T Nation

Cutting Question



Hello Gentlemen, couple questions for you so I can be prepared for the next part of my bodybuilding journey.

Well I'll be done with this current bulk cycle in about 4 weeks, at this rate I'll end up around 293-295 and I'm losing some body fat at the moment as well (probably the tren). At this point I think it will be time to cut down to 10% bf or so and see what I'm working with. I'm be pretty happy with a 290+ pound 14-15% bodyfat base.

Anyways, to the cutting portion. We all know the "normal" cycle length is anywhere from 6-12 weeks, but seeing how I've never really "cut" before I'm going to take this slowly, probably over a period of 4-5 months to ensure I have some wiggle room and don't lose too much muscle. I also don't want to diet down that much unassisted, nor do I want to be on cycle for 20 weeks at a time so this brings me to question numero uno, when would be a good time to run a 10-12 week cycle for this? Just the latter portion when it's going to be harder to drop fat?

Second question, I want to start reducing my off cycle time, I don't want to take the commonly suggested cycle length +4 week PCT down time. At the same time I would like to keep my endocrine system and HPTA healthy, so how short do you think I can cut the down time and still keep regular, or at least decent function? (If you think this is a bad idea let me know, but I would appreciate if you guys could be honest with me here as I know most here don't take much time off)

Thanks fellas!


I think the 4 week PCT is the bare minimum. I would look at blast and cruise cycling. It is easier than coming off. You can drop down your total dosage down to 200mg/test for a few weeks (even to 100mg), to clean up so to speak. Run some HCG if you are not using them already. You could use a peptide stack when you are "off".

How tall are you btw? 295 pounds and 15% bf, that's hyooooge. Theoretically, you can drop 35lbs of fat mass, and lose about 15-20lbs of muscle and water during you cutting phase (for competition). Thats 240-245 ripped. Depending on your height, you would fall somewhere between Kevin Levrone (medium) and Kai Greene (mass monster)


Expect to be surprised at just how much fat you have to lose. I am not saying you are "fat," by any means, but that, especially if you've never cut down before, you are probably overestimating how much you are going to have to lose to get to where you want to be. I say this from experience, because it happens to me every damned time I cut down.

I think that I have X amount of fat to lose, and then more, and more, and more just keeps coming, and it takes longer than I thought it would, too. Pretty humbling, actually :wink:

Second, yes, I think a cycle would be better off run at the end, rather than the beginning, of a cutting phase. You'll probably not lose any muscle at the beginning, and I've actually found that (off-cycle) I will actually stay the same weight while beginning my diet, most likely because of the quality of the food I am putting down, my attention to detail, and my g-flux or whatever the hell you want to call it. Toward the lower end is where things get harder and where AAS will be of the most assistance. Of course, if you're only thinking of getting to 10% or so, then you are not really going that low, and you don't have to worry about this quite as much.

As far as your latter question, I don't know that I can provide too much advice there, but I will advise you to be careful and think things through. You are still pretty young, right? You probably are not thinking of it now, but you may want to have kids one day. I'll tell you this: no matter how great it feels to be juiced up and huge and strong as a gorilla and aggressive and confident and superhuman, none of it, none of it, can hold the tiniest sputtering little candle to the feeling of creating a new little life and holding him (or her) in your hands.

I know I'm getting a little sappy on this tough-guy board here, but I mean it. Take care of yourself. You've got plenty of time to get huge. Shit, you already are huger than 99% of the population!

Good luck.


Uh.. way - you are talking bollocks i am afraid my friend.

I am aware you are a big lad genetically, but still - the numbers you are giving are too close to the world's elite.

You are only 6'2" (which while towering above me, isn't freakishly tall) and being just shy of 300lbs and 15% bodyfat.. You could be 250lbs and below 5% after water manipulation!

That said - i have no direct experience with those stats (300lbs, 15% on a 6'2" frame) so it may not look as impressive as it does in my head, and i am not 100% on the stats of the 250lb pro's on stage ATM without looking it up, but i am sure it is pretty close to you... thats comparing the pro's in the sport to you, not the other way around... hmm.

Are you confident you are 15%? This is very commonly miscalculated online, and it takes skill to measure bodyfat with callipers, while electronic devices are invariably wrong by a few percent (either way), with diet, time and drugs used affecting the reading - fine to measure progress, but no good to measure specific stats.

To give you an idea of what 15% looks like on a muscular physique (even if i do say so myself), look at my pics, i am around 14-15% there (although this is commonly said to be what 12% looks like, which looks very lean on a muscular physique).

I am well aware however of the 'BB Genetic Gamble', and apart from the fact my hand in that particular game is just a pair of two's, i know that when it all boils down to the best of the best, genetics are all that matters..

I have a friend - NEVER used AAS in his life - guess why; he puts on muscle so easily he never felt the need! (currently trying to get him to compete!!).
He is around 5'5" and i would say at least 220lbs. He is strong as fuck too and pisses all over me in size and strength - even though i use PED to help me (my Pair of Two's vs. his Ace Flush is miserable..).

To answer your question, if i had to choose, then yes - more drugs the lower you go - that is when calories and expenditure is highest and you are at most risk of catabolism.

As long as you allow lots of time off after (6+ months), i would suggest a 16-20wks of shorter cycles linked together (ie. a 16-20wk cycle using varying drugs and for varying purposes).
You could also do a blast and cruise type of deal throughout the 20 weeks and come off after - and i would merge the two to stay on for 20weeks with 1 week 'deloads' allowing partial recovery and allowing the body continued response to the supraphysiological androgen levels.

There is also the option of two 6-8 week cycles with a 6 or so weeks in-between - make sure to finish on short esters of course.

As for long term reducing the time off and still maintaining healthy endocrine function. Not in my opinion i am afraid.

Generally speaking i have found that over an extended time, those who use steroids regularly tend to require HRT earlier than those who do not - of course i have not done a study large enough to back this up, but it is a solid theory.
This is not to say all will need HRT by 40, or anything like that - but generally, the more you use the more you compromise your HPTA. it is what i believe and what i work by.

It is from a definite trend of recovery EITHER becoming harder little by little OR eventually 'catching up' to the user where they fail to recover fully ever again (not 20yr olds for the most part).

IMO even a regime of 2 moderate length cycles a year (8-10wk), well below the 26 week total needed to account for half the year spent 'on', over time leads to a compromised HPTA.
I cannot prove this as it is impossible to know who would have needed TRT naturally at that time or not - it is JIME.

So, all that in mind - if your number one priority is HPTA function i would avoid AAS(!), if your number one priority is BB then spend more time on than off, and for a little of both i agree with BR; shorter cycles, short esters are better - although my personal experience tells me that when this is done frequently, it still causes issues.. so i would say for the best mix of both somwhere along the lines of one to two 6 week cycles a year, or the equivalent of 1/4 of the year 'on', or 13 weeks.

These numbers (i say again) are my own - so i can't link you to an abstract of an article suggesting that 13 weeks a year of suppression is fine, but i can tell you that less inhibition will cause less problems than more.. :wink:


Does him only wanting to get to <10% not change anything?


Yah I don't have any pre-determined numbers in my head of weight I would like to be at, I would just go by the mirror and try to stay away from the scale.

Sounds good, I'll just save it for the latter part when the time comes.

And yes, I turned 20 a few months ago so I must admit that kids/family is the last thing on my mind right now haha, but I see your point and it's definitely something I've thought about. But this is something I love to do so eventually I'm going to have to "pick a side" and let the chips fall where they may.


I don't know how your morals are, or what you care about, but in this day and age, ejaculating inside a girl is not the only way to get her pregnant with your DNA.


Great info thanks Brook! The good thing about this is my dad owns an HRT centered business, so if I ever actually do have a need for HRT, I have a go to guy lol.

As far as my stats, they are as close as I can estimate. You can look at my most recent pics from like 8-10 weeks ago were I was sitting naturally at 285 at probably 17% BF after using no drugs for 6-7 months. All I can tell you now is at this point, like 8 weeks in to a pretty aggressive cycle of test/tren/dbol, changes have been made in leanness and size.

I'll post new pics up at the end of the month.


Yah I've heard about the blast/cruise thing, I think it bears looking into, plenty of people seems to subscribe to that.

I'm 6 1/2-6'2 so not anywhere near as impressive as you think it might be haha, but thanks.




There's like 6+ pics on pages 2 through 8 that show my progress since I started up until a few months ago if you care to take a look.


Ya, as i thought - definitely above 15% in the most recent ones but as i said i haven't worked one on one with someone with your goals at your height, so i hadn't a visual aid to go by, ie. what someone at your height looks like at x weight etc.

I still get surprised by just how much height factors into total weight, just a few inches gives pounds and pounds of scale weight - as i have mentioned before, the internet can be so misleading in that way (i am not suggesting that was your intention at all - i know it wasn't - and you are a big fucker!).

Onto the staying on thing - when Cortes said you may want to have kids yet so don't stay on, you replied "i am 20 so i am not even thinking about them yet" - well that's kinda the point man, you WILL at some point, and if it happens to be after staying on the past 10 years from ages 20 to 30, then you may find your wife leaves you for a man who CAN have kids without doctor appointments..

What are your goals, long term? Do you intend to try to make money with your physique? I would be very wary to doing so with bodybuilding unless i felt i had the correct genetics:

In the context of elite BB genetics isn't just about the speed at which you can grow muscle - as all the top level pro's will be as big and as conditioned as the next.
It is about if your vastus lateralis and medialis show striations at 3% bodyfat, if you have a xmas tree in your lower back, if your biceps are long and peaked, if your pecs and wide and hang low, if your lats swing wide and square - the ear lobe kinda stuff that no amount of training or drugs can alter.

I know you know all this but sometimes it helps to hear it from someone else as opposed to knowing it and never hearing it..

You can definitely be a big bodybuilder of course, but what do you want? Honestly?


Wow, 6'2 295! Waylanderxx > 99% of weightlifters. Keep workin hard bro!!


I would like one day to eventually turn pro, and yes make some money. Right now the goal is to finish school, get started on a career, and if/when the time comes when I have a physique capable of going pro, then earn some supplementary income doing something that I love.


I think you will be shocked just how much weight comes off when you diet. Your midsection looks pretty blocky so there is a ton of weight hiding in there even though you don't have a lot of subq fat.

I would guess your bf to be somewhere around 20-25% in those pics which still makes you fucking massive (around 230-240lbs lbm at 6'2") so if you can diet down to 10% you will look enormous....if you can get that down to 5% (which would put you around 250lbs) you have a shot at going pro depending on what your symmetry looks like once you are there.

Depending on what your diet is like now you can probably drop a lot of that just by cleaning it up.

x2 on cortes' recommendations to start off dieting "off" and then add in gear as the progress slows and you need to get tighter with your diet to see progress (drop cals, reduce healthy fat). I found just going low carb alone was enough to drop inches off my waist. Thow in a bit of morning cardio and some sprints along with some basic heavy lifting to maintain muscle mass and you should be well on your way by the time you add the juice. Any muscle you lost from dieting natural should come back pretty quick once you are back on the sauce.

Best of luck man.


I have to agree with this assessment. Based upon you pictures, I'd say you are at least 20%bf. That's not necessarily a bad thing at all. I just think you will end up being surprised at how much weight comes off before you reach a "real" 10%.


Guys keep in mind those last pics are at a "natural" 285, that's pretty much impossible to be at that size lean without drugs.

I've been on cycle for 8 weeks now. I don't look the same. Just making sure you guys keep that in mind.


You going to post of a pic of your Brad Pitt looking self ?


haha at the end of the month, yah.


Waylander, I have been keeping up with your posts and threads as of late, due to your 6'2" height and weight since I am a 6' BB. It can not be stated enough that you are a freak show at 20! But I am concerned with a couple things that you have posted.

If I am wrong please correct me...but if you have never competed, which I assume by you stating this is your first cut, then how do you know you will like this lifestyle? It seems very elementary, but the mindset, dedication, and sacrifice that it takes to even compete at the amature level is overwelming.

I have competed in more than one show, and while it is a great feeling to have an extremly conditioned physique, I have had to sacrifice just like every other competitive BB has. I am getting married in a few months, and the kids issue has come up with my fiance.

She knows my goals of making it to the national stage in the next 3-5 years, but it is scary when putting, quite literally, your 'manhood' at risk. It is the fundamental drive of every man that has ever walked this green Earth to create the next generation of their DNA.

Worst case scenerio, you stay on cycle for more than off cycle, do great in your first few shows, but totally hate the competitive lifestyle ( I'm not saying bodybuilding, lifting, or looking good, just the struggle and sacrifice of competition).

You cut the hard drug usage to a minimum, but the damage is done (you are not far out of your teen growth cycle now at just 20 years old). The damage doesn't show up until you and your wife, in 5-10 years, desire to have a child of your own.

I know this is an extreme scenario, but before you choose to up the risk with longer (possible year long) cycles, compete in your first show and see if this lifestyle is truly what you want. I know many guys that have done one show (even won their class and the overall!) and never step on stage again. It is too big of a sacrifice for many, only few are really made to compete.

You have great potential and I wish you the best of luck. Just something to think about, as my fiance and I have had many discussions on my PED use.


Way - you can't call it natural just because you aren't on steroids at the time. Sorry mate but that isn't 'natural'.

You were assisted to get to that point, and whether you could have got there without assistance is anyone's guess, but something one can never be sure of.

If you had stopped steroid use years ago to never use again, then maybe you can consider that natural - if the last time was a number of years ago (as it takes such a long time for the body to fully normalise down to the size it can maintain naturally - ie. longer than a few months)

If being 'natural' is the months between cycles - then most steroid users are natural.