by Mike Arnold
In recent years, there has been a considerable debate regarding the optimal application of oral AAS. One recent trend which has become quite popular lately is the pre-workout method, in which the individual administers the entire day’s dose of oral AAS immediately before training a bodypart. While this method can be of benefit for specific purposes when using the correct steroids, we are now seeing BB’rs indiscriminately use just about every oral steroid in this fashion and in doing so they are unknowingly shortchanging themselves out of the results they could be getting from these drugs. In this article we will take a look at the legitimate reasons for pre-workout use, which steroids are able to serve effectively in this capacity, and learn how the majority of oral steroids should be administered in order to reap maximum gains in size & strength.
When administering an oral steroid pre-training, the individual is usually seeking one or more of the following benefits.
1.) Increased protein synthesis during the training window
2.) Increased strength gains via enhanced nervous system stimulation
3.) Improved workout performance via increased aggression/alpha-male mind-set
4.) Improved muscle pumps
While these are all valid motivations, there are serious flaws which present themselves with the pre-workout only approach, especially as it applies to the majority of oral AAS. Unfortunately, not only does this method fail to deliver superior results when compared to traditional methods of administration, but in most cases these benefits are actually reduced. A far better alternative is to administer oral AAS according to their half-lives. This method has been in use for over 50 years and has a solid history of success in the real-world. Using Dianabol as an example, we will compare these methods against each other in order to demonstrate the superiority of traditional dosing protocols.
By far, the #1 benefit associated with AAS use is the ability to accelerate protein synthesis. It is this process which is directly responsible for the growth of muscle tissue. Therefore, the more efficient this process becomes, the more quickly we can achieve our BB’ing goals. Despite being around almost 60 years, D-bol still does a comparatively excellent job at this, helping us to build muscle tissue much faster than would be possible in our natural state. Some people believe that by flooding the body with an entire day’s dose of D-bol right before their workout, that they will achieve a superior growth response in comparison to traditional dosing. While it is true that a large, single dose of D-bol will increase protein synthesis to a greater degree than a smaller dose will, of much greater importance is the total amount of protein which is synthesized over the course of a day. It is this fact that we should keep in mind when determining the best way to administer our orals. You see, the body can only build muscle tissue so quickly due to limitations in our physiology and with Dianabol possessing a very short half-life (only 4 hours) the body has a very short window of opportunity to capitalize on the growth signal being transmitted. The body has no problem taking full advantage of this growth signal when administering 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, but when using upwards of 50 mg in a single dose, the body is not able to make full use of the drug. In essence, the body’s muscle building machinery becomes overwhelmed. The signal may be present, but there are too many weak links in the chain working to stifle the muscle building process. In the end, excessive, single doses results in a portion of the drug being wasted.
This is why BB’rs have consistently reported experiencing better results when taking multiple, smaller doses throughout the day in comparison to a single large dose. For those of you who don’t find much comfort in anecdotal evidence, I don’t blame you, especially if you have little to no previous experience to help guide you. However, in the absence of clinical studies, we must look to anecdotal evidence for the answers. Fortunately, there is an abundance of real-world experience available for reference. Ask yourself the following question. Would anyone here expect to build as much muscle by taking a full gram of Dianabol in one day, as they would by taking 50 mg per day for 20 consecutive days? The total dose administered would be the same, so that means we should expect to build an equal amount of muscle either way, right? Of course not…because the body would simply be overwhelmed with the former dosing method; there is no way in hell it could build as much muscle in one day as it could over a 20 day period, regardless of how much D-bol someone shoves down their throat in a single day. This is an easily understood concept, which is why we never see anyone using D-bol in this fashion.
Well, the same principle is at work with the pre-workout method. While 50 mg is not anywhere close to a gram, the point is still valid in that the body’s growth rate is limited and no amount of drugs is going to speed it up beyond what it is capable of. By administering 10 mg every 4 hours for a total of 50 mg per day, the body is allotted a full 20 hours of recovery time, as well as the nutrients from 4-6 meals, with which to grow muscle tissue. I should also note that a portion of this time would be spent sleeping, which is when the majority of our recovery & growth occurs. On the other hand, in order to achieve an equivalent result with the pre-workout only approach, the body would be forced to synthesize new muscle tissue at 5X the rate of the former method, due to the drug’s short 4 hour half-life…not to mention that nutrient availability would be limited to a single meal–maybe two. Why should we expect our bodies to do more in less time? How probable is it that the body will build muscle tissue 5X more quickly under those circumstances, just because the steroid was taken before a workout? If muscle growth is your primary goal, you should always administer oral steroids according to their half-life, which obviously, will vary depending on the steroid being used. In doing so, you will maintain blood levels of the drug 24/7 (or close to it), turning your body into a non-stop muscle building machine. This will provide improved results over slamming your body with a monster dose for only 4 hours.
Another reason the pre-workout only method is has become popular is the belief that it will improve workout performance by imparting short-term strength gains via increased aggression. This makes complete sense, as increased strength translates into heavier weights, which impart greater muscle stimulation, thereby enhancing muscle growth. Sounds like a great reason to use the pre-workout only method, right? Wrong. Although there is no denying that certain steroids are capable of increasing aggression, it is foolish to assume that a single dose will yield a maximum response in this area. In reality, this method delivers inferior results, as it fails to take into consideration one of the two most critical factors in determining emotional response–length of exposure. Anecdotal evidence has shown time and time again that length of exposure is critical to maximizing the aggression affect.
Allow me to illustrate my point by using testosterone as an example. I have chosen testosterone because of its familiarity, as well as its ability to provoke an aggressive response at higher dosages in those who are prone. Think back to the first time you used testosterone. Remember the excitement and anticipation? You could not wait to do your first injection, as it meant you were moving one step closer to your BB’ing goals. Still, your lack of experience left you not knowing exactly what to expect. You may have read all you could about the drug and its effects on the body, but without a reference point for comparison, you were in new territory. You wouldn’t truly understand how it felt to use testosterone until you used it. After your first injection, you waited for it to “kick-in”. Hoping to feel something the first day, you likely continued to take inventory of how you felt, hoping to pick up on even the most subtle changes in your disposition. While placebo may have gotten the best of some of us initially, we all finally came to realize that it took at least a couple of weeks for the drug to take maximum effect. Whether we are talking about aggression, libido, increased sexual performance, or an improvement in energy, none of these benefits fully manifested within a few hours of taking the first dose. Rather, they seemed to build in intensity over time, peaking a couple of weeks into the cycle and remaining there throughout the duration of our use.
We see this same story being repeated over and over. How many times have we gone into online message boards and witnessed beginners only 1-2 weeks into their 1st cycle complaining of not feeling the effects of their testosterone? After reading about all the wonderful things testosterone is suppose to do to them and then not feeling much of anything after the first few days, they start to wonder if they have received bunk gear. It takes the assurance of a vet to calm them down and let them know that this is normal; that they should give it at least a few weeks before making any sort of judgment call regarding the product’s quality. With experienced users knowing that it takes time for testosterone to exhibit its full effects, regardless of dose, I am continually baffled by the number of people who persist in believing that an oral steroid will do so within just a few hours of exposure. Why are orals and injectables viewed so differently?
One reason is because of what they read or hear from others. They see other people advocating the pre-workout only method and assume there must be some validity to it. This is an example of monkey see, monkey do. Still, there are some who attempt to vindicate the pre-workout only approach by citing the difference in release rates between injectables and orals. They claim that orals enter the bloodstream within 30-45 minutes of ingestion, while injectables, when esterfied, can take weeks to fully enter into circulation. While this is true, the explanation is far from sufficient and does not hold up under scrutiny.
In reality, even a long ester, such as cypionate, has been clinically proven to elevate blood levels of the attached hormone to near maximal concentration within just 24 hours, while peak levels are obtained within 48 hours post-injection. With short esters, peak levels are obtained in less than a day, but let’s stick with longer estered compounds for a minute. When using longer esters most individuals choose to administer at least 200 mg per injection (and often much more). At this dosage, the accompanying rise in blood hormone levels is very substantial. After a full week of injections, the increase is massive. Using the logic presented by the pre-workout advocates, a single injection of testosterone, even longer esters, should elicit a significant emotional response the day of the injection and by a week in, the effect should be profound. However, we know this is not the case. As mentioned above, and as all experienced users know, it takes a minimum of a week (and almost always longer) before the effects of testosterone fully manifest. Even when administering very large dosages, such as 500 mg right up front, it still takes roughly the same length of time.