Deca Durabolin is the trade name given to one of the best known anabolic steroids ever - nandrolone decanoate, which is simply called 'deca' by the bro's at the gym. However, like many other steroids, deca was originally designed for medical purposes, but over time it became a mainstay of the bodybuilding world.
Deca durabolin has a medical history since the 1960's with its use primarily in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Interestingly, this steroid was also used to deal with a rare disease called aplastic anaemia, which is caused by damaged blood cell types and is mostly found among younger people.
Due to the fact that this steroid was cheap, had a smooth injection, and it did not aromatize as much as testosterone, deca also became popular in the bodybuilding community, especially during the post golden age - during the 80's and 90's.
Nonetheless, it has since fallen out of favor with the more 'aesthetic' crowd, so it is mostly used by the old school weightlifters. Moreover, it has also built a reputation for causing what is known as 'deca dick,' which is extremely misunderstood. Another reason deca lost its popularity is that we now have ample access to aromatase inhibitors, so people can use more aromatizing compounds without the fear of getting estrogenic problems.
What is Deca Durabolin?
Many have heard that deca durabolin is a nor-19 compound, but few people realize what this means. This class of compounds is called “19-nor” because they are 19nortestosterone steroids, meaning they lack the carbon atom at the 19th position. Hence, the nor-19 name given to this class of steroids. Thanks to this structural modification, deca durabolin will aromatize at 25% of the rate seen with testosterone. However, it is considered a progestin, so additional precautions must be taken when using it.
Understanding the Decanoate ester
Deca durabolin has the slow decanoate ester attached to it, making the results come slow and last for a long time. Consequently, less frequent injections are needed, and once you stop using it, deca will keep rendering results for several more weeks.
It is quite frustrating to hear people call deca durabolin just deca, without understanding that this name refers to an ester, which can be found with other steroids too. For instance, there is also a testosterone version with the decanoate ester as well. The two versions are Testosterone Decanoate and Testosterone Undecanoate.
Anabolic and Androgenic ratio
Deca durabolin is actually a very mild anabolic compound. In fact, on paper its anabolic number is 125, which means that it is a bit more anabolic than testosterone. Furthermore, its androgenic number is just 37, so it is roughly 3 times less androgenic than testosterone. This may surprise a lot of people who listen to the false information provided by forum guru's, who claim that deca is somehow harsh.
How it Works
Deca durabolin helps build muscle and strength by enhancing protein synthesis, promoting IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1) production, and stopping the rise in glucocorticoid hormones. What's more, deca is also excellent at increasing nitrogen retention in the muscles; in fact, it is perhaps one of the best steroids in this regard.
Deca and Joints
What separates deca from other steroids is its joint supporting properties - studies have shown that it will enhance collagen synthesis, as well as bone mineral content. This is why it was used for osteoporosis problems in females. Therefore, it is not surprising that precisely for this reason some lifters will incorporate deca into their cycles at lower dosages, and they swear by its results.
The half life of deca durabolin is quite long - about 2 weeks total. However, you need to keep in mind that half life doesn't refer to how long it will stay in the body, and it merely means that half your dosage will be gone after that amount of time. Hence, if you were to run this compound for a full cycle, you would need to give it about 6 weeks minimum to clear out of your body.
With a whopping 18 months detection time, Nandrolone Decanoate is the worst of all steroids for tested athletes. In spite of this fact, we have seen some athletes get busted for using deca, and one has to wonder what in the world they were thinking when using this steroid. Thus, if you are a tested athlete, deca is the last compound you ever want to touch.
Deca dick and Dihydronandrolone (DHN)
'Deca dick' refers to not being able to achieve an erection when using deca durabolin, and we have seen a lot of misinformation about 'deca dick' on forums. For example, I have heard theories like 'it is from too much estrogen', or 'it is due to progestin,' or 'you didn't run enough testosterone with it,' etc. However, none of these ideas have any logic or science behind them, so it is just regurgitated information on forums.
The main reason for 'deca dick' is that when you use deca durabolin, your dihydrotestosterone (DHT) gets swamped by dihydronandrolone (DHN or DDA). It is a very important point, since DHT is a sex hormone, and you may notice a bump in libido when you use such drugs as proviron, which is pretty much pure DHT. Meanwhile, when using deca durabolin you get the opposite effect because DHN is much weaker than DHT in this sense. Therefore, the solution for 'deca dick' is to use a DHT derivative compound with it, being proviron the best compound for this purpose.
Unfortunately, during the post golden age guys did not have access to post cycle therapy (PCT) or erectile drugs, so they figured out that using proviron with deca helped greatly to solve this issue. Interestingly, they did not understand why this helped them - they just knew it worked.
As a side note, researching this article I found Dihydronandrolone vs Dehydronandrolone to be a confusing topic. The i vs e after the D makes it very confusing for most. Stick to the Dihydronandrolone vocabulary for further research.
Other Side effects
Deca durabolin is very mild in terms of side effects, but it must be respected just like any other anabolic steroid. For instance, it will cause the pituitary glands to become suppressed and stop producing hormones that stimulate the leydig cells, so a full PCT is needed in order to recover your natural testosterone production after cycling this steroid.
Furthermore, although it does not aromatize as fast or as much as testosterone, it can still cause estrogenic side effects, and it can cause progesterone issues. As a result, gynecomastia (gyno) symptoms can flare up if you are prone to having them. This is why you should stack an aromatase inhibitor (AI), such as aromasin, with it from the first day of the cycle.
Among other side effects seen with deca durabolin are such issues as increased red blood cell count and cholesterol issues, which are very common with most anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS).
Obviously, everyone is different, but the majority of users say that deca durabolin increases their appetite, improves their mood, adds mass, and boosts strength at mild levels. These traits make it an ideal bulking compound but a poor cutting steroid.
Thus, it is a shame that deca durabolin has received such negative publicity, as many people are missing out on an outstanding compound that has minimal side effects.
Dosages and Stacking
Deca durabolin is a versatile steroid, and due to its low side effects and mild nature, it can be a wonderful addition to a steroid stack at moderate-high dosages. The recommended dosage is between 200 and 400 (milligrams) mgs per week, with aggressive users going even higher than that (up to 1000mgs).
You can stack deca durabolin with any compound. The best choices are testosterone and dianabol, which will create the ultimate 'classic bulking stack'. Just make sure that if you choose to run it alone, you should at least stack proviron with it for reasons we discussed above.
Remember, deca durabolin has a very long ester, so you should run it for a minimum of 8 weeks or more - ideally 10+ weeks. On the flip side, once you stop taking it, deca will stay in your system for quite a while, so a short post cycle therapy (PCT) will not work well for you. Therefore, I recommend at least an 8 week post cycle therapy, followed by another 8 week bridge.
Cost and ease of access
Deca durabolin is very cheap and affordable. For example, according to one reliable source I checked, a 10 week cycle at 400 mgs per week would only cost around $100. Unlike many steroids, apart from underground labs (UG labs), it is widely available as a pharmaceutical grade AAS.
Experienced females can use deca durabolin because it is very mild, and most importantly, it has low androgenic effects. However, I would encourage them to use the shorter acting version of nandrolone called NPP (nandrolone phenylpropionate) instead, simply because deca lasts so long in the body. All in all, deca's dosage should not need exceed 10-40 mgs per week in the case of a female user.
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