Anastrozole, commonly known as Arimidex is an aromatase inhibitor that actively blocks the aromatase enzyme by-which its duty cannot be performed, that being producing estrogen. By this inhibiting process the compound can actively reduce estrogen in the body by as much as 80%. Coupled with its estrogen reducing effects Arimidex also greatly increases testosterone in the body and can do so by as much as 50% by increasing total testosterone as well as Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) total output.
By and large, as it pertains to anabolic androgenic steroid use the use and benefits of Arimidex greatly surround side-effect prevention. However, in men who suffer from low testosterone and who seek therapeutic remedy Arimidex can at times be a good choice, for as we discovered above the compound by its nature actively increases total testosterone output. Even so, while this remains true most men will find direct testosterone treatment to be optimal in treating their low levels and will generally require a regular dosing of an injectable or transdermal testosterone medication. In the case of low testosterone treatment most men will find the therapy well-tolerated and generally side-effect free; we must always remember, side-effects increase when dosing increases and as therapeutic dosing is very low the need for an AI is generally low in low testosterone patients.
Without question those who supplement with anabolic androgenic steroids for the purpose of performance enhancement will benefit from Arimidex use the most when comparing to therapeutic steroid users. Performance enhancing doses are necessarily larger than therapeutic doses; after all, in therapy the idea is to return hormonal levels to normal but in performance enhancement the idea is to surpass them and to do so greatly. With such doses in mind the rate of aromatase greatly increases; no, not all anabolic androgenic steroids convert into estrogen but a vast quantity do and at varying rates depending on the steroid. By this conversion process when excess levels of the estrogen hormone buildup in the body some of the most common and well-known anabolic steroid side-effects may manifest themselves; including but not limited to:
High Blood Pressure
High LDL Cholesterol
Low HDL Cholesterol
Loss of Libido
While some of these side-effects can be brought on by other factors, especially blood pressure and cholesterol, estrogen buildup can play a major role. For the majority of performance enhancing athletes the side-effects of steroid use that are of the greatest concern will remain Gynecomastia and water retention as these are the two most common but it is often in Arimidex they find remedy. As Arimidex blocks or as indicated by its name as an AI “Inhibits” estrogen buildup many of the common side-effects become nothing more than a memory or concern of the past. Think about it, if the estrogen that causes the side-effects is no longer present how can estrogenic related side-effects present themselves; they can’t, what doesn’t exist simply doesn’t exist.
Some performance enhancers, especially those who are looking to really add size to their frame often shy away from Arimidex out of a fear of losing or not obtaining gains. It is true, estrogen aids in the promotion of building muscle tissue and more importantly it is a hormone essential to our overall health, particularly our immune system. However, we are not removing all estrogen from our body through Arimidex use, we are simply reducing it, although greatly. Further, if you are going to supplement with anabolic steroids for the purpose of performance enhancement you need to ask yourself an important question; what’s worse, a few less gains or horrible unsightly side-effects? It is also important to note, while estrogen suppression will somewhat limit the amount of weight you gain it will not do so to the degree feared by many; not even close.
Doses & Cycles:
Most who supplement with Arimidex will be doing so for the prevention of side-effects while on cycle or to tighten up their physique for a physique based competition by reducing estrogen in the body. Most men will find 0.5mg every other day to be a good starting point while on cycle if it is needed for side-effect prevention with 1mg every other day generally being the most anyone will ever need for this purpose. However, if side-effects begin to manifest, particular Gynecomastia, many find supplementing with 1mg every day for a few weeks to be useful in combating this enemy; however, for this purpose we would in most cases recommend the slightly stronger AI Letrozole but Arimidex will often suffice. If this occurs, simply supplement with 1mg every day until symptoms pass; once they do drop the dose to every other day and finish your intended cycle. It should be noted, this is not a 100% failsafe plan; for some no amount of any AI on earth will protect from Gynecomastia.
The same dosing can be applied in physique sport competition, most notably bodybuilding; it is very common for many bodybuilders to supplement with Arimidex for 12-16 weeks leading up to a competition at a dose of 1mg every other day. However, many bodybuilders will necessarily increase the dose to 1mg every day the final 10-14 days before the show in order to ensure they are as hard and water free as possible. However, we cannot recommend anyone supplement with this compound at that high of a dose for an extended period of time, as such dosing for extended periods would be too much estrogen suppression.
Women in the physique sports world also sometimes supplement with Arimidex to provide a dryer and harder look but this will generally only occur a few weeks out from competition. Low doses for short periods of time can aid in a woman the same way it can a male competitor but as estrogen is slightly more important to a female use must necessarily be limited.