T Nation

First Cycle Planning, Advice Appreciated


So Iâ??m planning my first cycle to begin in a year or so. Iâ??m in no hurry to begin until every part of my plan is lined up to a T. Iâ??m 23 years old and have been training for about 8 years, initially lifting for athletics in highschool and going on to powerlift in college. Having graduated this past year, Iâ??m simply back to a strength training routine. Iâ??m not working up near 1RMs very often, as Iâ??ve been diagnosed with genetically degenerated L4/L5, L5/S1, and SI Joint-related sciatica.

To reflect this, I have cut my lower body lifts to 50%, capping AMRAPs at 20. Iâ??ve had great success with Jim Wendlerâ??s 5/3/1 program, and plan to continue its use throughout the cycle. Strength is my primary goal, with hypertrophy as an added benefit. Iâ??ve bulked and cut multiple times, coming down as low as 158lbs, low BF (caliper tested 6%, multiple trainers) and getting up to 190 @17% BF, currently 183 @12% BF. This cycle will be a dirty bulk, but my Celiac gut and gluten-free diet keeps me on the cleaner side, especially limiting my simple carbs.

Current stats are:
183lbs @12% BF
Bench: 250x9
OHP: 150x12
Squat: 200x20
Deadlift: 235x20

My plan is to run an 9 week cycle of Test E @ 500mg/wk. From my research, I would prefer to run HCG as well to keep baseline test levels and minimize the desensitizing of Leydig cells.
I particularly would like to know if this PCT protocol is appropriate given the HCG dosing, as well as more opinions of HCG dosing, as there seem to be some varied opinions, especially with bothering to use HCG on a smaller cycle like this.

Iâ??ve done a good deal of reading, but would also like further opinions on Arimidex vs. Aromasin, my thoughts being that an estrogen rebound is less likely if Iâ??m going to spot fix with Aromasin. Would anybody recommend 12.5mg Aromasin ED instead of waiting for sides? Also, is there sense in running Clomid at 100/100/50/50 alongside my Nolva?
I also plan to run bloods prior to and after cycle, and possibly during.

W 1-9 Testosterone Enanthate, 250mg 2xWk
W 3-9 HCG, 350iu 2xWk
W 12-15 Nolvadex (40/40/20/20)
On hand: Aromasin

Any and all advice appreciated!


What is this leg day you speak of?!?!?


Nevermind looks like you dont do legs with a dead and squat like that. My bad.


Dude, are you sure you want to get on gear yet? No offense but your numbers are not that impressive. I mean, you can probably squat as much as you bench…

I benched 365 and pulled 655 before I touched anything, and even then I was a little apprehensive to start using.

But, you probably wont listen to me so…

I hope some of the vets chime in on this, but I’d run the HCG from day 1,ending 3 days before you start the nolva. Although, this is a very mild cycle, so I’m not really sure if one would even need that much HCG.

DO NOT run clomid with nolva, there is no point. And yes, make sure you use the aromasin, don’t just wait for sides to happen. Everyone is different, but you’d probably be good with 12.5mg every other day.


Thanks so much for the input guys. I do not intend to start this cycle for at least another year (if not longer), so I do understand your feelings on my numbers. This is a distance race and not a sprint for me, so I am simply trying to gather more information right now.

Prior to the MRI showing my degenerated discs, I was working lower reps on my lower body lifts, my deads sitting at 400x4, and my squats sitting at 320x5 - which I realize are not competitive numbers. Following my injury, I was forced to take nearly 10 months off of lower body lifts, which was hard to cope with. Every leg day I’m swallowing my pride, as I restarted my 5/3/1 estimating my lower body lifts at 50% their totals. From what I’ve gathered, my current slow progress though lower body lifts should allow connective tissues much greater adaptation. I should note that all those lower body lifts are capped at 20 reps - if they were true AMRAPS, they would fall into the 30-40+ rep range, but I’m limiting training intensity here as a protective measure and to mitigate the pressure that high inflammation places on my spinal cord. Is there an alternative route for lower body training might you suggest, given the circumstances?

I’ll plan to run aromasin thoughout given your suggestion. What dosage of HCG might be more appropriate for such a light cycle? Thank you for your insight on this!
I sincerely appreciate the help!


I would drop the high rep deadlifts. Too much from breakdown as you fatigue, so even with the light weights you’re risking injury.

Stick to the high rep squats; they’ll get you where you want to go. Resist the temptation to get crazy adding weight to the bar on cycle!

Your cycle looks good. You can run the clomid along with the nolva if you want.

GET AN AI. Use adex at .5mg eod. Trust me.


Yogi. I hear what your saying with the deads. Right now they’re so light that form isn’t concerned, but as I add weight form will find its breaking point, so I will follow your suggestions and lower my working set volume.

Is there a particular reason that you suggest adex over aromasin for an AI? I leaned towards aromasin due to avoid an accidental estro rebound, but adex is far more recommend it seems.

It’s going to be hard to resist rocketing up my lower body lifts haha, especially after over a year of lifting them super light. Patience is a virtue.


adex is just easier. Half a pill eod gives you .5mg eod. Aromasin probably is better but if you taper down your adex between your last pin and your PCT you’ll be fine.