3 Best Injectable Steroids (With Sample Cycles)
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.
In the world of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS), bodybuilders have the choice of taking orals or injectables.
A steroid user fits in one of these three categories:
- Only takes pills, which usually stems from fear of injecting.
- Only uses injectables, regarding them as safer compounds in the long-term.
- Uses a mixture of both, believing there are pros and cons to each.
Orals are a convenient method of administration; however, they are also c-17 alpha-alkylated and thus cause hepatotoxic effects.
Consequently, oral steroids can have a destructive effect on liver and heart health, due to a stimulating effect on hepatic lipase in the liver, causing substantial alterations in cholesterol levels.
In contrast, injectable steroids are not considered hepatotoxic, having a more direct passage into the bloodstream (via intramuscular injection) and thus bypassing the liver.
Consequently, injectable steroids can be taken for longer periods of time (up to 12 weeks). Orals however are only taken in short cycles, due to raised ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate transaminase) liver enzymes, signifying hepatic stress.
Below are the 3 best injectable steroids that bodybuilders use today to build muscle and burn fat.
- 1 1. Testosterone
- 2 2. Trenbolone
- 3 3. Deca Durabolin
- 4 FAQ
Testosterone is a bulking injectable, commonly used in beginner cycles, to add significant bulk and mass to users.
However, testosterone also has fat-burning effects (due to its high level of androgenicity), causing a reduction in adipose tissue.
Thus, it may also be used as a cutting steroid, helping bodybuilders to preserve hard-earned muscle tissue, whilst enhancing fat loss.
A first-time testosterone cycle can add 20-30lbs of lean muscle to users — even in conservative dosages.
It is widely regarded as the safest anabolic from a cardiac perspective, only causing mild changes in cholesterol and blood lipids.
Various testosterone esters can be used, such as:
- Testosterone suspension
- Testosterone propionate
- Testosterone enanthate
- Testosterone cypionate
- Testosterone decanoate
- Testosterone isocaproate
- Testosterone phenylpropionate
The most popular forms of testosterone are cypionate and enanthate, due to their longer ester structure and ease of injections (causing minimal discomfort/pain). Injections are only required once or twice per week with these two esters, producing slow and steady gains.
Other forms of testosterone can have a more rapid effect, such as suspension (pure testosterone in an oil base). However, suspension injections are required 2x per day and can be painful due to the larger, non-micronized crystals.
Users who want fast results from testosterone, but do not want to inject frequently, may use Sustanon 250.
Sustanon 250 contains a mixture of fast and slow-acting esters, causing users to experience fast results that maintain into the latter stages of a cycle. Only 1-2 Sustanon 250 injections are required per week to maintain peak serum testosterone levels.
Testosterone Side Effects
Testosterone is the most well-tolerated steroid available, being a routinely prescribed medicine for men on a daily basis, known as testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
However, testosterone is not without side effects, with users possibly experiencing any of the following:
- Water retention
- MPB (male pattern baldness)
- Enlarged prostate
- Suppressed testosterone (hypogonadism)
Testosterone causes aromatization, thus high levels of testosterone are converted into estrogen. This can lead to water retention, causing a bloated or smooth look to the muscles. This is not optimal for cutting cycles, hence how testosterone is predominantly used as an off-season bulking steroid. If users want to run testosterone during a cutting cycle, but with minimal water weight, an anti-estrogen such as anastrozole or letrozole can be taken.
However, by reducing water weight via the reduction of estrogen, HDL cholesterol may drop further, elevating blood pressure.
Anti-estrogens can also prevent the possibility of gynecomastia (gyno) occurring on testosterone, which essentially is breast tissue expansion in the mammary glands, induced by high levels of the female sex hormone — estrogen.
A SERM such as tamoxifen (Nolvadex) may be a better choice than an anti-estrogen, with SERMs having a less negative effect on blood pressure (1).
Testosterone’s androgenic effects, caused by the 5α-reductase enzyme (converting testosterone into DHT), means that users will experience more hair loss, thinning or recession on the scalp.
This is due to DHT causing inflammation and thus damaging hair follicles. Difficulty when urinating may also occur.
5a-reductase inhibitors can reduce the size of the prostate by 20-30% (2), however decreased fat loss and muscle-building may also occur, with DHT being a highly anabolic hormone.
Oily skin or acne vulgaris is possible on testosterone, due to over-stimulation of the sebaceous glands; commonly resulting in blocked pores from excessive sebum volume.
Testosterone, like other anabolic steroids, has a transient effect on testosterone levels. Levels will spike for a short duration but then crash post-cycle. This is due to the pituitary gland signaling for the testes to halt testosterone production, as a self-defense mechanism to keep homeostasis and counteract the adverse effects of significant amounts of exogenous testosterone being injected.
Legal Testosterone Alternative
Trenbolone is a very potent injectable steroid, with enanthate and acetate being the two common esters used by bodybuilders.
Trenbolone is considered the most powerful anabolic steroid on the market, known for its rapid results (with acetate) and exceptional ability to transform body composition.
Trenbolone can be utilized both as a bulking or cutting steroid; due to its strong androgenic and anabolic properties.
Trenbolone’s anabolic and androgenic values are 500 (5x higher than testosterone).
Although this doesn’t translate as trenbolone building 5x more muscle than testosterone, it is considered the best steroid for promoting lean muscle mass.
It may be the most potent fat-burning compound too, with few AAS able to rival its androgenic and thermogenic properties.
Weight gain may not be dramatic on trenbolone (despite its remarkable ability to add muscle tissue), due to its simultaneous fat burning effects. Trenbolone may also cause a loss of water weight on-cycle, via inhibition of the aromatase enzyme.
Thus, trenbolone dries out the body, causing more visible vascularity and striations in the muscles.
Trenbolone promotes muscle hypertrophy (size) particularly in the trapezius and deltoids, due to these muscles having more androgen receptors present and thus being more susceptible to growth.
Trenbolone Side Effects
Trenbolone is one of the harshest anabolic steroids available, in terms of cardiovascular toxicity.
Trenbolone does not present any significant liver concerns, with it being an injectable compound and non-c-17 alpha-alkylated.
However, trenbolone has deleterious effects on cholesterol scores, leading to cardiac hypertrophy and increasing the risk of heart disease. LDL levels will skyrocket and HDL levels will plummet, increasing plaque build-up inside the arteries (atherosclerosis).
Trenbolone does not aromatize, thus water retention and estrogen-induced gynecomastia are not issues.
However, trenbolone does have a moderate effect on progesterone, a different female sex hormone, that can also lead to gynecomastia.
Interestingly, anti-estrogen medications, such as anastrozole, can be used to decrease progesterone production (3).
However, SERMs (such as tamoxifen) can further increase progesterone levels (4).
Androgenic side effects such as hair loss (androgenic alopecia), cystic acne and prostate enlargement may occur from trenbolone use. This is due to heightened DHT levels, increasing hair follicle damage.
Trenbolone will also amplify sebum production, causing high volumes of this waxy substance to accumulate on the skin. Excess sebum can block the pores, similar to how applying surplus amounts of moisturizer can also lead to oily skin and pimples.
Trenbolone may also cause paranoia and anxiety in sensitive users, via its stimulation of the central nervous system and thus shifting the body into fight or flight mode. This arousing effect caused by increased adrenaline output may also result in insomnia.
One way to reduce anxiety and help soothe the CNS is to increase l-tryptophan consumption. L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning the body cannot produce it by itself, and thus must be consumed via a person’s diet.
Bodybuilders can take advantage of l-tryptophan’s sedative attributes, by consuming more of the following foods:
- Whole milk (183mg/1 cup).
- Canned tuna (472mg/ounce)
- Turkey – white meat (410mg/pound)
L-tryptophan is why so many people are left sedated, needing an afternoon nap following Christmas dinner.
Trenbolone will also cause extreme testosterone suppression post-cycle, resulting in significant psychological and physiological effects, such as low energy, depression and diminished overall confidence.
Such adverse effects can linger for several months; however, with an aggressive PCT, may only last for several weeks.
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3. Deca Durabolin
Deca Durabolin (nandrolone) is a slow-acting anabolic steroid (containing longer esters), that produces significant, yet gradual increases in size and mass.
Deca Durabolin is typically used in bulking cycles, due to its anabolic effects and lack of androgenicity.
Consequently, fat loss is not considered to be notable on Deca Durabolin, due to its decreasing of CPTI (carnitine palmitoyltransferase I) expression and thus inhibiting fat metabolism.
Deca Durabolin was commonly used by classic bodybuilders in the 60s and 70s, helping them to bulk up in the off-season, in a bid to dwarf their rivals. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other hall of fame bodybuilders typically stacked Deca Durabolin alongside Dianabol and Primobolan.
Deca Durabolin Side Effects
Deca Durabolin is one of the mildest steroids, hence its FDA approval and wide use in medicine (similar to testosterone).
Deca Durabolin does not compromise liver function, failing to produce notable rises in ALT/AST enzymes.
It does not significantly compromise cardiovascular health, although LDL/HDL levels will take a shift, resulting in a mild spike in blood pressure for most users.
However, Deca Durabolin is often stacked with other toxic steroids, exacerbating blood lipids.
Deca Durabolin’s lack of androgenicity is caused by the reduction of dihydronandrolone (DHN), rather than dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The benefit of less DHN are less cases of hair loss, acne and enlargement of the prostate gland.
However, the main downside to less androgenic properties is a decline in sexual health.
This is due to a decrease in nitric oxide, a molecule that promotes vasodilation and blood flow to the penis. Thus, Deca Durabolin users can experience impotence (erectile dysfunction), known as ‘Deca dick’.
An elevation in prolactin levels can also worsen ED, due to a decrease in libido and arousal.
Bodybuilders often counteract high prolactin levels on Deca Durabolin by taking cabergoline, a dopamine receptor agonist, that has an inhibitory effect on prolactin — directly targeting the pituitary lactotroph cells.
For this reason, Deca Durabolin is rarely taken by itself as a solo cycle — instead being stacked with more androgenic bulking steroids (such as Anadrol, Testosterone or Dianabol), to maintain peak nitric oxide levels and optimal penile function.
Deca Durabolin will shut down endogenous testosterone levels, causing low testosterone symptoms and requiring a PCT to bring this male hormone back to normal levels.
Best Injectable Steroids for Cutting?
Trenbolone, Winstrol depot, Primobolan and Masteron are the best injectable steroids for cutting.
All of these compounds have significant fat-burning properties, without any notable levels of aromatization, thus enhancing muscle definition and vascularity.
Testosterone also is an effective cutting agent; however, fluid retention can accumulate (unless an anti-estrogen is taken).
Best Injectable Steroid Cycles?
For bodybuilders only interested in taking injectable steroids, here are some of the best injectable cycles (below).
These dosages are tailored for intermediate steroid users. Beginners wanting to cycle testosterone may run dosages anywhere up to 350mg for 7 weeks.
The most popular testosterone esters are cypionate and enanthate, due to their steady release and less regular injections required.
This is the safest steroid cycle, with some bodybuilders being advocates of only taking testosterone and avoiding other AAS for harm reduction purposes.
Testosterone / Deca durabolin Cycle
This stack is also tailored for intermediate steroid users, with higher testosterone dosages being utilized.
Note: Trenbolone cycles should only be considered by advanced steroid-users, due to its harsh effects.
Testosterone / Trenbolone Cycle
Extreme muscle and strength gains, combined with rapid fat loss can be expected on this cycle. This stack is not suitable for novices and should only be taken once comfortable with the effects of a trenbolone-only cycle.
Can Injectable Steroids Affect the Liver?
Injectable steroids are not processed and broken down by the liver upon entry. However, they do pass through the liver when exiting the body and thus provide small levels of hepatotoxicity.
Therefore, it is possible for AST/ALT enzymes to rise; however, such elevations are often insignificant (compared to the severity of orals).