T Nation

First Cycle Critique


#1


Hi Guys,

This is my first post here on the board but I have been lurking for quite some time now.

I would like some critique on my first cycle, here are some info.

  • Stats: 23 years old/ 1,72cm / 75kg / 12% bf / 4 years training (I have included a picture)

  • 1 RM: 120kg Bench, 170kg Squat, 200kg Deadlift

  • Diet: right now I am just ending a cutting phase and planning about going on maintenace at around 2600 Kcal per day until Easter when I plan on starting my cycle. Once my cycle starts I will go on lean bulk mode trying to maximise gains and minimize bodyfat gains by adding a small surplus and paying great attention about peri-workout nutrition (basically doing what Shadow Pro is preching for peri-wo nutrition)

  • Goals: I would like to go on a lean bulk and put on around 10-15 keepable lbs of lbm. Also, my long term goals would be to compete in a fitness model or muscle model competition (along the lines of Musclemania) and in powerlifting. Basically, my main goals are adding lbm and gaining a fair amount of strength.

Now, onto my proposed cycle:

Weeks 1-10: Test E @ 300mg/wk
Weeks 7-12: Anavar @ 50mg/day
Weeks 1-12: Arimidex @ 0,25mg EOD/E3D (cut to half dose on Week 12)
Weeks 1-12: HCG @ 250iu 2xWeek
Weeks 7-12: Liver and Lipid Support (due to the Anavar)

PCT: Nolvadex Starting on Week 13 @ 40/20/20/20

Now onto my questions:

  • I want to keep my gains as dry as possible that's why I am running a low dose Test and incorporating an AI and I am opting for the Var to get some nice strength gains without the added bloat. As you can see the dosages are pretty low but as this is my first cycle I plan on starting as low as possible in order to build up over time, plus, if you think about it, when running the compunds together, that would put me at around 700mg/week of gear which I think is enough for a first cycle. I am willing to up the dose to maybe 375mg/week of Test and 60mg daily of Var if needed but would like not to go any higher.

  • If hair loss is kind of a concern, would this cycle be relatively hair safe? And what's harsher on the airline beetwen all the AIs? Should I use nizoral shampoo as a precaution? I am not balding but I would like to take some countermeasures to keep my hair even while cycling. I know that hair loss may happen and I accept it but if there's something I could do to prevent it, I will.

  • Should blood lipids alterations be much of a concern on this cycle cause I am running and oral (even though Var is mild)? For this very reason I was wondering about using Nolva as an AI during cyle as Nolva can actually improve your lipid profile...what are your thoughts about this?

  • How does my ancillaries protocol look? Anything missing? Also, I have read about longer PCTs...is there something you would change there?

Ideally, I would like to follow this cycle up with a Test and Turinabol cycle this winter for a bit longer cycle focused on bulking.

Many thanks :slightly_smiling:


#2

While I applaud your restraint by opting to keep dosages low, I would like to know (1)what you understand by “dry gains”, (2)are you under the impression that you will have much less suppression with a lower dosage, and (3)if you are planning to do any modelling during the cycle.


#3

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I applaud your restraint by opting to keep dosages low, I would like to know (1)what you understand by “dry gains”, (2)are you under the impression that you will have much less suppression with a lower dosage, and (3)if you are planning to do any modelling during the cycle.[/quote]

Thanks for replying.

Well, I just want to opt for a low dosed cycle since this is the first one and I believe that even low dosed cycles can yeld a pretty nice results if diet and training are on point and that would allow me to build up from there for future cycles. Ad example, if I started with 500mg Test and 100mg Var that would have been more than 1g a week of gear whihc I think is largely too much for a first cycle.

For “dry gains” I just hope to limit bloat as much as possible that’s why Test is kept low and used as a base. I don’t know whether I’ll be modelling or not but I just want to look good for myself.


#4

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I applaud your restraint by opting to keep dosages low, I would like to know (1)what you understand by “dry gains”, (2)are you under the impression that you will have much less suppression with a lower dosage, and (3)if you are planning to do any modelling during the cycle.[/quote]

Hi thanks for replying,

I just think that by keeping dosages low I will be able to experience less sides and to better control them. I want to stay on the safer side while achieving my gains. Also, as I said, I think that running Test @ 500mg per week and Var @ 80-100mg per day would put me at around 1g of gear per week which I think is way too much for a first cycle. Also, by keeping them low I will have more room to up them on my future cycles.

For “dry gains” I just want to avoid bloat as much as I can (although I understand that a little bit of bloat is anavoidable with aromatizable compunds and that you get “tighter” during PCT). For modelling, I don’t have any plans about modelling now but I just want to stay lean for myself.

Thanks again


#5

Thanks for replying!

I just want to keep dosages low to stay on the safer and healthier side and to avoid any side effects as much as I can since I plan on using PEDs for the long run but in a smart way. I do believe that you can achieve great gains from a low to moderate dosed cycle if diet and training are on point.

Also, I would have much room to up the dosages during future cycle rather than starting now at 500mg Test and 80-100mg Var for more than 1g of gear per week.

For “dry gains” I just want to avoid bloat as much as I can even though I understand that some water retention will occur with aromatizable compounds and that you will get “tighter” during PCT.

For modelling, I don’t have any plans about that now but would like to If I can build a nice physique for that.

Thanks again :slight_smile:


#6

[quote]Clabuilder wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
While I applaud your restraint by opting to keep dosages low, I would like to know (1)what you understand by “dry gains”, (2)are you under the impression that you will have much less suppression with a lower dosage, and (3)if you are planning to do any modelling during the cycle.[/quote]

Thanks for replying.

Well, I just want to opt for a low dosed cycle since this is the first one and I believe that even low dosed cycles can yeld a pretty nice results if diet and training are on point and that would allow me to build up from there for future cycles. Ad example, if I started with 500mg Test and 100mg Var that would have been more than 1g a week of gear whihc I think is largely too much for a first cycle.

For “dry gains” I just hope to limit bloat as much as possible that’s why Test is kept low and used as a base. I don’t know whether I’ll be modelling or not but I just want to look good for myself.[/quote]

Alright, that’s cool. Although I think you should run the test at 500mg to be worth it, your reasons are sound and you seem to have done a lot of research.

I see you posted the same questions in Shadow Pro’s thread. His advice would be much better than mine so I’ll just wish you good luck and have a great cycle. :slight_smile:

Just wait a couple of hours if he’s not responding.


#7

Before I even read Dt’s last post, I was going to recommend 500mg Test as well. It’s such a better number than 300 for a first cycle. Fwiw, I ran 750 for my first cycle, and had a great experience, very solid gains with no sides to speak of. I used dbol rather than anavar, but for what you want anavar is a better choice.


#8

Thanks guys!

Yes, Shadow just replied to my post in his thread. I posted here as well because there are many experienced users here that can provide great feedback and criticism.

I’ll just go with the low dose test for now and upping it on the next cycle.

I’ll open another thread (kind of a journal) once I start :slight_smile:


#9

Clabuilder,

I am new to Steroids and have recently started my first cycle. I am currently 3.5 weeks in. The cycle is similar to what you have laid out, however i am injecting 250mg of test 2x a week (500mg per week) and running dbol at 50mg per day for the first 6 weeks. I am also taking nolvadex at 10mg per day rather than arimadex. I considered going with Anavar, however it is often faked and more expensive than dbol and as i had a budget in mind i put more towards liver support and ancillaries rather than Anavar.

I am older than you at 28 and my hair is thinning and receding very slowly. I have always had very fine hair and first noticed that i was losing some around 18 months ago. I researched ways to prevent hairless extensively and concluded that there isn’t anything you can do without risking potentially severe side effects other than use a ketoconazole shampoo, so i started using Nizoral. I have no idea if it helps or not but as said my hair loss is very slow and i can only see a difference when looking at photos taken 12months apart. If you are not currently losing hair i would not worry about it too much, from what i understand the DHT derivatives are worse for hairloss but i might be mistaken.

My experience so far has been only positive. I felt the dbol after about 1.5 weeks and have been making steady progress from there. I have not noticed any increase in hairloss etc and i do not seem to be suffering from any notably bloating. I have put on 4kg, my training sessions are more focused and intense and i am getting stronger fast. I am still very early in the cycle and if you are not planning on starting for a while i would be happy to keep you updated if you would find that useful?

Regarding your test dosage - Do you think that it is worth shutting down your system for 300mg per week? I don’t. The risks are not really any higher with 500mg. I see in your post in Shadow’s thread he said the cycle looked good. However in other posts in the thread i have seen people propose running 250mg per week and he suggested that this is more of a TRT dose and to go with 500mg. I am wondering if he overlooked the dosage but i cannot speak for him and could be mistaken.

Sorry the reply was much longer than intended but hopefully it gives you some insight into my experience as a first time user. If you want to ask me anything I’d be happy to help.


#10

[quote]pex86 wrote:
Clabuilder,

I am also taking nolvadex at 10mg per day rather than arimadex.
[/quote]

just curious, why? These 2 drugs aren’t intended to be used for the same purpose. Why would you not want to use an AI first? I run adex, and use nolva only as necessary. My understanding is that the nolva will be less effective in PCT if you run it throughout the cycle.


#11

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]pex86 wrote:
Clabuilder,

I am also taking nolvadex at 10mg per day rather than arimadex.
[/quote]

just curious, why? These 2 drugs aren’t intended to be used for the same purpose. Why would you not want to use an AI first? I run adex, and use nolva only as necessary. My understanding is that the nolva will be less effective in PCT if you run it throughout the cycle.
[/quote]

I know that usually an AI is run during the cycle and Nolva is used post cycle and kept handy in case any symptoms of gyno occur. But lately, by reading what Shadow Pro is saying, I came to the understanding that Nolva in low doses (10-20mg per day) can be used as an extrogen blocker during cycle. I know that they are different and one stops extrogen from the beginning (AI) while the other exerts its action on extrogen already in circulation (Nolva). It’s something that I still have to read and study about but I got the idea from Shadow’s thread and if you take a look there at his comment on my post he suggested me to use 10mg Nolva instead of Arimidex during cycle.

Maybe you should ask him for clarifications on this :slight_smile:


#12

[quote]pex86 wrote:
Clabuilder,

I am new to Steroids and have recently started my first cycle. I am currently 3.5 weeks in. The cycle is similar to what you have laid out, however i am injecting 250mg of test 2x a week (500mg per week) and running dbol at 50mg per day for the first 6 weeks. I am also taking nolvadex at 10mg per day rather than arimadex. I considered going with Anavar, however it is often faked and more expensive than dbol and as i had a budget in mind i put more towards liver support and ancillaries rather than Anavar.

I am older than you at 28 and my hair is thinning and receding very slowly. I have always had very fine hair and first noticed that i was losing some around 18 months ago. I researched ways to prevent hairless extensively and concluded that there isn’t anything you can do without risking potentially severe side effects other than use a ketoconazole shampoo, so i started using Nizoral. I have no idea if it helps or not but as said my hair loss is very slow and i can only see a difference when looking at photos taken 12months apart. If you are not currently losing hair i would not worry about it too much, from what i understand the DHT derivatives are worse for hairloss but i might be mistaken.

My experience so far has been only positive. I felt the dbol after about 1.5 weeks and have been making steady progress from there. I have not noticed any increase in hairloss etc and i do not seem to be suffering from any notably bloating. I have put on 4kg, my training sessions are more focused and intense and i am getting stronger fast. I am still very early in the cycle and if you are not planning on starting for a while i would be happy to keep you updated if you would find that useful?

Regarding your test dosage - Do you think that it is worth shutting down your system for 300mg per week? I don’t. The risks are not really any higher with 500mg. I see in your post in Shadow’s thread he said the cycle looked good. However in other posts in the thread i have seen people propose running 250mg per week and he suggested that this is more of a TRT dose and to go with 500mg. I am wondering if he overlooked the dosage but i cannot speak for him and could be mistaken.

Sorry the reply was much longer than intended but hopefully it gives you some insight into my experience as a first time user. If you want to ask me anything I’d be happy to help.

[/quote]

Hi! Thank you for the effort you put in this reply, it is greatly appreciated by my side.

Yes, I plan on starting after Easter and my cycle is very similar to yours so I would really like to know about how yours is going and any pointers you could give me would be really useful.

Regarding the Test dosages I know that 300mg per Week is closer to a TRT regimen than to a cycle but I also spoke with many people who run a first cycle consisting of 250-300mg of Test only and had really good results. Plus, like I said, I want to err on the low side for this first cycle and build up from here for future ones.

Thanks again and keep me posted on how you are rolling :slight_smile:


#13

[quote]flipcollar wrote:

[quote]pex86 wrote:
Clabuilder,

I am also taking nolvadex at 10mg per day rather than arimadex.
[/quote]

just curious, why? These 2 drugs aren’t intended to be used for the same purpose. Why would you not want to use an AI first? I run adex, and use nolva only as necessary. My understanding is that the nolva will be less effective in PCT if you run it throughout the cycle.
[/quote]

Flip - fair question and my understanding would appear to be the same as yours. Adex reduces E2 and nolva simply stops it from binding to receptors. So as far as the way the drugs work and the science behind things Adex would appear the better option. However, Nolva helps with lipids and when it comes to lighter cycles i have had many IFBB pro’s and also Shadowpro suggest that nolva is their preferred approach. Simply put it works well for very experienced user’s and i have gone on their advice.

Clabuilder - 300mg or 500mg your going to enjoy it if you go the route you have planned. I would just consider that you are going to be shutting down your HPTA either way so the risks are basically the same. You get shut down and then your body has to recover. Have you decided to put the anavar at the start of the cycle? I would otherwise your going to spend the first 4-6weeks waiting to feel the effects of the test. The Var will get things going faster for you.

I’ll let you know how i get on over the next month or so and look forward to your log when you start it


#14

pex, we have the same understanding about using nolva instead of an AI and I think that’s the same reasoing behind Shadow’s reccomendations as well. Regarding the Var I am still not sure yet but would probably put it at the beginning as Shadow suggested and, for this cycle, I am not upping Test dosage even though I understand that it will shut me down and that I would have to recover. I plan on upping the dose on my future cycles.

As soon as I start this cycle, I am gonna open a log!

Just out of curiosity, how are you training and eating for your cycle?


#15

Clabuilder,

The reasoning behind nolva is taken in large part from Shadow’s advice yes, but also from a few IFBB’s pro’s that live in my area of the UK. I have no idea which is the better approach and do not have enough knowledge or experience to say either way. I have a friend who has ran many cycle’s and always used Adex and that has worked great for him. Many of the members on this board that seem very knowledgeable certainly seem to prefer Adex, Flipcollar being an example of that.

Training is standard bodybuilder stuff, generally starting with heavy lifts/longer rest/low reps and as i get further into the workout i go more towards higher rep ranges and shorter rest. That’s how i like to train. This week i have noticed that i am increasing my volume a lot, it is not something that i planned but i just seem to be able to keep going. Workouts are much more intense . I also backed of the weight this week as strength has gone up a fair bit and i was getting some pain around my elbow (tennis elbow). It feels much better now.

Diet again is the basic stuff - I use intra workout nutrition and macros are roughly 40p/40c/20f. Rest days are the same meals without the workout nutrition. I started the cycle about 300cals above maintenance and will increase as needed, using the mirror, strength and scales as a guide. I do a few cardio sessions each week. I am not as lean as you if i were i would probably be a little more aggressive with the calories!


#16

Mate that’s great to hear and you re giving a really much appreciate contribution to this thread.

I plan on following a 3 day split on a 5 day microcicle basically hitting every muscle group twice in 10 days as I really don’t like/enjoy typical bodybuilder split.

For the diet, I plan on doing the same of waht you are doing: eating at a small surplus everyday and adding peri-workout nutrition on training days…I know Shadow reccomends the Plazma, MAG-10 ecc but it really is too expensive fro me so I was just thinking about using BCAA, Creatine and Vitargo…would you mind sharing your protocol?

I am just trying to fine tune everything before I get started.

For the Nolva vs AI discussion I am in the same boat as you are referring to the fact that I don’t have enough knowledge and I am merely taking Shadow’s advice.


#17

I just use a suitable carb/protein drink throughout training and finish whatever is left at the end. If you are on a budget Surge Recovery might be a good option for you - i have used that i like it alot and for the price it is fantastic. All my other nutrition is from whole foods. I train to a four day split and probably take a day off the weights every 4th day. You will definitely want to increase volume significantly if lean mass is your goal.

I would layout your training and diet plan for Shadowpro - As he has seen your picture he will be able to give you some great advice with how much/what you should be eating on cycle.