T Nation

Bill Roberts-2 On, 4 Off?


Wondering if Bill Roberts still recommends the 2week on 4 off method of cycling. I do not think those ideas were specifically mentioned in the Furious George sticky when he wrote about short cycles. Wondering if it has evolved or changed since the Meso-rx articles? Does anyone strictly do this? What about pct?


Depending on the circumstance, yes.

Factors to be considered are:

What is the time frame being looked at? Is by far the more important thing what will be accomplished over say the next year, or is looking as much as improved as possible say 4 weeks from the start point, or 8 weeks from the start point, the deciding factor?

What is the training plan? For example if you are going to be tackling the full Smolov program and want androgen assistance, 2 week cycles would not make sense as that does not match up with the training program.

And, what compounds are available?


Thanks for answering Bill,

Timeframe: I have been training for about 15 years, work in the gym business, will continue to train, health permitting, forever. So I am not just looking to get "hoooge" in 4-8 weeks. I am looking for annual gains.

Training: I just started Poliquins Advanced GVT again(usually do it once a year) for the next 2 months. It has always been great for my conditioning in the past. After that I will return to a modified West side program 4 x week.

I stick around 200lbs @ 5 '10" (clean for 10 years) at 10-12% bf. I am looking for better overall conditioning and being over 30 I want to experiment with test levels.
It would seem that the 2on/4 off is too short a time for HPTA shutdown and that is what interests me the most about these ideas.

Compounds available:
Orals: dbol, tbol, winny tabs
Injects: prop, tren ace
Anc: nolva, clomid, proviron (can't get AI's)
Other: test E, SUS250



Then I would look at it this way:

Comparing one general approach to another, where the difference being looked at is, say, duration of cycle, everything else ought to be held equal in the comparison if possible.

So the question should not be, "Will one 8 week cycle give me more results than one 2 week cycle?" unless that is the actual choice that would have to made and the answer wasn't thought to apply to a more general question, but rather something like

"If I use the same total amount of steroids in a year at the same weekly dosages and the same total number of weeks on and weeks off, which will do better for me, long or short cycles?"

Cycles are longer than effiicent if they have substantial parts of them at a point past a point where gains usually tail well off; or yielding impaired recoveries and thus worse losses; or being so long that there is no hope of taking advantage of how some periods of training can be especially productive whereas doing everything the same and/or aiming for equal muscle-building at all times is not as effective.

So for long term results such as you are looking for, I think going past 8 weeks is non-optimal. E.g., three 8 week cycles per year do better than two 12 week cycles, with total weeks "on" and total usage being identical in the two cases.

The two-week cycles do give really fast recovery. It's not that there is no HPTA shutdown, as there is during the two weeks, but the pituitary is immediately ready to respond to LHRH instead of so to speak having to be awakened from sleep (in more precise speaking, having greatly lowered LHRH responsiveness), and the testes are also immediately ready to respond to LH.

While if HCG is used in for example an 8 week cycle then the testes also are able to respond well to LH immediately, there's nothing that in like manner avoid reduced responsiveness of the pituitary.

As for the hypothalamus, I don't know if it's more responsive to discontinuance of increased androgen after 2 weeks than 8 or if it is the same either way.

Anyway, recovery is very fast, and with frontloading the body absolutely is ready for an excellent growth burst.

So I would suggest you look at your planning and if your training has parts in it where it seems to you, "You know, being 'on' for four weeks here, or 6 or 8, would help a whole lot, and there will be no problem having as a necessary consequence a longer run of 'off' weeks after this" then one or more longer cycles such as 4-8 weeks may be better than having the assistance taken away from a very productive training period.

On the other hand, in other parts of the training year 2 on / some number off may work better for you.

Since you have fast acting compounds you definitely have the option of short cycles.

Test E or Sustanon being cheaper and more convenient, I would use that in any longer cycles except for switching to propionate for the last week or two, for sake of quicker transition to levels allowing recovery.


Ok Bill get ready to flame away.

I have had four (or is it five?) cycles in about three years, mainly consisting of test only cycles and occasionally some that have utlilised some var and t-bol.
I am happy with the results thus far. I have put on a good solid 10kgs from these cycles (I am 32yrs old 6'4 and now weigh 104kg's at 16% BF). My last 16 week cycle of sus @250mg week concluded last Christmas, this included the PCT. So as you can see I'm not a heavy user but my cycles tend to be long.

A good level of cardiovascular fitness is important to me so i am not looking to get any heavier than my current weight, I could be leaner at that weight for sure but as I run occasionally I don't want encounter joint problems due to excess weight or break anymore bike frames than I already do.

Thing is Bill the thing that what turned me on to steroids was androsol, that stuff rocked, they should have never stopped producing it. It used as you know the 2 on 4 off protocol.

I'm now at the stage I'm kind of sick and tired of the long cycles using large esters and more worried about the continual use of ancillaries while on and PCT drugs afterwards. Especially at the doses i use but i know I need too as the boys do shrink a bit.

Here in the UK I have a good source for powders. So what would your thoughts be on a 2 on 4 off cycle of a homemade topical spray of Test prop mixed with d-bol in an isopropanol solution?

I know the delivery method will yield lower blood levels but would the half lives of these substances be sufficient to do a 2 on 4 off without the use of a PCT? If so what would you say would be a sufficient dose mg/ml to apply topically to get results.

Again for anyone wishing to jump in and flame away, I am happy with my weight, I don't want to be heaver but am unsure if i can maintain it naturally.

I tend to hold on to my post PCT muscle for about 4 months then it trickles off so i am looking for a very light kick up the ass that doesn't involve me messing with AI's or serms if possible.

Cheers Bill.


I don't know what would happen with testosterone propionate converted to an Androsol-type delivery system.

On the discouraging side: The pharmaceutical industry has utterly failed to get decent bioavailability with trandermal delivery of testosterone. So one might think that that is that.

On the other hand:

1) There's always the Roberts-Sloan equation for predicting transdermal flux from physicochemical properties, or -- not the literature method given but applicable -- comparing two compounds. 4-AD and testosterone are very similar physicochemically, including almost the same melting point.

The tradeoff in lipid solubility by the substitution of 3-OH in place of 3-keto should be approximately made up by resulting improvement in water solubility, by the equation.

2) There's a considerable body of research showing that testosterone esters give essentially the same transdermal delivery as testosterone itself, and when tested in diffusion cells the actual species transported through the skin is testosterone itself, not the ester.

The reason is esterases in the skin hydrolyzing the testoterone esters.

So, what would be true of testosterone should be pretty much true of esters of testosterone.

3) By tossing all pharmaceutical approaches and using an approach based on work by Dr Annette Bunge on undesired transdermal delivery of toxins in soil when skin is exposed to soil, I was able to do better with 4-AD.

Unfortunately while we did measure blood levels of 4-AD and they were extremely high, and at a differing time I tried 4-AD by injection, I never had blood levels tested from the injection and so therefore I don't have a bioavailability value. I think it may have been as high as 50% though and almost surely at least 33%.

4) So maybe you could get 33-50% with an Androsol type approach.

Getting back to the discouraging side:

You don't want the oil. It would interfere with delivery. It could quite likely ruin everything.

My solution to that would be to extract into DMSO, add water to precipitate the TP, filter and wash with water, get moderately dry (or fully dry, wouldn't matter) and then add to straight isopropyl alcohol or n-propyl alcohol (more preferably), or straight ethanol (less preferably), or straight methanol (also acceptable but even less preferably.)

I would apply at least 100 mg twice per day; as with Androsol, over a wide area with a fine mist.

As for mixing Dianabol with it: there would be no reason to do this. The liver toxicity has little or nothing to do with mode of administration, but from the Dianabol being present in the bloodstream.

Of course, why doing all this instead of injecting the TP I cannot imagine?

If you use insulin needles then there is no big deal to daily injections.


Thanks again Bill,

Couple more questions. You mentioned HCG use.
Is HCG at all "necessary" in you opinion for an 8 week cycle of front loaded test E. I do not have any new stuff and what I have is expired. Rather not have to use it.

Also everyone here loves AI's but I have no present access to them while not living in the US. In your opinion, do I "need" it for 8 weeks and is there another option using a SERM and proviron. I understand that I will be only blocking receptors with the SERMS but I am unsure how proviron acts as an anti-estrogen.

If using only 500mg test E a week for 8 weeker with a frontload will estrogen be a major issue anyway? Back in the day we did testosterone with no AI's, no SERMS and no side effects??? But we also rode bikes without helmets and ate peanut butter in schools. (hahaha)
Appreciate the answers.


HCG is not "necessary" in that circumstance by ordinary meaning of the word. Desirable, yes.

Particularly with a moderate dose of testosterone, you also don't "need" an AI in the ordinary sense of the word. Again: desirable, yes.

You don't need the Proviron if using a SERM.

With 500 mg testosterone and using a SERM, nope, estrogen will not be a big issue.


Bill my hat goes off to you, a fine response to my questions. If I hadn't completed a few courses in chemistry while doing my pharmacology degree at Uni I would certainly be going buh?

Ok, so lets say i now have said bottle of test solution.
(To be honest I can get raw test powder but I was kind of praying to the biochemical gods that i could get the whole prop molecule through for half life reasons but your reasoning on ester hydrolysis is sound, "sigh").

Could I run these two substance together, (the d-bol now orally at say 10-20mg/day) for two weeks, take the four off, repeat and do it with out the need for a PCT or will there be a latent receptor down regulation/negative effect on the HPTA that would prevent this being feasible?


The two week cycles can be done without PCT if need be, though having a SERM is preferable.

Also, while I don't recommend relying on supplements for the same purpose for longer cycles, for 2 week cycles this can work pretty well. I was not impressed with TRIBEX alone for this purpose back when I tested that, but when we started looking into whether to add Vitex extract, I was favorably impressed by the results of using both TRIBEX and Vitex in off weeks. I went for some considerable period of time -- forget what -- of 2 on / 2 off using that protocol and had absolutely zero reduction in testicular size, so LH/FSH must have been quite decent in the off weeks, presumably above normal so as to compensate for the weeks of near suppression, though this wasn't measured.

The current TRIBEX does not have Vitex extract added; Alpha Male does contain both ingredients.

That's another option. A SERM is better, call that inbetween and decent, and call using nothing "still doable" when the cycle is that short.


Hi Bill,
Thanks for the answers thus far.
In your opinion, would the same typical 4 week SERM PCT of: Nolva 40,20,20,20
be used for a 4 week, 8 week and 12 week cycle?


Yes, except if:

1) The PCT doesn't start until levels actually have fallen enough to genuinely allow strong recovery, e.g. to levels commensurate with about 100 mg/week (so if taking for example 800 mg/week, three half-lives after the last injection or nearly so)

2) Feeling confident natural T is fully back by the third week

Then in the shorter two cycles that last week might be omitted, though there is no need to omit it.


Again, thanks Bill, more questions.

You have said that HCG would be desirable for an 8 week cycle but not a necessity.
1. Is the use of HCG desirable for all lengths of cycles or are there lengths in which it becomes more important? Less important? Drawbacks?
2. Are there any downsides to throwing proviron into a 8 week Test E cycle for the SHBG effect?
3. Does a Primobolan Acetate or a fast acting primo exist?
4. What is the shortest time period one could use Test E or Test C? (front loading)for any real benefit. I know most people only use it for 8-12 weeks but am wondering your opinion?


1) There is always an effect towards maintaining or increasing testicular size as opposed to shrinkage, and always an effect towards getting further testosterone comparable to say about 200 mg/week by injection.

How important these factors are will vary.

There are no drawbacks to use during a cycle unless one were using a lot of aromatizing steroid already and was not using an aromatase inhibitor, in which case the HCG and resulting increased testosterone might be the last straw.

2) No disadvantage to taking Proviron during the cycle but the "SHBG effect" is nonsense. It is not your fault whatsoever but it's a subject I've beaten my head into the wall too many times already on, so the search engine will have to suffice. Not that it would be beating my head into the wall in your case, but in general it accomplishes nothing to write about that yet again.

3) Yes as an oral. It's never been popular as an injectable.

However Primobolan enanthate has been used successfully in 2 on / 4 off cycles at 1 gram per week -- where the price was no problem. In general it is too expensive.

4) A few have done short cycles of TE with only a frontload and injections during the first week and were satisfied with it; but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me in terms of being optimal. Doable yes but not optimal. If it were beefed up with orals though it could be pretty reasonable.


Good info on this thread!!


Another question for you Bill.

When using a low dose of 300mg Test E a week, how much more effective is dividing it into 2 or 3 shots or 150mg or 100 mg? Out of sheer convenience could you just do 300mg 1 x week and get equivalent results?
Thanks for all good advice up to here.



I am not Bill but the principal of maintaining steady blood levels applies regardless of dosage. For test E EOD is best, 2x/w is second best.

300mg of 250mg/ml test e comes out to 1.2 ml/w or 0.34ml EOD. Your could use a 1 ml syringe or a slin pin for that dose. Quads with a slin pin would be fine as long as you are somewhat lean at that site.


Thanks for the answer and your other help. I am also impressed that you answered my question at 4:29pm before I even asked it at 5:23pm! Check out the times. LOL.
Plan was a 0.6cc 2 x week but will try 0.34 EOD.I did a frontload of 1.3 cc. I am using a 22gauge/1.5" into glutes, it may be overkill size wise, but it gets it in nice and deep. Would a slin pin not be too small a gauge for oil? Do you warm it or something?


1 1/2" is a good length for glutes. I use 1" for glutes and ventro glutes and have no problem personally. 22G is a bit big. I use 22 to draw and 25 to pin. Good comfort, no scarring. Slin pins work great in quads. I learned this from BBB when I was doing my last stasis/taper with low doses. I just sit down and pin the center top of the quad. I usually heat the oil by leaving the slin pin(covered) in a glass of hot tap water for several minutes. You can draw and inject with the same pin (since it is attached). It doesn't reduce the sharpness perceptibly.

Good that you are going EOD with the test e. That will make for smooth blood levels.

Iw was quite early when I answered. I am not sure what time exactly, but I was online from around 4:30 am. The times posted are pretty screwed up sometimes and don't always accuarately reflect the exact time they were submitted.


Fantastic thread! Thanks to Bill Roberts for answering in such great detail and everyone else for chiming in.

Personally, I love the 2 on/4 off protocol - can virtually go as heavy as you can afford (otherwise crazy dosages) and have no perceptible health problems.

Good info!