T Nation

First Cycle/PCT Question


#1

Hey guys, couple questions about taking my first cycle.

Little backround on myself:
Ive been training off and on for the past several years but have really ramped up my workouts over the last 2 and have been extremely dedicated to it. I currently work 12 hour shifts at a hospital so 3 days a week on and 4 days a week off. I train hard for 1.5-2 hours every day that Im off work. I eat very well (since my wife meal preps every week) and generally consume roughly 3k calories/day sometimes more, with 1.5 grams of protein/lb. I have access to a full gym where I work and also have a lot of free weights and things at home, which is where i primarily work out.

Current build:
195 lbs @ 6’1" and roughly 12% BF(very much so a hard gainer)
29 years old

Supplements I currently take:
creatine Hcl~3grams/day (half of that being in my pre-workout drink in pre-kaged)
BSN-edge protein powder
vitamin D @ 4000 IU/day
Liv 52 liver supplement

Ive done a lot of research on anabolics and understand the risks and side effects that can come with them (even treating some people in the hospital with cardiac issues) that have taken them for a while. I want to know what you guys think of what ive laid out, give advice, or tweak any of the drugs. Theres so many differences in opinions online it can be mind boggling, everytime you think you have a good plan worked out, theres someone there to challenge it.

So here it is…
Week 1-4 Dbol @ 25 mg/day
Week 1-8 Test E @ 250mg x twice a week (Monday/Thursday) 500mg/wk total

PCT:
Week 9-10 HCG @ 500 IU x twice a week (Monday/Thursday) 1000 IU /wk total
Week 9-10 Aromas @ 25mg/day
Week 11 Nolva @ 40mg/day
Week 12-16 Nolva @ 20mg/day

The things that confuse me the most is mostly the use of AI’s on cycle as a preventative measure, or using them only when symptoms develop. Also, the correct amount of HCG to use weekly. Ive read that using too much can decrease sensitivity of receptors to LH, yet some people are injecting 1000 IUs every day or even using it throughout their cycle in a low dose.

I got the majority of my info from steroidal.
Seems very well laid out and explains everything well enough, such as nolvas and aromas synergistic effect on each other. And has all the sources laid out in footnotes (looks good having a mostly science based background).

Anyway, thanks in advance for any information/support you guys have and taking the time to read this.I know its a pretty basic cycle and you guys get these questions daily, but its still hormones and I want to be thorough and careful with everything. Im really looking forward to taking this and I hope it turns out the way Im thinking it will!

Much Love


#2

Your first cycle should be test-only. You have no idea how you’ll react to it and throwing dbol in the mix at the outset will make it tougher to control any side effects that pop up along the way.

As far as AI is concerned, there’s a robust debate about how (or even if) to use it on cycle. But using it after a cycle is over does not seem to make a lot of sense, especially if you don’t need it during a cycle.

I’m an evangelist for HCG throughout a cycle, if for no reason other than it keeps your testicular function relatively close to normal.


#3

Thanks for the response.
I have 10,000 IUs of HCG what kind of dosing do you recommend for test E only cycle?
Is 500mg of test per week a good first time dose, or do you recommend less and working up to 500?
Im assuming switch to nolva 2 weeks after my last test E inj, when should i D/C the HCG?

Thanks again man!


#4

500/w is a standard first cycle dose and that seems to be well-tolerated.

The HCG can be run at 250 twice a week during cycle to maintain proper function. Some guys run it higher, but I’ve had good results going lower while on TRT. I don’t see a need for larger dose unless you’ve got blood work that indicates it’s a necessity.


#5

Ok iron and I tend to see the same issues and say similar stuff, so yeah what he said!

I will add in a few things just from my own pov.

First test e should at the bare MINIMUM be run for ten weeks. Really should be run between 12-15 weeks. If you already have your stuff and getting more is an issue just know that enanthate takes 2-4 weeks to kick in depending on dose. Then it really doesn’t get to the sweet spot where you are harnessing it’s full potential until week 5-8, again depending. I would stretch the length of the cycle out. If you can not get more test then possibly lower the dosage to stretch out the length of time. Really your stated 500 per week is good if not ideal you just need a few more weeks on it to harness enanthate properly. If you end up having a few CC’s left at week 12 there is nothing wrong with adding a week or two to just finish out the bottle, but provided it was suspended properly and you do not contaminate it with re using needles then half a bottle can be saved for another cycle.

Iron said it but I want to re say it, testosterone only for the first cycle. Seriously you are going to be blown away with the results so no need to make managing side effects harder for no real reason by adding a second compound. Plus chances are you will do another cycle so knowing how your body reacts to just testosterone will help you identify any issues you might have with other compounds down the road. Basically on you first stacking cycle (ideally the first stack would not happen until your third to fifth cycle) if something wierd happens you will know you didn’t have that issue with just test so logically it must be the new compound causing the issue.

You have Aromasin listed after your cycle and during HCG therapy. If you end up needing or just using aromasin during the cycle then MAYBE you might need it the week after you stop pinning the test. You will have a nice build up of test by the end so if you had issues on cycle then the week after you stop I would still use the Aromasin but at a lower dose. If you find out you are super sensitive to estrogen and you need a hefty dose of aromasin on cycle then maybe the second week after you stop pinning test you might need a very reduced dosage level of aromasin but once the Nolvadex PCT starts you should not take any form of AI aka aromasin. It can actually work against your recovery.

If you do use HCG on cycle or just after the cycle before PCT you need to know that it makes you aromatize test that no dose of aromasin can stop. It does it in your balls somehow and if that amount of estrogen gives you issues then you will need a SERM like Nolvadex to prevent that specific estrogen from causing gyno. Now I am not sure how much estrogen will be produced or if it even will be enough to cause gyno but if during the cycle you use HCG, you get gyno, then you keep increasing the aromasin and it doesn’t stop then most likely it is the HCG/“ball estrogen.” You will need a SERM / Nolvadex to deal with that gyno.

I want to touch on PCT timing. I think you have the proper wait period but I like to cover my bases and it is all to easy to write something that two different people can interpret differently. Ok let’s say you do 12 weeks of test at 500 mgs per week divided into two equal shots. The Wednesday of week 12 you take the last shot. Count all of week 12 as “on cycle.” Then wait weeks 13 and 14 taking no test. On Sunday of week 15 then start PCT. Like I said I think you have it write but ever since I started dating a woman who’s first language is not English I have realized how easy it is to have someone not catch the intended meaning of a statement.
Just so you know week 13 you will still have high enough levels of test that you can still gain easy. Even week 14 you will still have enough test releasing from the ester to be well above natural levels, so don’t waist those weeks.

You should read up on the signs of high and low estrogen in men. You will need to watch for those signs weather you decide to use the Aromasin on cycle or not. Even if you decide not to use it on cycle I would have some on hand just in case. I am not sure if you have already bought your supplies yet so i figured I should make the point.

If you decide to use aromasin on cycle or even if you have to start using it because of an issue 25 mgs per day is way to high of a starting point. 12.5 mgs twice a week is the starting dose. Let’s say you do not start using it at the beginning of the cycle but you get gyno/puffy nipples so you want to start. Start with the 12.5 mgs twice a week. Take your first dose then wait and take your second dose. If at the end of the week you still have puffy nipples then go to 12.5 mgs EOD. Do the 12.5 EOD for a week. If you still have issues then up the dosage but still do it EOD. Don’t panic at the first sign of gyno and start taking 25 mgs every day, you will crash your Estrogen. We need Estrogen, we just need it in a healthy window.

If you crash your Estrogen from using too much aromasin you will most likely be very tired/lethargic during the day and your joints will be dry and popping. If you crash your Estrogen stop taking the aromasin for 3-4 days then start up again at a lower dose.

I recommended you read up on the signs of high and low estrogen in men. You will need that info as you dial in your aromasin dosage. That is if you end up using it or needing it.

If you are lost on what size needle to use I recommend 25 guage at 1-1.5 inches. The 25 guage seems to be the right size to keep you from injecting too fast and causing PIP. Basically 25 guage is a way to idiot proof self injecting oil suspended hormones.

In closing please don’t forget to get pre cycle blood work. You need to know your base line so you can judge your recovery.


#6

First off, thanks for taking the time to lay all of that out I really appreciate it. So in summary, ill stick with the test E @500/wk, use aromasin if symptoms appear at the doses you mentioned, follow through with nolva 40/20/20/20/20/20 every day.

I just received everything today. I have 50 nolva tabs. 30 aromasin tabs, and enough test for 10 weeks exactly.

As far as the HCG goes, is just using it for those couple weeks in between the last Test E pin and the start of the nolva an ok protocol?

Thanks!


#7

The HCG usually comes in either 2000 or 5000 iu kits. They have some other sizes out there but those seem to be most common.
The method where you take HCG after the cycle and before PCT is the older method. Me personally I would run it for at least a month before PCT. So the last two weeks of pinning test then during the two weeks of waiting where you don’t pin test. The hcg is a synthetic version of the LH and or the FSH. Those hormones are how your body tells your balls to make testosterone. The HCG will make your balls produce test regardless of you being on synthetic test. Doing the HCG for a month will wake up your balls then give them some time to get back into the swing of things before you do your PCT. Depending on how your body reacts to the cycle and the resulting shutdown then just two weeks might not get them fully awake. Plus HCG doesn’t have a long shelf life once you reconstitute it and chances are it is a 5000 iu kit. Spreading that out over a whole month is definitely going to give you good strong doses.

One last thing I forgot to mention. Your first shot needs to be 500mgs of test. For my example I am picking your injection days as Sunday and Wednesday. Week one on Sunday you pin 500 mgs then Wednesday you pin 250 mgs. You then pin 250 mgs every Sunday and Wednesday until you run out. The larger first shot just helps you get to the anabolic threshold sooner. There really is no proof that front loading aka a large first shot actually helps you but I have run cycles with doing it and cycles where I would do the equivalent of starting with 250mgs on Sunday. The cycles where I take a whole weeks dose as my first shot then follow my regular shot schedule I definitely feel like I get better results. I also consistently gain more on the cycles where I front load. Now that could just be the placebo effect but even if I am just tricking myself I know when I front load I start the cycle harder as in with full blown effort out the gate.

If you do the front load then your last shot should be on a Sunday of week 10 not Wednesday. You could start PCT on Sunday of week 12 or wait for week 13. Either way you will be okay. The long half life of enanthate means that ten days after your last shot you still have 125mgs left from just that shot plus all the other shots going back about five weeks. At day 20 after last shot you will still have about 62mgs left from just the last shot. Now all that left over test enanthate does not mean it is all free and able to do stuff in your body. It has to release from the ester inorder to be free to effect anything. The amount releasing from the ester at any given moment is what tells your body it doesn’t need to produce it’s own test. By day 10 after your last shot the amount releasing from the ester is still probably higher than natural production by at least a little bit, depending on how high your dose was. By day 20 after your last shot then the amount releasing should be below natural testosterone production and the level being released needs to be below natural production in order for PCT to work.
The question is do you start PCT on week 12 or 13. At week 12 you will be 14 days after your last shot and the amount being released from the ester might still be above natural production but with how long your PCT is planned I don’t think starting on week 12 will be bad.
Remember all that rant was based on you taking your last shot on Sunday of week 10 not Wednesday of week 10.


#8

Thanks for all the info! So i will be getting blood work drawn next week and starting my cycle shortly there after. Will be doing test 500/wk for 10 weeks (my whole supply) and HCG throughout the cycle @ 250IU twice a week with the test. Nolva will start 2 weeks following last pin 40 for the first week every day, followed by 20 per day for another 5 weeks. Is there anything i should know about pinning test with the HCG? I have a 10,000 IU vial in a 2cc bottle. I was planning on adding 8cc of sterile water to dilute it a bit since 10,000 IU in only 2cc’s iis a bit difficult to draw up. Any thoughts?

Also, since the test and HCG can both aromatize, i should start aromasin at 12.5 every 3rd day if high estro signs appear, is this correct? Another question, when should I stop the aromasin if I do have to start it? Or should i just run it through the rest of the cycle at a low dose?

Thanks!


#9

You should be using insulin syringes for the hCG. The markings on the insulin barrel are equivalent to 1iu. Once you dilute the hCG to the concentration that you want you’ll draw out your dose (which will be a very small amount of liquid, relatively speaking) and you’ll inject it subcutaneously, somewhere around the belly region. I wrote a whole post somewhere around here about the mixing of hCG to get the right dose, including the volume displacement of the powder itself. If you need help with the math I’ll track it down and repost it here.


#10

If you are doing HCG during your cycle it causes aromatization that aromasin CAN NOT block. Somehow it causes the aromatization in your balls. So if you have issues it can be from the estrogen from the test which you use aromasin to control and/or you can have issues (gyno) from the estrogen from HCG that only a SERM aka Nolvadex can handle.

My route to deal with estrogen when using HCG on cycle follows this thought process but warning, this is for me, my body, my brands, ect…
I know at 500 mgs of test per week I bloat from the estrogen, well I retain water in my legs first. I dose 12.5 mgs of aromasin EOD for that, usually that’s enough to keep me from retaining water, which is my indicator of self monitoring.
If I get sensitive nipples during the HCG I take 10mgs of Nolvadex EOD.
I take both because I know I aromatize anything and everything more than the next guy.

Taking both aromasin or any AI and Nolvadex might be a bad combo. I am not a doctor and I might be making a situation where they work against each other, I dont know.

It’s going to be hard for you since this is first cycle.

I think you should do one of the following methods or at least it’s how I would approach it.
If something comes up start the aromasin at 12.5 twice a week. If needed then move up to EOD. If you still have ONLY gyno issues add in 10 mgs of Nolvadex EOD.

OR try this,

Start with 10 mgs of Nolvadex EOD. If you notice other signs of high estrogen then start the aromasin at twice a week, possibly move up to EOD.

With you dealing with two issues it’s harder to know which one to increase. One thing I am fairly certain on is, provided your Nolvadex is legit, then 10 mgs EOD should be plenty to block the estrogen caused by the HCG if not plenty to block the estrogen from the aromatized test as well. But that really only blocks binding on the breast tissue, aka gyno, in this situation. It just won’t do anything to help you with the other side effects of high estrogen like water retention, high blood pressure, low or no libido, irritability, ect.

Hopefully with me commenting this will bump the thread and someone with more experience can comment. I have only really ran one cycle where I used HCG throughout.


#11

Sorry I got long winded and focused on the estrogen control when HCG is used.

If you have to use the Aromasin then most likely you will need to use it all the way to PCT. Just know that if you stop pinning week ten then by about one week after you stop pinning test your test levels will be dropping, you may need to lower the aromasin if your using it. The second week aka 7 days after last pin of test then you will definitely want to lower the dosage, that is if you ended up needing a really high dose. But if you didn’t need anything significant then by 7 days after last pin I would think something like 6.25 mgs twice that week would be all that you would want to use, that might even be a kind of high dose. It’s hard to say because everyone is different and UGL dosage varies from Lab to lab. Your pill might suppose to be 25 mgs but really it’s about 18 mgs. Your getting advice from a guy who used half of tablet that he thought would be 12.5 but really his half of tablet was 21 mgs and he tanked his estrogen with it so he says 12.5 is way to high of a dose.
I think a good concept would be if you had to use aromasin on cycle then by 7 days after the last shot you should definitely cut the dose in half. You might even just do a quarter of regular dose by day 10 aka your second dose for the week two of your waiting for PCT. 10 days after you stop pinning the free from the ester test levels should still be above natural levels but they are dropping.

With how the long esters like enanthate work really by about 3-5 days after you pin the significantly higher levels of test being released from the ester come down. That’s why everyone says do two equal shots per week, so you always have that surge of free test after the pin and thus more stable levels throughout the week. In other terms, you pin a long ester, that hormone levels surges for 3-5 days, then it drops noticably, then it has a long drawn out tapering level in your blood. That 3-5 days might release 30% of your injected hormone, the next 5-6 days releases 20% that puts you at ten days aka your half life. The following ten days releases 25% of the shot, the following 10 days releases 12.5% of the initial injection, days 30-40 releases 6.25% of the shot and so on.
(Had to put that in so you would understand when you might need to lower your aromasin)

For your HCG dilution. I assume you have powder and 2ccs of that solution to reconstitute it. If you add 8ccs of bacteriostatic water you should have roughly a total of 10cc’s. 10000iu’s diluted in 10cc’s roughly equals 1000 iu per cc. You would actually have slightly over 10cc’s because of the volume of the powder but let’s keep it simple. Bacteriostatic water is supposed to be able to kill or at least hinder the growth of bacteria for up to 30 days. If you are worried about something growing in your HCG then just pre draw your doses into insulin syringes and freeze them. Make sure to have some air in the syringe body for the expansion during the freezing process. I personally have never frozen HCG but supposedly it doesn’t hurt it’s potentcey.

Something tells me that Iron will know if freezing HCG in pre drawn syringes is a good idea or not. Hopefully he will comment if any part of my response is leading you astray.


#12

Hey man thanks again for the response. So its actually HUCOG brand (its already reconstituted?) i received it as a vial of 10,000 IU as a 2cc liquid (didnt receive it as a powder). So it is ok to add bacteriostatic water to further dilute it, correct?


#13

I do not see why it would be an issue but I do not know if the water will be ok. The pre mixed stuff is made different than the powder kind. Try searching it, try searching “diluting XXX brand HCG” or “diluting pre mixed, pre constituted, pre suspended HCG.” I don’t know the technical term for the pre mixed HCG, if there is one.

In the future try to get the powder HCG. There is all this hubbub about the premixed HCG. Basically the original form that is powder you can test if it is still potent by using a home pregnancy test. If it comes up as pregnant then HCG is good. Supposedly the pre mixed kind won’t trip a home pregnancy test so people question it. I have had friends use the pre mixed without issue so you should be good. They just make it different so most of us in this world are use to the powder and the years of experience is based off of the powder kind. Really shouldn’t matter other than shelf life.

How big is the vial? Are you even going to have space to dilute it?

If needed maybe you can pull out the concentration at 0.1cc per insulin needle times 20 needles then re inject the 0.1 into the vial to dilute it down with 0.9cc of bacteriostatic water, again I don’t think it will hurt but all of my experience is with the powder kind you intentionally dilute. I have no idea how much space they leave in the premixed vials.

Also NEVER NEVER NEVER shake the solution. When mixing or diluting just gently roll the vial. If you make bubbles that is enough to damage the molecule or chain.

Hopefully someone will look at this thread and comment with experience on using the pre mixed HCG. I really don’t think it would matter but I don’t want you to proceed on my thought process and mess something up.