So you’ve never used anabolic steroids before? And you’re not one of these scrawny little teenagers who have been only been lifting weights for a month before impulsively deciding steroids are the answer to all of their problems. No. You have been been training intensely and eating properly for years. You have been researching steroids for almost as long. You are convinced that you are ready to go from real natty to real jacked.
But are you really? You’ve gone online and have read all of the steroid profiles on the top steroid sites. You’ve visited the forums to find out how to formulate your first steroid cycle. You’ve learned the appropriate dosages and the appropriate compound(s) for a first-time user. Check.
You’ve determined which underground manufacturer produces the highest quality and most accurately dosed steroid products. You’ve learned which vendor is the most trusted source for the desired brand of steroids. Check.
You’ve studied the side effects associated with steroids and how to manage and treat them. No gyno for you because you have an aromatase inhibitor (AI) like Arimidex on hand. You know the role of hCG in a steroid cycle. Check.
You’ve familiarized yourself with anabolic steroid induced hypogonadism (ASIH). You understand the need for post cycle therapy (PCT) to restore your own natural testosterone production after you finish your cycle. You have all your steroids on hand as well as your PCT drugs such as Nolvadex and Clomid. Check. Check. Check.
For Christ’s sake, you’ve read William Llewellyn’s Anabolics reference book from cover to cover. What could you possibly be overlooking?
There is one very important thing that practically every first-time steroid users neglects to do before there first cycle. And unfortunately, they only have one chance to do it. Once they embark on their journey of enhanced hormonal experimentation, the opportunity to do that one very important thing is lost forever.
The thing that I am referring to is laboratory blood work. Specifically, the lab testing to establish your body’s baseline values for the functioning of the hypo-pituitary-testicular axis (HPTA). This involves measuring the blood serum values of such variables as total testosterone, estradiol, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Knowing your baseline is crucial since it provides an excellent guide to recovery following PCT.
Without these baseline values, you may never be certain that your HPTA has fully recovered. If your total testosterone levels are in the 600s (ng/dl) a few weeks after the completion of PCT, you may be tempted to pat yourself on the back for a job well-done. Without baseline values as a comparison, it may seem like you are fully recovered. But what if your baseline values were in the 800s? A recovery to the 600s doesn’t seem so good anymore. Yet without baseline testing, you will never know.
What if your your post-cycle blood work reveals a total testosterone of 450 ng/dl? Does that sound like a PCT fail? Maybe. But, maybe not. What is your baseline was only in the 400s? Then that 450 value is probably as good as you can expect after a successful PCT. Without baseline testing, you simply won’t know.
This is why baseline testing is extremely important for the first-time steroid user. You have one opportunity to see what your real natty hormonal environment looks like. This information is extremely useful to monitor HPTA recovery after each and every subsequent steroid cycle. Make sure you don’t neglect baseline testing. You will thank me later.