 0.05). The change in percent satellite cell number correlated with changes in total (r = 0.548) and free T concentrations (r = 0.468). Satellite cell and mitochondrial areas were significantly higher and the nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio lower after treatment with 300- and 600-mg doses. We conclude that T-induced muscle fiber hypertrophy is associated with an increase in satellite cell number, a proportionate increase in myonuclear number, and changes in satellite cell ultrastructure.

heavyiron
01-09-2010, 04:05 PM
This abstract and the full study indicate that a powerful growth inhibitor myostatin increases significantly by day 56 in men administering testosterone. This may explain why most gains tend to plateau around week 8 or 9 of a standard cycle. The study indicates that myostatin returns to baseline around week 20 of a testosterone cycle so this gives us insight on how to design a cycle. Either run a 8 week cycle OR run 20 plus week cycles (stay on).

Myostatin is a gene, one of the units of heredity consisting of a sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid(DNA) that determines the inherited characteristics of every individual. It is a gene that contributes to the differentiation in growth factors, including physical size, and regulates muscle development.

Measurement of myostatin concentrations in human serum: Circulating concentrations in young and older men and effects of testosterone administration.

Lakshman KM (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Lakshman%20KM%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Bhasin S (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Bhasin%20S%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Corcoran C (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Corcoran%20C%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Collins-Racie LA (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Collins-Racie%20LA%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Tchistiakova L (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Tchistiakova%20L%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Forlow SB (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Forlow%20SB%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), St Ledger K (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22St%20Ledger%20K%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Burczynski ME (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Burczynski%20ME%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Dorner AJ (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Dorner%20AJ%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract), Lavallie ER (http://forums.rxmuscle.com/pubmed?term=%22Lavallie%20ER%22%5BAuthor%5D&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsP anel.Pubmed_RVAbstract).
Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, 670 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, United States.

Methodological problems, including binding of myostatin to plasma proteins and cross-reactivity of assay reagents with other proteins, have confounded myostatin measurements. Here we describe development of an accurate assay for measuring myostatin concentrations in humans. Monoclonal antibodies that bind to distinct regions of myostatin served as capture and detector antibodies in a sandwich ELISA that used acid treatment to dissociate myostatin from binding proteins. Serum from myostatin-deficient Belgian Blue cattle was used as matrix and recombinant human myostatin as standard. The quantitative range was 0.15-37.50 ng/mL. Intra- and inter-assay CVs in low, mid, and high range were 4.1%, 4.7%, and 7.2%, and 3.9%, 1.6%, and 5.2%, respectively. Myostatin protein was undetectable in sera of Belgian Blue cattle and myostatin knockout mice. Recovery in spiked sera approximated 100%. ActRIIB-Fc or anti-myostatin antibody MYO-029 had no effect on myostatin measurements when assayed at pH 2.5. Myostatin levels were higher in young than older men (mean+/-S.E.M. 8.0+/-0.3 ng/mL vs. 7.0+/-0.4 ng/mL, P=0.03). In men treated with graded doses of testosterone, myostatin levels were significantly higher on day 56 than baseline in both young and older men; changes in myostatin levels were significantly correlated with changes in total and free testosterone in young men. Myostatin levels were not significantly associated with lean body mass in either young or older men. CONCLUSION: Myostatin ELISA has the characteristics of a valid assay: nearly 100% recovery, excellent precision, accuracy, and sufficient sensitivity to enable measurement of myostatin concentrations in men and women.

PMID: 19356623 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Full Study;
http://www.afboard.com/library/Measurement%20of%20myostatin%20concentrations%20in %20human%20serum%20Circulating%20concentrations%20 in%20young%20and%20older%20men%20and%20effects%20o f%20testosterone%20administration.pdf

heavyiron
01-11-2010, 10:26 PM
Here is an interesting abstract giving the rationale for using clomiphene citrate and an aromatase inhibitor to decrease the E2/T ratio after using HCG. This lends support to the PCT protocol I have laid out in my Testosterone Cycle Design post.


Journal of Andrology, Vol. 15, No. 5, September/October 1994
Copyright © American Society of Andrology

Changes in the Endocrinological Milieu After Clomiphene Citrate Treatment for Oligozoospermia: The Clinical Significance of the Estradiol/Testosterone Ratio as a Prognostic Value

NAOKI ITOH, TAUI TSUKAMOTO, AKIHITO NANBU, HITOSHI TACHIKI, TOSHIKAZU NITTA,
KEIGO AKAGASHI, HIROSHI MARUTA, AND YOSHIAKI KUMAMOTO

From the Department of Urology, School of Medicine, SapporoMedicalUniversity, Sapporo, Japan.

http://ajpendo.physiology.org/icons/toc/rarrow.gif ABSTRACT:

We have already reported that the rate of increase in the estradiol/testosterone ratio (E2/T ratio) following human chononic gonadotropin (hCG) injection has prognostic value in the treatment of oligozoospermia. It was found that the rate of Increase in the E2/T ratio was statistically greater in the therapeutically ineffective cases compared to the therapeutically effective cases. The present study was planned in order to elucidate the relationship between the changes in the endocrinological milieu, especially the change in the E2/T ratio, and the therapeutic efficacy when clomiphene citrate was administered. Thirty-eight oligozoospermlc patients were administered 25mg of clomiphene citrate daily for 3 months. Sixteen of the 38(42.1%) cases showed improvement of more than 10 x 1 0/ml in sperm concentration. The rate of increase in the E2/T ratio of the effective cases (0.90 ± 0.43) during the administration of clomiphene citrate was statistically (P = 0.02) lower than that of the ineffective cases (1.44 ± 0.80). The rate of increase in the E2/T ratio during clomiphene citrate treatment showed a statistically positive correlation (r= 0.542) with the rate of increase following hCG injection performed before clomiphene citrate treatment. The rate of increase in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in the Ineffective cases (2.16 ± 1.01) was statistically higher than in the effective cases (1.50 ± 0.43). The rate of increase in insulin-like growth factor-i (IGF-1) in the seminal plasma that was secreted by Sertoli cells was statistically higher in the effective cases (1.98 ± 1.23) than in the ineffective cases (1.19 ± 0.45). Based on these results, it is surmised that the relatively increased E2 level during clomiphene citrate treatment suppressed Sertoli cell function, and the serum FSH was elevated as a result. We concluded that the rate of increase in the E2/T ratio during clomiphene citrate treatment has prognostic value, and performing the hCG test before this treatment may be helpful in predicting the endocrinological milieu after It. If the rate of increase In the E2/T ratio following hCG injection Is high, treatment should consist of a combination of clomiphene citrate and an aromatase inhibitor to decrease the E2/T ratio.

Thanks to Ulter at AFBOARD for providing me this information.

barbellbarbie
01-15-2010, 03:18 PM
Pharmaceutical Name: Testosterone (as Enanthate)
Chemical structure: 4-androstene-3-one,17beta-ol
Molecular weight of base: 288.429
Molecular weight of ester: 130.1864 (enanthoic acid, 7 carbons)




Effective dose: 250-1000 mg/week
Average Street-price: $10-20 per ml (200/250 mg/ml vials)
Available Doses: 50, 100, 180, 200 or 250 mg/ml


Brands & Products:

Brovel Delatestryl (MX) 200 mg/ml
Testosterona 200 (MX) 200 mg/ml
BTG Delatestryl (US) 200 mg/ml
Galenika/Hemofarm Testosteron-Depo (YU,HU) 10,100 or 250 mg/ml
Jenapharm Testosteron-Depot (G,BG) 250 mg/ml
Loeffler Testoenan L/A (MX) 250 mg/ml
Polfa Testosterone Prolongatum (PL,BG) 100 mg/ml
Rotexmedica Testosteron-Depot (G) 250 mg/ml
Schering Testoviron Depot (B) 100 mg/ml
Testoviron Depot (G,A,B,CH,DK,ES,GR,PL,S,Thailand,Columbia, Dominican Rep, Paraguay,Uruguay) 250 mg/ml
Primoteston Depot (GB,Mexico, FL) 250 mg/ml
Primoteston Depot (NO) 100 or 180 mg/ml
Teskoku Hormone Enarmon-Depot (J) 200 mg/ml
Theramex Testosteron Heptylate Theramex (FR) 50,100 or 250 mg/ml
Tornel Testosterone 200 Depot (MX) 200 mg/ml


Characteristics:

Testosterone is the prime male androgen in the body, and as such still the best possible mass builder in the world. It has a high risk of side-effects because it readily converts to a more androgenic form (DHT) in androgen responsive tissues and forms estrogen quite easily. But these characteristics also provide it with its extreme anabolic tendencies. On the one hand estrogen increases growth hormone output, glucose utilization, improves immunity and upgrades the androgen receptor, while on the other hand a testosterone/DHT combination is extremely potent at activating the androgen receptor and eliciting major strength and size gains. While not always the most visually appealing result, there is no steroid on earth that packs on mass like testosterone does.

Like testosterone cypionate, enanthate is a single-ester and long-acting form of the base steroid testosterone. To me, its slightly better value for money than the aforementioned because its ester is only 7 instead of 8 carbons in length. Where that doesn't really change much in terms of release and blood concentration for users who inject on a weekly basis, that does mean that less of the weight is ester and more of it is testosterone. When taking an amount of an esterified steroid, that amount in terms of weight is a combination of the ester and the steroid. Naturally the longer the ester is, the more of the weight it takes up. So its safe to state that 500 mg of enanthate contains more testosterone than does 500 mg of cypionate. Not that this slight difference will be noted on a weekly pattern really, but its enough for me to give it a slight edge if given the choice. Although, as stated with cypionate, your choice between enanthate and cypionate is best based on availability. These are a much better choice than sustanon 250 or omnadren, which are blends of different testosterone esters, due to their irregular release. Nonetheless these versions still appear to be more popular with most users for some reason. Before you compare these to shorter esters under the pretense that even more of the weight would be testosterone, for bulking purposes the release pattern and injection pattern of an enanthate or cypionate is more fitting than that of say, a propionate ester. Enanthate and cypionate are very close in those terms, hence the comparison is possible.

A long-acting testosterone ester may be the best for all your mass-building needs, but its not an easy product to use. Because of the extreme length of action (3-4 weeks) one cannot easily solve occurring problems by simply discontinuing the product, as it will continue to act and aggravate side-effects over extended periods of time. In regards to damage control and post-cycle therapy, some familiarity with the use of ancillary drugs is required prior to using a long-acting testosterone product. Nolvadex and Proviron will come in very handy in such cases and post-cycle HCG and clomid or Nolvadex will be required as well to help restore natural testosterone. Frequency of side-effects is probably highest with this type of product.

While most will tell you it's a waste to not use testosterone, as it will take ages longer to build proper mass, these are all points to take into consideration. Testosterone is a product that is heavily used by beginners and veterans alike and justly so. Those who fear they may never understand the proper use of ancillary drugs, may want to suck it up and invest in some propionate or suspension testosterones instead. These are much shorter acting and easier to control, but they do need to be injected once every two days, whereas this type of ester will impart great gains with a single weekly injection. Something to keep in mind.

Stacking and Use:

Testosterone is the most powerful compound there is, so obviously its perfectly fine to use it by itself. With a long-acting ester like Enanthate doses of 500-1000 mg per week are used with very clear results over a 10 week period. If you've ever seen a man swell up with sheer size, then testosterone was the cause of it. But testosterone is nonetheless often stacked. Due to the high occurrence of side-effects, people will usually split up a stack in testosterone and a milder component in order to obtain a less risky cycle, but without having to give up as much of the gains. Primobolan, Equipoise and Deca-Durabolin are the weapons of choice in this matter.

Deca seems to be the most popular, probably because of its extremely mild androgenic nature. But Deca being one of the highest risks for just about every other side-effects, I probably wouldn't advise it. If Deca is used, generally a dose of 200-400 mg is added to 500-750 mg of testosterone per week. Primobolan is sometimes opted for, and can be handy since it doesn't aromatize, which will make the total level of water retention and fat gain a lot less than with more test or with Deca for example. Unfortunately, its mild nature combined with a lack of estrogen make Primobolan a very poor mass builder. Again, doses of 300-400 mg are used. I would actually suggest a higher dose, but with the current prices for Primo I don't think it would be very popular. My personal preference goes out to Equipoise. Androgenically its not that much stronger than Deca because it has next to no affinity for the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and is only half as androgenic as testosterone. Its twice as strong as Deca, mg for mg, and has a lower occurrence of side-effects. It has some estrogen, but not a whole lot so it actually tends to lean a person out rather than bloat him up as Deca will. It also increases appetite, which promotes gains, and improves aerobic performance, which may be wishful as testosterone normally has an opposite effect.

Of course testosterone Enanthate can be stacked with any number of compounds apart from these, but these make the best match. When stacking with testosterone, one needs to look at what the other compound can bring. Either it has a characteristic that testosterone doesn't have, or its nominally safer. The testosterone will bring all the mass, so adding another steroid to enhance mass alone, is futile. More testosterone is the best remedy for that.

One needs to be familiar with a host of other compounds when using long-acting testosterone esters however. First of all, anti-estrogens. The rate of aromatization of testosterone is quite great, so water retention and fat gain are a fact and gyno is never far off. If problems occur one is best to start on 20 mg of Nolvadex per day and stay on that until problems subside. I wouldn't stay on it for a whole cycle, as it may reduce the gains. In terms of an aromatase blocker, testosterone is one of the few compounds where Proviron may actually be preferred over arimidex. The proviron will not only reduce estrogen and can be used for extended time on a testosterone cycle, it will also bind with great affinity to sex-hormone binding proteins in the blood and will allow for a higher level of free testosterone in the body, thus improving gains. Usually 50-100 mg will suffice, the lower end is preferred for maximal results since estrogen plays a key role in gains, but those more worried about estrogen should opt for a higher dose.

For those worried about androgenic side-effects (hair loss, prostate hypertrophy, deepening of voice), one can utilize the hair loss treatment finasteride. This blocks the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme and stops the conversion of testosterone to the more androgenic compound DHT. I'm not a big fan of this, because DHT reduces estrogenic bloat, increases free levels of testosterone and is a very potent androgen that is 3-4 times stronger than testosterone. Those worried about hair loss however, may want to opt for arimidex as their anti-aromatase, since Proviron is a form of DHT after all.

After a cycle, mainly due to the high aromatization and increased levels of estradiol in the blood after discontinuing, natural testosterone levels will be severely suppressed. This means steps need to be taken to assure the quick return of natural testosterone, or we stand to lose a lot of the gains we made while using testosterone. Since it's a non-toxic, potent mass-builder its mostly used in long 10-12 week cycles. So some testicular shrinkage will have occurred too. Its very important that people see that HCG and Nolvadex/clomid are essential as a post-cycle therapy, and that both are equally important in achieving our goal. HCG injections should be started the last week of the cycle and continued for 3-4 weeks, using 1500-3000 IU every 5-6 days. HCG will act as an alternative to LH and start the endogenous testosterone cycle, thereby increasing testicle size once again. Then about 2 weeks after the last shot of testosterone is given, Nolvadex/Clomid cycle should be started. 40 mg of Nolva or 150 mg of Clomid per day for two weeks, followed by two more weeks with either 20 mg of Nolva or 100 mg of Clomid per day should be adequate. Always remember that HCG is suppressive of natural testosterone itself and should be discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to finishing Nolvadex/Clomid.

Colossal
02-04-2010, 12:01 PM
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 Oct;81(10):3754-8.

The effects of supraphysiological doses of testosterone on angry behavior in healthy eugonadal men--a clinical research center study.

Tricker R, Casaburi R, Storer TW, Clevenger B, Berman N, Shirazi A, Bhasin S.

Division of Endocrinology, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, California 90059, USA.

Anecdotal reports of "roid rage" and violent crimes by androgenic steroid users have brought attention to the relationship between anabolic steroid use and angry outbursts. However, testosterone effects on human aggression remain controversial. Previous studies have been criticized because of the low androgen doses, lack of placebo control or blinding, and inclusion of competitive athletes and those with preexisting psychopathology. To overcome these pitfalls, we used a double-blind, placebo-controlled design, excluded competitive athletes and those with psychiatric disorders, and used 600 mg testosterone enanthate (TE)/week. Forty-three eugonadal men, 19-40 yr, were randomized to 1 of 4 groups: Group I, placebo, no exercise; Group II, TE, no exercise; Group III, placebo, exercise; Group IV, TE plus exercise. Exercise consisted of thrice weekly strength training sessions. The Multi-Dimensional Anger Inventory (MAI), which includes 5 different dimensions of anger (inward anger, outward anger, anger arousal, hostile outlook, and anger eliciting situations), and a Mood Inventory (MI), which includes items related to mood and behavior, were administered to subjects before, during, and after the 10 week intervention. The subject's significant other (spouse, live-in partner, or parent) also answered the same questions about the subject's mood and behavior (Observer Mood Inventory, OMI). No differences were observed between exercising and nonexercising and between placebo and TE treated subjects for any of the 5 subdomains of MAI. Overall there were no significant changes in MI or OMI during the treatment period in any group. Conclusion: Supraphysiological doses of testosterone, when administered to normal men in a controlled setting, do not increase angry behavior. These data do not exclude the possibility that still higher doses of multiple steroids might provoke angry behavior in men with preexisting psychopathology.

BigJD69
02-04-2010, 12:35 PM
Testosterone increases protein synthesis by about 50-60% but it also reduces collagen synthesis by 50%. Since collagen is the substance joints and ligaments are composed of you can see how important it is to the recipe for muscle growth and protection form injury.

I did not know that it reduces collagen synthesis by 50%. I am on TRT using Cyp. 200 mgs per week and have had a bunch of Ortho Surgerys and also have a torn ACL in my left knee. What other compound is recommended to offset the reduction of collagen?

bad rad
02-04-2010, 10:44 PM
At TRT levels Test doesn't impair collagen synthesis so I've read. There was an article floating around that stated Nandrolone and Boldenone both increased collagen synthesis at 3mg/kg weekly. Primo and Anavar helped too but need very high doses. I searched for studies to back all this up using dosing and such and never found one. There are studies showing Nandrolone increases collagen synthesis but I forgot the dose needed.