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Deca vs. EQ

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Deca Durabolin Profile

Deca Durabolin (Deca), chemical name: nandrolone decanoate, is a nandrolone based anabolic androgenic steroid (AAS) that was extremely popular during the 'golden age' of bodybuilding. The main reasons of such popularity were weak aromatization (around 20% of the rate of testosterone), and the long decanoate ester attached to it, which allowed the user to make less frequent injections.

'Deca' is a short name of the 'decanoate' ester that is attached to the nandrolone base, and together they complete deca durabolin. As a matter of fact, the decanoate ester can also come attached to testosterone.

Dan Duchaine's underground steroid books spoke highly of deca, which increased its popularity even more throughout the late 80's and 90's. If you talk to any older steroid user in your gym, who was active during this time, they will always mention deca as one of their favorites.

Deca binds strongly to androgen receptors and studies have shown very prominent nitrogen retention, which increases as the dosages go up.

DecaDurabolin chemicalstructure

Fig 1. Deca Durabolin Chemical Structure

Deca Durabolin Side Effects

Contrary to popular opinion, deca durabolin has fairy mild side effects. In studies with HIV patients, even those who ran bodybuilder type dosages still experienced limited cholesterol issues, and the rest of the side effects were very mild. This is why deca can be added to a cycle at hefty dosages, which is not the case with such steroids as trenbolone that causes plenty of lipid and organ stress.

Though, the bad news is that Deca is a 19nor and a progestin, which stimulates the progesterone receptor and increases progesterone levels in the body. The term "deca dick" derives from these factors, as well as deca being a DDA - the opposite of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a sex hormone that gives us manlike features, and most hormones will increase DHT ratio in the body, but not deca. Ironically, this is one of the reasons deca is safe on the hairline.

I recommend to run both an aromatase inhibitor (AI), like aromasin, and an anti-prolactin drug, like dostinex, during deca cycle. Another trick is stacking deca with a DHT derivative steroid, such as proviron, to counter balance the DHT/DDA ratio in the body. This strategy was actually practiced in the 90's by lifters on deca, and at the time it wasn't very well known why it worked (they just knew it did), but now we understand the concept.

Use of Deca Durabolin

Studies have shown that deca will increase collagen synthesis and increase bone mineral content, making it a great option for those who suffer from joint pain. However, it is important to realize that hammering away at existing injuries is not wise in weightlifting. Nevertheless, these attributes make deca popular with strength training athletes in comparison with a compound like winstrol, which drys out the joints instead.

As mentioned, deca durabolin has also been used with HIV patients, which puts it in a class of compounds that will increase immune system and prevent muscle wasting, and it will have only mild side effects.

In regards to athletes, the injection is much smoother with less post injection pain than other compounds. Moreover, pharmaceutical grade Organon brand comes in 200mgs/ml, so you will need only two 1ml injections per week to get plenty of deca in your system.

Deca Durabolin Dosage

For athletes, the most popular dosage of deca is 300-400 milligrams (mgs) per week. However, as mentioned before, sometimes mild side effects allow bodybuilders and powerlifters run double those doses. Most users will inject it twice per week.

The decanoate ester's half life is a whopping 15 days, so it is a good idea to run it a minimum of 10-12 weeks, and remember that it will take time to clear out of your system.

Equipoise Profile

Equipoise (EQ), also known as Boldenone Undecylenate, is a veterinarian steroid intended for horse racing. EQ is used in bodybuilding and endurance sports as a performance enhancing hormone, and has some unique properties that will be highlighted below.

On paper, it is an injectable form of dianabol; however, in reality the results are not the same at all. Furthermore, on paper it is just as anabolic as testosterone and half as androgenic. However, since these ratings can be misleading, you should not think that EQ is half as weak.

Equipoise aromatizes at about half the rate of testosterone, so water retention is much lower than with testosterone and other compounds, and estrogenic issues are rarely seen with EQ. It could even be said that EQ is only for athletes with patience because everything related to this steroid is “slow.”

Boldenone Undecylenate chemical structure

Fig 2. Equipoise Chemical Structure

Equipoise Side Effects

The main side effect of EQ is its ability to raise red blood cell (RBC) count more than other compounds, causing increased blood pressure. Since aromatization is very slow, estrogenic side effects like gynecomastia (gyno), water retention, high blood pressure, insomnia, etc. are not so common. Hence, an AI is not always necessary with EQ, but it should be kept on hand, especially when EQ is stacked with testosterone.

Other side effects tend to be variable. Those include anxiety, which some users complain about. Another potentially negative or positive side effect (depending on your goals), is its reputation for increasing appetite and certain cravings.

Use of Equipoise

EQ is one of the few steroids that I will always recommend for endurance athletes; the combination of slow and lean muscle gains, gradual rise in RBC, and mild side effects make it beneficial for performance enhancement.

Some bodybuilders rave about the slow and high quality muscle they get on EQ, and they are willing to be patient to get these gains. Thanks to its slow pace of aromatization and enhanced RBC production, you can expect to get increased vascularity as the EQ cycle progresses.

EQ isn't great at increasing strength or mass quickly, unless the user is well below their genetic potential. Therefore, if this is your goal, you should choose something else.

Equipoise Dosage

The usual dosage of EQ is 400-600mg per week, with some using up to a gram per week. Most users choose to inject EQ twice a week.

The half life is a whopping 14 days, which means that EQ should be run a minimum of 10-12 weeks, and you should give it plenty of time to clear out of your system. Part of the reason people run it even longer is its slow aromatization that gives the impression that it is taking longer to 'kick in', which is broscience.

Deca Durabolin vs. Equipoise

Dan Duchaine gets some credit for introducing EQ to the bodybuilding world. In fact, he used to claim it was very similar to Deca, but he has rescinded that opinion since introducing EQ because it works very differently.

It is true, they both aromatize at about half the rate of testosterone, but deca is a 19nor that attaches to progesterone receptors rather quickly, while EQ aromatizes into estrogen very slowly. Hence, you will rarely have gyno issues with equipoise, but deca will attach to both estrogen and progesterone in the breasts. Furthermore, 'deca dick' is a real concern with deca durabolin, while much less so with EQ. Overall, there has been fear of deca in the bodybuilding community because of the dreaded 'deca dick'. Therefore, if your sex life is important to you, choose EQ.

Medically, deca durabolin will work much better at strengthening the immune system than equipoise; hence, its use in the HIV world.

In terms of powerlifting, you should choose deca over EQ because it will help with collagen synthesis and joints, helping you push more weight. EQ strength gains are just too slow and mild.

When it comes to endurance there is no debate - EQ blows deca away. EQ will likely increase your 5K time, while deca will definitely hurt it substantially and could even be compared to carrying a bucket of water while you run.

Recovery from both can take time, since they both have long half lives and the esters will take many weeks to clear the system. Deca durabolin has a detectable time of up to 18 months and EQ is 5 months, so those that may be tested at a future date should keep this in mind.


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Written by
Steve Smi (Also known as Steve Smith), has over 12 years of experience in the bodybuilding and fitness industry. He's the co-Host of the popular Evolutionary Radio Podcast - over 500,000 listens! He has been a personal trainer and writer for the last 10 years with over 1000 articles written. He's been a moderator on forums for over 10 years. Steve holds the following certifications and records: NASM Personal Trainer NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist Florida Local Powerlifting champion Top writer for 2019 Fitness rated

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