by Josh Hodnik
Looking back to 1996, the first legal steroids were available over the counter with the introduction of androstenedione and a handful of other pro-hormones. With all of the nors, dioes, and diols that have come and gone since, it can be confusing as to which ones truly work. Many pro-hormones did not last long enough on retail shelves to supply input or data from enough people that were actually using them, so effectiveness was often based solely on theory.
Most pro-hormones are compounds that were developed decades ago, but were never developed commercially, even though research showed these compounds to have some anabolic properties. Since these compounds were never used on a commercial level, research ceased many years ago, which left us with limited data on them. Many of the pro-hormones that have come and gone since 1996 were as a result of being banned or they were just not very effective. Some compounds have survived the bans, and have been around long enough to prove themselves as being effective when being used by bodybuilders. One such substance is methoxygonadiene (aka MAX LMG.) MAX LMG is considered a progestin.
Progestins are a group of chemically similar steroid hormones. In humans, natural progestins are made primarily in the female ovaries and male testes. Birth control, female hormone replacement therapies, and some cancer drugs contain synthetic progestins. It is difficult to imagine how any compound that falls into the same category as a female birth control could have a positive impact on building muscle. Nandrolone and trenbolone, two very potent anabolic steroids, fall into the progestin category. Progestins have broad effects in humans. One critical effect is as a building block for all other steroid hormones, including androgens and estrogens.
Researchers, Gordon Alan Hughes and Herchel Smith, synthesized a number of 13 alkylated 19 nor-compounds in the 1960’s, with 18-methyl-3-methoxy-estra-2,5 (10)-dien-17-one (methoxygonadiene) being one of them. Patents would be filed for this compound, norbolethone, and a number of synthetic contraceptives at Ayeth Laboratories during this time. It looks as though Smith’s primary goal was to synthesize the first synthetic contraceptive, which he did accomplish. This proved to be so profitable, that after retiring from Wyeth, Smith was able to donate hundreds of millions of dollars to universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. The compounds that were not used as contraceptives and showed anabolic properties, like methoxygonadiene, were disregarded and almost forgotten about. This compound was eventually rediscovered and made its way into the supplement market around 2005.
Once MAX LMG is ingested, a metabolite known as 13b-ethyl-nor-androstenedione is created. This metabolite is chemically similar to the steroid norbolethone, and it is believed that this is where MAX LMG gets most of its effects. Norbolethone is an anabolic steroid that was first developed by Wyeth Laboratories in the 1960’s. As with MAX LMG, it was never commercially marketed after its discovery. Norbolethone started showing up in urine tests on athletes in the early 2000’s. It is rumored that norbolethone was brought back to life by chemist Patrick Arnold, and it was the active ingredient used in the original formulation of “The Clear”, which was given to professional athletes by BALCO.
13b-ethyl-nor-androstenedione, the metabolite produced by methoxygonadiene, is almost equal to testosterone in anabolic potency, but much less androgenic. Once methoxygonadiene is converted into other active metabolites, progestational activity is shown that is higher than that of nandrolone. This can result in a decrease in libido that is commonly experienced with nandrolone or trenbolone, unless a compound that is more androgenic is taken along with it.
Methoxygonadiene may not be a 17aa steroid, but it is still slightly more toxic than a non-ethylated steroid. Due to the high progestational effects of this compound, gyno symptoms could occur depending on dosage.
Methoxygonadiene is believed to act as a pro drug, which means its pharmacological activity comes after it is metabolized into active compounds, and it is highly unlikely that any anabolic activity comes from methoxygonadiene itself, but rather its metabolites.
Methoxygonadiene is an excellent compound for size and strength. The dosage ranges anywhere from 50mg to 125mg per day. The half-life of this compound is approximately 10 hours, so it should be taken twice per day.
In my experience with methoxygonadiene, water retention was minimal and problems with gyno were non-existent at a dosage of 75mg per day. At this dose, gains in size and strength were very noticeable. Some users are able to take this compound at doses higher than 75mg per day, while not experiencing side effects, but this always varies from person to person. A lower dose should be used first to assess what dose is appropriate.