T Nation

40 Years Young - First Cycle


175lb (current - previous 156lb)
BF - unknown?
(edited to add pic from last week)

A little backstory. About 10 years ago I was over 260lbs and never lifted a day in my life. I started a journey and lost 100lbs in 5 years doing cardio and just eating less calories. However, this left me with very little muscle mass and some extra skin, but not too much. For the last 5 years I have been lifting 5-6 days a week very constantly and over the last 3 years my nutrition has been on point. My diet consists of chicken breasts, brown rice, some veggies (I do use a super foods green powder), some fruits, sweet potato, lean ground turkey, and eggs for the most part. I got as far as I could lifting naturally and changed my body to what I felt was the max I would get out of being natural. I hold ALL my extra fat stores in my belly and lower back (I can grab about a handful from my lower back. I also have wider hips which doesn’t help.

I decided to put on some mass naturally and clean, but even eating over 3k a day I never really was able to achieve what I wanted at my age. I decided to talk to someone I know and we decided to start me on a test e 500mg/week cycle. I am 8 weeks in and have gone from 156 to 175lb eating the same clean foods at around 3k a day. I am noticeably fuller in my legs and my frame, especially my upper body area. My area of concern is always my midsection which has increased a bit. I notice my fat is a bit more there during this cycle (I’m assuming it’s either test bloat or just water retention with some added fat?). I am running also .5adex EOD currently to assist with this but I’m not sure if it’s making a difference or not.

With 4 weeks left, I am considering eating at a deficit while continuing to progressively overload on lifts in hopes to use the AAS to my advantage. However, after reading and doing some research, it appears that cutting mid cycle isn’t the best idea in achieving overall results/goals. I have HCG planned already for post cycle.

Currently my macros are:
3000 calories split into 45p/35c/20f - I also drink about a gallon of water a day as well. I take a pro-biotic w/digestive enzyme supplement before meals as well.

I guess I am just looking for some thoughts/suggestions etc from others with more experience on what I should finish with. My GOAL is to put on mass then, hopefully, cut it down after without losing much of what I gained.

So any comments, or critiques, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

You’re well over >20% bodyfat, and your diet/nutrition are not in check. Try eating less than 3000 calories or you’ll just keep getting fatter. Go ahead and finish your cycle but in my opinion you shouldn’t have cycled to begin with since you are WAY below where you can get to naturally with good diet and training.

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Thanks for the reply, I appreciate the time.
Not sure how my diet isnt in check, maybe by that you meant the amount of calories? I would just like to understand your meaning is all.
Otherwise, my meals literally are 5x a day, chx rice/sweet potato/some veggies and maybe an egg for the fats. i dont eat processed foods and rarely have a protein shake even post workout. However, it might be clear that I just need to eat at a deficit the rest of the cycle to try to maintain any muscle ive gained and drop some body fat.

I advise against cutting during a cycle since you’ll just end up where you started. Steroids are for building muscle, not losing fat. Finish the cycle eating at maintenance, come off and eat maintenance for a few weeks, then cut the calories and diet. You shouldn’t lose muscle if you PCT properly or go on TRT, and keep training hard.

To clarify about your diet, I meant you’re eating well in excess of the calories you need to maximize muscle growth, which is why you put on so much weight.

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At the risk of being contrary, you don’t have any muscle to lose. You still look like you’ve never lifted a day in your life. Cutting calories will help you stay small and muscle free. Your training is your most likely problem. Start a training log and get off the AAS until you get a better handle on training. I’m not trying to be mean, I’m trying to tell you what you need to hear.


I agree - i honestly didnt go into it looking to drop fat, i know test e doesnt drop fat, that’s all about diet. I just wanted to gain some muscle on my frame so when i did cut i didnt look completely awful. I had lost all that weight naturally and when i tried to cut the rest of the fat, i just kept getting skinnier and i had ZERO muscle but still had the belly. I have however gained considerable strength which I am very happy for. I was hoping to gain muscle and grow then drop the fat post cycle. Thanks for the reply and suggestions, I do appreciate it.

Nah i totally appreciate the feedback and that’s my frustration. For all the years I’ve been in the gym i never look like i lift, it’s so sad and frustrating.

Hey man

Comments on here can be pretty brutal.

First up don’t give up and think of how far you have came. Youve clearly dropped a lot of weight and that took dedication.

My advice is to try find a personal trainer for a while and explain to them your goals. Shop around and find someone recommended.

Please look further into PCT as you mentioned only HCG and most would recommend against that.

Stay positive and keep moving forward.

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I personally think you need to go the opposite direction. Eat and train hard. Based on your seemingly pretty good diet, I’m going to guess your training is the problem. I can all but promise it’s yours training. You should look very different with 5 years of training 5-6 days a week under your belt.


He’s not “WELL OVER” 20 % bf (23-25) tops , and he could eat 3500 cals if he trained properly . Only thing u said correctly is he shouldn’t have stated a cycle just yet .

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He’s at least 25%. Did you even read his post? He said he gained too much weight eating 3000 calories, which is why he’s considering a cut. What makes you think eating 3500 is better idea? Upping the calories further is idiotic. Nothing YOU said makes any sense.

I said train properly , did u read . Keep being a dick to others and I’ll treat you like one clown .

Where did he say he gained too much weight? He simply asked about putting on fat around his stomach. He said he wants to put on mass and cut later… maybe I’m missing something.

He’s “skinny fat”, cutting won’t do much, adding muscle will.

OP - did you stop doing cardio while on cycle?

This is not exactly true. Having optimal or supraphysiological Test levels will help (not prevent) you keep from gaining fat just like when you were a teenage boy and could eat anything and not get fat.

I know some disagree but this has been my experience.

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Super helpful advice, I’m sure he can benefit from being told to ”train properly”.

Im not being a dick, I’m giving him the honest feedback he needs. He knows it, that’s why he thanked me.

I think the comparison of being a teenager is fair. You are not going to shed fat, but I can eat like a teenager, and get to be a fat ass.

Are the weights totally different than what you were lifting 5 years ago? Lots of variables go into training, but the change in weights used (given you are doing the lifts with consistent form) is a large indicator of progress. One might have to use more volume to drive progress in weights, but it is hard to find a person who went from 135 to 405 lbs on the squat that doesn’t look a bunch different.

Many do the same thing in the gym for years, and look about the same years later. If you are doing that, you will have to change to see much progress IMO.

I am a Powerlifter, and BBers have told me I am silly for that advice. Usually the ones who say that don’t even look like they lift if wearing a shirt. I am not saying you have to be a Powerlifter or anything. Just that the guys who look good are usually moving big weight for the amount of reps they are doing. Pro BBers do not lift weight like a good Powerlifter/Stongman can, but they still move some heavy weight for lots of reps.

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I don’t power lift, but if I’m not increasing my weight lifted, im not getting bigger.

I guess I also believe you could up your dosages to crazy amounts and get bigger (the thing is you would probably get stronger doing this as well). Not the best way to do things IMO.

The stronger I have gotten the bigger I have gotten.

I recently got into a conversation with a gym buddy who claimed Ronnie was dumb and his training sucked. I disagreed with him. I think Ronnie crippled himself with his training, but I also think Ronnie understood what type of physique that type of training brought. Risk vs reward. IMO, nobody before or after looked as good as Ronnie when he was on point. Shawn Ray trained much lighter, but never looked like Ronnie. Also IIRC Ronnie graduated college with close to a 4.0 in accounting.

I think you need your eyes checked. Keep in mind that he lost 100 or pounds. That translates to being a little loose and droopy - which is throwing you off maybe. His problem is lack of mass to fill him out, and he needs a different program. And a different lifting buddy whose solution isn’t to do a cycle instead of figure out what’s wrong with his “Bro Split” or whatever the hell he’s doing.