October 17, 2014
Juice: Not for breakfast anymore

Just because something looks like a steroid (structurally) doesn’t mean its effects are similar. Heck, androstenedione is structurally very similar to testosterone. But the effect of ‘andros’ in normal men would be like feeding a lion a McDonald’s hamburger and calling it a meal. And whether it’s legal?

What gets lost in stories such as this is the fact that anabolic steroids provide benefits when used in the right dosage for the right duration. The scientific literature is nothing less than amazing when it comes to the potentially positive effects of anabolic steroids.

Hot Women, More Testosterone

Did you know that men release testosterone and cortisol in response to brief social interactions with young women? So men get turned on and they seem stressed out at the same time. What about the reverse?

One study examined whether women show a similar endocrine response to physically and behaviorally attractive men. One-hundred-and-twenty women were shown one of four 20-minute video montages extracted from popular films, depicting the following scenarios:

  1. an attractive man courting a young woman (experimental stimulus)
  2. a nature documentary (video clip control)
  3. an unattractive older man courting a woman (male control), and 
  4. an attractive woman with no men present (female control).

Saliva samples were taken before and after presentation of the stimulus, and were later analyzed for testosterone and cortisol content via enzyme immunoassay. And voilà! Women experienced a significant increase in testosterone and cortisol in response to the experimental stimulus, but not to the control stimuli. According to these researchers, women may release adrenal steroid hormones to facilitate courtship interactions with ‘high mate-value’ men. Put another way, it may be good to train with a good-looking guy or girl (whatever your preference) to get a nice little boost of testosterone.

Endurance Exercise Boosts Testosterone

I guess a little is good, but too much may be bad. We know that elite endurance athletes have testosterone levels akin to a 10-year-old boy. But what happens if you take novices and subject them to endurance training?

Fifteen young, healthy men performed endurance training of five-week duration on a cycle ergometer. Before and after the exercise program, all participants completed a ‘max’ exercise test. The training program resulted in 3.7 % improvement in maximal oxygen uptake and 8.2 % improvement in power output reached at max VO2. Testosterone also increased from 18.8 to 22.0 nmol/L. That’s a 17 % increase! Not too shabby. Moreover, the training caused a significant decrease in sex hormone-binding globulin concentration, but there was no significant change found in cortisol concentration. So at least in novices, it looks like mild exercise can boost Testosterone levels.

Anabolic Steroids and Heart Health

Scientists studied the effect of oral administration of Testosterone undecanoate for three months on serum lipid levels, and on the occurrence of anginal attacks and daily ischemic episodes in patients with coronary heart disease (CAD). Yes, you read that right. CAD. If this stuff is so bad for your heart, why on earth would doctors give it to folks with heart disease? As you well know, the scientific truth often differs from the mainstream press’ idiotic assertions.

Eighty-seven diabetic male subjects with CAD were randomized to a 12-week treatment with either Testosterone undecanoate (40 mg administered three times daily) or placebo in a double-blind protocol. Weekly episodes of angina attacks, number of ischemic episodes daily and total ischemic burden on ambulatory ECG Holter were evaluated at baseline and at the end of the study. Serum total cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations were also measured at the same time points. So what did they discover?

Compared to Testosterone undecanoate, it significantly reduced the number of anginal attacks per week by 34 percent; the silent ischemic episodes by 26 %, and the total ischemic burden of 21 % on ambulatory ECG monitoring. If you don’t have your medical dictionary handy, that means taking the anabolic steroid Testosterone undecanoate actually improved heart performance by allowing more oxygen to be delivered to the heart muscle. Also, after 12 weeks, total cholesterol and plasma triglycerides were significantly reduced in the Testosterone undecanoate group, compared to the placebo group.

So is the data actually suggesting that folks with CAD take an anabolic steroid? If you answered ‘yes,’ then go to the head of the class. There is a plethora of data supporting the beneficial effects of Testosterone undecanoate. For instance, in older men, lower total testosterone levels predict increased incidence of stroke. So why do folks still believe this hormone is so deadly? I don’t know. Heck, some folks actually believe astrology.

Green Tea Bad for Testosterone

This study investigated the acute effects of green tea extract and its polyphenol constituents, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and (-)-epicatechin (EC) on basal and stimulated testosterone production by rat Leydig cells in vitro. Now before you get your panties all up in a bunch, keep in mind that this was an in vitro study. I’m not suggesting you give up your green tea, but you have to admit, the data is rather intriguing.

Leydig cells (from the testes) were incubated for 3 hours with green tea extract, EGCG or EC and the testosterone-precursor androstenedione, in the presence or absence of either protein kinase A (PKA) or protein kinase C (PKC) activators.Green tea extract and EGCG, but not EC, inhibited both basal and kinase-stimulated testosterone production. Whether this occurs in vivo (i.e., a living mammal) is yet to be seen. And I’d imagine the dose required might be a bit higher in us humans than a bunch of testicular cells in a dish.

October 10, 2014
Winstrol Pills

Winstrol pills offer a type of steroid that can help someone to increase their muscle mass or that can enable them to cut. It is a common type of product that is used for those that need to increase their overall strength and endurance. During rigorous training sessions it can be tough to get through the workout. The use of Winstrol can help the body to recover from such an intense workout so that they are able to successfully continue with it.

Many people prefer the use of Winstrol to the injection due to the fact that they don’t want to have to subject themselves to that pain daily. It can get tough to find a new place on the buttocks daily for the injection. A common side effect is that the buttocks can end up red and irritated from those injections.

Winstrol pills are easy to swallow so the time involved is less than what it takes for the injection regiment. You also don’t have to pay for a ton of supplies. The pill form of Winstrol is less expensive due to the fact that it is easier to process than the injectable form of it.

For those that want to use Winstrol pills there is the discretion too. It is easier to keep pills private than it is when you have to give injections daily. If you travel it can be a hassle to take along all of your supplies too. With Winstrol pills you can put them in your bag and be done with it.

The common dose of Winstrol pills varies depending on the individual. For women it is about 50 mg per day that is recommended. For males it can range from 100 mg to 400 mg per day. What use a person has in mind for Winstrol pills also affects that overall process. For example if they are using it stacked with other steroids then it is common to take less.

A regiment of Winstrol pills is typically going to be for 12 weeks versus 8 week cycles with injections. If that time frame doesn’t work for you then the pills may not be the best option for you to consider. Another thing to look at are the serious side effects from Winstrol pills.

While the use of Winstrol in any form can cause liver problems studies show that when it is associated with pill form it is worse. It is important to have your liver tested before you use Winstrol pills. It is also important to have regular testing done periodically to ensure that the use of such a product isn’t going to have serious health consequences for you.

Typically Winstrol pills are only legally offered through a prescription that a doctor offers. However, you should be able to buy them either from someone associated with a gym or bodybuilding. You can also find plenty of online sites that offer this particular type of steroid. The pricing and accessibility will vary based on what you seek and where you happen to reside.

October 3, 2014
Nolvadex vs Clomid

Clomid and Nolvadex

I am not sure how Clomid and Nolvadex became so separated in the minds of bodybuilders. They certainly should not be. Clomid and Nolvadex are both anti-estrogens belonging to the same group of triphenylethylene compounds. They are structurally related and specifically classified as selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) with mixed agonistic and antagonistic properties. This means that in certain tissues they can block the effects of estrogen, by altering the binding capacity of the receptor, while in others they can act as actual estrogens, activating the receptor. In men, both of these drugs act as anti-estrogens in their capacity to oppose the negative feedback of estrogens on the hypothalamus and stimulate the heightened release of GnRH (Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone). LH output by the pituitary will be increased as a result, which in turn can increase the level of testosterone by the testes. Both drugs do this, but for some reason bodybuilders persist in thinking that Clomid is the only drug good at stimulating testosterone. What you will find with a little investigation however is that not only is Nolvadex useful for the same purpose, it should actually be the preferred agent of the two.

Pituitary Sensitivity to GnRH

Studies conducted in the late 1970′s at the University of Ghent in Belgium make clear the advantages of using Nolvadex instead of Clomid for increasing testosterone levels. Here, researchers looked the effects of Nolvadex and Clomid on the endocrine profiles of normal men, as well as those suffering from low sperm counts (oligospermia). For our purposes, the results of these drugs on hormonally normal men are obviously the most relevant. What was found, just in the early parts of the study, was quite enlightening. Nolvadex, used for 10 days at a dosage of 20mg daily, increased serum testosterone levels to 142% of baseline, which was on par with the effect of 150mg of Clomid daily for the same duration (the testosterone increase was slightly, but not significantly, better for Clomid). We must remember though that this is the effect of three 50mg tablets of Clomid. With the price of both a 50mg Clomid and 20mg Nolvadex typically very similar, we are already seeing a cost vs. results discrepancy forming that strongly favors the Nolvadex side.

But something more interesting is happening. Researchers were also conducting GnRH stimulation tests before and after various points of treatment with Nolvadex and Clomid, and the two drugs had markedly different results. These tests involved infusing patients with 100mcg of GnRH and measuring the output of pituitary LH in response. The focus of this test is to see how sensitive the pituitary is to Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone. The more sensitive the pituitary, the more LH will be released. The tests showed that after ten days of treatment with Nolvadex, pituitary sensitivity to GnRH increased slightly compared to pre-treated values. This is contrast to 10 days of treatment with 150mg Clomid, which was shown to consistently DECREASE pituitary sensitivity to GnRH (more LH was released before treatment). As the study with Nolvadex progresses to 6 weeks, pituitary sensitivity to GnRH was significantly higher than pre-treated or 10-day levels. At this point the same 20mg dosage was also raising testosterone and LH levels to an average of 183% and 172% of base values, respectively, which again is measurably higher than what was noted 10 days into therapy. Within 10 days of treatment Clomid is already exerting an effect that is causing the pituitary to become slightly desensitized to GnRH, while prolonged use of Nolvadex serves only to increase pituitary sensitivity to this hormone. That is not to say Clomid won’t increase testosterone if taken for the same 6 week time period. Quite the opposite is true. But we are, however, noticing an advantage in Nolvadex.

The Estrogen Clomid

The above discrepancies are likely explained by differences in the estrogenic nature of the two compounds. The researchers’ clearly support this theory when commenting in their paper, “The difference in response might be attributable to the weak intrinsic estrogenic effect of Clomid, which in this study manifested itself by an increase in transcortin and testosterone/estradiol-binding globulin [SHBG] levels; this increase was not observed after tamoxifen treatment”. In reviewing other theories later in the paper, such as interference by increased androgen or estrogen levels, they persist in noting that increases in these hormones were similar with both drug treatments, and state that,” …a role of the intrinsic estrogenic activity of Clomid which is practically absent in Tamoxifen seems the most probable explanation”.

Although these two are related anti-estrogens, they appear to act very differently at different sites of action. Nolvadex seems to be strongly anti-estrogenic at both the hypothalamus and pituitary, which is in contrast to Clomid, which although a strong anti-estrogen at the hypothalamus, seems to exhibit weak estrogenic activity at the pituitary. To find further support for this we can look at an in-vitro animal study. This paper looks at the effects of Clomid and Nolvadex on the GnRH stimulated release of LH from cultured rat pituitary cells. In this paper, it was noted that incubating cells with Clomid had a direct estrogenic effect on cultured pituitary cell sensitivity, exerting a weaker but still significant effect compared to estradiol. Nolvadex on the other hand did not have any significant effect on LH response. Furthermore it mildly blocked the effects of estrogen when both were incubated in the same culture.

Conclusion

To summarize the above research succinctly, Nolvadex is the more purely anti-estrogenic of the two drugs, at least where the HPTA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis) is concerned. This fact enables Nolvadex to offer the male bodybuilder certain advantages over Clomid. This is especially true at times when we are looking to restore a balanced HPTA, and would not want to desensitize the pituitary to GnRH. This could perhaps slow recovery to some extent, as the pituitary would require higher amounts of hypothalamic GnRH in the presence of Clomid in order to get the same level of LH stimulation.

Nolvadex also seems preferred from long-term use, for those who find anti-estrogens effective enough at raising testosterone levels to warrant using as anabolics. Here Nolvadex would seem to provide a better and more stable increase in testosterone levels, and likely will offer a similar or greater effect than Clomid for considerably less money. The potential rise in SHBG levels with Clomid, supported by other research, is also cause for concern, as this might work to allow for comparably less free active testosterone compared to Nolvadex as well. Ultimately both drugs are effective anti-estrogens for the prevention of gyno and elevation of endogenous testosterone, however the above research provides enough evidence for me to choose Nolvadex every time.

September 18, 2014
A Look At Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Eating Habits

A review of Arnold‘s diet shows that the fundamentals of eating really haven’t changed much in the last 30 years, at least for those at the top.

“I don’t want to get too comfortable. I’d rather stay hungry.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Times have changed since Arnold Schwarzenegger ruled the bodybuilding world throughout the ’70s. Once upon a time, before we’d been privy to countless “revolutionary” diets and “Hasta la vista” was still associated with trips to Acapulco, Arnold was just a big—no, huge—guy in a fringe sport who occasionally showed up as a guest on late-night television. But an analysis of his diet, considered ‘crazy’ back in the day, shows that perhaps he and his Speedo-wearing buddies were a few decades ahead of their time.

As an athlete growing up, I was starved for good information on sports nutrition. Back then, we all had nutrition as a subject at school. And while it wasn’t exactly accurate by today’s standards (do we really need 3 servings from the red meat food group?), at least we learned that food has calories made of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and that how much of each you eat affects your performance. But misunderstandings were rife. Perhaps fueled by inaccurate science or industry lobbyists, it was hard to find the straight dope on what an athlete was supposed to eat. High carb, low carb, TV dinners, tuna casserole, or Space Food Sticks—even my coaches didn’t know what we should eat. One thing seemed certain, however: Arnold and his cronies had it all wrong. They were nothing but muscle-bound charlatans, and soon enough their muscle would all “turn to fat” and they’d be dead of heart attacks well before middle age.

A quick cut to 2004, and Arnold—well into middle age—didn’t look worse for the wear while speaking to the Republican National Convention. Slimmed down substantially since his Terminator days, he looked fit, trim, and vivacious. And he’s not an anomaly. I recently saw Lou “The Incredible Hulk” Ferrigno at the gym. He hasn’t gotten fat, nor has he trimmed down. Somewhere past 50, Louie still looks a lot like, well, the Incredible Hulk. Certainly, someone was wrong about their diet. So just what did those guys eat? Let’s take a quick glance back in time.

Protein. When I was a kid, my cousin, Chris, a bodybuilder, taught me about eating a lot of protein. “Arnold says you need a gram per each pound of body weight,” he said on our way to an all-you-can-eat fish buffet. In fact, Arnold recommended .5 g/lb. per day for “average” people and 1 g/lb. for athletes. Pretty consistent to what you’ll hear today.

Whole foods. I lived in LA, so occasionally I’d get firsthand reports on Arnold. My friend Ray once got to have dinner with him. Hearing that he ate “a huge amount of beef” was no surprise, having been filled in by my cousin, but I did learn something new when Ray told me that he said that “bread was poison.” Arnold wasn’t anti-carb, except when cutting up for a competition. But he was pro whole foods, acknowledging that nature knew how to make foods more digestible than scientists did. What they knew was how to make foods change color. This simple, or rather archaic, rule to live by was an anathema to a society in the grips of the prepared food revolution. Arnold was having none of it.

Many meals a day. “You see something, you eat it,” said another of my bodybuilding friends to someone who’d asked how he got that big. “You eat all the time.” Arnold knew three squares a day wasn’t going to cut it, no matter what the FDA was championing. And it wasn’t just the fact that he needed 5,000 calories per day to maintain his size. They knew about the importance of insulin spikes, digestion times, and other variables that could be helped by eating more frequently. Smaller meals allowed you to train harder. The harder you could train, the better the results, provided you had enough fuel in the tank.

Protein shakes. Even my athletic friends thought I was weird for the concoctions I’d throw into a blender in high school. But the boys down at Gold’s Gym said the best way to get enough nutrients was to buy bulk protein and make shakes, so I immediately jumped on the bandwagon. These were often clumpy and none too tasty, a far cry from oh, say, Beachbody’s Whey Protein Powder shakes. We, however, did what Arnold did and would have happily quaffed down motor oil if someone had told us it would make us strong.

Fats. Arnold didn’t shy away from fat, recommending good fats, like nuts, but also bad fats that you get from dairy and red meat, things he ate in abundance. But certainly these recommendations had to factor in his size and the amount of exercise he did. If you do this, his level of fat intake no longer seemed outrageous. More and more we are realizing the importance of fatty acids. And not just omega-3s. Even saturated fats, which can be deadly if consumed in excess, are essential for maximal testosterone production and not something you want to cut out entirely.
The bottom line is that this little group of fringe athletes probably understood the relationship between proper eating and human performance better than anyone in the world, and that the answers could be relatively simple.

“Exercising without eating the proper foods is like plowing a field and not putting any seed into the ground,” said Arnold. “Nothing would grow out of it.”

This little bit of validation from those oiled-up freaks posing on the beach is more a lesson in the obvious. Arnold and the boys lived in a cutting-edge world of trial and error. Their eating habits reflected this approach. They made in retrospect what look like sound scientific decisions, even though they conflicted with the conventions of the day. Their approach is an example of the fact that the most effective way to accomplish something is not to wait around for others. Sometimes the answer is to just get out there and do it.

September 12, 2014
How to come off steroids the right way

When it comes to performance enhancement, most will spend quite a bit of time learning about anabolic steroids, searching out proper supplementation practices and every last aspect they can as it pertains to remaining safe. Many who’ve never touched the first anabolic steroid will spend months and months, maybe even years going back and forth searching out everything they can; such research should be applauded. Even so, while the cycle itself is researched, many fail to consider the post cycle aspect; specifically, how to come off steroids. Of course, at some point in time you’re going to come off; there are those who will stay on cycle for indefinite periods of time, hardcore performance enhancers who will be on cycle for an enormous amount of time, but eventually everyone comes off. Understand this here and now; you need to know how to come off steroids, and you need to know how to come off steroids in the most efficient and healthy way possible.

When we supplement with anabolic androgenic steroids for the purpose of performance enhancement, we are providing our body with a massive amount of hormones; far more than it is naturally accustomed to. Once a cycle is complete, once the exogenous hormones are no longer provided something must be done in-order to help the body normalize; otherwise, complications may arise. In many ways, one of the primary factors is testosterone; anabolic androgenic steroids will suppress our natural testosterone production; the degree of the suppression will vary and be dependent on the steroids we’re using, but it will occur. Once our cycle is complete, our levels are still suppressed; granted, natural production will begin again, but it is going to take quite a bit of time for you natural levels to return to normal. A simple 12-16wk testosterone cycle will take around a full year to recover from if nothing is done, and that means you’ll be living with low levels for quite some time. A low testosterone condition cannot only be extremely bothersome due to the symptoms it can provide, it is extremely unhealthy, and what’s worse is there is absolutely no reason for it. It must be noted; when it comes to post cycle testosterone recovery this is assuming you did not suffer from low testosterone prior to anabolic steroid use, and that you did not severely damage your HPTA with poor or improper supplementation practices.

Beyond testosterone suppression, you need to know how to come off steroids for simple normalization factors. This is extremely important when and if you reach extreme levels of anabolic steroidal use for long periods of time. We’re referring to hardcore supplementation, and when you discontinue use abruptly and without any thought to the future this can cause a shock to your body that can be quite uncomfortable. Such a case may mean your natural testosterone production will not begin on its own; even your entire endocrine system could be found lacking.

With all of this in mind, we want to look at how to come off steroids; specifically, we want to find out how to come off steroids safely, properly and effectively. We’ll look at post cycle plans for moderate to extreme use, and the options you have; we’ll even look at extreme hardcore scenarios some may be interested in. It should be noted; most of the information provided assumes you’re going to be off-cycle for an extended period of time with a few exceptions that will be noted. An extended period of time will be at least 12 weeks; if you’re going to be off cycle for less than 12 weeks, promoting things like testosterone stimulation is counterproductive since you’ll be suppressing it again shortly. Of course, if you are only going to be off for a short period of time, we have plans for you too.

How to Come off Steroids
When your cycle comes to an end and you’re ready to promote recovery, the first thing you need on hand is a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) and your top choices will always be Tamoxifen Citrate (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid). You will not need both, and each one can get the job done; simply choose one. You may find its best to try one and then the other the next time and see which one you prefer. At any rate, by their natural mode of action, these SERM’s will stimulate your natural testosterone production through a very simple action. SERM’s like Nolvadex and Clomid stimulate the pituitary to release more Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which in-turn stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone. Without LH and FSH, especially LH there is no natural testosterone production.

While a SERM is always needed, there is a second additional option that can be worth your consideration; the potent peptide hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). By its mode of action, hCG acts to stimulate natural testosterone through an LH mimicking effect; LH isn’t actually released, but your body thinks it is. hCG use isn’t always needed, but it can be a perfect way to prime your body for the SERM therapy to come. Of course, as you want to understand how to come off steroids, you need to know how to implement both hCG and your SERM, and depending on which SERM you use, how your steroid cycle ends and if you include hCG this will determine what is known as your Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) treatment plan. It must be noted; hCG use must be limited; hCG abuse can be more damaging than most other types of performance abuse in a long-term sense. If you use too much or for too long, your body may become dependent on this LH mimicking action, and if this occurs, you may very well find a permanent low testosterone condition.

How to Come off Steroids – The Plans
If your steroid cycle is of a simple or moderate nature, there’s a good chance you’ll only need a SERM for 4 weeks; simple or moderate might refer to 12 weeks of a low dose testosterone cycle. In such an instance, you could use hCG and it won’t hurt anything, but it’s not going to be necessary. Above this, you will need five to six weeks of SERM therapy and ten days of hCG therapy preceding it. In any case, in the chart below we have listed the standard SERM therapy to get you started; if your steroid cycle was of a very moderate nature, simply adjust the doses to meet a four week plan.

September 4, 2014
Best Steroids For Healing and Injury

The human body heals itself by blood flow, nutrition, and circulation. Ligaments, tendons and joints have less efficient and abundant blood flow as compared to muscles. The human body being more than 70% water, operates in a fluid medium. That fluid is blood. Anabolic steroids affect your blood, they affect your healing, not just your muscles.

First of all, as we all know, abuse means reckless, inaccurate, disregard for the body, uncontrollable addiction. The only thing we are addicted to is muscle and weights. Maybe some cables, a few machines and women with measurements that go 34DD-24-34. Here are the main physiological facts about anabolic steroids and your connective tissues:

  1. Stimulate bone mass accretion 
  2. Stimulate red blood cell production (erythropoesis) 
  3. Stimulate larger overall blood volume 
  4. Increase intra and extra cellular fluid volume 
  5. Some have anti- inflammatory affects

Of the five main facts listed above, the point we are most interested in is number five. Ant-inflammatory properties. This would make the drugs coveted by finesse positions such as “pitching”. Now to be clear, use or “abuse” of corticosteroids could definitely weaken connective tissue including bone. But these two classifications of drugs are completely different. Actually, corticosteroids are the enemy for any hard working, hard lifting juice bag trying to grow massive. Actually just as important if you are dieting and trying not to lose muscle.

The Nandrolone (Deca Durabolin is a family member) and Boldenone (Equipoise) are the two favorites with regard to healing soft tissue. Nandrolone has an excellent ability to decrease inflammation of ligaments, tendons and joint capsule structures. The plus is that with Nandrolone you get nitrogen retention which means accelerated healing of all tissue involving nitrogen, which means protein type tissues. Guess what ligaments and tendons are made out of-yup, protein, although specific forms of protein called proteoglycans and aminoglycans, and collagen of various types. Not quite as easily accessible as muscle tissue, but the Nandrolone still helps. At the least much pain is caused by inflammation and ligaments/tendons being irritated by shear friction against another anatomical structure. Decreasing the inflammation is often a factor which decreases the friction between the inflamed tissue and whatever it is rubbing against, thereby decreasing pain. This is why you read so often that “deca decreases joint pain”. This is actually true in many cases and now you know the mechanism.

Equipoise is also an excellent rehabilitative drug for soft tissue. Equipose is also one of the best anabolics for increasing blood volume and red blood cell production. Red blood cells carry oxygen and more blood volume means more blood flow to areas that don’t normally get much. Equipoise increased blood volume and oxygen in the blood thereby allowing an increased healing process to occur in the tissues. As with nandrolone you will also get a nice increase in nitrogen retention from the equipoise. This will speed total body healing. You didn’t think that this was the drug of choice for million dollar thoroughbred race horses because it made there joints hurt, did you? Oh, it makes their bones weak, that makes them faster, right? Don’t forget, steroids weaken bones-says society. Yeah right.

Anabolic steroids accelerate body healing all over. Total body accelerated healing. Ligaments and tendons will still heal very slowly for the most part, they will only have a small increase in healing rate compared to muscle/bone, but they will still heal faster. The dosages needed for this purpose are lower than for sheer muscle building. Four hundred milligrams a week of either drug (deca or eq) should do the trick. It wouldn’t hurt to use some glucosamine and chondroiten during this time period as well. Ligaments and tendons do not heal without adequate vitamin C either. Make sure you take a supplemental form-around a gram per day with lots of water. If you have some growth hormone, even better, but we will reserve the specifics of growth for future growth of this web site. For now, we’ll stick with anabolics.

August 28, 2014
Understanding Clenbuterol

When Clenbuterol first hit the bodybuilding scene in the 1980’s, it was viewed in much the same way as most new performance enhancers - as the next best thing. Surrounded by an aura of mystery, excitement, and apprehension, in combination with a healthy dose of hype, it was only a matter of time before some crazy stories began to circulate around the community regarding its proficiency as an ergogenic aide. The general consensus was that this new wonder drug could melt off fat in record time, while simultaneously providing muscle building benefitson par with anabolic steroids.

As we entered the 90’s, the drug was still widely inaccessible to most (remember, this was the pre-internet days) and reliable, detailed information on PED’s remained scarce. At around this time we also started seeing the major bodybuilding publications paint clenbuterol as some kind of death drug in what could only be seen as an obvious attempt to turn bodybuilders away from its growing use. While I don’t doubt that the intentions of the authors were well-meaning, this only served to further muddy the waters regarding our understanding of the drug. Still, being risk takers at heart, this didn’t dissuade bodybuilders from continued self-experimentation.

As real-world experience continued to accumulate and with the internet on the horizon, things began to change. In time, the scare tactics faded away and were replaced with useful information, while exaggerations diminished and the drug’s true benefits were more clearly defined. At this point, our understanding of clenbuterol and its applications as a performance enhancer - or should I say “appearance enhancer” - are solid, being rooted in extensive clinical researchand a massive amount of anecdotal evidence. However, for those of you who are not quite up to speed on this subject, the following article may help you gain a better understanding of this commonly used PED, while teaching you how to properly implement it into your program.

What is Clenbuterol?

Technically, Clenbuterol is what we call a Beta-2 adrenergic agonist. It belongs to the class of drugs known as sympathomimetics and works by latching onto and activating the Beta-2 receptor, which is found in various tissues such as muscle and fat. Depending on which receptors are activated, it can produce a wide range of effects throughout the body.

Possessing numerous applications in both humans and animals, it is routinely used by asthmatics as a bronchodilator and more recently it has been employed as a cardio-protectant in those suffering from congestive heart failure (in combination with a B1 AR blocker). In animals, it is used world-wide as a repartitioning agent in livestock as a cost-effective method of increasing meat yield, as well as a performance enhancer in race horses, and less frequently as a labor suppressant in some animals.

Clenbuterol as a growth Agent

There has been a lot of misinformation put forth over the years regarding Clen’s viability as a growth promoting agent, most of which has come about as a result of extrapolation (applying information from animal research to humans). The problem here is that animal studies, due to physiological differences between the species, are often poor predictors of human response, so using them for anything other than speculation is irresponsible. In order to come to any type of reliable conclusion, human research is mandatory. This necessity is clearly demonstrated when comparing the documented effects of Clenbuterol in animal and human studies.

When it comes to tolerance, animals definitely have the upper-hand, being capable of using doses 200-400X the normal human limit without experiencing ill effects. At these dosages, dramatic body recomping effects are noticed within a very short period of time, with one study revealing a whopping 20% increase in lean mass and a full 20% decrease in bodyfat in less than 10 days! That is a near unbelievable change in body composition, especially given the fact that these animals did not undergo any type of resistance training or other hormone therapy.

Unfortunately, the results aren’t nearly as impressive in humans, with some studies showing very modest improvements and others nothing at all. Whether this is due to the much smaller dose employed, variances in physiological response, or both, the fact remains that Clen does not work well as a growth enhancer in humans. Although its weak anabolic nature makes it unsuitable as a mass-builder, its muscle sparring effects can be useful during a diet. Unlike most other fat loss drugs, which tend to have deleterious effects on muscle maintenance, clen is one of the few that actually has a positive effect in this area, allowing the user to strip away bodyfat while reducing the risk of muscle loss. This can be especially valuable towards the end of a contest diet, when low caloric intake makes holding onto muscle tissue difficult. This dual effect qualifies Clen as an effective repartitioning agent.

Also of interest is Clen’s ability to increase Type II muscle fiber density (an increased ratio of Type II to Type I muscle fibers), but don’t get your hopes up, as this effect has only been observed in animals and again, is likely due to substantial differences in dosing. With the majority of clen’s growth and muscle fiber altering benefits only occurring at these elevated doses, why haven’t they been studied in humans? The answer is simple and is directly related to clen’s effect on beta 1 receptors.

Although Clen is generally considered to be selective in its activation of the Beta 2 receptor, it still has a pronounced effect on the Beta 1 receptor, which controls things such as heart rate and blood pressure. When Beta 1 receptors become overstimulated, heart rate can rise to dangerous levels, causing myocardial infarction (heart attack) and death.

We can potentially inhibit Clen’s effect on Beta 1 receptors by co-administering a Beta 1 blocker (ex. metropolol), which in theory, should allow us to take advantage of the benefits associated with higher dosages, while avoiding the negative effects on heart rate and blood pressure. However, this is not recommended. With Clenbuterol and Beta 1 blockers possessing different half-lives, even the slightest miscalculation in timing could potentially result in the re-stimulation of beta 1 receptors, followed by all the side effects normally encountered with excessive clen dosages. For this reason, such experimentation is best left for medical researchers.

Clen as a fat-loss Agent

This is where Clenbuterol really shines. Used for decades in the bodybuilding and fitness communities, clen has built a reputation as one of the most effective fat loss drugs available and with good reason. Functioning as a both a thermogenic and lipolytic agent, Clen stimulates fat loss through not one, but two potent, independent mechanisms. This allows the user to experience fat loss at a greatly accelerated rate.

As a lipolytic agent, Clen potentiates fat burning by attaching to beta 2 receptors within adipose tissue, which initiates the breakdown and release of stored triglycerides into the bloodstream, making them more readily available for use as energy.

As a thermogenic, clen also provides a direct fat burning effect by increasing the rate at which fatty acids are oxidized within the mitochondria. This leads to one of clen’s defining characteristic effects—an increase in body temperature.

As mentioned earlier, beta 2 agonists possess moderate muscle sparring effects, differentiating them from fat burners such as T3, which promote fat burning through indiscriminate calorie burning (both fat & muscle).

In my opinion, Clenbuterol, along with growth hormone, are the best fat loss drugs for BB’rs, especially during pre-contest prep, as they help accomplish the bodybuilders two primary goals—the maintenance of muscle tissue and the elimination of bodyfat.

Administration & Dosing

Over the years, Clenbuterol has been subject to considerable disagreement in terms of administration. 2 days ON/ 2 days OFF, 1 week ON/ 1 week OFF, 2 weeks ON/ 2 week OFF, 3 week ON/ 3 weeks OFF, and just about every other dosing scheme you can think of has been recommended over the last 20 years. Most of the conflict originates from an attempt to optimize its fat burning effects and minimize down-regulation, but before we address this issue, let’s first take a look at what down-regulation is and why it should be avoided.

Down-regulation is the process by which a cell decreases the quantity of a cellular component in response to an external variable. Using clen as an example, down-regulation occurs when the number of beta 2 receptors diminishes as a result of continued clenbuterol administration. In laymen’s terms, using clen for too long will cause the cell to stop responding to the drug. The key to successful clenbuterol administration, at least in terms of maintaining efficacy, is to use the drug only as long as its fat burning effects are maintained. While this limits the amount of time we can use the drug, we can always go back on after beta 2 receptors have up-regulated, which occurs naturally with sufficient off-time.

Let’s look at some of the different dosing schedules and see which is best. For a time, the 2 day ON/ 2 day OFF program was popular, but it fails to take in account the drug’s long duration of action. With a half-life of roughly 35 hours, this dosing schedule never allows the drug to clear the system, leading to sustained down-regulation after just a few weeks of use. Obviously, anyone who recommends this program lacks a basic understanding of the drug’s pharmacokinetic profile.

While down-regulation begins to take place after about 2 weeks, its effectiveness can be partially maintained for a longer period of time, as full down-regulation does not occur for several weeks. Still, unless the user has a rapidly approaching deadline which requires him to be in shape (ex. an impending contest), most users will be better off sticking with the traditional 2 weeks ON/ 2 weeks OFF schedule, as it provides the best balance of effectiveness to down-regulation.

When it comes to dosing frequency, clen has traditionally been administered 1-2X daily. Being a nervous system stimulant, some may find that taking clen too close to bedtime prevents restful sleep, although this side effect tends to diminish with continued use. Most users prefer to administer clen at least 2X daily in equally divided doses, which I find to be superior for multiple reasons. Not only does it maintain more even blood levels of the drug, optimizing fat burning throughout the day, but it cuts down on the incidence of side effects, such as elevated heart rate and muscle tremors, which are commonplace in those who take their entire daily dose all at once. These side effects can be unpleasant, to say the least.

A typical daily dose for men falls in the range of 60-120 mcg/day, while 40-100 mcg/day is usually sufficient for women. Maximum doses should never be administered at the onset of treatment, but should be gradually titrated upwards as tolerance develops. A dosage of 20-40 mcg per day, in 2 equally divided doses, is a good starting point, with an additional 20 mcg added every 2-3 days until optimal dosing is reached. This drastically cuts down on the possibility of experiencing dangerous elevations in heart rate.

For those who desire to use clen for longer periods of time without experiencing down-regulation, they have the option of employing the 2nd generation antihistamine drug, ketotifin. Ketotifin works by preventing Beta 2 receptor down-regulation, allowing clen to exert its effects indefinitely. Although Clen can be used long-term under these circumstances, it is not advisable, as it increases the possibility of experiencing unwanted side effects.

August 15, 2014
Performance Enhancing Drugs & the Middle-aged Man

It wasn’t long ago when the word “middle-age” was associated with physical inadequacy. For millennia middle-age was the accepted time when a man would move beyond his prime and leave the strength and vigor of his youth behind; a time when those prized qualities which help to define a man begin to fade. The musculature becomes weaker, softer, and smaller. The skin begins to dull, wrinkle, and loses its elasticity.

The hair begins to turn thin, turn color, become brittle and grow coarse. Libido declines and erectile dysfunction begins to rear its ugly head. Bodyfat stores increase. Done density decreases. Mood and cognitive functioning is impaired. Collagen production wanes, the joints and connective tissues begin to ache, and the capacity for physical exertion is diminished…and if all of this weren’t bad enough, this is only a partial list.

Fortunately, men no longer have to play the hand they were dealt. We now live in a day and age where physical-mental deterioration and middle-age are no longer synonymous. Through the advent modern medicine, we have the ability to counteract and prevent many of these age related side effects. When it comes to the physique, men in their 50’s can attain a muscular build and bodyfat% which would make the average 25 year old envious. The advantages offered to modern men are truly spectacular and would not have been possible in generations past.

In its most basic form, improvement of the physique and health through hormonal manipulation can be referred to as “TRT” (testosterone replacement therapy) or “HRT” (hormone replacement therapy). Both terms have the same basic meaning and are frequently used interchangeably when referring to the restoration of key male hormones to that of a more youthful level. For years, the social stigma attached to drugs like testosterone largely hindered the advancement of this sorely needed medical practice. However, many of the initial fears held by the medical community have been assuaged in light of the numerous studies demonstrating testosterone’s safety when used at appropriate dosages, as well as its health benefits. This has led to HRT becoming a more accepted field of practice, with a greater number of doctors seeing a real need for aging men to maintain optimal levels of testosterone into old age.

Some of the benefits associated with optimal levels of testosterone include:

  • Increase in muscle strength
  • Increase in muscle size
  • Improvement in body fat loss
  • Improvement in cholesterol & lipid profile
  • Improvement in exercise recovery
  • Improvement sexual function & libido
  • Improvement in mood & cognitive functioning
  • Improvement in energy levels
  • Improvement in one’s outlook on life

Testosterone is “the” male hormone. It is what makes us men from a physical standpoint. Sub-optimal levels will result in reduced virility and masculinity in all its forms, as well as impaired health and diminished mental faculties. Maintaining optimal levels of this hormone is critical for those who wish to move throughout life feeling and functioning at the top of their game. While testosterone is an important piece of the puzzle, it is only one piece of the puzzle. Typically, traditional hormone replacement therapy focuses solely on the normalization of testosterone levels, with little regard given to the supplementation of other key hormones naturally produced by the human body, and it completely neglects the utilization of newer compounds which have proven beneficial to aging men. While traditional HRT is certainly helpful, there are several other compounds we can employ in order to accelerate fat loss, muscle growth, and impair the aging process, while improving one’s overall health.

When constructing a personalized program for middle aged men, the two foundation drugs upon which the rest of one’s program should be built are testosterone and growth hormone. Thus far testosterone has been mentioned multiple times and most men are at least somewhat familiar with the hormone, but GH is less well understood. The reason for this is several-fold, but without doubt, GH is one of the single most beneficial compounds one can employ in their program, especially once we start getting older. GH serves to rejuvenate and revitalize, restoring the body to a more youthful state of functioning and appearance. The range of improvement witnessed with GH is extensive, impacting literally dozens of areas which are connected to physical fitness and the aging process. In recent years, GH supplementation has caught on like wildfire, being used by athletes, actors, your every day gym lifter, middle-aged men, and even stay at home moms.

Here is a partial list of the benefits of GH supplementation:

  • Increase in muscle strength
  • Increase in muscle size
  • Improvement in body fat loss
  • Improvement in cholesterol & cardiac function
  • Improvement in exercise tolerance
  • Improvement in exercise endurance
  • Improvement in hair thickness, texture, and possible hair re-growth
  • Improvements in skin thickness, texture, elasticity, and the elimination of wrinkles
  • Improvement in injury healing
  • Improvement sexual function & libido
  • Improvement in mood & memory
  • Improvement in sleep quality
  • Improvement in energy levels
  • Improvement in one’s outlook on life

Needless to say, GH administration results in significant benefits and while it may appear that GH delivers benefits similar to testosterone, each hormone works through different mechanisms to accomplish these goals, providing a synergistic effect and greater overall results. They are two very different hormones and one cannot replace the other. Both are absolutely essential when it comes to maintaining optimal health and wellbeing. At this point I should note that GH differs from many other drugs in that the results it provides are not immediately apparent. GH must be used for 1-3 months before its benefits begin to become noticeable, with maximum results taking take place at around the 6 month point. The user will continue to receive these benefits with continued use.

In addition to Testosterone & GH, let’s touch on some of the other compounds which might profit an individual seeking to overcome some of the nagging issues associated with aging, but before we do, I am assuming that if you are a middle-aged man reading this article, it is likely that you engage in weight training. If you do not, start now! The benefits of weight training are too numerous to miss out on this critical activity, not to mention the compounds listed in this article go hand in hand with physical exercise, enabling the individual to experience benefits which would have not been possible otherwise. Oftentimes injury or nagging aches & pains prevent men from participating in weight training beyond a certain age, but with the use of these compounds, many men find themselves able to participate in productive weight training for the first time in years. As if that weren’t good enough, the results you will experience from your efforts will come at a greatly accelerated rate.

Of all the different performance enhancing drugs made available by the medical community, aside from testosterone & GH, Nandrolone may offer the most benefit for the aging male. Nandrolone is a testosterone derivative which has been around for many decades, first being synthesized in the 30’s. Over the years, it has developed a reputation for safety and effectiveness when it comes to the accumulation of muscle & strength, but one of the primary benefits associated with nandrolone usage is its positive effect on the joints. Nandrolone exhibits a type of lubricating or cushioning effect on the joints, affording many users the opportunity to train with greatly reduced pain and in some cases, no pain at all. Nandrolone is often added into an individual’s program for this reason alone. When using Nandrolone solely for joint pain, the doses should remain low, in the range of 150-200 mg per week. Higher doses are best reserved for BB’rs or those primarily interested in the acquisition of maximum amounts of muscle mass. A reduction in joint pain and an increase in mobility should start to become apparent around the 5-6 week mark.

Note: It should be mentioned that Nandrolone does have the ability to negatively affect sexual function & libido in some men, although one can significantly reduce the possibility of this occurring by keeping one’s dosage on the lower side and using a shorter-estered form of nandrolone, known as NPP (nandrolone phenyl propionate). It is common to experience this side effect when using 400+ mg of longer-estered forms of nandrolone, but when administering nandrolone at dosages appropriate for joint pain relief and using a shorter-estered form, a decrease in sexual function and/or libido is much less likely. It should also be noted that if one does experience this side effect, the simple elimination of nandrolone from one’s program will lead to the cessation of this side effect after just a few weeks.

While there are several other drugs which show promise for use in middle-aged men, we are not going to get into all of them, or this article will quickly turn into a short book. However, I will cover one more category of performance enhancing drugs before concluding. These are the PED5 inhibitors, more commonly known as Viagra, Levitra, and Cialis. No longer are these drugs viewed simply as a band-aid for men who can’t achieve an erection, they are now used by men of all ages to enhance sexual performance above and beyond what can normally be achieved. In other words, one does not have to be impotent in order to benefit from these drugs. Many men, after noticing just a small loss of function, have turned to the use of PED5 inhibitors. So, if you are no longer performing optimally or would simply like to enhance your current game, you might want to give some consideration to the use of a PED5 inhibitor. If you thought having sex multiple times in a single session and being able to achieve a long-lasting erection with ease was for teenagers, think again. These drugs have worked miracles for many men all over the world and if you are even the least bit dissatisfied with your current love life, give PED5 inhibitors a try. They have been proven safe & effective time and time again by numerous medical studies. However, for those men with serious cardiovascular problems, PED5 inhibitors may not be the right choice for you. Contact your doctor prior to use.

Through the intelligent application of today’s performance enhancing drugs, we no longer have to succumb to the natural stages of life. So long as that man is willing to do his part by putting the required effort into his training & nutrition, he will be able to stave off and even reverse the aging process on both the inside and the outside. In terms of dosing, a man using testosterone, GH and nandrolone for these purtposes does not rrequire the supraphysiological doses

August 8, 2014
Tips to a Successful Gaining / Bulking Diet

Most often the №1 mistake regarding bulking or gaining or keeping in shape is setting unrealistic goals and a timetable (Gaining too fast which causes more pains than you would think). People think it can be done overnight, in a few weeks, or even in a month. That is going to depend on what you start out (weight and physique wise) and what you are trying to achieve. Think about this for a second. As a natural trainee who has some experience under his belt and is not very new to lifting the amount of muscle you will truly make in a year will be no more than around 10-12 pounds if you have spot on diet and training. Let’s face is, most of us are human; we are not going to be able to nail every single meal and every single training session like we would like.

Things come up, family events come up, and vacations come up and may set us back. Now while you may be bulking or gaining this may be easier than cutting, but for some they under estimate when they cannot track calories, or as we all know eating out is quite expensive and to get in loads of kcals (good calories) when eating out you will be paying a bit more than you would want for some extra protein like chicken, steak etc. The bulking game is a patience game just like cutting, lean mass does not happen right away, and will take some time to lay more muscle onto your frame.
First thing’s first…

Let’s start by establishing what we should do to help measure our intake. Since we are trying to gain we must first try to establish our BMR and TDEE which are essential to let us know what we burn literally sitting on our butt all day (BMR = Basic metabolic Rate) and TDEE (The amount of kcals you burn in a 24 hour period). While using online calculators are great, they are just that an online calculator, don’t place a lot of faith in them because it will spit out a number for you. This is where you need to do a lot of “Trial and Error” which is the most optimal thing to do. Start with a number say your BMR Is around 2000, and you want to slowly gain, start with 3,000 kcals. There are so many variables that will change what the individual should consume. Think about how often you train (Frequency), amount of volume you use (the more volume the more glycogen depletion), Amount of cardio (More cardio = more calories burned), how much you weigh, how tall you are. These are all important and play into the main scheme of things.

Energy In (corrected for digestion) = (BMR/RMR + TEF + TEA + SPA/NEAT) + Change in Body Stores

Very simple showing you that the amount of kcals you eat (Energy In) = BMR (Basic metabolic rate + TEF + NEAT (exercise and non-exercise activity).

My personal belief unless you are going to use “Enhancing” supplements that you should try to meet your fiber, protein, and fat minimums first and foremost 1g/lb. of Protein (if you weigh 200 pounds then 200g) at least 20% of your diet coming from Fats (so .2) and the rest carbs.

Now let’s say you need 3000 calories and are 200 pounds
200 pounds = 200g of protein = 800 kcals
20% of 3000 = 600kcals which /9 = 66.6 Which we could run to 67g
and the rest carbs (Around 400g)

Some people will not respond well to a higher carb diet and that is fine, you can simply adjust by adding a higher fat intake. Say 25-30% and lowering your carbs. We have to remember in a caloric surplus that more protein is not always better. More protein will just be stored like any other macronutrient in a caloric surplus, but carbs and fats are more protein sparing once are minimums are met!

Next we will talk about training for gaining. Now the crazy thing is there is no difference, in all honesty you should still lift heavy (Type I Muscle Fibers) and lift in the hypertrophy rep range (Type II Muscle Fibers). Why? Because no rep range is going to make you grow, using all rep ranges will make you grow.

We have to realize that in a surplus we do have a little more leeway than when we are in a deficit and can use a bit extra volume due to extra glycogen, and we can get carried away with excessive training techniques like drop sets, accumulation sets, rest pause sets, forced negatives, iso tension and so forth and so on. When dieting our calories are limited, our recover is impaired and we have to be wise with how much cardio and training we are doing to balance and preserve our muscle mass. For those who may be new to training I would suggest looking into these programs:

  1. Starting Strength
  2. Mad cow 5x5
  3. 5/3/1

These are all very simple and easy programs. I would highly suggest sticking to a 5/3/1 Boring But Big setup which focuses on the compound lifts (as all new lifters should focus on) and getting down adequate form and range of motion. Remember it’s not about how much you lift, but also how good your form is and stimulating the proper muscle.

Training full body 3x a week would be optimal for newbies to make sure they are getting in good gym time, but also good rest time to help with their gains. Remember we grow “out of the gym” not “in the gym” if our caloric needs and diet do not match our training our goal will never be achieved.

As one becomes more experienced in training I would suggest looking into more upper/lower routines or more frequent routines.

Lyle’s Generic Bulking Routine (Right off bodyrecomposition.com)
West Side for Skinny Bastards (Upper/lower with hypertrophy and power days) 5/3/1 and more advanced alternatives than Boring but big.

Once the trainee would have a good 1-2 years of fundamentals built up over time these would be good considerations. Mostly all of them focus on an upper/lower (Deadlifting/squatting at least once a week) and hitting each muscle group almost 2x a week because the 5/3/1 may be overlapping with accessory work for the other muscle groups after performing the complex lift.

After you get a good 3 years in your system then I would venture into more advanced routines that you may see pro bodybuilders or those who you look up to running for instance:

  • Layne Norton’s PHAT routine
  • Smolov (For Squatting)
  • Shieko (29, 37, 30, 40) These are all very popular but high volume.
  • CUBE (powerlifting)

These routines may be a bit advanced and require some kcals and also some good knowledge on lifting, but if you try to jump to something advanced right away you will burn out, it won’t lead to results, and lead to more headaches than you would want.

Since we have covered training and caloric needs let’s also talk about some things we should consider in the offseason as well. Some people like to run their calories the same every day, and if they stall they just simply increase kcals, while others (since we are human) like some moderation. And this is where refeed meals/refeed days, or cheat meals could come into play.

I personally enjoy one meal off my diet per week of whatever I want. If I want to go out with a friend and grab Chinese I just replace one meal with that and move on for the day, have a slice of cake with it and call it a day and back on my diet. Some people cannot control themselves off a cheat meal in the middle of a day and will continue to eat junk the rest of the day because they blew their diet and hitting their calories, this is where I would suggest using your cheat meal as your last meal of the day so once you are finished there is nothing left to eat and you can move on to tomorrow and then get back on track with your diet.

Some contest prep coaches still like to use refeeds even in the offseason and even in a surplus that is a great way to add in some extra kcals and spark some growth IMO. For instance someone is on that baseline diet we talked about above. 200g of protein, 400g of carbs, and 66g of fat. On say a lagging bodypart day that individual will lower protein a touch, lower fat a touch and increase carbs. A general rule of thumb I like to do is drop protein 20-25g, fat 5-10g and increase carbs 125-150g

So this would look like on the refeed days:
175g Protein, 525g of carbs, and 55-60g of fat

Now the kcals are a bit higher (which is the point of a refeed) and also since we may be hitting our minimums of fiber/fat and maybe a bit shy on protein the surplus of kcals will cover what we are missing in the end.

These are good tactics we could use in the offseason to help spark our growth and continue to aid in lean gains since we are still “Tracking” our intake, and knowing what adjustments need to be made if we stall or if we gain too fast (cut back on total kcals every day or cut back on the refeeds).

Some quotes I want to finish this article with are stances from other bodybuilding coaches or contest prep coaches and their importance towards lean mass.

John Meadows on the subject:

“Bulking up (getting fat) = eventual decreased insulin sensitivity at some point, still waiting for someone to explain to me how you can grow faster (muscle) in this state.

You also have to consider how the person stores bodyfat too, some people store it pretty evenly so they can get a little chunkier, some people like me store it in one area in globs. These people have to be really careful because it is already hard to get that area down, now you go add 5% fat to it…prepare for 12 weeks of hell. Getting that tough area down will likely hurt other areas.

It’s also knowing your body. Eventually you get to a point where you keep raising calories and you aren’t even sure if you are even gaining muscle, you can just see fat accumulation. Gaining 5 lbs. of fat to gain 1 lb. of muscle is a bad idea. You will lose that 1 lb. of muscle trying to get the 5 of fat off.

Getting fat over and over can make getting leaner harder each time. If you overdue it, then have to kill yourself to come down, what do you think your body’s first response is going to be when you start your next diet? Yes, survive and hang onto that fat.

I personally don’t see any reason to get above 12-15% for most guys. Ultimately it will depend on where you start to lose insulin sensitivity, pumps decrease, muscle start getting softer, etc. There are signs if you know what you are looking for.”

Brian Custodio:

“I read a lot on here and contrary to what people think I hate no one on here. I just have different opinions from my trials and errors. I will never hover above stage weight as others do because I feel as no improvements to weak parts can be made. Sure you’ll get harder and look better but you still never improved your physique. You actually made your weaknesses more noticeable. How many really competitive guys stay lean year round? Not many! Cause muscle cannot be added without fat accumulation. This wasn’t towards anyone in particular but just seeing a trend lately. But you all have to decide, do you want to gain 3lbs a year and in 5-7yrs climb a weight class? Or live a little wilder and climb 10-20lbs a year and climb a weight class in 2-3yrs (then solidify that weight)? Each has their tradeoffs.”

Lyle McDonald on Muscular Potential: 

I am not sure if I came up with this idea on my own or stole it from somewhere else (probably a combination of the two) but, in a slightly different context (how quickly can someone gain muscle), I have often thrown out the following values for rates of muscle gain.


Year of Proper Training Potential Rate of Muscle Gain per Year

  1. 20-25 pounds (2 pounds per month)
  2. 10-12 pounds (1 pound per month)
  3. 5-6 pounds (0.5 pound per month)
  4. + 2-3 pounds (not worth calculating)

Shelby Starnes on Gaining Size in the offseason:

“Generally speaking, I believe you should always be able to see at least an outline of your abs even deep in the off-season. The fat at the lower back “love handle” area should also be kept to a minimum. For most people this means a max of about 12% body fat or so. I’m not big on numbers and measurements, though; I just go by the mirror. How you look is more important than a number.

For those that really want to push the envelope, such as a bodybuilder looking to jump up a weight class, I believe it’s acceptable (and sometimes even advisable) to get a bit heavier, but 15% body fat is about the max. If you allow yourself to get that high, make sure to allow extra time for dieting afterwards. Another important factor to consider is where you feel socially and psychologically comfortable.

Bodybuilding should be enjoyable (though challenging), so if staying lighter and leaner makes the journey more palatable to you, then by all means do it. You’ll never be consistent in your efforts if you hate how you look and feel in the off-season.

If it drives you nuts to try to stay relatively lean in the offseason, then just do your best and save the dieting for pre-contest time. Not everyone has the same motivation and drive year-round. Just remember that your progress will mirror your effort, assuming your effort is intelligently planned.

August 1, 2014
Anabolic steroids and Sexual Effects for Women

Women athletes certainly do need to take a different approach to anabolic steroid use than males do. There are only a limited number of the drugs listed in this text that a woman would even want to consider. Among those are Primobolan, Proviron, Nolvadex, Nandrolone, Anavar, Winstrol, and synthetic Growth Hormone. It is important to note that even on the lowest dosages of any of these steroids, women can start to experience virilizing effects. This is because any amount of steroid introduced into the woman’s endocrine system is a serious jolt.

Anabolic steroids are synthetic derivatives of male hormones and can cause serious adverse reactions in some women. The most prudent approach to administering anabolic steroids to the female involves the use of low dosages of very low androgenic items. Women obviously do not have to worry about the Gonadotrophic suppression that men do nor do they usually encounter much of a problem with the hepatotoxicity of anabolic steroids. This is because they most often use low dosages of very clean items. Since the most androgenic items tend to be the most toxic to the liver, by avoiding these items women also avoid the liver stress that most men undergo. Women can however benefit from the use of estrogen antagonists.

Many women favor the use of Nolvadex and/or Proviron while trying to attain muscularity. Anabolic steroids have been extremely effective for many women athletes who use them to obtain size, strength and endurance. Since the virilizing effects women suffer from using anabolic steroids tend to be permanent, it is prudent to use caution at all times. One of the safer ways that I have seen women use anabolic steroids is to stack two low androgenic items for a period less than six weeks and then take several weeks off of the drugs before coming back to another four or five week cycle and then taking a good two months off of the drugs. With this pattern, women can watch for adverse reactions which usually occur in proportion to the duration of use by the female. The use of Growth Hormone by women has proven to be extremely effective in some cases. Since Growth Hormone is not an androgenic drug, it does not result in any virilizing effects for women. Growth Hormone greatly increases muscularity primarily by reducing body fat stores in the woman while leaving the lean muscle mass unaltered.

This is a group of side effects that are specific to women users. Virilization refers to attaining the characteristics of a mature male. Most often the first sign of this adverse reaction is hoarseness leading to deepness of the voice. This adverse reaction seems to be irreversible as permanent changes in the larynx take place. Clitoral enlargement is another common adverse reaction noticed by women steroid users. The extent to which this will occur depends on the type of steroid and the duration of use. Facial hair is also a sign of virilization. It too is irreversible and occurs primarily with the use of androgens. Others signs of virilization include, amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods), and a change in skin texture. Women have cited facial characteristics changing to resemble those of a male. Women have also cited suffering depression and anxiety while using anabolic steroids as well as fever and illness. If any of these signs begin to develop in the female user, she should discontinue the steroid use and reevaluate which items she is using. Obviously, women are more likely to suffer virilizing effects while using testosterones, Dianabol and other high androgens. Deca Durabolin is an especially effective steroid for most women but is very borderline; some women can handle the moderate androgens and others cannot. It is felt the safest choices for women users include low dosages of Anavar, Winstrol and Primobolan. Occasionally, a woman who is suffering virilizing affects from steroid use may be able to arrest the symptoms by using an anti-androgen. This has proven effective in some cases.

July 24, 2014
IGF-1 - the Insulin-like Growth Factor 1

Your body’s GH levels are tightly regulated by numerous chemical messengers including macronutrients, neurotransmitters, and hormones. The signal to increase your body’s GH levels starts in the hypothalamus. There, two peptide hormones act in concert to increase or decrease GH output from the pituitary gland. These hormones are somatostatin (SS) and growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH). Somatostatin acts at the pituitary to decrease GH output. GHRH acts at the pituitary to increase GH output. Together these hormones regulate, in pulsatile fashion, the level of GH you have floating around in your body.

Several factors can effect this delicate balance. First, GH is subject to negative feedback in response to its own release. GH, as well as IGF-1, circulate back to the hypothalamus and pituitary to increase SS release, thereby decreasing GH release. GH may also act in an autocrine and paracrine fashion within both the hypothalamus and pituitary. Neurotransmitters also effect GH levels at the hypothalamus. This neuroendocrine control is still being elucidated but some factors are already clearly involved.

Growth Hormone: How does it work?

It is always prudent to have a basic understanding of how a supplement, hormone or drug works to build and/or preserve muscle before considering its use. The knowledge of how a hormone acts in the body is necessary to make your own decisions and manage your own regimens if you plan on utilizing it. Without this understanding you will no doubt end up wasting a lot of money and perhaps put your health at risk.

It has been long believed that GH exerts its anabolic effects on peripheral tissues through IGFs, also known as somatomedins (“mediator of growth”). Binding proteins play an important role in moderating the anabolic effects of both GH and IGF-1. IGF-1 is controlled by at least 6 different binding proteins and there may others waiting to be elucidated. To date there are a couple theories as to just how GH causes growth in target tissues. The first theory is called the somatomedin hypothesis.

The Somatomedin hypothesis states that GH is released from the pituitary and then travels to the liver and other peripheral tissues where it causes the synthesis and release of IGFs. IGFs got there name because of there structural and functional similarity to proinsulin. This hypothesis dictates that IGFs work as endocrine growth factors, meaning that they travel in the blood to the target tissues after being released from cells that produced it, specifically the liver in this case. Indeed, many studies have followed showing that in animals that are GH deficient, systemic IGF-1 infusions lead to normal growth. The effects were similar to those observed after GH administration. Interestingly, additional studies also followed that showed IGF-1 to be greatly inferior as an endocrine growth factor requiring almost 50 times the amount to exert that same effects of GH. Recently rhIGF-1 has become widely more available and is currently approved form the treatment of HIV associated wasting. This increased availability allowed testing of this hypothesis in humans. Studies in human subjects with GH insensitivity (Laron syndrome) has consistently validated the somatomedin hypothesis.

The second theory as to how GH produces anabolic effects is called the Dual Effector theory. This theory states that GH itself has anabolic effects on body tissues without the need of IGF-1. This theory has been supported by studies injecting GH directly into growth plates. Further evidence supporting this theory lies in genetically altered strains of mice. When comparing mice who genetically over express GH and mice who over express IGF-1, GH mice are larger. This evidence has been sited by some to support the dual effector theory. Interestingly, when IGF-1 antiserum (it destroys IGF-1) is administered concomitantly with GH, all of the anabolic effects of GH are abolished.

The Somatomedin theory and the Dual Effector theory are not all that different. One simply asserts that GH can produce growth without IGF-1. From the research I am inclined to believe in the Somatomedin theory. This only becomes an issue when one decides whether or not to use just GH or to combine it with IGF-1 or insulin.

From the evidence currently available you can count on three major mechanisms by which GH leads to growth.

The effects of GH one bone formation and organ growth are mediated by the endocrine action of IGF-1. As stated in the Somatomedin hypothesis, GH, released from the pituitary, causes increased production and release of IGF-1 into the general circulation. IGF-1 then travels to target tissues such as bones, organs, and muscle to cause anabolic effects. GH regulates the activity of IGF-1 by increasing the production of binding proteins (specifically IGFBP-3 and another important protein called the acid-labile subunit) that increase the half-life of IGF-1 from minutes to hours. Circulating proteases then act to break up the binding protein/hormone complex thereby releasing the IGF-1 in a controlled fashion over time. GH may even cause target tissues to produce IGFBP-3 increasing its effectiveness locally. IGF-1 not only has endocrine actions, but also paracrine/autocrine actions in target tissues. This means that as GH travels to my muscles, the muscle cells increase there production of IGF-1. This IGF-1 may then travel to adjacent cells (especially satellite cells) leading to growth and enhanced rejuvenative ability of cells that didn’t see any GH. This is as suggested by the Dual Effector theory.

IGF-1: How does it work?

To understand how IGF-1 works you have to understand how muscles grow. The ability of muscle tissue to constantly regenerate in response to activity makes it unique. It’s ability to respond to physical/mechanical stimuli depends greatly on what are called satellite cells. Satellite cells are muscle precursor cells. You might think of them as “pro-muscle” cells. They are cells that reside on and around muscle cells. These cells sit dormant until called upon by growth factors such as IGF-1. Once this happens these cells divide and genetically change into cells that have nuclei identical to those of muscle cells. These new satellite cells with muscle nuclei are critical if not mandatory to muscle growth.

Without the ability to increase the number of nuclei, a muscle cell will not grow larger and its ability to repair itself is limited. The explanation for this is quite simple. The nucleus of the cell is where all of the blue prints for new muscle come from. The larger the muscle, the more nuclei you need to maintain it. In fact there is a “nuclear to volume” ratio that cannot be overridden. Whenever a muscle grows in response to functional overload there is a positive correlation between the increase in the number of myonuclei and the increase in fiber cross sectional area (CSA). When satellite cells are prohibited from donating new nuclei, overloaded muscle will not grow. So you see, one important key to unnatural muscle growth is the activation of satellite cells by growth factors such as IGF-1.

IGF-1 stimulates both proliferation (an increase in cell number) and differentiation (a conversion to muscle specific nuclei) in an autocrine-paracrine manner, although it induces differentiation to a much greater degree. This is in agreement with the Dual Effector theory. In fact, you can inject a muscle with IGF-1 and it will grow! Studies have shown that , when injected locally, IGF-1 increases satellite cell activity, muscle DNA content, muscle protein content, muscle weight and muscle cross sectional area.

On the very cutting edge of research scientists are now discovering the signaling pathway by which mechanical stimulation and IGF-1 activity leads to all of the above changes in satellite cells, muscle DNA content, muscle protein content, muscle weight and muscle cross sectional area just outlined above. This research is stemming from studies done to explain cardiac hypertrophy. It involves a muscle enzyme called calcineurin which is a phosphatase enzyme activated by high intracellular calcium ion concentrations (Dunn, 1999). Note that overloaded muscle is characterized by chronically elevated intracellular calcium ion concentrations. Other recent research has demonstrated that IGF-1 increases intracellular calcium ion concentrations leading to the activation of the signaling pathway, and subsequent muscle fiber hypertrophy. I am by no means a geneticist so I hesitated even bringing this new research up. In summary the researchers involved in these studies have explained it this way, IGF-1 as well as activated calcineurin, induces expression of the transcription factor GATA-2, which accumulates in a subset of myocyte nuclei, where it associates with calcineurin and a specific dephosphorylated isoform of the transcription factor nuclear factor of activated T cells or NF-ATc1. Thus, IGF-1 induces calcineurin-mediated signaling and activation of GATA-2, a marker of skeletal muscle hypertrophy, which cooperates with selected NF-ATc isoforms to activate gene expression programs leading to increased contractile protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy. Did you get all that?

In this the first part of “Growing beyond what nature intended” we have discussed the role, function and interaction of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 in tissue growth. This is referred to collectively as the GH/IGF-1 axis. We learned that this axis is controlled by negative feedback meaning that GH, after being released, circulates back to the hypothalamus and pituitary to effectively stop further GH release. We learned that circulating IGF-1 has the same inhibiting effect on GH release. We discussed very briefly the role of neurotransmitters in regulating GH release through growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH) and somatostatin (SS). We even touched on the nitty gritty details of just how IGF-1 does its magic on muscle cells. I’m afraid I may have disappointed a few of you waiting for the “how to” section of this article. Never fear, in part II you will learn about the effects of these hormones as well as androgens, insulin and thyroid hormones when given, individually and combined, to previously healthy individuals. I will remind you that this article is not intended to encourage you put your health at risk, or to break the law by acquiring and using these substances illegally. As always, the goal ******* is not to condone the use of performance enhancing substances, but to educate by providing unbiased information about all aspects of high level sport performance and bodybuilding.

9:42am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZqTeEu1MN68vm
  
Filed under: igf-1 GH HGH bodybuilding 
July 17, 2014
Masteron Information

Masteron (Drostanolone Propionate) is perhaps one of the more ‘exotic’ anabolic steroid that may be used by an athlete. Originally it was developed and used as an anti-estrogen (under the name Masteril) for the treatment of breast cancer. It was largely used in combination with the SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) Tamoxifen (aka Nolvadex) for the treatment of breast cancer, and did give a significant decrease in estrogen levels in women undergoing such treatment. It is not much used these days for such purposes, for varying reasons, however for many athletes including competitive bodybuilders in particular; Masteron remains a rather unsung favourite of AS medicines.

The fact that Masteron was being used as an anti-estrogen goes to suggest quite a lot about some properties Masteron possesses. Masteron is a derivative of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) and does not convert to estrogen through means of aromatisation. It is thought that the anti-estrogenic properties of Masteron may be in part to do with either an inhibition in some way of the aromatase enzyme or an interaction with estrogen itself in a way which blocks receptor binding of the estrogen. Either way, this would put Masteron as a useful tool for the anabolic steroid user who uses compounds that convert to estrogen (which most anabolic steroids users do, considering testosterone is the main basis of most cycles). By inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, Masteron would be in effect blocking the conversion of free testosterone to estrogen by the aromatisation pathway. This would not only serve to marginally increase the amounts of active free testosterone in circulation (thus giving a greater effect of the testosterone over a Masteron-free system), but it would also negate the side-effects that result from high levels of estrogen due to aromatisation. Such side effects include the development of gynecomastia and water retention/bloating. Conversely, if Masteron actually blocks the binding of estrogen to the estrogen receptor in some way, although aromatisation of testosterone may occur, its effects would be limited due to the inability of the estrogen to bind to the estrogen receptor. Thus through this mechanism, the effects of excess estrogen production through aromatisation would also be limited by use of Masteron.

Although Masteron contains such anti-estrogenic properties, it also (being a DHT derivative) has anabolic and androgenic properties. Although in theory and on paper it may be seen to be not a very strong androgen, in fact Masteron does give higher androgenic effects than one may expect. The use of Masteron, as it is an anabolic steroid, will shut down natural testosterone production and so despite having anti-estrogenic effects again, one must not think that Masteron could be used as an option in post cycle therapy as it will inhibit recovery.

There are two forms of Masteron that are generally available for use – Drostanolone Propionate and Drostanolone Enanthate. The propionate version is usually dosed at 50-150mg/ml and is the fast acting version of Masteron, needing to be injected every other day. The enanthate version of Masteron is dosed normally at around 200mg/ml and needs only to be injected twice per week as the ester attached to the drostanolone is longer thus giving a slower release of hormone.

Suggested Cycles/Uses
Due to the effects of Masteron on estrogen related side effects, Masteron is a very useful tool (especially in competitive bodybuilding) when cutting. As higher levels of estrogen result in water retention, Masteron inhibits water retention, and many users claim that their muscles feel very full and tight on Masteron, with it giving them amazing ‘muscle pumps’ in the gym. Use of Masteron (in combination with other appropriate meds) at low body fat levels results in the user seeing fine detail of the muscles being accentuated, such as striations and the fine details of the muscle. Masteron helps draw out the water from between the skin and the muscle giving this very cut look (at low body fat levels). Not many other anabolic steroid medicines can give such effects on muscle detail as those seen with Masteron.

Despite these effects of Masteron, it is a rather weak anabolic steroid in itself. One would hardly benefit at all from use of Masteron on its own, and furthermore use of Masteron alone may result in loss of libido due to shutdown of the body’s natural testosterone production. For these reasons, it is always recommended to stack Masteron with other steroids.

It is said by many that using Masteron is a waste when the user has a body fat percentage higher than 10-12%. I can understand the reasoning, and the user must understand that at higher body fat levels the detail to the muscle will not be seen in such a way as described; however I do not see it as a waste due to its anti-estrogenic properties. Such properties may allow one to not use other ancillaries on cycle that would have other undesirable side effects, and in addition Masteron may work in a synergistic fashion with other anabolic steroid medicines to amplify their effects (for example with testosterone as described above). Masteron would however not be recommended for beginner use as it is not needed at this starting out level.

Masteron can be pretty much incorporated into any cycle containing testosterone.

The dosages that should be used with Masteron are:

  • 350-500mg per week (propionate version, injected every other day)
  • 400-600mg per week (enanthate version, injected twice per week)

An example of an excellent cutting cycle for an advanced user would be:

(6-10 weeks)

  • 150mg Testosterone propionate every other day
  • 50mg Trenbolone acetate every day (or 100mg every other day)
  • 150mg Masteron (propionate) every other day
  • 50mg Winstrol every day, last 4 weeks of cycle only

Of course with such an intermediate/advanced cycle, the user could also incorporate other medicines such as Clenbuterol, T3, growth hormone, IGF, etc.

A more novice cutting cycle may consist of: (6-8 weeks)

  • 100mg Testosterone propionate every other day
  • 100mg Masteron (propionate) every other day

Possible Side Effects

As discussed, Masteron possesses anti-estrogenic properties which results in the elimination of many of the unwanted side effects that AS users may experience, such as gynecomastia, water retention and dangerous increases in blood pressure. Although Masteron is a weak steroid and on paper it has low androgenic properties, it has already been mentioned that in practice the androgenic properties appear to be slightly higher than in theory, and secondly Masteron is a DHT derivative.

Briefly however, the side effects that may occur with use of Masteron include hair loss (if prone to male pattern baldness), aggression and acne. If a user does experience acne with other androgens such as testosterone, then it is a real possibility that they may experience it with the use of Masteron. I know of people who experience only a few spots with the use of testosterone however when using Masteron they experience many more spots. On the other hand, there are users who seem to experience less spots on Masteron than they do on Trenbolone.

As with all anabolic steroids, it is impossible for anyone to say how an individual will definitely react in terms of side effects, etc with any medicine, as individuals will always differ in their responses to medicines, with differing severities as well. But the user must be aware that the potential is there, and thus take this into consideration when planning a cycle. There are medicines available to combat side effects, such as finasteride for baldness and accutane for acne, however these medicines also have their limitations and must be researched well before use.

Having said this, Masteron when initially produced pharmacologically, was seen by the FDA as a relatively safe medicine, even at high dosages. Dosages in excess of 150mg per day (that’s over 1000mg per week) were considered as safe limits by the FDA (bear in mind most other anabolic steroids used by athletes are used in levels that exceed FDA safe limits). This is good news to the user, however do not misinterpret this information as a reason to use excessive doses of Masteron as in reality anything above 600mg per week is not going to give any more benefit than 500-600mg per week would give, thus excessive use would be a waste of money and injections.

July 11, 2014
Clenbuterol

Clenbuterol (often referred to simply as ‘Clen’) is not a steroid, but a Beta 2 Sympathomitetic and central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is a specific agonist, stimulating the adrenergic beta 2 receptors. It is used in certain countries in a medical sense as a bronchodilator in the treatment of asthma, though not in the UK and USA, mainly due to its long half life.

Athletes and bodybuilders use the drug due to its thermogenic and anti-catabolic effects. This is down to its ability to slightly increase the body’s core temperature, thereby raising calorie (energy) expenditure. It is thought that a 1°F increase yields around a 5% increase in maintenance calories burned. Studies on livestock suggest that clenbuterol also has anabolic properties. However, this seems not to be the case in humans, thought to be due to the fact that humans lack the abundance of beta 3 receptors which increase insulin production and sensitivity.

Clenbuterol is dosed in micrograms (mcg/µg), most commonly in tablet form, though there are other forms of administration such as liquids, nasal sprays and injectables. Note: Although dosages are in microgram amounts, many manufacturers will list the active ingredient as milligrams (mg), so a tablet of 20mcg will be labelled as 0.02mg.

Side effects are dose dependant, though most users will find that most tend to subside with persistent use. Caution is advised when employing the use of Clenbuterol in conjunction with other adrenoceptor agonists as side effects are likely to be cumulative. It is for this reason that it is generally not recommended to use ephedrine/ephedra (or ma huang) or the ECA stack (ephedrine-caffeine-aspirin) whilst using clen.

Common side effects of clenbuterol include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscular tremors (especially hand shakes)
  • Muscular cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Nausea
  • Palpitations
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure) 
  • Possible cardiac hypertrophy as clen also targets cardiac and smooth muscle fibres 
  • Heart muscle necrosis has been demonstrated in animal studies

In view of the above side effects, it is obvious to assume that anyone with cardiac issues and/or hypertension should not use a stimulant such as Clenbuterol and caution must be observed by those already using similar compounds in the treatment of existing medical conditions. In addition, there is very little conclusive knowledge of the cardiac effects of supra-physiological dosages in humans.

Commonly used doses
It is well known that Clenbuterol use results in rapid down-regulation of beta 2 receptors. This is due to the powerful stimulatory effect of the drug. It is therefore pointless to use clen for long periods without a break. Some believe that a two day on, two day off dosing schedule will allow adequate potential for receptor up-regulation. However, I doubt this to be the case due to the relatively long half life of clen, resulting in continued stimulation even throughout the ‘off’ days. A much better regime would be a two week on, two week off cycle. Maximum plasma levels are reached around 2-3 hours after oral administration, and terminal half life at 34 hours.

A tapering up of dosages is recommended in an attempt to limit harsh side effects. Most commonly, a user will start by taking one 20mcg tablet on day 1, followed by an increase of one tablet on subsequent days. Subject to personal tolerance levels, a dosage of 140mcg (seven tabs) will be used by day 7, and this level should be maintained for the entire second week. It would be fruitless to exceed seven or eight tablets daily due to receptor over-saturation. There is no requirement to taper down.

For the next ‘cycle’ of clen (i.e. weeks 5 & 6), there is no requirement to taper up from one tablet as your tolerance level should now be known. As an example, if the user finished the first cycle of clen on 7 tabs, they could recommence at a slightly lower dose of 4 or 5, and taper up again from this level. Again though, the user should again limit their intake to 7 or 8 tabs daily.

Female dosages tend to be slightly lower than those of male users, with an upper limit of 80-120mcg (4-6 tabs).

Aside from its fat burning properties, Clen is often used as an anti-catabolic to maintain muscular gains following a steroid cycle. A dosage of 40mcg daily would be suited to this situation.

There is no particular requirement to split the dosage throughout the day due to the long half life. Most will take the full daily dose in the morning, though some prefer to take their dose just before bed in an attempt to avoid most of the side effects as they sleep.

Some user accounts suggest that splitting the dose may lessen side effects slightly. It is a trial and error process in essence, to ascertain which method suits you personally.

Muscular cramping
Cramping whilst using Clenbuterol is a fairly common side effect. This is most probably due to depletion of the amino acid taurine in the liver together with deficits in the electrolytes sodium and potassium, as well as inadequate hydration. Taurine helps stabilize cell membranes and prevent nerves from becoming over-excited. Some studies show that giving taurine supplements relieves painful muscle cramps. Japanese researchers found that the longer rats exercised, the more taurine they lost from their muscles.

Symptoms of cramping may be alleviated by:

  • Eating fruit particularly bananas
  • Ensuring adequate hydration
  • Taurine supplementation - 3-5g daily
  • Potassium supplementation - 200-400mg daily taken before bed on an empty stomach

However, bodybuilders are interested in the drug as it has been shown to inhibit the down regulation of the beta receptors, including the beta 2s that clen stimulates. As long as you are taking ketotifen, it will continue to clean these receptors, never allowing them to downregulate, even while on a heavy clen cycle. That means you can continue to take Сlen indefinitely without having to cycle off to regenerate the receptors. A dose of 2-3mg daily can upregulate even severely shut down receptors within a week.

It also means that you don’t need as much clen to get the same benefits. It seems you can take about 30-40% less clen and it be equally effective.

No studies have been done to find the most effective dose though most users should find 3-4mg daily ideal, which can be split or taken in one sitting. Higher doses are likely to cause (sometimes severe) drowsiness and increase appetite.

July 4, 2014
The Strategic Use of Four Kinds of Testosterone – Cypionate, Enanthate, Propionate, Suspension

The principal practical difference between these is duration of action.There’s also some difference in the amount of actual testosterone contained per milligram of drug. In order of highest testosterone concentration to least-high but still high, the order is suspension, propionate, enanthate, and cypionate.

In practice however, I suggest forgetting about that! Rarely does anyone account for this in deciding their testosterone dosage. It’s a point that may be glossed past with no problem.The above is also the order of duration of action, from shortest to longest.

For practical purposes, Testosterone Cypionate and Testosterone Enanthate may be used fairly interchangeably. The half-life of Testosterone Enanthate is probably about 4-5 days, while that of Testosterone Cypionate is probably about a day longer. Accordingly, both of these clear the body relatively slowly at the end of a cycle, causing a relatively long period where levels are neither high enough to allow much if any further gains, yet not low enough to allow recovery.

Testosterone Propionate has a much shorter half-life of probably only about 2 days. As a result, clearance of Testosterone Propionate is quick at the end of a cycle. By half-life, I mean the time period in which levels of drug drop by 50%. For example, if a drug has a one day half-life, then after one day levels will have fallen to ½, after two days to ¼, after three days to ⅛, etc.

Testosterone suspension has a variable duration of action of at least several days and up to at least a week. The pattern in which levels drop, however, is different from those of drugs having a half-life. Instead, particles of drug slowly dissolve, and the particles slowly shrink. Release slows somewhat as the particles shrink and their surface area decreases. Any given particle will at some point disappear entirely. When nearly all have entirely dissolved, the duration of action of the suspension has ended.
Because of how this works, duration is dependent on particle size of the suspension. This is variable between products. Broadly speaking though, products which are milkier, which take longer to fall out of solution, and which go completely easily through the finest needle will have shorter duration of action than coarser products.

A good suspension of testosterone can be used similarly to Testosterone Propionate.

I’d recommend saving the Testosterone Propionate and Testosterone suspension for use at the end of the cycle, to enable faster transition from high levels allowing gains to low levels allowing recovery. There’s no value in spending an extended time after the last injection with levels still too high to allow recovery, yet not high enough to allow further gains. Actually, it’s not just that there’s no value, but a negative value: it impedes recovery.

Strategic use of propionate esters and suspension at the end of a cycle aids rapid recovery.

June 26, 2014
Don’t Make These Fat Loss Mistakes When Going Low-Carb

Cutting your carbohydrate intake in favor of a high-protein diet is the simplest way to get lean fast. However, people often make mistakes when going low-carb, especially if they are training hard in an effort to accelerate the fat loss process.

With these five simple tips, you can make going low-carb a lot easier and get better fat loss results.

Mistake #1: You Are Not Increasing Protein Enough Low-carb diets are naturally higher protein diets, but one problem a lot of trainees have is not boosting protein intake sufficiently. If you are training hard and going low-carb for the first time, you need to increase protein by at least 50 percent. If you’ve been limiting carbs for a while, troubleshoot the makeup of your diet by ensuring carbs are less than 50 grams, strictly from green vegetable sources, and increase your protein by 20 to 50 percent.

Mistake #2: You Are Not Getting Enough of The Right Fats Low-carb diets should also naturally be higher fat diets, but the fat MUST come from healthy sources—omega-3s, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs like coconut oil), and monounsaturated fats (olive oil and avocado, for example). The omega-3s are considered essential fatty acids (EFAs) and they have the excellent effect of encouraging fat burning. In addition, consuming MCTs can substitute for glycogen in the body when you are training at high-intensity.

As you know if you’ve ever trained in a glycogen depleted state, it can be particularly painful and some people experience a drop in performance. Training this way is a necessity if you want to lose fat fast, but simply, it sucks. One way to help avoid this is to supplement with MCTs like coconut oil prior to your workout because the body will use it for energy. Try cooking your pre-workout meal in coconut oil (or just supplement with 2 tablespoons) 60 minutes before your workout. Mistake #3: You Are Low In Sodium & Potassium Instead you want to ensure you are taking in sodium either in diet or in supplement form. One study found that supplementing daily with 3 to 5 grams of sodium and 2 to 3 grams of potassium allowed subjects who were exercising on a low-carb diet to maintain circulation and avoid losing muscle mass. Take electrolytes to get both sodium and potassium together. Cooking with meat broths and using Celtic or Himalayan salt on your food can also help.

Mistake #4: You Are Deficient In Magnesium Unless you supplement with magnesium, you probably have horribly low magnesium that is stunting fat loss. When you cut carbs and train hard, magnesium can be depleted due to its role in insulin metabolism. Avoid this by supplementing with a high-quality magnesium blend such as magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurate, but avoid magnesium oxide as your sole source because of its poor quality.

Mistake” #5: You Are Not Taking Advantage of Caffeine This one isn’t a “mistake” since using caffeine is a personal choice and people respond differently to it. However, supplementing with caffeine pre-workout when on a low-carb diet can give you a major boost and accelerate fat loss.

A recent study found that when trained cyclists took 3 mg/kg/body weight and performed eight 5-minute “sprints” at maximal capacity in a glycogen depleted state they performed significantly better than a placebo group. Caffeine enhanced power output during the workout and is suggested as a means of enhancing performance when you have low energy stores and want to lose fat.

Larger caffeine doses may have even greater performance-enhancing effects—8 mg/kg/body weight has proved ideal in non-glycogen depleted athletes.