T Nation

First Cycle Opinions and Advice

Hello everyone, This is my first post on this site. Been doing a lot of research and and i think its time for me to do my first cycle.

Alittle bit about myself. Im 25 and have been training pretty consistently for 7 years. Im 6 foot tall and 180lb around 12% body fat. Over all very happy with the progress i have made naturally, but as to be expected the gains are starting to slow down. Always hated the fact that im 6 foot and and cant even get close to 200 without looking like the Michelin man and im just ready to see some solid gains for all this work i put in. Currently doing a 4 day split with mainly hypertrophy work because size is my goal. I track all my macros, currently eating right around 2,500 calories and id say my Diet is 80% clean with a few treats here and there with a cheat meal once a week.

Ive stayed natural for as long as possible because i know having a good base is key and i see that starting to young is frowned upon. Also the fact that i hate needles and injecting shit i get off the internet scares me alittle because i dont want to fuck my body up for the rest of my life. With that being said ive decided on a very simple first cycle that will hopefully produce good gains with as little negative side affects as possible.

A 15 week Test E only cycle. I decided 15 weeks because with 3 10ml vials at 500mg per week should last me 15 weeks so why cut it to 12? My protocol is as follows:

Week 1-15: Test E 500mg/wk, 2 pins a wk.
.25mg arimidex EOD
Week 16-17: Off
Week 18-22: Clomid 100/100/50/50
Nolva 40/40/20/20

During cycle i plan to up my macros and protein significantly but still eat clean. Obviously train hard and give it all i have because i want the best possible result.

My main questions are:

Do i need to incorporate HCG? i know 15 weeks is longer then most cycles so is it a good idea to use it or will i be fine without it? if so, how much? I see 500iu a week seems pretty standard. Also should i run it from day one to my last pin or continue until i start my pct?

Seeing as how i want to do this as safe as possible i want to get blood work before, during and after cycle but im just not sure which ones i need to get tested. Currently dont have health insurance so it could be pretty pricey. Which test are the most necessary for this cycle?

Thank you everyone in advance for your input. Please let me know your thoughts on everything and let me know anything i might have missed or forgotten. Im gonna throw some pictures down below of my current physique to help you get a better idea of where im at.


Very nice physique. You look heavier than you are IMO so that’s good. Bloods should include TT, FT, SHBG, FSH, LH, and E2 at a minimum to get a snapshot of your hormones. If you get bloods drawn mid cycle you can prob just stick with TT/FT/E2 as FSH/LH will go to zero and then you can test for them again after PCT. Your AI is too heavy, I would recommend waiting on it all together unless you get high E2 symptoms. You may also run 10-20mg of nolva ED to combat gyno issues. For PCT I prefer nolva only, I don’t think you need to run both but that’s just my opinion from what I’ve read.

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Looks like you’re ready. You have more of a foundation than a lot of guys who hop on. You obviously know how to train and how to eat, so all you have to do now is continue to apply that discipline while on cycle and you should be good. Keep us updated as you go.

And I agree with shaw, Nolva only is sufficient for pct.

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Thanks for the advice man. So what your saying is hold off on the arimidex all together until i notice E2 symptoms as is sore nipples? Ive heard to much will limit the gains correct? Also drop the clomid? The only reason i had it was some people say they use both to cover all angles but if i dont need it then thats just more money in my pocket.

Whats your opinion on HCG do you think i need it?

Hey thanks iron, ill be sure to keep you guys updated.

damn bro that mirror shot of your back is better then the after photo of most guys who have run cycles, great foundation to start with, excited to see how you end up looking bro, keep us posted!

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Too much AI will destroy your joints, hurt your cholesterol and kill your libido from low E2. I’ve had way more problems with AI and low E2 than high. My only probs from high E2 are Gyno flare ups. I now take 10mg a day of nolva which blocks the receptors in breast tissue. Point being some AI is ok if you choose that path but keep it light at least to start. As in no more than half of what you suggested.

As far as PCT goes I’m with the group that thinks one serm is enough. I’m no longer a PCT guy since I’m on TRT. I’ve run clomid in the past with no issues but it has more known sides. Nolva seems to be enough.

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I would choose eoth nolva or the clomid, not both. Other than that looks like a good first.

okay cool, just clarifying. i was under the assumption that .25mg EOD was pretty much as low as you could go with arimidex. If you saying 10mg of nolva ED will work instead thats just one less thing i need to worry about. So 10mg ED from week 1-15? or continue it during the 2 weeks after my last pin?

Yeah you can run it like that just get some aromasin instead of the arimidex. Alex and nolva interfere with each other for breakdown and metabolisation.