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Equipoise (EQ) is what I would almost call a fun anabolic steroid to use. Not many AAS are all that pleasant to use when you balance the side effects. But EQ does what it’s meant to, and once you stick it out for the longer cycles it requires and start seeing the results it’s famed for (can anyone say VEINS?), the minimal side effects fade into the background.
Boldenone is a steroid that I come back to regularly. I know of guys who run it year-round because they love it so much. Want to know about all the pros and cons of using Equipoise? Let’s get started!
What is Equipoise?
Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate) is an injectable testosterone-derived anabolic steroid named after its use in horses (equine = relating to horses). It has an anabolic rating the same as testosterone (100) and an androgenic rating of half that of testosterone (50).
You will find fans of EQ value this versatile steroid in all types of cycles: bulking, cutting, and recomp. However, as you’ll find out, there can be some challenges with using Equipoise in cycles where you want to restrict your calories.
History and Overview
Like many AAS, Equipoise was first developed to treat conditions like muscle wasting and osteoporosis.
Medical use of EQ in humans stopped during the 1970s, but this steroid is still used in the veterinary field today in horses. It is known to be sometimes used illegally in racehorses to enhance performance. Boldenone is prescribed for veterinary use in horses to increase the appetite and influence the behavior of female and castrated male horses.
Equipoise is well known for its ability to enhance strength, endurance, and other performance measures in humans, making it an attractive PED for athletes. There are several high-profile doping cases involving this steroid. Baseball, tennis, and martial arts are all sports where one or more professionals have tested positive for the use of Boldenone.
Mechanism of Action
Equipoise is chemically almost the same as Dianabol. But don’t be mistaken; EQ is not an injectable form of Dianabol! They are two very different AAS, and Equipoise stands on its own in terms of its effects and actions on the body.
Perhaps EQ’s foremost mechanism of action is its ability to increase red blood cell count significantly. All anabolic steroids will increase red blood cells to a degree, but EQ is known to be one of the most powerful in this regard – hence its ability to transfer more oxygen to the muscles and improve endurance.
Equipoise has such a powerful ability to boost red blood cell count that this can become a problem in itself and is something you should closely monitor while using this steroid.
As expected, EQ shares similar mechanisms and effects to testosterone. This includes:
- Increasing protein synthesis
- Improving nitrogen retention
- Reducing stress hormones
- Increasing the output of IGF-1
These functions make EQ a mighty preserver of muscle and an anabolic compound that can promote lean muscle growth.
Effects of Equipoise (Benefits)
Equipoise is what I consider one of the most versatile steroids because YOU shape the results you get from it through your diet, training, and whatever other PEDs you stack it with.
EQ provides the tools to run a cutting, bulking, or recomp cycle as needed. With that said, cutting and dieting on EQ can be a significant challenge if you experience a big appetite increase.
Here are the main effects and benefits you can look forward to with Boldenone:
Endurance and Stamina
The gains in endurance and stamina are incredible on EQ. It’s no wonder at all that this steroid has been (illegally) used by some elite athletes.
This is one of the best performance steroids we can use, and the primary reason for its fantastic ability to supercharge your cardiovascular performance is because of the way it increases red blood cell count (sometimes too much).
Vascularity can be excellent and long-lasting with EQ, even more so when you stack with testosterone and finish with something like Anavar.
But even on EQ alone, you’re going to see some pretty unbelievable vein popping for what is often thought of as a “mild” steroid. This enhanced vascularity can also last well beyond your cycle.
Having a desire to eat more is a big plus on any bulking cycle (provided you’re filling up with the suitable types of calories). The majority of EQ users will see some extent of increased hunger. Still, occasionally, people will report no noticeable change in appetite, which can be good if you want to include EQ in a cutting cycle.
Slow and steady gains are achievable with EQ. But this won’t be a first-choice bulking steroid if extreme mass gains are your primary aim.
For more moderate gains (remember that not everyone wants extreme results), EQ is an excellent addition to a longer bulking cycle. Moderate gains with minimal water retention are what EQ can provide.
Frontloading EQ to get gains moving quicker at the start of a cycle is a strategy some people swear by, but an increase in side effects caused by higher doses makes this unrealistic for a lot of us.
EQ is not near the top of the list for strength-boosting AAS. Still, with the increase in red blood cell production and the associated endurance boost, you can feel as though strength is increasing more substantially because you’re able to work out for longer before feeling fatigued. EQ is often stacked with testosterone, adding more strength gains to any EQ cycle.
Equipoise Dosing and Administration
You will hear a lot of conflicting opinions about how to dose EQ. Some men will swear that anything under 1000mg/week is a waste of time. Others will never go anywhere near that dosage for good reasons. What works for you might not work as well for me. But as always, starting with a moderate dose is the best approach to take when using Boldenone for the first time until you know how YOU respond to it.
No human clinical dosage guidelines or trials are available for Equipoise, which has left dosing largely to personal experimentation. Over time, this has given us clear anecdotal dosing ideas and recommendations.
As always, your response to one dose of EQ can be very different from mine in terms of both positive and negative effects. Here’s a general guide to the EQ’s bodybuilding doses for different experience levels:
300mg per week is the dosage I find to be the minimum to see effects that make it worthwhile using EQ. Beginners should tolerate 300-400mg of EQ very well with satisfying results. Anything below this level (say 200mg, which some men consider doing) is not likely to be very productive besides a possible slight boost in endurance.
600mg per week is an average and very effective dose for most men. Many will not even find it necessary to go beyond 600-700mg, with this often being an ideal balance of sides and benefits.
I would class any dose above 800mg per week as an advanced dosage. At this point, you start to get some diminishing returns, and taking the dose up to 900mg or even 1000mg (as some guys do) can often demonstrate that you’re not getting any additional benefits compared to a 700mg dose (but probably getting a good deal more in the side effect category).
Some women will use Boldenone Cypionate instead of the more common and slower-acting Boldenone Undecylenate ester, so if side effects occur, the steroid leaves the body quicker.
With EQ’s lower androgenic rating, women will often take around 50mg/week and be able to keep virilizing effects at bay, with some known to take up to 80mg-100mg – however, this higher dose can have the effect of halting menstruation.
Dosing Schedule, Half-life, and Cycle Length
Equipoise has a long half-life of about 14 to 16 days. So this isn’t a steroid you will need to be injecting frequently (suitable for those of us who dislike daily pinning). Injecting EQ once per week is an excellent method to keep levels stable.
With EQ being such a slow-acting steroid, this is one that we need to run for long cycles. At the very minimum, I go for 20 weeks, but 24 weeks or more is typical, and those of us who love EQ will often be found running it long-term.
Guys who do year-round TRT will sometimes blast and cruise with EQ to get that sought-after vascularity which you can achieve even at lower doses.
One thing you need to have to see the best results with EQ is patience! This AAS requires a longer-term outlook, but there’s nothing wrong with adding a kickstarter to the front of your cycle to get things going faster while EQ kicks in. This is going to change the type of results you get.
So what if you use EQ as the primary anabolic? What can you expect?
- You can expect subtle results that improve the longer your cycle goes on.
- You can also expect your appetite to increase like never before (in most cases – some users don’t experience this effect as much).
I like mentioning the appetite thing a lot with EQ because it can make or break your results.
- If you start filling up on simple carbs and empty calories, you can easily find yourself putting on fat.
- If you want to stay lean on EQ as most of us do, eat well and also consider stacking with low-dose Trenbolone to encourage further leaning out.
You can also expect your strength gains to be impressive. Everything will feel lighter, and specific gains are often in the range of 20-30lbs more on deadlifts and 20lbs and up on bench presses. More endurance, leaner, and harder are the primary physical and performance results you should be noticing by the 6-week mark, if not earlier.
One of, if not THE main reason many of us use EQ is for the great vascularity it promotes, and this should be a prominent feature of your results – but you’ll want to be relatively lean (15% or less body fat for men) to get the most out of it.
The amount of time it takes for EQ’s effects to become noticeable is as long as you’d often run a complete cycle of other AAS – it can take a good ten weeks or more until you start noticing the full potential of Boldenone.
So, regardless of what your dosage is, I’d always run a minimum cycle of 20 weeks with EQ, but 24 is even better. As long as you’re monitoring your red blood cell count (and possibly donating blood regularly), you will find the longer cycles to be manageable with this steroid.
Equipoise Cycle for Men
The results men get with EQ vary substantially. Why? Because it’s almost always stacked with other AAS that are influencing your results. But ALL EQ users will rave about the vascularity and the endurance. These are the core effects of Equipoise, and yes, they take some time to kick in, but guys will always be impressed when Boldenone is taking full effect anywhere from the 8 to 12-week mark.
So what are men saying about their Equipoise experiences? Not surprisingly, the majority of comments are very positive. Some men exclusively use EQ for performance gains and not necessarily for bulking or even cutting. Needless to say, EQ is a legendary AAS for increasing stamina and endurance.
“Cardio gains are insane; I can run and run and run endlessly.” – this comment stood out to me. Even guys who aren’t generally that into cardio will find that EQ turns you into an endurance monster.
EQ tends to make you very hungry, which is excellent for bulking cycles. But that appetite boost can become challenging to manage even for the most enthusiastic eater.
“I could just eat and eat and eat, especially when it came to carbs!” – this comment demonstrates the potential danger of that massive appetite increase. Bad carbs will set back your results, so you need to channel that appetite into the appropriate diet for the goals you’re trying to achieve.
Quite amazingly, some EQ users report great vascularity on cycle and many years after running EQ. Some men have noted they now have “vascularity for life,” which we don’t see with other AAS.
“I thought it was weak until week 12.” – this comment perfectly summarizes many of our first-time experiences with EQ. Although I didn’t have to wait quite as long as 12 weeks to see effects, it makes you wonder if your cycle is doing anything for the first month or two.
But it’s also a clear indicator of WHY we run EQ for long cycles or even cruising on it more permanently. Guys who want fast results will lose patience with Equipoise and decide that it’s not an AAS they want to continue using.
Equipoise Cycle for Women
EQ is not a steroid that ranks as the most popular AAS for women, but it’s a firm favorite among women who use it.
For a start, it has half the androgenic power of testosterone, so in theory, women should be able to run EQ with less risk of virilization.
Females can get not only significant gains while on EQ, but many will find a significant improvement in the quality of nails, hair, and skin as well.
Many women can run EQ for long cycles at low doses with minimal to no side effects. I’ve even heard of some females running it year-round at very low doses of under 50mg per week. “A tiny bit more body hair after a couple of years” is a notable comment from a woman using EQ year-round in a cruising and blasting protocol.
Just like men, women will see slow and steady gains with EQ, including strength and muscle gains. Women can potentially build more muscle as they are going to be more sensitive to the anabolic effects of Equipoise, and some excellent vascularity can be achieved if they are relatively low in body fat.
More so than men, females tend to notice some excellent joint benefits (reduced joint pain and increased joint stability/strength) with EQ.
There will always be negative comments from females who have used AAS and started to experience virilizing effects, and EQ is no exception. A deeper or hoarse voice is an expected development from females taking higher doses (80mg, for example) for extended periods.
With more than a few female users noting that Boldenone is a steroid that can be used with zero sides and extraordinary gains, it’s still an AAS that has not reached the same popularity with women as Anavar has.
Equipoise vs. Other PEDs
EQ stands on its own, but it’s always a good idea to compare it with other AAS because it won’t always be the best option for your goals. More so, I would like to know how different AAS will bring additional benefits to a stack. Here, I want to focus on lining it up against two other popular anabolic steroids:
Equipoise vs. Trenbolone
EQ is often called a weak version of Trenbolone. While they’re pretty different, at the most basic level, we can say that EQ is the mildest AAS of the two, and virtually everything good that EQ does will be done by Trenbolone at a significantly amplified level.
Trenbolone will give you more significant muscle gains without a doubt. It will also boost strength into the stratosphere – much more so than Boldenone. But you also get the long list of Tren side effects that don’t exist with Equipoise.
- EQ is the winner when it comes to increasing endurance and stamina.
- Trenbolone use should be limited to short cycles: around eight weeks. In comparison, we can (and should) safely and efficiently use EQ for three times that long or more.
- Both will provide excellent vascularity, but you can’t beat Trenbolone’s muscle hardness and overall aesthetics.
Being a Nandrolone steroid, Trenbolone can also suppress your testosterone for years or even for life. On the other hand, most men will be able to recover normal Test function with a good PCT cycle after using Boldenone.
In my opinion?
It makes sense to compare EQ and Tren, but in the end, it’s like comparing apples and oranges, and these are two steroids that are going to appeal to very different users, with Tren being for the more advanced or high-risk user looking for extreme results.
Equipoise vs. Dianabol
Even though EQ is just a structurally altered form of Dianabol that makes it an injectable steroid, its effects on the body are remarkably different.
So you should never interchange Dianabol for EQ, with the assumption that you’re doing the same AAS because your results with Dianabol will be very different from what we get with Boldenone!
The significant differences between these two include:
- EQ works very slowly, while Dbol is a very fast-acting AAS
- Dbol gives you plenty of water retention, but EQ doesn’t
- Dianabol cycles are always short, while EQ is run for very long cycles
- Dianabol is very liver-toxic (hence the short cycles)
- Most of your Dianabol gains will be lost post-cycle, while EQ gains are much better maintained.
- Equipoise is superior for enhancing vascularity, while Dbol gives you a full, bloated look.
While EQ is beneficial for both cutting and bulking, it can be a difficult AAS to use while dieting due to its tendency to increase your appetite (to a very substantial level for some users). The most common stack is to combine Testosterone and EQ. This is how most men will use it; you can’t go wrong with the results!
Equipoise + Testosterone (Bulking Stack)
This is by far the most popular way to use EQ – in a simple, tried and tested stack with testosterone. It’s a guaranteed cycle for excellent gains and results with manageable side effects. If you want additional hardening effects, you can consider adding something like Masteron towards the end of the cycle or Anavar, as I outline in another stack below.
- Muscle gains
- Strength gains
- More endurance
- Increased appetite
- Nice pumps
- Enhanced vascularity and muscle fullness
- Fast recovery
- Improved mood and motivation
- Equipoise: 500mg/week
- Test: 500mg/week
- Cycle length: 20 weeks minimum
Possible side effects
- Testosterone suppression
- High blood pressure
- High red blood cell count
- Water retention
- Hair loss and acne in sensitive individuals
Your diet is going to determine your gain potential, and while it will be by no means extreme, your gains should be well maintained with controllable water retention.
15lbs of gains are possible, and testosterone will boost strength while EQ enhances endurance – providing a noticeable improvement in training performance and increased lifting ability.
Optionally, HCG at 500iu every other day starting from the end of the cycle to get a head start on stimulating natural test production. After two weeks, continue with Nolvadex for 4-6 weeks at 20mg/day, decreased to 10mg/day for the final week.
Equipoise + Testosterone + Anavar (Lean bulk/Recomp Stack)
Adding Anavar to the final weeks of this cycle is going to supercharge the already incredible vascularity you get with EQ on its own. You’ll be drier, leaner, and more defined than a standard EQ/Test cycle.
- Muscle gains
- Muscle hardening
- Dry, shredded physique
- Increased strength
- More endurance
- Increased appetite
- Fast recovery
- Equipoise: 600mg/week (Weeks 1-20)
- Testosterone: 500mg/week (Weeks 1-20)
- Anavar: 50mg/day (Weeks 16-20 only)
Possible side effects
- Testosterone suppression
- High red blood cell count and blood pressure
- Liver toxicity (mild)
Vascularity is a highlight of this powerful stack. It can be equivalent to what you see with Trenbolone, but you’ll find the vascularity stays with you long after the cycle (often for years).
Anavar will provide a welcome strength boost in the final weeks and fantastic muscle hardening, whether it’s for contest prep or your personal goals. Although muscle gains won’t be massive, they will be quality and maintainable post-cycle.
Nolvadex for 4-6 weeks at 20mg/day, decreased to 10mg/day for the final week.
Equipoise + Anadrol (Bulking Stack)
Anadrol is an oral bulking steroid often stacked with EQ for a short portion of the cycle. With EQ not being a big strength booster, Anadrol takes the lead and pumps up strength gains, while EQ enhances endurance – making for a killer performance combo.
- Muscle gains
- Strength and endurance
- Joint support
- Appetite increase
- Huge, full appearance
- Increased vascularity
- Quicker recovery
- Anadrol: 50mg/day (Weeks 1-4)
- Equipoise: 800mg/week (Weeks 1-24)
- Testosterone: 200mg/week (Weeks 1-24)
Possible side effects
- Testosterone suppression
- Water retention
- High blood pressure
- High red blood cell count
- High cholesterol
- Liver toxicity
- Hair loss
- Lower back pumps
Anadrol is not a dry AAS, so that it will cause water retention for that portion of the cycle. But the upside is the pumped-up, complete look Anadrol provides while EQ takes its time to kick in to start leaning you out and enhancing vascularity.
Anadrol’s strength boost can be felt almost instantly and is going to power your workouts from the very start of this cycle.
Enclomiphene for six weeks, starting two weeks after your final injection. 25mg/day for five weeks, 12.5mg/day for one week. Alternatively, a 4-6 week Nolvadex PCT at 20mg/day can be effective.
If your cycle ends with EQ being the last steroid used, PCT should start two weeks following your last injection due to Boldenone’s long half-life. Starting PCT any earlier than this is futile because EQ is still going to be actively suppressing your testosterone until enough of it has cleared your system.
You can get PCT going earlier through the use of HCG, which I recommend. This can be started as soon as your cycle ends with dosing according to your preference, but I usually aim for 1000iu per week (two injections).
Then, you can follow with a regular SERM PCT using your choice’s SERM(s). Enclomiphene is my preference these days – it’s a newer SERM with fewer side effects. 25mg daily for five weeks and 12.5mg daily for one week is a standard dosing schedule.
Equipoise Side Effects
The side effects of EQ are not what would be considered particularly harsh when we compare it to some other AAS, but there are things to monitor concerning blood pressure and red blood cell count.
Common Side Effects
Here are the most common side effects you can expect while on Equipoise:
Equipoise will suppress your natural testosterone and requires men to run post-cycle therapy following a cycle. Because EQ doesn’t aromatize into estrogen, low estrogen symptoms (similar to some low testosterone symptoms) can also occur in men without using a testosterone base on the cycle.
Some EQ users see a bit of a hit to blood pressure, even at lower doses when stacked with nothing else besides testosterone.
Kidney damage can develop from ongoing high blood pressure, which is just one reason you’ll want to monitor your blood pressure regularly throughout an EQ cycle.
There are some basic actions you can take to help reduce blood pressure:
- Try and do some cardio training each day
- Drink lots of water
- Keep sodium in your diet to a minimum
High red blood cell count
Equipoise can increase your red blood cell count substantially. This raises your hematocrit levels (volume of red blood cells compared to the total blood volume or plasma).
Many people who use EQ will regularly donate blood (if eligible), which can reduce your levels back to a normal range; however, this isn’t a long-term fix because your RBC will bounce back quickly if you continue using EQ.
Although I make a point here that an increase in your appetite will benefit many EQ users, some people find it so intense that being hungry dominates your whole day (and night even).
If you’re using EQ while cutting, this is going to present significant challenges, and the fact is that some people can’t use Boldenone on cutting cycles for this reason alone.
One of the more mysterious side effects that only some users have reported is an onset or increase in anxiety. I say mysterious because we don’t know what causes it, although some other AAS can also induce anxiety and similar feelings.
The severity can range from extreme at one end to non-existent for some users, and you won’t know whether anxiety will be an issue for you until you’ve started using EQ for at least a few weeks. There’s some anecdotal evidence that anyone who has existing anxiety issues when not using AAS is more likely to suffer from it on EQ.
I’ve certainly read some guys saying that anxiety is a bit of a myth with EQ and that it could just be a result of not managing estradiol correctly with EQ’s similar function to an AI.
Equipoise can crash your estrogen (relevant to males) if you’re not careful. Using a high EQ dose and only a low testosterone dose can cause havoc with estrogen levels due to EQ having AI-like effects.
You won’t necessarily feel horrible, and getting blood is needed to confirm low estrogen. Left unchecked, symptoms like fatigue/lethargy, low libido, and depression can develop.
Female Side Effects
With half the androgenic power of testosterone, EQ, at least on paper, looks to be a steroid that women can run with reduced side effects. As with any AAS, virilizing effects will always be possible on Boldenone, with the risk increasing with higher doses and longer-term use. These side effects can include:
- A deepened voice
- Clitoral enlargement
- Growth of body and facial hair
- Changes or cessation of the menstrual cycle
Make sure you check out my in-depth guide to all things related to AAS side effects.
Where to Buy Equipoise?
There is no approval for human use of EQ by the FDA in the United States, so the only pharmaceutical quality Equipoise available is that sold on the veterinary market in some countries. Several brand names for this steroid are used or have been used, including Equipoise, Parenabol, Boldane, Vebonol, Ganabol, and Boldebolin.
Availability of Equipoise
Most suppliers will carry Equipoise, so you’re not likely to have problems finding it for sale. The main challenge will be finding good quality EQ, with there being no human pharmaceutical-grade products in existence.
You have two choices when buying EQ:
- Veterinary grade (the equivalent to human pharma grade)
- Underground labs
Virtually all Boldenone brands are regularly faked or counterfeited, so if you’re looking for genuine stuff, due diligence and a good amount of research are required.
Underdosing can be a big problem, and you’ll only suspect this is the case if you’re not getting the effects you expected after using the product for a few months.
Swapping legitimate EQ for a cheaper testosterone steroid is, unfortunately, another tactic of unscrupulous sellers. Thankfully, all the suppliers with a positive reputation in the bodybuilding community sell high-quality UGL Boldenone. This is why it pays to ask around for recommendations from people who have experience buying anabolic steroids from the best suppliers.
Is Equipoise Legal?
EQ is listed as a Schedule III controlled substance in the United States, making it illegal to possess, buy, sell, manufacture, or use outside of its legal veterinary uses in horses. Very similar laws apply in Australia, which also prohibits manufacturing, buying, selling, and possessing all anabolic steroids for personal use.
The USA and Australia are currently the only two major countries where Equipoise is approved for veterinary use. The UK and Canada are two major countries where laws surrounding anabolic steroids, including EQ, are very lenient regarding personal use.
Many countries allow the purchase of Equipoise legally and openly – but beware if traveling overseas and then attempting to bring your newly bought EQ back home. It’s essential to know the laws in your country on import or cross-border travel with Boldenone.
Equipoise is a prohibited substance by WADA and all worldwide sporting authorities. Several high-profile professional athletes have tested positive for Boldenone over the years, with drastic consequences for their careers.
Counterfeit or fake EQ is everywhere, and the pricing you’re looking at is not going to give you any clues about the legitimacy of the Equipoise being sold (which is why I can’t say enough times to do your research on suppliers).
Maybe more than any other injectable AAS, EQ is sold in many different vial sizes and concentrations, making it tricky to compare pricing. Small 10ml vials up to large 500ml vials and many different volumes in between are sold.
The very best underground lab quality EQ concentrated at 200mg/ml can cost you well over $150 for just a 10ml vial. The cheapest UGL can cost you less than half that amount.
If you’re fortunate enough to find veterinary-grade EQ for sale, you might find it at a 50mg/ml concentration in ampoules as small as 1 ml. This can cost anywhere from $10 to $20 per ml.
Equipoise is one of the most versatile steroids available to us. You really can’t call EQ a bulking or cutting steroid. EQ can be anything you want it to be. You shape what it does through your dosage and diet. The results can be phenomenal, which is why I’ve constantly shaken my head at people who claim it’s not worth using or were disappointed in their results.
The fact is that you have to understand EQ and know what it can and can not provide. There’s a lot more to any AAS than just how much mass it can give you, and plenty of others tick that box if that’s what you’re looking for.
Equipoise has its place in a carefully planned cycle, and it’s one of very few AAS I’m comfortable using for extended lengths of time. Whether EQ is suitable for you is for you to decide, but I absolutely love the look I get with it, and so do plenty of other happy Equipoise users.
- Testosterone Enanthate 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide
- Proviron (Mesterolone) Steroid 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide
- Anadrol (Oxymetholone) 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide
— Furious Joe