by Mike Arnold
Up to this point I have presented some common sense reasons and real-world experience in support of the claim that traditional dosing produces superior results in the areas of both protein synthesis and aggression. In order to seal the deal we will now turn to the available clinical evidence. In short, multiple studies have confirmed that length of exposure plays a critical role in the ability of AAS to affect both our mind and body. In particular, research has shown that the chronic administration of AAS interferes with and induces long-term changes in the amygdala; a region of the brain associated with aggressive behavior (note: aggression is one of many emotions regulated by the amygdala). The amygdala is part of a larger system known as the limbic system and located in the temporal lobe. These changes, some of which are permanent, do not occur instantaneously, but take time to fully develop. All long-term steroids users will experience these changes to one degree or another, although the outward expression of these changes can vary drastically from one person to the next. This is why it is not uncommon to witness long-term behavioral changes in those who engage in frequent AAS use. A single dose of oral AAS does not result in the same short or long-term changes in emotion/aggression.
Moving on, the pre-workout only method is also used to generate immediate increases in strength through improved neural firing. There is no denying that AAS have this capability, but it is also true that improvements in neural firing, just like aggression, are largely dependent on length of exposure. No steroid will deliver maximum improvements in contractile ability after a single dose. I will use Halotestin as an example, as it is well known to be one of, if not the single most effective steroid for the acquisition of pure muscle strength via nervous system adaptation. We know this because Halotestin causes little to no increase in muscle size, regardless of dose. Being almost a pure strength drug, it is the ideal candidate for revealing the rate at which a steroid improves contractile ability, sparing us the difficult job of differentiating neural from hypertrophic strength gains.
With that said, anyone who has used Halotestin will tell you that it takes weeks to provide maximum strength gains, which is why experienced strength athletes will usually begin using the drug a minimum of 3 weeks prior to competition…and preferably 6 weeks. If a single dose was sufficient to elicit maximal stimulation of the nervous system, there would be absolutely no need to use this drug at any time other than the day of competition.
Some users claim to experience improved pumps with the pre-workout only method. I don’t doubt this, as AAS do an excellent job at increasing red blood cell count and intramuscular fluid retention, which are primarily responsible for the enhanced pump associated with their use. However, just as with all the other benefits listed above, length of exposure has a significant influence on the degree of pump attained. This is because AAS are only effective at increasing RBC count and I.M. fluid retention when active. By taking a steroid such as D-bol only 4-5X per week pre-workout, the drug is only active about 16-20 hour per week…not even a single day. This is a lot of down time and hardly sufficient to increase RBC or I.M. fluid retention to maximum capacity. Much better results will be achieved in terms of a pump by maintaining even blood levels of the drug all week long.
Basically, there is pretty much never a good reason, from a results perspective, to use steroids in the pre-workout only fashion. It reduces results in every category. Now, there are a few valid reasons why someone might choose to administer them in this way, such as financial limitations. For guys who do not have the cash to use oral AAS according to half-life, pre-workout only is a great alternative, as it is probably the single best time to use an oral, along with pre-bed use. Some other guys find it useful to take a larger than normal dose immediately before a strength competition, in order to maximize aggression/contractile ability. This recommendation may appear to be in conflict with the above argument, in which I state that aggression/contractile ability is increased to a greater degree with traditional dosing. This is true; traditional dosing will provide a more pronounced effect in comparison to the pre-workout “only” method, due to the drug’s continual influence on the brain. However, when used in tandem with traditional dosing, it may provide a slight additional boost in the aggression/contractile ability department.
There is one exception in the pre-workout only camp…Cheque drops (mibolerone). There is a single reason for this…toxicity. The toxicity of Mibolerone disqualifies it as a suitable candidate for long-term use. For this reason, pre-workout only use remains a viable alternative. Truthfully, this drug could be used for a few weeks as long as you don’t get crazy with the dosage, but conventional length cycles are not recommended, especially when there are better drugs for multi-week use.
Up until this point we have discussed the pros & cons of the different methods of administration, but we have not spoken much about which steroids are best suited to achieving the various goals mentioned above (aside from Cheque drops). Although I have made it abundantly clear that traditional dosing is superior to the pre-workout only method for increasing aggression/enhancing contractile ability, I want to address a mistake I have seen time and time again. I can’t tell you how many guys I have spoken with who have told me that their primary reason for using the pre-workout method is to promote a superior training experience by enhancing aggression/contractile ability, yet the steroids they have selected for this purpose are far from ideal. Dianabol seems to be a popular choice (likely because it is cheap), but the problem with d-bol is that…well…it doesn’t do a very good job at accomplishing either goal. If the BB’r wants to notice any type of a discernible, immediate effect in these areas, steroid selection is crucial.
Some of the best steroids for this are those with a very strong androgenic component, as it is this aspect of a steroid’s character which is largely responsible for enhancing strength and promoting an aggressive response. For example, two common steroids which are well known to function extremely well in this capacity are Halotestin and Trenbolone base. If we compare these drugs against most other steroids, we will see a stark contrast in their androgenic potency. For example, testosterone, itself known to be a strongly androgenic steroid, possesses an androgenic rating of 100, while Halotestin comes in at a whopping 1900! By comparison, Dianabol checks in at a measly 50. That makes Halotestin a full 38X as androgenic as Dianabol, which is no doubt a big part of the reason why it works so much better than D-bol for this purpose. Trenbolone base (ester-less Trenbolone), which is well known for providing both of these effects, is 5X as androgenic as testosterone and 10X as androgenic as Dianabol. The bottom line is that if you are going to use a steroid specifically for increasing aggression/neural firing (especially if it is for pre-workout only use), then you need to choose your AAS carefully. As a general rule, the most potent androgens are the most effective.
With nearly this entire article centered on the ideal application of oral AAS, it would not be complete if I did not provide a list of orals, accompanied by their half-lives. For those of you who have not yet memorized the half-lives of some common orals, the following can be used as a reference guide. Note: There is some discrepancy as to the exact half-life of some orals, so these are rough estimates.
Dianabol: 4 hours
Anadrol: 9 hours
Winstrol: 9 hours
Anavar: 11 hours
Turinabol: 16 hours
Methyltestosterone: 8 hours
Halotestin: 9 hours
Epistane: 8 hours
SD: 6 hours
Dimethazine: 12 hours
Methylstenbolone: 9 hours
By adhering to the numbers above when putting together your dosing schedule, you will derive the best possible results from your orals. However, most people will not want to wake up in the middle of the night to take their next dose of AAS (Note: disturbed sleep will likely impair gains more than waiting a few extra hours). In this case, you would still dose the drug according to its half-life, but you would cram your entire day’s dose into your waking hours. In the case of D-bol, if you were going to take 50 mg per day based on a 16 hour day (8 hours sleep), it would look like this:
16 Hour Day
7:00 am: 10 mg
11:00 am: 10 mg
3:00 pm: 10 mg
7:00 pm: 10 mg
11:00 pm: 10 mg
Other drugs, such as Anadrol, would be simpler, with 1/3 of your daily dose taken every 8 hours. Of course, this may change if you sleep longer than 8 hours, but you get the point. Hopefully, this rather lengthy explanation on the optimal application of oral AAS was at least slightly helpful for those who are still new to the world of AAS, as well as those who have been misled into thinking that pre-workout only use is always the best way to go. Happy training.