Q: What’s the deal with Testosterone Theramex? Is it pretty much the same as other testosterone steroids such as cypionate and enanthate?
A: Testosterone Theramex (also known as Testosterone Heptylate Theramex) is an oil-based injectable French testosterone made by the French pharmaceutical company Laboratoire Theramex. The folks at Theramex are the sole producers of Testosterone Theramex and have been manufacturing it since 1955. It obviously has a long and successful track record and is rated very highly by French, Dutch and Belgian athletes as an inexpensive and cost-effective anabolic/androgenic agent that’s excellent for rapid buildup of strength and muscle mass. Bodybuilders and athletes who use testosterone heptylate believe that milligram-per-milligram, it is more effective for gains in mass and strength than either enanthate, cypionate or propionate. They believe Testosterone Theramex is stronger than any of the previously mentioned testosterone esters.
According to the World Anabolic Review 1996, ‘Testosterone Heptylate Theramex leads to a strong protein synthesis in the muscle cell and promotes recovery to a high degree. Athletes report an enormous pump effect during the workout and a noticeable appetite increase after only days of intake. The gains usually consist of solid muscle, since the water retention that occurs during intake is usually lower than with enanthate and cypionate. Competing bodybuilders and athletes [who] normally become puffy because of testosterone injections should give Testosterone Heptylate Theramex a try.’
The 1994 edition of the French pharmaceutical reference guide Dictionnaire Vidal says that ‘Testosterone Heptylate Theramex has a duration effect of 20 days.’ That means bodybuilders could theoretically get away with less frequent injections’say, once every two weeks. But let’s be honest: Most bodybuilders are going to use it once a week. The average dose for a man is 250 milligrams per week, and 50 to 100 milligrams a week for a woman. The latter is too much, in my opinion, as any woman using 100 milligrams of Theramex a week is sure to quickly develop the effects of virilization: an increase in facial and body hair, a deepened voice, oily skin, increased clitoris size and increased sex drive, as well as a more masculine shape to the body, a decrease in breast size and a cessation of menstruation.
I would suggest that a woman who wishes to retain most of her feminine charms keep her Theramex doses to 50 milligrams once every two weeks’unless she’s a world-class bodybuilder who doesn’t care if she has to shave every day and looks like a man in drag. I’ve always believed that female bodybuilders, no matter how advanced they are, should stick to low-androgen anabolics such as Primabolan, Anavar and perhaps a low dosage of Winstrol. Naturally, advanced bodybuilders and power and strength athletes use more than the recommended 250 milligrams a week. Most male bodybuilders use between 250 (on the low end of the scale) and 1,000 milligrams (on the extreme high end) a week. Higher doses produce greater anabolic results but also cause more negative side effects.
Let’s talk about some of those negative effects. Testosterone Heptylate Theramex does aromatize to estrogens in the body and can cause gynecomastia, especially at higher doses. Anyone considering using more than 250 milligrams weekly should definitely think about adding an anti-estrogen such as Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate) to his stack (10 to 20 milligrams per day should do the trick).
As well, Testosterone Theramex will definitely shut down your body’s own production of testosterone after several weeks, so you should consider using testosterone-stimulating substances such as HGC (human chorionic gonadotrophin, or Pregnyl), Clomid or Cyclofenil throughout your cycle whenever your sex drive dips to zip. You could also use testosterone-stimulating supplements such as Tribex-500, Acetabolan II and/or Tribestan. I would suggest that bodybuilders cycle and alternate testosterone-stimulating pharmaceuticals such as HCG with testosterone-stimulating supplements throughout their steroid cycle and for a month or so afterward. Steroids and testosterone always seem to work better when your body is producing its own testosterone. Your sex drive doesn’t disappear and the metabolic lag is lessened when you go off the anabolics.
Like all testosterones Theramex can be hard on the liver, especially at higher dosages. You should have blood work done before beginning any steroid cycle to establish baseline figures for markers such as liver enzymes and testosterone levels, then halfway through and again at the end of the cycle. That way you can manipulate doses to maximize anabolic effects while minimizing harmful effects.ALL
Younger bodybuilders (18 and under) should keep in mind that testosterone heptylate could stunt your growth by prematurely closing the epiphysial growth plates.
Like all anabolics and testosterones, Testoterone Heptylate Theramex was meant to be used only by sick people, not by healthy, strong athletes. The product literature warns, ‘Attention, athletes! The components of this compound could result in a positive doping test.’
Testosterone Heptylate Theramex comes in three potencies, 50 milligrams per milliliter, 100 milligrams per milliliter and 250 milligrams per milliliter. In 1996 the 50-milligram product could be purchased at French pharmacies for 9.90 francs, or approximately $2.05 per package, two ampoules per box. The 100-milligram version could be purchased for 12.50 francs ($2.55, two ampoules per box), while the 250-milligram version was 20.70 francs (approximately $4.25). Those were prices quoted in the World Anabolic Review 1996. In the Anabolic Reference Guide 1991, Bill Phillips quoted prices that were much lower. Obviously, with inflation and the value of the dollar vs. the euro, the price of Testosterone Heptylate Theramex in 2001 is probably much higher than it was in 1996.
Even in 1996, black market Testosterone Theramex was selling at $12 to $15 per 250-milligram package. The World Anabolic Review 1996 said the ‘original French ampoules have a dark-red imprint which cannot be scratched off and is easily felt when touched with a finger. An eye-catching characteristic is the white ring on the neck of the ampoule and is approximately 6 mm above the ampoule cap. The injection liquid is of a light-yellow color. There are two ampoules in a plastic bed. On the back side, the bed is welded to an aluminum foil pull-off. The package box is green on the front and has a removable white label with the expiration date on the back.’
Unfortunately, when something is as good and inexpensive as Testosterone Heptylate Theramex, you know the counterfeiters and con artists are going to move in and throw some rotten apples into the basket. There are several fake versions around; they probably contain small amounts of a cheap oil-based testosterone, with the rest being sesame seed oil.
How can you tell a fake from the real thing? Given the sophistication of counterfeiters these days, it might be hard. The World Anabolic Review suggests buying only ampoules in a double pack, making sure the ampoules are welded to the plastic bed and to the aluminum foil.
Q: I never seem to get much out of performing bench presses with a barbell. To tell the truth, I prefer training my chest with dumbbells. Can you recommend a good chest routine built around dumbbells?
A: To work all sections of your chest, from top to bottom and side to side, do supersets. A good example follows:
Pushups (chest warmup) 1 x 20
Lat pulldowns (warmup for
antagonistic muscles) 1 x 15
Incline dumbbell flyes
(45 degrees) 3 x 10, 8, 6
Incline dumbbell presses
(45 degrees) 3 x 10, 8, 6
dumbbell flyes 3 x 10, 8, 6
dumbbell presses 3 x 10, 8, 6
Decline dumbbell flyes
(30 degrees) 3 x 10, 8, 6
presses 3 x 10, 8, 6
Finish your chest workout with three supersets of cross-bench dumbbell pullovers and cable crossovers or pec deck flyes. You will have worked your entire chest, including the rib cage and serratus muscles.
This is a preexhaust superset routine. For variety you can do the dumbbell presses first, followed by the flyes, which are regular supersets. Another way to add variety is to make your first set the heaviest and decrease the weight and up the reps for the other sets. For example, instead of doing a traditional pyramid scheme of 10, eight and six reps, do six, eight and 10.
You can follow each workout for two or three weeks and then switch to another routine: two to three weeks of preexhaust supersets, then two to three weeks of regular supersets and then two to three weeks of reverse-pyramid training. Or you can rotate the three chest workouts every time you train chest (one workout of preexhaust supersets followed by one workout of regular supersets followed by one workout of supersets done in reverse-pyramid training).
Editor’s note: The statements, opinions and ideas in this column are Greg Zulak’s and not necessarily those of IRONMAN magazine. IM