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Cycling steroids vs. TRT dosing year round. What is best?

This is a loaded question and is dependent on many different things.

TRT = Testosterone replacement therapy.

TRT is a general term used to describe taking a low, regular dose (usually weekly) of testosterone to replace your body’s own declining levels.  I want to start off by going through some of the variables/questions one should ask themselves to help determine what is best..

How old are you? Once you hit your late 20’s, your natural test levels will start to decline. If you’re 30+ years old its going to be hard to get your natural levels back to ‘normal’ in just a few months. 

Are you getting your blood work done regularly? If you’re not able to test your blood to see exactly where your testosterone levels are while on cycle and off cycle, then it will be very hard determine if you’re recovering quickly or if your testosterone levels are low. 

Do you have any health issues? If you have high cholesterol, heart issues, etc. then you will want to monitor this carefully if you use steroids. I have seen guys do much better staying on a low dose TRT (200mg/week) throughout the year, rather than cycling steroids at higher doses for 3-months, then going off for a period of time. On the same token, I have seen others with health issues do better cycling on and off. 

What are your athletic/fitness/exercise goals? If you’re competing in bodybuilding, powerlifting, or some other sport  at an extremely high level, then the low dose TRT may not be for you, as those endeavors require different demands at such a high level. If you’re using steroids to help get into shape, slow down aging, or for general increased performance in your chosen discipline, then you’re probably a better candidate. 

The endocrine system is very sensitive; if it gets thrown out of whack it can take some real time to get it back to ‘normal.’ In the bodybuilding scene, we have been taught that we should cycle on steroids then cycle off them back and forth. The reasoning behind this is to give the body’s natural test levels a chance to recover. I have heard guys say that you need to go off at least as long as you were on. Doing this protocol would put you going on cycle for 3-months then off for 3-months, in this yo-yo fashion. In theory this is sound advice, you use exogenous testosterone for a few months, doing this will suppress your natural testosterone so you take the next 3-months to get your natural test levels back up before suppressing them again. I suppose the idea behind this is that if you don’t let your natural test levels get back to normal by cycling on and off, then you will permanently suppress your natural test levels. 

If you’re a 30+ year old healthy male who is using steroids to help with performance and recovery in the gym or with any athletic performance, I would seriously consider using a TRT dose and staying on year round. This may sound scary at first, the idea of never coming off steroids can make you feel like an addict or feel like you’re putting your health in jeopardy. Let me make a few arguments about why it may be a good idea to do this. First off, if you’re going to be on all year, you don’t need to be using normal cycle doses. I think most guys doing a 3-month cycle would say 800-1,000mg/week would be considered normal. If you’re staying on year round, then a dose of 200mg/week is the max that would be needed/advised. Doing this lower dose can really mitigate the negative health effects of steroids. I know for myself, if I use 800mg/week my blood pressure raises, my cholesterol will get out of whack (especially if I am using orals), and I tend to have a much higher hematocrit/red blood cell level that can lead to the heart working even harder to pump the thicker blood through the body. Even 200mg/week is multiple times higher than what our bodies are producing naturally, so your definitely going to see benefits at this dose; especially if you’re using year round. 

This brings me to my next point: what is the sense in spending all of the time to get your test levels back to ‘normal’ via PCT and being off cycle, just to throw them into suppression again a few months later? This yo-yo effect is what causes the majority of negative side effects that guys experience when cycling their gear. If you go from having 1500+ ng/dL testosterone levels to having 0, you’re going to lose the majority of the muscle you have built while on cycle, as your body does not have the hormones running through it that can sustain that muscle mass. Chances are you will only keep a small % of it in the end. I believe many guys would do much better using the TRT dose year round as its easier to keep your blood work on track on the lower dose; additionally, you will experience far less negative health effects. Yes your gains will be slower but they will be permanent and much easier to sustain. The slower you build the muscle the easier it is to sustain. When your muscles grow quickly over a short period of time the whole body has to ‘grow’ or adapt to support the muscle- meaning tendons, ligaments, your circulatory system, etc etc.. Many guys experience this first hand after they have put on 20lbs in a short time and they try to go out hiking (or even walking, climbing stairs, etc) and they can’t seem to catch their breath. It is because their heart and lungs are trying to pump blood and oxygen to 20% more muscle tissue and simply can’t keep up. 

I remember the first time I came off cycle when I was just getting into bodybuilding. I felt like complete garbage, I was young, inexperienced and saw any hard fought muscle gains slipping away and no matter how hard I trained or how much I tried to eat, I lost the majority of what I had gained. Generally, depression can set in from having low or no testosterone, and this just complicates matters more. I found myself counting down the days until my ‘3-months off’ was over and I could start back up again. It felt like 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. I often wonder how I would have done lowering my doses and simply staying on for longer periods of time with the TRT type of dose. 

I will conclude with a few last points to keep in mind. Get familiar with your blood work. At a minimum, you should have it tested twice a year. Doing steroids and not getting your blood work done is like trying to navigate using a map without knowing what way is north? You won’t know what direction to go because you don’t know exactly where you’re at. Once you know what your testosterone levels, cholesterol, red blood cell, etc is at, you have the necessary tools to know how long it takes your body to recover from a cycle, deal with any health issues, and make an informed decision if a year round TRT dose is good for you. I don’t believe one way of using steroids is better than the other, so it is best to experiment a little and see how you react. Try doing the TRT dose for 6-9 months and see how you feel, how your blood work looks, and what kind of progress you have made. Compare this to your normal regimen and see what makes more sense to you. 

Getting your blood work done is very easy these days. There’s a lot of online testing companies that will have you get blood drawn at a Lab Corp or Quest Diagnostic type of facility and then email you the results for a $100-200. You don’t have to explain anything to your doctor, it is private, and you can see exactly what’s going on in your body. 

Thanks for reading. As always, we appreciate any feedback we can get, be it good or bad. Feel free to comment and add any info you think is beneficial to this conversation.


G and All of Team Gear Depot

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Bodybuilding on a Budget and Living a ‘Semi-Normal’ Life

I see a lot of novice bodybuilders doing some pretty extreme things to gain an edge. I want to take some time in this article to address some of these and try to sort out what is worth your time and money.

The majority of us over complicate bodybuilding (myself included). It’s amazing how many advances in science and health have pushed the envelope in bodybuilding in just the last 20-30 years. It’s a very exciting time, as we have more science behind this sport than ever before. I would venture to say that bodybuilders and cyclists are at the forefront of technology, nutrition, drugs and physiology. I can speak to the crazy things some guys will do to gain even a fraction of a percentage in bodybuilding. Everything from the plethora of peptides on the market today, to drugs like EPO & DNP, to waking in the middle of the night to have a huge calorie packed shake. I have tried them all and I want to reflect on the value/return of these efforts, in the grand scheme of things, to try and separate what is really worth your time, money and effort.

Workouts and Training – obviously this will be the first thing on the list; we know this works and we know it’s needed to create a stimulus for the body to adapt to. Some guys like the low volume HIIT stuff, others like higher German style volume training, but the majority of us probably fall in the middle here. There are a thousand different training programs so we won’t get granular here, but I want to express the importance of regularly changing your training style and trying some different types of training. if you notice your training getting stagnant, then don’t be afraid to try some HIIT training for a few months. On the other side, if you’re doing some really hard core training and busting your ass, don’t be afraid to give yourself a break and let the body heal up 100%. I feel like I spent so many years training hard, but never allowed my body the time it needed to fully heal so while I was breaking the muscle down on a regular basis, I never got all of the growth out of each workout because I dove right back in and trained those muscle groups again because it was ‘chest day’ or ‘leg day’ again and I needed to stay on a schedule. Rotate your exercises, workouts and rest days.

Recovery – this is something I wish I had put more effort into earlier in my career. You can call it active recovery, or whatever you want, but doing any combo of extreme stretching (read the DC guide on this), yoga, sauna and cryotherapy will help your body recover and stay injury free. Watching a 270 pound inflexible bodybuilder doing yoga is quite comical! The first several times I did it, I hated it! I didn’t like how weak and inflexible I was in so many of these poses, but the more I did, the better I got and I saw a huge difference in my posing and especially in my range of motion for many of my lifts. Hot yoga is also great to crank up the intensity one more notch, or doing some basic stretches in the sauna can help achieve the same effect. Cryotherapy is a new fad but is becoming a solid part of many top athletes recovery regime. On your days off or after your workouts be sure to incorporate some form of this as it will help with recovery, flexibility, and generally make you feel and perform better.

Nutrition – in order to build muscle your body needs high quality nutrition. If you asked me 10 years ago, I would have told you that you have to eat every 2-3 hrs to build muscle on a regular basis. That is 6+ meals per day! That’s a lot for the average guy and there are some things that need to be taken into account.

  • How big are your meals? Some guys like to feed on small meals throughout the day; however, others, because of lifestyle and schedule will do better on 3-4 larger meals per day.
  • What is the quality of food you are eating? This will dictate how fast your food can process and how soon you can put more down the hatch. There is a big difference between eating a burger at a fast food joint or having the fajitas at Chili’s, as opposed to cooking a burger or fajitas at home with organic quality ingredients. If you don’t believe me, try it and see which one makes you ‘feel’ better.
  • What type of food are you eating? Everyone has certain foods that their body “agrees with,” and seems to digest better and provide more satiety than others. You will find those foods through trial and error, but when you do, that is what you will want to incorporate into your diet.

Post Workout Nutrition – this is something that can be done for cheap and pays major dividends in building muscle. You have an increased anabolic window for about 90 minutes after you train. This anabolic window is caused by the body deleting its glycogen and other nutritional reserves during your workout, thus creating the ability for the body to super compensate and reload those lost nutrients + some extra. A good analogy is squeezing a damp sponge in your hand and wringing out all of the water in it (this is your workout). If you eat nothing after your workout, then your sponge remains dry, but if you immediately take that sponge in your hand and dip it into a bowl of water it will soak up ever ounce of water it can hold. Your body does the same in this 90 minute window. The body is depleted and is begging for nutrition to help start the repair process. During this time,your body will shuttle amino acids and sugars much faster than normal. I recommend between 30-60 grams of whey protein and some simple sugars (30-60 grams of sugars) as soon after you get done working out. It takes minimal planning to do this and it is not expensive if you bring a shake with you to the gym to have a quick refuel right after you train. It is wise to plan your next meal about 45-90 minutes after you have this shake.

Steroids and HGH – there is no contesting that Steroids and HGH do work. I am not going to go into too much detail here, except to say that when looking at what steroids to take, it is always a safe bet to stick with the basics. A testosterone ester should make up the base of your cycle, then depending on your experience, you can add another inject like Equipoise, Deca, or Tren to supplement the testosterone. The only other thing I would recommend is an oral steroid like Dbol, Winstrol, or Anavar. Keep the doses low to moderate and understand that you’re not going to consistently get the gains you got on your first cycle or 2– they will taper off the more you use steroids. Before you up the dose on steroids, try incorporating a different workout program, some active recovery, more rest, or tweak your nutrition.

Supplements – anyone who has been in this game long enough probably knows that the majority of supplement claims are BS, or highly exaggerated. That being said, I want to briefly touch on the supplements I think we can all agree on that should be a staple in any program. Whey protein in some form should be supplemented for your post workout shake, and/or for meal replacement throughout the day. Find a real whey protein isolate! If you look on your tub of protein and see that it has whey protein concentrate listed on the bottle the chances are it is mostly concentrate and very little isolate. In my opinion the isolate is far superior. You can research the reasons why and see for yourseld. The next supplement I would spend my hard earned money on is creatine. I think creatine has more clinical studies done on it than almost any other supplement. Simply put, creatine works. It helps to push more water into the muscle, allowing it to perform better. If you can afford some powerful anti oxidants and a good multi vitamin then I would definitely advise that as well. There are thousands of different supplements on the market, and while many of them have shown to increase this level or that, leading to increased performance I don’t believe the return is worth the investment on most of them if you are a novice or recreational athlete on a budget.

I remember being a young aspiring bodybuilder about 20 years ago, chatting with the current Mr. Olympia. I was a die hard, if he told me eating 2 pounds of dirt each day would help me build bigger muscles, then I would have done it! I wanted every edge I could get. In speaking with Mr. O, he really surprised me with his simplistic approach to the drugs and a few other things. I was expecting him to give me the secrete pro bodybuilder stack of steroids I would use to get huge. What he told me kinda left me confused..? He didn’t know about half of the new peptides coming out, had never used igf, and said he relied on some Test, Eq, Tren and Anavar to prep for shows and the doses were not nearly what I expected (very low). Part of me did not believe him, as I know many guys say they take far less then they really do, but over the years and seeing how his body, mind, and enjoyment of life has held up over the years I have realized he was telling the truth.

If I had to give myself a few points of advice 20 years ago here is what I would say:

  • Building muscle takes time: there are some things you can’t cheat and time is one of those. Stay on your routine but get some hobbies so you’re not totally engulfed in this game trying to chase every little rumor promising gains.
  • Take more time to recover. Your body is not a calendar. If you don’t sleep well for a night or 2 in a row, you don’t need to be blasting a crazy leg workout the next day as your recovery ability is already compromised. Train hard, but rest smart. I would rather take an extra day or two off and ensure I have left ample time for recovery and rebuild, then train a day or two early and stay stagnant.
  • Pick 3 steroids to use (2 if you’re in the off season). Take some breaks from the gear if you are younger, if you are in your later 30’s then make sure to get some time on just a TRT dose.
  • Find the foods your body agrees with and incorporate those in your nutrition program.

If you take the points in this article and incorporate them in to your routine, I think you’ll see a strong foundation for muscle gain. Yes, there are thousands of things you could do to give yourself an edge, and all of those small advantages can add up to real gains, but the financial cost, time spent, and injury that can come from trying untested methods are not worth it for 95% us. Years of doing this will maximize your potential and still leave you with some money in the bank and some sanity in your head!

Thanks for reading. Any questions, please feel free to comment or email us, we love hearing feedback from you guys!



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Kaballero Test 400mg / full disclosure

We wanted to take a moment and fill you guys in on this product and the feedback and results we’ve had from our customers and the testing analysis coming back from the lab. This product most recently tested at 423mg/mL. We’re extremely happy with the test results and the feedback we’ve received from our product testers and our customers. That being said I want to offer full disclosure so everyone is aware of what goes into getting 400+ mg/ into a mL of oil. Back in the late 90’s and even early 2000’s you rarely saw a 400mg testosterone product. The reason for this were many, but the main reason was its extremely hard to get anything in that concentration to hold stable and not crash. If you notice, most Test esters are dosed at 200mg or 250mg/mL max as that amount can be suspended in oil fairly easily and consistently. In the early 200’s we started to see the old Mexican brand ‘Denkall T-400’ on the market. This was a revolutionary product at the time as nothing was dosed that high. If you ever used it you know it was a pain in the ass literally! It felt like getting kicked by a mule when you injected it. The reason for this was the high amount of solvents used to suspend that amount of hormone in the oil. I recall seeing test results on this product many years ago and it was actually dosed closer to 330mg/mL if I remember correctly? In the last 10 years you’ve seen more and more of these high dose products on the market as the chemistry  has improved and the demand for the higher dosed gear is greater now. This is great for most of us as we want to get as much bang for our buck! The Kaballero Test En. 400mg product we sell has been formulated through a lot of trial and error to actually hold 400+ mg’s and NOT cause this extreme pain. We have the test results to prove this product really does have 400mg of Test En. In the research we did we tested  dozens of other brands on the market and found that the majority of the ones claiming 400+ mg’s very few actually had that amount, most were closet to 300-330mg/mL. 

That being said I want to give full disclosure so everyone can be informed on the feedback we are getting. The majority of our product testers and customers have reported no or very minimal pain from this product. We have had roughly 10% of customers feedback telling us they had some pain associated with this product after injection. The pain was described as some minor swelling and a small knot for a few days after injection. Now this was only from 10% of the feedback, but I feel we should let everyone know this before hand so they are aware it is a possibility. It’s a very delicate balance to get over 400mg into each mL and have it not cause pain. The pain some are seeing from these higher dosed products generally comes from the increased solvents used in them to get the higher concentration of hormone to suspend. If you don’t use enough solvent the product will ‘crash’ and fall out of solution. If you have ever had injectables that look thicker then they should and seem to have some crystals in them, this is a sign your product has crashed. If you use too much solvent in the mix it will cause extreme pain. So you can see its a bit of a tight rope walk to get it to hold at a higher concentration and not cause the pain. Some of the pain associated with these higher concentration formulas is caused simply from having 400mg’s releasing from such a small area of volume and has nothing to do with the solvents used. 

If you do experience pain with this product please let us know and we can give a few pointers to help alleviate the PIP (post injection pain). If you feel the pain is too great then I would recommend buying another testosterone product that is dosed lower like the Kaballero Test cyp. 200mg, or the Kaballero Test Mix 325mg. Some guys are more susceptible to PIP from the higher dosed products, and others can take as much as they want and they have no issues at all. If your a novice and have not used a higher mg/mL product I would recommend only buying one vial to test and see how you handle it? As mentioned before, the majority of guys have no issues with this product and this article will be a moot point, but a small percentage have some PIP and it will cause some discomfort. If you do experecince any issues please let us know and we’ll do whatever we can to help you out.

Thanks! G 

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The 3 Things I Wish I Would Have Done To Maximize Muscle Growth

The old adage “Hindsight is always 20/20” is definitely true in this case. Looking back over the past several years of myself, and the careers of many other bodybuilders, I found some key topics that I wish I had taken more seriously when I was in my prime. This month I want to discuss 3 things I wish I could have a ‘do-over’ on. I believe these are so important to any person aspiring to grow/improve their body for competition of any kind. Most of these will relate to bodybuilding as that is our background here.

1. Regular Blood Work

I got my blood work done 1-2x a year while I was competing. While this is good, I wish I would have done it on a more regular basis- like every 3 months. Your blood work is a road map to your bodies general health and an excellent indicator of what is preventing you from progress in the gym. For your general health, your blood work can literally be a lifesaver! If you see anyone with a recent cancer diagnosis that is caught in the early stages, it is generally right after getting a blood panel done and the doc will see an abnormality in one of your levels and then order more testing for specific bio markers to better diagnose the issue. For this reason getting your blood work done on a regular basis is simply a smart thing to do as you can catch any early stage cancer, and many other health issues before they start to physically manifest themselves on the outside. Having a pattern of blood work to review can help a lot to narrow down what levels are abnormal, better allowing an early detection.

For the case of physical performance and those trying to get high performance out of their body, the blood work is a detailed map of what is going on and why you may be experiencing recovery issues, lack of energy, and a host of other problems that will significantly impair your bodies ability to build muscle and burn fat. I would advise anyone trying to maximize their physical performance to get their blood work done every 3 months, and be active in understanding what the different markers mean, and how/why they will move up and down. Yes, it is one more thing you need to worry about and pay for, but, the benefits of doing this will pay major dividends in the future. I always admired Jay Cutler for doing this and taking steps to assure he was in the best health he could be in while in and out of season.

There are a host of websites you can order a specific blood panel from without ever having to go into the doctors office. You can log on to the site, select the panels you want to test for and pay with your credit card. They will refer you to a Quest or Lab Corp facility where you will go to have your blood drawn. It is then sent away to the lab for testing and you will be emailed the results within days. You don’t need to explain anything to any doctor or have them ask you if you’re using steroids, or why you want the testing done. The email you receive will show you your results, and how they match up to the normal levels plus a plethora of other info that is useful in understanding the results. If you notice something out of the norm you can then further research and make an appointment with your doctor, or take steps to correct the issue with your diet and training. There really is no excuse not to get this done if you’re serious about your goals in the gym. We have a list of several websites we refer customers to, if you need a recommendation please don’t hesitate to ask, we’re happy to point you in the right direction.

2. Proper Rest and Recovery

I remember listening to Dorian Yates years after he won his last Sandow trophy saying that if he had to do it over again he would train even less. This caught me off guard as Dorian prescribed to a modified HIIT approach and probably trained less then almost anyone at that time. His reasoning behind this was letting his body have even more time to recover from the brutal workouts he’d put himself through in the dungeon in Birmingham he called a gym! I think this is great advice coming from a seasoned vet who took his recovery extremely seriously. There is no lack of dedication in guys who are trying to turn pro, or maximize every ounce of potential they have. If you told them training 5 hours a day 7 days a week would help them grow, they would do it! I know this from personal experience as I tried almost every training regimen I read about in the magazines and books back in the day. I think the majority of competitive bodybuilders would benefit from taking more time off in-between workouts, and using that extra recovery time to allow their body to grow. If you are training to your max on a regular basis, then your bodies recovery ability will be extremely taxed. Your bodies nervous system will be taxed as a whole and this takes additional time to recover. I used to judge my recovery by the feeling of soreness in the muscle I recently trained. If I hit chest 5 days ago and was sore in the chest until day 4 after the workout, but on day 5 I had minimal soreness, I would get right back in for another chest workout. I see now this was not the best way to maximize muscle gain. While soreness is not always the best indicator of when you should train again, it can be a good tool if used correctly. When we train, we’re breaking the muscle down- then we rest to allow the muscle to recover. Now, this is where most guys get it wrong as they don’t allow any time for the body to adapt and build new muscle. Most will get right back in the gym and tear the muscle down again without fully letting it recover AND then allow some time for growth. I remember reading Mike Mentzer’s book Heavy Duty, it put much of this into focus for me as he explains this topic extremely well. If you have ever been on a 1-2 week vacation and not been able to train at all, and had plenty of time to relax and sleep you will probably get back in the gym and be stronger than when you left. This is due to the body finally having a full rest and recovery cycle. Don’t be afraid to take an extra day (or few days) off in-between workouts to maximize recovery. You can always get some cardio in to keep burning fat and incorporate some other recover methods like extreme stretching, massage, & sauna/cryotherapy to help facilitate your recovery as well.

3. Quality Food, the GI Tract, and Force Feeding.

This is a debated topic so I am going to speak from personal experience/opinion here. I was told early on that I needed to eat every 2 hours to get big! So that’s what I did, every 2 hours I ate. Some meals were fast food, others were more healthy, but I didn’t understand how these meals were breaking down in my GI tract? I managed to put on some weight, but looking back I think I could have done this different by taking a smarter approach to the quality of the food that I was eating. It’s true, to grow you need to be taking in a surplus of calories to allow your body the tools it needs to put on muscle. Having a fast metabolism led me to force feed myself to gain weight. Not everyone has this ‘problem’ (some will call it a blessing being able to eat everything in sight and not gain a pound lol), but the real issue here is the quality of the food and the understanding of what is going on inside your GI tract after you eat that food.

Fast food, and anything heavy in preservatives take much longer to break down, and provide less vital nutrition.  It is best to experiment with several different foods to identify what types of Protein, Carbs, and Fat your body can digest easily. Try several different types of macro-nutrients and use a journal to record how you feel after ingesting them. Do you get indigestion, gas, bloating, or mucous/phlegm in your throat? Those are signs that your body is having a reaction to that food. Eating foods that cause this will lead to slower digestion and a general bad feeling. If you can identify the foods that digest quickly, make you feel full/satisfied, and leave you with some energy then you’re on the right track. Those foods are the ones you want to be eating to keep your body digest that food and use all of the nutrients to build muscle. Take the time to experiment with different foods and really put some effort into this and you’ll reap the benefits immediately.

I hope this info is useful to you guys in your goals and ambitions. I could get into much more detail on each of these subjects but I hope the limited information here will act as a reminder. When I was competing I knew these things were important, but didn’t realize just how important they are in the grand scheme of things. I’d definitely put more focus on these if I had the chance to do it all over again. Thanks for reading and as always, please feel free to comment and let me know if there is anything else we can add here to help others.



G and all of Team GearDepot

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Injections 101

If you ask any new user to AAS what the hardest part of using the drugs is, most will say the hardest part is the process of injecting themselves with a needle. I remember the first time I used an injectable steroid and had to take the dose on my own. I had a close friend help me with the first few injections until I gathered up enough confidence to try it myself. I remember standing in the bathroom with my shorts pulled below my glutes with needle in hand facing the mirror for about 20 minutes trying to muster up the gusto to drive this little 1.5” needle in my ass! I counted 1…2…3… and for some reason my hand would not do what my brain was telling it to do lol. Eventually, I completed the injection and all went as planned, but it sure took me a lot longer than I had expected it to. I want to take a moment for this month’s article to go over injections and explain some of the tricks and basic information that I have gathered over the years. Please note, I am going to write about intramuscular injections in this article, not sub-Q injections with an insulin needle. I will cover that in another article in the near future.

Needles / Syringes
Let’s start here, with the syringes. Most syringes you buy will be a syringe + needle combo. When you are buying these, please make sure you have the ‘syringe + needle’ combo, as they are sold separately at times, and I have seen many people purchase either the needles or the syringes, and having one or the other does us no good.

If you are injecting an oil based steroid I would recommend getting a 3cc ( or 3mL) syringe with a 23g to 25g needle that is 1.5” long. The 23g needle will be larger in diameter than the 25g needle. The higher the number, the smaller the needle diameter and less trauma it will cause to the flesh it is injected in. Using this logic, one would think its best to get the highest gauge needle you can get your hands on, to have the smaller diameter needle and thus cause less trauma while injecting; however, you need to account for the substance you are injecting and the thickness and viscosity of the oil or water solution. When injecting with a 25g needle it will take slightly longer to push through the needle and into your flesh, while using a 23g which is larger will flow slightly quicker. The difference here is negligible, but it’s something to consider.

Preparing the Injection Syringe
When you’re preparing for injection you will first need to pull out the oil from the bottle. Most people will be using a 10cc multi dose vial, other steroids come in a 1-2mL glass amp. You will notice it takes significantly longer to pull 1mL of oil from a vial, then it does to push that 1mL of oil through the needle and into your flesh when doing the injection. It takes me about 1-2 min to draw out 1mL of oil with a 25g needle, and about 5 sec to push that same volume into my flesh. A trick to make the process of pulling the drug into the syringe/needle faster is to buy a few 20g needles (needle only) and attach them to the syringe to pull the oil out into the syringe, then remove the 20g needle and attach the 25g needle to do the injection. Doing this allows you to pull out the desired amount of oil much, much faster. Another benefit of this is your not dulling your needle on the rubber stopper when pulling out from the 10mL vial. I will buy a handful of 20g needles to use for this purpose exclusively. You can reuse the 20g ‘drawing needle’ several times if you are careful and you make sure to sterilize it after each pull. Get a plastic bag or a small Tupperware container to store the 20g drawing needle in and make sure to wipe it down with an alcohol swab after each use to ensure it is sterile.

The Injection Site
Once you have the oil pulled into the syringe and you have the 23g or 25g needle attached, you are ready to inject. For most people, the best place to inject is the glutes. The reason for this is the top half of your glute is a much softer tissue and has less nerves than other parts of your body; thus, decreasing the pain associated with injection. I am going to describe the process of injecting into the glute below.

The best area to inject in the glute is the top 1/2 of your ass cheek (closer to the hip and away from the tail bone). If you look in the image below you can see the area I am describing.

I like to swab the injection site with an alcohol pad first. Thoroughly clean the area with the wipe first. I prefer to have my side/rear facing a mirror so I can clearly see the injection site. If you’re not very flexible it can be a bit of a chore to twist around to give yourself the injection. I will hold the syringe like I would hold a pencil, with my fingers about and inch away from the needles base, so I am holding the area on the syringe where the oil can been seen inside. Identify the area you want to inject and keep your eye on it. If your injecting in the glutes make sure your weight is planted on the opposite leg/glute from the one you are injecting in, as this will keep the target glute from tensing up and flexing when you do the injection, ultimately allowing the needle to enter the flesh with less restrictions. When you push the needle into the flesh, it is much less painful if you do it in one motion, similar to a stabbing motion. You can do it slowly and ease the needle into the flesh but you will feel more pain doing it this way. I will try to drive 2/3 of the syringe into my flesh with one motion, then push the last 1/3 into it a little slower if needed. Once the syringe is buried into the flesh, you have to walk your hands up to the top of the syringe where the plunger is at. This can be a little awkward the first few times, but with practice, you will get better.

This next step is very important, you need to aspirate the needle first by slightly pulling back on the plunger in the same motion you used to pull oil into the syringe. The reason for this is to ensure that the tip of the needle is not sitting directly in a vein or artery. The muscle and flesh is where you want the oil to be absorbed. You only need to pull back a tiny bit (like a millimeter or just one tick on the syringe). If you see some air bubbles enter the plunger/oil then you are good to begin pushing the oil in using the plunger. If you see blood (any amount of blood) enter the syringe you are in a vein and you need to pull the needle out of your flesh and start over by selecting a slightly different place to inject. I have done thousands of injections in my day, and very rarely hit a vein like this. It happens maybe 1 in every 100 or 200 injections. It is not often, but you MUST aspirate the needle as injecting into a vein can cause some serious issues.

The Push
Once you have confirmed you are not in a vein, then you can push the back of the plunger in and administer the dose. After all of the oil has left the plunger you want to pull the needle out with a quick motion. Sometimes you will see a small amount of blood come out of the injection site, but the majority of times you will not see anything. If you see some blood simply wipe it away with a tissue or alcohol pad. Sometimes you will pull the needle out and a stream of blood will squirt out of the injection site. This is kind of freaky and surprising to see as you are not expecting it, but it is nothing to be concerned about. It simply means the needle has passed through a vein or has nicked a vein. You just need to get a tissue and apply some pressure for 10-20 seconds and it will stop. Nicking a vein or passing through a vein is not anything to be concerned with, as long as you have aspirated and there was no blood in the vial. Again, this squirting action will happen maybe 1-5% of the time, it is not often at all but I wanted to go over it here incase it happens to anyone so you are prepared and informed. Once you are done with the injection, you can dispose of the needle/syringe and go about your day.

Next, I would like to go over a few questions that I get asked often about injections:

“What about injecting in other body parts?”
I have injected in the glutes, shoulders, triceps, biceps, lats, and quads. Technically, you could inject into any muscle in the body, but you need to be aware of the size of the muscle and the density of it. If you tried to inject in your calves on a regular basis you’re going to have some pain and a lot of scar tissue as the calves are a very dense muscle that is not voluminous. Personally, I like the glutes, shoulders and lats for my injections. Quad injections have always caused me pain, as I have very tight IT bands and I get much more discomfort; however, the majority of guys I know hit the quads with ease and don’t have any issues. It’s wise to mix up injection sites if you are doing multiple injections per week as this will prevent too much scar tissue from building up in one muscle group.

“My injection site is really sore, what should I do?”
First thing you need to sort out is how ‘sore’ the injection site is? You will feel some discomfort in the muscle after injection, but it should not be so bad that it hurts to touch or is swollen. If the injection site is discolored, sore to the touch, or is swollen, then you may have an infection and need to visit the doc to get some antibiotics. If you feel a fever come on or feel sick then this is a telltale sign of an infection and it would be wise to have a professional help you. I have seen many guys get an abscess at the injection site due to gear that is not sterile or a needle that is not sterile. If you notice the injection site is mildly sore a day or 2 after this is normal, but there is a few things you can do to help the discomfort. I like to foam roll or massage my injection sites. Doing this keeps the build up of scar tissue to a minimum and allows for increased blood flow to the area, thus moving the oil into the blood stream much faster and allowing it to disperse over a larger area of the muscle. If you’re always injecting into the same muscle you will get scar tissue build up, so make sure you’re rotating the injection sites and doing some kind of massage or foam rolling to break down the scar tissue that may be building up. Doing this will allow the muscle to look more natural as well. If you notice, many bodybuilders have these huge shoulders, but lack the detail? Ninety percent of the time this is from doing too many injections in the shoulder, it has built up a lot of scar tissue that has distorted the muscle fiber to have a smooth look to it. Below is a good example of what I am talking about. Both of these bodybuilders are most likely injecting in the shoulders but if you look at Dexter Jackson’s (on the left) shoulder, it is full but you can still see the striations in the muscle. Looking at Marcus Ruhl’s (on the right) shoulder, you see he has massive shoulders but they lack the detail. Most guys will not need to worry about this but it’s something to consider if you’re planning to compete or just want to do things the right way. I believe doing the foam rolling and massage work on those injection sites will help the muscle to keep the natural look.


Please note, some of these different ‘looks’ in the muscle are genetic. Some guys will never have delts like Dexter, but I am confident if you do some massage and foam rolling you will greatly decrease the scar tissue and increase the chance of the muscle looking natural, being more flexible, and being able to take ongoing injections for many years in to the future.

“How often can I inject in each muscle?”
This is highly dependent on your individual situation. Some of the factors are:
– How much volume are you injecting? Meaning how much oil? The more oil you inject the more trauma/scar tissue that will occur at the injection site.
– How big is the muscle you are injecting in to? Some guys naturally have larger muscle bellies that can take more volume per injection.
– What kind of drugs are you injecting? As a rule of thumb, drugs with a very high mg/mL ratio will cause more discomfort at the injection site. For example, if you are taking a 400mg Testosterone Enanthate product, it will take a little longer for the muscle to absorb all 400mg’s in that injection, as opposed to if you are injecting a 200mg Testosterone Enanthate product, it will absorb with more ease. Something else that can factor into this is the type of ester attached to the drug. Faster acting esters like Propionate or Acetate will release much faster and have been known to cause more discomfort. I have heard many guys who just cannot handle Test Prop in any form, as they get a ton of pain with it. It is best to start low and work your way up.

“Can I mix multiple drugs in the syringe?”
Yes you can, and I recommend doing this to cut down on the amount of injections you are using. For example, if your cycle includes weekly injections of Testosterone 250mg and Deca 300mg you can load both drugs into one syringe to get away with doing only one injection, rather then loading 1cc of Test into one syringe and loading the 1cc of Deca into the other and injecting both. Please note, if you are going to mix drugs in one syringe like this you need to take precautions to prevent bacteria from getting on the needle or in the vials you are pulling from. Clean the drawing needle after every time you pull from a multi dose vial and wipe their tops of the rubber stoppers on the vials to ensure there is no bacteria there as well.

“Can I pre load syringes?”
Yes of course, and I tend to recommend this as it makes things much easier and tends to decrease the chance of things going wrong. Preloading syringes refers to loading up a few syringes with the proper does and storing them for a week or 2 for future injections. I have not seen anything that leads me to believe that if you are mixing multiple drugs in one syringe and preloading them for the next week that it will hurt any of the individual compounds or render them less effective. Doing the pre loads seems to make the injection process much faster as you can grab the weekly dose from your kit that is already loaded into the syringe and take the injection quickly. The only issue I have seen some from this is if you are using a steroid that has a tendency to ‘crash’ or come out of solution. Some higher mg/mL drugs will be made using the incorrect solvent ratio and this will cause the oil and the raw hormone to separate. You will easily see this happen as the oil will look like there are little crystals in it, or it will look really gummy or thick. Many unprofessional labs producing gear these days will try and pack way too much hormone in a vial, and this is one of the results that can happen. Ninety-five percent of guys who take gear will not have to worry about this, especially if your supplier is reputable. If your bottle begins to look a little ‘off’ then I would definitely not pre load any syringes.

“What is the best place to store the gear between injections?”
For some guys this is tricky as they need to be discrete and their storage options are limited. I have a small box that I keep my products in with a few weeks worth of syringes and alcohol pads. It is about the size of a lunch box. This makes it easier as I have everything in one place and do not have to worry about leaving things in different places of the house. Make sure to store them at room temperature. If you leave your injectable in cold weather they will thicken or crash and will have to be reheated in order to get their viscosity to a level that can be drawn through the needle. Another tip here I recommend getting a designated bag or syringe disposal container to dispose of your used syringes in. This is good to do for a few reasons: first it decreases the chance someone else will come in contact with the needle, but the main reason I like to do this is so you have one bag with all of your ‘evidence’ you can dispose of in a manner that is discrete. The last thing you want is someone snooping through your trash to find a bunch of used syringes and used bottle of steroids. Keep all of the discarded syringes and bottles in one bag/box and dispose of them in a neutral dumpster or in a manner that you feel is safe.

In closing, I want to advise anyone who is doing injections to take their time and do some research. I have seen some nasty abscesses come from guys being lax while doing injections that could have easily been prevented. Make sure you have the correct ‘kit’ for doing the injections. Get some alcohol swabs, the correct syringe/needle combos, some larger drawing needles, and a good box or case to store these things in. We are not crack heads here, and I think this goes without saying but I am going to just incase- sharing needles is a no no! If you do not have a fresh syringe you have opened/unwrapped yourself then DO NOT do the injection. I hope this article helps some of you. It is by no means a be all end all to injections, but I think it can act as a guide to help some of you who may not be as familiar or comfortable with this process. I welcome any feedback or questions from you guys, so please feel free to leave a review or question and we’ll be happy to help.

If your looking for another site with more extensive information on How to administer injections I recommend looking at How To Do Injections, its a wealth of knowledge if you click the links you can find a lot of information there as well.

Thanks, G