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6-Week or 12-week course of oxandrolone equally effective

If you give men, average age 72, a dose of 20 mg oxandrolone [structural formula shown below], they'll get stronger and more muscular. During the first six weeks of the course the progression is clear to see. But if you get them to continue for another six weeks, the men gain little extra muscle mass or strength. Researchers at the University of Southern California published an article on the subject in 2005.



The researchers gave a group of about 20 men one tab of Oxandrin twice a day. Each tab contained 10 mg of anabolic steroid. A control group of about 10 men were given a placebo. None of the men did any training.

In an earlier experiment, the researchers had given older men oxandrolone for 12 weeks and discovered that after the course finished the subjects lost all the muscle mass they'd gained. [J Appl Physiol. 2004 Mar; 96(3): 1055-62.] In that study the test subjects didn't train either, which probably explains why the men lost all the muscle mass and strength they'd gained.

The researchers fear that their results mean that men who want to keep their muscle mass up will have to use steroids continuously. Not such a good idea, they note. They also discovered that oxandrolone, which was considered to be safe, actually raised the men's cholesterol levels and slightly increased their chance of developing prostate cancer.

Strength training is a safer way to build muscles, the researchers concluded. Maybe oxandrolone can play a role, however, but in shorter and therefore safer courses. But do these short courses work? That's the question this study set out to answer.

The answer is 'yes'. The table below summarises the changes in strength and body composition that the researchers recorded in their subjects after 6 and 12 weeks. There's a clear gain after 6 weeks. But another 6 weeks of supplementation leads to hardly any extra gain.

6-Week or 12-week course of oxandrolone equally effective

The figure below shows the effect on lean body mass : bodyweight minus fat mass. Black bar: gain after 6 weeks; white bar: gain after 12 weeks.

6-Week or 12-week course of oxandrolone equally effective

The figure below shows the effect on the amount of weight at which the test subjects could do just 1 rep of the leg-press and the leg-curl.

6-Week or 12-week course of oxandrolone equally effective

"The most important finding of this study was that more than 90% of the gains in total lean body mass and skeletal muscle strength were achieved by study week 6", the researchers write.

That most gain is made during the first six weeks of a course was not a new finding for the researchers. Many doctors who supervise steroids users recommend short-duration courses.

"After 4-6 weeks you don't build up much extra muscle on steroids", a doctor told us. "If you do continue with them, all you do is put extra strain on your body and your hormonal axis. It may be better to stop, let your body recover and make sure you retain as much as possible of the muscle mass you've gained."

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005 Dec; 60(12): 1586-92.

Low dose of testosterone plus a couple of oxandrolone tabs just as effective as a megadose of testosterone 28.03.2010
Medical study: twelve weeks on oxandrolone 21.01.2009