Trenbolone is an absolute king of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). This is a steroid with some outstanding properties that give exceptional opportunities to bodybuilders. However, safe use of trenbolone requires a lot of knowledge and experience in steroids use, cycle planning, and post-cycle therapy (PCT). As a matter of fact, trenbolone, which is the most powerful steroid ever conceived, has an interesting history of rises and falls.
Trenbolone was commercially sold in 1980’s by the pharmaceutical companies Hoescht and Roussel (USA and France respectively). Both companies gave the steroid very similar brand names – Finajet for the US version, and Finaject for the European. Finajet was used in livestock to improve appetite and increase muscle mass.
In spite of the fact that the FDA has never approved trenbolone for human use, it quickly became extremely popular among bodybuilders. Amazing androgenic activity and absence of estrogenic effects were the main reasons for such popularity.
However, the wide use of trenbolone by bodybuilders would end soon because Hoescht removed Finajet from the American market in 1988. Soon after, the French Roussel Pharmaceuticals would do the same with Finaject.
Nonetheless, in 1986 Roussel Pharmaceuticals received FDA approval to launch trenbolone in the form of pellets under the brand name Finaplix, making the timeout in trenbolone availability rather short. Moreover, the imported Mexican Trenbol 75 would join Finaplix soon after these events. The injectable Trenbol 75 was the preferred form among bodybuilders because considerable ingenuity was required to extract trenbolone from the Finaplix pellets.
The only version of trenbolone that was created specifically for human use was Parabolan, issued by the French pharmaceutical company Negma. Nevertheless, this steroid was discontinued in 1997, leaving only the veterinary grade trenbolone and underground products available for bodybuilders. No matter the form and brand name, thanks to its incredible reputation, trenbolone was always in great demand, and most probably will be for a long time.
Trenbolone belongs to the 19 nortestosterone (19-nor) family because it is a derivative of the parent hormone nandrolone (Deca Durabolin). However, two major modifications were made to trenbolone, giving this steroid certain properties that nandrolone doesn’t have. The first major modification was the addition of the c9 and c11 double bonds. These occupy the bonds necessary for aromatization, which makes trenbolone completely non-aromatizable. Nandrolone, on its side, does not aromatize actively, but it still converts to estradiol, which is not the case with trenbolone.Add To Cart
Another big difference between trenbolone and its parent hormone nandrolone is the extreme androgenic activity. In fact, trenbolone is so extremely androgenic that according to the anabolic-androgenic ratio it is 5 times as androgenic as testosterone. This is made possible by the fact that tren does not interact with the 5-alpha reductase enzymes, and it therefore does not convert to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Furthermore, the previously mentioned c9 and c11 double bonds increase androgen receptor binding affinity, giving trenbolone even more potency.
The injectable trenbolone is available with three different esters: acetate, enanthate, and hexahydrobenzylcarbonate. It is very important to remember that the esters do not change the way a steroid performs, and the only thing affected by them is the release rate.
Trenbolone acetate is by far the most popular version of this steroid. There are three main reasons for such popularity. First of all, compared to other esters, it is easier to get the acetate version. Secondly, the short half-life of this ester makes trenbolone a relatively controllable steroid. Since it will leave the body so fast, the user has all the chances to discontinue this steroid very quickly if harsh side effects take place. And lastly, since parabolan was discontinued in 1997, bodybuilders did not really have any alternative to trenbolone acetate until the emergence of trenbolone enanthate.
On the other hand, acetate’s short half-life makes frequent injections necessary. Normal bodybuilders usually inject trenbolone acetate every other day, whilst some inject it everyday. Logically, it is a considerable drawback because making so many injections is very inconvenient.
Making the first appearance in 2004, trenbolone enanthate is the most recent version of trenbolone. However, tren enanthate is not as modern as it may seem because it is essentially an off-spring of Parabolan with a different ester.
Since the enanthate ester gives trenbolone a longer half-life, it can be injected once a week. Some bodybuilders do injections twice a week, but the additional benefits are not significant enough to take this injection schedule as a rule.
Trenbolone hexahydrobenzylcarbonate is more famous under a different name – parabolan. Compared with the enanthate version, parabolan has two great advantages. First of all, it starts acting faster, so there is no need for another kick-starting substance. Whereas trenbolone enanthate is known to be a slow starter. Secondly, it has a longer half-life, making the injections even less frequent.
Interestingly, according to anecdotal evidence, parabolan is more powerful than the other two esters of trenbolone. In spite of the fact that the esters can only affect the release rates of the steroids, there is something about trenbolone hexahydrobenzylcarbonate that gives this version an increased power. Unfortunately, since Parabolan has been discontinued in 1997, the legitimate versions of this steroid are almost impossible to find on the black market, leaving only underground labs as the source for parabolan.
Although not as popular as the injectables, there are two versions of trenbolone meant for oral use. The first one is the oral trenbolone acetate. Basically, it is the standard trenbolone acetate that is used orally. However, it has no structural modifications that could protect it during the first liver pass. Therefore, its effectiveness is rightfully doubted by most bodybuilders, unless high doses are used.
The second version – Metribolone (methyltrienolone) is methylated, so it can withstand the first liver pass. Nonetheless, this brings the big disadvantage of strong hepatotoxicity, which draws many bodybuilders towards the less toxic injectables. As a matter of fact, it is not just hepatotoxic – it is extremely liver toxic. Hence, if you dare to use this particular version of trenbolone, make sure to do regular blood tests and take liver supporting drugs like N2Guard.
Due to the fact that trenbolone does not aromatize at all, estrogenic side effects will not occur when using it. Therefore, when cycling trenbolone, even individuals with a predisposition for estrogenic effects don’t need to be concerned with water retention, fat accumulation, and gynecomastia. Nevertheless, there is a myriad of other side effects to keep in mind.
Androgenic side effects
Due to the strong androgenic nature of trenbolone such side effects as acne, body/facial hair growth and baldness are very possible. Since trenbolone is so much more androgenic than nandrolone, these effects have a greater chance of taking place. Ancillary drugs like Proscar will not help with hair loss problems when using trenbolone because it does not convert to DHT, making Proscar useless in this situation.
Furthermore, the above mentioned androgenic activity can have a considerable influence on the bodybuilder’s mood. It has been reported, that intense aggression and irritability may take place with trenbolone, especially if the user has a certain predisposition for this kind of behavior. Hence, one must be aware of the possible aggravation of bad temper, and take measures to prevent any aggressive acts.
Trenbolone is very suppressive, limiting natural testosterone production very rapidly. This makes a strong PCT like the “Perfect PCT” necessary. It is still unknown exactly why is trenbolone so suppressive if it does not convert to estrogen. However, there is one popular theory claiming that progestin activity is the responsible because, usually, any kind of sex hormone can be suppressive on natural testosterone production. Whatever the reason, due to trenbolone’s suppressive nature, PCT is essential.
Another issue, frequently experienced by bodybuilders who use trenbolone, is insomnia. Unfortunately, the origins of this problem are unknown, and there is no scientific basis that could explain the insomnia experienced by trenbolone users. The use of theanine based supplements can alleviate this problem. N2Sleep has been proven to do the job of helping to get a good sleep at night.
There is one side effect that is often encountered by steroid users, but is more intense with trenbolone – coughing. In fact, it is so intense that bodybuilders even call it “tren-cough”. Steroid related coughing happens when a little fraction of oil enters the blood stream through one of the capillaries that can be penetrated when doing an injection. As a result, the body tries to get rid of the foreign substance through lungs, and, therefore, coughing happens. Unfortunately, this coughing can be very intensive with trenbolone, and if the user has no experience using this steroid, it can be quite frightening. Luckily, there is a solution to this problem called Cardarine (GW-501516). When stacked with trenbolone, cardarine will solve the coughing problems very effectively.
In spite of the fact that injectable trenbolone is not c17 alpha alkylated (C17aa), it can still be somewhat hepatotoxic because its chemical structure is resistant to the first liver pass. Even though injectable trenbolone’s levels of hepatotoxicity are not nearly as toxic as those of c17aa oral steroids, it is recommended to use some liver protecting supplement, such as N2Guard. When the oral version of trenbolone is taken, especially the methylated one, the use of N2Guard is imperative.
Excessive sweating, characteristic to trenbolone use, is not a health threatening side effect, but it must be mentioned in the context of dehydration. Since this steroid boosts the metabolic rate, the user may sweat more than normal, especially at night. This can lead to considerable water loss and dehydration. Therefore, it is recommended to drink more water than usual.
A Special note for Asthmatics
Trenbolone has one side effect that must be kept in mind by those suffering from asthma. If high dosages are taken, trenbolone can increase prostaglandin F2Alpha, which can provoke bronchial constriction. Moreover, the higher the dosage, the greater the production of F2Alpha, making the problem more prominent. Consequently, the user will experience difficulties when breathing heavily, especially during physical exercise.
Normally, this side effect does not represent any danger to a normal athlete, and disappears soon after discontinuing trenbolone. However, if the user suffers from asthma, trenbolone should be used with a lot of precautions, and if possible, a different steroid should be chosen.
Dark Urine and Kidney Damage
There are a lot of rumors in the bodybuilding community about trenbolone being stressful to the kidneys. The main argument for this assumption is the dark and rusty color the urine has when using trenbolone, which is confused by many with blood in the urine. However, what happens in reality is that trenbolone oxidizes into a darker and rust-like color. As a consequence, when trenbolone’s metabolites are excreted with the urine, it adopts the same color. Moreover, multiple studies have been carried out, both in humans and animals, showing no kidney damage even after long term use of trenbolone.
Progesterone Activity and Prolactin
Although trenbolone does not convert to estrogen, according to several studies it does present certain progestin activity. Very often progesterone may give side effects that are very similar to those of estrogen. Luckily, since there have been no reports of trenbolone having such side effects, we can assume that it does not have enough progestin activity to give estrogen-like side effects. However, given a certain level of estrogen in the blood, increased levels of progesterone can enhance estrogenic effects. This must be kept in mind when stacking trenbolone with other steroids that do aromatize to estrogen, since it may increase their estrogenic side effects.
Trenbolone also stimulates prolactin production at the pituitary gland, which can lead to a myriad of prolactin related side effects. First of all, excessive levels of prolactin can induce sexual problems, such as decreased libido and even impotency. Furthermore, prolactin can cause lactation from the nipples, and together with progesterone they can produce gynecomastia. This fact is confusing for many, because theoretically, progesterone should inhibit prolactin production. However, trenbolone, as well as nandrolone, are not progestins as such – they are just substances that can activate progestin receptors without being progestins. There are two major solutions for this problem. The first one would be to use an anti-prolactin drug like Cabergoline. The second one would be stacking trenbolone with testosterone, which can address this issue.
The precise dosages of trenbolone will greatly depend on the objectives a user has, as well as other steroids stacked. Usually, the acetate version is injected every other day, with dosages ranging from 50 to 200 milligrams (mgs). An average cycle duration for trenbolone acetate is 10 weeks.
The longer ester of the enanthate and hexahydrobenzylcarbonate versions of trenbolone allow to make less frequent injections. These are injected on a weekly basis, with a dosage ranging in between 400 and 600 mgs. The recommended cycle duration for the longer esters is somewhere between 10 and 12 weeks.
The oral versions are very powerful and liver-toxic. Hence, a very accurate and balanced dosage is needed. The normal thing to do is take 0.5-2 mgs every day. The considerable hepatotoxicity also limits the cycle duration, making 4 weeks the recommended maximum cycle duration for this form of trenbolone.
In spite of the fact that trenbolone is usually associated with cutting, people tend to forget that it is noticeably more anabolic than testosterone. The reason for this false belief is very simple and straightforward – due to estrogenic activity, testosterone appears to give more mass. However, much of it is just water that leaves the body fairly soon after ending the cycle. On the other hand, trenbolone gives a higher quality muscle mass, and even though it seems to give less mass, much less is lost after ending a cycle. As a result, the trenbolone user ends up having more muscle mass in the long run. Thus, trenbolone can be used with exceptional success both in cutting and bulking phases.
It is no surprise that trenbolone is a very popular cutting agent – it will perfectly fit in any stack. Bodybuilders report that trenbolone stacks particularly well with such agents as Winstrol and Primobolan. The result will be an extremely vascular and defined physique, making tren a superb pre-contest steroid.
Nonetheless, trenbolone would not be such a versatile AAS if its use was only limited to cutting. Trenbolone can be used in bulking cycles, and the benefits it will give are hard to overestimate. In these cycles it should always be used with testosterone in order to alleviate its suppressive side effects. When combined with such steroids as Deca Durabolin or Equipoise, it can give a very balanced physique – quite massive, but yet lean enough. Trenbolone will give an additional definition to the mass gained with Deca or EQ.
Serious bodybuilders who want as much mass as possible with no regard for water retention, can combine trenbolone with such bulking oral steroids as Anadrol or Dianabol. There is no doubt that the gains will be huge, with a little hardness added by tren.
Half-life and Detection Times
The detection time is roughly the same for all versions of trenbolone – 4-5 months.
Trenbolone acetate’s half life stays in between 24 and 72 hours, depending the exact duration of half-life on such factors as individual responsiveness to the substance and metabolic rate.
Trenbolone enanthate has a half-life of around 7-10 days.
Trenbolone hexahydrobenzylcarbonate has the longest half-life of all trenbolone preparations – 14 days.Add To Cart
Trenbolone is a truly iconic steroid with a very rich history. However, being the most powerful steroid ever created comes with the cost of having a considerable amount of side effects. Many of these side effects are very prominent, and require an experienced approach. Therefore, this AAS is not recommended to steroid novices who want to get introduced into the professional bodybuilding world. On the other hand, if used properly, trenbolone is one of the best steroids with amazing androgenic/anabolic activity and no estrogenic side effects.
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, “Effect of altrenogest and Lutalyse on parturition control, plasma progesterone, unconjugated estrogen and 13,14-dihydro-15-keto-prostaglandin F2 alpha in sows.”
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