Written by Thomas O'Connor, MD
06 February 2011

The Top 5 Best Steroids for Raw Power

 

Question: I read your four-part interview in Powerlifting USA magazine and was totally amazed. All I can say is that it was awesome! What, in your opinion, are the top 5 steroids for power and strength?

Thanks for the kind words about the interview! I put a lot of time into it, so I am happy to hear that you liked it so much. In regard to your question about what steroids are best for power and strength, I will give you my personal opinion from not only a medical and scientific angle but also from a real world hands-on practical application that I have seen from world-class lifters. I have been in this underground strength culture for over 25 years and I know the reality of what truly goes on behind the scenes, in both bodybuilding and powerlifting.

I am sincere to my professional medical ethics and I am also very sincere in making sure that you protect your long-term health. Do I agree with everything that I see taking place in the strength sports, in regard to drug use and abuse? The answer is no! But since you all are my brothers and sisters in iron, I do want to make sure that you stay healthy during your competitive years and beyond.

You see, my clients come to me for three main reasons. First off, it is because I am sincere to the under-culture of the strength sports and this is important because you are ultimately putting your life in my hands. I am a doctor who you can put your trust in and in this day and age, in regard to the stigma of drugs in sports in this country, it is nonexistent with other doctors who are too afraid to go against the grain.

Second is the fact that I know what the reality is in regard to anabolic use and performance enhancement. I know what the pros use in bodybuilding and powerlifting and the reality of what it takes pharmaceutically to make it to the top of these sports. I know the reality of dosages, underground steroids, and even the crazy things that athletes of all sports will do to perform at their best. I know this reality from my time in the sport, as well as from the world-class athletes who I deal with day in and day out.

Third, I know the hardcore internal medicine and how it relates to performance-enhancing drugs. This right here is the big ticket, because some doctors may know their medical texts inside and out, but that is only half of the puzzle. Put them in a room with a 250-pound bodybuilder who is taking 18 I.U. of GH daily and 3,000 mg of testosterone weekly plus all the other goodies and he won’t have a clue on what the hell to do to bring this guy’s health and blood profile back to where it should be. The difference is between these doctors and me is that I have built my professional medical reputation on making sure that I get the job done. So with this said, let’s take a look at the best anabolics top-strength athletes use to take their strength to the next level!

 

Testosterone Suspension

Oh yeah baby, ‘Test’ is best! Now the inclusion of some form of testosterone in a strength athlete’s cycle is essential for optimal gains. When it comes to strength gains, no other form of testosterone compares to suspension. This is due to the fact that it is so fast-acting. This is because there is no ester and basically you are getting straight testosterone in water. You can look forward to increased muscle gains and even strength that will make you feel like Hercules.

One drawback is the fact that it must be injected daily. In my opinion, to truly maximize the benefits of testosterone suspension, it must be administered twice daily, due to its short half-life. Another undesirable reality of using suspension is the painful shots. Many of the brands of testosterone that float out in the black market are veterinary grade. To make matters worse, because it is not micronized and the crystals are very large, it clogs syringes very easily.

One lifter I know used some vet-grade suspension and he had to inject it with an 18-gauge needle. Damn it makes me cringe just thinking about it. He must have felt like he was getting stabbed by an icepick. Plus the majority of underground labs do not even make suspension. This is because many of them in reality are not run by educated chemists like they want you to think. Making a sterile testosterone suspension at the quality of even vet-grade gear is not going to happen unless the guy is a chemist with a degree behind his name and is preparing it in a clean room. Most guys will take about 100-150 mg per day, broken up into two daily shots for best results.

 

Anadrol 50

Oh yeah, they don’t call these bad boys ‘A-Bombs’ for nothing. I am sure all of you reading this know that it is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone. In powerlifting and strongman circles, this is no doubt a top drug of choice for many reasons. First off, the strength gains are fast. Seeing a guy jump 30 pounds in his bench press in 10 days is not uncommon at all. It increases water retention a lot and for powerlifters, this can be a good thing, because it optimizes your leverages. Secondly, it will make your power gear like your bench shirt fit just that little bit tighter, allowing you to get even more poundage out of your shirt. Lastly, it can really jack up your red blood cell count leading to increased pumps and training endurance.

Now for those guys who may be taking one tablet per day for short periods of time, there is not much worry. But for the ‘Anabolic Kamikazes’ who are in our midst, taking five or more tablets per day, elevated red blood cell count is one danger that must be taken into consideration. For those who do such extreme practices making sure you get regular and comprehensive bloodwork is essential for your long-term health. Taking large doses of Anadrol 50 for extended periods of time can make your blood resemble Canadian maple syrup and that is no lie! The other main thing you have to watch here is liver enzyme elevation. The liver is one tough beast, but that doesn’t mean you should abuse it without showing it some respect. Most guys will take 50-100 mg daily, broken into two doses, but there are others like I mentioned before who take this much just to start off their day with breakfast.

 

Halotestin

Halotestin does not have the following in America that Anadrol does and this is for a couple reasons. First off, for most in the underground scene in the U.S., getting your hands on legitimate pharmaceutical-grade Halotestin and enough quantity to make it worthwhile is like finding a fucking leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

For most— except for those with horseshoes up their asses— neither of the two above scenarios is going to happen. It is also at least double the price of Anadrol. Many people will pay more for 10 mg tablets of Halotestin than 50 mgs of Anadrol on the black market. Halotestin provides very fast strength gains and in my opinion, even better than Anadrol. Plus there is no water retention and this is why it is so popular with many bodybuilders in the last four weeks of contest prep.

If you think Tren will turn you into an ass-clown in record time, then Halotestin will take it to whole new level. In fact, this drug is very popular with European strongmen since it is much easier to get across the pond. Plus let’s face another reality that most of you are probably unaware of: Europeans are not afraid of side effects like guys here in the U.S.— I lived there and I know the deal. The hardcore gear scene in Germany and England makes us look like candy-asses. When the average guy here in the U.S. is talking milligrams, they are talking grams and this is everyday Joes, not pro athletes. Since hepatoxicity is a concern, taking it for four weeks or less is the best option. Most guys will take 20-40 mgs daily, spread out in three doses throughout the day.

 

Trenbolone Acetate

Tren is one of the most popular steroids in strength sports for many reasons. First off, since it is three times more androgenic than testosterone, you can now understand that it is very potent. With an androgenic ratio like this, its a goldmine for strength athletes looking to increase their power output. Since it doesn’t aromatize, you won’t get the water retention like you do with Anadrol. This means you will pack on lean, dense muscle and your strength gains will be bang on, too.

Many guys will take around 75-150 mg of tren acetate every other day. Because it has a short ester, it needs to be taken on an every-other-day basis minimum, while some lifters do prefer taking it daily. Another plus is the major increase in aggression. Now if you sport an attitude without tren in your life, then you will be a ‘super-sized’ asshole, once you start incorporating it in your plan. Increased aggression and trying to rip everyone’s head off that you come in contact with, is not an uncommon emotion while taking tren.

Another thing you to watch out for is impaired kidney function. The kidneys are not as strong as the liver so you need to take extra care in this area. You also need to make sure you balance the ratio of your dosage of testosterone in relation to taking tren. If not, your sex drive will hit an all-time nonexistence and your manhood will be nothing more than a soggy noodle.

 

Mibolerone

This oral steroid is known as Cheque Drops and is derived from a nandralone base. It is a vet drug that was created to alter the ovulating cycle of female dogs to keep them from going into heat. Now in powerlifting circles this is a well-known pre-contest bad boy that is quite popular. I personally know of one guy who is a 1,000-pound squatter who takes a couple cc’s of this right before going under a heavy squat in World Championship competitions.

Now you might be wondering why he would do that. The reason for this is that it turns you into a raving beast in minutes. It can dramatically increase your aggression in record time. Since aggression is a key attribute in all strength sports, powerlifters seem to like this more than bodybuilders. In fact, I have not heard of too many bodybuilders that this drug is popular with. Now another sport where it is taking center stage is MMA and professional boxing.

Oh yeah, fighting in a cage or ring without rules can be some crazy shit, so there is nothing like getting all jacked up during the fight. Since it clears the system fast as well, it makes it popular with MMA fighters who are now under the scrutiny of rigid drug testing. For boxers, it is rumored that one legendary pro who already sported an attitude of a pit bull used this right before a major fight, where he mistook his opponent’s ear for a Big Mac.

Yeah, no shit, this stuff will turn the weak-hearted into an animal and bad-ass into a fucking cannibal. Now if you don’t want your liver to turn into Swiss cheese, then I would advise against taking this steroid, because it is extremely hepatoxic. It is so strong that is measured in micrograms, unlike milligrams with other steroids. Hardcore powerlifters will use it for the last two weeks before a contest on their hardest training days as well as at the contest. Most will take 1 ml under the tongue about 15 minutes to half an hour before training or competing.

 

My Personal Favorite Pre-workout Supplements

I have a question about pre-workout supplementation. I was wondering what you use before you train to get all jacked up before an intense workout?

You see I am going to tell it like it is. My favorite pre-workout stack is Plasma Jet and Super Pump 250 by Gaspari. Now, before all you reading this get your balls in a knot, just to give you the 411, I am not sponsored by Gaspari Nutrition. Nor do I get free supplements or endorsements. I go down to my local GNC like every other hardworking American and spend my hard-earned dollars on these products because I believe in them. I have been a fan of Rich since his career in the ’80s and in my opinion, he should have beaten Haney on several occasions.

But even though you may disagree with me on that one, I don’t care. What I do care about is telling you the no-bullshit truth of what I actually lay down my Benjamins for every month and what I use before I tackle a 500-pound bench press.

About three hours before I hit the gym, I down 10 capsules of Plasmajet on an empty stomach. I love this stuff— it is my favorite N.O. booster by far. You see the science behind Plasmajet is very sound, and it’s not just another one of those arginine-loaded N.O. boosters that the pump starts off great, then fizzles out two hours later. Because it is composed of numerous high-quality ingredients, including Peak ATP, it truly is in a class of its own. Then about half an hour before I start training I take 2-3 scoops of Super Pump 250 in 16 ounces of water.

By the time I hit the gym I am ready to Smash Fucking Weights (SFW). This is a common powerlifting term that means you are going all-out, balls-to-the-wall. Basically it’s a war between you and the iron. This keeps me fueled right throughout my workout. I like Gaspari products because they work hands down and it is what I took before I hit that 500-pound bench press record that I did just a few months back. Rich, keep up the good work and keep the kick-ass products coming!

 

Trashing Triceps Powerlifting Style

Hey Anabolic Doc, what’s up, my man? I loved the interview series that you did and it kicked ass! Now in your first column here you mentioned you would be giving us some of your secret powerlifting training tips, too. My question is about improving my triceps strength and power. I know powerlifters have some of the strongest triceps around, so I thought you could let me in on some new ideas that I can incorporate into my training plan. My bench press sucks and I can barely get one rep with 275. I have been training for six years and I know it has to do with my weak triceps. I do a lot of the basic bodybuilding exercises like pushdowns, dips and kick-backs so I was wondering if you could throw something new my way. Thanks again for such a great interview and I look forward to more of your work in Muscular Development.

Hey, thanks for the kind words about the series I did. The sole intention was for powerlifters, but many of those same things will apply to bodybuilders as well. It is very important to take care of your long-term health because this, in my opinion, is often overlooked when in search of that bigger powerlifting total or 21-inch guns. In reality, this should not be the case at all and your main goal should be maintaining optimal health while at the same time improving at your chosen strength sport.

So— you are looking to bring up those triceps, are you? Not a problem— the Anabolic Doc has benched pressed over 500 pounds at 44 years old, so I know a thing or two about improving triceps strength. Now I am going to give you a really kick-ass workout idea that you most likely have never heard of.

These are known as Crazy 8s and for good reason. This technique was developed by world-renowned strength coach Rahim Kassam. Believe it or not, it’s not just an exercise, but a complete workout. I recommend warming up with a few good high-rep sets of pushdowns just to warm the area and increase blood flow to prevent injury before starting this exercise. I am sure you have done lying dumbbell extensions before, even though I know many bodybuilders don’t make this a major movement— but they should.

Now, the powerlifting twist will shake this exercise up to a whole new level and believe me— when you are done, you will be begging for mercy. First off, we won’t be using a flat bench but a decline bench for this exercise. What makes this so hard is the rep and tempo scheme that I have laid out. The reason why it is called Crazy 8s is because of the fact that you will be doing 8 sets of 8 reps. Now you may be thinking, “Ah, that’s all— what kind of exercise is that?” Well, hold on to your panties for a minute boys, it’s not over yet.

The rest periods will not be 1 minute like you are used to doing. They will be shortened down to a nice 8 seconds. Yep that’s right, 8 seconds between sets, which will give you just about enough time to take in two to three deep breaths— and down you go again for another set. It’s not over yet.

Let’s talk about the tempo next. You will be doing a 3:1 eccentric-to-concentric action. For all you meatheads out there who do not understand what I am talking about, this means that you will take 3 seconds to lower the weight and 1 second to bring it back up. There are two reasons for this. Lowering it slowly in an eccentric action will help increase hypertrophy. We all know that the negative portion of the exercise is what causes the most muscle damage and growth. The concentric or raising motion will be done in a strict, yet explosive form. This will cause you to build explosive strength in your triceps and allow them to fire more efficiently.

Did you ever see the difference between a bodybuilder bench pressing and a powerlifter?

Yes, the form is slightly different, but as the bodybuilder just grinds out the reps like every other exercise he does, the powerlifter brings it down with control and then fires the weight explosively yet with control. I am not talking about bouncing it off your chest like these retards that you see at the gym. I am talking about strict explosive power here, not sloppy, bouncy bullshit that is done at gyms all across America. If you want to lift weights— and I am talking about big weights— you must develop your explosive strength and what is known as speed strength. Without these two, you may look big, but your strength won’t compare to a powerlifter who weighs 100 pounds less than you.

So you will be doing 8 sets of 8 reps and you get a whopping 8 seconds rest in between each of those sets. Now if you are used to using 50-pound dumbbells for normal sets of 8 for this exercise, get ready for a rude awakening when you can barely get 30s up. Remember, you can’t change the resistance during the set program. If you choose 30s, you have to go all the way through with it and not drop down to 20s by set 5.

Now let’s talk a little about the biomechanics and form. The reason this exercise is done on a decline is because MRIs have shown that it recruits more muscle fibers than doing it on a flat bench. Second, the form must be strict with the elbows tucked in and close to the sides. When this exercise gets hard, people will cheat by flaring their elbows out— and this is not what you should be doing. Lastly, you want the dumbbells to come down far enough where they can touch your ears. This way with the decline, you are going to get one hell of a stretch.

You may think this workout is over— but hold on just a little longer, my friend. To finish this off, you will be doing another 3 sets of decline extensions with flex bands for a giant drop set. For these, you will not use the 3:1 tempo that was done with the dumbbells, but a regular 1:1 tempo. Basically you are now banging out the reps to force some blood in there, but again, the form must stay strict.

We hook up three sets of flex bands to the bottom of the bench or with dumbbells. So once you have done all 8 sets, you have another 3 sets done without rest, with these bands of varying strength. The reason for using bands is that it will totally change the feel of the exercise and will further stretch your triceps. Plus, the main reason why powerlifters use flex bands on many different exercises is the fact that they’re great at improving explosive strength. Incorporating them into your training is known as the ‘Contrast Method’ and is very effective at increasing strength from another angle bodybuilders have never heard of.

By the way, make sure you get true Jump Stretch Flex Bands made by Dick Hartzel. He is the originator, and makes the highest-quality bands on the market. Over time, inferior bands will crack and break. This happening during triceps extensions isn’t a major problem, since the most you might get is hit in the face and a fat lip. But it’s not something you want with 600 pounds on your back during a heavy box squat. The consequences of this happening can result in a major injury, so quality bands are the name of the game.

First, you will get the Light band— but don’t think it’s that light, because it has a resistance of about 70 pounds in each hand. Some of you will be so destroyed that you won’t even be able to continue, so this technique is reserved for advanced lifters only. You will now bang out as many reps as you can with this band. Then once you can’t do any more, you will jump to the Mini Flex band and again do as many as reps as you can without resting. Then when you can’t take it anymore, you will grab the Micro Mini Flex band and continue again until you simply can’t do anymore.

If you can complete this workout and if it’s done with the right intensity, I am telling you good luck at trying to move your arms for the next couple days. This will take your triceps training to a whole new level. If done properly, not only will this help increase your bench press strength because you are focusing on many different aspects of training methodology with this just one exercise, but you will forge some horseshoes made from granite.

In all the years I have spent in commercial gyms, or even spent time training with advanced bodybuilders, never have I seen them do this exercise with this rep and tempo scheme. If you have the guts to try this, give it a shot because I am telling you it will fry your triceps in a very short period of time. Besides the few sets of pushdowns that I recommended to get your elbows warmed up, this whole workout will take no more than 10 minutes. But believe me, if you do this with true intensity and proper form, it will destroy them more than spending 40 minutes hitting three different exercises. By the time you have completed that last set of the band extensions to utter failure you will need your training partner to help get you off the bench.

To get a set of these Flex Bands go to www.jumpstretch.com. Give this triceps thrashing program a whirl and I guarantee it will take your pressing strength and size to a whole new level.

 

References:

Llewellyn W, Anabolics 9th Edition, 2009

Roberts A, Anabolic Steroid Ultimate Research Guide, 2005

Poliquin C, Winning the Arms Race, 2001

Kneller B, Science and Muscle, Summer/Fall 2008

Simmons L, Training Methods Part 1 Speed Day, Powerlifting USA, 2004