Introduction to Testosterone
Steroids are a synthetically manufactured form of testosterone.
Therefore, if you want to learn about steroids, you better learn about testosterone itself first. You know your body produces testosterone, namely in the Leydig’s Cells in your testes. About 95% is done there. We produce 2.5-11 mg of testosterone per day for males and .25 mg per day for females, on average of course. The more testosterone we have the more protein synthesis happens in our bodies. This means your body can build muscle from the amino acids that are available.
Normally we are limited to the amount of lean tissue we can synthesize by the amount of testosterone available, so it makes sense that the more testosterone we have the more muscle building capabilities we have right? Wrong! Actually it is much more complex than that. But basically we will start with the testosterone itself.
The Steroid Form of Testosterone
Testosterone is chemically represented above. This is in its natural form. In this form it is very short lived in our bodies. Its half-life can be as short as 3 or 4 hours. So, if you were to use this bad-boy as your anabolic “supplement” you would be jabbing yourself all day! No thanks! And don’t think you could pass up the needle and go for the easy way out and swallow it, nope, won’t work that way. Your body is efficient at breaking down testosterone before it even reaches circulation in the blood. Your liver does double time to filter out and break it down.
Since the testosterone structure is so short lived in the body in its raw form, chemists worked to find a form of it that would last longer. They came up with the steroids.
THERE ARE 2 MAIN KINDS OF STEROIDS:
These are mostly the oil-based injectables. They work primarily by binding to and activating the androgen receptor, which then interacts with your DNA, sending out various signals to impact anabolism/anti-catabolism.
These are primarily 17 alpha-alkylated oral compounds. They, unlike their oil-based c counterparts, do not bind well to the androgen receptor, and achieve their effects on growth/strength independent of this process, by binding to other types of receptors.
CLASS I – INJECTABLE STEROIDS (Esters)
Injectable steroids are basically testosterone with an ester attached to the 17 beta-hydroxyl group. What that gibberish means is that this alteration will make the testosterone last longer in our system before breakdown. Deca Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate) can stay traceable in our systems for over a year! Not that it will be giving results for a year though. This alteration also makes the testosterone more soluble in oil rather than in water.
When an ester is injected it forms a deposit called a “depot” (pronounced “deepo”) in the muscle tissue. This depot will slowly break down and enter the bloodstream. Some break down faster than others. An ester of Decanoate can take up to a month to break down, where as Propionate or Acetate only lasts days. The frequency of injections will usually reflect the breakdown time of the steroid (you would be injecting Propionate several times a week to keep constant elevated testosterone levels, where as injections of Nandrolone Decanoate would be less often).
CLASS II – ORAL STEROIDS (methylated)
Oral steroids differ from testosterone in that they usually have their hydrogen atom in the 17th alpha position replaced with a methyl group. This is done through a process called alkylation.
Chemists created forms of orals that did not put as much stress upon the liver as the alkylated steroids. Some examples of these are Primobolan, Proviron, Andriol, and Anabolicum Vistor. I am not going to bore you with the methods they used to create these types, you can get a textbook for that. They are much less resistant to breakdown than the 17 alpha alkylated steroids, but produce much less bang for the buck. Basically you’re going to get smaller gains from safer drugs.
WHAT KIND DO I TAKE?
What kind to take? Well, that depends on what you want. Generally taking orals will be quicker results. There is nothing like a Dianabol strength and size gain in a short time. But the risks are higher. Deca can provide more long lasting and consistent results, but will take longer initially to start seeing results.
Many people will start with an array of quick acting and long acting steroids, like a deca and dbol stack. The dbol will give immediate strength gains and size (usually plenty of water retention) while the deca is slowly getting into the system and doing its work.
This is the art of stacking. There are a million ways to stack, and you need to find what works with you the best by trial and error.