Testosterone is a versatile anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) that can help you build lean muscle or maintain muscle mass while losing significant body fat. Given this, testosterone forms the basis of many steroid cycles. The exact amount of testosterone that you will inject during your cycle will depend upon many factors, such as your goals, body weight, and previous experience with steroids. That being said, let’s discuss how testosterone compares to other steroids, along with dosages for bulking and cutting cycles.
How does testosterone compare to other steroids?
Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone that is produced mainly by the testes in men, and by the ovaries in females. Additionally, small amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands in both sexes. This hormone plays an essential role in muscle strength, muscle size, metabolism, immune system, cognitive functions, state of mind, and sexual development.
Anabolic vs Androgenic
Since this is a naturally occurring male sex hormone, the medical establishment uses testosterone as a baseline to rate each synthetic steroid’s “anabolic vs androgenic” effects, and it has a ratio of 100:100. Therefore, all other man-made steroids are compared to testosterone in order to find their anabolic-androgenic ratio. For example, trenbolone has a ratio of 500:500, making it five times more androgenic, and five times more anabolic than testosterone is.
Testosterone’s side effects
Side effects from testosterone usage will be minimal because the hormone naturally occurs within our body in large concentrations. Even in the worst of the cases, testosterone's side effects are both predictable and manageable with proper cycle support.
The most feared side effects come from the fact that testosterone will convert into estrogen in a process known as aromatization. This can lead to water retention, high blood pressure, low libido, and gynecomastia among other undesired effects. Luckily, these side effects can be negated to a certain extent by using an aromatase inhibitor (AI) with your steroid cycle. Nonetheless, even with an AI, some of the testosterone will still aromatize into estrogen, especially when using high dosages of this steroid. Hence, you must always keep your estrogen levels under control if you want to avoid the above mentioned side effects.
Cycles with low testosterone dosages
Many bodybuilders prefer low dosages of testosterone, mostly because high dosages of testosterone will start to aromatize into estrogen more actively, which can lead to a higher chance of suffering estrogen related side effects.
Let us take for example a normal cutting cycle, where the primary goal is to be as dry and lean as possible, and water retention is not wanted. For such cycles, incorporating just a TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) dosage of around 200-300 milligrams (mg) per week is ideal. The rest of the stack should be comprised of compounds that don’t aromatize into estrogen, such as trenbolone, primobolan, anavar, winstrol, and proviron.
For instance, a cutting cycle for a photo shoot or a bodybuilding competition would look something like this:
Weeks 1 – 10
- Testosterone 200mg/week
- Primobolan 600mg/week
- Proviron 25-50mg/day
- Aromasin 10mg/every other day
- Cardarine 20mg/day
Cycles with high testosterone dosages
When a boy enters puberty in his adolescence, it is precisely testosterone that causes the dramatic increases in muscle strength and size. Thus, it is not surprising that high dosages of testosterone are routinely used in bulking cycles, where the primary goal is to build muscle.
As a result, there will be more aromatization, and estrogen levels will raise, leading to more water retention. However, in this sort of cycles water retention from higher estrogen levels is actually beneficial, since it will increase fluid retention in the joints and help lubricate them when lifting heavy weights.
A good testosterone dosage for a bodybuilder in the off-season is 500-1000mg/week. Yet, keep in mind that dosages higher than 1000 mg/week are actually counterproductive because a lot of the testosterone will aromatize into estrogen, even when using an aromatase inhibitor. In such cases, a low dose of an aromatase inhibitor like aromasin (exemestane) should be used to keep the estrogen side effects to a manageable level.
Why should I stack testosterone?
As great as testosterone is, it hasn’t been chemically manipulated for the specific goals of building muscle or losing body fat like other steroids have been. This is why testosterone is so commonly stacked with other steroids, giving you the best of everything this way. In fact, considering testosterone’s minimal side effects and prominent results, it should be the base of every steroid cycle that you use.
Moreover, stacking testosterone is a great way of avoiding the need for excessive dosages of this steroid. It is a time proven fact that a steroid user will benefit much more by adding a second compound to the cycle rather than using excessive testosterone dosages.
During your cycle, make sure to use HCGenerate to maintain your natural testosterone production at maximum. You will also need HCGenerate ES after ending the cycle, so that you will be able keep your body making testosterone and preserve your muscle gains once the cycle is finished.
For example, deca durabolin is commonly used in off-season cycles, and nothing will pack on muscle like a testosterone and deca stack. This approach will allow to use lower dosages of both steroids, and achieve great results. Nevertheless, you need to know that deca is a nandrolone, so it will also increase prolactin levels in the body. Therefore, it is very important to use both an AI and an anti-prolactin drug (like dostinex/cabergoline) with the above mentioned stack in order to prevent prolactin related side effects. Keep in mind there are blood sugar issues with prolonged cabergoline use.
A testosterone and deca bulking cycle would look like this:
Weeks 1 – 16
- Testosterone 500-1000mg/week
- Deca Durabolin 300-600mg/week
- Aromasin 10mg every other day
- Cabergoline 0.5mg every other day
No matter what your goal is, or what level of performance you are trying to achieve, testosterone should be the base of every steroid cycle. After all, even right now as you are reading this article you need it in your body to keep up vital functions, and you definitely need it to build muscle. What’s more, any steroid will stack very well with testosterone and will have a synergistic effect with it.
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