Equipoise, often known simply as EQ is a testosterone derived anabolic steroid with a reduced androgenic nature compared with standard testosterone.
Although EQ (or Boldenone) does not give us the sheer power in mass gains that testosterone can provide, it comes with a host of benefits both in terms of performance and a noticeable decrease in side effects compared with testosterone itself.
This can make it one of the more appealing steroids for beginners who are not ready to deal with serious estrogenic side effects, while at the same time advanced users can use Equipoise in combination with other steroids to get very specific results.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).
What is Equipoise?
Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate) is an anabolic steroid that is based on the testosterone hormone with only a slight variation to the chemical structure, but one that it makes unique in its own right.
The attached ester, Undecylenate, is a slow release ester that causes Equipoise to continue being released into the body for up to three weeks after an injection. It also takes several days for the maximum blood level to be reached after you inject Boldenone.
EQ is one of the few steroids that is used solely for veterinary purposes. The “equi” portion of the name indicates that this product is intended for use in horses.
But like a lot of steroids, the effects of Equipoise are appealing for bodybuilders and it’s not too surprising to know that EQ shares a lot of similarities with testosterone; after all it’s only a slightly modified version of that original hormone.
These similar functions include the enhancement of both protein synthesis and muscle nitrogen retention, as well as increasing red blood cell count. EQ can also increase the output of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and reduce stress hormones.
Equipoise has an anabolic to androgenic ratio of 100:50, compared with testosterone having an even 100:100 ratio.
Most steroid users are familiar with the legendary compound Dianabol which EQ shares a virtually identical chemical structure with, but a slight modification allows each one to have a very different effect on the body. This makes it possible to use these very similar yet completely different acting steroids together in a cycle with great benefit.
We can almost think of EQ as being a milder version of testosterone. It is based on testosterone after all, but has reduced anabolic effects. This still makes it a very useful steroid to include in a stack, and a steroid that is more versatile than standard testosterone because it’s not just all about massive muscle and strength gains.
Here are the main benefits and effects you can expect to see when using Equipoise:
Moderate Mass Gains
While not a very powerful muscle gainer compared to other steroids like testosterone itself, EQ can still help bring about some gains and they will be cleaner gains than you might get with other steroids because of the reduced estrogenic action of boldenone which results in less water retention.
The gains made with EQ will be slower and steadier than those of other steroids so it can make a good addition to a bulking stack where it’s not being used as the primary mass gaining compound.
Preserving Lean Muscle
Possibly the most valued aspect of EQ is its ability to help retain lean tissue while you’re in a cutting cycle. Additionally Equipoise can contribute to improving body conditioning while cutting and this is enhanced when you use this steroid with other steroids that do not aromatize, with compounds like Masteron being a particularly effective cutting combination with Equipoise.
A possible effect of EQ is a rise in appetite but this is known to be an effect that is experienced differently between individuals. Some people will notice a certain increase in appetite while others won’t see any changes. This can make it useful for those using it in a mass gaining cycle, such as during off season bulking. If using Equipoise for cutting, an appetite increase could be seen as a downside as you attempt to stick to a calorie restricted diet during this time.
Strength and Endurance Gains
Although once again not the most powerful strength boosting steroid available, EQ can still give you some moderate and welcome increases in strength which makes it appealing for a wide range of athletes. Endurance is also improved which is going to help anyone during any workouts for any goal. Expect improved recovery times when using EQ.
All in all, while these performance benefits might not be overly noticeable when Equipoise is combined with much more potent steroids, they still contribute to the overall effects of any steroid cycle you’re running.
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Equipoise is a steroid that does not benefit from taking very doses, so users of any experience level will want to maintain a similar dose keeping mind that the higher the dose the more likely estrogenic effects are going to be.
Moderate doses of EQ provide very manageable estrogen related activity with effective male doses considered to be within the 200mg to 600mg range.
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced EQ Dosage
While beginners can start at a low dose of just 200mg weekly, to really get the benefits from EQ you will likely want to administer no less than 400mg per week even as a beginner user to this steroid. Side effects directly caused by EQ and not by other steroids in the cycle will be easy to control at this dosage while providing the positive benefits.
More advanced users can easily raise the dose to 600mg weekly, but with this comes a greater risk of estrogenic effects. While higher doses can be an option it also comes with much greater aromatization activity with little to no positive benefit. Therefore, regardless of experience level the optimal weekly dose of Equipoise is between 400mg and 600mg.
Proper EQ Administration and Timing
Because it’s such a long and slow acting steroid, it needs to be used for a suitable length of time to make the most of it and the minimum viable length to include EQ in a cycle is 8 weeks. Depending on your goals, up to 12 weeks of Equipoise is considered safe and effective.
Thanks to its long lasting properties, EQ works fine when injected just once per week but despite this, some people will still want to split the dose if for no other reason than to reduce the volume being injected each time. If injecting twice weekly, the injections should be evenly spaced so your blood levels remain consistent throughout the cycle.
Female EQ Dosage
Females can use Equipoise with good results and less severe side effects than many other steroids, in part because of the lower androgenic effects of EQ. But this is only the case at lower doses and like all steroids, once the dosage is increased the side effects can start becoming severe.
A female dose of 50mg weekly is considered both management and effective for most women taking steroids with a low risk of virilization. While some women might venture higher than this, it should never be raised without determining how you as an individual cope with Equipoise as the side effects can be highly individualistic.
A maximum cycle length of 6 weeks is optimal for females, striking a balance between the benefits and minimizing or preventing side effects which are more likely to develop with long term usage.
EQ is a steroid that does not have just one way to use it in a cycle. Being a versatile steroid in its properties and effects, it’s also versatile in how you can include it in a cycle.
It can be used for a number of goals, but one of the most common is to use Boldenone in a cutting cycle and in these cases it’s best used at the beginning of a cycle, where other steroids – particularly those that don’t aromatize at all – are then continued for a longer period. Masteron or Trenbolone are popular stacking options when using EQ for cutting. Below are some example cycles that cover different levels of experience with steroids.
Beginner Equipoise Cycle
Most beginners will only look at including testosterone in a stack with EQ, to combat the suppressive nature of Boldenone. But the testosterone will also serve to deliver some mass gains, as long as the beginner is able to adequately control estrogenic side effects which will occur at this dosage.
The slow acting effect of EQ will require this cycle to be run for a longer period than many other beginner cycles, with at least 12 weeks being suitable, but a 14 week cycle can also be considered.
Using Testosterone Enanthate at 300mg to 500mg per week and Equipoise at 400mg weekly will provide excellent results for either lean mass gains or cutting, provided the diet and workout regime is suitable.
This cycle delivers an excellent and safe introduction to anabolic steroids for any beginner user.
Intermediate Equipoise Cycle
Most intermediate users will be confident in using some other anabolic steroids, and in this case we can include the powerful Dianabol to the cycle alongside Equipoise and testosterone.
Dianabol serves an important purpose in this cycle by kicking off gains for the first four weeks. Dianabol is then stopped while Equipoise and Testosterone are continued for the remaining 8 weeks, making up a 12 week cycle in total.
While Dianabol kicks in fast at the start of the cycle, EQ takes a lot longer to kick in with its slower acting nature. This means the start of your cycle isn’t spent waiting for gains. Dianabol, as an oral anabolic, only needs to be taken at 25mg daily for 4 weeks to see excellent effects.
For the entire 12 weeks, Equipoise at 500mg to 600mg weekly combined with 100mg weekly of Testosterone Enanthate simply to provide a baseline of testosterone will yield superb results.
Advanced Equipoise Cycle
Hardcore steroid users will look at adding a non-aromatizing steroid to the cycle and in this case Trenbolone is a good fit when combined with Equipoise and Testosterone. The versatility of this cycle makes it highly suitable for just about any goal, from gaining lean mass and bulking, to cutting.
Trenbolone is a very strong steroid which provides a big boost to muscle endurance and recovery. If using this cycle for cutting, Equipoise will promote the preservation of muscle while testosterone will take care of your testosterone requirements during the cycle at a maintenance dose.
This 12 week cycle can include Testosterone Enanthate at just 100mg weekly to provide for base testosterone, up to 600mg of Equipoise weekly and 400mg of Trenbolone Enanthate weekly.
The big benefit of this cycle is the small amount of estrogenic effects that can be expected with Trenbolone not aromatizing, testosterone at a very low dose that is unlikely to cause any issues and Equipoise having only mild aromatizing activity.
EQ stacks very well with a whole range of other steroids and since it’s a compound you are highly unlikely to be using alone, it will virtually always be stacked with at least one other steroid.
Here is one of my favorite EQ cycles:
- Week 1-5 – 40-50mg/day Dbol
- Week 1-2 – 800mg/week EQ (split it into Mon/Wed/Fri shots)
- Week 3-12 – 400mg/week EQ (again split in 3x shots/week), 400-500mg/week Testosterone Enanthate injected once/week
- Week 1-14 – 0.5mg/e3d Arimidex (Arimidex PCT)
- Week 13-14 – 2500iu/week HCG split up into 2x shots of 1250iu (Mon/Thur) for 2 weeks
- Week 15-17 – 100mg/day Clomid on days 1-10, then drop to 50mg/day on days 11-20
At the very least, a testosterone steroid must be added to a cycle that uses EQ because while it’s suppressive qualities are relatively mild, they still exist so you need to provide a testosterone source for the duration of the cycle.
When used in a cutting cycle, EQ is best stacked with other steroids that don’t aromatize. While Boldenone has mild aromatizing effects compared with many other steroids, they still exist and those on a serious cutting cycle will want zero aromatization and associated estrogenic effects particularly towards the end of a cutting cycle.
In these cases EQ stacks well with steroids like Masteron, but Equipoise should be stopped several weeks before the end of the total cycle so any estrogenic activity is eliminated before you reach the end of the cycle. Common choices for stacking with Equipoise include Dianabol which can provide a fast boost of mass gains, power and strength at the start of the cycle.
Another common choice is Trenbolone, a Nandrolone based steroid which is well suited for use with Equipoise because it also isn’t a hugely powerful mass gainer while not being an aromatizing compound, making it excellent for muscle hardening in cutting cycles.
Equipoise is known as a very versatile steroid that can be used for multiple goals. It is not a hugely potent mass gaining steroid so its best use is not as a main bulking compound.
It can still deliver some nice clean gains in mass, and gains which come with less of the issues of steroids with higher estrogenic effects like fluid retention.
But there are many other benefits to EQ and these include strength gains, increased appetite (although the effects of this vary widely between individuals), and perhaps best of all is Equipoise ability to help preserve lean muscle during cutting cycles where you’re on a calorie restricted diet and the loss of muscle is a real concern if the body falls into a catabolic state. Equipoise muscle retention capabilities are of great value and make it a popular addition to a cutting cycle for this specific purpose.
Although its mild estrogenic activity is relatively easy to control at moderate doses, any fluid retention is undesirable for cutting purposes so EQ is often stopped in the weeks before the end of a cycle and the cycle continued to compounds that have no aromatizing effects so zero fluid retention is achieved for maximum muscle hardness.
Equipoise Side Effects
The small modification to the testosterone hormone that has resulted in EQ brings with it some great benefits, and in particular when thinking of side effects that includes Equipoise being less estrogenic and less androgenic than regular testosterone.
It has only about half the aromatizing power of testosterone which can greatly reduce the estrogen related side effects of EQ when compared with normal testosterone steroids. With that said, we can still certainly experience those estrogen caused side effects that are familiar to most steroid users.
Estrogenic Side Effects
The possible estrogenic side effects include gynecomastia and water retention, as well as high blood pressure if fluid retention becomes excessive. Regular measures to control these side effects with the use of AI or SERM drugs work well for the vast majority of men, and it’s only at the highest doses of EQ that estrogenic effects can start becoming severe.
The use of any other more powerfully aromatizing steroids in a cycle alongside EQ will require a more stringent approach to controlling these estrogenic side effects as boldenone itself is fairly moderate in this area.
Androgenic Side Effects
Androgenic side effects are another area that steroid users will be familiar with and once again, EQ is comparatively mild in this regard compared to many other anabolic steroids. But those who have a genetic predisposition to problems like acne or male pattern baldness might see some activity in these areas.
There is less risk of these side effects occurring at all or occurring a severe level than there is with other steroids that are much more androgenic than Boldenone, but it’s still important to know that androgenic effects are possible with EQ in some users. Androgenic effects are a more serious concern for female users of Equipoise and virilization is a real possibility especially where higher doses are taken.
Cholesterol is another area to watch when using Boldenone, but once again it has a much less serious effect here than many other steroids. EQ can cause a reduction in HDL levels while you’re using it but only those with existing cholesterol issues will potentially find this to be a problem; for most healthy people it is unlikely to cause issues.
Combining EQ with any other steroids that have a negative impact on cholesterol will require you to take more a proactive approach to keeping cholesterol levels healthy throughout your cycle by means of both diet and inclusion of cardiovascular activity.
Testosterone suppression is a certainty when using EQ and although it’s not as suppressive as many other steroids, it will still cause a reduction in normal testosterone function. For this reason most men choose to include a testosterone steroid in a cycle to maintain T levels throughout the cycle. Due to this suppression taking place, post cycle therapy will be needed once you’ve completed a Boldenone cycle.
Liver toxicity is not an issue with Equipoise but it is something that still should be kept in mind if you are combining this steroid with other compounds that are hepatotoxic.
Women and EQ
When it comes to women using EQ, this is a steroid that many female users can enjoy with less risk of serious side effects compared with a lot of other steroids, but the important factor is the dosage and women need to maintain a lower dose to minimize the severity of side effects.
Keeping in mind the slow acting nature of EQ, once symptoms start showing they can take some time to disappear even if the steroid is stopped and this makes it crucial to start with a very low dose for first time female users.
Equipoise Post Cycle Therapy
Because EQ will bring about suppression of natural testosterone production, post cycle therapy is needed after your cycle to stimulate the normal functioning of testosterone again.
There are many more highly suppressive steroids out there than this one, but since most users will also be combining EQ with other steroids with their own suppression effects, PCT becomes even more critical to avoid you falling into a state of low testosterone which brings about serious adverse effects ranging from the loss of gains and increase in fat, low energy and mood, loss of sex drive and a general decline in health.
EQ is long lasting so if you are using it right until the end of your cycle, PCT will need to begin about 2 weeks from the final injection. If you are only using EQ for the initial weeks of a cycle then continuing with other compounds, the timing of your PCT will wholly depend on those specific steroid properties with shorter acting or smaller ester steroids allowing you to start PCT much sooner.
When finishing a cycle with Equipoise, it is often ideal to begin using hCG a little earlier than the onset of PCT at approximately ten days after the last EQ injection. This is then followed up with your regular SERM plan including Clomid or Nolvadex.
Can Equipoise be used alone?
Any steroid can be used alone, but when it comes to a steroid that has aromatizing properties like Equipoise then using it alone is almost sure to bring about a state of low testosterone.
Despite the fact that EQ has a comparatively mild level of testosterone suppressive effect compared with some of the more potent steroids, it is still a high risk to use it without the addition of exogenous testosterone in the cycle.
Therefore anyone looking to use Equipoise, no matter what your experience level, should be pairing at least with a testosterone steroid rather than using it alone.
How long does it take for EQ to kick in?
Equipoise reaches its highest levels in the blood within three to four days of you taking the injection. This is because of this steroid has very long half life and slow release ester which takes a whole three weeks or so to completely release the hormone into the body.
This means to really see the maximum effects of EQ you need to use it for at least 8 weeks as its actions take some time to really kick in. Even better is a 10 or 12 week cycle of EQ to make the most of what this steroid can deliver.
What is a good Equipoise stack?
EQ is a steroid that stacks particularly well with just about any other anabolic steroid. It can be used for bulking or cutting, where it is superb at helping retain lean muscle. You can therefore stack Boldenone with other steroids that suit your specific goals whether the be cutting, mass gains or performance enhancement.
A common stack is to use Testosterone along with Trenbolone and EQ. Winstrol is another cutting steroid that stacks well with EQ. For mass gaining cycles, stacking EQ with Anadrol or Sustanon is an effective strategy for great results. Dianabol, Testosterone and Equipoise is another highly regarded stack with proven results.
Does EQ cause hair loss?
Boldenone comes with a much lower rate of androgenic activity compared with the hormone it is derived from: testosterone. This means the risk of androgenic side effects are reduced, but it is still possible for some users of Equipoise to experience androgenic effects like hair loss.
This particular side effect, also known as male pattern baldness, is highly genetically determined. Some guys are genetically certain to go bald later in life, and steroids like EQ can bring this on sooner. But those without any genetic predisposition to hair loss are almost certain not to experience this particular side effect with Equipoise or any other anabolic steroid.
What are the side effects of Equipoise?
EQ has relatively mild side effect risks compared to the more powerful steroids out there. This means it is well tolerated by most men, but also by women when used at lower doses. The higher your dose of EQ, the higher the risk of side effects and the more severe they can be. This is a rule that applies to all anabolic steroids.
Possible side effects with Equipoise include mild estrogenic effects like water retention and gyno, possible androgenic effects like acne and hair loss, moderate or low suppression of natural testosterone, and possible negative changes to cholesterol levels. All of these side effects are considered relatively easy to manage when using EQ.
Is EQ good for cutting?
This is an excellent steroid to include in a cutting cycle, particularly for the beginning of the cycle. Many users will choose to then stop using Equipoise for the remaining weeks of a cutting cycle while continuing with non-aromatizing steroids to eliminate all fluid retention. Equipoise is particularly good at retaining lean muscle tissue which is what makes it so valued for cutting purposes.
One of the downsides to using Equipoise for cutting however is the way it can boost your appetite, but this only occurs in some people. So a first time user of EQ would need to evaluate its impact on appetite.
Clearly, during a cutting cycle you don’t want a huge boost in appetite and if this is the case you need to weigh up the pros and cons of using this particular steroid during cutting cycles. As it is often used only at the start of a cutting cycle, the appetite increase may not have a particularly negative impact on your final results.
Is Equipoise illegal in USA?
Like all anabolic steroids, Equipoise is not legal to purchase or use in the USA or in most other countries. It is also banned by all sports doping authorities as a performance enhancing drug.
Buying EQ online comes with great risks both legally and for your health as there are many fake low quality products being sold under this name. As Equipoise is a veterinary product, vet-grade is the best and most desirable form but not always easy to find.
If you can locate legitimate veterinary grade Equipoise, it is not the cheapest of products and will likely cost anywhere from $50 and up for 10ml. Lower quality black market EQ can be as low as $30 per 10ml.
EQ has a long detection time once you stop using it and this can be up to 5 months after your last injection. This makes this steroid not so appealing for professional athletes or competitors who are likely to undergo drug testing since steroids that clear the system much quicker are preferred.
EQ can provide you with some slow and steady gains without the worry of fluid retention. Some gains in strength can be expected and it also excels at helping you retain lean tissue while cutting which is where it is often mostly used.
This is a versatile steroid that combines well with virtually all others. While it won’t deliver massive mass gains like some other steroids, it has a valued place in a well planned cycle particularly for cutting goals.
If you enjoyed this guide and would like more real, NO-BS information on cycling steroids, then pick up Straight From the Underground (my recommended underground steroid handbook). Everything in this book is based on first hand experience, not theory.