T Nation

An Athlete's Cycle, Small Gains


#1

Hello all,
There is so much excellent information in this entire forum, and the newbie thread alone is worth its weight in gold. I had no idea that so many had the use of PEDs down to a science from both a performance and body chemistry perspective. I had always been absolutely terrified of the side effects of PEDs and thought that there was no safe way for these to be used but thanks to this board (and specifically this thread) I have learned that when used intelligently in a responsible way, many people are able to accomplish their goals. I should mention that I have never taken a PED before so I'm completely new to this.

Here are my stats.

Age: 28
Weight: 204lbs
Height: 6'1
Bodyfat: 12%
Squat: 340lbs 3RM
Bench: 285lbs 3RM
Deadlift: 385lbs 3RM

Goals: First, a little context. You'll notice that I've listed 3RM's above and that's because I'm a professional/semi-professional athlete. As some of you might know, coaches rarely have us work up to 1RM, they tend to design programming off 3RM's because performance in sport comes first and they're worried about wearing us out. I am an MMA-type combat athlete and I am subject to drug testing, however I will not be tested until December/January at the absolute earliest so this is a great time for me to make some good quality gains. I have 9 years of training behind me, the last 4 of which have been at a very high level. My training is focused around a lot of explosive sprint/jump work and then the lifting is never near max effort because the coaches concern is recovery so that I can perform on the mat. Diet involves intermittent fasting and has been manipulated to the point where I can swing 7/8lbs (heavier going for 2800cal or lighter going for 1600cal a day) with nearly no or minimal loss in performance.

In a perfect world, I would like to add a small amount of lean muscle and decrease my body fat a small amount as well.  The reasons for this are two-fold.  Adding a significant amount of size in a short period of time will raise some eyebrows and I'd like these gains to be more discreet.  Secondly, adding too much size through the use of PEDs would actually hamper my performance as an athlete.  Things I have to consider would be along the lines of a slower sprint or reduced explosiveness when it comes to jumping/sport.

So taking all that together an ideal outcome would be to add no more than 5-6lbs of lean muscle and drop 4lbs of bodyfat with a total swing of approximately +2lbs.

Finally, as someone new to this and semi paranoid about destroying my endocrine system, I'd love to keep things as simple as possible.  The less complicated I can make things and the less likely things are to go wrong (and the more prepared I can be in case something is amiss) the better.

Potential Cycles:
Reviewing Furious George's posts earlier in the newbie thread and taking into account my goals, I really liked the idea of either a medium or short cycle. In addition to my goals FG advises that both of these types of cycles minimize side effects and make recovery from shutdown easier. With that in mind I've taken some time to put together some potential cycles and I'd love some feedback on how these mesh with my goals.

6 Week Var Cycle
Week 1-6 20mg 3x/d
Week 7-8 PCT Nolva 20mgED

Upside to this is that from what I have read, Var seems to mesh perfectly with my goals and does have minimal side effects. It doesn't aromatize either so that means I do not need an AI and the PCT I have listed here is erring on the side of caution from what I understand. On the downside however, this is an expensive 6 week run and from what I gather Var can shut you down, which without any additional test being pumped into your system can cause issues. The solution would then be to add some test to this (since it's only 6 weeks I think test prop would be appropriate) but the concern with that would be finding the perfect dose that might line up with my goals and I'm confused as to what that might be.

Short Cycle 2 weeks on/off D-Bol
20mg 3x/D Weeks 1-2, 5-6, 9-10.
Nolva 20mg each day Weeks 3-4, 7-8, 11-12

I picked this out from FG's first post on short cycles. While I understand DBol is a mass building compound that retains water and bloats I would assume (perhaps incorrectly so please correct me if I'm wrong) that in short cycles I might be able to add the small amount of muscle I desire when it's all done. I'm not clear however on whether the Novla should be used during off weeks and if so what the dose should be. FG and my other research indicate that because of the short term two week use, FSH/LH levels shouldn't bottom out and my system should be okay coming back on it's own during the cycle. If that's the case, am I better off waiting until the end to use Nolva because it will be most effective for recovery? Finally, I assume that with this protocol, at a minimum it'd be prudent to keep Adex on hand. Would it be safer however to have a small dose of Adex during the weeks where I am taking the DBol to keep estrogren under control and at the same time maybe reduce any water bloat? Or does the short term nature of the cycle mean that isn't necessary the way it would be during a longer cycle?

Many thanks in advance for feedback and critique. I'm new to this whole world and have done some research but at the same time I know that I still have much to learn before I undertake use so please correct me if I'm way off base on any thinking.

I am very much open to suggestions for other methods to pursue that might fall in line with my goals. (I know that Test Prop might be a recommendation and I'm reading up on a potential program with that as I post this).


#2

^well, the negatives of anabolic steroids are almost always overstated. part of an old scare campaign, i think…

even a “low” test cycle of 300 mg/wk makes an amazing impact on strength and cardio (due to the increase in RBC’s).

anavar is a common PED used by athlete’s, due to its reputation for strength and lean gains. Oral Turanibol is quite similar… there’s some old East German studies floating around on the Interwebz about it…

i’ve heard a lot of athletes/fighters use androderm (or whatever the test cream is) in the afternoon, as it pushes their test levels into the mid-high range, but not so high they fail a drug test.

hGH and the growth hormone releasing peptides might be of interest to you, as they’re hard to detect right now, and even though don’t have the most amazing effect on performance, can help recovery.

i’d avoid tren (cardio issues ), winstrol (joint issues), and anything with a long half life (any nandrolone, sustanon) will show up on a drug test.

i think the big question for you, is if you’re gonna have to worry about drug tests. unfortunately most of the SERMs (nolvadex, clomid, etc) have long half lives, and are easy to detect. raloxifene is the only one that has a reasonable half-life.

i think you need to figure out if that will be a real concern, as it might ruin your career, in light of the new drug testing adopted by the UFC, etc…

here are some links of interest:


#3

btw, i re-read your post, and saw you have a while before your drug test. i that case, i’d agree about running a test prop cycle.

Week 1-6?
50 mg/day (350/wk)

PCT
Raloxifene-60 mg/day
Aromasin-25 mg/day

you could run it longer than 6 weeks, but if you needed to cut it short, prop is easier to use, as the half-life is so much shorter (less than a day)…

i’d run PCT at least 3-4 weeks. stop the aromasin a week prior to the ralox. and i’d make sure this is done at least 2 weeks prior to your test… i have no idea the detection time for aromasin or ralox, so i’m gauging more off it’s half-life.

also, there was a guy who ran an Anavar cycle a while back, and was a European athlete. i believe he ran a log, which might be worth checking out…


#4

Gotcha. Thanks for the guidance. Due to the time before a potential drug test, I’m really not concerned and a failed test wouldn’t be catastrophic.

Since the dose of test prop is both short term and a low dose, would it be recommended that I use a smaller dose of arimidex as well? I think the most common dose in a standard cycle I encountered was .25mg ED.

Finally, if I was to embark on the Anavar 6 week route, PCT involving 2 weeks (immediately after the 6th week of Var) of 20mg ED Nolvadex should be more than enough for my system to recovery. Correct?


#5

[quote]KeepGrinding wrote:
Gotcha. Thanks for the guidance. Due to the time before a potential drug test, I’m really not concerned and a failed test wouldn’t be catastrophic.

Since the dose of test prop is both short term and a low dose, would it be recommended that I use a smaller dose of arimidex as well? I think the most common dose in a standard cycle I encountered was .25mg ED.

Finally, if I was to embark on the Anavar 6 week route, PCT involving 2 weeks (immediately after the 6th week of Var) of 20mg ED Nolvadex should be more than enough for my system to recovery. Correct?[/quote]

yeah, test prop doesn’t cause a lot of estrogen for most people. you could definitely run the AI lower… maybe even EOD.

as far as PCT with Anavar, don’t skimp on it. anavar has a reputation as not causing much suppression, but it still does, albeit a lesser degree than some other compounds. i’d run Nolva at that dose for at least a month to ensure recovery…


#6

Great. Thanks for your help. I’ve settled on the following;

6 Weeks of Test Prop 50mgED
6 Weeks of Var 50mg ED
Arimidex .25mg EOD
Weeks 7-10 PCT

Is HCG a necessity or does the short nature of the cycle combined with such a low dose of test make it seem like HCG might not be needed?


#7

Mistake me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the Propionate half life range from 48-72hrs? Always believed the Acetate ester was somewhere around a day in terms of half life.


#8

[quote]Chizeled wrote:

Mistake me if I’m wrong but doesn’t the Propionate half life range from 48-72hrs? Always believed the Acetate ester was somewhere around a day in terms of half life. [/quote]

there was a chart floating around the web for years that claimed to have the half-life of all the various AAS esters on there… however, it’s just not right. i’ve read several pharmaceutical texts that directly contradict it, as does “bro-science.”

test prop is 19 hours, test e/cyp is 4.5 days.

ref: Pharmacology of testosterone preparations H.M. Behre, C. Wang, D.J. Handelsman and E. Nieschlag


#9

[quote]KeepGrinding wrote:
Great. Thanks for your help. I’ve settled on the following;

6 Weeks of Test Prop 50mgED
6 Weeks of Var 50mg ED
Arimidex .25mg EOD
Weeks 7-10 PCT

Is HCG a necessity or does the short nature of the cycle combined with such a low dose of test make it seem like HCG might not be needed?[/quote]

i wouldn’t add in HCG here… i wouldn’t waste my time with HCG unless going over 12 weeks.


#10

Hello all,

I wanted to provide an update for how this all went for the forum since the forum provided me with so much great information.

First of all, a confession. Those 3RMâ??s above were a tad embellished. The accurate numbers were probably more in the neighborhood of Back squat- 345, Deadlift- 365, Bench- 265. I suppose I felt a tad inadequate and since itâ??s an internet forum, you want to come across as someone who should be ready for AAS, but itâ??s important that I post the actual numbers now so everyone can see the results.

So after much additional research after posting, I eventually settled on 100mg of prop EOD for 8 weeks along with the var. I also dropped my body weight down to about 194 prior to starting since I knew Iâ??d be upping my calories a little bit and was concerned about too much fat piling on.

Being a beginner Iâ??m almost 100% certain that the first few pins, I did not get the entire 100mg in successfully. I attribute this to being partially paranoid about excess air in the syringe. However, Iâ??m happy to say that by the end, I had become an expert at drawing, swapping out the needle, and removing the excess air prior to injection.

The PIP was UNBEARABLE the first two weeks. I could not walk and the area in which I would pin would swell with redness approximately 24 hours post injection and remain swollen for 3-4 days. It was absolutely unbearable, it made sitting the most painful experience of my life and I was almost limping around running sprints at the gym. I knew it wasnâ??t an infection because I was paranoid about cleanliness so I tried everything to minimize this I looked into baking the prop to remove excess alcohol and that didnâ??t help but this being my first cycle, I just assumed this was how things went. Imagine my surprise when I moved to a second vial(different brand) and felt NO PAIN AT ALL either during or post injection. Whew!

I couldnâ??t believe the results in terms of recovery that I felt during the 8 weeks. All the nagging injuries/pain in knee/shoulder/back all vanished without a trace. It was absolutely incredible from a recovery perspective.

My final week (week of thanksgiving), my weight topped out at 218lbs and people were starting to notice the increases in size. Personally at the gym, I was blown away by the strength gains. I kept the reps in the medium to higher ranges since it both fit my programming, and I wanted to give my soft tissue some time to adapt to these new changes. On my back squat I was able to get 315 for 12. My DB flat bench increased to 105â??s. I back squatted 270 for 23 reps. With a 35lb vest, I went from doing 10 pull ups unbroken, to 20 pull ups unbroken. DB rows went from 115â??s to 135â??s.

I did 5 weeks of PCT because I wanted to ensure a real good recovery. Used Nolva for 40/30/25/25/15. I didnâ??t really notice any atrophy at all during or after the 8 weeks, nor did I notice any loss in libido. (Maybe it was a little harder to get it up the first 10 days of PCT? Could have just been in my head). As PCT came to a close, my weight dropped down to about 208lbs however strength continued to move up ever so slowly.

Now hereâ??s the real fun part. Since I stopped my PCT, I have of course continued to train hard as I always have and my gains have STILL continued on a weekly basis in terms of strength. For you math nerds, Iâ??m talking Y=mx+b type if we graphed it. As of this past week, I was able to bench 275 for 6 reps, squat 355 for 6 reps, and deadlift 390 for 6 reps. On top of that, my DB rows and bench have gone through the roof! I can now row 160â??s and I am flat benching 125â??s. Oh, and my weight has started to trend upwards to 214.

So all in all, I started at 204 and managed to add 10lbs and an insane amount of strength on only 8 weeks. This was an incredible experience and I wanted to share this with the group as Iâ??m very thankful for all the information in the forum.


#11

nice!


#12

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]KeepGrinding wrote:
Great. Thanks for your help. I’ve settled on the following;

6 Weeks of Test Prop 50mgED
6 Weeks of Var 50mg ED
Arimidex .25mg EOD
Weeks 7-10 PCT

Is HCG a necessity or does the short nature of the cycle combined with such a low dose of test make it seem like HCG might not be needed?[/quote]

i wouldn’t add in HCG here… i wouldn’t waste my time with HCG unless going over 12 weeks.
[/quote]

FYI,

i’m not sure why i said this. i might have been boozed up or something…

anyway, like i said generally HCG is more crucial for longer cycles than short ones.

HOWEVER, i believe it’s also beneficial in passing a drug test, as the HCG keeps your own test production up. while this doesn’t lower a high test level, it does help make a more even T:E ratio…

anyway, sorry i forgot to mention that, and something to remember next time…


#13

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]cycobushmaster wrote:

[quote]KeepGrinding wrote:
Great. Thanks for your help. I’ve settled on the following;

6 Weeks of Test Prop 50mgED
6 Weeks of Var 50mg ED
Arimidex .25mg EOD
Weeks 7-10 PCT

Is HCG a necessity or does the short nature of the cycle combined with such a low dose of test make it seem like HCG might not be needed?[/quote]

i wouldn’t add in HCG here… i wouldn’t waste my time with HCG unless going over 12 weeks.
[/quote]

FYI,

i’m not sure why i said this. i might have been boozed up or something…

anyway, like i said generally HCG is more crucial for longer cycles than short ones.

HOWEVER, i believe it’s also beneficial in passing a drug test, as the HCG keeps your own test production up. while this doesn’t lower a high test level, it does help make a more even T:E ratio…

anyway, sorry i forgot to mention that, and something to remember next time…[/quote]

For sure man, thanks for your help. On top of that, I just got blood work done last week and my results are IMMACULATE. Shows you what hard work, proper research, and proper moderate use can accomplish.

I’ve actually got until may/june until it’s likely that I’ll be tested so I’m considering putting in a short cycle (2 weeks) with test prop so that my PCT will be long clear from my system by then. Still need to read more on it but from what I can gather, Bill Roberts has documented that method extensively.