What Kind of Doses Did Bodybuilders in the 1980’s Use?

The following article was written by Ergo-Log

Sports physician John IJzerman was a pioneer in the Netherlands. Between 1984 and 2011 several hundred steroids users, bodybuilders, power-lifters and free-fighters visited his practice every year. They came for advice and check-ups.

IJzerman was not always impressed by his clients’ cycles. “I tried to build up an overview and base my advice on this,” IJzerman said in an interview. “My advice was always based on cutting down total intake, dosage and risky combinations by making adjustments to the cycle. The most common problems were too high doses of steroids, substances from unreliable sources, high doses of thyroid hormones, combinations of substances where not all components were known, and sometimes also a lifestyle that didn’t combine well with sports. The cycles some people devised were not always well thought-out.”

In 1984 IJzerman published data on the steroids cycle of a 24-year-old bodybuilder in the Dutch publication Geneeskunde. The man had been training for eighteen months, had almost finished his second cycle and wanted to know if he was still completely healthy.


The graph below shows the bodybuilder’s cycle, giving weekly doses. 1 = Primobolan (active ingredient: metholone enanthate); 2 = Stromba (stanozolol); 3 = Methandriol (nandrolone decanoate).


  • 350-750mg Primobolan Enanthate per week
  • 100mg Nandrolone Decanoate per week
  • 40mg Stanozolol per day

By today’s standards these are tiny doses, but according to the sports physician who supervised the bodybuilder this schedule was pretty effective. And pretty safe.


The cycle – along with the first cycle the bodybuilder had done three months previously – had resulted in progression. In the three-month period the bodybuilder had put on weight and gained strength, as the figure below shows.


The bodybuilder was in the sixth week of his cycle when IJzerman examined him. The concentration of HDL in his blood was low, and the concentrations of the liver enzymes SGOT and SGPT were high. This was why IJzerman advised the bodybuilder to wait before starting another cycle at least until his levels had normalised.

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