Hi all, I've read the available stickies on first cycles, done a little extra reading, spoken to some people who have run multiple cycles. I've start started (literally 1 hour ago), my first course and would really appreciate any advice or cautions that the experienced board members have to offer, as I have a few worries.
Bit of background:
I'm 28 and have been lifting since the age of 15, but it has been on and off. I did a natural bodybuilding competition at 17 and won the junior title. I mainly pissed around for the next few years at university, training only sporadically. About age 22 I got into it again for about a year, then left it again, then picked it up again a few times, most recently last year.
I've played around with different programs, varying from 5x5, bodybuilding splits, Wendler's 531 and periods of nothing but calisthenics. I recently ended a 6 month program of calisthenics, just enjoying the rest on my joints, learning new skills etc and just having some fun.
I've attached a body shot to give some idea where I'm at currently (currently only 2 weeks back into lifting weights)
Last year after 3 months of 531 (and also vegan eating - just a phase...), I had a:
1RM squat of 220kg (484lbs)
1RM deadlift of about 200kg (440lbs)
1RM military press of 80kg (176lbs)
1RM bench of about 150kg (330lbs).
These are the heaviest figures I've achieved, which I mainly credit to muscle memory, fairly long training history and the genius of Jim Wendler's programming. I switched over to calisthenics, thinking I wanted to becoming smaller and faster and did that for 6 months, as mentioned above. Currently my 1RMs are probably about 70% of those figures, after 6 months of much lighter weights.
During that time, I was also trying to lose fat. I'm currently 96kg (211lbs), 179cm (5'10") and I'd estimate about 15-16% body fat. Body impedance tests fairly consistently give those numbers. Initially, I was eating to appeite, probably about 3500kcal, fairly equal macros. Over the past two months, I've tried carb cycling, calorie deficits (as low as 2000kcal/day, AMR estimated 2800-3500kcal/day).
Kept a food diary, tracked macro's most days, eating predominantly modified 'paleo' (mostly meats, eggs, starchy tubers, rice and oats). I've eaten this way for about 5 years, supplementing with omega 3, magnesium, vitamin D/A/K and some probiotics during this time.
To be fair, I would snack on sugary fruit bars and stuff, but I don't think my indulgences often exceeded 10-15% of total caloric intake.
Basically, I've hardly shifted a pound. I'm open to the possibility this wasn't clean enough, but when I dieted for my bodybuilding show, similar macros and some cheating got me down to about 9% in 6 months (from around 18%, I think).
I'm older now, and also taking lamotrigene 200mg and fluoxetine 40mg (for a variant of bipolar disorder, called cyclothymia). I'm also a qualified cognitive behavioural therapist and do a lot to help myself and others (exercise, clean eating, sleep, meditation and thought challenging, behavioural monitoring and modifications etc). At the moment, I'm pretty stable. Some fluctuating emotions but hey, that's life.
As I get older, my moods seem to be stabling out. I presume its a general overall personality change, loosening up and letting go through meditation and less idealism! I am not ignorant enough to know that I am immune to relapse and, obviously, I am still currently medicated. I'm wondering if lamotrigene might be inhibiting fat loss, as I think it can mess with prolactin? I've had standard NHS blood panels, but they didn't show me the results. I suspect they looked primarily at liver functioning.
The short of it is that a friend recommended I hand in my natty card. He had great results with a test enthanate, trenbolone enthanate and oral winstrol cycle, in combination with GBC training and low intensity cardio. I know tren is big boys business, but on these forums and others, a number of first time users seem to get great results. The program recommended to me is as follows:
300mg test e for 14 weeks (150mg E3D)
250mg tren e for 12 weeks (125mg E3D)
50mg winstrol ed from 12-16 weeks
2 weeks withdrawal, then PCT (clomid or Nolva). He didn't recommend during cycle AI drugs, of HCG (which, to my embarrassment, I only found out about last night - it would be too late for me to put in an order as long as they are not too pricey).
3x GBC training per week
3x basic strength training (5x5 major compound lifts) (to activate my muscle memory - my prediction is that my numbers will be much higher by the time the enthanate really starts to kick into gear, 6weeks?)
3-5x low intensity cardio (65-75% max bpm), probably morning fasted.
Approx 3-4k of a high protein, high fat, cyclical low-carb (post workout, maybe 200g if I can get it in...haha) training regime. Lots of saturated fats, red meats, eggs etc, with only 10-20% of protein coming from plant-based protein shakes (I'm reasonably dairy/gluten intolerant after 5 years without them). Some fruit.
These are my concerns:
1) Potential emotional consequences from the trenbolone. I can handle some rougher weather, but not constant storms. I have quite extensive coping strategies, experience working with mental health problems, and I'm surrounded my loving family members and psychologist colleagues! I've never been suicidal and have a strong impulse towards life/growth. I know that tren can seriously fuck with some people, and I'd like some idea as to whether my ratio/dosages of test/tren looks rational, given what we know about the two and how they interact.
2) I'm not sure of the 'strength' of the combined steroids. My preference was to try a moderate test enth cycle, with no other supports to test the waters, but as my goals are primarily fat loss and muscle maintenance, my friend recommended the cycle above. I'm aware that too little is basically pointless, and too aggressive can cause more side effects. I'd like to find a happy medium and, whilst bodies are idiosyncratic, I'm hoping the experience of members here will have some estimations as to the strength of the above.
As I understand it, the test enth is primarily just to stop my test levels dropping too low from the trenbolone. I've read that low test/high tren can be powerful fat loss, but a bit rough. I've also read that high test/low tren can, paradoxically, cause more side effects.
I'm quite confused on all this stuff and whilst I have an above average understanding of biology, hormones and the complexity of those systems, I'm no pharmacologist and I don't know a huge deal about safe/effective steroid use. Insomnia from tren would be an absolute no go for me (I'm generally mentally very well if my sleep is ok).
As it's my first cycle, it would be good to maximize gains. It's worth noting that I'm not, at this time, planning another cycle. If I can achieve my goals and maintain 80% of that post-cycle, I'll be more than happy with the result. I have, however, heard it is a bit moreish once you get going...
3) I'm unsure as to whether I need HCG or an AI at this point.
4) I'm unsure as to whether it is better to withdraw then PCT, or taper, given my psychiatric history and potential vulnerabilities.
5) I'm concerned about the potential liver impact of lamotrigene (mild, but can raise enzymes) and winstrol (potential for acute liver elevations). I don't drink alcohol at all any more and only occasionally take recreational drugs. I'm in otherwise great physical health, good skin, good teeth, full hair follicles etc.
6) I've read a lot of guys will eat 4-5k kcal/day whilst on cycle. Is this low enough for me to also cut, given my training regime?
Overall, this has been a risk vs cost equation for me. I'd very much like to achieve that dense, strong and ripped physique that I am struggling to achieve at this time in my life, despite my stated efforts. I've heard great things about the assertiveness/confidence that can come from testosterone supplementation and my intuition is that I will be able to handle it. Of course, no one here has a crystal ball, but any risk mitigation advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm prepared to take a bit of a blow to temporary emotional volatility if it means I can get that alpha body and strength, because I just fucking love training
I'm ready for the flames if necessary, as I understand tren is not something to be taken lightly. Should the members of this board urge me to go pure test E, even dropping winstrol, this is something I am prepared to consider. I have to admit, I'm excited about the possibility of a winstrol kickstart. To be honest, I'm massively stoked about the entire endeavour and those I train with think I going to respond very strongly given my history and training/nutrition commitments. Fingers crossed ay.
Thanks in advance for your time and support.