Cycling AAS Is Only Renting Muscle - False

I don’t know how many times I have seen forum members here state that when cycling on and off AAS’s that you are only renting muscle. At the bare minimum it is a misleading analogy.

A better analogy is like having to pawn muscle. When you use AAS’s you should get some muscle. That is to be analogous with purchasing muscle that you now own. The problem is that without the “financial” support of the AAS when you are off cycle, you find that you much pawn much of the muscle you gained on cycle.

Once you get back on AAS’s you get your muscle out of pawn fairly rapidly, and if you have good enough genetics you can purchase more muscle. Then when you are off cycle, once again you must pawn much of the muscle you gained. But now you have more muscle than at the end of the first cycle.

Over ten or so years I bought and pawned muscle from 180lbs to 240lbs at about the same percent body fat.

Now I want to address another somewhat misleading statement. “You cannot gain muscle in a calorie deficient diet.” The specific truth is that you cannot gain new muscle in a calorie deficient. But you can reclaim “pawned” muscle in a calorie deficient. I did so every time I started AAS’s and a diet with a contest 12 weeks down the road. I was losing fat at the same time I was reclaiming “pawned” muscle.


When I came off an AAS cycle I “tried” to maintain the muscle that I gained on cycle. It was impossible. What I did was eat at a calorie surplus, but not to “bulking” quantities. I wanted to be in the best position to have to “pawn” the least amount of muscle.

I typically cycled 8 weeks on and 6 to 8 weeks off year round. Every time I got back on cycle I reclaimed all the pawned muscle. What was the most fun was reclaiming the muscle when starting a contest diet. I could see myself getting stronger and fuller while muscle separation was occurring. The first 4 weeks were a stark metamorphosis.

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I love it!! Nicely elucidated.

I suppose it can also be stated as “muscle memory gains return even when in a deficit”

@hankthetank89 What you think about this?

What I used evolved over the years. I started with only Dianabol 10mg/day for 4 weeks.
A few years later I added Winstrol and Anavar tabs, and had upped the dosage to 20mg/day (not stacking steroids yet).
In 1977 I added 100mg/wk of deca, which I did stack with 20mg/day of one of the above orals. My cycle were increased to 8 weeks on.
In 1978 I added 200mg/wk of testosterone, stacked with an injectable anabolic and 20mg/day of an oral anabolic. This is the primary AAS’s plan I used through 1998, which was the last year I competed.

I only used testosterone cypionate, I thought enanthate caused me gyno sooner.
I used a number of different injectable anabolics, pretty much what was available at the time. I thought that Equipoise was the least effective. My preferences were Deca, Winstrol V, and Methandriol. And in the 1990’s I would stack Parabolin (78mg/wk) with one of the other injectables.


If you got some time and haven’t already, you should read though his thread. I think it is “RT_Nomad, how do you train” or something like that. It is almost a book and it details his training career with details on diet, AAS, training adjustments, ageing, ailments, and just general life.


I dont like this topic as i believe it is misleading to new potential users.

1)You have to understand that @RT_Nomad was a bodybuilder with bodybuilding genetics and probably gained more muscle natty than most of us on steroids, so sadly - whatever was his experience does not apply to us.

2)Cycling is much more potentially harmful than doing BNC and later staying on TRT. This is the most important reason i push BNC instead of cycling. We have tons of topics here about people fucking themselves up on cycling.


I think this is the difference for you. Thats a long time ‘ON’. Most people here run a cycle or two a year, but your terminology is fine. The other difference is you were doing everything ‘right’. Again, most guys on here tend to run a cycle thinking its permanent and give up or go back to a shit regimen after. Just my thoughts.


I agree. I’m just trying to figure out why cycling is worse than BNC.

Why is it worse for gains : After you jack up your hormones you start gaining muscle, and if everything is done right you get some nice gains. Ok, so now when you have lots of new gains, that are not sustainable without steroids, you cut off these steroids. Even if you do the correct PCT, its not like you natural test is back at its highest levels any time soon. So not only did you cut steroid doses, which starts the process of losing muscle, you also fall WAAAAAY below where you would be naturally at first. I will ilustrate this with imaginary numbers… So your natural test is 10. You start steroids and you are at 20 and thats where the gains are made. Then you cut steroids, you fall to 0. And it takes while till you get back to 5. If you are lucky, eventually you are back to 10, but the muscle you gained on 20 was dropping off every day since you stopped the cycle.
So not only did you lost muscle BECAUSE you went from steroids to natural. You lost em at twice the speed because it will be a while for you to even be at the natural level you started.

Why is this moronic in my opinion? You started steroids because you wanted more than what you have natural. But after when you did what you wanted, you… go back to natural? And not only you go back there, you go back WAAAAY below where you liked yourself in the first place, swallow pills and follow protocol to get back to where you were in the beginning.
And unless you plan on cycling forever, you will always lose ALL your gains eventually even if you would rebound like a genetic mutant at the day 1 after the cycle.
You cant cycle forever(because of health of which i will speak next) so cycling is something you do KNOWING that sooner or later you will be back where you were IF LUCKY because many people fuck themselves up good(also will speak of this next) and actually never rebound, and then continue their lives with shit levels of test and are much worse than they were at the start.
So you basically spend money and health on something that will give you potential gains for a few months, then you fall back, and spend the next half cycle to get back up again, BUT ANYWAYS you know, that one day you wont rebound at all or will just stop, and there will be nothing to show for it anyways.

Why is it worse for health? As i mentioned before cycling leads to you being a lot on hormone levels way above your normal and then way below. When it comes to health it is know that stable levels are better than zig-zagy ones. You get to superhuman levels, then you fall down to miserable trash with no test at all, get all depressed, emotional. Your body is in constant stress because its always either too much or not enough.
If we speak of general health - our body can adapt to lots of stuff but it needs time. When people jerk off their hormones all the time they always get all the sides. If you are on em for longer, you dont get sides.
I was on 1gram of test and 1 gram of tren for at least 2-3 years straight, and i remember also taking stanazolol or dbol for at least a year when i was like 22 maybe. Not a good thing to do, but im saying this because - i never got any sides. No acne, no gyno, no agression, no emotions etc.
Now when i did a long cruise, i cant take tren over 100mgs a wk because i get depressed in day 5. I feel like crying for everything and everything seems like the end of the world. So if i were to cycle, i would get this on and off all the time.
It also takes lots of time for your blood, cholesterol etc to get to normal. Sexual function gets wrecked and it also needs time. But as soon as you get back to somewhat normal(IF you do) you start a new cycle LOL. And you fuck yourself again to go through all this again.

Look at it this way. Bulking and cutting(sounds a lot like blasting and cruising, huh). What if when you bulked you were to eat 8000kcal a day, always shitting yourself and puking all the time, being poisoned by the amounts of food, constant lethargy, vomiting, acne, rapid weight gain. And then you cut. You just dont eat. For months. At all… You dont eat at all and do 5 hours of cardio. You barelly stand upright, your brain shuts down any time it gets a chance, you lose muscle faster than you lose fat, you feel like a miserable piece of garbage again… So when you suffer through this you start it AGAIN.
Cycling is the same only much worse for your body because food doesnt do as much damage as jerking hormones up and down its just that as long as you are at a young age you dont feel it as much, just like bloodpressure - some can walk around at 170, be a minute away from heart attack and feel fine.
So how do you bulk and cut? You eat 3000kcal maintenance(cruise) and you go a bit lower when you need a cut and a bit higher when you need to bulk, right?
So why do you thing going all in or all out on steroids is an ok idea? Blasting and cruising provides you a steady level of hormones, to which you always fall back to, but never below. Your body doesnt have half the stress it does on cycles because it is in stress when hormones are too much and its in stress when they are too low. BNC never lets you be too low, and later when you blast its also less stress because your body didnt go from 10 to 20 to 0 and then back to 10(cycling), it went from 12 to 20 and back to 12.

Also keep in mind, that the more you cycle the slower you rebound even if the PCT worked the first time. Many people here report fucking themselves up with a single cycle. Even if you are doing ok, sooner or later you wont. As you age your ability to rebound slows, which means you will lose muscle more and faster after every cycle.

Why is this moronic in my opinion? So you cycle to get your body some rest from steroids but you put it in a much larger stress because there are no more hormones in it. It always has to battle either “too much” or fight for something to come back to normal. There is always never a middle ground. There is the highest high and lowest low. And all you do is obsess about PCT to get back to somewhat normal just to start all over again.

I am all over the place because my english sucks and i cant collect my toughts as i would like(the war thing next to me is kind of fucking my thinking) but i did the best i can. If something is unclear just ask for specifics.


And yet everyone I knew in the '70’s, '80’s, and '90’s who took AAS’s cycled them. (unless they were lying)

I am not saying that cycling is better than BNC. This thread was about the misleading analogy that “Cycling AAS Is Only Renting Muscle”. And IMO it is greatly in error. BTW, everyone that I knew made continual progress cycling AAS.

I changed/added the bold part.

I think this makes a huge difference. If you aren’t past what your body can support natural, I don’t see you losing all of the guns from the cycle

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Yes you will lose. If one cant even push till his natural limit he wont be able to maintain it. After the cycle test drops to 0 and then slowly climbs back. So he started at a lower point and will drop to a lower point muscle wise. Wont be able to maintain and support the new muscle because his ability to build muscle couldnt even get to a natural limit. Its not like a person can just do a cycle, shortcut to a natural limit and it just stays there. The test goes down to 0, muscle is lost anyway. All the post-cycle problems are there anyway and after you get back to natural levels you still need to be able to HOLD that natural level anyways. It’s not like it just sticks there for free. When naturals fuck up they also lose muscle. If a person cant push natural limits he wont be able to hold muscle at that level after he shortcutted there.

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Question for you. Were you open and honest with your use at the time to those that asked? Just curious. I never was.

How old are you? Do you have any bad sides of past aas usage atm?

When of you were doing trt?

I’m glad you put that quote.

There are two different conversations going on here.

What OP said is true. The myonuclei I gained is mine forever and muscle memory is real.

When you cycle you lose the look. That is also true.

Maybe we should start saying when you cycle you are renting a look that can’t be maintained unless you cruise.


This is answer changed as pertaining to who asked and what decade it was asked;

From 1971 through 1985, for the very most part, the public was totally unaware of AAS’s. I would announce to the gym when I started a cycle. It was a big day. I even had a light blue T shirt that I wrote “CIBA” on the chest that I would wear periodically when on a cycle. At contests I never talked about AAS’s with anyone, and no one asked either. Taking AAS was against the rules, though no one official seemed to care. I suppose it was a “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy between the officials and the competitors.

Things changed about 1986 through the 1990’s. The public was aware of steroids. I ignored the question if asked by someone outside the gym. They they pushed the issue, I would tell them it’s more about commitment than just taking steroids. BTW, I never saw any value in casual conversation about steroids, diet, or weightlifting with a someone not involved in weight training. I still freely acknowledged to the gym when I was starting a cycle. I looked forward to the first day of my next cycle, and the gym knew it long before the first day. I still never talked about steroids with competitors at a contest.


Are you asking me, the OP?

Asking you if possible

I think your arguments are valid

RT_Nomad, How Do You Train? - Bigger Stronger Leaner - Forums - T Nation (

Read this


I am 73 years old.
I took AAS’s from 1971 through 1997, with no known health side effects to my knowledge.
(I went into much detail of my life lifting weights in a thread started by TrainForPain in the Bigger-Stronger-Leaner forum title “RT_Nomad, How Do You Train?” If you care to wade through that lengthy explanation.

Between 2003 and 2005, I asked my doctor to test my natural testosterone. I tested about 270ng/dL Total Testosterone. I began TRT injections of 100mg every 5 days of testosterone cypionate. I try to maintain a blood tested 500+ng/dL Total Testosterone in the trough.