'Ology Frequently Asked Questions


'Ology FAQ's

I thought I would start a thread on some of the Frequently Asked Questions that come our way on 'Ology. Writing the same responses over and over to the same questions gets a little old after a while. See below for responses and or links to existing threads that do a good job of answering them. If you can think of other FAQ's/Responses/Threads please send me a PM so I can add them. Please note that this is US-centric but much of it is still applicable to our friends throughout the world. I hope you find this information useful.



Common acronyms:

19-nor - 19-Norandrostenedione
AAS - Anabolic Androgenic Steroids
Adex - Arimidex (Anastrozole)
AI - Aromatase Inhibitor
Albut - Albuterol
B&C - Blast and Cruise
Caber - Cabergoline
Clen - Clenbuterol
Clomid - Clomiphene
DA - Dopamine Agonist
DAWS - Dopamine Agonist Withdrawal Syndrome
DHT - Dihydrotestosterone
E2 - Estradiol
ED - Erectile Dysfunction
Free T - Free Testosterone
FSH - Follicle Stimulating Hormone
GnRH - Gonadotropin-releasing hormone
hCG - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (mimics LH)
HCT (or HT) - Hematocrit
hMG - Human Menopausal Gonadotropins (mimics FSH)
HPTA - Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal Axis
Keto - Ketotifen or Ketogenic Diet
LH - Lutenizing Hormone
NAC - N-Aceytl Cysteine
Nolva - Tamoxifen
PCT - Post Cycle Therapy
PIP - Post Injection Pain
Prami - Pramipexole
Ralox - Raloxifene
SERM - Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator
SHBG - Sex Hormone Binding Globulin
Slin - Insulin
T3 - Triiodothyronine (thyroid hormone)
T4- Thyroxine (thyroid hormone)
TRT - Testosterone Replacement Therapy (aka HRT - Hormone Replacement Therapy)
TSH = Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
TT - Total Testosterone

Can Males Run Oral-Only Cycles?

The answer is simple. No. Men cannot run oral only cycles. Injectable testosterone must be included in every cycle. The reason is due to the fact that oral steroids shut down a man's natural testosterone production - yes, even your precious Anavar. Men's bodies need testosterone to function properly. If you don't believe me, ask any hypogonadal (Low T) man how he feels without sufficient testosterone coursing through his veins. If you are going to run a cycle and shut down your natural endogenous testosterone production by using an exogenous steroid (oral or injectable), it must be run with injectable testosterone. You cannot use an oral form of testosterone as it is very bad for your liver. And gels/creams will not sustain high enough or consistent enough testosterone levels. If you are too afraid to inject yourself, you should not use steroids.

What Age is Too Young to Cycle and Why?

At 'Ology we generally recommend that males wait until they are 25 years old to us AAS. Prior to this age, your average male's HPTA and endocrine system are still developing. Using AAS prior to age 25 can be very harmful to these systems and result in permanent damage. Studies have shown that there are permanent reductions in Total Testosterone levels as a result. ED and fertility can be affected. Some guys never recover properly and have to go on TRT for the remainder of their lives. And running AAS prior to age 20 will likely result in fusing of the growth plates. Please refer to the second post in MrRippedZilla's thread for more information.


Blood Work

Running a cycle without blood work is like flying a plane on a moonless night without any instruments. Why would you want to do that when getting blood work is so easy and cheap (in most of the United States at least)?

If you are going to run a cycle, you should get Pre-Cycle, Mid-Cycle and Post-Cycle blood work. Additionally, anytime you run into a problem during your cycle it is always a good idea to run blood work. I cannot tell you how many guys put up posts about how they have this symptom or that symptom and they want us to diagnose them through the internet based entirely on their description of how they feel. Don't be one of those guys. Give us something objective to work with.

So why get pre-cycle blood work? You only have one chance to see what your hormones look like while you are 100% natty. Don't screw up and miss this opportunity. This is your baseline. This is what you can go back and compare to during and/or after your cycle to troubleshoot issues and know if you have recovered completely.

Mid-Cycle blood work lets you see how you are responding to your cycle and allows you to make adjustments to your protocol. Is your estradiol too high or too low requiring an AI dosage adjustment? Is your TT low indicating that your gear is watered down? Is your hematocrit too high meaning it is time to donate blood? How is your liver looking? How about your kidneys? Prolactin or estradiol related ED problems? Is your cholesterol ok? Did you get the pre-cycle blood work to compare against?

Post-Cycle blood work allows you to see if you have recovered from your cycle. Is you HPTA working again? TT, LH, FSH and Estradiol back to normal? Need to make one more blood donation? If you are having ED or libido problems is there anything in your blood work that is off and could be causing it?

At a minimum, run the following blood work each time:

-Complete Blood Count (CBC)
-Meta-bolic Panel (CMP)
-E2 (Sensitive assay is best, but most guys run the Regular Assay to save money. See later FAQ on these assays)
-If you are going to run a 19-nor you should check Prolactin.
-If you are going to use T3, you should check TSH.

So where can you get blood work run in the US? First of all, I do not recommend going through your doctor. You do not want AAS usage in your medical record. This could make it difficult to obtain things like life insurance in the future. And it may make getting treated for certain conditions more difficult later in your life should problems arise. It can even be difficult to get your doc to run all the pre-cycle blood work you want as you will have to lie about why you want them.

Private Blood Work is available in most US States. It is fast, cheap and accurate. Only you will see the results unless you choose to share them with someone else. They will not go to your doctor or insurance company. You do have to pay out of pocket though. There are many services available to you on the internet. Many of us use the following two, but feel free to go wherever you like. I have no financial interest in these companies so it doesn't matter to me.

For Pre and Post Cycle blood work, or anytime you are not running AAS, I recommend using Private MD - Buy Lab Tests Online as it is cheaper and faster than the next one. You can get the Hormone Panel for Females to get your CBC, CMP, LH, FSH, TT and E2 (regular assay) for about $54 if you use their 15% off coupon code. Even though the name says Females, it is for men too. Read the description and you will see this is true. Sign up for their weekly newsletter and they will email the coupon code to you. If you cannot wait, search the internet for a code, or just look at the top right corner of their website and they will give you an automatic 10% discount. Results are generally available in 24-48 hours. If you would like to also see your Lipids, Thyroid Profile (including TSH) and get the Sensitive E2 assay, I recommend spending more for the Hormone Panel for Males. This one will cost you about $146 after the discount. This panel usually takes about 7 days to get the results back. Unfortunately, none of the panels include Prolactin, so you will have to add that one a la carte.

For Mid-Cycle blood work, I recommend using LabsMD - Simple and Secure Lab Tests Online. Again, you want to get the Hormone Panel for Females. There is one key difference. The Private MD Labs panels only report TT up to 1500ng/dl. Anything above that and it just tells you that it is >1500. When you are running a cycle, it is nice to know just how high your TT really is so you can see how good your gear is. And most cycle-sized doses of Testosterone will put you well about 1500ng/dl. Fortunately the Labs MD panel doesn't have a cutoff. It will tell you the exact result. However, it does cost more at about $73. And to the best of my knowledge, there are no coupon codes available.

So I have mentioned that there are different assays for testing Estradiol (E2). What it really comes down to is their level of accuracy at lower levels. The Regular E2 assay is really good at measuring the higher E2 levels found in women, but not as accurate at the lower E2 levels found in men. It is better to get the Sensitive E2 assay if you are male, but it costs more and takes longer to get the results. A lot of guys just get the Regular Assay, but you need to make adjustments to the results. Anecdotally, we have found that it is often 10-20pg/ml points higher than the Sensitive Assay. So you need to subtract 10-20 points from your result.

Most guys like their Sensitive Assay estradiol to come in between 20-40pg/ml. So if you get the Regular Assay, you should look for it to be between 30-60pg/ml. Please note that everyone is different though so you may prefer a different sweet spot. And the 10-20 point bias may not apply to you. Finally, the higher the E2 result from the Regular assay, the more accurate it is likely to be.

I should also note that a lot of guys get confused about the difference between estradiol and Total Estrogen. There are three types of estrogen: estrone (E1), estradiol (E2) and estriol (E3). Estradiol is by far the most potent form of the estrogens so it is the one we worry about. It is said to be 80 times more potent than estriol for example.

Here is a good thread on Estradiol and Prolactin management while on cycle.


If you are in the UK, check out these services for Private Blood Work. Some of the guys here have recommended them:

Blood Testing Service

What should I run for PCT?

Here is a good thread on the topic.


I also want to mention that a lot of guys seem to want to run hCG during PCT. It should be not run during PCT as it is suppressive to the HPTA.

The next thread is an interesting discussion around Triptorelin. I wish it had linked the studies though.


Information on hCG:

My general position on hCG is that it should be used on cycle to help minimize testicular atrophy experienced when AAS is used. This will help one recover faster and better when the cycle ends and PCT begins. But as mentioned above, do not use hCG during PCT as it is suppressive to the HPTA. Here are a couple of great threads with lots of details about hCG. hCG is typically ran at 250iu every 3.5 days.



Study on biphasic testicular response to hCG.

Self-priming effect of luteinizing hormone-human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) upon the biphasic testicular response to exogenous hCG. I. Serum test... - PubMed - NCBI

How Long to Wait Between Cycles?:

The time honored rule is that the minimum amount of time between cycles needs to be Time On + PCT = Time Off. So if you run a 12 week cycle (including the period when you don't inject while waiting for PCT) and 4 weeks of PCT you should wait at least 16 weeks before starting another cycle. This is giving your HPTA and organs enough time to recover from your cycle.

Information on how the HPTA works:



To Aspirate or Not?

The CDC advises against aspirating for IM injections.

http://www.nnpnetwork.org/Uploads/EBP aspiration poster 9 25 12 for iowa .pdf


Learn more about Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) and Hypgonadism (Low T):


Here is a medical text on Hypogonadism.

http://dl4a.org/uploads/pdf/Male Hypogonadism - Basic, Clinical, and Therapeutic Principles.pdf

Why Should the First Cycle be Just Testosterone?

We always recommend that a first cycle consist of just testosterone plus ancillaries (hCG, AI) and then followed by PCT. You need to learn how your body responds to Test. Once you have that experience you can add another compound when you run your next cycle. This allows you to isolate variables which will help you deal with side effect issues that arise. And trust me - running a cycle of just test will have you feeling amazing.

I would also like to encourage you to enjoy the experience. Savor testosterone during your first cycle. The amazing anabolic and androgenic effects it has. Then enjoy learning how a new compound makes you feel and seeing how your body responds to it on your second cycle. You are going to have a long beautiful relationship with AAS. Don't rush it.

Here are good links for learning more about putting together your first cycle.




Gynecomastia (aka Gyno):


Why Donate Blood when Cycling?

Taking exogenous testosterone increases your hematocrit. If it gets to high you can experience Polycythemia which is not good for you. The analogy is that it turns your blood into yogurt which makes it harder for your heart to pump. See the following link for more information:

Polycythemia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

You must donate blood or do a therapeutic phlebotomy while running AAS to manage hematocrit levels. Giving a pint of blood will lower your hematocrit. Make sure that this is part of your plan for a cycle.

On Cycle Supplements:


T3, Clenbuterol and Albuterol



What Are Normal Testosterone Levels in Healthy Males?

View attachment 559986

What Hormone Levels Should be Expected for given Testosterone Dosages?

Guys always want to know if their testosterone is dosed properly. Here is a study showing Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men. For those of you who just want the conclusion, 600mg per week put guys at 2,370ng/dl +/- 150ng/dl. I wish they had included Estradiol levels in the study - so please take that into consideration when evaluating these results as some of the TT may have been lost to E2 conversion.

AJPENDO : Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab

Full Study:
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New member
Very detailed... Looks like a sticky to me. This is something I'll certainly refer others to after I learn my share!
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How often would you suggest donating blood while on cycle?

You are allowed to donate whole blood every 56 days. I recommend doing this. Although keep in mind that some AAS compounds may require being more aggressive about lowering hematocrit.


New member
So...there's a possibility that a person would need to be on TRT the rest of their lives, even after just one Test-e cycle?


So...there's a possibility that a person would need to be on TRT the rest of their lives, even after just one Test-e cycle?

Yes. There are a lot of guys here who have had their HPTA's shut down permanently after just one cycle. We try to help people get that risk as low as possible by running good cycles but there is never a guarantee that you will recover after a cycle.


New member
I'm not sure where else to ask this but when I decide to run my first cycle its going to be test as recommended, my question is if my body reacts very well to just test do I have to add another compound on my next cycle, or can I just do another test cycle?


New member
I'm not sure where else to ask this but when I decide to run my first cycle its going to be test as recommended, my question is if my body reacts very well to just test do I have to add another compound on my next cycle, or can I just do another test cycle?

You can do just test only cycles. If your happy with the results and don't want to add other compounds dont. Its totally up to you


New member
Okay that's what I was guessing but I wanted to make sure. Not often you see just a test cycle on here from the veteran's lol Thanks


New member
Thanks so much for the info! I have a question--soon I was going to get blood work done to get a baseline. Do I need to worry about free testosterone? I thought I might have an issue w/ low test and I'm not sure if I should include that. The only thing I see that includes that is the male hormone panel and that's $172.49! In that case I should just go through my doctor. Shouldn't really raise any flags I guess..


Thanks so much for the info! I have a question--soon I was going to get blood work done to get a baseline. Do I need to worry about free testosterone? I thought I might have an issue w/ low test and I'm not sure if I should include that. The only thing I see that includes that is the male hormone panel and that's $172.49! In that case I should just go through my doctor. Shouldn't really raise any flags I guess..

I think you are OK without it for baseline testing.