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Deca vs Tren: Key differences

Deca and Tren are very different steroids. Let’s start with the similarities: both steroids are injectables and that’s about the biggest similarity the two share, more on the similarities when we get to side effects. The key difference is that Deca will almost always be used in a bulking scenario, whereas Trenbolone might be used in a bulking scenario but will mostly be used in a cutting environment. 

Deca is an FDA approved steroid for the treatment of anemia. In contrast, many steroids are banned by the FDA and aren’t prescribed anymore, because they can cause unpleasant/dangerous side effects even in small doses.

Trenbolone (Acetate) was never approved for humans, but was intended to help cattle bulk up. Thus, Tren is not considered safe, even when used under medical supervision.

Muscle Hypertrophy

Trenbolone will take the edge slightly as the overall muscle builder between the two, but it really depends on where the Steroid is administered. Tren is great for building muscle, on the face of it. It will keep you strong, lean, and massive regardless of if your diet and training isn’t up to par. This of course comes with side effects, but more about those later. 

When used in a cutting cycle, Tren will also speed up fat burning and increase muscle retention when eating few calories. Tren’s fat-burning properties are due to its high androgenic nature, with the AR (androgen receptor), having the ability to inhibit fat storage and promote fat loss in adipose tissue.

In comparison, Deca is only used in bulking cycles, and its effects are mild when used alone. Bodybuilders will rarely take Deca by itself, instead of stacking Deca with more potent bulking steroids, to enhance Deca’s effects in relation to strength and muscle size. When this is done, Deca produces a very thick and huge look with intracellular fluid filling the muscles, plus increases in lean muscle.

Fast vs Slow Gains

Both compounds have short and long versions, Trenbolone Acetate and Trenbolone Enanthate. Deca Durabolin and Nandrolone Phenylpropionate (NPP). This means that either can be used for a short blast or a longer period of time. Keep in mind that side effects from short esters are usually felt a lot more intensely. 

Tren will seem quite a lot more intense compared to Deca. Reason being is that Trenbolone is just a harsher drug compared to Deca. This may make people say “Oh I feel it more” but in reality, they really are just “feeling” insane side effects. Because of this most people will not run Tren for a long period of time. 

Deca (Not NPP) is a long game. The drug has a very long halflife, and most people will be able to run the drug for a very long time, reaping all the benefits and gains before calling it quits. Based on your training and diet, this could be a better idea as you will be much healthier. 

Side Effects, which is Worse?

Between the two, Trenbolone is going to have a more severe impact on your health, of course dose dependant. 

Deca Durabolin can lead to a serious cardiovascular strain, mostly just by increasing blood pressure and messing with your Cholesterol levels. 

Research has shown that a high dose of Deca, 600mg per week, taken for 10 weeks, caused a 26% decrease in HDL cholesterol.

Trenbolone is an even more harsh steroid that will spike blood pressure significantly. This is due to Trenbolone’s sheer toxicity and lack of conversion into estrogen. Bodybuilders often don’t want testosterone to convert into estrogen, because it can cause gyno and water retention; however many don’t realize that estrogen provides protection to the heart (increasing HDL cholesterol). Furthermore, when there’s low estrogen, blood pressure often rises.

Trenbolone also has an affinity to mess with Thyroid function which can have lasting effects on most of the bodily mechanisms.

Androgenic Side Effects

Trenbolone is very Androgenic, whereas Deca is not.

Tren has an androgenic rating of 500, compared to Deca’s 37.

Therefore, hair loss, acne, oily skin and an enlarged prostate are common issues on Tren.

If someone is genetically prone to acne, Tren is likely to cause bad outbreaks; due to an increase in sebum production blocking the pores. Back acne is particularly common on Tren.

Because Tren is very androgenic, users will notice the shoulders and traps blow up more than other muscle groups, due to them having more androgen receptors. However, on Deca, the user’s shoulders will grow in relation to the rest of the body. Thus, people on Tren are usually easy to recognize because of the artificial, 3D, photo-shopped look to their deltoids.


Tren and Deca are not estrogenic steroids. Tren does not aromatize, thus creating a very dry look. Although Deca does aromatize, it is thought to be only 20% compared to testosterone. Some people, therefore, believe that gyno is very unlikely when taking each of these compounds – which isn’t true.

Tren and Deca both raise progesterone levels, which is similar to estrogen in the way it acts. High progesterone can cause breast tissue to form like estrogen, making gyno still possible. The likelihood of gyno forming on Tren and Deca increases, when they are stacked with other estrogenic steroids, such as Dianabol, Anadrol, and testosterone.

Anti-estrogens are thought to be effective in preventing gyno, even from steroids which raise progesterone. However, anti-estrogens are likely to have a negative effect on blood lipids.

Testosterone Suppression

Both of these steroids are going to shut down testosterone levels. This effect may be slightly milder on Deca; however, it’s still going to take several months for natural testosterone levels to come back after taking either of these steroids.

Thus, a PCT is recommended (Nolvadex/Clomid/HCG) to help test levels return to normal ranges after a cycle.

Note: testosterone suppression is a common side effect with all steroids, and is almost always severe. The only compounds which cause mild declines in testosterone are Anavar and Primobolan.

Deca Dick

Deca may affect a user’s sex life worse than Tren, with it being notoriously known for causing erectile dysfunction (impotence). This is due to Deca lowering DHT levels, which is an important hormone for blood flow to the penis. Deca dick can be reversed by stacking Deca with an androgenic steroid, such as testosterone, or you could use Winstrol which is a pure DHT Derivative and will also lower Progesterone levels in the body, which is the leading cause of Deca Dick, and will also lower the chances of developing lactating nipples. 

Tren Cough

Violent coughing instantly after injecting Tren happens roughly in 1 in 5 injections. Such coughing can also be accompanied with a tight chest, typically lasting for several seconds.

Note: Tren cough is not dangerous.

Such coughing can happen when injecting any steroid, especially when the needle hits a blood vessel. However it is more common with Tren; due to it being an irritant. Thus, when it immediately enters the bloodstream, the lungs can become irritated; hence the coughing and metallic taste left in a user’s mouth.

What are the Risks For Women?

Women who take Tren will almost certainly experience strong side effects, this is because Trenbolone is highly androgenic, thus women often suffer from virilization symptoms.

Can Deca Be Stacked With Tren?

Yes, it certainly can and to good effect when bulking. Size and sTrength gains will be increased as opposed to running Tren alone.

The side effects also won’t be much more severe, compared to doing a Tren-only cycle (other than exacerbated testosterone suppression).

A Deca/Tren stack isn’t the most popular combination, because Trenbolone is typically a dry steroid; whereas Deca causes some fluid retention. However, if users simply want to build mass from a cycle, instead of looking aesthetic; this is an effective cycle.

Another reason why these two should actually not be taken together is Progesterone. Both interact with the Progesterone Receptors as a Progestin, and can cause serious damage if not managed.

You really have to know what you’re doing if you choose to combine these two.

Deca vs Tren for Vascularity?

Tren is much better for getting veins to pop, turning you into a human roadmap (if you are already lean). This is due to Tren’s diuretic effects, flushing water out underneath the skin; enhancing definition and bringing veins closer to the surface of the skin.

Also, Tren’s fat-burning effects will help with vascularity, as the more fat a person carries, the more hidden their veins will be. Deca in comparison causes a smooth look, instead of a ripped one; hence how it’s commonly used in the offseason.

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