T Nation

First Cycle Notes & Observations, Future Cycles, Short Cycles

Well its been a year now since my first cycle ever and I wanted to share my observations and what I learned.
First off I decided after weeks of research on internet sites like this one that I wanted to try a â??short cycleâ??. A short cycle being defined as only 3 weeks. This meant I would be doing 100 mg each prop-mast ED.
I decided on a short cycle for the following reasons.

  • It was suggested on this forum that do to the short cycle, daily adex may not be needed and PCT may not be needed at all. This was attractive as the whole PCT thing was very confusing.
  • Since I was new and certain I would make mistakes, the short cycle sounded like a wise choice in case I messed things up.
  • Honestly I did not know what to expect since I never experimented with gear before so 3 weeks was mentally attractive.
  • The whole injection idea was all new and foreign to me so again a 3 week cycle sounded attractive.

Well I did my cycle and all the reasons above turned out to be wrong. I did need daily adex and I did need PCT. I am not even going to mention my PCT details. All I will say is I read everything I could find and then finally ended up doing my own thing or shall we say highly modified from everything I read. It took me awhile but I have settled on what works for me.

Looking back on it the short cycle was good because it familiarized me with the whole process. However, the 3 weeks was just a teaser. I was just starting to get great results when suddenly it was time to quit. I have since done an 8 week and a 10 week cycle. PCT is under control. Dailey adex is under control. Proper diet, mental attitude and hard training are in full swing. If I try a â??shortâ?? cycle again, it will likely be a 6 week cycle. The 10 weeks for me is just too tough to maintain the self discipline, positive mental state and intense training. I read somewhere that it is virtually impossible to over train while on gear. I believe this to be a true statement. I want to add one other thing to that statement. Results are directly proportional to your workout efforts. The harder you work, the better the results will be.

Where did you read that you would not need PCT?

Exactly, where? Three weeks on test and you are gonna be shut down…

Actually it is the second sticky in the steroid forum, entitled “Steroid Newbie Cycle Planning” by Furious George.

This is the statement down towards the bottom in the summary.
“Note - for the off weeks between short cycles Nolva or Clomid can be used although FSH/LH levels should rebound pretty quick and will actually jump above normal on their own.”


Shorties seem to be favoured by 2 groups of people.

  1. Slow and Steady Gainers
    These are people who are already in good shape (not looking for radical body recomposition or huge mass gain) and want to just help facilitate steady gains. They may be people who need to “fly under the radar” for one reason or another or may be quite happy with simply making small steady gains.
    By doing a series of 2-3 week cycles with 3-4 weeks off in between steady gains will keep coming, albeit slowly, but steadily. By restricting the cycle to 2-3 weeks the negative health impact is very minimal but most importantly the suppression of endogenous FSH/LH/Test is pretty minimal (unless very high doses or 19Nors are used) so recovery is very fast and gains are maintained.

  2. Blitz cycles
    This is a strategy sometimes employed by experienced users and isn’t so different from Blast cycles. It is basically 2 weeks of all out high dose androgen use, often accompanied by HGH, IGF-1, Insulin, and T3.
    The strategy is to overtrain to the point that you have actually depressed your endogenous test levels and upregulated your androgen receptors, then blast your system with very high dose androgens while lifting like a maniac for a period that is too brief to cause much testicular shutdown but long enough to cause hypertrophy and more importantly hyperplasia. Basically you are shocking your system into a very brief but rapid period of growth which can be built upon after the cycle is over.

The overall design of both is very similar as are the pros and cons.


  1. Minimal Shutdown
    Because the duration of use is so short there is very little suppression of natural test production. The testes usually only start to shrink after about 2-3 weeks into the cycle so if you clear the androgens at that time there is no waiting period for them to return to normal size. LH and FSH levels bounce back very quickly and in many cases actually have a rebound above normal such that endogenous test levels climb above normal for a few weeks and the user continues to see gains after androgens have been discontinued.

  2. Limiting Side Effects
    With such a short cycle negative sides don’t have very much time to manifest.
    BP may be elevated but for such a short period that it isn’t a big concern.
    Gyno may be an issue at higher doses but can be treaded easily with Nolva until the compounds clear.
    Liver tox is really only a concern with longer cycles so even very high doses of orals have little impact.
    Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) and Benign Prostate Hypertrophy (BPH) are really not a concern unless the undividual is planning to do many 2-3 week cycles per year.
    Acne and other skin issues seem to start around 2 weeks in for most individuals as well so the short duration tends to make them less of a factor as well.

  3. Gradual Gains
    This is important for anyone who needs to keep their androgen use somewhat under wraps. Some people due to their jobs or family situation simply can’t gain 20lbs without a certain risk of having questions asked. 20lbs over the course of a year is a lot different that 20lbs over the course of 6 weeks. If it is noticed it can be attributed to consistent training and diet.

  4. Consistent focus
    If the user is running a series of short cycles with little to no supression there are smaller swings in weight, mood, strength, diet, and consistency. I think this is one of the biggest strengths of a cycle plan like this. Because there is slow but consistent gains the focus of the individual stays consistent. Consistent training, eating, and living year round. There is no big weight gain but there is also no big comedown where a user may feel depressed and lose motivation for a few months and undo all their accomplishments.


  1. Limited compound selection
    Short esters and orals are really the only option to actually see any benifit and not continue supressing endogenous test after the 2-3 weeks is up.

  2. Limited gains
    Gains from only 2-3 weeks are small (1-3lbs) and likely mostly water if they are even moderate (5-15lbs). The fact of the matter is that 2-3 weeks is not that long a time; the user doesn’t have a chance to even get in that many workouts unless they are training twice a day. It may be that the user is simply able to break through a weight plateau they couldn’t have otherwise.

Because 2-3 weeks isn’t long enough to cause serious shutdown (for the mopst part) there are a number of short acting injectable and oral options.

Test Prop is a great choice for 2-3 week cycles for the same reasons as previously stated but in this scenario we are chosing it as the preferred base compound more out of reasons of its effectiveness. It is one of the few compounds that will have much of an effect over that short a period. It is not the only choice though, just a good one.
Typical prop doses are in the range of 75-300mg/d (with users simply looking for continued gains at the low end and blitz cycles at the high end). Because not everyone can tolerate the high end of the scale Prop doses are often restricted to about 200mg/d and stacked with orals or other injectables for Blitz cycles.

Because their duration is limited to only 2-3 weeks high dose orals can be used (DBol, Drol, Winny, and Var are all fine although Var would probably be much better off being run longer).

DBol only cycles would be around 50-100mg/d.

Drol only cycles would be around 100-200mg/d.

Winny would be best stacked with either DBol or Drol at a dose of about 50-100mg/d.

Var only cycles would be around 60-120mg/d but wouldn’t be good for much besides a bit of a boost in breaking through plateaus.

Short acting injectables that would work best would be Nandrolone (NPP only) and Mast (prop only), and Tren Ace but only if used with HCG because it can still cause pretty severe shutdown even after only a few weeks.

Typical NPP dose would be equal to or less than that of the test dose being run with the average in the range of 50-100mg ED. It would probably be pretty worthless run on it’s own but would make a fairly good addition to the test. My only worry with it would be Nandrolone’s ability to become re-esterfied in the body which may hurt recovery when doing a short cycle approach.

Mast Prop would be run in the range of about 37-75mg/d. Even at the high end listed many have difficulty with too much tightness in the muscles. It can’t be run in doses high enough to really do that much on its own over just a few weeks but it is a great addition to a short cycle of test to add a bit of strength and hardness.

Tren Ace is a bit of a wild card in a shorty. On the one hand it is probably the most effective drug in terms of short term results and maybe one of the few drugs that really makes sense for this protocol to be truly successful and on the other hand it is about the most suppressive which defeats the purpose of the protocol (avoiding shutdown in the first place). For this reason the use of maintenance dose HCG (250iu 2x/w) is really the only way it will work. The other problem is that most Tren users report fairly strong sides for the first 5 days or so that they are on the drug to the point that sleep and workouts are impaired…if the cycle is only two weeks long you really can’t sacrifice 5 days of gains so it’s use would also have to be restricted to those individuals that tolerate it well.

Stacking is almost a necessity in the short cycle approach because you are working with the upper limits of tolerance for most drugs and stacking lets you increase the overall level of androgens. Same guidelines still remain for stacking (AR with non-AR mediated or combo or Test/19Nor/DHT) although for reasons discussed 19Nors may not be the best approach for some.

Ancilliary compounds used are the same although their use isn’t as big a concern because the duration is so short.

The use of HGH would have to be high dose to really do anything and preferably combined with IGF-1. 2 weeks is a good timeline for IGF-1 alone so it could be run during the cycle or run during the off weeks. Use of Insulin and T3 is a more hardcore approach but effective if you don’t kill yourself or permenantly damage your thyroid.

So what would a sample 2-3 week cycle look like. Again I am not saying anyone should do this just that it would be a common protocol.

Note - for the off weeks between short cycles Nolva or Clomid can be used although FSH/LH levels should rebound pretty quick and will actually jump above normal on their own.

ORAL ONLY (2on, 2off, 2on, 2off, 2on, 4off)
W 1-2 Drol 50mg 3x/D and Winny 25mg 3x/d
W 3-4 off
W 5-6 Drol 50mg 3x/D and Winny 25mg 3x/d
W 7-8 off
W 9-10 Drol 50mg 3x/D and Winny 25mg 3x/d
W 11-14 off

INJ ONLY (3on, 4off, 3on, 4off, 3on, 8off)
W 1-3 Test Prop 75mg/d and NPP 50mg/d
W 4-7 off
W 8-10 Test Prop 75mg/d and NPP 50mg/d
W 11-14 off
W 15-17 Test Prop 75mg/d and NPP 50mg/d
W 18-25 off

NO TEST (2on, 2off, 2on, 2off, 2on, 4off)
W 1-2 Tren Ace 100mg/d, Winny 25mg 3x/d, HGC 250iu 2x/w
W 3-4 off
W 5-6 Tren Ace 100mg/d, Winny 25mg 3x/d, HGC 250iu 2x/w
W 7-8 off
W 9-10 Tren Ace 100mg/d, Winny 25mg 3x/d, HGC 250iu 2x/w
W 11-14 off

BLITZ (2on, 8off)
W 1-2 Test Prop 150mg ED
W 1-2 Tren Ace 100mg ED
W 1-2 DBol 10mg 5x/d
W 1-2 HGH 2iu 4x/d
W 1-2 IGF-1 40mcg Post Workout
W 1-2 Insulin 6iu 2x/d (morning and post workout)
W 1-2 T3 25mcg 2x/d (tapered for another week after)
W 1-2 Letro 2mg ED
W 3-10 off

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

“Because 2-3 weeks isn’t long enough to cause serious shutdown (for the mopst part) there are a number of short acting injectable and oral options.”

Well, I don’t know if the (for the most part) was a disclaimer, but IMO it should have read would not shut you down and suppress. Meaning, I have always believed that the length of time you are shutdown is directly proportionate to the time it takes to recover (Given same compound and dose). Short cycle = Shorter Recovery time… This has been argued and good points made for both, but my personal experience is that I recover faster on a shorter cycle.

My 2 cc’s