Cycle Length Guide

Hey Guys,

Seems like there has been a lot of discussion about cycle length lately…SHORT CYCLES (2on/2off, 2on/4off, 3 weekers), MEDIUM CYCLES (6-8 weeks), STANDARD CYCLES (10-12 weeks), LONG CYCLES (3-9 months or continuous use).

I wanted to start a thread (4 part series) to discuss who should be employing each approach based on experience and goals, the pros and cons of each in terms of gains, and what compounds are best suited for each.

I asked Bushy to write on this a while back but he has obviously been busy with other matters (my condolences on your legal trouble mate, a damn shame that you got taken down in the witch hunt…I hope you keep making positive contributions to this site) so I have decided to start it myself. Bush if you wanna jump in you are more than welcome to be a guest writer.

To others please add to the info if you can (VETS only please…you know who you are) or correct any errors you see. I am not an endocrinologist, have little medical background other than what is self taught, and don’t really care to reference my sources because I don’t record them when reading…hell i don’t even spell check. If any of the vets are going to post I would ask that they follow the general format so that it maintains some continuity.

This is all from anecdotal evidence, that of other users, or stuff from memory that I have read on the internet which is littered with false “facts” so I expect a few mistakes and this is by no means the last word.

PART I - LONG CYCLES (3-9 months or continuous use)

WHO
This is an approach often taken by those with a great degree of experience or older users that no longer have a need of their natural test (or who’s natural test is too low to bother with as is the case with Hormone Replacement Therapy or HRT).

PROS
It is believed that longer cycles will result in more perminent gains because:

  1. The body has more time to adapt to the new muscle mass…this point is very debatable but the general idea is that the body has time to adjust the new ‘set point’ of mass. How it does this is not fully known and may be total speculation…I believe it has to do with satellite cells which will be discussed in more detail later.
  2. There is more time during the cycle to build muscle tissue. At some point (which varies from user to user but are generally around the 2-3 month mark with long esters) gains begin to diminish such that eventually little to no further gains are seen and the continued use is simply maintenance of the existing muscle. However with very long cycles some users are able to make continued gains either through very strict training and diet or the addition of peptides.

Often times brief periods of high doses (blasting) are employed to see continued gains followed by long periods of low to moderate use (cruising). This allows users to break through plateaus that are reached when gains diminish to the point of little to no growth.

CONS
The biggest downsides are:

  1. Cost is increase with cycle length (obviously)
  2. Many side effects become more pronounced over time
  3. Shutdown is very severe such that to recover natural test (if coming off at all) is only posible with the use of HCG to stimulate the testes or by tapering with Test to try to allow the users HPTA to return to normal gradually. This is of course not an issue with continuous use because there is no need to recover if not coming off.

PRIMARY COMPOUND
Test Enth or Cyp is usually the only or at least the main compound for long cycles. This is because of:

  1. Effects on libido. Synthetic Test is the only compound that is a substitute for natural Test in this regard so it is really the only choice when shutdown is guaranteed if the user (assuming they are male) values their ability to get an erection and desire to have sex.
  2. Long half life (reduced injections and more stable levels). The Enanthate and Cyponate ester versions are most commonly used because injection frequency can be reduced to about once every 4-7 days.
  3. The even balance of anabolic to androgenic qualities.
    Here is a list of possible androgenic and anabolic qualities so you know what this means:
    ANDROGENIC (ANDROGEN RECEPTOR MEDIATED EFFECTS)
  • increased male charicteristics like agressiveness
  • increased sex drive
  • increased oil production
  • thickened face and body hair
  • growth of prostate tissue
  • increased adrenalgenic activity
  • decreased catabolic activity
  • faster recovery/tissue repair
  • reducion in fat deposits
    ANABOLIC (NON-ANDROGEN RECEPTOR MEDIATED EFFECTS)
  • increase muscle mass
  • increased immune fuction
  • male pattern fat deposits
  • reduced body fat
  • increased electrolyte retention
  • increased hemoglobin and red blood cell count
  • increased calcium deposits in bones
  • increased nitrogen retention
  • increased protein synthesis
  • decreased catabolic ration
  1. Test works really well. Study after study confirms it. Test adds muscle, burns fat, and does all sorts of great things. It is the king.

Typical doses are in the range of 200-1000mg/week (with HRT users simply looking for better quality of life at the low end and experienced bodybuilders at the high end) wich is the dose for cruising. The blasting dose is much higher but as previously mention it will be covered in the shot cycle section because that’s really what it is.

SECONDARY COMPOUNDS
Secondary steroids that are well suited to longer cycles are:

  • Equipoise and Deca due to their long half life, synergies with test, and low adrogenic/estrogenic side effects. Both provide anabolic properties (compared to increasing the dose of Test) such that they yield additional mass/strength gain without adding strong androgenic/estrogenic sides.
  • Masteron Enanthate or Primobolan due to their long half life, synergies with Test, hardening effect, and effect on Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) and estrogen conversion. Both povide androgenic properties with no water weight gain or estrogen issues.
  1. Equipoise (a 1,2 double bond derivative of Test) is roughly equal to Test in terms of anabolic qualities but with half the androgenic/estrogenic properties and has a side effect of increasing appetite (which aids in bulking) and EPO (thus blood volume giving greater pumps, vascularity, and improved stamina). The reduction in adrgoenic properties and estrogen conversion reduce the need for ancilliaries when increasing overall doses of AAS. Having an Undecylenate ester it doesn’t need to be injected often to maintain stable levels (about once every 7 days). Equipoise can be run at levels lower than, equal to, or higher than test in the cycle but most opt for levels about 2/3 to 3/4 that of the test. The one main concern with EQ is blood pressure increases due to increase in blood volume. From personal experience a dramatic increase in systolic BP was seen which a slight increase in Diastolic BP. Estrogen is still an issue but at half the conversion rate of Test it is only a problem if using very high doses.

  2. Deca (a 19Nor derivative of test) is a very anabolic drug with little androgenic/estrogenic qualities and has a side effect of aiding the joints and immune function. This adds mass and strength without the androgenic/estrogenic sides. This makes Deca mild in terms of hairloss, Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BHP), blood pressure, lipid levels, and gyno. Deca converts to Nor-Estrogen which acts much more weakly on the receptors so gyno is less of an issue unless very high doses are used. Nor-Estrogen is believed by many to be the reason for Deca’s ability to aid joint lubrication/health while on.

Deca has also been shown to aid in collegen synthesis and bone density. Deca is commonly used by those who are suffering from previous injury or illness so it makes sense to use it in a long cycle where their will be continuous stress on the joints, bones, and ligaments.

The Decanoate ester produces stable levels even when only shot once a week and because of it’s side effects of improving joint health and immune function it is a great addition to a long cycle where the body will be under prolonged stress.

Deca does have a very dramatic negative effect on libido due to it’s 19-Nor structure (able to activate the progesterone receptor) so dose is typically lower than test at a rate of 1/2 to 2/3 that of the Test and use often restricted to just a portion of the cycle (ending at least 2-3 weeks prior to Test). It is often combined with an anti-progesterone like cabergoline or bromocrptine to offset this effect.

  1. Masteron Enanthate (a DHT derivative) binds strongly to the Androgen Receptor. Like other DHT compounds it adds muscle hardness/density and aggression without water retention or estrogen issues. DHT has a stronger affinity for SHBG and the aromatase enzyme but will not convert to estrogen once bound leaving it inactive. This means it will leave more unbound Test in the system which provides a boost to libido and will also intercept a good deal of the aromatase enzyme before it has a chance to convert Test to estrogen so it actually acts as a weak anti-estrogen. It also adds lean tissue without any water retention so a user after a lean look will benifit from adding it to the stack. The drawbacks of Masteron are it’s strong androgenic sides - negative effects on hairloss (MPB), hairgrowth on the body, and growth of the prostate (BPH) although many believe the last to be more a culprit of estrogen than DHT. Either way these symptoms may become an issue with long term use.

Typical dose of Masteron Enth in a cycle is 200-600mg/w and needs to be shot at least twice a week to keep levels stable. Many users find the benifits begin to diminish over 400mg/w. From my own experimentation I have found over 300mg/w to give too much tightness in the muscles which negatively impacted performance but all users are different. Generally levels run at equal to or lower than Test.

  1. Primobolan is another DHT derivative that is well suited to long term use. It is very similar to Masteron structurally and has similar actions. Because of it’s structural differences it has a few unique twists. It has a lower rate of andrgenic side effects and is generally considered milder on the system in terms of suppression. It has also shown a positive effect on the immune system. The drawbacks are that doses need to be slightly higher to see good results and the cost is typically extremely high which makes long term use very very expensive.

Typical dose of Primobolan in a cycle is 300-800mg/w and needs to be shot at least twice a week to keep levels stable. Results in the higher range have shown much better results. Primo dose can be higher, equal to or lower than that of Test however if a very high dose of Test is combined with a low dose of Primo the effects of the Primo may become hard to notice or become nullified due to binding with SHBG. For this reason many users will opt to use Masteron over Primo in a cycle due to cost.

ANCILLIARY COMPOUNDS
Ancilliary compounds used are for combating side effects:

  1. Estrogen causing gyno or water retention
  • Arimidex (AI…~50% reduction)
  • Aromasin (AI…~85% reduction)
  • Letrozole (strong AI…~98% reduction)
  • Clomid (SERM…weakly blocks the E receptor but does a good job of stimulating LH and FSH)
  • Nolvadex (SERM…strongly blocks the E receptor and does a good job of stimulating LH and FSH, also has a positive effect on lipid levels)
  1. DHT side effects such as hairloss and BPH
  • Finasteride (DHT blocker)
  1. High blood pressure
  • Ace inhibitors
  • Beta Blockers
  • Dieuretics
  1. Progesterone side effects
  • Cabergoline
  • Bromocriptine

These side effects are dependant on the genetic sensitivity of the user and dose of AAS so their use varies.

PEPTIDES
Another important component of long cycles are Peptides. Specifically HGH, IGF-1, and possibly MGF. Because of their effect on satellite cells they are a great addition to long cycles where there is a prolonged period of use and therefore ideal circumstances for hyperplasia (creation of new cells). My understanding of these peptides is pretty basic but it goes as follows.

  1. HGH - increases IGF-1 and therefore satelite cell activation in muscle tissue and cartilage growth in the joints. It also assists with protein synthesis, endurance, skin quality, vision, and fatloss.
    Anecdotal evidence from experienced users is results in terms of muscle growth and fatloss seem to be best when run over long periods (greater than 6 months).

The negatives of HGH long term high dose use is of course the growth of organs specifically the intestines which give the HGH gut look and the growth of bones which can give the caveman look.
The typical dose for HGH varies depending on your goals. For life extensionist and HRT users the dose is around 1.0-2.5iu/d run in the morning when natural levels are already high so the negative feedback is reduced. For bodybuilding purposes the dose is around 4-10iu run either ed or eod (morning and post workout when natural levels are high)…evidence seems to suggest results from EOD use are as good with less suppression of natural levels.

  1. IGF-1 - increases satelite cell activation in muscle tissue, protein synthesis, and cartilige growth. Mostly the same reasons for taking HGH but without the fatloss benifits. Typical use is post workout in doses ranging from 20mcg to 200mcg. It is injected intramuscularly and usually done bi-laterally (ex half in each biceps muscle).

IGF-1 will cause a negative feedback loop for endogenous HGH production so using it on an EOD schedule helps to reduce suppression. IGF is often combined with exogenous HGH for this reason. High doses of IGF will definitely show negative effects in terms of organ growth so the dose is usually restricted to about 50mcg or less per injection.

  1. MGF - there really isn’t enough evidence on MGF yet to speak on it with any assurance of an ideal protocol or even really a solid understanding of it’s effects but here is some info taken from another post that gives a pretty good understanding of the theory:

MGF is a splice variant of the IGF produced by a frame shift if the IGF gene. MGF increase the muscle stem cell count, so that more may fuse and become part of adult muscle cells. This is a process required for adult muscle cells to continue growing.
Why PEGylate MGF?

MGF exhibits local effects in skeletal muscle and without modification is not systemic (can’t travel through the body). The problem with synthetic MGF is that it is introduced IM and is water based so it goes into the blood stream. MGF is not stable in the blood stream for more than a matter of minutes. Biologically produced MGF is made locally and does not enter the bloodstream and is short acting so stability is not an issue. By PEGylating the MGF we can make synthetic MGF injected IM almost as efficient as local produced MGF.

Typical protocols so far are using MGF with IGF-1 to replace depleted satelite cells in a manner where about 100-300mcg of PegMGF is used once a week (or 50-150 is used 2 days a week) with IGF-1 being run the rest of the week.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So what would a TRT and a Very Long Cycle look like? Here are a few examples (I am not saying you should do this, it is just a basic roadmap to show how it works)

NOTE: W X-Y means starting the begining of week X and ending at the end of week Y

TRT (continuous)
Test Cyp 150mg E4D
Adex 0.025mg E4D
HGH 2iu ED (early AM - Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu, Fri)

EXPERIENCED
W 1-20 Deca 200mg E4D
W 1-36 Test Cyp 500mg E4D
W 1-36 Mast Enth 200mg E4D
W 1-39 Adex 0.5mg EOD (tapered in last 2 weeks to 0.25 EOD)
W 1-52 HGH 4iu EOD, 40mcg IGF-1/D EOD (post workout)

So there you have it.

1 Like

Great post. I’m looking forward to the follow ups. I will only take issue with one point.

[quote]FuriousGeorge wrote:

  1. The body has more time to adapt to the new muscle mass

[/quote]

This is something that I believed and intuitively makes sense, but when I asked about it Bill Roberts said it is not true (I’m not saying that I agree with him yet). The satellite cells which have been created are already in place, short cycle or long. So basically the loss that takes place is water and the muscle fullness brought on by AAS use. I, personally would like to see more argument on this point. I don’t have the scientific background to argue it myself, but it certainly seems that holding an extra 20 lbs for 16 weeks as opposed to 6 would give the user a better shot at keeping all of the weight after coming off.

Great post. I’m looking forward to the follow ups. I will only take issue with one point.

[quote]FuriousGeorge wrote:

  1. The body has more time to adapt to the new muscle mass

[/quote]

This is something that I believed and intuitively makes sense, but when I asked about it Bill Roberts said it is not true (I’m not saying that I agree with him yet). The satellite cells which have been created are already in place, short cycle or long. So basically the loss that takes place is water and the muscle fullness brought on by AAS use. I, personally would like to see more argument on this point. I don’t have the scientific background to argue it myself, but it certainly seems that holding an extra 20 lbs for 16 weeks as opposed to 6 would give the user a better shot at keeping all of the weight after coming off.

This is one of the points that I don’t have a good scientific argument for. It is simply my belief based on the fact that the body likes to keep things status quo so the best way to gain muscle or lose fat (and maintain it) is to do so over a longer period of time where the body has a chance to adjust. This may just be bro-telligence but I believe there is enough real world experience that it has a scientific backing.

Often fat loss recommendations are to do so over a period of many months rather than rapid weight loss which is difficult to maintain.

Often users who have great muscle gains during a short cycle find their gains dissapear very quickly. This may be a mistaken belief because what is gained and lost is mostly water weight.

[quote]FuriousGeorge wrote:
This is one of the points that I don’t have a good scientific argument for. It is simply my belief based on the fact that the body likes to keep things status quo so the best way to gain muscle or lose fat (and maintain it) is to do so over a longer period of time where the body has a chance to adjust. This may just be bro-telligence but I believe there is enough real world experience that it has a scientific backing.

Often fat loss recommendations are to do so over a period of many months rather than rapid weight loss which is difficult to maintain.

Often users who have great muscle gains during a short cycle find their gains dissapear very quickly. This may be a mistaken belief because what is gained and lost is mostly water weight.[/quote]

         Hey George, great posting and facts/info.

On that last note, I think for the most part that you’re correct, but I must say, the few times I ran my drol/win combo, I held onto damn near 85-90% of my gains in strength and hypertrophy that I made during the two weeks and two post. So, again as you know I think you can tip the scales in one’s favour by doing the right things diet/training wise, and choosing certain compounds over others. Anyway, just my experience.

                  ToneBone

It is improtant when talking about long term gains to make a clear division between hypertrophy (the growth of existing cells) and hyperplasia (the addition of new muscle cells by satelite cells).

While steroids have been shown to increase hyperplasia the majority of what is seen with gear alone is hypertrophy of existing cells.

To say that all your satelite cells are in place and fully exhausted after the 4-8 week period with short acting gear or the 2-3 month period with long acting gear where you see the SIZE gains diminish to little or no gains is, I believe, incorrect.

There may well be a decrease in the rate of hyperplasia at this point because the increased rate from the gear has begun to exhaust your natural supply (which is the reason combining gear with HGH or IGF-1 works so well during long cycles…i just realized I need to edit the original post because i neglected to mention that) but the diminishing size gains you are seeing is mostly diminishing hypertrophy.

Hyperplasia is difficult to judge because they are new cells (they are small). Hypertrophy is the obvious development we see. If the satelite cells are able to replenish themselves over time, which I believe they do, then this process would continue into a long cycle (of say 6-12 months), it just wouldn’t happen at the excellerated rate we see early on when there is a lot of hypertrophy as well.

This may be incorrect as my understanding of satelite cells is fairly basic. If one of the more knowledgeable vets like Bill has a better explaination then please add your comments.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Thanks Bushy. I had forgotten about Masteron as a secondary. It is really an ideal DHT component and works well for long cycles. I will add it to the original post.

As for Deca the reason I would suggest it for a long cycle (and really only on a long cycle) is because shutdown is already guaranteed. Once you’re shut down…you’re shut down. It should still be run at a lower dose than the Test to make sure you aren’t going to kill libido but otherwise shouldn’t have any negative effects. It would also have to be discontinued a few weeks prior to the test (if coming off) to make sure it isn’t continuing to suppress after PCT is started.

If you dissagree with this rationale let me know…

[quote]InTheZone wrote:
Hey George, great posting and facts/info.
On that last note, I think for the most part that you’re correct, but I must say, the few times I ran my drol/win combo, I held onto damn near 85-90% of my gains in strength and hypertrophy that I made during the two weeks and two post. So, again as you know I think you can tip the scales in one’s favour by doing the right things diet/training wise, and choosing certain compounds over others. Anyway, just my experience.

                  ToneBone[/quote]

As I said above:

This may be a mistaken belief because what is gained and lost is mostly water weight.

Your Drol/Win combo is one that is synergistically designed to add a lot of mass/strength with a little water weight but not a lot. I think where people say they lose ‘all’ their gains from a short cycle is when they are taking Dbol or Drol only or Dbol and Test where there is a lot of water weight considered as part of the gains…the other reason I think is that training and diet drop off drastically when the cycle is done and the user is no longer as motivated in the gym.

For this reason the theory may be mistaken but it is backed by anecdotal evidence from many users so I thought I should include it.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

1 Like

Not yet. I will be trying tren on my next cycle (with test prop and mast) and deca on the cycle after that (with test enth).

From every post I have read or fellow juicer i have personally spoken with who has used deca there is a very noticable loss of sex drive (ie no erections for 3 months) unless it is being run with a higher dose of test and the test is run much longer than the deca (at least 3 weeks, preferably longer).

I have spoken with a few who have used quatities like 600mg/w test and 300mg/w deca with very good results and no problems.

I should say that these cycles have been limited in length so there may be a large difference with running them continuously. I will edit my original post.

I used Test E and Deca, at about 500/300 ratio. I had GREAT gains, kept a lot, and I ran the Test 2 weeks after the Deca, and then a suitable PCT afterwards. During the cycle, during pct, and after it all, I was able to get an erection with no problem.

I think it depends on (a) the ratio of test to deca used and (b) the amount of deca used. I think that since I used 1.66x the amount of Test as I did Deca, as well as the fact that Deca was ONLY 300mg, was why I was able to “get it up”.

I think that users will report the widest range of experience with the 19-Nor’s…some can use them with no problem and others get crazy sides (sweating, insomnia, mood swings, lethargy, sexual disfunction with Tren and progesterone induced gyno and sexual disfunction with Deca).

I appreciate your imput guys. I am hoping that with enough input from the vets that this will help serve as a generaly guideline to newer users.

By no means do I have all the answers. I have studied gear a long time but have very little ‘real world’ experience.

PART II - STANDARD CYCLES (10-12 Weeks)

WHO
As the name Standard Cycle suggests pretty much anyone can employ this strategy and it is often recommend to newer users because the results it gives are very good.
If you are a new user check out this link to the newbie cycle thread which outlines a good newbie cycle and all the very important questions you need to ask before you go for something like this:
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1879427
Read it. Re-read it. Repeat as needed until you get it.
The 10-12 week cycle approach can be used for bulking or cutting for both new and experienced depending on compounds, training, and diet. This time period leaves a lot of options for compounds so users have very few restrictions in terms of drugs. Training and diet is covered at length in other places so I will leave that up to you. I will say that training and diet are paramount to attaining your results regardless of what you are running in terms of gear.

PROS

  1. The 10-12 week period is optimal for muscle gain because this time period is generally the area where gains begin to diminish to the point of little to no gains (with longer acting compounds wich are generally used for 10-12 week cycles) so at this point it is benificial for the user to clear the drugs out of the system and return to normal so that another cycle can be run and more gains can be realized. You are making the most of the gear while you are on cycle and getting off once gains have slowed to the point that it is no longer productive.

The general pattern for recurring cycles is time on being equal to time off to allow the HPTA to recover fully, receptor sensitivity to be restored, and the system to get back to normal.

The big challenge with the 10-12 week strategy is to recover quickly to try to keep a maximal amount of gains from each cycle so that the user is constantly progressing through the years. This approach gives the user 2 cycles a year, if even 5lbs LBM gain can be kept from each cycle it would result in a yearly gain of 10lbs!..that doesn’t seem like much until you realize that if that progress can be maintained you will gain 100lbs over a 10yr period of cycling.

  1. As mentioned above the 10-12 week strategy can be used for bulking or cutting and because of the length long or short acting compounds can be used. Slightly different compounds tend to be used for different goals but the time period is suited to many.

  2. The use of HCG during the cycle to maintain baseline testicular function now becomes realistic although 10-12 weeks is a fairly long period to use this drug because you are still altering the natural operation of the HPTA and will still have to restore the other natural Leutinizing Hormone (LH) levels once off (you just won’t have to wait until those levels result in normal testicular function again because you have maintained it through the cycle with the use of HCG) so many users opt to use HCG at the end of the cycle or to use a test taper protocol. I won’t argue the pros and cons of each strategy here because it has been argued at length. The user should research each method on their own (through use of the search engine) and come up with a plan.

CONS
The biggest downsides are:

  1. Cost is still a concern if using high doses and or very expensive AAS and Peptides.

  2. Many side effects will have a chance to become pronounced over this period although not as badly as a longer cycle (>3 months).

  3. Shutdown is (still) all but guaranteed (when not using HCG during cycle) unless using very mild compounds at very low doses such that to recover natural test is only posible with the use of HCG to stimulate the testes and or a SERM like Nolva and or Clomid to help raise LH, or by tapering with Test to try to allow the users HPTA to return to normal gradually.

PRIMARY COMPOUND
Test Prop, Enth, Cyp, or a blend like Sustanon is usually the main or only compound for 10-12 week cycles for the same reasons as it is for long cycles:

  1. It works well
  2. The anabolic/androgenic ratio is balanced
  3. Libido is enhanced
  4. The user feels great

The only deviation from this strategy would be if HCG is being used throughout, at this point it becomes realistic to use other compounds as the primary because the user’s natural baseline test levels will be maintained by the HCG. Again this is not such a common strategy with a 10-12 week cycle because of the length of time the HPTA is disrupted.

Typical doses are in the range of 300-2000mg/week (with users simply looking for better gains, recovery, and energy levels at the low end and experienced bodybuilders at the high end). Some users venture into the realm above 2grams a week (although not many) but at this point it is debatable if additional gains vs side effects are worth it and the user is better off adding secondary compounds and or peptides instead.

SECONDARY COMPOUNDS
Pretty much anything goes in terms of secondary compounds. The most common secondary compounds used in stacks are Dianabol (DBol)(a test based oral derivative), Anadrol (Drol)(a DHT based oral derivative), EQ, Deca, Trenbolone (Tren)(, Masteron, Primo, and Winstrol (Winny) depending on the goals of the user:

BULKING - adding size and strength
Deca and EQ have already been discussed and have the same use in a 10-12 week cycle as a longer cycle so I will focus on DBol and Drol.

  1. DBol is a test based oral (17 alpha alkalated) derivative that adds a considerable amount of water retention, size, and strength but also blood pressure issues. It converts to estrogen so gyno issues are common when not using a SERM or AI…especially when using high doses or being stacked with Test and other armoatizing compounds.

It’s actions are mostly non-AR mediated (anabolic) and has a strong effect on nitrogen retention and protein synthesis. Dbol is of course hepatoxic because of the 17aa so it’s use is generally restricted to about 6 weeks at a dose of 10-60mg/d (spread through the day) making it an ideal compound for a kickstart or short cycle which will both be discuss later.

  1. Drol is a DHT based oral (17aa) derivative that has a different structure than DBol but many of the same results so we can treat it similarly. While it shouldn’t convert to estrogen due to its DHT structure it does somehow increase estrogen levels unless an AI is used so you get the same effect in terms of water retention and gyno. Otherwise this drug gives very similar results to DBol and we would use it for the same reasons and in the same manner except in terms of dosing. Typical dose of Drol is about 50-150mg/d (spread through the day).

The use fo Deca, EQ, DBol, and Drol are all typically to add additional water weight, strength, and mass so they are typically used in bulking cycles unless they are being combined with an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) which will restrict the estrogen/water issues.

LEAN MASS OR CUTTING - strength and muscle hardness
Masteron and Primo have already been discussed and again their use serves the same purpose so I will focus on Tren, Winny, and Proviron.
NOTE with the shorter cycle length it becomes realistic to use the shorter acting version of Masteron (prop) which will be discussed later in the kickstart section.

  1. Tren is an injectable 19-Nor derivative that usually comes in either the Acetate or Enanthate ester (there are some new Tri-ester blends but we’ll ignore those for now). Tren has strongly AR mediated effects and is extremely powerful at building mass and strength. It has also been shown to greatly increase IGF levels in the muscle and increase IGF sensitivity. It doesn’t convert to estrogen and there is no water retention issues with Tren.

It is great in terms of protein synthesis but it also has very strong anti-catabolic effects (negating the effects of cortisol), has shown fat burning properties, and has been shown to actually work very well in a calorie reduced state. For these reasons Tren has a reputation of being a drug capable of pretty radical body recomposition and a great drug for cutting.

The big drawbacks for Tren is that like Deca it is extremely supressive and absolutely kills libido. It binds to the progesterone receptors, can decrease thyroid production, and can increase prolactin levels (none of which are good). It also has side effects such as sweating, oily skin, acne, hairloss, BPH, insomnia, lethargy, mood swings, reduced aerobic capacity, and a reputation for being hard on lipid levels.

Some of these side effects can be managed by keeping levels more stable (ED injections with Tren Ace or E3D injections with Enanthate help) but still there is a pretty long list of negatives. Duration of use and or dose should be limited. Typical dose is 37-100mg/d (dose is often 3/4 of the test base or an equal dose up to 100mg/d).

  1. Winny is a injectable or oral DHT derivative with mostly non-AR mediated effects. It is very powerful in terms of strength increases, protein synthesis, and doesn’t aromatize or increase water retention. It also has a very strong affinity for SHBG so it make a good partner for Test and it is believed to block the progesterone receptors making it a good match for 19-Nors.

It’s negatives are that it is suppressive, is very hepatoxic in the oral form, and will have a negative effect on lipid levels. Though it has been shown to increase collegen synthesis it is generally accepted that it has a negative effect on joints and ligaments.

Typical dose for winny is 25-100mg/d in the oral form or 50-200mg/d EOD for the injectable…note - reason doses are the same is not due to effectiveness. The injectable version is twice as effective as the oral due to the first pass but higher quatities can be used because of the hepatoxicity of the oral version. Because of it’s negative effects on lipid levels it is best to restrict use of winny to short durations. For this reason Masteron is often chosen over winny when running longer cycles.

  1. Proviron is an oral DHT derivative and as such fairly androgenic however it isn’t a very strong compound overall (even though it binds to the AR stronger than Test). It does however have a very strong affinity for the aromatase enzyme and SHBG…Being a DHT it does not convert to estrogen so basicaly it helps to free up more Test from becoming bound to SHBG or being converted to estrogen.For this reason it can be used to assist in bulking or cutting and is usefull on long heavy cycles where estrogen and SHBG are of concern. It adds a bit of muscle definition and hardness as well as a fairly notable increase in libido. It has very little effect on LH and FSH levels even at higher doses so it is also realistic to use as part of PCT or as a bridge between cycles.

As for drawbacks it is liver toxic (though fairly mild compared to other compounds like Winstrol) so its use should still be restricted in length but it is not a primary concern. Being a DHT it also has the negative side effects DHT brings like MPB and BPH so users with these concerns may want to pass.

Protocols with DHT vary pretty greatly but generally it is used in the later half of 10-12 week cycles (when SHBG levels have started to rise) and run right through PCT. It is fairly weak as an anti-estrogen so unless the cycle is fairly light (say 500mg/w Test) users are better off with an AI for this purpose. Standard dose is anywhere from 25-150mg/d with most users around 50mg/d.

Masteron, Primo, Tren, Winny, and Proviron all add additional strength without water weight gain so typically they are used during lean mass or cutting cycles where the user wishes to add muscle hardness and avoid bloating however they are by no means restricted to these types of cycles.

STACKING
Often times experienced users will stack one or more of the drugs above with the Test base to add 19-Nor and DHT qualities or Class I and Class II properties depending on what theories of androgen stacking the prescribe to. One theory is that stacks of Test, 19-Nor, and DHT based compounds is the most synergistic means of stacking. Another theory is that stacking Class I with Class II (Androgen Receptor (AR) mediated vs non-AR mediated) effects is the most synergistic means of stacking.

One thing we know for sure is that stacking does allow users to increase doses without adding an equivalent level of side effects. This becomes important when running higher levels of androgens or trying to manage side effects because of tolerence of the user or specific genetic issues such as hairloss, blood pressure, etc.

THE KICKSTART
The kickstart is the use of fast acting compound(s) (orals or short estered injectables) to begin the cycle. They are used when the base compound(s) are long acting (long estered) such as enanthate, cyponate, decanoate, or Undeclynate where their effects are not felt by the user for a few weeks after use begins.

This allows the user to see/feel immediate results on the cycle during the first few weeks while waiting for the long estered gear to go to work. This period is generally 4-6 weeks.

Best compounds for the kickstart are DBol (oral), Drol (oral), Winny (oral or inj), Masteron (prop inj), Test (prop inj), and in some cases Tren (ace inj) although because it is so suppressive users tend to only use it as part of a kickstart if they are also using Test Prop otherwise shutdown and suppression of libido would occur before the long acting esters have a chance to go to work.

ANCILLIARY COMPOUNDS
Ancilliary compounds used are the same as those used for very long cycles.

Peptides used are the same as well but their use differs slightly. Because the length of the cycle is only 10-12 weeks then the long term low dose HGH use doesn’t really apply (we are not talking about TRT or life extention people with this approach). Typically with 10-12 week cycles HGH, IGF, and MGF will be added in during the cycle for certain periods to enhance the gains and try to create hyperplasia while androgen levels are very high (make hay while the sun is shining). Otherwise their use is the same and for the same purpose.

Many are currently experimenting with different protocols such as combining HGH and IGF during the cycle on certain days (ex post workout on weight trainin days) and others are experimenting with IGF as a tool for PCT. So far many users have reported similar or improved gains when using larger quantities HGH with the standard IGF dose EOD (post workout) as opposed to a smaller a HGH dose ED. Results have been mixed when using IGF as part of PCT but many have reported that it provides a more gradual return to normal.

Whatever the protocol for the peptides used they become VERY important to experienced users who will be doing a number of 10-12 week cycles because they help attain hyperlpasia (create new muscle fibers) along with the hypertrophy (increase of existing muscle fibers) provided by the gear which will result in more long term gains which can be maintained when off synthetic androgens.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
So what would a sample 10-12 week cycle look like.

BASIC
W 1-4 DBol 10mg 3x/D
W 1-10 Test Enth 250mg E3D
W 8-15 Proviron 50mg/D
PCT
W 12 Nolva 20mg 2x/D
W 13-15 Nolva 20mg/D
W 16-20 Tribulus

MODERATE
W 1-4 Drol 50mg 3x/D
W 1-12 Test Enth 400mg E3D
W 1-9 Deca 200mg E3D
W 8-12 Winny (oral) 50mg/D
W 1-14 Adex 0.25mg ED (tapered in last 2 weeks to EOD)
PCT
W 12-14 HCG 5000iu E5D x2, then 2500iu E5D x2
W 15 Clomid 50mg 3x/D
W 16 Clomid 50mg 2x/D
W 17 Clomid 25mg 2x/D

HEAVY
W 1-10 Test Prop 100mg/D
W 1-10 Mast Prop 50mg/D
W 1-10 Tren Ace 100mg/D
W 1-11 HCG 250iu E3D
W 1-11 Adex 0.5mg/D (tapered in last week to EOD)
W 1-10 HGH 4iu, IGF-1 40mcg (Mon, Wed, Fri post workout), MGF 150mcg (Sat, Sun)
PCT (Taper)
W 12-16 Test Prop 30mg EOD
W 17 Test Prop 20mg EOD
W 18 Test Prop 15mg EOD
W 19 Test Prop 10mg EOD
W 20 Test Prop 5mg EOD

Again these are just examples but it should give you an idea of how it works.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
wheras now, I eat what i want (which is 85% clean, I guess) and just stay lean.

Bushy[/quote]

Sorry to hijack but I observed this in a GH user as well. This is what really intrigues me about GH. The gains also seem to stick rather well post-use. Very interesting hormone.

Please everyone reading this don’t feel like you are not allowed to post!

I appreciate the imput from you guys on what I am saying. I just didn’t want to have a bunch of guys posting crap and turn it into a big cluster fuck of a thread.

My hope is that this thread will need to be edited a number of times (it already has) so if you have something to add please do…if you have issue with something said please share.

Again, the point of this is to try to provide a basic roadmap for newer users in terms of deciding on a cycle length strategy but also to discuss the pros and cons amoungst the vets and share info.

ok, a few more things added via editting the original post.

Furious George, thanks for this thread. The vets supply so much information on this site, but it can be hard to absorb when I am trying to piece it all together. Having it spelled out in one thread is a major help. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Very good thread. Thank you for starting it.

[quote]FuriousGeorge wrote:
Please everyone reading this don’t feel like you are not allowed to post!

I appreciate the imput from you guys on what I am saying. I just didn’t want to have a bunch of guys posting crap and turn it into a big cluster fuck of a thread.

My hope is that this thread will need to be edited a number of times (it already has) so if you have something to add please do…if you have issue with something said please share.

Again, the point of this is to try to provide a basic roadmap for newer users in terms of deciding on a cycle length strategy but also to discuss the pros and cons amoungst the vets and share info.[/quote]

I haven’t posted simply because I can’t possibly add to what the vets have said. That being the case, I am looking forward to the discussion of Short Cycles.