T Nation

First Cycle - Cutting

I’ve started my first cycle 4 weeks ago (250e4d test-e, 437,5mg weekly along with 0,25e2d arimidex) and simultaniously started my cut. My goal was trying to get lean while getting stronger and possibly build some muscle on the way. I’m 28, 180cm (5’11) and 85kg (188lbs), BF 14%, training for 10 years naturally.

I’ve stagnated the past 5 years training naturally - I’ve always been bulking to about 190 - BF 15% and then cutting to 175lbs at 10% for the summer with 2600kcal (250prot; 200carbs; 50fat) on training days (5-6 per week) and 1800kcal on rest days (1-2 per week). With this caloric intake I was consistently loosing about 2 pounds per week, so I always dieted for about 6-8 weeks to lose 15-20 pounds and be at about 10% BF.
Now I’ve done the same for the last 5 weeks, however I have only lost 2 pounds in total. The only difference this year is the test, so that must be the reason. My E2 is right in in the middle of the reference range with the 0,25e2d Arimidex and I also don’t feel that I’ve gained water weight - also before my cycle I was on TRT for 6 months already with 160mg/week, so I’m not completely new to test.
I don’t seem to have gained muscle /recomp, my measurements are all about roughly the same, my waist has gone down only half an inch which is normal for 2 pounds weightloss.
So the only difference to the natty-cuts is that it seems significantly harder to lose weight & fat, I know for sure without the test I would have lost more fat (not just weight, fat) already… I want to be at my usual 10% BF level in 7 weeks, that’s also the remaining timespan of my cycle.

What would you suggest? Further decrease the calories to 2000 (which seems extremely low for me), incorporate more cardio (I bike to work 5x/week for 15mins twice already) or just continue what I’m doing (although it feels like I’m stagnating) and expect that I’ll recomp?

I can’t suggest much as I’m inexperienced with cycles but i will say it may seem harder to lose weight (fat) because youre holding more water and the scale doesn’t know the difference. Also if you put on 5lbs muscle over your entire body and also lost 5lbs of fat your measurements are likely to go down slightly…remain the same at best.
I have a ton of experience dieting and i will tell you this, for me personally 2lbs a week is too rapid weight loss to hang on to hard earned muscle after a bulk. I have to go slower at about a pound a week to maintain most of my natty gains.

If I would maintain my weight, put on 5lbs of muscle while losing 5lbs of fat my measurements would definitely change. I’d expect my arms/legs for sure to grow (almost no fat there to lose) while my waist should go down significantly, that’s not the case as of now.
During my previous natty cuts 2 pounds/week was not too fast for me, I was always able to hold my strength and not lose a significant amount of muscle if anything - so just repeating this wouldn’t be a success now considering the introduction of AAS.
It just seems that now my metabolism with the added test is slower, the added test makes me lose fat much harder - which I did not expect at all.

I think without a bf% scan it’s hard to tell. My bet is that It’s retained water that is making you look softer, less cut, larger, and the number on the scale to increase.
I’m experiencing something similar as we speak.
I was loosing 1.5lbs a week and looking way more cut but losing strength so i read about doing a little test to stay anabolic while on a cut. I’m now gaining weight slowly (i did up my calories to lose about 1lb a week) and the measurement on my skin calipers has gone down. (it’s too soon to accurately guage fat loss with my skin calipers, admittedly)


Update: The past 2 weeks I’ve cut down my calories a little more (about 2200cal, 250 prot, 180carbs, 50 fat) and I’m still not loosing any weight. My waist has gone down finally another 1.5 centimeters (a little more than half an inch), so it seems that I’m currently recomping.
My strength has also gone up and I’m a bit leaner overall, so I’ll stay at that caloric intake for a while. If I can maintain my current weight and achieve the same condition as during my natty cuts, I’m extremely happy, because that would mean I’ve put on a good amount of muscle.
On the other hand I’m not really satisfied with the current rate of fat loss, I know with this caloric intake for 6 weeks I would already be ripped during my natty cuts…