The infamous steroids stack; what is it and what is its purpose? A steroid stack is the combining of various steroids where the ultimate goal is the sum effects are greater than that of the individual sum of its parts. Basically it is combining steroids where the ultimate goal is 2+2=5. It is, however, more than this. Not only can the combined effects be greater but also the side effects can be reduced as well.
People have been stacking steroids from very early on in the steroid game. It did not take long for steroid users to realize that by combining various steroids the results of these steroids could be compounded. Almost a synergistic effect whereby the user could ultimate take in fewer mgs of steroids yet gets greater results.
There are several reasons one might stack steroids. Some might say stacking is inevitable as testosterone is believed by many (and not incorrectly so) that a testosterone base must be present in order to replace the endogenous production of biological testosterone which ceases upon administration of steroids. Thus any other addition of any other steroid would thereby create a “stack.” While this is true it goes farther than that. It was found that by stacking steroids the results could be increased. For example it is fairly well accepted that 500mgs of testosterone combined with 500mgs of deca will yield greater gains that 1000mgs of testosterone. Why is this? It could be as simple as deca being more potent than test thus the gains yielded are greater. While that makes sense but could it be more than just this? Also since this is the case how can you intelligently form a steroid stack that will offer this 2+2=5 benefit while reducing potential side effects?
In order to address this I think first you have to take a step back and look at the 3 steroid bases different steroids are derived from, see how they differ, and see how combining them intelligently can yield much greater benefit in the area of both gains as well as the reduction of side effects.
Test Based- First on the list would be Test based steroids. Examples of some of these would be D-bol, Testosterone, Eq, T-bol. These steroids are exactly as they sound, they are all based on testosterone. Most all, like testosterone, aromatize to estrogen in varying degrees. This is something to bear in mind when using a test based steroid in your stack so you can plan for side effect prevention/management by using an aromatase inhibitor to manage your estrogen.
19-Nor Based- The steroids all have a 19-Nor testosterone base. This is a smaller group essentially made up of nandrolone and trenbolone with various esters. It has been said these steroids are progestins, with affinity to the progesterone receptor and are also believed to increase Prolactin. Again something to be kept in mind so a dopamine agonist can at least be kept on hand if not used so that prolactin sides can be controlled. These steroids do not to a significant degree (if at all) aromatize to estrogen. This does not, however, mean they do not impact estrogen levels. Through indirect means it has been shown that Nandrolone increases aromatase expression and thus e2 levels and tren is somewhat a beast of its own with a host of sides unique to it and also seems to compound the sides of test based steroids it may be stacked with.
DHT Based- These steroids all have DHT as a base. They do not aromatize to estrogen at all. The primary side associated with DHT based steroids seems to show especially in those prone to male pattern baldness. DHT is the androgen primarily associated with hair loss and the introduction of DHT based steroids may cause this side effect. There are several ways to combat this side such as topical anti androgens such as topical spiro and Nizoral shampoo. Examples of dht based steroids in include winstrol , primobolan , anavar , masteron and a few others.
OK so we now know the 3 different steroid bases but what does that all mean when it comes to stacking? How can we take that information and apply it to effective stacking? I think perhaps the best way to approach this might be too look at steroid cycles from say ones first cycle ad a few subsequent cycles to get the idea of how we can apply this information and use it to come up with some effective steroids stack combinations.
Many believe (me included) that one’s first cycle should be a testosterone only cycle. There are many reasons for this and I will outline a few of my reasons for believing this is a prudent first cycle choice. First of all testosterone is an endogenously produced hormone. The exogenous test we introduce will perform the same functions as our endogenous testosterone does. We already have this exact hormone present in our body, by using it for our first stack we are simply increasing the amount of testosterone present. This steroid is considered the father of all steroids and the base for all steroid stacks. Primarily for the reasons I just mentioned; the body requires it, when we take steroids our body stops producing it, it only makes sense to introduce it to at the very minimum replace what our body would be producing. Testosterone also aromatizes (as do all test base steroids) to estrogen so when taking it we must manage estrogen to avoid unhealthy and unpleasant side effects. As you go on you will realize while there are many sides we may have to manage, none is more important or more crucial than estrogen management. We really need to learn how to properly manage estrogen in our bodies and the sooner we do so the better off we will be. It is not only key to managing e2 related sides directly but the key to indirectly managing sides that other “base” steroids can create. In addition to all of this testosterone is quite simply an extremely effective steroid as well. It works and works well. So to sum uo since it will be the base for all future stacks, since it is extremely effective, since it is require by the body, and since its sides management is crucial it simply makes sense to use testosterone for our first cycle. It also makes sense to use it alone so its effects on us can be isolated and we can effectively measure the impact the addition of other steroids alongside of testosterone can have on us personally when it comes to building muscle.
So you have run your first cycle, let’s say testosterone only at 500mgs/week. You managed tor e2 on that cycle using an aromatase inhibitor such as exemestane and arimidex . Along with your ai you ran HCG at a low dose throughout the cycle. You performed a proper pct (say nolvadex and clomid) starting at the proper time and you recovered well. You diet and training was on point, you gained well, managed sides effectively and recovered well. All of this must really be substantiated via blood work. Pre cycle blood work to establish baseline staring numbers, mid cycle blood work to how that your e2 was managed properly, and post pct blood work to show you recovered hpta function. So what next as far as your next cycle? You waited the appropriate time off and have carefully considered your options. Well you could simply do another test only cycle, which is fine. Perhaps a slight dosage increase, perhaps even the same dosage. You might use an oral such as dbol the first 4-6 weeks to “kickstart” your cycle this time. All of which are good and even prudent options. That being said you could also put together a stack to see what all the fuss is about.
When looking at your first steroid stack I would take a look at the other 2 bases of steroids and make a selection from one of the other 2. You will have your test based steroid in the stack in the form of testosterone, you know how you respond to it, you know how to properly manage your e2 using an ai at the 500mg/week dosage you used. This is all valuable information and knowledge that you can take with you and apply when doing your first “stack”. Now looking at the 2 other steroid bases available and considering the effects these bases have to offer you can set about making your decision. Now both 19 nor steroids are very interesting compounds. They are both very effective at building mass, however deca is the milder of the 2 compounds with less inherent sides, yet is still a very potent anabolic yielding excellent gains. Picking from them Deca would clearly be the first of the 19 nors I would suggest trying. It only seems prudent to find out just how you respond to deca before even considering the incorporation of tren into any cycle. What about DHT’s? Well DHT based steroids are very interesting in that they don’t really offer astounding gains per se, but they do afford some excellent effects that we may desire at various points. They are androgenic but do not aromatize to estrogen yet the majority of them do not build significant mass. The best mass building dht based steroids IMO would be Anadrol , anavar and winstrol, the rest seems to be able to impact your physique but primarily seem to do so at lower bf%’s. One could generalize and say dht based steroids as a group offer aesthetic benefit more so than mass benefit (with obvious exceptions such as anadrol).
So all the above said what would I suggest? Well I’d suggest a Test/Deca Stack. Say 500mgs test/week with 400mgs deca/week. Your ai dose should be the same as your test only cycle to start. Now one thing you need be aware of is deca upregulates aromatase expression so it can result in higher e2 levels that the test only cycle you ran previously. This may result in the need for a slight increase in your ai, It may not, but it is something you need to be aware of. This is one of those stack things where the proper knowledge enables you to be on the lookout and be proactive rather than reactive. Also as I mentioned in the 19 nor description 19 nors can increase prolactin. This is often evidenced by sexual dysfunction issues or lactation. This can be taken care of by using a dopamine agonist such as Pramipexole. You should have it on hand when running deca or tren. That being said first and foremost they key to sides management begins with e2 management. If you manage e2 properly you can avoid a host of other potential sides. The knowledge you gained in your first test only cycle will be invaluable in helping you to properly manage estrogen. Use it. Also your pct experience will come in handy as well as will your hcg usage etc. As you can see that first test only cycle will give you info and experience that will be invaluable to you from here on out.
Ok so you have run your test only cycle and perhaps a variation of the test only cycle with increased dosages etc. Then you ran your test/ 19 nor cycle. You know how to manage e2, you are educated on hcg use and proper pct. You know how you respond to test as well as a 19 nor. All is going well with your cycling. So what’s next? Well perhaps it is time to incorporate a dht based steroid into the mix. You have a god foundation of experience and education running test as well as test + a 19 nor. May be time to see how a dht based steroid can fit into the mix.
So which DHT based steroid to start with? Well as I stated many offer aesthetic changes more pso than muscle building properties. There are however, exceptions, and I would suggest perhaps using one of the 2 steroids that offer those exceptions. So perhaps this next stack might consist of 500mgs test, 400mgs deca and say 60-80 mgs anavar or winstrol for 8 weeks. Adding the Dht based steroid into the mix will now allow you to have a stack made up of steroids from all 3 steroid bases. The dht addition will do a few things; it will also NOT do a few things. Let me clear one thing up here and now, no DHT steroid is or can be a replacement for an ai. DHT based steroids will shift the androgen/estrogen ratio which may lessen the likelihood of gyno, they will not however, manage your estrogen levels. You need to include an ai for that. With the experience you have acquired along the way you now have a pretty good idea what that ai dosage will be. The sides of dht based steroids are mainly of concern to those that are prone to male pattern baldness. This side can be addressed by using a topical anti androgen such as topical sprio or using nizoral shampoo. Now is a good time to mention when stacking steroids you often aren’t just stacking up side effects or the potential for them. Sometimes you actually offset the potential for side effects. For example winstrol occupies but does not activate the progesterone receptor. Deca is a progestin. Using winstrol with deca may alleviate progesterone effects by the winstrol actually preventing deca from eliciting its effects on the progesterone receptor. Also conversely, winstrol is noted for making your joints sore add achy, well deca is known for relieving joint pain and discomfort. Combining the 2 allows one to get benefits of both while lessening the side profile of one another! Pretty amazing synergy huh? You see the benefit isn’t just more muscle sometimes, you can get other beneficial and synergistic effects in the form of side effect reduction.
So there we have an example of a test only cycle, a test/19nor stack, and a test/19 nor/dht stack. As you can see a little knowledge goes a long way and nothing will prove more valuable than your own personal experience and how you react to each one. So much of this is interdependent. For example over time I have found I do very well with a lower test dose, a higher 19 nor dose, and a moderate dht dose. This works well for me. Knowing the different steroid bases as well as the different effects of each individual steroid as well as their interactions with one another allows you to intelligently combine and stack them until you find the stack that work optimally for you. One thing is for sure, you can make 2+2=5, you can reduce sides, and you can increase gains. Take the time to educate yourself on the 3 steroid bases, the steroids that fall within each, and their individual effects. A systematic approach will allow you to try different stacks that make sense based on your goals and you can truly find what works best for you, while reducing side associated risks and increase your gains as well. It is all process. There is a method to the madness and a reason people make the suggestions they do as far as first cycles and first stacks. The knowledge is cumulative and as it is gained it allows you to make best use of the compound selected and allows you to learn your body, how it responds, and what is required to manage the sides. If done properly early on. The learning curve improves dramatically, as will your results and the pleasantness of your steroid using experience.
I hope this helps some people out Feel free to comment or post any questions. Even list a few of your favorite stacks and why you like them. Just remember more isn’t always better and it is smart to start off with less and fewer compounds and build on that. You will not be sorry you did. I sure am not sorry I did it that way.