If you’re thinking about prohormones, chances are you’re serious about your sport, be it bodybuilding, powerlifting, or another athletic endeavor.
Most likely, you’ve spent your time in the gym and you’ve paid your dues. You’re ready to take the next step. If that’s the case, prohormones can make a big difference in your results.
However, let me be clear. Do not just rush into a cycle. Take some time and do your research. This is serious stuff and you need to know what you’re doing. With that in mind, this guide will get you started.
If you’re ready to check out the best prohormones, we have the guide for you. Let’s go!
In a Hurry? Here is our top pick:
Hi-Tech Pharma has been in a buying phase for a few years now. They have brought several other supplement companies under their corporate umbrella. This includes Blackstone Labs, Innovative Labs, and LG Sciences, all of these make effective prohormones.
Another marketing trick Hi-Tech has successfully done is to take legendary prohormone product names from the past and recycled them into new products. Superdrol is one of those products. Back in the day, it was the strongest prohormone you could buy. Now there’s a new version.
Superdrol contains 4 ingredients: 1-Andro, 4-Andro, DHEA, and Androsterone, all in a 300mg blend. This is an effective product for bulking and cutting cycles. Superdrol uses a stack-approach and the dosing combined with ingredients make it our best overall.
The prohormones in the Hi-Tech family use a similar delivery system thanks to Hi-Tech, and Superdrol is no exception. That means it’s non-methylated so it’s easier on the liver. No on-cycle support products are required. As with all prohormones, you will need to follow a PCT program.
- Contains 4 Prohormones In A 300mg Blend
- Non-Methylated – Easy On The Liver
- The Overall Price Point For Your Cycle & PCT May Be Too High For Some Users
Blackstone Labs Abnormal – Best For Both Mass & Cuts
Blackstone Labs Abnormal is a prohormone designed for bulking or cutting. Abnormal contains 3 forms of 19-NorDHEA in a 50mg blend. This is a non-liver toxic formula that’s in an extended-release delivery system. This means that it bypasses the liver for immediate absorption.
This product is advertised to be 6 times stronger than the body’s natural testosterone hormone. This is important because prohormones are designed to be stronger versions of testosterone, which is one of the most natural anabolic hormones the body produces.
Abnormal is effective for any type of cycle, making it our best prohormone for both mass and cuts.
- No Liver Toxicity
- Good For Mass & Cutting Cycles
- Time Release Delivery
- You’ll Need To Follow A PCT Program At The End Of Your Cycle At Extra Cost
Metha-Quad Extreme consists of 4 well-dosed prohormones, including Androstene (150mg), 1-Andro, 4 Andro, and Arimistane. The last 3 ingredients are dosed at 50mg.
Metha-Quad Extreme is non-liver toxic like all the prohormones under the Hi-tech umbrella. It works well for mass cycles and can be used by beginners and advanced bodybuilders alike. You will need 3 bottles of this product for a full 12-week cycle, but you can go for as little as 6-8 weeks if desired.
The advantage of Metha-Quad Extreme is that with 4 well-dosed ingredients, you’re taking a stack. There’s no need to add additional prohormones. It’s the best prohormone for stacking because it’s already a well-dosed stack. It was designed specifically for this purpose. As always, you will need to follow a PCT program.
- 4 Well-Dosed Ingredients In 1 Product
- No Liver Toxicity
- For Size & Strength
- You’ll Need 3 Bottles If You Run A 12 Week Cycle – Plus Your PCT Products
Hard Rock is not one of the companies owned by Hi-Tech. Unlike many of the prohormones you find in the Hi-Tech family, Andro The Giant contains just one ingredient. The only ingredient is 110mg of 4-Andro, making this product a good choice for size and strength. There’s no liver toxicity with this product. It’s the best choice for prohormone beginners.
The best way to run a prohormone cycle for the first time is to use a single ingredient product, add an estrogen blocker, and research your PCT program. Once you’ve run this type of cycle once or twice, you can move up to multi-ingredient prohormones.
- Best Beginner Prohormone
- One Ingredient
- Non-Liver Toxic
- May Be Too Weak For Some Users
Helladrol is considered to be one of the stronger prohormones available. It’s not for everybody, and it’s meant to be used by advanced users only. It’s a good choice for mass or cutting cycles.
Helladrol contains a 150mg Matrix consisting of several ingredients that work synergistically to promote muscle size, strength, and hardness. This product can be stacked but should be done only by experienced users.
Like all prohormones, Helladrol should be cycled and you will need to follow a complete PCT program after your cycle. If you are an advanced user, this is the best prohormone for you.
- One Of The Strongest Prohormones
- Designed For Experienced Users
- Good Price Point
- May Be Too Strong For Some Users
Super DMZ 5.0 is a 7-ingredient formula dosed at 585mg. Like many prohormones, it features a blend, so you don’t know the individual dosing breakdown. Still, what sets this apart is that it combines 5-Andro for recovery and mass builders like 4-Andro as well as R-DHEA. It also includes the natural muscle builder epicatechin. There’s DIM for estrogen management and piperine for improved absorption.
The combination of a natural mass builder with prohormones works to broaden the appeals of the product, and epicatechin acts as an on-cycle natural testosterone support ingredient. These benefits make Super DMZ 5.0 the best prohormone/natural combo.
- 7 Compounds In 1 Product
- Combines Prohormones With The Natural Muscle Builder Epicatechin
- Includes On Cycle Support Ingredients
- Like All Prop Blends, There’s No Individual Dosing Breakdown
LG Sciences is another manufacturer that has come under the Hi-Tech umbrella of companies. The Cutting Andro Kit is among the products that originated before Hi-tech came along. LG has 4 Kits, one for Cutting, one for Bulking, a 3-product Kit called Trifecta, and another one called Battle Hardener.
The great thing about the Cutting Kit is that you get everything you need for a 6-week cycle, including your PCT. This Kit includes Epi-Andro, 17-Pro Andro, and 1-Andro. For your PCT, there’s From-XT.
While you can add whatever you want to this stack, such as protein, a fat burner, or more PCT, this Kit is all you need. It’s the best prohormone for cutting because it takes a complete 6-week approach.
- Complete Prohormone Kit For Cutting
- Includes Your PCT
- Non-Liver Toxic
- This Kit may Be A Little On The Pricey Side For Some Users
Let’s start by defining prohormones. It can be said that a prohormone is “a precursor of a hormone, such as a polypeptide that is split to form a smaller polypeptide hormone or steroid that is then converted to an active hormone by the process of metabolism” (1). Or, in simpler terms, a prohormone is an ingredient that once in the body goes through a process that allows it to change into an anabolic hormone.
Prohormones are similar to anabolic steroids in their effects, but they are significantly milder. There are also no serious side effects as can be the case with steroids. The effects you can expect to see are increased size and strength. If you’re cutting, you will make faster progress in losing body fat.
The effects of prohormones are milder due to a rate-limiting effect. This effect limits how many prohormone tablets you can take per day because the body has to restore its natural enzyme levels to normal before the conversion process can take place.
A Quick History
The original prohormone was known as Andro and came to the supplement market in 1996. It was introduced by a chemist and the founder of the short-lived company “ErgoPharm”. His name is Patrick Arnold.
The success of that first product opened the door for other prohormones. Despite the competition, it was ErgoPharm that eventually introduced 1-AD, which converted into a hormone called 1-testosterone. This is the first prohormone that was thought to be comparable to steroids. At the time, it was looked at as a milder version of Trenbolone Acetate. This opened the door to stronger prohormones and included MIT (or, methyl-1-testosterone), one of the strongest. This was methylated so the liver was unable to break it down. Still, it produced fast size and strength gains.
Around this time, Congress got involved and passed the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004. This law classed every prohormone at the time as an illegal drug and by 2005 they were gone from the shelves of supplement retailers across the US. From here, supplement companies looked for every possible loophole to get prohormones back on the market. This began a cycle of the government finding and closing these loopholes.
This continued until 2014 when Congress passed the Designer Anabolic Control Act. What is left in 2023 are derivatives of DHEA that have milder effects than prohormones of the past. These products are non-methylated so they are considered safer and have no liver toxicity or conversion to estrogen.
Now that we have looked at the history of prohormones, let’s look at their benefits:
- Fast increases in muscle size
- Fast increases in strength
- Improved recovery
- Rapid fat loss
The chance of side effects is low but may be possible:
- Stress on the liver
- Possible hair loss
- Joint discomfort
- High levels of blood pressure levels
- Intestinal discomfort
It should be noted that you should research on-cycle support and post cycle therapy. This is the only approach if you want safe and effective long-term results. Of all the supplements you can take, prohormones should be well understood before using them. Like steroids, you will lose about 40-50% of any gains you make, so your PCT is critical to keeping as much of those gains as possible. We will look at your PCT in more detail shortly.
Prohormones are divided into two groups: methylated and not methylated.
A methyl group blocks the liver from breaking down the active ingredient before conversion. For this reason, a methylated prohormone is hard on the liver.
Additionally, a methylated prohormone has more serious side effects. If you use a methylated prohormone, you’ll need to take an on-cycle liver support product.
Non-methylated prohormones do not involve the liver. This means they have milder side effects and no liver toxicity.
The two main types of cycles are a bulking cycle and a cutting cycle.
An average prohormone cycle runs 6-8 weeks. You can use one prohormone or stack several. You can also use on-cycle support. Once your cycle ends, it must be followed by a 4-6 week Post Cycle Therapy program.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)
When you end a cycle of prohormones, your own natural hormones are out of balance. The main reason this happens is that the body slows down the manufacture of its testosterone. This is because prohormones force levels of testosterone to surge during a cycle, and the body thinks there is enough.
As the body perceives higher testosterone levels, estrogen also increases. This is the body’s attempt at maintaining balance. When you end your cycle, your natural levels of testosterone are low. However, you still have high estrogen levels and there are also increased levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol.
A PCT program helps control cortisol as well as reduce the effects of too much estrogen. These effects include excess water retention and fat gain. You can see why PCT is important.
Additionally, a PCT program stimulates your natural production of testosterone. These steps are important to help your body keep as much of your gains as possible. Otherwise, the lack of anabolic hormones combined with an increase in catabolic hormones means your body can’t maintain your gains. As noted above, you can expect to keep about 50% of your gains post cycle, if you do everything right.
With that in mind, a good PCT program is more than just buying 1 or 2 PCT products. Investing in natural supplements to help stimulate natural gains makes sense. For example, what better time to use creatine, a proven mass builder, than post cycle? The same can be said for other natural muscle builders like epicatechin or laxogenin, to name a few. This approach may help you hang on to more of your gains.
1-Andro – This compound is also known as 1-DHEA or 1-Androsterone. 1-Andro is a type of DHEA, which is a hormone that converts in the body to 1-Testosterone through a two-step conversion process. Here is an excellent definition of DHEA, also known as Dehydroepiandrosterone: “DHEA is a hormone that comes from the adrenal gland. It is also made in the brain. DHEA leads to the production of androgens and estrogens (male and female sex hormones). DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30” (2).
What can you expect from a cycle of 1-Andro? Most users can expect lean muscle gains of 4-8 lbs. These gains are known as “dry” gains. This means that there’s no water retention and any potential side effects are mild.
4-Andro – This compound is also known as 4-DHEA or 4-Androstenediol. Like 1-Andro, this goes through a two-step conversion process to testosterone. What can you expect from 4-Andro? It stimulates gains in size and strength comparable to 1-Andro. This is considered a “wet” compound. This means if used excessively, it can cause excess water retention and estrogen conversion, so the potential for side effects is greater than 1-Andro. If your cycle includes 4-Andro, using an on-cycle support product is a good idea.
Epi-Andro – This compound is also known as epiandrosterone. It’s a precursor to DHT (or, dihydrotestosterone). It’s good for increasing strength and hardness. This compound occurs naturally in pine pollen. Epiandro does not convert to estrogen, which means any potential side effects are mild. Epiandro is a good compound to include in a prohormone stack. If used as part of a cutting stack, it can help maintain size and strength while your calories are restricted. If you use it as part of a bulking stack, it will promote size and strength increases. Additionally, it’s good for training aggression and elevated focus.
19-NorAndro – This is also known as 19-Nor-DHEA and NorAndrost-4-ene-3b-ol, 17-one. This compound converts to nandrolone, which is similar to Deca Durabolin, a common steroid. This is considered a “dry” compound so any potential side effects will be mild. The effects will be similar to 1-Andro in terms of size and strength gains.
Your training does not need to drastically change while using prohormones. If you’re training for size and strength, make sure you’re using a program designed for that purpose. That means compound exercises, progressively heavier weights, and reps in the 6-8 range.
Some people may prefer a high-intensity approach, and that’s fine too. In that case, progression is in the form of increased intensity using extended set techniques. This can include rest-pause, drop sets, static holds, and burns. If you’re training for cuts, you’ll want to maintain your mass by sticking to a similar routine and adding cardio.
Concerning nutrition, if muscle mass is your goal, you’ll want to eat a clean, higher calorie, high protein diet. If you’re doing a cutting cycle, use a low carb approach. You can cycle carb intake but eat most of your carbs in the hours surrounding your workouts. Of course, you should keep your protein intake high no matter what.
There are a few things to consider when deciding if you want to use prohormones. It’s your choice, but it should be an informed choice.
First, if you are under 21, a beginner, or have less than 1 year of training experience, I would not suggest using prohormones. Beginners want results right away and tend to jump too soon into advanced training routines. These are the routines used by Pro Bodybuilders who are using drug stacks. Then the beginner wonders why they aren’t getting huge or why they are burning out. Start slow, build a foundation, understand what you’re doing, then think about prohormones.
The other consideration is to make sure you plan your budget. You should not take any shortcuts when running a cycle. Don’t put yourself in a position where you need to cut corners.
If you’re new to prohormones, understanding key terms can be a big help. These terms include the following:
- Anabolic– This is a positive metabolic process that promotes the growth of muscle tissue. There’s minimal masculinization (deepening of the voice, facial hair, etc) as a result of this process.
- Androgenic – This refers to the development of the male sex hormones and controls such things as body hair and muscle mass.
- Aromatase – This is an enzyme that’s responsible for converting androgen into estrogen. Here’s how it works. If the body has excessive levels of testosterone, aromatase increases estrogen to balance out the higher than normal testosterone levels. It should be noted that the prohormones reviewed in this guide do not convert to estrogen. If this is a concern, there are on-cycle support products that can be taken to block estrogen production.
- Bulking Cycle – A period where you maintain a calorie surplus and train with progressively heavier weights to gain as much quality muscle mass as possible.
- Cutting Cycle – A period where you reduce calories and increase cardio to lose body fat. Training should be maintained to hold on to as much muscle mass as possible.
- Cycle – The length of time you plan to take prohormones. This usually means 6-12 weeks. This also refers to your post cycle therapy program, also 6-12 weeks.
- Cycle Support – Ingredients that can be used during the cycle to counteract any potential side effects.
- Dry – A prohormone that causes little to no water retention. There’s also minimal conversion to estrogen. This means the prohormone is more anabolic than it is androgenic.
- Post Cycle Therapy – Also called PCT. This is a cycle consisting of specific ingredients that help the body to normal hormone production after a prohormone cycle. This should run a minimum of 4 weeks.
- Stacking – This refers to the use of two or more prohormones taken together.
- Wet – A prohormone with some estrogen conversion. It can cause excess water retention. Typically, these prohormones are more androgenic than anabolic. They often act as a base to a stack of several prohormones.
If you want to take your physique to the next level, a well-planned prohormone cycle can help you get there. A good place to start is with Hi-Tech Pharma Superdrol, our best overall. This is a new version of a legendary product. It’s one of the strongest prohormones on the market and consists of 4 compounds in a 300mg blend. It’s non-methylated so it’s easy on the liver.
If you like the stack approach and are starting a cutting cycle, LG Sciences Cutting Andro Kit is the best prohormone for cuts. Everything you need for a 6-week cycle is included and your PCT is covered.
If you’re a beginner, Hard Rock Supplements Andro The Giant is the best way to start. It’s just one ingredient, so it’s a good way to run your first cycle. If you like the results and after you’ve gained some experience, you can move on to the stack of your choice. Don’t forget your PCT!
In conclusion, prohormones are hardcore products designed for serious users. If you’re ready and you’ve done your homework, the best prohormones are covered in this guide.
It’s time to make your choice and hit the gym!