T Nation

Competitive OL and MMA

I know Ive read through lots of the MMA/Muay Thai/BJJ threads on here, and the article on the trainer who works with MMA guys who suggests 600mg week total of various compounds 6-8 weeks before a fight. Im just curious of there are folks on here who are high level MMA or competitive olympic lifters who would share their cycles just for curiousity sake. Im an HRT guy and too old and banged up to compete in OL or MMA, but love those sports, PL too. Curious what some of the guys might be doing to stay so lean, recover, and stay strong. Guys who have weight class limits and just need to be explosive as hell. Some of those olympic lifters are light and shredded for the amounts of weight they can snap up or overhead. Impressive…I know much of that is years of training the nervous system, wondering if they do cycles just for recovery or for enhancement of CNS within reason to stay in their proper weight class. MMA guys, Ive read that stuff like Primo and EQ need to be run for 12-16 weeks and such, long times before they “kick in” (reminding you I dont know much about AAS Im just curious), but if that “expert” says to do cycles 6-8 weeks prior to a fight is doing the Primo and EQ worth it since theoretically it might not be kicking in yet? Wondering if OL have similar cycles if they are not in tested competitions, are they doing it right before leading up into meets, or they doing it in the off season a few times to improve training and then back off if it is tested and they know how and what to take to clear it out of their systems?

Again…curious about what competitive athletes do, not bodybuilders, and folks who need to stay within certain weight limits and are not looking to blow up 20 pounds but just stay lean or get leaner, and increase strength and power.

Lots of the threads on here seem to suggest low dose Var for these sorts of athletic needs. Var, Primo, Mast, Halo, OT and I guess Tren is supposed to be the beastmaker but doesnt help “cardio” so maybe for MMA guys its not advised but how about OL and PL?

winstrol too all with a test base ofcoarse

I thought winny was harsh on joints and formed some sort of “bad” collegen binding or something and predisposed people in athletics to tears?

No competitive olympic or power lifters or MMA guys willing to share what they know about the field?

[quote]bluecollarjock wrote:
No competitive olympic or power lifters or MMA guys willing to share what they know about the field? [/quote]

no one ever does. These threads pop up now and again but there’s never any input from anyone who knows what the pro’s do. Only the pro’s know for sure, and they’ll never tell

Thanks…not that I need to know exaactly what a pro MMA or international OL or PL does…even folks who are just part of sport who know if there is “common knowledge” the juice guys take who want to stay in same weight class

Im not looking for some cookie cutter cycle to follow myself. Just havent found much info on what a “typical” MMA or OL cycle would be.

That MMA article was fun to read about the “expert” trainer, but wondering if some other folks confirm those suggestions.

Or what would guys on here who know their AAS hypothesize would be great stacks for MMA or OL and PL who want to stay in their weight classes and improve recovery. Is it sticking to the primo, mast, var, OT, halo combos? Is it as simply looking at what people call “cutter” stacks on here and using the same stuff?

I’m not a pro but I feel like I have some fairly impressive lifts and good overall condition. I’m currently on my first cycle specifically for these purposes. I have ran test, tbol, winny, and prohormones in the past. Here’s my current cycle:

1-13: 250 test e (front loaded with prop)
1-12: 300 EQ (front loaded)
1-6: 30mg var
12-14: 10 or 20mg halo (might do this from weeks 10-12 instead)

HCG throughout

PCT starts week 15

My test is low because I didn’t want weight gain but always use test as a base. I didn’t want to go higher on the EQ because I was really interested in the improvements in joint health, increased RBC, and recovery. I have enjoyed all of these aspects of the drug so far. I started with var because I knew the EQ was going to take about 4 or 5 weeks to really kick in.

This one has been a double edged sword for me. On my lifts, it has definitely helped. I was stuck at a 225 snatch for a long time and have been able to increase to 235 (I know its not a monstrous jump but I’m only taking 30mg, been doing lots of volume, and still have one more week to go with the var).

However, workouts that require high repetitions in a short amount of time have suffered due to the pump. I’m talking 12-15 minute workouts with high intensity and high reps. There are some workouts that have left me more sore than necessary. Shorter workouts like 400m sprints with full recovery or a 2 or 3 minute workout have probably improved.

The halo is in there at the end. I have heard mixed reviews about this. I am a very laid back person so I don’t believe this will give me anger issues but I will cease immediately if that ends up being the case. I am looking forward to the strength increases this drug can offer. The toxicity issue was a concern but my lipid profile is healthy and I’m taking low dosages for 3 weeks. I’ve read people who were taking triple the amount I plan on doing.

I would stay away from winny due to the joint issues, although it did make me quite strong and gave me plenty of energy. I’ve never tried or really considered trying primo but masteron would be worth a second read. I think my next run will be with prop and halo, depending on how I respond to it.

FYI- I cut down to 200lbs before I started this and have stayed there but I look leaner and am definitely stronger.

Thanks! Id love to keep getting feedback on your current cycle. Is the halo at the end right before a competition?

Interesting that the EQ kicks in that soon, I was under impression guys wanted to run it for really long periods of time…which is why the MMA article confused me, primo and EQ cycles Ive read on the forums say to go 12-16 weeks and such, but his fighters are doing it for 7-8 weeks.

Actually, the halo at the end is because I picked it up just last week. It seemed like the most logical place to put it.

And yes, I’m aware that the EQ takes a while to kick in- I say 5 weeks. However, I don’t really like long cycles so this was kind of a stretch for me already. 16 weeks on EQ? Then you have to wait three weeks for the ester to clear and do PCT. That’s a half of a year by the time you’re all done. No thanks.

I’ll keep you posted on my results.

Are you mostly interested in MMA or Oly? I don’t think the EQ will be helping much with the latter.

My workouts are pretty much olympic lifting based 4 days a week full body starting on platform with olmypic lifts and following up in rack with typical powerlifting movements. Then depending on time of year 2-6 MMA classes a week, stress and work all plays a role how much I can train MMA.

Yea true that seems forever running a 16 week cycle but Ive seen it posted when it comes to EQ and primo thats what people will suggest. If I ever did anything Id love it if it could be an 8 week blast so its short and off again. But if all the milder with less side effects and good for staying lean and not putting on weight AAS are the kinds that are supposed to be ran long term because they “kick in” late guess its pie in the sky fantasy hah.

Winny being bad for your joints is broscience. The research actually shows an increase in collagen synthesis with winnie.

Real sceince> broscience

I just read an article in the past month, cant recall where might have been in some newletter I get with links to various articles from many sources… Well there was an article that had a line in there that yes Winstrol is known to increase collagen synthesis but it was “type 3” or some sort of “bad collagen”…forgive me for my ignorance as I am googling but cant find it…

Ive read plenty of reviews on forums where guys love winny, love love love it…but if it does pose any tissue risks MMA and OL surely wouldnt be good sports to be playing with it. Its cheaper than Anavar and OT so it could seem like a good oral, especially if it does combat estrogen issues. Again guys before someone rips my head off, I am just jumping onto this part of the forum for the first time trying to learn, Im an HRT guy and not an AAS guy so only know what I read…and know there are plenty of bad ass guys on here with big brains about these issues as well lots of experience themselves and coaching others on AAS use…

With all the aches and pains OL, PL, and MMA guys get as they age, would Deca at a low dose be a possible add on? Or seems its another roid that should be run longer term so if a fighter was looking for a 8 week blast during a heavy training period it might not really help? Would this NPP stuff do the same thing for joint relief? Winny and NPP?

ha, deca is bad for your joints…

Researchers in the European Journal of Applied Physiology examined how heavy use of the anabolic steroid Deca-Durabolin affected collagen strength in rats. The rats were separated into two groups: natural training and training with heavy anabolic steroid use. The dose the researchers administered to the rats was considered supra-physiological ? Deca-Durabolin (nandrolone decanoate) 5mg/kg of bodyweight.

The rats were cleverly forced to perform resistance exercise, but you can?t just tell a rat to start benching ? so the researchers attached weights to the rats? backs. They dropped the rats into a tank of water and the rats immediately jumped out of the water as soon as they were dunked. Every week, the researchers gradually made the weight on the rats? backs heavier and heavier until at the end of seven weeks the weight was 80 percent of their bodyweight. The researchers dropped the rats in the tank so that they performed this for 4 sets x 10 repetitions of ?jumps? with 30-second rest periods. After that, they rats were sacrificed and the rats? tendons and collagen were examined for gene expression.

There were some very interesting findings after seven weeks of training with anabolic steroids, compared with the natty (natural) group of rats. The natty group did not have any biochemical changes in the rat tendon/collagen properties, while the anabolic steroid group had major changes.(6) The Deca-Durabolin group had reduced biochemical properties of genes involving tendon and collagen strength.

It is interesting to note that AAS administration reduced the accumulation of IGF-1 mRNA levels in some tendon regions, compared to the non-treated, trained group. This decrease of IGF-1 mRNA levels induced by AAS administration may be related to the observed decreases collagen expression when considering the possible connection between IGF-1 and collagen synthesis.(8) The AAS treatment also decreased the MMP-2 mRNA expression (this gene encodes an enzyme for collagen).

The above study is similar to another recently published study, which showed that nandrolone impaired the healing of rotator cuffs of rabbits. In the latter study, male rabbits underwent an incision in the rotator cuff and were divided into groups with anabolic steroids (nandrolone decanoate, 10mg/kg) and natural recovery. Groups that did not receive anabolic steroids showed better healing and more tendon strength compared to groups that received anabolic steroids. Microscopic examination of specimens from the groups with anabolic steroid use showed focal fibroblastic reaction and inflammation, suggesting an impaired healing response.(7)

The key point is that many of these studies were using supraphysiological dosages of steroids that could be like the typical Olympia stack ? but the new research suggests that a high-volume approach to training with less weight may be a better approach to use for a bodybuilder than a high-intensity, heavy weight program that puts more stress on the tendons and makes them more susceptible to injury.

By Robbie Durand, M.A., Senior Science Editor of Muscular Development


  1. Evans NA, Bowrey DJ, Newman GR (1998) Ultrastructural analysis of ruptured tendon from anabolic steroid users. Injury, 29:769-773.
    2: Marqueti RC, Prestes J, Paschoal M, Ramos OH, Perez SE, Carvalho HF, Selistre-de-Araujo HS (2008) Matrix metallopeptidase 2 activity in tendon regions: effects of mechanical loading exercise associated to anabolic-androgenic steroids, Eur J Appl Physiol, 104:1087-1093.
    3: Marqueti RC, Prestes J, Wang CC, Ramos OH, Perez SE, Nakagaki WR, Carvalho HF, Selistre-de-Araujo HS (2010). Biomechanical responses of different rat tendons to nandrolone decanoate and load exercise. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 29.
    4: Marqueti RC, Parizotto NA, Chriguer RS, Perez SEA, Selistre-de-Araujo HS (2006) Androgenic-anabolic steroids associated with mechanical loading inhibit matrix metallopeptidase activity and affect the remodeling of the Achilles tendon in rats. Am J Sport Med, 34:1274-1280.
    5: Oikarinen A, Autio P, Vuori J, Va¨a¨na¨nen K, Risteli L, Kiistala U, Risteli J (1992) Systemic glucocorticoid treatment decreases serum concentrations of carboxyterminal propeptide of type I procollagen and aminoterminal propeptide of type III procollagen. Br J Dermatol, 126:172-178.
    6: Marqueti RC, Heinemeier KM, Durigan JL, de Andrade Perez SE, Schjerling P, Kjaer M, Carvalho HF, Selistre-de-Araujo HS. Erratum to: Gene expression in distinct regions of rat tendons in response to jump training combined with anabolic androgenic steroid administration. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2011 Sep 8.
    7: Papaspiliopoulos A, Papaparaskeva K, Papadopoulou E, Feroussis J, Papalois A, Zoubos A. The effect of local use of nandrolone decanoate on rotator cuff repair in rabbits. J Invest Surg, 2010 Aug;23(4):204-7.
    8: Heinemeier KM, Olesen JL, Schjerling P, Hassad F, Langberg H, Baldwin KM, Kjaer M (2007b) Short-term strength training and the expression of myostatin and IGF-1 isoforms in rat muscle and tendon: differential effects of specific contraction types. J Appl Physiol, 102:573-581.

Well, you are certainly turning my world upsidedown. Deca is bad for joints and winny is good for them. Krazy.

I ran a study of my own:

After a 10 week cycle of test and deca, my joints were feeling awesome. I could squat heavy 2-3 times a week and run long distances with no problem.

After a 10 week cycle of test and winstrol, I suffered from stiff knees, a bum wrist, and a poor range of motion.

I agree that real science>broscience but you can’t argue with personal experience, which isn’t always the same for everyone.

I have heard people say the same thing.
How was your joint after the you stopped taking the Deca?
And were you running an AI when you took the winny?

Admittedly, I wouldn’t say that my joints weren’t any better than before after I stopped taking deca. That being said, they felt better on that cycle than any other cycle and didn’t necessarily get worse than before after I stopped taking it. However, the same could not be said for winny as my joints felt worse during cycle and only secession of the drug made them feel better, improving to normal. I was taking adex both times (approx .25mg for every 250 of test or deca).

So, the studies could indeed be correct- deca being bad for joints and winny being good. Maybe it was deca’s pain relieving effects I was enjoying and maybe it was the dry aspect of winny that was causing my pain. So far on this cycle, my joints have been feeling good other than a little stiffness from what I believe the anavar is causing. I will be able to really assess EQ’s effects once I stop taking the var and the EQ completely kicks in.

Even HRT forums guys cycle in Deca and all claim it helps joint pain big time at 100mg-200mg week for 8-10 weeks a few times a year.

Seems the golden roids with less side effects, that help lean gains and recovery without putting on weight, are all the freaking expensive ones haah…primo and var…and then seem to need longer times to run or kick in, are not ideal for 8 or 10 week blasts. Id hate to drop tons of coin on Primo for 8 week blast if 8 weeks wasnt long enough to really get to the sweet spot for results. But if someone ran a long cycle, do folks combine EQ, Primo, and Var for athletic type cycles with recovery being a goal and leaning out or staying same weight class/ Then Var as an oral.

I have theory about that. Notice I said theory, this is not backed up by science nor am I saying its true. Just that it makes sense.

HGH is good for joints, because it helps regrow soft tissue. Now every one I know that has taken legit HGH has gotten joint pain from HGH. So something that is good for your joints causes pain. Kinda like winnie.

On the flip side, getting a knee scoped removes cartilage, which is bad for you, because now there is bone on bone rubbing. But when you get cartilage removed it decreases pain in the joint. But bigger problems are going to show in the long run. Kinda like deca.

So the theory is winnie causes grow of collagen, more collagen in the same amount of space leads to more pain until your body gets used to it. Deca removes collagen, less collagen in the same amount of space leads to less pain until there is to much bone on bone rubbing.

If any one has an science to disprove this please share, or a theory of their own.

Its over my head…but would be quite the kicker if all the hype and testimonies of Winny hurting joints and predisposing people to tears is false and Deca isnt good for joints and makes people feel better which is all I hear from both athletes and HRT folks…Im not sure if they still are doing it, but when I started HRT 3 years ago tons of doctors were doing Deca in 8 week blasts for 100-200mg week for HRT patients for joints (since most of us are older).