Prohormones: A Complete Guide to Prohormone Benefits & Side Effects
Prohormones: A Complete Guide to Prohormone Benefits & Side Effects
Prohormones are the most powerful muscle builders around. They are highly varied and very complex and there is a general lack of knowledge surrounding them. In this in-depth article, we provide a comprehensive guide to these powerful compounds, help guide you on subjects such as:
- What is a prohormone?
- Do prohormones work?
- The difference between methylated and non-methylated prohormones
- Explaining prohormones benefits
- Detailing how prohormones side effects vary based on the compound
- Seeing what the safest prohormones are
- A list of prohormones to learn more about individual prohormones
Prohormones are compounds which are converted via an enzymatic process to anabolic hormones in the body. As such they will have a more profound effect than SARMS (read about Prohormones vs SARMs) having effects in the body more comparable to anabolic steroids, inducing rapid muscle and strength gains, but a lesser magnitude than anabolic steroids.
However, this technical definition is nowadays considered out of date due to the innovation displayed in the supplement industry since the introduction of the very first prohormone, androstenedione. Today the term 'prohormones' is used to cover not just precursors to steroid hormones but also covers compounds which are active in their own right and which require no conversion to a different hormone to engender any anabolic effects. For the sake of simplicity, in this article the term 'prohormone' will cover all products which work via a hormonal mechanism to cause anabolic effects, and not just those which convert from one compound into another after ingestion.
As far as accelerating the rate of progress you can make in the gym, both in terms of performance and your physique, prohormones certainly do work. It is however important to research common side effects before beginning a cycle (read about this in our Prohormone Cycle Guide) and having all necessary health support and PCT supplements ready.
Prohormones were introduced on to the supplement world in 1996 by renowned US chemist Patrick Arnold who developed the supplement androstenedione and unleashed it on an unsuspecting public. Androstenedione certainly created a buzz in the sports world and is heavily linked in the popular press with baseball greats such as Mark McGwire whose use of the supplement was brought to light as he chased the baseball home run record in 1998. In breaking the record that year McGwire brought notoriety both to that sport and captured the attention of law makers in the United States. Androstenedione was quickly followed by a number of other supplements like 4-Androstenediol, 19-Norandrostenediol, 1-4-androstadienedione and 5 alpha androstenediol to name just a few. These all had different effects, some being converted to testosterone in the body, while others were converted in the body to anabolic hormones such as nandrolone, boldenone, and dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
After some time, Patrick Arnold's company Ergopharm introduced the prohormone 1-AD, which converted into a hormone called 1-testosterone. 1-AD was the first prohormone considered to be of comparable effectiveness to illegal steroids such as Winstrol or Primobolan. In fact at the time of its introduction much was made of the fact that it was qualitatively similar to the steroid Trenbolone Acetate. With the introduction of 1-AD, prohormones had clearly progressed in leaps and bounds since the introduction of androstenedione (widely considered within bodybuilding to be pretty worthless by that time). With the introduction of 1-AD, the prohormone market changed dramatically. A number of supplement companies, aware that the process of enzymatic conversion meant that prohormones were weaker than taking an equivalent amount of the target hormone they converted into, decided to market products such as 1-test and, eventually, the now notorious methyl-1-testosterone (M1T), which was a 17-alpha alkylated or methylated hormone. In simple terms, 17-Alpha Alkylation/Methylation meant that M1T was highly resistant to breakdown by the liver, making it the most powerful product on the market, causing rapid strength and muscle gains even for long-time steroid users, as well as causing a host of disastrous side effects such as high blood pressure, and dangerous elevation of liver enzymes.
End of an Era
Many in the supplement industry, Arnold among them, argued that the proliferation of powerful products such as M1T would eventually result in negative publicity to attach itself to the supplement industry as a whole and considered it madness that such products had been introduced on to the supplement market. These doomsayers were proven right and eventually the US congress passed into law the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004 which effectively classed all the prohormones then on the market as illegal drugs on a par with anabolic steroids. By early 2005 they had been removed from the market in the United States.
A rundown of the actions of individual prohormone products follows so this section shall only cover actions attributable to all classes of prohormone products. This in itself could be an article in its own right so here is the shortened version. Prohormones exert their effects through several different pathways, but the ones that are most important to people considering using them are their actions via their effects on the body's androgenic, estrogenic and progestogenic receptors. It is through these receptors that prohormone effects are largely mediated, with other pathways of secondary importance. Prohormones, just like anabolic steroids, are androgen agonists meaning they work via their effect on the androgen receptor. A strong androgen receptor agonist will mean effects related to the male hormone testosterone will be particularly prominent. These include increased aggression, sex drive, alpha male type characteristics in general, as well as heightened risk of side effects related to high androgen levels such as an increased susceptibility to hair loss and acne, although these side effects are very much individual in nature and will depend on the person taking them. They tend to only be an issue for those already susceptible to these conditions. Linked to these androgenic effects is the propensity for prohormones to induce sizeable increases in muscle strength, large muscle gains, and a hardening effect on the muscles, such that muscles feel denser and more solid. Prohormones that do not convert to estrogen such as RPN's Havoc tend to exhibit these types of muscle gains with no water retention.
Away from their effects on androgen receptors, prohormones can also cause effects via estrogen and progesterone receptors. These effects tend to be quite similar in nature. Prohormones that convert to estrogen and progesterone have the ability to cause large increases in mass and strength although much of the mass is of a poor quality visually and such gains often disappear rapidly being associated with water retention more than anything else. Estrogenic side effects are feared by most bodybuilders and include increased water weight, increased susceptibility to fat gain in the presence of high estrogen and worst of all, from a cosmetic standpoint at least, the dreaded gynecomastia. It should be stated that while there are some products which are almost exclusively androgenic in nature with little to no risk of estrogenic/progestogenic side effects (such as Havoc), the reverse is not true, in that compounds with high affinity for estrogen and progesterone receptors will still have an impact on the androgen receptor. You will often hear of prohormones being called androgenic or estrogenic or even both, but it should be stated this is often based on their primary method of action and that all will have an androgenic effect at some level, as they all primarily work via their effect on the androgen receptor.
Separate from their effects via androgen, estrogen, and progesterone receptors, prohormones will also differ in their impact on other body systems, and therefore their downstream effects on health markers. Typically, strong androgens are useful for promoting strength gains via the central nervous system (CNS) stimulation, independent of their anabolic or muscle building effects. A strong androgen would often be something similar in nature to Dihydrotestosterone. Furthermore, prohormones will promote enhanced red blood cell production which is why users of prohormones usually experience great pumps and vascularity. Generally speaking, liver toxicity is a concern only for methylated, oral compounds, which is most prohormones nowadays but even then, as the list below shows, they can differ by a wide degree in magnitude of effect.
Since the removal of the first generation of prohormones in 2005, various supplement companies have worked hard on creating products which can provide a sizeable anabolic effect while complying with the requirements of the 2004 law. One of the most important considerations was to ensure that not only did they manufacture a product that was effective and legal, but also safe, as the wave of methylated prohormones released in the wake of M1T were certainly of doubtful safety given their widely noted negative effects on a range of body tissues, most notably liver values. As a result of the innovations in the industry since 2005, we now have a number of prohormones for sale which have been around for some time and in favour with bodybuilders and athletes alike. To make things easy we will refer to the compounds by their brand names:
Brought back in the form of Fusion Supplements Androtest, 4-Androstenediol was considered to be one of the most effective and popular prohormones on the market and allowed prohormone users to get the benefits of testosterone itself, something should be considered essential for anyone running either prohormones or steroids themselves as a testosterone base is universally the most popular way to construct a cycle.
Androtest uses a delivery system of a cyclodextrin which increases its effectiveness compared to the old 4-AD products of the early 2000’s. Androtest is non methylated which makes it non-toxic for the liver unlike methylated prohormones. Androtest increases testosterone so that for those AAS users who do not like the idea of injecting testosterone, Androtest offers an oral alternative. Based on user feedback to date we would estimate that 5-6 caps a day is equivalent in potency to around 300-500mg of testosterone enanthate per week.
Androtest delivers rapid muscle mass gains and strength increase. The cyclodextrin delivery system ensures optimal absorption and utilisation of 4-AD as well as makes it stackable with other prohormones for even greater muscle and strength gains.
Androtest is a prohoromone intended to give you great results with very little side effects (if any at all). Since it converts directly to testosterone, it may aromatize, so keeping an estrogen blocker on the side might be a good idea.
Androtest is usually dosed at between 3-6 capsules a day.
Arguably the most popular non-methylated PH choice for beginners and those wary of side effects back in the early 2000’s, 19-Norandrostenediol converts in the body into nandrolone, an androgen which has a huge following among bodybuilders due to its combination of being highly anabolic while exhibiting minimal androgenicity. Made famous by the Deca-Durabolin brand, Nandrolone is often paired with testosterone by AAS users while the prohormone stack of 4-AD and 19-Nor was similarly popular in the early 2000’s as the prohormone equivalent of it. Decalone is perfect for those worried about androgenic side effects such as acne or hair loss while it also does not convert to DHT, the androgen which testosterone can convert into and which is highly implicated in hair loss. Additionally, this supplement is not methylated meaning it does not cause the liver stress associated with many oral androgens such as Havoc, Halodrol, Nano Drol etc. This means that for users looking for a prohormone with minimal androgenic and hepatotoxic sides, Decalone is the perfect choice.
Decalone is ideal for users looking for lean body mass gains that albeit there will be some degree of water weight. This actually makes it perfect for those looking to bulk especially when used in conjunction with a more androgenic product like Androtest or Nano Drol. Decalone is also notably effective for reducing joint pain and for increasing vascularity, appetite and muscle endurance.
The only real concerns with this prohormone is the potential for water retention, along with an adverse effect on libido (which can be eliminated if used with Androtest). In addition, users should be aware that nandrolone can cause a degree of progesterone mediated side effects with gynecomastia being the main worry. As such, we do not recommend this if you have pre-existing gyno symptoms and as a precaution, we’d advise stacking with an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimistane.
Decalone is usually dosed at 3 capsules a day with higher doses being feasible for more advanced users.
Nano 1T (Non-Methylated)
Nano 1T does not require any conversion (non-methylated) being directly anabolic. and measured as being SEVEN times as anabolic as testosterone itself making it arguably the perfect prohormone. Unlike many of the US brands of today who are selling precursors to 1-testosterone such as 1-DHEA (which requires your body to first convert it into 1-AD AND then also into 1-testosterone making it impossible to get enough 1-test to make them worthwhile), Nano 1T is the ONLY supplement sold anywhere in the world that supplies you 1-testosterone itself.
Even the original Ergopharm 1-AD was only a precursor to 1-Testosterone whereas Nano 1T is the real thing and thus even more potent even before you add the fact it is nanoparticulated for improved bioavailability.
Nano 1T is the compound of choice for users seeking lean and dry muscle growth with a total absence of water retention. With it being such a strong anabolic, Nano 1T further shines by being neither hepatotoxic nor converting to either DHT or estrogen. When you compare it to any other prohormone out there, nothing else manages to combine the anabolic effects of Nano 1T while also being free of DHT, estrogen and liver issues.
The most commonly reported issue with Nano 1T is a terrible taste but this is easily remedied by mixing it into a drink. Leaving that aside, the other thing to be aware of is that by reducing estrogen to practically zero Nano 1T has got the potential to cause lethargy and a lower libido in some users especially when you consider that use of Nano 1T will also cause natural test levels to drop during a cycle (as will any prohormone). However, these side effects tend to disappear entirely when testosterone is introduced which is why a stack of Nano 1T and Androtest is considered nigh on perfect from a standpoint of gains and minimal sides. While it does not cause liver stress, Nano 1T, much like any other androgen can lead to negative effects such as elevated blood pressure and lipid levels making an on cycle support product such as Organ Shield or Cycle Support a good choice for those worried about general health.
Being nanoparticulated, Nano 1T is more potent than the products produced in the early 2000’s with dosing of 1ml a day in divided doses suitable for most.
Fusion Supplements Nanodrol (sometimes written 'nano drol' is one of the most potent prohormones still stocked here at Predator Nutrition.
- Rapid increases in muscle and strength
- Zero estrogen conversion
- Needs to be used with extensive cycle support to avoid negative effects on health markers
- 0.5ml-1.5ml daily
Epistane or Havoc (Methylated)
RPN's product Havoc was introduced at practically the same time as IBE Epistane and considered interchangeable by many. However, it should be noted that even when two products are identical, users can experience different effects depending on the quality of the isomer, manufacturing process and so on.
Good for promoting solid, lean muscle gains with a concomitant reduction in estrogen leading to a drier physique, and significant strength gains. This will contribute to the vascularity users typically report. Havoc is also sometimes used purely to combat gynecomastia as they act in the body as an anti-estrogen, so that endogenous testosterone levels are less suppressed by this compound than other prohormones.
Although methylated, it is less hepatoxic and damaging to lipid levels than other orals but the usual androgenic side effects associated with prohormones remain a possibility.
Havoc is usually dosed in the 20-50mg range (2-5 capsules). However, being that it is methylated, we would recommend a maximum dose of 40mg and then, should further Havoc-like gains be sought, it can be stacked with another non-aromatising prohormone but one which is not methylated such as Nano 1T.
Halodrol was introduced to the bodybuilding world by Gaspari Nutrition and is a prohormone to Turinabol, the banned East German designer steroid.
Solid gains in muscle and strength, often taken while dieting to aid preservation of muscle mass.
As a methylated prohormone, it is considered stressful on the liver and can raise blood pressure somewhat in users.
The typical dose for products such as Halodrol is 50mg a day, which equates to one tablet daily.
Cynostane is a brand new prohormone.
Cynostane, developed by Anabolic Innovations, is an extremely anabolic compound with remarkably low androgenic action, making it qualitatively similar to the likes of Oxandrolone or Methenolone (Primobolan). It is non-aromatizing meaning it will not produce estrogen mediated side effects and its high degree of anabolic action makes it a favourable choice for athletes concerned with losing body fat while maintaining, or increasing, muscle mass. From feedback to date, Cynostane has very potent recomposition effects making it ideal for athletes and when dieting. If using to bulk up, calories would need to be increased considerably.
Blood work conducted by users shows that Cynostane has a more favourable effect on blood lipids, and liver values than the likes of SD. As with any methylated prohormone, however, cycle support is still required. Although feedback to date is limited, the combination of low androgenic action, lack of aromatization to estrogen, and low level of general health effects, makes cynostane an intriguing newcomer to the prohormone world. For more on Cynostane check out this article.
11-Oxo was introduced by Ergopharm, whose owner Patrick Arnold first brought prohormones to the bodybuilding world. 11-oxo is considered a milder prohormone, but that doesn't mean it can't bring about dramatic benefits. 11-Oxo is well regarded for its ability to lower cortisol levels and improve body composition. By this, we mean simultaneously be able to lose excess fat while building lean muscle.
Used mainly as a recomposition agent and to promote fat loss, 11-OXO is also a good choice for individuals looking to stack one prohormone with another.
Although it can cause the same side effects as other prohormones, it is considered very mild in this regard so a good choice for people looking to diet with minimal side effects.
It is dosed at between 300-600mg a day with 450mg typical. Being a non-methylated prohormone, some users choose to stack this.
There is a case to be made for M1,4AA being the best mass building prohormone available in the early 2000’s despite it being up against the likes of 4-AD, 19-Nor, 1-test and M1T. It built this reputation by virtue of it being a prohormone to methandrostenolone (Dianabol) - undoubtedly the consensus choice among bodybuilders who are asked to pick their favourite mass builder.
M1,4ADD actually has benefits in its own right but it is the fact that it enjoys a conversion rate of around 20% that drives its mass building benefits. While it converts to estrogen, a little estrogen not only facilitates greater increases in muscle protein synthesis, and strength, it also plays a key role in both mood and libido. As such, M1,4ADD users can expect to enjoy the benefits of both great mass and strength gains as well as an alpha male mentality.
Being methylated means M1,4ADD should be used for no more than 4 weeks and ideally with concomitant usage of a liver protector like TUDCA Elite. Furthermore, while the conversion to estrogen is a net benefit for most users, those seeking to avoid potential estrogenic side effects would be wise to keep an aromatase inhibitor to hand such as Alchemy by Hydrapharm or Arimistane by Fusion Supplements.
M1,4ADD is typically dosed at a range between 60-150mg a day with the higher doses only recommended for advanced users and those prepared to keep an estrogen blocker on standby.
Alpha One (Methlyated PH to M1T)
Originally brought to the supplement industry by hardcore US brand, Competitive Edge Labs, Alpha One was brought back to the market by industry veterans Fusion Supplements.
Benefits: Alpha One is a methylated prohormone to M1T which provides many of the same benefits of M1T but with a reduced incidence of side effects which were a huge issue for M1T. Being non-aromatising, Alpha One is a good option for those wanting dry muscle gains without water retention or other estrogenic side effects.
A typical daily dose for Alpha One is 2 to 3 capsules a daily with the lower dose being a good option for beginners to using it or those stacking it with a non-methylated prohormone such as Androtest.
Delta 2 (Non-Methylated)
Delta 2 is a relatively less well known prohormone originally introduced and sold to this day, by Fusion Supplements.
Benefits: Delta 2 has a number of properties that makes this an excellent prohormone including being non-methylated and not taxing on the body compared to some prohormones. Gains with Delta 2 will be dry gains and it is often used when dieting but can be used to bulk either either by itself or in conjunction with another prohormone. Being non-methylated means it can be stacked with any other PH with Androtest being a good choice for those wanting gains without any hepatoxic sides.
Delta 2 should cause minimal issues being that it is not liver toxic, nor estrogenic and while, like any PH, it could cause androgenic effects, these are much less likely to happen compared to androgenic (stronger as some would call it) prohormones such as Nano 1T or Alpha One.
We have seen people run Delta 2 at anywhere from 3 capsules a daily with those wanting more gains going to 4 or 5. For those who want to get even greater gains, Delta 2 could be dosed yet higher with Delta 2 only mass building cycles at 6 to 9 capsules daily being an effective way to get the same kind of mass results you would see from a much stronger PH, but with Delta 2 causing less side effects.
XI-KT (11-Ketotestosterone) (Non-Methylated)
11-Ketotestosterone is a non-suppressive anabolic that should enhance your strength while giving you great pumps. It is based around 11-ketotestosterone, which is primary androgen in fish. It is distinctive in that it tends to lower the cortisol in the body, which is one of the factors for fat gain. As such, XI-KT and 11 KT Spray are both a great alternative for those going on a solid cut.
11-ketotestosterone is effective in burning fat reserves while putting your body into an anabolic state at the same time. Therefore, burning fat and building muscle simultaneously is no longer an impossible task. 11-Ketotestosterone will allow you to keep the hard earned muscle during your fat loss program while at the same time being able to gain strength. This makes it an ideal choice for recomposition.
Since 11-ketotestosterone is naturally found in fish and thus broadly distributed throughout the animal kingdom, this compound has not been associated with any side effects when taken in the appropriate amounts.
Apply 1ml once per day. As a non-methylated prohormone, this can be stacked.
Pheraplex was a brand name of the supplement company Anabolic Xtreme (AX). This product was brought back to the market after several years of being unavailable by Fusion Supplements in the form of their Phera prohormone.
Gains with this product tend to be of a 'wet' nature, in other words, you will see some weight gain due to water retention. Given this, P-Plex is often used to gain mass quickly for users.
It is a risk for anyone with gynecomastia based on user feedback (making the use of an estrogen blocker such as Alchemy mandatory), and is considered to be both hepatoxic and damaging to lipid levels so should be used with a comprehensive cycle support product such as Cycle Guard Elite or Tudca Elite (add hyperlinks to these).
The following prohormones are no longer manufactured and there are no legitimate versions of these remaining on sale. We have still listed them for educational purposes.
Iron Legion Supplements previously produced Dienazone, a potent compound that didn't require enzymatic conversion, making it more powerful than Estrabolan or similar products that needed conversion. However, both Dienazone and its successor, Fusion Supplements' Liquidien, have been discontinued. While available, they provided a powerful alternative to traditional products, with Liquidien offering even more potency for muscle and strength gains.
Rapid gain in muscle and strength without any estrogenic side effects as Liquidien does not convert to estrogen. It will lead to an even greater gain in size and strength than comparable oral versions of Liquidien.
Similar to the case for Estrabolan, Liquidien can be quite suppressive on testosterone so a thorough PCT is highly recommended.
Iron Legion were famous for producing outstanding products and Nano Mithras was one of their most renowned prohormones that promised solid muscle mass and strength gains. However, this product failed to earn a niche for itself in a crowded field so is not currently being made.
Benefits: Nano Mithras can lead to dramatic increase in muscle mass, adding almost 5kg in about a week. Mithras Nanoparticles provides better absorption, since it is made of tiny particles between 50 and 800 nanometres, thus being much more effectively digested by the GI tract.
Side Effects: Nano Mithras is methylated prohormone, so we recommend taking this prohormone with some type of cycle support supplement, such as Talos.
Protodrol was introduced by i-Force Nutrition, designed to be a less toxic compound than some of the older prohormones on the market. Daily dosage was 50-75mg a day. It is not currently being sold.
Benefits: : Protodrol is considered to be a milder mass builder, with a low incidence of side effects being very favourable on both liver and lipid profiles. As it does not convert to estrogen, Protodrol will impart muscle and strength gains with an absence of water retention. As such it is a very versatile compound which can be used for both bulking, recompositioning and dieting.
Side Effects: : Protodrol was designed specifically to provide a bulking compound with a low risk of side effects so the only side effects you could expect to have would be those associated with all prohormone products.
With its high anabolic to androgenic ratio (300:20) Triumphalis is a prohormone that can stand equal to Super-drol. It is also great for either bulking or cutting, making it a very universal prohormone.
Benefits:Triumphalis is an orally effective prohormone that leads to enhanced protein uptake and thus greater muscle growth. On the top of that this prohormone does not aromatize, thus avoiding common problems such excess water retention or side effects such as gynecomastia.
Side Effects:Triumphalis was designed to be a highly anabolic prohormone that enhances the bulking or cutting phase, so the only side effects you could expect to have would be those associated with all prohormone products.
Dosage:Triumphalis is currently no longer made, not proving to be as popular as other prohormones sold at Predator Nutrition.
This product was brought to the market by Bioscience Technologies and is usually dosed at 6-12mg to see results.
Benefits: Not a strong bulking product unless doses are pushed high despite its androgenic profile. In this respect it is not dissimilar to AAS such as Masteron and Proviron which are not efficient for bulking.
Side effects: Androgenic side effects such as hair loss are reported quite frequently by users if this product and many users report a damaging effect on libido.
Introduced by ALRI, this is another 'wet' prohormone dosed at 20-40mg usually.
Benefits: This compound is quite similar to Pheraplex so is useful for someone wanting to gain mass quickly even if the visual appearance of this will not be the best.
Side effects: Can cause gynecomastia making use of an estrogen blocker a wise option, and has a detrimental effect on liver and lipid values, meaning cycles should be kept short.
Along with Nano Drol, M1T vies for the title of the most potent prohormone ever developed. Introduced in the early 2000’s it is arguable that the progressive tendency in the USA to ban prohormones was a direct consequence of this compound in particular.
Benefits: A prohormone that was noted to deliver very rapid mass gains in as little as 1-2 weeks, M1T was a favourite for users seeking to kickstart results in a hurry.
Side effects: Being referred to by many as a poison with the side effect of building muscle tells you everything you need to know about why M1T was not a good candidate for anyone seeking to improve their physique despite its anabolic effects. M1T was noted to be both tremendously stressful on the liver as well as causing a high degree of androgenic and estrogenic side effects. Throw in the fact that it was notoriously deleterious to cardiovascular function and we are thankful M1T is no longer available.
This was developed by EST Nutrition and is usually dosed at 90mg a day.
Benefits: Noted to be good for reducing body fat and for promoting rapid strength and muscle gains.
Side effects: Relatively mild with this compound, although those who worry about gyno or androgenic side effects should exercise caution. Tends to be expensive!
ALRI introduced this compound and it is dosed at 3-6mg by most users.
Benefits: Reviews are mixed on this product but those who do like it often claim very good muscle and strength gains allied to a reduction in body fat.
Side effects: Being both quite androgenic and estrogenic it should be used with caution and remedies to combat hair loss and gyno. Erase Pro is worth considering.
Yet another product by ALRI.This one is usually dosed at around 100mg a day.
Benefits: Max LMG can cause rapid gains in bulk of a wet nature due to its progestogenic nature. It is great for those needing fast weight gain and unconcerned about looking smooth or fat.
Side effects:One to avoid for anyone worried about a quality looking physique, gynecomastia, or hair loss. This is also very expensive! Erase Pro is definitely a smart move to combat estrogenic effects if using Max LMG.
Anabolic Xtreme formulated this product and brought it on to the bodybuilding market. Usually dosed at around 4-6 capsules a day, 3-AD contains various other nutrients, but the active prohormone is 2-androstenol acetate.
Benefits:Effective overall mass gainer. Gains are a little wet, but not too bad for those worried about estrogen.
Side effects:It is not the worst, but estrogenic and androgenic side effects remain a possibility.
Dymethazine, also known as Dimethazine, is a DHT derived compound with an interesting chemical structure. It is essentially a double bonded Super-drol, with an Azine bridge. A relatively recent introduction to the prohormone world by i- Force Nutrition, Dymethazine is a product that has attracted a great deal of interest given its unique chemical structure.
Benefits: Users of this compound reported similar effects to those seen in Super-drol.
Side Effects:Although not having any estrogenic action, Dymethazine use poses the same issue of liver toxicity and androgenic effects as other prohormones.
The One was developed by Applied Nutriceuticals and is a prohormone of Dihydrotestosterone.
Benefits:Being a prohormone to DHT, The One can be expected to be notably androgenic, resulting in dry, muscle gains with an absence of water retention and solid gains in strength.
Side Effects:Being that it converts into DHT, The One can be expected to be tough on the hairline as DHT is the hormone most responsible for hair loss. As it does not convert to estrogen or progesterone, side effects related to those should not be an issue. Liver toxicity would remain a concern though and it would be a good idea to take this product with something to support health liver function.
Being both highly anabolic and low in androgenicity, this famous designer supplement combined these benefits with a complete lack of aromatisation meaning users did not experience estrogen related side effects. This compound was noted to deliver rapid increases in muscle protein synthesis and strength gains alongside with improving body composition. Often compared to Havoc, most users will generally agree that this was a more potent compound able to deliver greater gains and better suited for prohormone users who prefer to employ very short cycles of 2-3 weeks.
More widely known as Dienedione, Trenadrol converts into the orally active androgen Dienolone, popularly referred to as Tren. Neither Trenadrol nor Dienolone are related to the steroid Trenbolone though despite its Tren nickname. Instead, it seems to have garnered this nickname due to the relatively similar effects to trenbolone.
Furazadrol was developed by Axis Labs as an alternative to methylated prohormones such as Havoc or Dymethazine. As a non-methylated compound it will appeal on the grounds of being very safe and is often used by beginners new to prohormones either alone or in a stack with Bold 200.
Effects:Furazadrol has a high anabolic to androgenic ration meaning muscle gains with low risk of androgenic side effects. It does not convert to estrogen meaning gains will be lean in nature, with an absence of water retention.
Side Effects:Although the risk of side effects is low, it is usually required to be dosed in dosages of 200-400mg a day making it quite expensive. Given its otherwise favourable profile it makes an excellent choice for someone looking to stack with another prohormones.
Which prohormone should I take?
So here we come to the part where readers ask 'which is the best prohormone to take and when?' It is not possible, nor advisable, to offer specific advice on such a subject. People need to consider their own objectives and risk factors before taking any prohormone. Generally speaking, all we can say is that it is advisable to start with a mild steroid first and keep doses low, typically for 3-4 weeks. For a novice this will still lead to excellent gains. It is critical in our opinion, that an estrogen blocking product should be held ready at the start of a prohormone cycle. Users unworried about estrogen can take it for 3-4 weeks after the end of their cycle. Those concerned about estrogen, should employ it both during and after. In this respect, Havoc makes good choice as it negates the need for an anti-estrogen during the cycle, due to the fact they are inherently anti-estrogenic. Still, even with them, an estrogen blocker should be applied after all cycles with prohormones.
Dietary and Supplement Advice When Using Prohormones
Assuming a good clean diet is eaten, normally the only advice we would recommend is to increase protein intake to at least 2g of protein per pound of bodyweight. So, for a 200lb individual that would be 400g of protein a day. Given the fact almost all prohormones are oral in nature, we recommend increasing water intake also and employing the use of a liver protectant such as Silymarin and N-acetyl cysteine, along with fish oil dosed at 6g a day. Those who are particularly anal may want to consider taking their prohormones with grapefruit juice. In theory, this will help increase their gains via inhibition of enzymes that break down drugs leading to enhanced absorption.
Training Advice When Using Prohormones
Given the fact you are taking a powerful prohormone which will rapidly boost muscle mass, training volume should be increased but we recommend limiting the increase in weights. Instead, after your cycle has concluded, given the catabolic environment present post cycle, it is an excellent time to reduce volume and increase the weight which will help preserve your muscle and strength gains whilst keeping cortisol (a hormone indicated in the breaking down of muscle) levels low. A good rule of thumb is to double your normal training volume on cycle and then reducing it to a half of your normal training volume in the first few weeks post cycle while your body gets back to a homeostatic state (normal hormonal environment). So, if you do 10 sets a session normally, go to 20 on prohormones, and then reduce to 5 until your post cycle estrogen blocker has finished its job.
For more details on how to improve your gains check out our article on manipulating training and diet to optimise your prohormone cycles.
Prohormones are powerful compounds with the ability to impart significant gains in muscle and strength mass. We hope this article has provided some useful information for you to help understand their benefits, applications and how to structure their use within your overall training and dietary plan.