Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is naturally produced by the body that is critical for stimulating growth and the reproduction and regeneration of cells. Also known as Somatropin, HGH is responsible for many processes in our development and growth including the stimulation of IGF-1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1).
HGH appeals greatly to bodybuilders but it also comes with many more benefits than simply growth, and in fact muscle gains are not necessarily always highest priorities of people using HGH. Multiple other benefits come with using this hormone particularly when combined with anabolic steroids, including fat loss, recovery and rejuvenation.
HGH is often touted for its anti-aging benefits and many of those properties are also of great benefit to the fitness athlete or bodybuilder as the body is optimized for maximum performance with HGH impacting on some of the most important processes in the body that affect energy, improving body composition, sleep quality and bones and joints.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).
- What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
- HGH Benefits
- HGH Dosage
- HGH Cycles
- HGH Post Cycle Therapy
- HGH Results
- HGH Side Effects
- HGH vs. Alternatives
- HGH FAQs
- Final Thoughts
What is Human Growth Hormone (HGH)?
Just as testosterone is highly desirable to use in exogenous steroid form for bodybuilders and other athletes, so too is HGH. But it is very different from testosterone or from the steroids you might be accustomed to using.
HGH is not an anabolic steroid, but rather is known as a peptide hormone. The original Somatropin human growth hormone is an identical synthetic version of HGH which the human body naturally produces.
Although there are some other HGH variations out there, there’s only one identical form and it always goes by the name of Somatropin no matter what brand it is. This allows you to easily know when you’re getting a pure form of HGH.
HGH is a unique substance to use in a steroid cycle and should not be thought of in the same as steroids. Instead, it is a powerful complimentary addition to any steroid cycle because of the way it can drastically enhance the effects you’re used to getting with your steroids.
HGH provides a range of benefits which you mostly won’t find with any anabolic steroid. This can make it a very valuable addition to just about any type of steroid cycle.
The benefits of HGH extend way beyond physique enhancement and include benefits to the joints, skin, bones, recovery, sleep and mood. Unlike testosterone which most steroids are based on, HGH is not a male hormone and that means females can use HGH just as equally as men without the negative effects that steroids cause.
Growth hormone is very useful for experienced steroid users who have achieved a high level of physique enhancement and where further growth or progress seems to have come to a halt using steroids. The addition of HGH can propel the advanced bodybuilder beyond existing limits when used in combination with powerful steroids.
The main specific benefits you can see with HGH include:
- Strengthens the joints, tendons and bones:
- Improves recovery
- Promotes growth of lean muscle tissue
- Increases energy
- Decreases body fat and improves the metabolic rate
- Achieve a tighter and harder physique
Bonus benefits of HGH include a noticeable improvement in skin health, and better sleep quality which will greatly contribute to recovery and overall wellbeing.
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Human growth hormone when used medically is normally administered at low doses starting at just 1iu daily with 3iu usually being the upper limit with 4iu per day only used in very rare circumstances.
Steroid users will be accustomed to utilizing quite high doses of most compounds to get performance enhancing benefit, but this is not necessary or recommended with HGH.
In fact extending the dose beyond a certain point puts you at high risk of very serious health effects. The good news is that HGH is very effective even at the low doses that are used therapeutically and this can be a good place for new users to start.
More advanced users can increase the dosage slightly while keeping in mind that side effect risk will also increase. Below are some example doses to consider for various purposes.
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced HGH Dosage
When using anabolic steroids we can usually plan a dosage schedule according not only to personal goals, but experience level as well. When it comes to HGH your goals will play the most important role in determining your dose, rather than your past experience with either steroids or HGH, or both.
Since HGH is a compound mostly used by advanced people, beginners will always be advised to start at the very lowest dosage in order to evaluate how your body responds to HGH and how it interacts with any steroids you’re using in the cycle.
For male beginners, a HGH dose of between 2iu and 4iu daily will provide excellent physique benefits. Even intermediate and advanced users will often settle at this dosage level, with the difference being the more powerful steroid compounds being stacked with HGH.
Lower doses provide excellent physique enhancement, repair and recovery benefits as well as fat loss, but those wanting HGH to contribute to muscle growth in synergy with anabolic steroids will need to raise the dose up to 8iu daily. This should only be attempted by intermediate or advanced users.
It’s important to note that growth won’t come fast with HGH which is why it is not often used primarily for that purpose.
What HGH will do for intermediate and advanced users is provide a noticeable enhancement to your steroid cycle and for many advanced users that is the primary reason for using HGH. The obtain truly impressive growth with HGH at these higher doses would require much longer term use than is safe to do.
Female HGH users can enjoy the same benefits as male users without the virilization side effects of steroids. Women can gain great benefits with HGH at the lowest doses of 1iu or 2iu daily and most females will not look to raise these doses any further.
Proper HGH Administration and Timing
While injectable anabolic steroids are normally intramuscular, HGH injections are most often a subcutaneous injection – applied just under the skin.
Most people choose the stomach area for HGH injections because it’s easy to pinch the skin and apply the injection in the fat. Other recommended spots for injecting include the deltoid and thigh with the same injecting method used.
The injection site you choose is not going to have a direct affect on results; in other words, injecting into the stomach isn’t going to result in stomach fat being lost directly. Rather, the formula circulates around the body through the bloodstream via the liver.
Unlike anabolic steroids which often have a standard way to use them, your HGH cycle is going to depend on several factors with the most important being your goals and the other being what steroids you’re stacking it with.
Because HGH is a great addition to cycles with wide ranging goals from mass gaining to cutting, you will want to include it in the cycle to maximum effect with great consideration given to the other compounds. HGH is not fast acting substance.
You will not see instant or even somewhat fast results with it so it must be used at longer cycle lengths if it is going to be of any benefit. Short cycles of HGH will be of little to no use.
Therefore, whether you’re a beginner or very advanced user you will not want to use HGH for any less than 8 weeks; but twice or three times that length of time is considered optimal otherwise the effects of HGH may not have enough time to develop.
Beginner HGH Cycle
Using HGH is mostly limited to more advanced users so while beginners are unlikely to go with HGH in the early stages of experimenting with steroids, there may be the occasional person who wants to give it a go.
Beginners who want an all round result consisting of both muscle gains and fat loss will look at stacking HGH with a testosterone ester like Testosterone Cypionate. HGH should be used for at least 16 weeks at 4iu daily to get the full benefit, with testosterone at 400mg weekly for the second half of the cycle only.
Intermediate HGH Cycle
Those who are ready to add another compound to the above stack will be well served to make use of Trenbolone, a more advanced and potent steroid which will considerably add to the mass gains you can achieve.
HGH will enhance the effectiveness of both Testosterone Cypionate and Trenbolone Enanthate during this cycle. The total cycle length can last up to 6 months (24 weeks) if desired, depending on how you tolerate HGH and any side effects. At the very least this cycle should be run for 16 weeks to allow time for HGH to work.
Intermediate users can increase the HGH dose to 6iu daily, with both Trenbolone Enanthate and Testosterone Cypionate at 400mg weekly. These are both long lasting steroids which makes them ideal for a longer cycle. Like HGH, Trenbolone also increases IGF-1, making this combination a perfect match for both mass gaining and fat loss goals.
Advanced HGH Cycle
Trenbolone is perhaps the most advanced anabolic steroid one can use, so it should also be included in any advanced cycle with HGH. The difference with the most experienced users will be the addition of a dedicated cutting steroid such as Anavar and optionally the addition of a lesser known but very powerful hormone called T3 (Cytomel) which is highly useful near the end of the cycle to help reduce body fat to the leanest possible level.
This fat loss and cutting cycle is appealing as a pre-contest stack and also makes use of Trenbolone plus Testosterone, however testosterone in this cycle is used only at support levels, with Trenbolone taking on the primary anabolic role.
Water retention will also be minimized or prevented by using testosterone at a dose of 100mg weekly. This cycle can run for up to 24 weeks, with the compounds split between different parts of the cycle. HGH will be used for the entire cycle as its slow effects will have plenty of time to kick in, with a dose of 6iu daily.
Trenbolone at 400mg weekly, and Testosterone at 100mg weekly is useful in the last half of the cycle, with Anavar and T3 only included in the last third of the cycle; for a 24 week cycle these two compounds would be used only for the final 8 weeks. An Anavar dose of 80mg a day and T3 at 75mcg each day will serve the pre-contest user extremely well in obtaining a hardened, very lean physique with minimal body fat by the end of the cycle.
It is very common that HGH will be stacked with other steroids. It works very well as a complimentary compound in a cycle and HGH has a great synergy with most steroids allowing you to get the most out of both types of compounds. HGH on its own is not a great mass builder but can greatly elevate results when stacked with mass building steroids.
HGH can be stacked with virtually any steroid, and as we can see in the above example cycles, Testosterone, Trenbolone and Anavar will work very well in synergy with HGH.
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HGH Post Cycle Therapy
Post cycle therapy with steroid use is all about restoring your natural testosterone production after it has been suppressed by the steroids. Since HGH itself does not impact on your testosterone, this type of PCT is not required if you are using HGH alone.
However, since HGH will mostly be used stacked with at least one anabolic steroid, the user will need to undertake PCT in accordance with what’s most ideal for the steroid(s) you’re using in the cycle. Nolvadex and hCG are two very effective PCT solutions which will serve the user of any of the above cycles well when it comes to stimulating normal testosterone function again after steroid use.
One of the great uses of HGH is to promote fat loss, while some muscle growth and strength effects can be expected at higher doses, however these can take longer to become noticeable and will not be at the level you can obtain with steroids. HGH will however work very well in synergy with your mass gaining steroids to enhance their effects and ultimately boost your results.
This is why HGH became so popular with bodybuilders throughout the 1980s and beyond where they were able to break through barriers and limits that had been reached with anabolic steroid use alone. So overall, mass gains are certainly possibly with HGH as long as its used in a well planned steroid cycle for a suitable period of time, as it is not a fast acting substance.
HGH’s effect on the metabolism makes it a prime addition to a cutting cycle. One important function is to promote body fat as a prime energy source, ensuring the most efficient use of your existing fat is made possible. This makes HGH valued during pre-contest cycles, especially when stacked with powerful cutting steroids.
Users will notice excellent improvements in recovery and this relates to the wide ranging functions of HGH, from joint strengthening to improved sleep, the speeding of healing and muscle tissue repair.
No matter what your goals are, adding HGH to a steroid cycle is going to enhance your results substantially. The key is to give HGH enough time to be effective and this will usually mean including in a cycle for a minimum of 16 weeks, but up to 24 weeks is ideal for most users to get the best results.
Your results using HGH will, as with steroid use, highly depend on your nutrition and workout programs. You simply won’t get the desired results if your diet is awful and you aren’t sticking with a well planned and appropriate training routine matched with your goals and carried out for the duration of your cycle.
HGH Side Effects
While HGH isn’t an anabolic steroid, there are still some HGH side effects to be aware of but many of the ones you might be experienced with dealing with with anabolic steroid use won’t be an issue with HGH.
For example, there is no androgenic activity with this hormone nor will HGH have any impact on your testosterone function in the form of suppression. So what are the potential side effects when using HGH? Here’s what to look out for:
Androgenic and Estrogenic Side Effects
As steroid users we are used to certain types of side effects, but with HGH neither estrogenic or androgenic activity occurs. Unfortunately gynecomastia is still an indirect risk factor when using HGH, and this is due to the way that HGH interacts with estrogen.
So while HGH itself does not promote direct estrogenic activity, if you are going to be using strongly aromatizing anabolic steroids stacked with HGH you will want to be keeping on top of estrogen control, which is something you would certainly be doing anyway.
Perhaps the most common side effect of HGH is joint pain. While this might seem confusing because HGH has great benefits for the joints including for joint strength, possible pain can be caused by new connective tissue growth and some fluid retention in the joints.
The repair and growth of new joint tissue, while potentially coming with some pain, is a positive sign that HGH is working well. The retention of joint fluid causing pain will often subside after a short time, however it persists it can be controlled through lowering your HGH dose.
Users will want to monitor dosing according to pain levels. Very high doses will almost certainly result in this side effect, while those on low or moderate doses should be able to keep joint pain at manageable levels.
Numbness in Hands and Feet
Specifically known as carpal tunnel syndrome, this side effect is also caused by a build up of fluid in not only the joints but in connective tissue in tendons as well with the result being the nerves are touched and hands and feet can start feeling tingling or numb.
Regularly moving and stretching the hands, arms, legs and feet can help prevent or manage this side effect. Once again those on higher doses of HGH will likely experience this side effect more extremely but in all but the most severe of cases it should disappear once you stop using HGH.
This is when production of the thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland becomes deficient and the main result is a slowing of the metabolism, as the thyroid is central to regulating the metabolism. A slower metabolism will make it harder for you to lose fat, can zap your energy and bring about various negative health impacts.
If you begin suffering this condition while using HGH, it’s possible to utilize hypothyroidism treatment such as Liothyronine Sodium which is a synthetic thyroid hormone. See your doctor if you have concerns about your thyroid function before attempting any medications.
A lesser known risk is the development of diabetes type 2. It’s possible to develop this condition short term and the reason is HGH’s impact on blood sugar and a reduction in the sensitivity of insulin. Those with existing diabetic or blood glucose related conditions must pay strict attention when using HGH, but even those who are otherwise healthy will want to monitor blood glucose levels throughout a HGH cycle. Even lower doses of HGH can bring about changes in blood sugar and insulin function
Bone and Organ Growth
This effect is a concern when using HGH at very high doses over very long periods of time, and will not affect those using HGH sensibly at mild and moderate doses for relatively short periods.
Excessive bone growth takes years to become noticeable and can affect the head, hands and feet in particular. Excessive growth of the organs and tissues are also a dangerous effect of excessive HGH use.
These will be permanent mutations of the body so must be absolutely avoided by sticking with sensible use of growth hormone. Beginners can be at most risk through a lack of knowledge about dosing and long term use, hence why it’s critical to be educate about how HGH works and how to use it safely.
Gigantism in this form is the result of excessive HGH consumption at high doses over long periods of time such as several years. The majority of HGH users will never have to worry about this very serious but rare side effect.
Female Related Side Effects
Female users of HGH will welcome the lack of any virilization side effects as are almost certain with most anabolic steroid. That’s because HGH is not a male specific hormone and there are no androgenic effects.
HGH is considered quite safe to use at mild and moderate doses and those who are used to using anabolic steroids and dealing with their associated side effects will almost certainly find HGH to be much more manageable.
Only when used at higher doses for excessively long periods will HGH bring about serious negative effects as listed above, but sensible use should be well tolerated by most users. Steroid users are well versed in undertaking cycles with adequate breaks in between, and the same strategy should also be applied with HGH use.
HGH vs. Alternatives
I’m not here to give out medical advice, but I really recommend avoiding all use of HGH. While the benefits are very appealing, you can’t ignore the potential risks and this is why it’s well worth considering much safer HGH alternatives.
HGH comes with a long list of side effects, with some of them very serious like the potential for developing hypothyroidism and diabetes with continued use. This uncertainty makes using HGH fraught with danger and quite frankly, just not worth the risk.
This is why I strongly suggest taking a close look at HGH alternatives.
Many natural HGH replacements can offer very similar benefits, sometimes even better, but without those life destroying health risks.
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These aren’t the only reasons I can easily recommend HGH-X2 instead of HGH. The main reasons come down to the results you can get:
Big muscle gains, fat loss, quick recovery so you can get to that next workout sooner: these are the top benefits of HGH-X2.
Lots of people are successfully using HGH-X2 with impressive results. This stuff has virtually no side effects, HGH-like results and effects, and all without the nasty health impacts of risky HGH. HGH-X2 is highly recommended.
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Is HGH good for bulking?
HGH can be combined with just about any anabolic steroid and used for any goal including bulking. HGH itself won’t give you huge gains, but works in synergy with your steroids to maximize results. It also adds to the results you’ll get and your performance by improving recovery, enhancing joint strength and bone strength, and boosting energy.
Is HGH safer than steroids?
HGH is generally considered less risky than most anabolic steroids with less chance of severe side effects. This only applies to sensible use of HGH though including moderate doses and not using HGH consistently over periods of years – as this is where very serious health impacts can come along.
But for the majority of users, they will find that HGH is safe to use as it’s a hormone naturally produced in both females and males, making it equally suitable and effective for both genders unlike anabolic steroids which are mostly very harmful to women.
What are the negative effects of HGH?
HGH, when used appropriately at moderate doses for limited periods of time, does not come with the severe side effects that we see with most anabolic steroids. There are some negative impacts that some people will experience, mostly concerning joint pain, headaches and flu type symptoms. Some people won’t experience any negative effects at all when using HGH. More serious side effects are likely to occur at very high doses or when HGH is used continually for years, and this is to be avoided.
Why is HGH illegal?
HGH is legally used in medicine to treat some conditions relating to growth, but when it comes to performance enhancement or bodybuilding it is not legal to obtain or use without a prescription. In the US, HGH is not listed in the same way that anabolic steroids are but it’s still banned for use outside medical settings and in competition.
How much does HGH cost?
Compared with most anabolic steroids, HGH is expensive to buy. There’s a huge variation in pricing as well as a huge variation in quality of products. Unfortunately HGH is very often counterfeited and sold as an extremely low quality and inconsistent product that might not give you any benefits at all, despite the high price.
The best HGH is pharmaceutical grade from known brands rather than generic products. Pharma grade is expensive so only those on a higher budget should consider HGH as the low quality generics simply aren’t worth the risk. The exact cost will depend if you are buying HGH in small quantities or in bulk but it can cost up to $1000 and beyond for 100 units of pharmaceutical grade HGH.
Is HGH a steroid?
No, it’s a synthetic form of the naturally occurring human growth hormone which is produced in the human pituitary gland. Even though HGH does have high anabolic properties these are still not very effective at promoting huge muscle growth on its own which is why it is usually stacked with powerful anabolic steroids where bulking is the main goal.
Does HGH affect mood?
Men who use anabolic steroids are often concerned with increased aggression and mood changes as a side effect, but HGH works differently to testosterone. HGH itself can help improve mental wellbeing and mood, when used at sensible doses.
Negative mood changes are a potential side effect with higher doses of HGH as is potential dependency and withdrawal issues but this is not thought to be common, and is rarely even listed as a side effect. It is likely these possible impacts only affect people who use HGH at very high inappropriate doses and should not affect the average user.
How to properly prepare your HGH?
To properly prepare your HGH reconstitute it with 1 CC (1CC = 1ml) of bacteriostatic water. This will give you a concentration of 10iu’s of HGH per ml (1iu HGH/0.1 CC). Each 0.1cc on the insulin syringe will contain 1iu of HGH. This means that if you are taking 2iu’s/day then each vial will last you 5 days.
Where do bodybuilders inject HGH?
HGH is a subcutaneous injection, rather than an intramuscular injection like anabolic steroids. This makes it easier to inject for most people as you aren’t putting a needle into a hard muscle which can be painful.
Instead, the HGH injections goes just under the skin in part of the body where you are able to lift a small roll of fat to inject – for most people the stomach area will be most convenient due to the thinner skin that is easier to pinch with your fingers so you can safely administer the injection.
If you need to push past barriers and feel you’ve reached a brick wall with your progress, HGH can get you past that point and on to experiencing results that are not otherwise possible solely with steroids.
While this makes HGH mostly suitable for more advanced steroid users, with some careful planning beginners can also take advantage of growth hormone which has a vast array of positive benefits, and is considered generally very safe when used sensibly.