Anabolic Stacks: A Guide to Maximum Muscle Growth with SOMAL & HALO

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Everybody wants that extra edge, no matter if you’re an athlete, professional bodybuilder or regular gym goer. Performance enhancing supplements are more popular than ever.

In the pursuit of muscle growth, there are many lanes that can be improved to affect your end results. How you train, how you eat, how much you sleep etc. The variables might seem endless.

However, your body is built from what you put into it, and it grows to adapt to the demands you put on it using this fuel. The first step is always nutrition, to provide adequate fuel for physical change. This is also the most important pathway we can tweak to affect our end results.

Proper nutrition is critical for growth, but other substances consumed through this pathway can also significantly affect your physical outcome. Supplements are today a crucial aspect of sports nutrition since they offer a precise and convenient way to harness the benefits of ‘adequate nutrients,’ as well as enhance the functioning of our body through specific dosages of substances proven to exert ergogenic (performance enhancing) effects.

In this article, we want to talk about our flagship lines of anabolic and hormone boosting supplements and how you can use these to transform your physique completely. Sounds interesting?

It is time to get serious with some very serious supplements!

An Introduction to Our Different Lines of Anabolic Supplements

Anabolism is the process of building and repairing tissues, while catabolism is the opposite, the breakdown of tissues. To build maximum muscle mass, you want to promote an anabolic environment in your body. This is done through properly timed training, adequate nutrients and rest, but can also be enhanced by using specific dietary supplements that further promotes anabolism in the body.

Supplement wise, it all boils down to this; there are two different types of anabolic dietary supplements on the market. Prohormones, which are usually hormone metabolites that occur naturally in the body, as well as natural anabolics, derived from plants or animal sources.

None of these is the same thing as anabolic steroids, as they are legal, and almost always found naturally in the body or nature. Anabolic steroids and synthetic testosterone bind directly to androgen receptors in the body and exert their effects, but prohormones or natural anabolics rather promote the body’s own natural processes and can be further broken down into powerful anabolic hormones.

DHEA: The Precursor to All Anabolic Hormones

The hormone DHEA is the precursor of which your body uses to manufacture sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen. Recent research has shown DHEA to be implicated in the aging process and has even been called the “youth hormone,” because of its myriad of beneficial effects in the body from everything to muscle growth, libido, depression, and bone strength.

Since DHEA is the building block of testosterone, you need adequate levels of DHEA to have any testosterone, to begin with. In a similar fashion to testosterone, levels of DHEA decrease with age, hence bioidentical DHEA supplements have become very popular for aging men and men struggling with low testosterone levels.

One drawback of DHEA supplementation though, is that its conversion into estrogen can be high, especially when administered in high doses. Side effects of excess estrogen can overshadow the testosterone boosting properties of DHEA, making it not very suitable as a supplement for boosting hormones such as testosterone.

In fact, when compared to other DHEA isomers that we will talk about next, regular DHEA is more estrogenic than it is androgenic or anabolic in its effects profile. However, lower dosed it is great as an anti-aging supplement for men.

The SOMAL Line of Powerful Prohormones

Our flagship line of prohormones is the SOMAL line of supplements, containing the best of the best in terms of DHEA derived prohormones.

So what’s the deal with DHEA isomers?

DHEA naturally occurs in the body in several different forms (isomers) and metabolites, many of which have drastically different effect profiles than regular DHEA. By supplementing with isolated, larger amounts of these various DHEA isomers, we can reap the unique benefits of them for performance and muscle growth effects.

Since they naturally occur in the body, they have a high safety profile compared to synthetic compounds such as anabolic steroids. They are also completely void of liver toxicity, which is often one of the most common issues with anabolic steroid use.

The SOMAL line of supplements consists of three different products, SOMAL-1, SOMAL-4 and SOMAL-NOR – all three contain different types of DHEA isomers that all have anabolic muscle promoting effects, but certain fundamental differences that separate them from each other.

They are all precursors to some of the most potent anabolic hormones in the body such as 1-Androstenediol/dione, 4-Androstenediol/dione, and 19-nordiol/dione. These hormones are all banned in their pure form as supplements, but the DHEA isomers remain legal and convert to these powerful hormones in the body through enzymatic reactions.

SOMAL-1 (1-DHEA):

Containing the most androgenic and anabolic DHEA isomer ‘1-DHEA’ among all the SOMAL products, SOMAL-1 is a very potent prohormone that increases nitrogen retention, boosting muscle growth and accelerating recovery from exercise. In fact, it might just be the most potent prohormone still readily available on the market.

Best used as a strength and mass builder, 1-DHEA is considered a dry prohormone because it cannot aromatize into estrogen or testosterone. Rather it is converted into 1-testosterone in the body which is an entirely non-estrogenic form of testosterone. Hence, it reduces bloat and has a hardening effect on muscle definition.

Because of its complete lack of estrogenic effects, SOMAL-1 is a good product to stack together with other DHEA isomers such as those found in either SOMAL-4 or SOMAL-NOR, since it would not add to the potential mild estrogenic side effect profile, only provide further benefits.

SOMAL-1 is very safe since it is naturally occurring and completely non-toxic, however, like all the DHEA isomers it can suppress natural testosterone production and hence it is highly recommended to run a PCT cycle when stopping its use. PCT (post cycle therapy) helps to bring your endocrine system back on track after running a prohormone; we recommend a product such as our AFTERMATH supplement specifically designed for rebooting your natural testosterone production as quick as possible.

SOMAL-4 (4-DHEA):

The 4-DHEA isomer is much stronger than regular DHEA, and while it still carries a similar mild estrogen conversion potential, it is much more androgenic and anabolic in nature than DHEA. While 4-DHEA is not as potent as 1-DHEA, it is one of the only prohormones left on the market that converts to testosterone, the hormone all men want more of (not same as the 1-testosterone from 1-DHEA). Because of its conversion to testosterone, it would bring greater well-being and libido effects compared to 1-DHEA.

Some like to stack 4-DHEA with DHEA-1 to counteract the potential side effects of lethargy sometimes brought on by 1-DHEA. Lethargy is simply a state of mental fatigue that can sometimes be brought on by prohormone use. DHEA-1 is more powerful but does not come with the same growth hormone and IGF-1 boosting effects that 4-DHEA possess.

For people that struggle with anemia or would benefit from the endurance aspect of a higher blood volume, 4-DHEA can help your body build more blood and improve oxygenation.

Like with all the DHEA isomers, running a PCT cycle after using them for a cycle period is recommended as they tend to shut down natural testosterone production to different degrees. Since 4-DHEA easier converts to estrogen because of its conversion into testosterone, discontinue use if you experience excess water retention, bloat or sensitive nipples.

SOMAL-NOR (19-NOR-DHEA):

The 19-Nor-DHEA in our SOMAL-NOR product is somewhat unique compared to SOMAL-1 and SOMAL-4 as the molecule is a precursor to the anabolic steroid nandrolone (also called Deca). It has to go through 2 enzymatic reactions in the body before it is turned into Nandrolone which has been shown to be 6 times more anabolic than testosterone. This is the only prohormone on the market that converts into Nandrolone.

However, the best part about 19-Nor-DHEA is not how strong of an anabolic it is; it is that it cannot be converted into the hormone DHT by the body and only about 20% of it will be converted into estrogen compared to testosterone. This gives it a low side effect profile when dosed correctly and has a much lower risk of androgenic side effects such as hair loss and prostate enlargement. It is also not liver toxic same as the other DHEA isomers.

Another unique aspect of  19-NOR-DHEA and Nandrolone is that it promotes joint health and can help prevent joint pain, improve recovery and accelerate healing.

HALO: Nature’s Most Powerful Anabolic:

Our body naturally contain plenty of anabolic compounds, such as the DHEA isomers we just discussed in our SOMAL line of products. However, nature has also provided anabolic compounds to some of the plants in our environment and lucky for us; we can reap their benefits by simply consuming them.

HALO is our most recently launched natural anabolic, which contains a high dosage of Laxogenin, a vigorous plant based steroidal sapogenin isolated from the rhizomes of a plant native to Asia. It has been extensively studied for its anabolic effects even as far back as 1963, however, as a supplement it has not grown popular until the last decade.

Laxogenin promotes growth and vitality of the plant, and some of these effects also translate to humans when consumed. By increasing protein synthesis in your muscle, Laxogenin can prevent muscle breakdown and argument growth. It also possesses powerful anti-catabolic effects, lowering the amounts of the catabolic stress hormone cortisol in our body, which can otherwise break down muscle mass when presented in excess such as from overtraining.

By promoting nitrogen retention, HALO is the perfect supplement for lean gains, accelerated recovery and increasing muscle strength, even while dieting on a calorie deficit. Compared to our SOMAL products, HALO does not affect your body own hormones or endocrine system, meaning it is completely safe and side effect free, even when used for prolonged periods of time.

Since HALO is such a safe and easy to use natural anabolic, it can be stacked and combined with anything, making it a great and very versatile supplement to run both during bulking, cutting as well as during maintenance. It is also suitable for use during PCT to make sure you retain maximum amounts of muscle gains from your prohormone cycles.

Which Product Is the Best for Me?

When choosing an anabolic supplement to aid muscle growth, there is one important question you want to ask yourself. Do you prefer to have to run PCT or not?

When dealing with prohormones, PCT is critical to preserving hormonal balance as well as maximum gains after cycle. In other words, running a cycle of our SOMAL products requires more care and an extra PCT supplement cycle (for example using our product AFTERMATH) for best results.

Also if you have issues with your hormonal balance (such as excess estrogen), you need to monitor yourself for side effects carefully. Avoid SOMAL-4 and SOMAL-NOR if you have problems with estrogen, rather opt for SOMAL-1 which does not influence estrogen at all.

On the other hand, prohormones such as those in our SOMAL line of products are among the most potent supplements for muscle growth currently out there on the market. If you are looking for maximum results and products which actually brings you what they promise, look no further than these. But also remember, no pain, no gain. You need to spend time lifting those weights for the effects from these supplements to really shine.

If you prefer not to mess around with your body’s hormone levels and want to keep it as natural as possible, along with ease of use, HALO is your best bet. Since HALO directly works on your rate of muscle protein synthesis, recovery, and acts as an anti-catabolic agent, it will leave your endocrine system untouched, requiring no PCT. It also comes with more freedom with dosing and even allowing for long term use.

Stacking: How to Get the Most Out of Our Products

Of course, the obvious next question is, can I combine these supplements for even more benefits?

The answer is, YES! And doing so will bring even greater results.

However, which ones you should decide to combine significantly depend on the benefits you seek. Here are some unique aspects of each one to be aware of:

SOMAL-1:

  • SOMAL-1 containing the 1-DHEA isomer is the most potent of them all, but it can also bring on lethargy as a mild side effect. This can, however, be remedied by combining it with SOMAL-4 if you experience this problem.
  • 1-DHEA is the least aromatizing of all the DHEA isomers; it does not convert to estrogen at all, making it suitable for combination with any of the other products.

SOMAL-4:

  • Slightly estrogenic in a similar manner to regular DHEA, hence is best combined with products which do not further add to this effect such as SOMAL-1. However, if you run it together with an aromatize inhibiting supplement such as our product Shield, you do not have to worry about estrogen.
  • While SOMAL-1 is more androgenic than SOMAL-4, the 4-DHEA isomer in SOMAL-4 offers more benefits working through growth hormone and boosting levels of IGF-1. We wrote about growth hormone and IGF-1 in detail in our previous articles.
  • SOMAL-4 also comes with more endurance and ergogenic benefits which are hematopoietic mediated (increasing blood volume, building more blood).
  • SOMAL-4 is not often used alone, since it does not have as potent anabolic effects as SOMAL-1, but it is more effective for increasing well-being and boosting libido.

SOMAL-NOR:

  • SOMAL-NOR does not exert its anabolic effects through conversion to the sex hormones testosterone or estrogen; hence it also carries a low estrogenic load.
  • SOMAL-NOR is your best choice for bulking if you are sensitive to androgenic side effects such as hair loss or inflamed prostate since nandrolone (Deca) which the products converts to in the body cannot further convert into the hormone DHT.
  • Its low potential for estrogenic side effects makes it great to combine with SOMAL-1 without further increasing the side effect profile.
  • If you are an older man and suffer from joint pain or other issues related to mobility of your joints, this prohormone can be extra beneficial for you.
  • Some men can experience reduced libido when using SOMAL-NOR, to prevent this you can stack it with SOMAL-4.

HALO:

  • Non-hormonal natural anabolic which is great to stack with any supplement.
  • Directly acts on protein synthesis in muscle providing a unique anabolic effect different from prohormones.
  • Anti-catabolic, lowering the levels of cortisol which can make the prohormones or other anabolic supplements you’re taking much more efficient at building muscle.
  • Prevents muscle breakdown while dieting (cutting).
  • Free of side effects.
  • No PCT needed.
  • Can be used for prolonged periods of time.

Remember never to exceed the recommended dosages for the SOMAL products and also if you combine them with each other; it is a good idea to start out with a smaller dosage of each and increase slowly while observing the effects in your body. More is not always better when it comes to augmenting your hormones.

The following are some examples of stack cycles:

For muscle growth (bulking):

  • Any single SOMAL product + HALO
  • SOMAL-1 + SOMAL-4 + HALO (if you experience lethargy using SOMAL-1 alone, go with this stack)
  • SOMAL-1 + SOMAL-NOR + HALO
  • SOMAL-4 + SOMAL-NOR + HALO + SHIELD (SHIELD as needed for estrogen conversion – you can also go all out and add SOMAL-1 to this stack, but ease in slowly on the dosages)

For cutting (fat loss on a calorie deficit while preserving lean muscle):

  • SOMAL-1 (since dry and hardening, non-estrogenic) + HALO + SHIELD (start at half dosage, increase if no joint issues)

For PCT:

  • AFTERMATH + HALO

As you can see above HALO is used in all combinations as it is unique in its non-hormonal anabolic effects and is great for both building muscle as well as preventing its breakdown.

Precautions

Keep in mind that even if the SOMAL products (DHEA isomers) are natural substances and legal to buy as supplements, many sports organizations still bans them for use when competing and will check for them when doing blood tests.

Many athletes still use the DHEA isomers offseason and in-between competitions, making sure to cycle off them in time for the body to balance back natural hormone levels to remain within the legal zone for steroid testing.

Also as we have mentioned previously, don’t skip out on PCT after using the SOMAL products. Giving your body all the help it can get to balance back your hormones is critical for both your health as well as your gains. You can look at it like this, if you want to be able to drive your car faster, maintenance is critical after races. PCT is your maintenance after periods of high performance.

Conclusion

While prohormones are still a controversial topic in sports nutrition, none can argue that the physique enhancing effects they can bring is nothing short of amazing. All our SOMAL products can be safely stacked and used as long as you follow the recommendations. If you have spent countless of dollars on ineffective sports supplements, SOMAL is for you. Give them a shot and their effectiveness might just surprise you!

HALO is the best beginners supplement for enhanced muscle growth and a product that fit well in any serious athletes regiment. Stay on top of your game with a little help from your friends over at Redcon1; we promise you won’t be disappointed!

References:

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Brown, G.A., Martini, E.R., Roberts, B.S., Vukovich, M.D., and King, D.S. (2002). Acute hormonal response to sublingual androstenediol intake in young men. J. Appl. Physiol. 92, 142–146.

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Van Gammeren, D., Falk, D., and Antonio, J. (2002). Effects of norandrostenedione and norandrostenediol in resistance-trained men. Nutrition 18, 734–737.

Van Gammeren, D., Falk, D., and Antonio, J. (2001). The effects of supplementation with 19-nor-4-androstene-3,17-dione and 19-nor-4-androstene-3,17-diol on body composition and athletic performance in previously weight-trained male athletes. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 84, 426–431.

Parr, M.K., Opfermann, G., Geyer, H., Westphal, F., Sönnichsen, F.D., Zapp, J., Kwiatkowska, D., and Schänzer, W. (2011). Seized designer supplement named “1-Androsterone”: identification as 3β-hydroxy-5α-androst-1-en-17-one and its urinary elimination. Steroids 76, 540–547.

Schrader, Y., Thevis, M., and Schänzer, W. (2006). Quantitative determination of metabolic products of 19-norandrostenediol in human plasma using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Drug Metab. Dispos. 34, 1328–1335.

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