Anabolic Androgenic Steroids; you’ve heard the term, if you’ve ever dabbled in performance enhancement then you’re more than likely familiar with various items at least to a degree but what exactly does “Anabolic Androgenic” mean, what does it refer to? You’ve read articles from your favorite magazines and websites on the subject and they will tell you this or that steroid is more androgenic than the other while another steroid is generally more anabolic with a very slight androgenic nature but what does it all mean? In some circles you’ll be told not to worry about it, just take whatever you want because it’s all steroids and it doesn’t really matter; don’t listen to these people. Depending on your goals, your individual response and all things this will encompass you need to possess understanding; then and only then will you be able to maximize and truly find what works best for you.
Androgens are one of the primary sex hormones of the steroidal family; a four ringed carbon core of a cholesterol nature; in short, androgens are fat molecules. Sometimes referred to as a testoid, androgens stimulate, promote and maintain the male sex characteristics by binding to the androgen receptors and while there are several androgens worthy of note testosterone is the primary androgen of the greatest importance. In the world of anabolic androgenic steroids androgens are of the greatest importance for without androgens we would have no anabolic steroids. Some of the most common anabolic steroids of all time exist solely by their androgenic nature; if you recall from you steroidal understanding all anabolic steroids owe their existence to testosterone and as testosterone is the primary androgen it’s easy to see how important the androgenic nature truly is.
Androgens, of which as we will see there are many types are primarily produced in the testes, ovaries and adrenal glands depending on the sex, with potency and importance of each varying depending on the form. Generally existing by way of cholesterol Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are the two primary androgens worthy of concern but androgenic hormones such as androstenedione (Andro) and Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) play a role.
It is the production of androgens that largely influence our sexual development and regulate our sex drive; at the point of puberty it is the influx of androgenic hormones that promote the deepening of the male vocal chords as well as body and facial hair-growth; yes, androgens also greatly affect a woman’s libido but a larger role is played in the male. As an individual who supplements with anabolic androgenic steroids the obvious question is why is any of this important to you; well, it’s very important. Androgens largely regulate growth and play a key role revolving around stored adipose tissue. In simple terms the greater androgenic presence the greater growth in muscular structure there will be; this shouldn’t be too surprising, after all, for the anabolic steroid user the primary hormone of growth is testosterone. As eluded to, androgens also affect the manner in-which body-fat is stored; men typically have less body-fat than women and as such much of this is due to the higher androgenic nature of the male species as androgens have been shown to inhibit fat accumulation and storage.
Anabolic simply refers to anabolism which in-turn simply refers to the metabolic process; worthy of note, anabolism is the direct opposite of catabolism. This anabolic process aids in building molecules or perhaps a better way to look at it, the anabolic process strengthens and restructures molecules in order for them to become larger and more efficient. This process aids in growth and in the promotion of strength to a large degree but also promotes many things of a secondary nature that can be of interest to the performance such as hardness. At first glance you might ask what the difference is between anabolic and androgenic and the short answer is quite a bit. The anabolic process aids in enhancing the cells that exist, yes, it can enhance them in-terms of actual growth in size but will have a larger role on increasing strength and play a larger role in conditioning. Further, steroids that are primarily anabolic will not convert to estrogen as estrogen is a precursor to androgenic hormones.
Anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) all carry their own anabolic and androgenic rating and such rating is based on the primary steroid testosterone. Testosterone carries with it an anabolic rating of 100 and an androgenic rating of 100 and it is by this rating in-which all other steroids are measured in each regard. The higher its rating is in a particular category the higher its nature is to that end in-terms of its makeup but interestingly enough this does not always translate into action. Take for example Trenbolone, the Trenbolone hormone has an anabolic rating of 500 and an androgenic rating of 500 and performs mirroring such ranking. Then take the Fluoxymesteron (Halotestin) its anabolic and androgenic ratings blow Trenbolone out of the water, in-fact its androgenic rating is 850 but it provides absolutely no androgenic traits to the user. Why is this important? As you recall, for a steroidal hormone to provide an androgenic benefit it must necessarily bind to the androgen receptors; regardless of how androgenic in nature the particular hormone is if it has a poor androgen receptor binding ability it will provide no androgenic action. This is the case of steroids such as Halotestin which carry with it little to no binding affinity and even some DHT based steroids such as Stanozolol (Winstrol) making them almost useless in-terms of building size but as you may already know, due to their anabolic nature they can still be very useful.
Then we have anabolic androgenic steroids with positive androgen binding ability yet produce little in-terms of massive growth but can still be very useful. Recall, androgens not only promote size but fat-loss as well or more aptly increased metabolic activity; when we couple this with solid anabolic activity we have a worthwhile steroid of an androgenic nature although weak in-terms of size or growth; Primobolan being a prime example. As you should be easily able to see, as it pertains to the anabolic and androgenic rankings while the anabolic ranking of a steroid lends to a strong understanding of the particular steroids power the androgenic rating tells us very little unless we understand how well it binds to the androgen receptors.
Our goals vary depending on our pursuit, depending on our need but generally speaking the same rules apply to all if we are to maximize activity and reach the productive end we truly desire. For the individual who supplements with anabolic androgenic steroids for therapeutic measures, most commonly being that of low testosterone treatment, as testosterone is needed androgen replacement is really all they will be concerned with; after all, if you’re testosterone deficient the only thing that will cure it is androgen replacement. It is the performance enhancer that will truly find understanding here to be a little more worthwhile as quality stacks and cycles will generally include steroids of both anabolic and androgenic nature and activity.
As the use of anabolic androgenic steroids will suppress natural testosterone production, with total suppression varying from steroid to steroid, in most cases the primary androgen testosterone is needed in exogenous fashion in order to maintain adequate levels in the body while the cycle is in play. For many this will be the only androgen they will need and anything else they add may be of a strict anabolic capacity; this does not mean you must add anything, some will be fine even more than fine with only testosterone; after all, it is not only highly anabolic and androgenic in nature but equal in both in-terms of makeup and action and extremely well-tolerated by most healthy adult men. For others , especially those who are really looking to grow and this is found in many bodybuilding and hardcore gym circles, multiple androgenic items may be coupled together in the same cycle with an additional possible strong anabolic in nature steroid. Prime examples of such stacks might be Testosterone/Trenbolone/Anadrol; with this stack you have two steroids of powerful anabolic and androgenic power and a third steroid in Anadrol, while possessing decent androgenic activity highly anabolic in nature.
To give you an understanding of how the anabolic and androgenic ranting can vary we’ve left you with some of the most commonly used anabolic androgenic steroids and their respective ratings so you can decide for yourself how best to maximize what you’re stacking. You will find some of the ratings to be very specific with some being in an approximate range due to the nature of a particular steroidal hormone.