In the two decades or so that we have used AAS, Deca Durabolin has almost been a staple in our bulking cycles.
When we switched from the three cycles a year routine to B & C for a while, we continued to use it as a part of the blasts.
In fact, we might be one of the few who have used it in low doses even during our cuts.
So it sounds surprising to us that such a beneficial (and mild) anabolic steroid is sparingly used these days.
For the uninitiated, Deca is one of the oldest Anabolic steroids in the world.
For many years, it was a ‘Russian Dope Machine’ favorite and even back home, a lot of the legends of the 70s and 80s were believed to be using Deca.
If you find yourself getting swayed by newer and faster acting steroids like Trenbolone, then here’s the low down on one of the best anabolic steroids that you can ever use.
Deca Durabolin is derived from Testosterone by making a simple modification to the carbon atom at the 19th position.
The result is Nandrolone, a very versatile hormone with an anabolic rating slightly above testosterone. But with an androgenic rating of just 37.
Nandrolone has been attached to a variety of esters over the years. Some of which were used quite widely, like Nandrolone Phenylpropionate.
But it is the slow acting Decanoate ester, that has remained the most popular of them all.
Nandrolone Decanoate was released under the brand name ‘Deca Durabolin’ by Organon, way back in 1962.
A lot of spin offs flooded the market soon after. But surprisingly, it is the Deca Durabolin brand name that has stuck.
Deca Durabolin gained reputation as one of the trios of the ‘golden era’ bulking stacks. The other two steroids in the stack were Dianabol and Testosterone Enanthate.
Dianabol would kick in a week or so. Test would kick in around week 4-5, whereas Deca Durabolin, the slowest of them all would kick in by week 10 or so. Just in time, when the user has lost most of the water and glycogen gained on Dianabol.
But calling it a pure bulking steroid is a misconception. It is a very versatile steroid that can be used in multiple ways.
Here are some of the main uses of Deca.
Not quite what you’d expect from an anabolic steroid. But Deca Durabolin has attained legendary status in athletic circles due to its effectiveness in improving bone mineral density and boosting collagen synthesis. Any athlete or bodybuilder with joint pains or ligament tears will experience great relief with even low doses of Deca. It’s like being on a mix of painkillers. Only, it’s not half as toxic as painkillers are. This is one of the reasons why professional bodybuilders add Deca to every stack, despite it being a ‘wet gains’ steroid. It pretty much eliminates muscle cramps and joint niggles caused by contest prep orals.
Deca Durabolin is a very effective bulking compound. A lot of professionals use it as an off-season bulking compound because of its slow acting nature and also because the mass gained on Deca seems to be of much better quality than what you’d gain with Dianabol or Anadrol. There will be some amount of water retention. But it is one of the easiest steroids to control. Also, the ‘rollback’ or loss of muscle after the cycle is minimum provided you continue to eat and lift right.
One of the therapeutic uses of Deca is improving the quality of life in geriatric care. It reduces weakness and prevents muscle loss. So, strength gain is one of the underrated benefits of Deca Durabolin. What’s notable, is that unlike oral steroids, the strength gains made on Deca are not as dramatic. It will be slow but sustainable.
Deca is one of the most effective steroids for boosting nitrogen retention. Much more effective than Trenbolone even. We all know the benefits of a positive nitrogen balance, don’t we? It’s one of the building blocks of Anabolism.
Deca Durabolin is one of the mildest anabolic steroids if you compare the side effects with the results that you can achieve with it.
Having said that, it still is a very powerful steroid and some sides will be unavoidable.
- Estrogenic side effects: Deca Durabolin aromatizes very weakly, at just 20% of that of Testosterone. However, it has a strong progestin nature which makes side effects like bloating and gynecomastia, a slim but definite possibility. You must use a SERM, like Nolvadex in place of an AI (Aromatase Inhibitor) whenever possible. AIs can wreck your cholesterol levels, something that might be of concern when you are using Deca.
- Androgenic: Once again, the possibility of this occurring are slim unless you are extremely sensitive to androgenic sides. However, if you do experience acne or accelerated hair loss or aggressive body hair growth, then it is a little difficult to control as 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are ineffective against Deca Durabolin. Women must stick to low doses to avoid virilization symptoms.
- Cardiovascular: Deca Durabolin has a negative effect on HDL and it also increases the level of LDL. However, the cardiovascular side effects should be manageable with a cholesterol friendly lifestyle and diet. This should be a matter of concern though for bodybuilders who are stacking Deca with a 17C-AA oral steroid.
Dosage and stacks
Beginners should start with 250-500mg/week for a 12-16-week cycle.
More advanced users can up this to 600mg/week. But that’s the upper limit that we’d stick to, even if you are using Deca as the base with a TRT dose of test.
On the other hand, if you are only looking to use Deca for the therapeutic benefits, then go for 100-150mg/week for 12-weeks.
We already spoke in brief about the most popular bulking stack of all times, Dianabol, Deca and Test-E.
Other than this, Deca is also stacked with orals like Masteron and Winstrol to reduce the painful cramps that they cause.
A Tren and Deca cycle is rare. But we have seen more and more athletes experiment with it recently, with decent results to show for it.