What’s up fellow lifters.
This week we’re going to be looking at Aromasin vs Arimidex.
For those of you in the know, you’ll no doubt be aware that those specific compounds are used as part of PCT.
PCT is an integral part of any steroid cycle, which is why we’re focussing on it today.
Making gains is not easy.
In fact, for many of us, it’s a pain the ass.
To live a bodybuilding lifestyle, you must be willing to make sacrifices.
While other guys are out hitting up the bars and clubs, getting wasted and eating junk food.
You’re stuck at home tucking into yet another Tupperware meal before chugging down your casein protein shake and going to bed.
Juggling a professional and private life with bodybuilding is hard, whether you decide to go down the steroids route or not.
If you do decide to use gear, PCT is vital.
There has been a lot of discussions regarding the differences over the years, but what are the differences and which, if any, is best?
Here’s your ultimate guide to PCT!
But, before you continue with this article, please read the following: We do not sell or promote the use of androgenic anabolic steroids, nor do we condone their use or recommend their use.
Steroids are very dangerous, and they are also illegal.
Using them, unless medically prescribed by a doctor, could potentially be fatal.
With that said, people will still continue to use them, regardless of the risks, which is why we’re compiling this article today.
We want to educate people about the dangers of steroids and steroid abuse.
Table Of Contents
We’ll kick things off by looking at what Arimidex is.
Arimidex is scientifically known as Anastrozole.
It was developed by Zeneca pharmaceuticals back in the early 1990s, though it wasn’t released until the mid-90s, back in 1995 under the trade name of ‘Arimidex’.
It is a very potent anti-estrogen drug that is known as an AI or Aromatase Inhibitor.
It was initially developed for medical purposes, as it was designed to help treat breast cancer in women.
Basically, as it is a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor, it helps to prevent or stop the spread of breast cancer which happens to be stimulated by Estrogen.
Interestingly, the drug is also used for medical purposes on men, as it can be used to help treat infertility and to balance, and even boost in some cases, testosterone.
It also helps to increase sperm counts.
As we’re keen to discuss steroids, bodybuilding, lifting, and muscle growth in general, you may be wondering where Arimidex factors into the equation?
Basically, bodybuilders often use Arimidex as part of their post cycle therapy once they have finished running a steroid cycle.
The primary reason why they do this is to help to reduce the amount of estrogen produced by their bodies as a result of the steroids that they were using.
Common estrogenic side effects of steroid use can include:
So, we’ve looked at what it is, but now it’s time for us to take a look at how Arimidex actually works in the first place.
Although this drug is very powerful, it actually functions very simply.
As it is an Aromatase Inhibitor, it works by blocking a specific aromatase enzyme in the body, which is responsible for the production of estrogen.
Basically, when we take steroids, often you will find that the compounds themselves, or free testosterone in the body, will aromatize.
This is basically a technical term used to describe the process of the steroids/testosterone being converted into estrogen.
As the aromatase process is reduced, this, in turn, means that the body’s levels of serum estrogen will also be reduced, sometimes by as much as 80%.
This next part will prove especially interesting for lifters looking to retain muscle mass.
Arimidex has also been found to stimulate the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which both play integral roles in the production of testosterone within the body.
The more of these hormones we produce, the more testosterone we can produce.
As you know, testosterone is an androgenic hormone with extremely anabolic properties, which makes it perfect for building muscle.
Some doctors will even prescribe Arimidex solely as a treatment for low testosterone levels, though studies have found that it works best in conjunction with testosterone replacement therapy.
As we’re looking at Arimidex vs Aromasin, it’s now time for us to take a look at what Aromasin is. Aromasin is the brand name of the drug Exemestane.
It too is an AI (Aromatase Inhibitor) just as Arimidex is.
The difference, however, is that this one is steroidal, as opposed to Arimidex, which is a non-steroidal AI.
This drug, it should come as no surprise to learn, was developed for medical purposes and as a result, it is legally available in countries all over the globe.
Of course, it is only legal if prescribed by a doctor for legitimate medical purposes.
Aromasin is a relative new-comer to the world of PCT.
In fact, it was only made available on the market in the US, in the year 2000, after being granted approval by the powers that be at the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the year 1999.
Just like other AIs, including Arimidex, it was initially developed as an anti-breast cancer drug which was designed primarily to treat and prevent breast cancer, particularly in post-menopausal women.
The drug proved fairly-effective, though shortly after, it started to be traded far more commonly on the black market amongst steroid users.
This again was due to the fact that it offered such powerful benefits when it came to the prevention of estrogenic side effects as a result of aromatization in steroid users.
Steroid users began to utilize it as part of their Post Cycle Therapy routines.
You may be forgiven for thinking that Aromasin works in precisely the same way as Arimidex does.
After all, as they are both AIs, used for virtually the same reasons, you’d think that they worked in the same way.
This isn’t quite true, however.
You see, it inhibits aromatase enzymes within the body, but it can also block aromatization outright.
This means that it can prevent the formation of estrogen completely, rather than just suppressing it.
For breast cancer sufferers, this is very useful because this form of cancer often feeds off of estrogen, so by preventing the formation and production of estrogen, cancer has nothing to feed off of.
For steroid users, anti-estrogen drugs are very important for PCT purposes.
Post cycle therapy helps to reduce harmful side effects associated with aromatization and an elevated amount of estrogen within the body.
We’ll be looking at the dangers of elevated estrogen and the importance of PCT a little later on.
Take it from us however, that as a bodybuilder, the less estrogen you have in your body, the more productive your steroid cycle will be and the longer you will hold onto your precious gains.
Aromasin can potentially lower estrogen serum levels by as much as 85%!
If you were paying attention earlier, you’ll notice that this is 5% more than Arimidex.
Does that make it superior?
Well, the verdict is still out on that one.
Like Arimidex, Aromasin is also able to stimulate the production of testosterone in the body, by stimulating the pituitary gland in the brain.
This gland is responsible for the production of FSH and LH, which both play key roles in the production, secretion, and regulation of testosterone.
As you now know that testosterone is androgenic and anabolic, you can see why bodybuilders are keen to include this compound as part of their PCT.
This next part is where Aromasin really shines.
You see, Aromasin has been found to promote an increase in the production of Insulin-like Growth Hormone, or IGF-1, as it is also known.
No other AI in existence can make this claim so Aromasin is in a category all of its own because of this.
IGF-1 plays a key role in muscle growth and repair, so combined with the testosterone-boosting benefits associated with this drug.
It’s easy to see why Aromasin is now the PCT drug of choice for many dedicated bodybuilders looking to make beastly gains.
There are many, many benefits associated with using Aromasin or Arimidex for PCT purposes.
To sum things up quickly however, PCT is basically designed to serve three primary functions:
Now, depending on which steroids you use, estrogenic side effects could potentially occur once aromatization has taken place.
When this occurs, the steroid user is at risk for all kinds of side effects, including gynecomastia, hypertension, suppressed testosterone production, bloating or Palumboism, mood swings, acne, sweating, hair loss, depression, infertility, atrophy of the testicles, low libido, impotence, and much more besides.
Testosterone is the key steroid when it comes to aromatization, although as many steroids are derived directly from testosterone, with Dianabol being a prime example.
It’s easy to see why PCT is so important.
Basically, different steroids aromatize at different rates, which is why each one provides slightly different side effects.
To keep things simple to understand however, the side effects we listed above are linked with most anabolic androgenic steroid cycles.
No matter which steroids you use, whether you go with Trenbolone or Anavar, you should still always run a course of PCT.
Dihydrotestosterone derived steroids, or DHT steroids, however, do not aromatize and do not convert to Estrogen.
This means that they do not present Estrogenic side effects such as bloating, water retention, sensitive nipples, or gynecomastia.
The only exception is Anadrol, which is a DHT steroid, which because of its molecular makeup, does actually carry a very strong Estrogenic nature.
Does that mean that an AI such as Aromasin or Arimidex should be used?
No, it doesn’t.
You see, even though it presents estrogenic side effects, it still does not aromatize.
This means that there is no aromatization for the AIs to inhibit, which would render them useless as you would still suffer the Estrogenic side effects associated with the drug.
This means that SERMs would be far more beneficial, though that is a topic for another blog, another day.
So, that brings us to the ultimate question of which of the two AIs we’ve looked at today is better.
Now, without sitting on the fence too much, unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer because it is all subjective based upon which steroid cycle the user in question happens to be running.
Some steroid users will benefit more from Arimidex, whereas others will benefit more from Aromasin.
On paper, Aromasin does appear to be the better choice for bodybuilders as it can reduce Estrogen production by as much as 85% as opposed to the 80% provided by Arimidex, plus it also helps to slightly increase the production of IGF-1 which is a very beneficial hormone for bodybuilding purposes.
Again, however, it all depends on which steroids you use.
No matter what you do, if you use steroids, even weak ones, you should always, always, run a course of PCT.
Reda is an ACE Certified Nutritionist, Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt and bodybuilder with 11 years of experience. He's been published on many influential websites such as lifehack.org, Wealthy Gorilla, Good Men Project and more.