T Nation

First Cycle Advice?


Hi all,
I joined T nation looking for some advice.
I am 38 and have been lifting for 20 years.Not consistently due to work and family commitments, but I know how to train hard,eat well etc.
I did an EPI cycle last year, 6 weeks and got good results, but I am evaluating first AAS cycle and looking for recommendations from experienced users to make it as safe as possible.
Was planning to use 250mg testo once a week for 12 weeks.
Is that a too short or too long cycle?
What particular ester would you suggest?I know long lasting ones would be better suited.Please comment if you can.
I am not sure if I need an AI on cycle and if yes. What exactly,how much and when to start?Straight away or only if symptoms happen?
And what about PCT?Should I go for Clomid or Nolva?Doses and when to start and for how long?
Doing some research I found people also use HGH on cycle or after.What if I don’t inject HGH?
I am not looking to gain 20kg , I am currently 81kg ,can t grow more it seems.No matter what I try nutrition or training wise and would like to reach 90kg.
Any advice would be appreciated.


250mg seems low. That’s higher than a TRT dose, sure, but the goal is to get your testosterone to supraphysiological levels. Most first cycles are at 500mg/w for a reason. Think about increasing your dosage.

You may not need an AI, but you should have one on hand before you start. Some guys can go without it, but I would say the majority need one. Get pre-cycle books work to determine your current levels, including e2, so you’ll know what your baseline is.

The ester matters when you’re thinking about timing of pct and/or when you’re trying to jumpstart your cycle. So if the choice was between cyp or prop then you’d have a clear distinction between those two. But when it comes down to c vs. e there isn’t enough difference to really get worked up over. Both should be administered twice a week, both take 3-4 weeks to fully “kick in”, and both require two weeks off before starting pct.

Use Nolva. More and more people are ceasing to use Clomid and Nolva together. Between the two it seems that Clomid has a higher rate of side effects, so Nolva probably will not be as tough on you. (This is entirely dependent on how you react; some guys swear by Clomid and have no issues at all, so it’s highly personal to the user)

You mentioned HGH and its use on cycle. Did you mean HCG? If so then you’ll want to look into it as a way to keep your testes functioning properly. A lot of guys have gotten away with never using it over the years, but the balance of the scientific information seems to say that it is a net positive.


As I read this I prepared a mental response…then I saw Iron beat me to it all the way to asking if he means HCG not HGH.

Basically everything Iron said.
I would add since it is your first time then a long ester like cypionate or enanthate would be preferable over propionate. That way it’s just two injections a week not one every other day. He might have said that.

Also AI (Aromatase Inhibitor) there are three main ones. Arimidex, aromasin and femara. Femara is heavy duty so no need for it for you. You should still read up on all three and see the other names they each get referred to as. Most guys go with arimidex. And yes start with injections , maybe a day or two after first one is as long as you want to wait. The dose is dependent on how much testosterone.

With HCG there are two thought of use. One is all during cycle to prevent shutdown. The other is for the month before PCT. Both have risks and benefits so go read. Don’t let anyone make up your mind for you on this journey because ultimately you have to live with the outcome.

I remember when I started this journey I got confused with the abbreviations and all the different names for the same stuff. If you get confused go Google that shit it will usually lead you to the answer.

Since you will be new to self injecting I would stick with a 25 gauge 1.5 inch needle. With that gauge and how thick the oils tend to be you will naturally only be able to inject so fast. The faster you go the more chance of tearing tissue and getting PIP (post injection pain). With the 25 gauge you kind of get forced to go slow no matter how hard you push. Also I recommend the things for your first cycle. You can sit on a chair and relax and have slow steady control. Still go look at the diagrams of proper technique and location. If you go thigh with a 1.5 inch needle you probably only need to use 1 inch of it.
Also that thing about you can die from a tiny bubble of air in your injection is BS. You will be going into muscle not a vein. I am not saying to go push 3cc’s of air through to get the last drop just don’t freak out if a small bubble is in there. That thing about dieing is if a LARGE volume of air is pushed into a vein and even then it’s quite a bit to kill you.

In closing; be fully warned. You will most likely LOVE the cycle if done properly. Most likely you will end up doing it again, so welcome to the world. Just do it right. Use do not abuse.


Thanks for the advice guys.
Reason why I wanted to start with 250 mg per week is to reduce side effects.
I understand 250 or 500 I will shut down , but at 250 the need of AI is less likely than 500 and it seems AI has more impact on Cholesterol profile than test itself?
Am I correct?
Also 2 injections per week are difficult…being a first timer, every injection can be a pain…plus family kids and wife that should not know I am on gear…
AI is .25 EOD.right as general dose?
How long should the cycle last?10/12 weeks?
At 250 it is still a decent cycle or I am wasting it?
Next step will be finding legit gear…


First the AI and cholesterol comment. I have read there is a issue with Femara and a negative impact on cholesterol. I am not to sure about arimidex and aromasin. I don’t remember reading that about those two but then again it was a while ago. As far as which one is worse AI or test, idk. Look into apple pectin it helps to keep the plaque from sticking to the artery walls. I originally started taking it with winny but now it’s an every day supplement for me, on or off cycle.

For the 250 vs 500. I have read plenty of guys have had great gains with 250 a week on their first cycle. Things to think about, that really could be called a high trt dosage (250), with UGLs you might only be getting 200 a cc even if it is marked 250 you could even get 350 when marked 250. Shutdown is shutdown and it will happen with 250 or 500 it won’t be less at 250. Choosing the 250 route because of cholesterol concerns is a personal choice for a serious medical consideration. If you have pre existing cholesterol issues I would be hesitant to encourage any AAS use.
As far as choosing 250 a week to avoid an AI usage, re think this. You don’t have to use AI with any dose of test but be prepared to have high estrogen. I use to think you waited to take AI until you had signs of high e2, don’t do that. I don’t think you were saying that I just want to make sure it is said in case someone else reads this and gets a bright idea. If you are choosing 250 to only buy less AI that probably won’t work. You are going to have to buy a bottle of whatever and even at 500 a week you probably won’t use the whole bottle.
My thought process is if you are going to make the step to take a cycle of testosterone then make it COUNT. Get a good Supra physiological level going, keep your e2 in check and gain baby gain! But that’s me.

If you choose to go 250 a week and choose arimidex (or generic equivalent) then yes I think 0.25 mgs EOD could be a good dosage. Everyone aromatizes test a little different. I was a chubbier kid and through puberty. I didn’t drop the weight until earlier 20s but I still seem to aromatize test a bit more than the next guy. There is a correlation between higher body fat and higher aromatizing leading to higher estrogen.

For a testosterone cypionate or enanthate then the shortest cycle you should run would be 10 weeks really should be 12 but you could push to 15 however for first time that might be a bit much. Either ester doesn’t really kick until week 2-3 band doesn’t sing until 5-6. A thing to remember is the release rate of the hormone from the ester doesn’t really stabilize until around 5 half life’s, before that it keeps increasing as long as you have a steady injection schedule. Either ester will also work better with two equal injections per week.

I think you should go back and look for cholesterol issues associated with arimidex or aromasin. I really only seem to remember there being a real issue with Femara, maybe femara was just the worse.

For finding a source I wish it was safe to recommend one these days. There are sites that let you rate or bash sources on their threads just remember anyone can join and see those threads.

In closing if you have to hide the usage from your wife I would rethink it. To many people demonize AAS and if she finds out mid cycle it could blow up in your face. If you just meant taking the injection without the kids seeing, there is always a locked bathroom.


My first cycle was 250mg test e p/week for 10 weeks with a 30mg dbol p/day for 4 weeks kicker. I didn’t use AI and I made decent gains.

Having said that, if I could do it again I’d have probably ran 500mg test, dropped the dbol and ran 1mg adex weekly (the standard noobie cycle). I am currently on prescribed trt for a pre-existing issue with my pituitary gland at 250mg p/week, this puts me in the high end of “normal” test range. I do have a higher than average resistance to external test (or so my doctor says) but as others have said, “cycling” to reach high end of normal? Not really worth it.

Imo either grab yourself another vial and go the 500mg with 1mg adex weekly or don’t bother. Alternatively if you REALLY don’t wanna run more than 500mg, I’d chuck in an oral.


I don’t have any medical cholesterol condition, I just don’t want to mess up things.
As for AI I will have one handy but I assumed at 250 the required dose would be lower.I just want to use as little gear as possible.Will go for 500as suggested
As for HGC it seems it has to be run on cycle ,correct?
My plan is to keep going natural till April.Have bloodwork to know baseline and then start cycle for 12 weeks.
How do you decide to use the AI?bloodwork or other symptoms or just use it as precaution?
Thanks guys


AI is a funny thing. My doc and I have had to tinker with my dosage a few times and we finally landed on one that works. But it took a few tries. You will be able to find that spot with a combination of blood work and observation of how you feel. The problem with running a cycle (as opposed to someone like me on TRT) is that you have a limited window to find the right spot.

I’m going to put this out there because it’s not something I’ve ever seen said in regards to arimidex and UGLs.

I doubt very many have seen what raw anastrozole powder looks like. Imagine going to Chipotle and getting a bag of their tortilla chips. Take three chips and rub all the salt off of them onto a piece of paper. That’s probably equivalent to a gram of anastrozole. One gram = 1,000 weekly dosages (for someone taking 1mg/wk). Taking raw powder and making it into an oral liquid (or worse, a suspension) requires 999ml of liquid. The risk of it being underdosed is pretty low (because margins are already so huge), but the risk of it being overdosed is much higher. You have to be pretty sure you’re getting it from a place that has a legitimate operation and knows how to make oral liquids. You could royally f**k your e2 just by using what you think is the safe dose while unknowingly taking significantly more than expected. With anastrozole the margin for error is very, very slim, not because the drug is so portent, but because the raw material is hard to work with and measure.