Equipoise History & Overview
Equipoise is the trade name for the anabolic steroid known as Boldenone. Normally affixed to the Undecylenate ester, it is an injectable product that is oil-based. Boldenone is ultimately derived from Testosterone, and exhibits slightly different – and in some cases, more favorable – properties than Testosterone. It still holds about the same anabolic strength profile as Testosterone, but possesses a reduction in androgenic effects. Pretty well ever since its inception, Equipoise (also abbreviated as ‘EQ’ among the bodybuilding community) has been almost strictly a veterinary product that is intended for use in animals only. It is moderately popular among athletes and bodybuilders, mostly for its favorable anabolic:androgenic strength ratio, as well as lower estrogenic activity than compared to Testosterone. Equipoise is commonly compared to Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate) for unknown reasons, and this is because the two cannot really be compared. Nandrolone is by its very nature quite different from Equipoise and belongs under a completely different and separate family of anabolic steroids. Despite this, many people tend to consider Deca and Equipoise to be mutually interchangeable in their cycles.
EQ was created in 1949, making it probably the oldest and very first anabolic steroid analogue of Testosterone, pre-dating Dianabol (Methandrostenolone), which is mistakenly touted as being the ‘first’ or oldest synthetic analogue anabolic steroid. In fact, Dianabol is actually derived from Equipoise, as Dianabol is simply Boldenone with a methyl group bound to its 17-beta hydroxyl group on its chemical structure. This modification is known as C-17 methylation or C17-alpha alkylation, which grants the hormone oral bioavailability. In essence, Dianabol could be considered an oral version of Equipoise. In reality, the C17 methylation altered so many anabolic, androgenic, and estrogenic properties of the hormone that it was considered a different compound, and thus it was given the name Dianabol (Methandrostenolone).
Equipoise sat on the research and development shelves from 1949 until 1960 when it was then released to the prescription drug market under the name Parenabol. From 1949 – 1960, the pharmaceutical company Ciba tinkered around with Boldenone by trying to attach different ester bonds to the hormone in order to alter its half-life in the body. After years of research, it was settled upon that the Undecylenate ester was the best choice for Boldenone, making the final product Boldenone Undecylenate. Human trials of the drug were conducted between 1960 and the early 1970s in the research of mass-wasting diseases and weight-loss. Unfortunately, little progress was observed compared to other anabolic steroids under research, and Parenabol was removed from the human pharmaceutical markets in 1970 and subsequently discontinued.
The pharmaceutical manufacturer Squibb obtained the patents for Boldenone, and then rebranded it under the name Equipoise, and it was then marketed as a veterinary medicine for use in horses first and foremost. It is also designed for use in other veterinary applications for other animal types as well. EQ is very popular because of its ability to increase lean muscle mass and stimulation of the appetite beyond most other anabolic steroids. Equipoise is still available on the veterinary market under a variety of generic formats as well as brand-name.
Equipoise Chemical Characteristics
Mentioned earlier, EQ is derived from Testosterone where it has been chemically modified at carbons 1 and 2 on its chemical structure by way of double-bonds added between the carbons. This modification is what was determined to be responsible for Equipoise’s reduced estrogenic activity because of the fact that the double-bonds reduce the hormone’s affinity to bind to the aromatase enzyme, which is responsible for converting androgens into estrogen in the body. Equipoise’s estrogenic effects are much lower than that of Testosterone, but not completely eliminated. It is also modified by way of the Undecylenate ester bound to the Boldenone chemical structure, which alters the hormone’s half-life and release rate in the body towards a longer one.
As previously mentioned, Equipoise and Dianabol are almost identical hormones with the sole difference being Equipoise possesses an Undecylenate ester at its 17thcarbon, whilst Dianabol is methylated at that same 17thcarbon position. If it weren’t for these two major modifications, the two anabolic steroids could be considered exactly identical. But, because these anabolic steroids behave quite differently from each other, these modifications (C-17 methylation) seem to have a much greater impact on the abilities of the hormone in the body than just to enable first-pass metabolism survival in the liver, and that it actually alters the capabilities of the anabolic steroid quite dramatically.
Equipoise Side Effects
Equipoise is very similar to Testosterone due to the fact that it is derived from Testosterone. First of all, it exhibits the same anabolic strength rating of 100. It can also aromatize into estrogen upon interaction with the aromataze enzyme, but because of its double-bonds between carbons 1 and 2 on its chemical structure, the rate at which this occurs is far lower than Testosterone. It therefore has a much lower rate of conversion into estrogen than Testosterone.
Although Equipoise converts into estrogen at a far reduced rate than Testosterone, the presence of estrogenic side effects is still a valid concern and this should be something kept in mind by anyone using the hormone. As such, it should be expected that for side effects such as bloating and water retention, there is not an elimination of them, but perhaps a reduction during the use of Equipoise. At diligent and moderate dosages, Equipoise shouldn’t impose side effects of an estrogenic nature by a measurable amount, but increasing dosages do correlate with increased experience of side effects. Higher Equipoise dosages mean higher rates of aromatization into estrogen. User sensitivity and genetics also play a big role in how prominent estrogenic side effects may appear, no matter how benign the hormone’s side-effect profile is.
Equipoise also possesses a lower androgenic rating than does its father hormone Testosterone, which is great news for those who are particularly sensitive to androgenic side effects. In general, however, those using EQ can expect more or less the same increases in anabolism, muscle size, and strength as Testosterone, but with a lower occurrence of androgenic and estrogenic side effects by comparison as well. This translates to practical experiences of considerate lean mass gaining with a very minimal amount of that weight attributed to water retention, and EQ therefore could be considered a great addition to any lean mass or bulking cycle (dose-dependent as well, of course). It could, theoretically be considered as a viable replacement for Deca (Nandrolone) in any given stack of compounds.
Dosing and Administration of Equipoise
There are no human prescription or medical dosage and administration guidelines for Equipoise, seeing as though it is not currently approved for use in humans and has not been the case since its brief test-run as such in the 1970s.
Within bodybuilding and athletics, beginner dosages of EQ can be seen in the area of 300 – 500mg per week, with intermediate dosages going as high as 500 – 700mg weekly. Because of the exact same anabolic strength rating as Testosterone (100), EQ can used at very similar dosages, and going above the intermediate dosage range is considered uncommon. This is even more-so when Equipoise is used with other compounds in a stack.
Female users may find EQ to be a viable option to use due to its reduced androgenic qualities compared to Testosterone. In this situation, women might discover that 50 – 75 mg weekly will suffice. However, Equipoise’s half-life is that of around 14 days, which can present an issue with a slow drop in blood plasma levels of the hormone. This can be a concern in the realm of virilization (masculinizing) side effects, as a slow elimination of the hormone from the body might not be conducive if the female is starting to experience negative side effects.
Because Equipoise’s half-life is around 14 days, it is best practice to divide the weekly dosage in half and space them apart evenly throughout the week. Thus, for example, a 500mg per week dosage would be administered as: 250mg injected on Monday, and 250mg on Thursday).
Boldenone Undecylenate is generally used in the areas of lean mass, bulking, and/or strength gains. It usually always involves the use of Testosterone at its side, most commonly the longer estered variants in order to accommodate Equipoise’s long half-life. This is commonly practiced with the use of Testosterone Cypionate or Testosterone Enanthate, for example. Because of the long half-life, similarly, cycles involving Equipoise must be run for longer than most other anabolic steroids. This is because of its longer half-life which provides for a much slower rise towards optimal blood plasma levels, and therefore longer time to pass before strength gains and other effects, etc. can be observed.
Beginner cycles usually involve the use of EQ with Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate with a dosage of about 300 – 500mg weekly, with EQ run at a dosage of around 400mg weekly. Intermediate EQ cycles usually involve some oral anabolic steroid, commonly Dianabol (Methandrostenolone) dosed at around 25mg/day. Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate can be used at the same time at around 100mg per week, simply to maintain normal physiological function of Testosterone during suppression/shutdown (known as a TRT – Testosterone Replacement Therapy dose). Finally, in this Dianabol/Testosterone/Equipoise stack, EQ can be used at around 400 – 600mg/week. Within this particular cycle, Dianabol is used only for the first 4 weeks as a kickstarting compound. Total cycle length is: 12 weeks.
Advanced cycles of EQ most often do not involve Equipoise used at dosages higher than 600mg/week. Like the intermediate cycle described above, Testosterone is to be used at TRT doses (about 100mg/week), with a stronger compound meant more for advanced users (such as Trenbolone Enanthate) dosed at about 400mg per week. Equipoise would be used here with Testosterone and Trenbolone at around 400 – 600mg weekly. Total cycle length: 12 weeks.
How to Buy Equipoise
Although not the most popular anabolic steroid, it tends to experience moderate use in the athletic and bodybuilding communities. Because of this, most sources and vendors on the market are usually carrying Equipoise products for sale. There currently exists no human grade pharmaceutical grade EQ. Thus, individuals will only encounter either veterinary grade or underground laboratory (UGL) grade Equipoise. Any sources that claim to have human grade EQ for sale are probably fake products, or merely intentionally mislabeled products that could possibly still contain Equipoise, or at worst, contain something entirely different or nothing at all. Because of the black-market nature of Equipoise and how it is primarily manufactured by underground labs, there are a seemingly infinite variety of preparations, concentrations, and dosages of this product. For example, one can easily encounter vials in sizes of: 10ml, 50ml, 100ml, 250ml, and also 500ml. It is usually sold in a concentration of around 200mg/ml, but it is not uncommon to see underground Equipoise concentrated at 250mg/ml or higher.
On the market itself, it can go on the high end of the price range for about $150 – $170 for a 10ml vial that is concentrated at 200mg/ml. These vials would be considered UGL grade. At the low end of the price range, the same underground grade product can be found for around $60 – $100, again a 10ml vial concentrated at 200mg/ml. Veterinary grade EQ is usually sold at the higher price range, usually packaged in 1ml ampoules at a concentration of 50mg/ml for around $17 – $20 each (1ml glass ampoule). Veterinary Equipoise on the cheaper end can be found for around $12 – $15 for the same 1ml glass ampoule dosed at 50mg/ml).