T Nation

Criticize My First Cycle

Hello everybody,

Im currently 24 y/o and I’ve been weight lifting since 16. I have a nice structure and plan on starting my first cycle. I am a little high in body fat (18%)

I plan on starting my first cycle in December and this is my plan

Week 1-10 500 mg test E injected bi weekly (Monday and Thursday’s)

14 days after I plan on starting my pct using nolvadex (20mg/day for 45 days)

Is my plan good or should I change it a little also do you guys think I should add D Bol?

That’s the gold standard first cycle. I wouldn’t deviate too much. But if you can hold off until you get your bf down a little more you’ll be thankful you did. I started bulking when bf was 18% (on TRT, so by bulking I mean lifting heavy and eating a ton) and I’m not happy with the results. Good size gains, decent strength, but way too much more fat gained. Now I need to delay my planned blast because I need to cut a lot harder than originally thought. If you can push it back a month and get another few pounds of fat sheered off that’s just more room for error that you’ve given yourself. Other than that it looks like you’re set. Do you have an AI on hand in case it’s needed?

Start with 200 mgs. I don’t know where the 500 mg “gold standard” came from but you don’t need that much. Especially if everything else is on point. Although at 18 % body fat everything is not on point.

Perhaps start at 0 mgs and just change your diet and get lean first. Then jump on some gear. Don’t take D Bol. Are you a competitive athlete? I am guessing no you just want to look good.

Honestly TRT dose can take you much farther than what most bros have thought but I think general consensus on what is possible on TRT dose is changing. I can speak from my experience as well as those I know. As typical gym rat who spent 2 hours a day 5-6 times a week a trt dose was significantly more beneficial than 500 mgs. You don’t have to be anywhere near as concerned for elevated hermatocrit, BP, BPH, stroke or heart attack. All of which are possible side effects of taking your test levels to supra physiological levels.

But of course your going to do what you want anyways. Just think about the above a little bit before you start sticking yourself like a pin cushion. People have no idea what they get themselves into when they jump on gear. I bet you never considered the fact that you can develop scar tissue at your pin sites. Makes it really hard to pin sometimes. No one ever mentions that. You jab yourself and press down on the plunger and the oil doesn’t budge. Then you have to pull out and pin again.

I think “significantly more beneficial” may be an overstatement but I’m curious as to what you mean by this?

I think I was pretty clear in my first post.

There is certainly diminishing returns as you up the dosage. The increased risk of harmful side effects is not worth it imo. Especially if you are an average gym rat.

Lowering your risk of dying is pretty beneficial. Yeah that might be a tad dramatic but its a very real possibility.

In my limited experience, cause I was never a huge gear head, I’ve ran from 200 mgs every ten days (UGL gear so prob less than that) to 750 mgs a week.

I looked and felt best at 200 mgs every ten days. Also I hate going off dosages. Lab values are the best method to assessing how you are responding and coming to conclusions. I felt best when my test was measured at 900ish ng/dl which was on what was supposed to be about 200 mgs every ten days. At 500 mgs and 750 mgs my skin was breaking out, I am sure my BP was through the roof my chest was perpetually flushed I had to take an aromatase inhibitor to keep my estrogen in check.

Longevity is the name of the game. Just something to consider.

Your experiences are not indicative of what everyone else’s are or will be. The mistake you make is in thinking that because you felt a certain way that everyone else will feel similarly. That’s simply not the case for each individual. And while I generally agree that going lower is prudent in many cases, you cannot assume that lower doses automatically means lower risks. For instance, I’m on that very 200mg dose you’re touting, and my one and only side effect is one you warned of at higher doses, namely high hematocrit. Everyone isn’t the same.

Furthermore, the purpose of running a higher dose on cycle is because…it’s a cycle. It’s not a reflection of what your normal hormone levels will look like the rest of the time you’re alive. It’s specifically done for the purpose of being supraphysiological. If you’re going to risk having your endocrine system permanently wrecked then it damn well better be worth it. For most guys taking a dose that puts them in the higher end of normal is not much of a reward for the risk being taken. That’s why 500 is a reference point. It’s far beyond anything you could get naturally. You’re suggesting that most guys could do better being slightly above natural vs being significantly above natural. I don’t know where that notion comes from, but it’s not at all scientific. So present the data that shows 200 being > 500 while cycling and then we can get to the bottom of this.

Ok chief.

I was merely making a suggestion based on my own personal experiences and observations. w

I didn’t say that but:

Lower dose does mean less sides. Of course guy could pin 200 get every possible side versus the guy who pins 500 and does not get any side. But if that guy who started with 200 increased to 500 he is going to have worse side effects most likely as he increases his dose. Common knowledge there. Wasn’t saying he will avoid any and all sides if he sticks to 200 mgs which seems to be what you think I meant.

Thats fucking deep man.

500 is a reference point? Who designated 500 as the gold standard starting point? Bunch of bros on the internet.

Work on your reading comprehension buddy. I said TRT dose can take you farther than what most bros have previously thought. I didn’t make any claims like 200 mgs of test per week = more lean muscle gains than 500 mgs per week.

I think the risk to reward ratio at a TRT dose is superior and imo its probably not worth going much above that if your just an average gym rat whom the OP strikes me as being. I am not speaking in absolutes here. Different approaches for different situations. I gave what I thought to be a better approach for the situation presented.

I think its very obvious where I am coming from here. I am giving this guy advice that I think will help keep him healthy and minimize the risks of him harming himself. As I said before longevity is the name of the game.

If his end goal is to just gain as much muscle as possible or strength as possible by all means take a huge dose of test stack it with tren and an oral. Get crazy with it. These drugs are nothing to scoff at and can seriously mess you up.

You have to remember everyone has different goals. Do you think it would be “significantly more beneficial” for me to take 200mgs over 500mgs when my goal is to compete? I know the risks associated, but for pure muscle gain, 500mg is superior to 200mg.

I sense an internet fight brewing…

@oglebee The issue with 200mg e10d (or recommending any dose to an individual for that matter) is that you have no idea how said individual will react to said dose. I can tell you 500mg/wk wouldn’t get me far above 2200ng/dl (so 2x the upper range) for total T and probably around 3x the upper range for free T. If I were to take 200mg e10d (actually thats equivilent to my current dose, to me it feels like a low end TRT dose, for others it could get them to 2000ng/dl+. The risk (as you’ve mentioned, with cardiac alterations being the highest concern) is def a concern on doses of 500mg+, I fully agree with you there. However a healthy lifestyle and good genetics can go a long way, the true extent of the risk involving doses of say 500mg/wk is unknown, the extent of any dose is actually unknown (even TRT) I generally stay low, the highest I’ve ever gone is 250mg/wk, I don’t think the risk is too extreme in the dose ranges of 300 to 400mg/wk (depending on the individuals reaction to the drugs), however there’s no way of truly knowing. Literature exists demonstrating the potentially devastating consequences of long term, extreme abuse of these agents, and whether responisble use exists is arguable (I believe it is possible to use with minimal health effects if you keep the doses low). That being said for those who venture higher, it’s their choice. Also the law of dimishing returns occurs (according to literature) after 300mg/wk with regard to muscle mass (600mg doesn’t equate to 2x muscle gained), however many bodybuilders say 1-2G of test/wk is the sweet spot, and apparently the pros routinely run at least 3G/wk (apparently)

I’m on the fence as to whether AAS is inherently highly dangerous or not with regards to cardiac health, studies have been conflicting, bodies are starting to pile up (however they’re typically associated with extreme, EXTREME cases of abuse), the dose effect, risk ratio is unknown, there’s too many confounding variables for anyone to truly come to a conclusion. At this moment my conclusion is “we should be very careful, there’s definately something to be said about AAS abuse and cardiac abnormalities, increased risk of sudden cardiac death and whatnot, however the extent of these events occuring due to AAS is unknown, one meta analysis found the mortality rate of pro-bodybuilders to be 38% higher than that of the general populace, while concerning… It isn’t too bad”


It’s not. That’s why I pushed back. Seems like there’s no real chance that we’ll come to any consensus here so there’s no reason to keep this going.

Does anyone actually read a post before they reply to it?

I don’t think we disagree here. You probably read my post too hastily and then you responded with a certain air of condescension and if there is anywhere I don’t take disrespect its on the internet. Gator don’t play no shit.

Edit: [quote=“unreal24278, post:10, topic:249134”]
mortality rate of pro-bodybuilders to be 38% higher than that of the general populace, while concerning… It isn’t too bad”

I don’t know where this stat is from. Not really relevant. But you think a 38 % increase in mortality isn’t too bad. You should ask activities guys about that. He is good with numbers.

Didn’t mean for it to be condescending. I mean, I kind of did, probably, but that was less on purpose and more a consequence of how I tend to write on certain days and under certain circumstances. Anyway, apologies if that was the impression you got.


It was 34% error on my account. I certainly don’t think it’s good, but it isn’t as bad as say the mortality rates for pro wrestlers