How do they stack up against traditional orals? 15 years ago, with the supplement landscape as it was, writing this article would have been unthinkable. Prior to the advent of designer steroids/prohormones in the late 90’s, the supplement industry was drastically different from the multi-billion dollar monster we recognize today. Aside from the game-changing release of creatine monohydrate in 1993, the majority of supplements were more suited for the dumpster than human consumption. Only a handful of products from the previous generation have stood the test of time, such as vitamins & minerals, amino acids, and protein powders. Truth be told, including protein powders on this limited list is not really fair, as the protein products of yester-year were a far cry from those of today in terms of quality. Unless one was around during that time, it is difficult to understand just how far we have progressed in this arena. We now have access to a large inventory of effective supplements designed to help meet the needs of all different kinds of athletes. While there is no doubt that the current market has inherited some of the same problems which characterized the previous generation, by and large, the products today are 100X better. For this reason, it comes as a bit of a surprise to see so many younger guys posting negative comments about the supplement industry, claiming all OTC products are a scam. Often, when I read this kind of stuff, I don’t know whether to shake my head or just laugh.
In many cases, personal opinion does not mirror reality. It is no different in supplement industry. In this article, not only will I show many OTC supplements to be highly effective, but several can legitimately claim to be some of the most potent muscle builders ever created, surpassing even the most myotropic pharmaceutical preparations in terms of growth potential. Of course, I am not referring to OTC supps in general, but to a specific category of supplementation…the OTC designers. While the U.S government has done much to try and circumvent the public’s use of these steroids (achieving a strong measure of success) there are still quite a few great designers on the market, which can often be used in place of the traditional orals, while offering benefits & guarantees not seen in UGL products. Taking into consideration the fact that the best hormonal products available pre-1999 were nothing more than Wild Yam in a capsule, it is not hard to see why this article would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.
In the late 90’s we saw the first PH’s hit the market, courtesy of Patrick Arnold. While they were basically worthless for elevating testosterone levels when taken in oral form, they were the original “Andro” which inspired others to pursue greater advancements. It really wasn’t until the release of 1-testosterone that the market began to come into its own, as 1-Test was the first product which deviated from the traditional prohormone format, being an orally active hormone in its original state. Requiring no conversion in order to be active, 1-test was the first legitimate steroid (as defined in the traditional sense) to hit the market. With the term PH no longer applicable and with supplement companies unable to directly market 1-Test as a steroid, the term designer steroid (or pro-steroid) was used to officially define this class of supplements. Still, 1-testosterone was not without flaws. With no delivery system in place to protect the integrity of the molecule as it made its way through the digestive tract, much of it was destroyed in the process, allowing only a small percentage to pass over into the bloodstream where it could be used by the body. Almost immediately, various delivery systems were designed in an effort to improve the drug’s efficacy, but they were only partially effective.
At this point, the PH/Designer steroid industry decided to take the ultimate step and produce the first orally active steroid utilizing a proven pharmaceutical delivery system…methylation. Taking the original 1-testosterone molecule (a steroid in its own right, but up to this point not able to be effectively delivered into the body), scientists decided to add a methyl attachment to the hormone, creating what was and still is the most potent oral steroid ever produced, per effective dose, under any circumstances. The product was called Methyl1-Testosterone…or M1-T, for short. In order to understand the gravity of M1-T’s release and its effect on the marketplace, one must be able to accurately compare it to the traditional steroids utilized by BB’rs for decades.
M-1T was first recognized back in the early 60’s, but like most steroids at that time, only a few made it into production for use by the medical establishment. There were dozens and dozens of documented steroids that never saw the light of day, instead being archived away in the file rooms of researchers. Knowledge of their existence was largely unknown by the public and it remained this way for decades. Of the steroids that BB’rs did know about, these included drugs such as Dianabol, Testosterone, Deca, Winstrol, Anadrol, Primobolan, Masteron, etc. These steroids were the yardstick by which every subsequently released steroid would be judged. In the beginning of the PH revolution, the products available did not even come close to approaching the muscle-building power of these traditional steroids, but in the spirit of competitiveness, supplement companies quickly pushed the envelope, eventually accessing the old steroid archives which had long been covered by dust. With nothing left, but the law, to hold them back, supp companies jumped through a loop-hole in the law which allowed them to legally sell any steroid they wanted, so long as it had not previously been released as a pharmaceutical drug. This was hardly an obstacle, as the number of previously chronicled steroid which had never been produced was extremely large…and many of them surpassed the muscle building potency of every traditional steroid on the market. It appeared we had hit a goldmine.
Well, it didn’t take long for the government to get its little fingers in our business and by the end of 2004, M1T (as well as several other PH’s/Designers) were banned, being listed as CIII controlled substances. With these products no longer able to be legally sold without the likelihood of criminal prosecution, supp companies simply came out with new designer steroids, again skirting the law by conforming to the same criteria mentioned above. By 2005 we witnessed the release of SD, which was widely recognized as the King of Designers until 2012, at which time it was banned. By this time, 3 separate bills had been drafted by the U.S Government, resulting in numerous legal designers being classified as CIII drugs. This occurred once in the winter of 2004, again in summer of 2008, and most recently in the summer-fall of 2012. Throughout this time, many great steroids were made available to the public by legal means, which either equaled or surpassed the muscle-building abilities of traditional AAS. Some of these included: M1T, SD, Pheraplex (DMT), M1A, Epistane, and Dimethazine…among many others.
Just to give you an idea of how potent some of these steroids actually are, allow me to briefly paraphrase the results of a study comparing Dimethazine, Oxymetholone (Anadrol), Testosterone propionate, Methyltestosterone, and Stanozolol (Winstrol). Of the 5 steroids evaluated, Dimethazine was show to have the greatest myotropic (muscle-building) effect, on a mg per mg basis. When we look at the steroids Dimethazine had to contend with, we see there are some heavy hitters in that group. As most of you know, Anadrol’s notoriety as the premiere mass & strength drug was a position it held for decades. If someone wanted to add size & strength as quickly as possible, Anadrol was their go-to drug of choice. So, anytime a steroid is directly compared against Anadrol in order to determine which drug is the better muscle builder, we should sit up and take notice. In this case, Dimethazine was clearly shown to be superior for this purpose, beating out not only Anadrol, but testosterone, as well.
With many oral AAS, a steroid’s muscle building potency is often closely correlated with its liver toxicity. Fortunately, despite its strength, Dimethazine has been shown to have only a moderate impact on liver enzymes. When test subject were administered 45 mg/day for 6 weeks, only about 50% of the study population showed moderately elevated liver values, while the other 50% did not show any significant elevation. This makes the drug even more impressive. In addition, unlike Anadrol, Dimethazine does not result in the potentially watery or bloated appearance frequently characteristic of Anadrol use. It has the opposite effect, helping the user to “dry-out”, while dramatically enhancing vascularity. Being that drugs like Dimethazine display the best of both worlds, providing the mass & strength of traditional mass-builders, as well as the hardness & dryness of traditional cutting steroids, I have decided to define Dimethazine (and similar designers) as “mass-building cutters”. At first glance, opening up a new category of oral AAS may seem a bit unnecessary, but if we really look at all the different traditional oral steroids on the market prior to the release of these designers, there is not a single one which can claim to fit this description. Either they were pure size & strength drugs, adding relatively sloppy mass to the user…or they were effective at improving muscle quality (hardness, dryness, etc), while providing comparatively little gains in mass. Not one oral could claim to add the size & strength of a Dianabol or Anadrol without an accompanying increase in sub-q water retention. With the introduction of OTC steroids, this completely changed.
In order to determine how the rest of our designer steroids match up against traditional AAS, the above studies are useful in providing us with a reference point, as we already have a pretty good idea how the various designers stack up against each other. While Dimethazine is obviously a very strong steroid, there are other designers currently available which deserve to be mentioned. Methylstenbolone is one of the first that comes to mind. First synthesized in the 60’s and determined to have no therapeutic value, this drug was forgotten about until late 2011, when an enterprising supplement company decided to sell this steroid as an OTC product. With knowledge of the drug’s on paper potency being well known, its release was highly anticipated. The reigning designer at the time, SD, was on its way out due to new legislation and M-Sten seemed fated to take its place as the preeminent muscle builder on the market. With an anabolic rating of over 600, M-Sten is no slouch, but its real test would come by way of real world use. It did not disappoint. On a mg per mg basis, M-Sten delivers a muscle building effect greater than either Dianabol or Anadrol, while imparting a hard and dense appearance to one’s musculature. In terms of water retention, M-Sten appears to be neutral, neither increasing nor decreasing the amount of sub-q water retention present.
All in all, it is a rather pleasant drug to run, lacking the harsh, externally evident side effects characteristic of many potent oral AAS. Also defined as a mass-building cutter, M-Sten can be effectively applied to help achieve just about any goal.
When discussing the full spectrum of benefits associated with the use of OTC designers, one should not ignore the complete lack of legal risk connected with their purchase and possession. This is in blatant contrast to traditional steroids, all of which have all been scheduled as CIII drugs and carry heavy penalties should the individual be brought before a court of law for buying or selling. Aside from the potential legal ramifications, we also have to contend with the ongoing purity & potency issues which plague a massive percentage of blackmarket products. As anyone with insight in this area will tell you, this is no small problem and has led to untold numbers of disappointed customers. While the old saying “the grass is not always greener on the other side” often proves true, in this case the grass really is greener on the other side…by several shades. Spurred on by stiff competition, some supplement companies have elected to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack by implementing routine testing procedures, ensuring that their products are of the highest quality possible. This requires that each and every batch of raw materials be submitted for lab testing. If any company does not provide this assurance, you know you are better off going elsewhere.
So, when asking the question “how do OTC designers compare to traditional orals?” we see that not only do they compare favorably, but many times they surpass their peers in terms of effectiveness, safety, purity, and legality. The advantages listed here make these products a logical choice for many steroid users, regardless of their previous disposition towards OTC AAS. If you have any doubt concerning the legitimacy of these claims, give these products a shot and see for yourself. You will not be disappointed.