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Deca Durabolin Cycle – Side Effects, Risks, Stacks and Alternatives

Deca is no new kid on the block, having been around since the 1960s. Bodybuilders and athletes have been using it ever since to boost their endurance and get the most out of their workouts. Deca Durabolin – otherwise known as Nandrolone – is considered one of the most popular anabolic steroids around. Although it may be known by many as a less potent steroid – this may or may not be the case, depending on its usage.

If you’re looking to start using Deca to enhance your workouts and power-up your gains, this one is for you. We’re going to cover everything from how to safely stack Deca and testosterone, Deca Durabolin cycles, side effects and less risky alternatives. But before you throw yourself in at the deep end, you need to be aware of possible side effects and the impact they can potentially have long-term.

Deca Durabolin explained

Deca Durabolin – a form of synthetic testosterone – mirrors what your body’s natural testosterone does. This includes increased red blood cell count, enhanced muscle formation and increased hair growth. Due to its positive impact on recovery time, Deca Durabolin has remained popular with athletes needing to manage joint pain while taking their workouts to the next level.

But did you know… Deca was originally developed for quite a different reason. The steroid was designed to help women with menopausal arthritis and to help slow down the speed at which muscles degenerated in patients. It wasn’t long until this steroid’s benefits were being taken advantage of by athletes and bodybuilders due to its muscle development and bone density enhancing properties.

When used in controlled amounts (more on that later), studies have shown Deca Durabolin can both improve body functionality and have a significant impact on improving lean muscle mass development.

But it doesn’t stop there, as further research into Deca also showed how this steroid can also improve appetite and improve body mass in patients going through HIV treatment.

Like any drug, the jury is often still out in regards to its benefits versus side effects. Controversy very much still surrounds the use of Deca Durabolin as a performance-enhancing steroid, resulting in little research in this area of use. But that doesn’t go to say it hasn’t been examined at all, as clinical trials have shown that Deca can aid bodybuilders in reaching their gain-goals at a much quicker pace.

However, it’s worth pointing out that Deca Durabolin is classified by the DEA as a class III controlled substance. Legally, it can only be used to manage certain medical illnesses, making its use for athletes and bodybuilders completely prohibited. So, if you think a quick shot before a competition will go unnoticed, you’d be sadly mistaken – as Deca is reserved for medical use only.

If you’re looking to feel the effects quite quickly, you may prefer using Deca via injection – although there are multiple ways to incorporate Deca Durabolin into your gain-plan.

Using Deca Durabolin for maximum impact

There are a variety of factors to consider when it comes to understanding using Deca for best effect – these go above and beyond your bodybuilding goals, taking your medical history, genetics, sex and various environmental factors into account. Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ dosage for using Deca Durabolin.

Deca Durabolin Cycles

Like all anabolic steroids, Deca Durabolin is also used in cycles. Their toxicity to your body and intense strength means you need to allow your body a break in between usage. The more you try and extend your cycle’s length, the more intense the side effects can become.

If you’re new to Deca cycles and steroids in general, it’s best to start at a lower dose – although the length of each cycle remains the same across beginners and more advancers users.

So how long is a Deca Durabolin cycle?

A Deca cycle lasts for an intense 17 weeks and is partnered by a cycle of another steroid for maximum results. As Deca is often considered a ‘milder’ steroid than testosterone, a Deca only cycle is rarely used independently. Instead, accompanying this steroid with another is more likely to have the desired effect.

Don’t jump in at the deep end, however. As every bodybuilder and athlete is different, gradually increasing your dosage to find the perfect level for your body is a smarter route to those all-important gains. We’ll cover the best way to stack Deca and other steroids a little later. But in the meantime, gathering all the facts is important for understanding possible side effects associated with any anabolic steroid – with stacking known to amplify these further.

Taking your post-cycle therapy (PCT) is crucial for reducing the intensity of your Deca cycle. Although breaks in cycles are necessary for your body to reset and experience as few side effects as possible, this break can result in losing the gains you’ve just earned during your cycle. Without PCT, your body can go into withdrawal, as Deca impacts your body’s natural production of testosterone. As your T levels drop, you can experience mood changes, erectile dysfunction (ED) and a fall in sexual desire.

While working your way up to the ideal dosage of Deca is important as a beginner, it’s also worth noting a dosage difference between men and women.

Women can start to see body mass gains using 200-400mg of Deca each week, and although women may experience less extreme side effects, the severity can differ.

A common side effect associated with Dec – and other anabolic steroids – is the “virilization effect” where women can develop exaggerated masculine characteristics as a result of excess androgens.

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What are popular Deca Durabolin cycles?

There is no one-size solution when it comes to choosing the ideal Deca cycle, as this debate comes back to your body goals. While some prefer a Deca only cycle, others opt for stacking their cycle with Testosterone Enanthate or Dianabol.

Using Deca on its own may not result in the monster gains, however, as it is considered a milder steroid when used independently. Since Deca can aid muscle recovery and joint pain management, many prefer to stack it with other steroids to gain mass much faster.

Whether you’re cutting or bulking, Deca can be incorporated into your steroid cycle of choice. To better explain, we’ve categorized each cycle according to body goals.

Bulking with a Deca Durabolin cycle: Moderate

This cycle is a stack of Test and Deca – with Arimidex used for PCT. Lasting 12 weeks, you can expect it to run as follows:

  • Weeks 1- 6 taking 400mg of Deca and 500mg of Testosterone Enanthate (both each week). Combine this with 30mg/ed of Diabanol and 0.5mg/eod of Arimidex to help your body naturally produce testosterone.
  • Weeks 7 – 10 you should stop Dianabol and continue with the same dosage of Testosterone Enanthate, Arimidex and Deca Durabolin.
  • Weeks 11 – 12 you should stop Deca and finish your cycle with the same dose of Arimidex and Testosterone Enanthate.

Using Deca Durabolin cycles for bulking: Advanced

If you’re looking for faster gains, a more advanced Deca and Test stack may be more suitable.

This Test and Deca cycle uses a mixture of multiple steroids alongside Deca, meaning you’ll use Deca, Testosterone, Dianabol (Dbol), Human Growth Hormones (HGH), Cypionate and Arimidex.

The cycle itself lasts a little longer than the moderate Deca bulking cycle, coming in at 16 weeks.

  • Weeks 1 – 6 you’ll take 200mg/oed of Testosterone Cypionate, 500mg/week of Deca, 4iu/ed of HGH, 50mg/ed of Dianabol and 0.5mg/oed of Arimidex.
  • During weeks 7 – 14 you should eliminate Dianabol and continue with the remaining doses.
  • In weeks 15 – 16 you should also remove Deca and end your cycle with 4iu/ed of HGH, 500mg/oed of Testosterone Cypionate and 0.5mg/ed of Arimidex.

Using a Deca cycle for cutting: Moderate

This cycle includes stacking Deca with Testosterone Cypionate, HGH and Winstrol – lasting for 8 weeks according to the following.

  • This cycle keeps it simple with 200mg/week of Deca, 2iu/ed of HGH, 150mg/week of Testosterone Cypionate and 50mg/eod of Winstrol for the entire cycle.

Using a Deca cycle for cutting: Advanced

There’s a reason why this Test and Deca cycle is considered advanced, as it can get a little intense with 7 different types of steroids designed to help you cut fast. Many bodybuilders use this cycle when they need to cut body mass in a short space of time. As well as Deca, this cycle also comprises of:

  • Testosterone Propionate
  • Testosterone Enanthate
  • Anavar
  • Trenbolone Acetate
  • Arimidex
  • HGH

And the cycle works as follows:

  • Weeks 1 – 8 you should take 200mg/week of Deca, 250mg/eod of Enanthate, 1 mg/eod of Arimidex and 4iu/ed of HGH.
  • Between weeks 9 – 12 you should go off Testosterone Enanthate, replacing it with 200mg/eod of Testosterone Propionate and add 100mg/eod of Trenbolone and 80mg/ed of Anavar. Continue with HGH, Deca and Arimidex as per week 1 – 8.
  • Weeks 13 – 14, drop Deca. Take 100mg/eod of Testosterone Propionate, 100mg/eof of Trenbolone and continue as before with HGH and Arimidex.
  • In the final two (weeks 15 – 16), increase your dosage of Trenbolone up to 200mg/eod and continue with the same doses of Testosterone Propionate, HGH and Arimidex according to week 13/14.

Are there other Deca cycles?

While there are other Deca Durabolin cycles around to try, these are mainly for bulking.

Enanthate and Deca cycle

This cycle runs for 19 weeks, according to the following:

  • Between weeks 1 – 12, take 500mg of Enanthate and 400mg of Deca daily.
  • Weeks 12 – 14, you’ll go off the steroids and begin PCT for weeks 16 – 19.

What results can you expect from a steroid cycle?

Test and Deca cycles can deliver varied results. As well as huge gains, you may also experience the following:

  • An increase in strength and muscle size. Some have reported increases in mass of up tp 30lbs after a single cycle. The majority will be lean muscle mass.
  • Less joint and muscle pain and faster recovery time.
  • An increase in appetite.
  • A realistic expectation in regards to lean muscle mass gain can fall between 7-15 pounds by the end of the cycle.

Deca Durabolin side effects and decreasing them

Like any anabolic steroid, the side effects are very apparent. This is why many choose to avoid using Deca Durabolin amongst many others. The side effects can be relatively mild, although many can be more severe. Some of these can include:

  • Hepatitis
  • Mood disorders
  • Strokes
  • Frequent urination
  • Prostate cancer
  • Major acne breakouts
  • Increased aggression
  • Virilization (where women begin to develop male sexual characteristics)
  • Iron deficiency and anaemia
  • Tender breasts
  • Fluctuating libido
  • Water retention and swelling
  • Leukaemia
  • Liver damage

Post Cycle Therapy: Why is it important?

We’ve already mentioned briefly how Deca can impact your body’s natural production of testosterone. To reduce the side effects of Deca, firstly you need to get your dosage right. If you start to lengthen your cycles or take unusual doses, your side effects will increase and may become more intense.

Secondly, this is where the importance of PCT comes in.

Why you need Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)

With any anabolic steroid, you’re putting a lot of strain on your body’s natural functions. When you start a Deca cycle you begin to increase the levels of testosterone and other chemicals in your body. Although your body naturally produces testosterone according to the levels in your blood, if the concentration is high due to steroids, your body could stop T production altogether.

So as you ease off your Deca cycle, this sudden drop in your testosterone levels can both knock your body out of sync and make you feel ill.

Post-cycle therapy (PCT) medication ensures that your hormone levels remain balanced, keeping your body’s production of T where it should be. If you don’t incorporate PCT into the end of your cycle, your gains can vanish just as quickly and you may develop side effects including erectile dysfunction (ED), gynecomastia and other conditions.

What to take for PCT

The common drugs taken for PCT include:

  • Nolvadex
  • Clomid
  • Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin

Get serious about your gains, safely

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The Brutal Force Team

The Brutal Force Team

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.

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The Brutal Force Team

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We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.