Trenbolone (Tren) is considered to be the most powerful androgenic-anabolic steroid (AAS) available, with an exceptionally high ratio of anabolic to androgenic effects. This means Tren has extremely powerful effects of both the anabolic and androgenic types and is not the best choice for your first steroid cycle.
Unlike other steroids out there, Tren has no current approved medical use for humans and was mainly developed for use in the veterinary world. Nowadays, only Trenbolone Acetate continues to be used in veterinary medicine.
When used as an androgen and anabolic steroid by bodybuilders and athletes, Trenbolone is often stacked with other compounds. Most importantly is a combined use of Tren with a testosterone ester compound – usually with a short ester like Testosterone Propionate, to help with suppressed testosterone production caused by Tren.
Trenbolone itself is five times as powerful as testosterone and therefore should be used with caution even by intermediate steroid users.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs).
What is Trenbolone?
If you’ve heard of the Nandrolone steroid, more commonly called Deca Durabolin, then you’ll know just how powerful it is.
Trenbolone is a derivative of Nandrolone with a slight modification to the chemical structure, which is enough to give Trenbolone different effects on the body.
Tren is considered superior to the original nandrolone compound on its own with the main benefits being: Tren has a slower metabolism, attaches to the androgen receptor better, prevents aromatic compounds from forming.
Besides the exceptionally powerful results Tren is capable of delivering, the other huge benefit of this steroid is that it does not aromatize so you don’t get the estrogen conversion that we see with most other androgen and anabolic steroid compounds.
A major advantage of Tren is that it doesn’t cause water retention like so many other steroids do which is one of the big reasons it’s so popular cutting and gaining a super hard and ripped physique without the bloat.
On the downside, similar side effects to other steroids are still possible because Tren is a progestin which, sorry to say, can also make you more prone to gyno. Because people often combine an aromatizing steroid like testosterone with Tren, anti-estrogen treatment is often still undertaken and post cycle therapy (PCT) is still mandatory following a Tren cycle.
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Trenbolone Acetate vs. Trenbolone Enanthate vs. Parabolan (Tren-Hex)
The three main forms or esters of Trenbolone are Trenbolone Enanthate, Trenbolone Acetate and Trenbolone hexahydrobenzylcarbonate (Tren-Hex for short or Parabolan as the brand name). These are all developed as prodrugs, meaning they are an inactive form until they are metabolized in the body, where they then are converted into Trenbolone.
Trenbolone acetate was developed for veterinary use in cattle to improve muscle mass. It has an elimination half life of just two to three days. This is considered to be the most potent of these three Tren esters with the highest percentage of active Trenbolone per 100mg.
Because it is so fast acting, Tren acetate requires more frequent injections in a cycle, with every other day being the most common protocol. Trenbolone acetate is the most commonly used form of Tren by anabolic steroid users.
Trenbolone enanthate has a 7 day half life and this is an ester that was never released to market, but can still be found on the black market today.
Tren enanthate is a slower acting form but brings the same benefits like huge increases in muscle mass, nitrogen retention, boosted protein synthesis and a big gain in endurance.
Parabolan or Tren-hex has a half life of 14 days and is a long acting injectable compound which was discontinued in production in the late 1990s. Besides the longer half life, Parabolan is considered to have the same properties and effects as Trenbolone acetate.
Although some people might be tempted to combine multiple forms of Tren in a cycle, this has no benefit since they are all so chemically similar. Instead, it would result in a dangerously high dosage and magnification of side effects. Stacking Trenbolone with other types of steroids however can be very beneficial for more experienced users.
Trenbolone Acetate (Tren-Ace) Cycle
This is an exceptionally fast acting form of Trenbolone with a rapid half life that quickly gets the compound taken up into the bloodstream. It has a half life of just three days. Although the effects of Tren-Ace are virtually identical to those of Tren-E, Tren Ace is hard to beat.
The benefits of using Trenbolone Acetate include massive boost to mass and strength, extremely fast results and excellent muscle hardening. There are also some Tren Ace side effects such as: loss of libido, gyno due to progestin properties, baldness if pre-disposed to it genetically, acne, raised cholesterol and excess sweating.
Beginners should look at using no more than 200mg weekly in a Tren Ace cycle, with 100mg being most recommended. A cycle length of anywhere between 8 and 16 weeks is possible with good results from Tren-Ace.
More advanced users can boost the dosage up to 500mg per week maximum, as long as preparations and awareness for the associated side effects are made. To counter some of these side effects, combining Tren-Ace with a testosterone steroid is often done.
Trenbolone Enanthate (Tren-E) Cycle
Commonly known as Trenabol, this is a derivative of the nandrolone anabolic-androgenic steroid. Tren Enanthate is a long acting form of Trenbolone. As with all Trenbolone cycles, it’s always recommended to use Trenabol alongside testosterone to make up for the slow down in natural testosterone production.
The main benefits of Trenabol include: significantly boosted protein synthesis, enhanced nitrogen retention to keep the body in an anabolic state, boosted oxygen supply to the muscles, improved IGF-1 function, fast recovery, increased endurance and more. Tren Enanthate is useful for both bulking and cutting.
Possible side effects include: low libido and erectile dysfunction if not used with testosterone, high cholesterol, acne, head hair loss, gynecomastia and insomnia.
An 8-16 week cycle is suitable for a Tren enanthate cycle at 100 to 300mg weekly for a beginner to intermediate user. This is still considered a very strong dosage of Tren with powerful effects. Experienced users of Trenabol increase dosage to 500mg per week, either in multiple injections or in the case of highly experienced people, in one single injection.
Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate (Tren-Hex) Cycle
Known under its brand name Parabolan, Tren-Hex is a much more longer acting and slower release form of Trenbolone compared with the acetate variant. Tren-Hex has a much longer half life of 14 days and therefore requires less frequent injections to maintain optimal levels.
Like all forms of Tren, high doses of Tren-Hex aren’t required due to the fact this is such a powerful steroid (five times as powerful as testosterone). Tren Hex is great for bulking, strength and lean mass gains, but also powerful for cutting and fat loss. It does not aromatize into estrogen so no bloating or water retention and can deliver a hard, vascular physique with the right diet.
Possible side effects of using Tren Hex are coughing fits after injecting, insomnia, excessive sweating, mood changes and aggression, acne, hair loss on the head and body hair growth.
Your tolerance levels will determine the best dosage for your needs, as will the inclusion of other compounds in your cycle. First time users should start with a low dose of this very powerful steroid.
A common dosage cycle is between 150mg and 250mg weekly. But more advanced users might take the dosage to over 400mg weekly – this is not recommended for beginners and comes with considerably higher risks of side effects.
Tren Cycle For Bulking
A 12 week cycle for bulking can consists of a steady 200mg-400mg trenbolone per week for the whole 12 weeks, depending which other compounds are being used and how powerful they are. A common stack includes the use of a testosterone ester and Winstrol for the last few weeks of a cycle.
Tren Cycle For Cutting
Trenbolone acetate is considered the best form of Tren for a cutting cycle. The recommended dosage is similar to that used for bulking for the majority of users, save for the most experienced and advanced users who are confident in consuming higher dosages.
A quality cycle for cutting using Tren acetate is to take 75 to 100mg two to three times weekly for 4 weeks, increasing the dosage to 100mg to 150mg for the next 8 weeks of the cycle. As Tren acetate leaves the body quickly, more frequent injections are required. As with a Trenbolone bulking cycle, making use of other compounds like Dianabol or testosterone helps keep some side effects in check.
12-week Tren/Clenbuterol/Test Cycle
For this cycle you’ll inject every day for 12 weeks:
- Week 1-12 – 50 mg/day Test Propionate, 50-75mg/day Trenbolone Acetate, 0.5mg/eod Arimidex. Throughout the cycle use a Dopamine agonist like Dostinex to reduce the amount of prolactin if necessary.
- (Optional) Week 1-2 – 80-120mcg/day Clenbuterol
- (Optional) Week 9-12 – 40mg/day Halotestin for maximum hardness of the physique
- PCT – start 3-4 days after your last shot with 100mg/day Clomid for 10 days and continue with 50mg/day Clomid for another 10 days (or Nolvadex at 40/40/20/20).
Beginner Tren Cycle
Although Tren isn’t generally recommended for a beginner because it’s so powerful, if you are determined to give it a go as a new steroid user then limiting dosage to no more than 200mg per week for a 12 week cycle will allow you to evaluate not only the results you get with Tren, but also how you handle the side effects.
Intermediate Tren Cycle
300 to 500mg per week for 10-12 weeks is considered an effective Tren cycle for intermediate users, combined with at least one other compound such as testosterone propionate for 12 weeks.
Advanced Tren Cycle
The most advanced Tren users will increase dosage to 750mg per week for 12 weeks, or even up to 1000mg weekly, but it’s advised not to exceed 1000mg which is an exceptionally high dosage.
An advanced cycle runs for 12 weeks, often starting with a lower dose and increasing it for the second half of the cycle, while combining with other compounds like testosterone enanthate at 1000mg weekly and a low dose of Anavar (Oxandrolone) up to 100mg weekly.
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Trenbolone Post Cycle Therapy
PCT for Trenbolone is similar to that of most other steroids, with the two main goals being to retain your gains and to get your normal testosterone function back to work because Tren suppresses and can completely switch of natural hormone production.
To avoid a complete hormone crash post Tren cycle, you need a post cycle therapy (PCT) plan. There is no one single one-size-fits-all PCT protocol out there for Tren or any other steroid. For many people it’s a case of trial and error and eventually you will find a method that works best for you.
When using Tren acetate alone in a cycle, PCT should be started three days after your final injection and run for four weeks. Clomid, Nolvadex and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) are three PCT drugs that can be used together, but some people use a PCT cycle without the use of HCG at all. For example:
- Week 1: Clomid 100mg, Nolvadex 20mg daily
- Weeks 2 -3: Clomid 50mg, Nolvadex 20mg daily
- Week 4: Nolvadex 20mg daily
While there are many options when it comes to PCT, using either aromatase inhibitors or SERMs, the above provides an example of a simple and effective post cycle therapy protocol for Trenbolone.
You can use Trenbolone in either bulking or cutting cycles. Trenbolone acetate is considered the best type for cutting, but if Trenbolone Enanthate is all you have access to then it’s certainly no slouch in the cutting department, particularly as we don’t have to worry about water retention.
Results for both cutting and bulking come about thanks to Trenbolone’s ability to boost lipolysis, which ensures stored fat is used as energy, so more fat is burned and more muscle grows – and this happens very quickly thanks to the huge power of this steroid.
Typical results you can expect from Trenbolone include:
- Fast bulking from boosted protein synthesis – This creates a highly active anabolic environment where muscle is quickly repaired and grown bringing about quick and massive gains. Boosted anabolic activity also makes it easier and faster to cut fat and use up stored fat for energy while conserving existing lean muscle.
- Increased nitrogen retention – Trenbolone maintains a positive nitrogen balance so there’s no risk of muscle catabolism. This also helps boost performance and lifting ability while enhancing recovery and growth.
- Enhanced IGF-1 levels – Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 is boosted by the powerful anabolic effect that Trenbolone has on the activity of androgen receptors. Due to a rise in this hormone, the growth of skeletal muscle protein is increased. This hormone is important for so many body processes and is critical for fast recovery.
- Improved food uptake – Tren was originally developed to improve feed efficiency in cattle, so it’s not surprising it has a similar effect in humans. Feed efficiency refers to how much muscle you gain from the amount of food you’re consuming by helping the body make optimal use of every calorie and nutrient you eat.
- Fast recovery – As you gain in strength, power, endurance and muscle from Tren, the harder you’ll be pushing in the gym and the more stress your muscle tissue will come under. Rapid recovery with Tren repairing muscle tissue quickly gets more muscle growing and gets you back in the gym for the next workout sooner. Tren is beneficial for reducing and even avoiding DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), so your downtime between workouts is minimal.
All of the above happens at an exceptionally fast rate compared with most other steroids.
We know that Tren can deliver massive gains in strength and muscle in a very short period of time. These are the big reasons this steroid is used by so many people, combing with its fat burning ability, Tren is very popular not only with the most hardcore bodybuilders but also fitness models and physique competitors.
Trenbolone Side Effects
Regardless of which form of Trenbolone you use, all pretty much come with the same set of side effect risks. This is a hugely powerful steroid so we can expect the potential side effects of Trenbolone to be quite powerful as well.
While some people prefer to use Tren-E because they believe it comes with less side effects, this isn’t proven and side effects are an individual thing rather than a black and white rule. The main side effects of Trenbolone we need to worry about include:
- Oily skin and acne – Just like with other androgenic and anabolic steroids, Tren comes with the dreaded problem of causing increased sebaceous activity of the skin, resulting in oiliness and possibly acne if you’re predisposed to acne. It’s not only the skin that can become more oily either because it can also affect your hair.
- Anger and mood changes – With alterations in brain chemistry, your normally calm demeanour can become one with a much shorter fuse and liable to outbursts, rage and irrational anger that seems difficult to control. This is one of the more serious side effects of Tren and one that can impact on relationships, employment and other aspects of life if not kept in control.
- Hair loss – Baldness is an androgenic effect we see with most steroids and it’s much more likely to happen if your family has a history of baldness – it was potentially going to happen to you eventually in life, but Tren can bring it on much quicker.
- Tren cough – This is a rather unique side effect when it comes to Tren but not with most other steroids, and it’s mainly because this is such a powerful compound. Tren cough often happens immediately after injecting the compound. The sudden cough comes about because Tren can cause distress to the respiratory system; a potent effect of its fat burning ability. It can cause very low levels of oxygen in the blood which can be dangerous. Restriction of the blood vessels in the lung’s air brings about this irritating cough.
- Erectile dysfunction and Hypogonadism – Like all AAS, Tren also causes dysfunction in this area thanks to the way it suppresses your natural production of testosterone, causing levels to plummet. This is where PCT is so critical in getting things back to normal following your Tren cycle and of course is one of the main reasons why using a testosterone ester alongside Tren is par for the course. The higher the dosage, the more pronounced sexual problems like low libido and decreased semen volume are likely to be.
- Heart Attack – While a lot more serious than a mere side effect, we see the medical evidence of cardiovascular issues that come with heavy Tren use. One study focused on a 23 year old male who experienced a heart attack after ongoing Trenbolone Acetate use.
- Tren Flu – Flu-like symptoms can have you feeling down in the dumps while on a Tren cycle. Signs include night sweats, cold and hot sweats during the day, the shakes or shivering, nausea, light headed or dizzy feeling, runny nose and coughing or chest congestion. Tren flu can catch new users by surprise so it’s vital to be aware of it so it doesn’t impact on your workouts and diet.
Unlike many other AAS steroids, like testosterone, Tren is not estrogenic and so you are not going to experience the water retention issues that we see with other steroids. Despite this, due to other hormone activity it’s still possible to experience such effects like gyno.
However, Tren has a very strong androgenic nature and as such, we can expect the associated side effects which come with that as being one of the downsides to using such a powerful steroid.
How long does it take for trenbolone to kick in?
The fastest acting form is Tren acetate which starts taking effect quickly once injected, and also leaves the body faster than Tren enanthate. To start seeing the full effects of Tren after starting a cycle, it takes about a week to fully kick in. As a Tren cycle is normally anywhere from 8 to 16 weeks long, this gives plenty of time to enjoy the immensely powerful effects of this steroid.
Is Trenbolone illegal?
Trenbolone is classed as a Schedule III controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act in the USA and is also illegal for use in most other places around the world. Buying Trenbolone from an underground lab is also illegal. No form of Trenbolone is now used clinically for humans, with only veterinary use approved in some countries.
Trenbolone enanthate is no longer approved for any type of use and is only found on the black market. Trenbolone is therefore illegal for any type of use as an anabolic steroid and is subject to sanctions by all world sports anti-doping organizations.
Does trenbolone cause hair loss?
The androgenic activity of Trenbolone can bring about hair loss on the head, but increased hair growth on the face and body. If you have male pattern baldness in your genes (check your father’s and grandfather’s head), you’re at increased risk of losing hair on the head when using Trenbolone compared to guys who aren’t predisposed to baldness.
What is Tren-flu?
This is different from tren cough, although a cough can also be involved and actually involves real flu type symptoms. Tren-flu is considered a fairly common side effect and a really dreaded one, because the last thing you feel like doing when you have the flu is working out. Symptoms of tren-flu can include sweating, headache, dizziness, fever and other signs you’d expect to be similar to a real flu.
Does Tren raise cholesterol?
It is known that Trenbolone can cause a reduction in the levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and an increase in bad cholesterol levels (LDL). Maintaining a quality diet that keeps cholesterol in mind is therefore critical to mitigate this problem.
One of the best ways to do this is consume high amounts of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids which assist with cholesterol control – oily fish is a prime source and is already likely to be a part of a serious bodybuilder’s diet.
Does trenbolone make you aggressive?
Mood swings and anger are two noted side effects of Tren and these can be worse the higher your dosage is and how sensitive you are to it. For some users, anger and aggression issues can be experienced even in low doses of this very powerful steroid.
Often called “tren rage”, it is often believed that people who already have an aggressive nature before using Tren are much more likely to become worse while on it. The main reason for so called Tren-rage is because of the effect the androgenic compounds are having on brain chemistry, causing irritability and a short fuse in some guys.
What causes Tren cough?
When the blood vessels of the muscular wall of the airways are constricted, Tren cough is triggered. We still don’t know exactly why this happens, but experts know it is related to a respiratory distress reaction. Tren cough can often take the form of an uncontrollable coughing fit and is one of the most irritating side effects that comes with this steroid.
What is the best way to stack Tren for a beginner?
Here is a good Trenbolone/Test cycle:
250mg/week of Test E + 250mg/week of Tren E for 6 – 8 weeks. It’s enough gear and a combo that will definitely give results.
Another one but this time we’ll add Anavar:
I’d myself run a 8 week cycle with 300mg/week Tren, 300mg/week Test Prop, 50mg/day Anavar (load 100mg Tren and 100mg Test Prop in same needle, and go Mon/Wed/Fri). For PCT wait 10-12 days after your last shot and use 50mg/day Clomid for 3 weeks, along with 0.5mg/day Arimidex.
Another cycle that I’d suggest (DBol/Tren/Test cycle):
- Week 1-6: 30-40mg/day Dbol (split throughout day) or 10-30mg/day Superdrol, 500mg/week Test Cyp or Test Enanthate (2 shots a week at 250mg)
- Weeks 7-12: 100mg/eod Tren A, 500mg/week Test (2 shots a week at 250mg)
Recovery: Wait 2 full weeks after your last shot to begin Clomid. I’d go 100mg/day Clomid days 1-10, then 50mg/day Clomid on days 11-20. I’d also use 0.5mg/day Arimidex for 4-6 weeks post cycle, and start it the day after your last shot. It’s probably better if you can use 0.5mg/eod (e3d) Arimidex throughout the entire cycle, you’ll just look much better.
Can women use Trenbolone?
With such a powerful androgenic effect, Tren is never recommended for use by females. If a woman uses this steroid, the development of male characteristics will take place quickly: this includes body hair, a deeper voice, broad shoulders and male jawline, and even growth of the genitalia to resemble a penis. It goes without saying that Trenbolone is entirely unsuitable for females.
My Conclusion and Recommendation
Still with me? Good. It’s time to recap. Way more powerful than testosterone and extremely useful for both bulking and cutting, Trenbolone boosts the powerful anabolic hormone IGF-1 which increases lean body mass.
Trenbolone also boosts metabolism and comes with the benefit of not causing water retention. Without the water retention problems, Tren keeps you dry and lean and is an ultimate cutting and conditioning steroid.
I can’t deny that Trenbolone works amazingly well. But its significant side effect profile means that the vast majority of people will never even think about using something like Trenbolone.
There are many good reasons to be cautious! Trenbolone is not for the faint hearted, being one of the most powerful steroids with side effects that are some of the worst you’ll come across.