Why You Shouldn’t Have A Predetermined Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) Dose
One colossal mistake I see widespread among bodybuilders and recreational enhanced lifters is that they have a predetermined dosage set for their Aromatase Inhibitor (AI).
It seems that AI usage has become so commonplace that users don’t even bother to understand the purpose of the drug in the first place prior to implementing it into their regimen.
Nowadays, AI’s are treated almost as on-cycle essentials, and are simply a necessity just like your multivitamin you pop each day is.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, and it explains why many individuals embark on their anabolic cycles with a misconception that they need an AI in there at a particular dosage to “prevent side effects.”
I can’t even count how many times I’ve seen a guy propose his entire cycle layout asking for feedback, and for some strange reason his AI dose is already determined prior to the cycle, and stays constant for the entire duration of the cycle despite other changes in aromatizing compounds occurring during the cycle.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
“Hey guys, newbie to AAS here and wanted to run my cycle by you guys and see if you have any feedback or changes you would make.
Week 1-12: Test E 750 mg
Week 1-12: Equipoise 700 mg
Week 1-4: Dbol 40 mg per day
Week 8-12: Anavar 50 mg per day
Week 1-12: Arimidex 0.5 mg per day
Week 14-16: Nolvadex 40 mg per day
Week 14-16: Clomid 100 mg per day
Week 16-18: Nolvadex 20 mg per day
Week 16-18: Clomid 50 mg per day”
Now, to the average steroid user, that probably doesn’t look like a bad cycle outline and they may even be asking themselves what exactly is wrong with this.
Look closer, from week 1-12 the guy has proposed that he will be using 0.5 mg per day of Arimidex.
So, basically, if he knows what the point of having Arimidex is in a cycle, you would think he’d realize the point of Arimidex is to keep your Estrogen in check.
However, if you understand how these drugs work in the first place, you will understand there is a compounding effect with everything, and they take several weeks to fully saturate in your system.
Some longer than others.
In the case of this cycle, there are 2 heavily aromatizing compounds in there for the first 4 weeks (Test E and Dbol).
Then, for the next 8 weeks he’s completely off of Dbol and adds in Anavar at the end for 4 weeks.
So, it should be pretty obvious by now that there is a vastly different amount of aromatization occurring at different points of this cycle.
Even with the Test E, after his first couple shots, will there be as much test circulating in his system as there will be once the drug has fully saturated in the blood stream 5 weeks later in the cycle?
Of course not.
So, if there’s not as much test circulating in his system as it hasn’t fully built up yet, there won’t be as much Estrogen in his system.
So, if there is differing amounts of aromatization occurring at different points of this cycle, as well as saturation levels increasing at different rates and heavily aromatizing compounds being swapped in and out of the cycle, does it make sense to be using the exact same dose of Aromatase Inhibitor for the entirety of this cycle?
This is the point I’m trying to drive home with this article.
At the start of your cycle, these drugs are just entering your blood and haven’t even reached saturation levels, yet, a predetermined dose of Arimidex is being used to combat aromatization that may not even need addressing at the time, and that same predetermined dose is used later in the cycle where the amount of aromatization will be vastly different.
How can you expect to keep your Estrogen levels in the sweet spot with a predetermined dosage of your Aromatase Inhibitor?
Long story short, you can’t, unless you have been using the exact same compound for a very long period of time and have definitively concluded via blood work what dosage of that particular compound equates to a particular level of Estrogen aromatization in the body.
Why This Is A HUGE Problem In The Medical Community Too
If you've read any of my posts about hormones, you probably already know by now how little faith I have in most general doctors when it comes to properly addressing underlying hormonal deficiencies and imbalances.
Depending on where you live, getting prescribed TRT for insufficient natural Testosterone production is a challenge in itself (many doctors will tell a 21 year old they are fine and healthy even if their blood work indicates their Testosterone is equivalent to the “normal” of an 80 year old geezer).
Then, after actually getting on TRT, another challenge often rears its ugly head, and that is Estrogen control, and how to go about doing it safely and most effectively.
Just the other day I had a consultation with a guy who told me about how he is on 150 mg of Testosterone per week for his TRT, and his doctor put him on 1 mg of Arimidex every day for his Aromatase Inhibitor.
I was STUNNED.
Well actually, not really, because there are a disturbing amount of doctors entrusted to treat patients properly who are actually completely incompetent when it comes to proper treatment during HRT.
However, this was beyond excessive.
This guy was literally on the second strongest Aromatase Inhibitor there is, for a dosage of Testosterone that just keeps his Test levels at high-normal.
And not only that, he was on 1 mg per day.
I wouldn't need that much of an Aromatase Inhibitor even if I was on 5x as much Testosterone as he is on per week.
So as expected, his libido nose dived, his dick ceased to work properly (no erections), he had insanely dry and achy joints, among a myriad of other horrible side effects.
But basically, he felt like shit.
This is EXACTLY why when you are utilizing a drug that aromatizes into Estrogen and an AI may become necessary, you get baseline blood work, and then when you add an AI in, you use a very conservative dose of the most mild and forgiving AI there is (depending on what/how much aromatizing hormones you're using), and titrate up accordingly based on your blood work until you've reached the Estrogen sweet spot (or based on symptoms which is the “bro” method which is not recommended).
E.G. my TRT is also 150 mg per week, and I literally only need to use 12.5 mg of Aromasin once a week to keep my Estrogen in the sweet spot.
Obviously the requirements will vary individual to individual dependent on your own genetic predispositions, but nobody would EVER need 1 mg of Arimidex everyday for TRT, and if they did they would be an extreme genetic outlier scenario, and even in a scenario like that I would bet money their Estrogen was actually in the toilet, or their Arimidex was fake/underdosed.
What’s The Estrogen Sweet Spot And How To Stay There
Typically, most men feel their best when their estrogen levels lie between 20-30 pg/ml in their blood work.
This is the target “estrogen sweet spot” you want to shoot for to feel amazing and improve your quality of life substantially.
If you start to get too far above this level, you can start to experience symptoms of high Estrogen.
If you start to get too far below this level, you can start to experience symptoms of low Estrogen.
Both scenarios are very unpleasant to say the least.
So, the key to staying in the sweet spot is getting your blood work done, and adjusting your AI dose accordingly based upon your current Aromatase Inhibitor needs.
If your Estrogen is too high, then you need to slightly increase your AI dose, or switch to a stronger one and start the titration process over again.
If your Estrogen is too low, then you need to slightly lower your AI dose, or switch to a weaker one and start the titration process over again.
It isn’t rocket science, however, many users seem to have completely neglected to comprehend why they are using an AI in the first place, and what purpose it serves.
If I kept my AI dosage constant like that during a cycle (by cycle I mean a blast phase of a supraphysiological amount of highly aromatizing hormones), my experience would more than likely start out with me feeling symptoms of low estrogen, followed by symptoms of high estrogen later in the cycle once my level of aromatization had surpassed the inhibitory capacity of that particular dosage of AI.
The First Thing You Should Do
If you have any of the traditional symptoms of high estrogen or low estrogen, you should first and foremost get blood work with a sensitive assay test to see where your estrogen levels lie.
Some labs use a standard assay test, which is tailored for women almost exclusively, so you would be wise to request the “sensitive” assay version.
Even with high testosterone levels, you can still experience ALL of the unwanted side effects of out of range estrogen levels if they are too high or low.
Common symptoms of high estrogen include:
- Acne, oily skin
- Erectile dysfunction
- Low libido
- Gynecomastia (man boobs)
- Aggression and bitchiness
- Water retention
- High blood pressure
- Enlarged prostate
- Shrunken testicles
- Sugar cravings
Common symptoms of low estrogen include:
- Dull weak orgasms
- Dry skin and lips
- Low libido
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
These are all quite unpleasant side effects, and it isn’t uncommon to experience several of them at once if your estrogen levels remain too high or low.
After seeing where your Estrogen levels lie, you can decide what dose of AI, and which AI is appropriate to combat those symptoms.
If these symptoms go away and your sex drive is perfect, you have no erectile dysfunction issues, etc. you can conclude that your dosage of AI is satisfactory for the time being.
Obviously the best way to confirm where your Estrogen levels lie though is via blood work.
However, it isn’t uncommon for individuals to overshoot the Estrogen sweet spot, and tank their Estrogen without even knowing it.
This is far less likely to happen with the weaker AI’s like Arimistane and Aromasin, but it is very common with Arimidex and Letrozole.
The goal you should have is to keep your Estrogen between 20-30 pg/ml for the entirety of your cycle, regardless of what dosage of AI is necessary to achieve that.
Using a predetermined dosage for your AI simply makes zero sense.
Which Aromatase Inhibitor Is Weakest And Which Is The Strongest
- Arimistane (greatest margin of error, weakest aromatase inhibitor)
- Aromasin (high margin of error, fairly strong aromatase inhibitor)
- Arimidex (low margin of error, fairly easy to crash Estrogen unless on a high dose of aromatizing compounds, very strong aromatase inhibitor)
- Letrozole (minimal margin of error, VERY easy to crash Estrogen by accident, even on tons of aromatizing compounds, the strongest aromatase inhibitor)
Keep in mind, Arimistane is the only over the counter Aromatase Inhibitor on that list, the other three are Rx AI's, and can only be obtained via a prescription from your doctor and should only be used under the direction of your doctor.
Which Aromatase Inhibitor you should choose and the dosage you use should be based on your own individual propensity to aromatization, what your blood work indicates, the dosage of the aromatizing drugs you are using, etc.
E.G. if your TRT is 125 mg per week for example, and your doctor is giving you 0.5 mg of Arimidex twice per week, and after several weeks utilizing that protocol you get a blood test and your Estrogen levels show that you have a 5.5 pg/ml reading, you are using too much Arimidex, and probably shouldn't even be using Arimidex in the first place as such a little amount of it is crashing your Estrogen and it is too powerful of an AI for your particular needs.
Electing for a weaker AI in that scenario would be wise, and starting with a very conservative amount of it.
Some guys don't even need an Aromatase Inhibitor at all, which is also something to keep in mind.
The usage requirements of Aromatase Inhibitors while on SARMs will greatly differ from that of traditional aromatizing Steroids as well, which needs to be taken into consideration if that's what you are using.
If your doctor is forcing drugs like Arimidex on you, be 100% sure you understand how to interpret your blood work before you start popping pills and hurt yourself.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.