Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Prohormones have grown in popularity over the past decade, with many bodybuilding and sport supplement companies developing and marketing new prohormones, and many bodybuilders and athletes using the supplements as a legal way of hopefully obtaining steroid like effects. Prohormones work by being a precursor to a parent steroid, such as Testosterone, which requires conversion via an enzymatic process. Due to the steroid conversion being limited by this enzymatic process, we are usually likely to see less potent effects from using prohormones, compared to using anabolic androgenic steroids.

Prohormones are commonly used by bodybuilding and athletes for the very same reason they would look to use anabolic androgenic steroids. Prohormones bring about a heightened level of potent muscle building hormones which result in muscle hypertrophy, increase in strength, greater aggressiveness, and other anabolic and androgenic characteristics (some positive and others possibly negative, such as acne or male pattern baldness).
Side effects from prohormone use

Side effects from prohormone use is the same, although likely to a lesser degree, as anabolic androgenic steroid use. Side effects differ from one prohormone to another (just as we would expect from steroids), depending greatly on the prohormones aromatisation rate to oestrogen, and the parent steroid hormone anabolic and androgenic properties. Oestrogen related side effects can be a possibility from prohormone use, including increased water retention, and the chance of devolving Gynecomstia (breast tissue development). If these side effects are unwanted then using a prohormone with a low conversion rate to oestrogen would be preferred, although it would not totally eliminate the possibility of experiencing such side effects. Androgenic side effects are common from prohormone usage, commonly including acne, oily skin, male pattern baldness and prostate swelling. A post cycle therapy is best implemented post prohormone cycle, like with any anabolic androgenic steroid cycle, to try to help restore the users natural testosterone production. There are over the counter supplements which are marketed at helping post prohormone cycle, although the most effective method is said to be the employment of drugs such as Nolvadex and/or Clomid. You can read more about this in our post cycle therapy (PCT) article.
Common prohormones

4-AD (4-androstenediol)

Available in transdermal and oral forms, 4-AD has a conversion rate to Testosterone of around 15-20%, and three times that of androstenedione. 4-AD is a popular prohormone due to its inability to convert to oestrogen and DHT (dihydrotestosterone), although some aromatisation may result from the metabolism of the prohormone.

We can expect androgenic side effects from 4-AD use, so acne, oily skin and MPB should be prepared for.

Common dosages of 4-AD is generally up to 100mg each day, although a lower dosages should be used by inexperienced users.

1-AD (1-androstenediol)

1-AD converts to the very potent 1-Testosterone, a steroid that is said to be 700% more anabolic then Testosterone, furthermore 5-alpha reduced so lacks the ability to cause aromatisation. 1-AD is very oral active, possessing a very high conversion rate due to the liver activating the prohormone upon passing, and resistant to being broken down unlike other prohormones.

1-AD manifests its androgenic nature very quickly, therefore androgenic side effects can be very much expected from its usage, and therefore may not be a suitable prohormone for those prone to such side effects.
A final word of caution

Hopefully you have read the above and are now well aware of the possible side effects from the use of prohormones. Prohormones should not be under estimated, and unfortunately they often are because of their availability of legal status. Research and preparation should be done prior to a prohormone cycle, just as with an anabolic androgenic steroid cycle. If you know others which are thinking of embarking on a prohormone cycle please email this article to them so they are well aware of the risked involved with prohormone use.

Although prohormones can be potentially dangerous if not understood and misused, in the educated hands who has prepared for all possible side effects, prohormones use can result in a very pronounced anabolic environment for heightened muscle growth, better recovery, and increase strength gains.

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