4-Andro (androstenedione) is a steroid hormone. It is crucial in the production of oestrogen and testosterone. Naturally, it is mainly produced menâ€™s testes and womenâ€™s ovaries, with some also produced in the adrenal glands.
However, androstenedione can also be formed into an oral supplement. In this regard, it is generally used as a natural alternative to anabolic steroids, functioning primarily to increase testosterone production. These supplements are used predominantly by men.
In boosting levels of testosterone in athletes, athletic performance is enhanced. In addition, hypertrophy and energy levels are also increased and sexual performance is generally improved. Because of this, androstenedione grew phenomenally in popularity throughout the 1990s: athletes and bodybuilders thrived on it, seeing incredible muscular gains and performance boosts. However, it is now a proscribed supplement in most arenas: both the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency banned it as a performance enhancing drug.
However, if youâ€™re not looking to compete, or if youâ€™re looking to compete in an untested meet, androstenedione is very much worthy of consideration. In this Andro-4 review, Iâ€™ll run through all the information you will need to know to make an informed decision on the matter. Iâ€™ll also give you my list of recommended sources for various androstenedione supplements.
4-Andro: how it works
Letâ€™s run through the technical aspect first. Before trying it out, I think itâ€™s important to know exactly what 4-andro will be doing for and to you.
4-Andro is a non-methylated prohormone. This essentially means that it skips a lot of the side effects that you might expect from harsher anabolic steroids. It is a lot safer to use, so you can allow yourself a healthy degree of peace of mind.
It also contributes a lot of anabolic activity, meaning that it brings myriad benefits both to your overall health in general, and to your training regime and athletic performance specifically.
First and foremost, 4-Andro is an excellent supplement to use for accelerating hypertrophy and building strength and power. It is definitely on the list for bulk phases if you like to cycle between bulking and cutting. Itâ€™s also great if youâ€™re just looking to add power to your big lifts.
- There is still a long list of positives to 4-Andro use. It helps you to:
- Build lean mass and strength
- Improve recovery rates and decrease incidences of DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness)
- Improve vascularity, meaning that nutrients will be carried a lot more effectively through your blood stream
From my own experience, a cycle of 4-Andro should allow you to build around 2-5 kg of lean muscle, plus a little water weight. It has always elevated my lifts as well, allowing to hit PRs quite rapidly and without burning out too much.
1-Andro vs 4-Andro
These two get compared a lot. 1-Andro is a non-methylated prohormone. Itâ€™s used in the fitness industry because it converts into testosterone, but without spiking levels of DHT or oestrogen. Therefore, you wonâ€™t have the side effects associated with anabolic steroids, but will still increase your testosterone levels and thus ability to create lean mass.
In this regard, it elicits much the same kind of response as 4-Andro.
However, there are differences. The most obvious one is that 1-Andro doesnâ€™t bring about the same kinds of side effects as 4-Andro (gynecomastia, suppressed testosterone etc.- see below.) This is because 4-Andro can convert to DHT or oestrogen, and can have a suppressive effect on natural hormonal levels.
However, I have always found 4-Andro to give better muscle building results, allowing for more lean mass to be packed on.
4-Andro dosage and cycling
Your cycle should last anywhere from 4-8 weeks. Any less and you wonâ€™t see the results you want, any more and you run the risk of growing immunity or of overly suppressing your natural hormone levels. I have always had best results on 6-week cycles, though this is incredibly personal and wonâ€™t be the case for everybody.
You wonâ€™t see much change in the first couple of weeks. Your performance wonâ€™t benefit too much, and you wonâ€™t see much improvement in hypertrophy rates. However, after this, the gains are rapid and intense. You will see the majority of the benefits in the 3-4 weeks, in which time your lifts will all increase, and your muscle mass will soar.
Dosage will also be a very personal issue, varying greatly depending on the individual. I would never start out at more than around 100mg daily. Perhaps 150mg if your body mass is high. Try this out for your first cycle and see how it works. If it gives you great results, this dosage should suffice for a couple more cycles, if you want to run them.
More advanced users will often see better results up in the range of 2-300mg daily. Iâ€™ve never personally had to go this high, but if the lower doses arenâ€™t having much of an effect on you then itâ€™s worth bumping up to this.
Andro-4 has quite a short half-life, so you will need to split your doses up and take them regularly throughout the day. Take either two or three equal amounts spread evenly through your day.
You will definitely need a post cycle therapy after taking 4-andro for a significant period. Always end your cycle with a good quality PCT. It will help to re-establish your natural hormone production after the suppressing effects of 4-Andro. This will include testosterone production and oestrogen inhibition. You should make room for 4 weeks of PCT for a 4-8 week cycle.
4-Andro potential side effects
One of the main worries with anabolic steroids is the potential they have for serious side effects, including suppression of natural testosterone production. This is why 4-Andro is so often touted as a safer alternative to steroids. Though 4-Andro will come with some side effects, they are infinitely more manageable than those that occur with anabolic steroid use.
Side effects include testosterone suppression, back pumps, increased aggressive feelings and oversupply/unbalance of oestrogen leading in extremely rare cases to gynecomastia.
As with many other things I have talked about in this article, so much of what you will experience will be based on a number of personal factors. Though I have yet to experience any of these in a meaningful way, many users do report them being slight issues. There are many variables in place- genetics, sleep patterns, diet, lifestyle, dosage and training regime, to name but a few- that make it hard to know who will see side effects.
All of these will be easily counterbalanced during PCT, however. No lasting issues should occur, and the short-term side effects will go away quickly. Your muscle gains will definitely outlast them!
My recommendation for 4-Andro
I would always go with Steel 4-Andro by SteelSupplements. They are a well-respected, reputable company with good quality ingredients and proper, tested doses. They are well known for their legal prohormones, and their 4-Andro is the best that Iâ€™ve found on the market.
One of the main things I like about Steel 4-Andro is SteelSupplements patented Liposomal Encapsulation Technology. As their website says:
â€˜All of our ANDROS incorporate LIPOSOMAL TECHNOLOGY to increase the bioavailability of ingredients. When utilizing LIPOSOMAL encapsulation, the potency of ingredients is increased significantly.â€™
You will get faster, more efficient uptake with their products compared to others, meaning that you can rest assured your muscles are being fed what they need in the most effectual way possible.
If youâ€™re looking to boost power and make use of significant, fast-paced hypertrophy, their 4-Andro is well worth purchasing.
Each bottle provides 60 tablets at 65mg each. This means that taking 2 tablets daily will hit most peopleâ€™s 4-Andro needs, and that one bottle will last a full month. Simply buy two bottles, take two tablets every day until they run out, and you will have had as perfect a cycle as money can buy. They guarantee extreme muscle fullness, increased vascularity, accelerated recovery and a boost to several hormones relevant to hypertrophy. I can attest to this: their efficacy is quite something.
4-Andro is a potent supplement. Though it is proscribed by many competitive and sporting authorities, if your main goal is just to pack on size and increase power and energy levels, it is well worth looking into. I have always seen great results from 4-Andro supplementation.
Make sure you buy from a reputable source, however. When youâ€™re talking about drugs as potent as 4-Andro, even the slightest deviation from the stated dose- or any kind of corrupt or impure mix- can be potentially devastating, both to your health and your goals. Suppliers like SteelSupplements come into their own here: I have always found their products to be exactly what I want and need.