DHT is referred to as the androgenic metabolite of testosterone, as it is more potent in affecting sex glands (e.g., prostate, seminal vesicles) and invoking gender-specific changes (e.g., male-pattern balding, sebaceous gland hypertrophy and inflammation— or acne). DHT has long been considered to be irrelevant to muscle growth and strength. However, it appears that viewpoint is outdated and incorrect.
DHT was long thought not to affect muscle growth because it has a high androgenic:anabolic ratio— based on a comparison of the growth of the prostate with the growth of the levator ani muscle in mice. In fact, DHT is much more androgenic than testosterone, five times as much by that scale. Early research in anabolic steroid design sought to separate the androgenic (think gender-specific or male sexual effects) from the anabolic, creating drugs with androgenic:anabolic ratios that suggested ridiculous muscle growth.1 To demonstrate the madness, testosterone is the standard— and is considered to have an androgenic:anabolic ratio of 1:1 (actually 100:100, but let’s keep it simple). Nandrolone’s ratio is four times as “anabolic;” oxandrolone’s is 15-30 times as “anabolic.” No bodybuilder would say that either (by itself) provides greater (or even equal) muscle mass or strength gains than testosterone. DHT is, by this measure, less “anabolic”— one-fifth the value of testosterone.
“Test is best” is a quote that has long circulated through gyms, as it generally provides the gamut of size and strength as well or better than any other anabolic steroid. The downside to testosterone is the emergence of side effects such as gynecomastia due to estrogen conversion or hair loss due to androgenic effects.
Testosterone can be considered a prohormone in many tissues, as it is converted into either estradiol (a female sex steroid hormone) by aromatase or DHT by 5-alpha reductase (5AR). These enzymes are present in the tissues that are sensitive to the estrogenic or androgenic effects— breast tissue is high in aromatase, the prostate is high in 5AR. Muscle has generally been considered to be gender insensitive— responding to testosterone, not its estrogenic or androgenic metabolites. In fact, this is incorrect.
There are anabolic steroids that are DHT derived, rather than testosterone derived, such as Masteron, Primobolan and ironically oxandrolone. These anabolic steroids are typically used during pre-contest phases or by models/actors/posers seeking a hard, dry physique. DHT-derived steroids are not known for being mass builders or for being very efficient for strength increases. Aside from oxandrolone, DHT-derived steroids typically have more pronounced androgenic side effects. Female bodybuilders and athletes who use/abuse anabolic steroids typically avoid these due to the risk of voice deepening, facial hair and other “male-like” changes. Masteron and others in this class have antiestrogenic effects, possibly by inhibiting the aromatase pathway. Many male bodybuilders have noticed increased hair loss during cycles including this class of steroids.
DHT AND MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY
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TESTOSTERONE AND HAIR LOSS: How to Get Ahead
The simple fact is that most men are concerned about their looks; for the bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast, appearance is a strong factor in one’s satisfaction. It is undeniable that testosterone (T) directly impacts the physical health, function, and appearance of a man; as well, one’s mental health and cognitive abilities. In the chronology of life, testosterone’s effects produce milestones that easily identify the stages of life: the ultrasound’s shadow of a penis during pregnancy; a wispy mustache during adolescence; a deep voice during adulthood; and with its decline late in life, the loss of muscle, and erectile dysfunction.
TESTOSTERONE AND GH RESPONSES: FREE WEIGHTS VS. MACHINES
All forms of resistance training provide a stimulus that induces an anabolic-hormonal response, which contributes to adaptations associated with weight training such as muscle growth and strength. More precisely, weight training causes an increase in the two most prominent muscle-building hormones, testosterone and growth hormone (GH). Testosterone drives muscle growth by stimulating muscle protein synthesis and inhibiting muscle protein degradation. GH triggers greater muscle growth primarily by stimulating the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which has been shown to also potently stimulate muscle growth by increasing muscle cell protein synthesis.
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NEW RESEARCH: INTERMITTENT FASTING INCREASES AB FAT
Intermittent fasting, often referred to time-restricted eating, has become the latest diet craze not only for weight loss but also for enhancing health. Everyone from well-known celebrities to everyday, average people are trying intermittent fasting and claiming it is successful.
Lose Fat and Boost TESTOSTREONE
Every bodybuilder or athlete understands too much body fat can be detrimental. For the bodybuilder, too much body fat detracts from the physique. The athlete can’t carry too much body fat because it decreases speed and quickness, thus diminishing athletic performance. Although fat tissue can be physically unappealing to the bodybuilder while negatively influencing athletic prowess, fat cells also perform an additional function that can negatively impact the athlete and bodybuilder by drastically decreasing the production of the muscle-building hormone testosterone.
Lorie Forman LOOKING Great at 48!
Lorie Forman turned pro as a Bikini competitor at the 2015 NPC Universe, and was the first woman to score three pro card wins in one show and in every division she entered: Bikini Open, Masters Over 35 and Masters Over 40 and took home the Masters overall. But that’s not Lorie’s only remarkable achievement: at age 48, she looks and feels like a twenty-something athlete.
BRAD ROWE IFBB Pro and Trainer to the Stars!
Success in bodybuilding is often assumed to correlate with contest wins and high finishes at the Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic. Yet there are many other avenues available today, some far more lucrative than relying on prize money or even supplement contracts. One man who exemplifies the level of success possible beyond the stage is Brad Rowe. Though he was no slouch on stage, he gained far more visibility appearing in national commercials for companies like GoDaddy, Coca-Cola, Kia, Taco Bell and Dannon Oikos, some of which aired during Super Bowls. More recently, Brad’s prominence as an elite personal trainer got a major boost when Mike Tyson hired him to be his full-time strength and conditioning coach, training him for his 2020 comeback fight at age 54 with Roy Jones Jr. I spoke with fellow native New Englander Brad about why he stepped away from competing, how he became part of Mike Tyson’s training camp, and his major project that stands to make him one of the biggest players in the growing field of anti-aging and cutting-edge athletic performance.
Meet Thomas Connelly, DDS, Dentist to the Stars and IFBB Pro
A Tribute to THE INCREDIBLE ANDY HAMAN
In my 35 years as Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Muscular Development, I never met a guy like Andy Haman. We had one thing in common, we both wrestled in college. I went to Indiana State University on a wrestling scholarship and Andy went to the University of Iowa and became a championship wrestler. In 2007, Andy won the super heavyweight class at the NPC Masters bodybuilding championships, earning his pro card.
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Living With Food Intolerances
In the second installment of this series, we look into what solutions are offered for people dealing with food intolerance and how a bespoke meal plan from Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre can help to rid of the intolerance altogether.
Living With Food Intolerances
In a new two-part series, we visit the Dubai Herbal & Treatment Centre to learn firsthand all you need to know about identifying and living with food intolerances.