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22yr old Cruising on TRT-Level Dose (1300ish) for Strength Gains?

Hey guys,
New to posting on T nation but I fucking love this place so many nuggets of wisdom here. I’m gonna pick some brains if possible about a big life decision I’ve been considering as of late and I want to consult with as many people as possible first. Around a year and a half ago I was in a deep depression and was losing bad to drug addiction. I got kicked out of school, my parents house and got fired from my job all within about a month’s span. Basically I hit rock bottom and needed something to pull me back up or else suicide was looking like a real option because I just had nothing to live for anymore. I was banging a super hot girl at the time and one day she said she wanted to stop fucking because “she’s only real attracted to big guys” and that really pissed me the fuck off because I was always known for having a nice body(got nominated for most attractive superlative and I promise it’s not my face) and even earned the nickname “pecs” in high school because as a 6’2" lean 185 pound swimmer I didn’t look shabby. However I lost this pride I had to drugs and that’s when it clicked that the reason I was so fucking depressed was I grew up with athletics as the centerpiece to my life and when I lost that love I lost all my balance. Since age 13ish I’ve had a very strangely intense urge(almost like an inner calling) to powerlift. I hit the gym hard and at first my lifts were god awful… at 160 pounds I couldn’t squat 200 bench 100 or deadlift 300. Literally an under 600 total. My shit was so fucked up from so much drug abuse that I was unbelievably weak. However I was willing to grind and bleed a little to make it happen and I consider myself good at technique sports since I obsess over perfecting efficiency and it always works in my favor(for example in high school I swam multiple 21 second short course 50s if that means anything to y’all and actually had a stroke almost twice as slow as the guys in my heats… I was just incredibly efficient) so I would say I excelled quickly. That was a year and a half ago and my gym total now is 495 squat, 310 bench and 590 deadlift at 230 pounds at 20% (at one point I got up to 243 at 24%). 1395 is a big jump up from 600 hahaha and I’m damn proud of it considering I never started lifting until last year. I’m doing my first meet in November and decided to check the state record and learned if I could just bring my gym total to the platform I would break the 220 junior record by almost 150 pounds. I know powerlifting is a small sport so it’s hardly even an accomplishment but it’s huge for me considering I only broke 1 swim record after 9 consistent years of training hard so I can tell my grind is paying off. I love this shit and wanna push it all the way to the top. I have a lot of support from people I really trust and strongly believe it’s my life’s calling to lift heavy heavy ass weights… I love it too much and it is literally holding my life together and giving it meaning. Now, all of this is just to say I know what I’m about to suggest wouldn’t traditionally be recommended for a guy my age but I feel like my life situation is much different than most. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that everyone thinks they are a special snowflake. I have the unconditional love and support of almost all my friends and family when it comes to my endeavors but I want opinions of people that don’t know me personally. I think I have a serious future in this sport and have up until this point had a gut feeling to not run gear but for some reason recently that feeling has gone away. I haven’t run any juice yet but want to run it in the most efficient way possible starting next year. My research has lead me to believe that the best cycle for my goals(eventually a world record total and deadlift) would be to run low dose test and stay anywhere from 1200-1500 to avoid almost all sides. Running cycles is the only thing I’ve ever seen recommended or discussed for a guy my age but the problem is I’m already good at gaining strength fast and am worried about injuring myself while blasting test because I push myself too hard as is. I’ve read young lifters can get injured bad doing crazy cycles because you don’t have consistent biofeedback to base power output off of. Constantly fluctuating strength levels are something I don’t want because it’s just another variable to account for and a very important one at that… I can’t train the way I train with strength going up and down. I would rather just run constant low dose if possible for consistent and safe gains. I’m very serious about doing this the right way and my parents are going to help my get my shit because they don’t want me going through the black market and risking my health. However, I’m a complete steroid virgin and have a few questions.

  1. do y’all think I’m personally ready to run gear like this?
  2. should I be running anything else alongside test if so? (I’m looking for the greatest amount of return on the smallest dose possible. Anadrol sounds way too tempting for me though… ).
  3. will I still be able to have kids after years of running gear like this? I’m honestly not planning on it but I’m still young and would rather keep that option open if possible.

Sorry for the incredibly long winded post, I’ve just been contemplating this decision for a while now and want to get good feedback regarding this matter as it’s a big decision I feel like. Also I felt it necessary to show how important powerlifting is to my life so I don’t 100% get the typical “wait till late 20s” response because I don’t think life is that black and white. I’ve weighed out the pros and cons and the pros tip the scale hard. However, I just want to double check and make sure I’m not delusional. Any input/life experience in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!!

if you cruise at that high of a test level for a couple of years like you said, your shit will be unbelievably fucked. Everything will be fucked up

There’s so much to say so I’ll post more than one reply but here goes:

I am pro steroid use especially in the case where someone has high aspirations such as yourself. I am not pro what you are suggesting. Pls take the time to read some of what I write.

  • Burnout happens loads at the junior levels. You see some promising lifters then they vanish off the face of the earth. Too much too fast. Powerlifting is a game of years, hell decades. Dudes who get to the top didn’t blast/cruise their way there in a few years.

  • Krzysztof Wierzbicki - 885kg 1st Place 105kg - IPF World Classic Powerlifting Championships 2017. Dude may well be using PEDs but passes the strictest testing protocols in Powerlifting.
    At 20% body fat, tho that’s probably a bit conservative, you have a lot of potential lean mass/recompositioning to do to fill out and be competitive in your chosen weight class. Read the first bits of this post because I wrote loads there.

Then keep doing it. You’ve come a long way man Full natty brah. No reason to change anything at this time. Dudes be making natty strength gains into their 40s.

Sounds like a positive trait to have but it tells me you are either ill disciplined or unaware of how to program properly for powerlifting both of which are essentially in getting anywhere nevermind to elite level. You literally cannot take enough drugs to make up for shit programming.

Powerlifters are successful cycling because they know wtf they are doing.

Nowhere near.

Is black and white mane. If you cruise like this you won’t make it very far. Powerlifting or otherwise. If you want to make to the top now is not time nor is this the way to do it.

Best case you get incredibly jacked and your health is all fucked up.

Put your passion and drive into learning proper nutrition, programming, practicing self discipline and implementing this all into your training. Put in the time and the effort. Make gains in the gym, in experience and in knowledge.

This is the foundation upon which everything is built. This is what you should be concerned about. Not drugs, not short cut’s and quick fixes.

I really appreciate the lengthy response, definitely a lot to chew on. You’re the only lifter I’ve ever talked to that’s actually tried to talk me out of it so I’m gonna pick your brain a little bit more if you’ll let me.

• I remember reading Brandon Lilly discuss the exact same thing. Would you say the burnout is more often physical or psychological? I can understand how a severe injury at junior level would halt a lifter’s progress but I spend twice as much time trying to prevent injury as I do actually trying to get strong… for example I do minute for minute possibly more mobility/prehab than actual lifting(always have and always will), monthly chiropractic visits, monthly massage therapy, weekly hydro massage(often times for like 5 hours straight), and I even go to my psychologist bi weekly and psychiatrist one a month to help avoid psychological burnout. I originally started going almost exactly 2 years ago to get out of depression and help with severe anxiety but basically found out within a month that picking up another sport was exactly what my body needed to fix all problems. Since then I’ve been going literally specifically to avoid psychological burnout because I know it’s so important to my mental health and I need to exercise at all costs. If I have a glaringly obvious gap in my approach to avoiding burnout please let me know.

• I about shit my pants when I saw him lift for the first time. Gear or no gear that is fucking insane. The fact he does it on a stiff bar too… unbelievable
(Side note there’s a guy at my gym that lifts usapl and he squats/deadlifts in the same training session twice a week and even using the same loading percentages and yesterday I lifted with him and he pulled 485 for 10, then 525 for 4 and 585 for a triple then immediately squatted 405 for 10, 455 for 4 then 500 for a triple without even wearing knee sleeves… he competes usapl with 3 years training experience only 200 pounds at 20 years old and swears up and down he’s not running gear… seems legit…)

• very interesting considering the older guys I lift with at my gym seem to be weak compared to the younger guys. The highest total we have from a guy older than 30ish is a 1750 multiply total at 308. We have a 19 year old totaling 1450 raw at 165(definitely no juice) a 25 year old totaling 1540 raw in sleeves at 165(possibly juicing but nothing crazy) and my coach who totaled 1960 at 23 years old in 220(juiced the hell up only his second cycle though). He’s actually the one that suggested I hop on and don’t come off because he says I have more potential in the sport than he does so he thinks the risks are worth the reward for me specifically. Why do you think cycling is really that much better for powerlifters? The guys that run at my guy all cruise non stop(without blasting just orals) and the strongest guys I’ve been able to get a hold of only have said the exact same thing.

• Really not sure how this makes you assume my programming is bad or that I’m ill disciplined. My understanding of programming is actually incredibly deep… and even diverse. I’m a USA swimming certified coach and coached an elite club team(12-14 age group) for a few years. Also I had a direct role in helping construct the programming for my high school team when I captained(coaches weren’t very smart) and we went from 8th fastest team in Tennessee to 3rd the year I captained with a weaker talent depth. For the last 5ish years of training I began to hate swimming(couldn’t quit though because I was addicted to winning) and focused all my research on powerlifting even though I couldn’t train it because of my other athletic responsibilities. My senior year I lifted for 1 semester under our head football strength coach and after about a month he asked me if I had a study hall where he could pull me out and I could come help him coach form to his players… which was fucking wild because I had literally been lifting for 1 month and everything else about lifting technique I knew was purely theoretical. They weren’t weak either a freshman squatted 605 in just sleeves(at 350+ pounds but still) and that program had 9? 6A Tennessee state chapmionships. Still to this day I’m incredibly honored that he chose me to come help him coach his way more experienced and WAY stronger athletes simply because he saw I had an extreme passion for the technique and training of the sport and decided to take me under his wing which I’m to this day incredibly thankful for. I literally knew more about technique than he did(no bullshit he would ask me for advice sometimes) but he knew way more about getting an athlete strong than I did so he learned a tad from me and I learned a fuck ton from him. So needless to say I think I understand athletic programming.

• The problem I have with what you’re saying is my powerlifting foundation is rock solid. I’ve taken it upon myself to spend there’s no telling how many hundreds(maybe thousands) of hours researching how to get a bigger total safely and efficiently. The general statement I’ve gotten from the 3 strongest guys at my gym who I happen to trust/respect very much have told me “i generally recommend that kids your age don’t run gear because they have so much longer to go before it makes sense for them to run juice but you have stupid potential in this sport and I see your devotion to learning because your technique is flawless(side note my current/first coach never actually fixed any area of my technique we just worked on programming at first and now it’s all just maintenance) and I want to see how strong you get you’re ready just do it” rough paraphrase but the 3 strongest guys I know personally told me this in different ways but they all made the same points. If there is a different, safer alternative I’m severely interested and please share more info. I know this was an incredibly lengthy response and I apologize for that but I’m so hungry for knowledge and want to do everything perfect. I will take everything you say into consideration and I’m truly greatful for the points you’ve brought up as you just essentially played devil’s advocate to literally everyone in my life who’s opinion I trust (both my psych docs somehow, everyone I train with, shit even my parents are with the idea… they care about winning above all else even above health and they raised me to be the same way). I love discussion with intelligent people(obviously you are one) and would love to continue the conversation if you see fit.

Bruh that’s the longest post I’ve ever seen lel. I’ll try to put my response in the same order.

Burnout’s can be a bit of both and I think they are always present together with maybe one contributing more than the other. Tbh I can’t empathise with psychological burnout because I love lifting for the sake of it. The sensations, the pain, the whole journey and experience I enjoy it all from thr beginning and still do. I can see how one could potentially tho. Maybe growing disillusioned with the sport or their progress. Maybe that drive to push 100% 24/7 is too much. Getting super hyped and pushing yourself to the max every workout is unsustainable which is why many programs incorporate light days and the like.

Physical burnout can be stuff like doing as much volume as possible to get the maximum amount/ rate of adaptions. Faster results sure but beats up your body. I’m guessing the dude who goes more minimum effective volume will end up in a better place with good steady adaptions over years e.g. the Russians.

I’m not really thinking at all about a serious injury which could be caused by any number of things or just plain bad luck.

I think most importantly you need to know your own body. It comes with experience. How much you can take and how that feels.

E.g. For myself in my accumulation phase around about 22-24 working sets per week for chest is my MRV. I could make fast gains training close to this say 20 sets but that’s going “hardcore” for me at least. Mentally and physically that’d be unsustainable. What I do is wave up and down over a mesocycle. Week 1 14 sets, W2 16, W3 18 W5 20-22 and W6 deload. While the rate of gains is less than 22 22 22 22 etc. this method is more sustainable and I’m confident in being able to, if I chose, to do this for years. Building, building, building. Always building.

Tbh gear both contributes to and prevents burnout. Gear will increase your work capacity and recovery ability. You abuse this and go ham you’ll do harm to your long term sustainability, potential and ultimately results.

Use gear right and you’ll be able to enhance performance beyond your natural limits and end up with a better result faster.

In an interview Konstantin Konstantinov spoke of this and how many lifters rely on the drugs.

Yeah at the top level they are truly incredible.

Drugs (as much as they can get away with at least)
Genetically Blessed
Effective Individualised Programming
Years or Decades of Hard Work and Discipline

Outdoing others in one category is nowhere near enough. All areas have to be maxed out nomsayin

It’s nice to have dudes to push you at your gym (not push you onto drugs mind you). Some strong dudes and some juicy dudes apparently.

Cycling…hmm. Probably sustainability. You can cycle forever but how long can you cruise hard? If it’s your whole 20 year powerlifting career or longer than that if you compete Masters I’d be impressed and worried about what happens when you get off nvm during.

Tbh an accumulation phase lends itself well to being on cycle and an intensification phase can maintain your gains and by the time you peak for comp you get clean.

Let’s be clear here. We are not talking about risks. They are guarantees that you’ll get fucked up in some way or another. The risks are the serious shit: little exaggerated but e.g. that you’ll be dead before 30 or something terrible like a stroke that leaves you unable to speak for the rest of your life. Those are the risks not some side effects like growing some tits.

My bad if I offended you or something but I can only work with what you say. If I had seen evidence to the contrary I wouldn’t have mentioned it.

Poor discipline:
history of addiction (sry if low blow)

“Push myself too hard” Are you not in control of yourself. Is this not the most basic of responsibilities. How can you expect to have a good deload if you cannot even pull back and be conservative when it’s programmed. Successful workouts are form the basis for successful micro cycles, meso cycles and macrocycles.

“1395 is a big jump up from 600” if you program you should never be surprised. You do as you’ve planned/programmed and get the results you expect +/- deviations

“Because I push myself too hard as it is” suggests poor programming or lack thereof. The point of programming is to control for things like this. A program that lets you push yourself too hard is no program. It’s just you doing whatever you feel like.

Programming accounts for and controls variables. A program is flexible and modifiable to almost anything.

You’ve mentioned “programming” a lot but I see no evidence of the principles of programming and their use and application. Perhaps my gut feeling is wrong.

What kind if program are you currently running? Outline it pls and justify it.

(Pls read in Samuel L Jackson voice)
Nobody gives a shit where you’ve been or what you’ve done or coached. Technique? Fuck your technique motherfucker. Wtf that have to do with anything except blowing yourself?

Diverse? DIVERSE!? Fuck your diversity bullshit.
Specificity motherfucker. You know it? Most important fucking principle and you talking about diversity. Diversify in powerlifting you sonofabitch.

Research? Dafuq? Cunts been researching exercise since the beginning of time and performance enhancing drugs for nearly a century with new research coming out all the time. Dudes be dedicating their lives to this pursuit and after a year you be like “I understand athletic programming?” Nah mane.

Not a reply exactly but worryingly you’ve not mentioned fatigue management or nutrition.

Also you seem content with your current technique and understanding of powerlifting program. This is absolutely the wrong mindset. Just as you are always building, going forwards in your training so too should you seek to improve in all aspects.

The best lifters in the world still seek to improve their technique. Most people can arch more. Most people have room to brace more effectively. Most sumo pullers can work on mobility to achieve better positioning.

As simple and straightforward as powerlifting programming can seem on the surface it can become quite complex if you wish. Mike Tuscherer’s work is great and his attention to detail really shines through. Concepts such as RPE have been introduced into powerlifting recently (relatively) and still more advances will be made. Avail yourself of these and never be content with “I think I understand”

I’m not saying you’re wrong but based on my personal experience with a ton of different types of drug abuse steroid abuse is a fucking joke compared to certain types of rec drugs. I understand there is a risk for stroke or aneurysm which is scary as hell but I think is a far exaggerated claim. I’ve been working in an underground gym known for it’s steroid abusers for the last 2 years so literally been having a non stop steroid conversation for 40 hours a week every week. I have never even heard of anyone dying directly from steroid use. My coach has even personally seen a man die 5 minutes after dropping 560 on his sternum in competition but some day I hope to be benching more than that. I’ve heard of death from insulin and death from dnp but personally know guys who run tons of both and have never actually heard of anyone dying from either(except for Mccarver unfortunately). For example there are 2 Olympia caliber bodybuilders at my gym(both have competed in the last 7 or 8) that have crusing/blasting on INSANEEEE doses for the last 20ish years and they both have kids and one actually has 4 kids despite that being “impossible” after cruising for even a few years on low dose gear. Shit he’s the heavyweight of the 2 and has even been going out of country for the last few years before Olympia for stem cell treatment… and every time I see him he looks happy as hell. However, i unfortunately have not had the same experience with rec drugs. I spent about 2 years heavily involved in my party scene and 2 years involved in lifting scene so my experience time in both is exactly equal. During that time I befriended 5 guys which are now dead due to overdose. In high school before I started partying I still lost 2 friends to overdose. The drugs at fault were every time a mixture of at least 2 and in one case all of xanax/oxy/codiene/alcohol. Our culture has deemed these specific drugs to be culturally acceptable and therefore safe but I always make it a point to let people know they WILL ABSOLUTELY kill you at a high enough dose. Crack/heroine/meth was never involved. It’s makes sense why Larry Wheels said he hopped on as a way out of the party lifestyle because all his friends started dying… If you ask me you can’t even put rec drugs and steroids in the same ballpark.

Regarding my history of addiction I would actually say it’s one of my biggest strengths when it comes to this sports. My reason for having such an addictive personality is having been pushed into a high level of such an intense dopamine releasing sport during so many critical developmental years of my life(confirmed by both my my psychologist and psychiatrist) and my younger brother is the exact same way but with way worse drug problems for many more years than me(and he was state champion gymnast in rings/floor 2 years in a row during childhood and state champion decathalete during high school) despite endorphin addiction not running in my family(my and brother are only addicts in entire family). It just so happens that when I’m back in a sport my body goes back to homeostasis and my addictive drug(endorphine) seeking tendencies because the endorphine release from lifting absolutely shits on any drug I’ve ever tried. If you don’t believe the link between athletes and drug abuse look up the statistics.

I would argue that technique is the single most important aspect of powerlifting. With a focus on having perfectly efficient technique you will be able to progress at an incredibly fast rate due to the fact that you have to apply the least amount of force to the bar which over time done consistently will allow you to have a rate of progress that is actually exponential over a lifter that doesn’t focus on technique 24/7. It also allows a lifter to have proper loading at all times therefore significantly decreasing the risk of a tear or strain resulting in theoretically consistent strength gains until one’s genetic potential(with or without gear) is reached.

Having a diverse extensive athletic background can help a lifter rise to the top of this game incredibly quick. For example… Kevin Oak was a d1 sprinter at Villanova and less than 10 years later is crushing arguably the most competive world records in the sport. Chad Wesley Smith totaled 2226 at first very powerlifting meet and attributes his success to being a d1 thrower. Eddie Hall and James Strickland(661 comp bench) were both swimmers and BOTH attribute their success to the grind they learned in that sport.

I don’t normally tell people my programming because I like to keep it a secret but I really appreciate you replying back to me with such sincere replies that I’m gonna explain what I’ve been doing. My first 3 months powerlifting I was running Brandon Lilly’s Cube which gave decent strength gains but the process of resetting maxes was too slow for me and I needed something faster. It’s interesting you bring up Mike and RPE because that is actually the training style I adopted for the next 3 years and got even worse gains from it than from the cube. I liked the idea of daily auto regulation because in theory it should yield the fastest strength gains but for me personally that wasn’t the case at all. I couldn’t push myself hard enough to elicit a response. I’m sure it works great for some people but for me not so. I think I’m just too used to having a coach yelling in my ear “if you don’t swim this exact time you’re a disgrace to me and your family and the fucking team who is entirely counting on you but it’s no big deal because you’re a fucking stud and you’re gonna crush this” so I need an external source telling me exactly what to lift or else I don’t progress as fast as possible. Which leads me to my current programming. I’ve been running the Juggernaut Method for the last year and I FUCKING LOVE IT. During this whole year I have not missed one single lift(hard to believe but no bullshit) and cns and joints are so fresh all the time I walk around literally 100% pain free all the time despite all my training partners complaining about these types of issues… I was in 1000% more pain my first 6 months and my total only went from 600 to 760 and with Juggernaut from 760 to 1400 in 1 year(actually more than that I haven’t maxed or anything close in 3 months. My projected 1rms at the moment are 540 sq 325 bench and 645 dead but those are theoretical numbers so I’ve left them out… even though the projections have never been wrong for me before). If you’re unfamiliar with this method hear me out because it’s damn close to godliness. The truly amazing part about it is you never go above 85% in training for 4 months at a time with most the working being done in 65-75%. The programming is so good it actually feels “easier” than my first 6 months training despite the weight being more than twice as heavy. Each block is split into 4 month long “waves” with the first wave being a 10 rep wave, then 8 rep, then 5 rep, then 3 rep. The first week of each wave is high volume lowest weight, then cut the volume increasing weight slightly and then the third week is simply an AMRAP set to reset maxes. anything you do over the prescribed “wave rep range” allows you to reset your maxes. For example doing 15 reps on 10 rep wave makes your max go up 25 pounds because each rep is 5 pounds. When I go up for my actual maxes the projection has been within 5 pounds every time. It’s no wonder so many elite lifters hire Chad and run Juggernaut. Larry wheels? Juggernaut. Brandon Allen? Juggernaut. Marisa Inpa(2017 ipf world champ)? Juggernaut. There’s a reason I recommend it to every brand new lifter I meet and is curious to make sure they can make gains quickly and safety but don’t let my competitors know what I’m running. I hope this explains a little more about the points I’m trying to convey. Communication over text is borderline impossible but I think it’s so important in certain situations. Once again I want to seriously thank you bringing up some good points that I’ve never necessarily considered. I try to take something from every single lifter I converse with(because you can ALWAYS learn something from literally everyone…) I can tell that you’re a little more reserved when it comes to ped use which is actually who I needed to talk to because almost everyone I’m surrounded with doesn’t give a fuck and accept drug abuse as part of winning. My dad is a professional classical musician and has a script for Zoloft(600mg), xanax and over a gram(1100mg) beta blockers. He says these exact drugs are literally being sold backstage of the most prestigious symphony halls in the world. Hell I even had friends that started blood doping in high school by learning how on google for that extra push for a D1 scholarship… and it worked. Once swam at auburn and one at Harvard. I definitely need a voice of reason and I appreciate you being that person to me.

Am a fan of CWS’ work myself. I think he has a video critiquing his own Juggernaut Method. I don’t know if you are doing the actual one to the t but he suggests modifications he’d make to it for optimal powerlifting.

Chad is the shit I want so bad to lift under him one day. I have the full original Juggernaut method and in the actual book there’s a side note after the fact that the way he actually trains himself and trains his athletes now is to run the “inverted Juggernaut” which is to invert the first two waves so that instead of doing 5 sets of 10 with 60% then 3 sets of 10 with 70% in the 10 rep wave you’ll do 10 sets of 5 then 10 sets of 3 with rest times adjusted to approximate intensity. I’ve only ran the inverted method but I imagine it works infinitately better as it allows for a much higher amount of volume to be performed without technique breakdown at the appropriate intensity to illicit adaptation. Do you remember if this was the modification he’s discussing in the video? If there’s more than that he suggests I’ll definitely dig until I find it

I don’t take memory enhancing drugs lel. See for yourself

I’ma write in small chunks because can’t be fucked writing loads at once and easier to address exact points this way. You can quote the part you are replying to so we know whats being discussed.

Re: Steroids

I’ve known more PED users than I care to remember never mind how many I’ve seen. All these years I’ve only known one dude to have issues. One day he stops rocking up to the gym and I find out his liver exploded or sumshit. One in hundreds or even thousands… that I know of. I’m not so foolish to use this as evidence.

I think you’re using absence of evidence as evidence of absence.

The examples you talk about are samples of the genetic elite when it comes to PED tolerance. It’s the average that you should be concerned about. The guys who you don’t see, you’ve never heard of or never made it. They just disappear. For every dude who made it there’s hundreds more with broken minds and bodies.

Bit of a tangent but RIP Dallas. Could’ve been Mr.O in a decade. Only 26 …if only he had taken it slow. Phil Heath’s 38 or 39 and his first O title was in 2011. Dallas had at least 5 years of growing in him no need to rush but the signs were always there like when he collapsed on stage. *Sad Face.

Rates of sudden deaths are rare vs recreational drugs for sure but perhaps we are looking at this wrong. You’ll more than likely not die during or even after but at the back end there’s plenty of years of potential life lost and disability-adjusted life years.

Lel maybe.

The pursuit of technical mastery (while endless) is a good thing. Very Russian of you or at least in the vein of Boris Sheiko. However it’s not relevant to the discussion at hand.

I raise you the examples of Kirill Sarychev, Yury Belkin and Andrey Malanichev. All world record holders with little diversity outside of strength sport.

I contend that these individuals had what it took already and would have succeeded in any sporting endeavor they chose. Had each gone directly into strength sports they would have built the same mental fortitude and achieved similar results.

Once again your background is irrelevant because the only diversity you should by concerned about is applying the principles of specificity and variation to your training lel.

Don’t see why lel. Shit’s available online anyways. There’s no best top secret Russian programs. There’s just good principles adapted to each individual lifter. Hopefully in time you can use all you’ve learned and will learn to write your own program even if it’s strongly based on an existing one. Coaches can do this for you but cost monies so nah.

It’s good you’ve had a go of multiple programs but 3 months a pop really isn’t enough to learn much about the program or yourself. Anything from classics like 5/3/1 to “terrible” bodybuilding workout splits have something to teach you. How well do you deal with concentrated volume? What’s your MRV? What happens if you do high frequency?

You know yourself best (or you will at least with some more experience). Can handle lots of volume? Add more. Want to work at high RPEs (me lel)? Periodise appropriately. Want big power tits? Throw in chest work. etc. Favourite assistance movement/builder? That’s definitely going in the program.

Even if you are not here yet this is where you need to end up with the perfect program for you. All your competition will be running such programs with coaches and be pumping themselves full of drugs. Can’t afford to be sub optimal anywhere.

Bit premature maybe but I’ma put this here now.

I would be remiss to send you on your way with just warnings and tips considering what you intend to do.

If you are firmly set on doing this or finalise your decision there’s some stuff I’ll need to mention.

Stuff like prepping for the next decade of your life by having professional healthcare support with bloodwork, interpretation and a helpful doc (because many will tell you to fuck off if you seek their help prior).

Family history and screening for liver, kidney, cardiovascular disease etc to identify at risk systems and in cycle support of these systems’ functions.

Being in absolute peak physical condition and health pre cycle and maintaining throughout to ensure sustainability and maximise the time spent in cycle. Not point cruising if you don’t last the distance.

Hell going from steroid noob to pseudo endocrinologist will take a long time.

And moar considerations.

Any fuckboy can pop a few pills at at a moment’s notice without knowing what they are doing. You’re going to need a lot of prep and even if it take 6 months, hell even a year, you should no skimp out on anything especially if you have lofty aspirations.

Hell yes I really appreciate this about to watch it.