T Nation

Beginner Cycle While on TRT?

I know there is a lot of good advice for beginners and intermediate lifters to stay off of a cycle until they have achieved most of their natural potential due to possibly and permanently messing up their natural testosterone production. But what about those guys that are already on TRT and have good lifting and diet habits?

I am a late beginner / early intermediate lifter and progress is starting to slow down as expected at this stage.

Would there be any benefit to running 500mg/week test-c for 10-12 weeks, then return to 200mg/week TRT dose while at this point in my lifting career? Would the risks be pretty minimal since already on TRT?

The precise cycle would be:
500mg/week Test C week 1-12 split daily
0.5mg/week arimidex weeks 1-12 split twice a week

200mg/week Test C after 12 weeks split EOD
0.25mg arimidex after 12 weeks (I do well on low dose arimidex on my trt protocol already)

I think what you are proposing is pretty solid, and you have demonstrated a good understanding of the subject matter, which will help you avoid beginner mistakes like ramping up ai use. I know a individual that mistaked low e2 for high and crashed his e2. I would consider having nolva on hand so you can use less ai in the case of nipple issues.

You could add a mild oral like var or tbol if you desire.

Good point on the Nolva. I thought about that too. Is that something some TRT clinics would prescribed if asked? Or is it mainly UGL?

Not sure. You can get it as a research chemical legally in the US though, and it’s cheap.

How long have you been lifting regularly.

Pre TRT 3 years. Didn’t make a whole lot of progress, even with a starting strength coach and doing all the movements properly. I took about a year off and started TRT at that point. Took me another 3 months on TRT before I had the motivation to start working out again. I started up again about 3 months ago. My best guess is that I’ve added about 15lbs of muscle to my frame since before I started lifting.

I don’t think that is out of the beginner stage. I think 30 lbs at 6’ would be in the upper third of the beginner stage depending on the individual.

@galgenstrick So you’ve been on TRT for 6 months and only training for 3 now? I still think you should wait. Train for 6-12 months on TRT. The gains do slow but that’s life and it makes fine tune your training to push through. I trained 4-5 days a week for 20 years before TRT and waiting about a year after TRT to blast. I remember, much as you describe, that the new muscle was mostly there by 6 months. However it took me longer than that to even settle in to my final TRT protocol I run now. You seem to have the right plan though so whatever you choose I’m sure you will be fine.

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What? 30 lbs of muscle is more than most people ever gain. 30 lbs of body weight is a different story. I would say that at that height with great genetics someone could get 40 lbs total naturally, and 50 with elite genetics, but that is life time with hard training. These numbers are assuming the person wasn’t drastically under fed at the start point or starting as a 12 year old etc…

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yeah this can warp you perspective a lot of time, a lot of guys get stuck even/too bought into the dogma.
You have loooads of gains ahead of you, just run back and forth through different strategies on Tnation
-do 12 weeks on ahigh rep bro split like king beef,
then couple Dan John template
then Thibs best Damn series,
then 5/3/1 time etc etc.

Eat big and 2-3 years of progress just there

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I’d say as a starting point I’d take 65 kg at 6‘. With 30 lbs of muscle he’d be (with a bit of fat gain) at 80 kg so 179 lbs which is still beginner level. If he was lean before like <10% BF, an then still the same BF that would be intermediate but I don’t see the average underweight 18 yo with around 150 lbs being under 10% BF. But I could be wrong, I’m going from personal experience here.

Okay, his starting point looks to be underfed. In that case you may be right.

Thanks guys.

@blshaw what you say makes a lot of sense. I will definitely give it another few months, or maybe a year or more if I can break through the plateaus relatively easily.

Just out of curiosity though, am I right that the risks for blasting T only are much lower for someone already on TRT? Are the main risks that I would need to monitor blood pressure, hematocrit, and gyno? Or are there others?

No doubt there is a lot of dogma. At the same time I’ve seen individuals make extraordinary gains working with starting strength coaching. Untrained to squatting 450 raw in a year.

It’s probably not the most optimal for muscle growth, but I will say that it is far better than what most people do. IMO, it is too expensive, and the dogma is just to much for me. It does seem to work though for most.

True. I mainly went so I could learn to squat, bench and deadlift properly. Which unfortunately I leaned that I cannot do due to a deformed hip socket. I’m currently having good results with Bulgarian split squats and dumbbell deadlifts. I’m waiting for the Vulcan open ended trap bars to come back in stock so I can really start loading up the weight. My dumbbells go up to 120lbs each, and I haven’t come close to maxing out the single leg squats with that weight (240lbs per leg).

I got pretty strong on the bench. It’s always been my strong point. I am able to hit 190lbs for 8 reps, maybe a little more. I started at 135lbs 3 months ago. To be fair, I was able to get up to 180x5 pre TRT, but I always hit a brick wall after that weight no matter how I tried to work around the plateau.

Yes, if someone would be heavier, he would be carrying more muscle from the get go and then I’d agree with 30 lbs being intermediate at least. I thought of an 18 year old very slim guy being the starting point.

Not sure if it helps at all, but I am 6’0” 197lbs at about 20-22% bf.

I’d keep lifting for another year and lose some bf before I’d think about a cycle. I know it’s hard to wait but that would be the smart thing.

Just for discussion and argument sake, what is the reason behind this?

Develop more experience with technique?
Health risks?
Is there a finite number of times you can cycle?
Something else?

More body fat will result in more e2. Cycling is hard on the body. A big risk is not returning to normal test levels, but we don’t work about that on trt. The big risks are related to heart, liver and kidney health.