T Nation

First Cycle, Seeking Advice

Hi everyone, long time lurker first time poster.

First, I’d like to thank the regular posters that contribute with their experience and knowledge as well as patience to help prevent all the newbs such as myself in doing stupid, potentially harmful things to our bodies. Special shout-out goes to @iron_yuppie @blshaw @unreal24278 @lordgains @mnben87 , and to all those i forgot, my apologies.

After over 10 years of training on and off (80% on, 20% off if I had to guess, usually due to life), mostly for strength (heavy compound lifts), I decided it could be time for my first cycle.


35 years old
6’2 (190 cm)
210 lb (95kg)

Recent bloods:

TSH 1,75 mIU/L
FT3 5,6 pmol/L
FT4 14 pmol/L

SHBG 55,4 nmol/L
FSH 4,8 IU/L
LH 8,0 IU/L
Prolactin 203 mIU/L
E2 13 pg/ml

Total test 7,61 ng/ml
Free rest 1,61% (ref: 1,53 -2,88)

Lifts (for a set of 5):

Deadlift 415lb
Squat 345lb
Bench 245lb
Press 160lb

From most of what I read on this board, I plan to keep this cycle as simple as possible:

Week 1-10 Test C at 500 mg a week split into two doses Mon/Thur

Week 8-13 20 mg (possibly 30 mg) of Turinabol - (ideally this would be Anavar but can’t seem to acquire any atm and Tbol seemed like the next best relatively mild oral)

Nolva 40 mg week 14 -16
Nolva 20mg week 16-18

Alternatively, Nolva 20mg week 14-20


  1. What do you think about the cycle in general and about adding Tbol as a backload while easing into PCT (sort of got this idea from one of iron_yuppie’s posts)?

  2. I have the possibility of extending the test for 12 weeks instead of 10. Should I? Will I see ‘significant’ gains in those two extra weeks or is it overkill?

  3. What is your stance on adding 10 mg of Nolva eod while on cycle, say starting from week 2, as a counter to any possible gyno?

I have got an AI at hand, both arimadex and aromasin just in case.

  1. Nolva 40/40/20/20 or 20/20/20/20/20/20

Thank you to all those that contribute.

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Kudos to laying this out correctly. I like the idea as I’m all for bridging the PCT if possible.

I would do the 12 weeks if you can. I usually stall out by week 10 but its your first cycle so you may benefit plus I’m a strong believer that the longer you hold the new muscles the better it will ‘stick’.

I’m on the fence about this. I DO usually have problems on 500mg myself. I’m still in the wait and add later if needed camp. I also see no harm in a low dose such as 10mg ED or even EOD.

While your FSH/LH are fine your FT is pretty low due to the SHBG and your body while being signaled is not really calling for more. I will warn you that I feel you have a strong chance of ending up on TRT after this cycle. Make sure you’re ok with that.

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I think it is well laid out. I agree with 12 weeks, and don’t think tbol will be an issue. What are your reference ranges for LH and FSH (they don’t seem low to me, but it is hard to tell). Are you done with having kids? Is the outcome of TRT an acceptable thing, because at 35 it is a possibility.

I think either PCT is good. I don’t PCT since I’m on trt, but would probably go with 6 weeks at 20.

It looks good and I’ll echo what others are saying, go 12 weeks. Otherwise this is well researched and you sound ready.

I like it! You did this the way it should be done. Your level of strength and other stats also sound good. I think you are ready!

Still, be aware of the consequences to CV and to your nuts. I say this, because you seem to be someone who will want to understand. With other people it’s lost anyway.

I think running nolva beforehand is overkill as it will get rid of freshly formed E2 induced gyno. So don’t just eat pills in case.

I’d also go with this one.

Very good idea.

Good luck and sick gainz my friend

I’m aware of the possibility of being on trt after this cycle. I was considering visiting a few endocrinologists to see if they would put me on trt but I know I would get the standard “you’re within range” response. I’m in Europe and no trt clinic nearby. I was considering this since I’ve been feeling rather shitty for well over a year and after having my bloods done recently just confirmed my suspicion. Although total T is within range, my free T is lacking and you rightly pointed out SHBG to be the likely culprit.

Is there anyway to lower one’s SHBG? I googled but couldn’t find anything meaningful. Also, will having a relatively high SHBG hinder my T cycle?

Yeah you’re screwed then. If you were in the USA they would dispense no problem.

Yes, anabolics will do it. Higher test as well as the oral will drive it down a bit. There are other supplements like boron people claim work. For me mine dropped significantly on Var.

References for:
LH 1,7 - 8,6
FSH 1,5-12,4

The wife and I agreed we’re done with kids and yes, trt is an acceptable, most probably even a desirable outcome for me if it entails a higher quality of life.
I’m also leaning towards six weeks of 20mg nolva.

Noted, 12 weeks it is. Hopefully the Tbol gives me the needed push if I start stalling.

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I’m aware the nuts will likely shrivel to the size of a peanut but I’m assuming they’ll rebound once done with PCT. I also don’t have the intention to do more than what I think is needed or desirable and will certainly take care of my CV. Diet will be clean and healthy.

I thought the whole point was to take Nolva to get rid of the induced gyno? I’m missing something.

I’ll pray to you Lordgains to add at least 50lb to my bench :smiley:

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An old guy from a completely different camp. I started AAS in my early 20’s and competed through age 48. Had to stop due to an autoimmune disease not related to AAS use. I started AAS with 8 week cycles and 4 to 6 weeks totally off and no PCT until my 30’s. And that was because became aware of HCG. At 60 I started TRT due to low T (270 ng/dL). I am 72 now. That is 12 years of pinning every 5 days and it is getting “old”.

All that said, I would recommend starting similar as I did with an 8 week cycle of an anabolic that would equate to 15mg of D-bol. Skip the testosterone the first year. Always take 4 weeks off the last oral and/or a week after the last oil based injection. That will give you 4 cycles in the first year with little need for PCT. You might increase the anabolic dosage 25% each subsequent cycle.

I was always in this for the long haul. Every cycle was taken with this in mind.

I appreciate the insight of someone as experienced as yourself. I can imagine how pinning must be a grind. But what’s the alternative - dealing with all of the physical and mental symptoms of low testosterone.

About your cycle - if I were to do an 8 week cycle of 15mg dbol or something that would equate it (maybe 30-50 mg of Anavar), wouldn’t that shut down my natural test production just like 500mg of test would? As I understand it, once you’re shutdown, you’re shutdown. Is it possible to be ‘partially’ shut down? And wouldn’t I still need to do PCT even after 15 mg of d-bol if I’m to effectively restart my hormone production?

Just to ensure that I’m understanding this correctly, are you recommending a cycle with no test?

Seems he’s saying run orals year round taking 4 week breaks between?

That is where I would start. So, it’s yes.

I am saying off every AAS for 4 to 6 weeks. Orals have a short half-life. Oil based injectables tend to have a longer half-life. So you must stop the oil injectables earlier than the orals to better assure a true 4 weeks off everything.

I can only speak from my experiences. We never knew to test for low-T. I never experienced a feel that I would associate with low-T, but that’s just me and those also using in the gym. I never had a blood test for low-T until I was 60. And there seemed to be plenty of the guys using chasing women.

Though I have no science behind this, but would think that the feedback system doesn’t operate like a light switch.

In your post you mentioned skipping injectables. I took it as run orals only year round taking 4 weeks off between cycles.

Did my previous reply clear that up?
When I said “skip” the testosterone I should have said don’t take any testosterone (injections) the first year. See what your benefit is for your first cycle. As you use AAS’s it seems as though it takes higher dosage to get the same effect, or some cases, any effect at all.

When another plateau occurs, it’s good to know you can increase the dosage.

We posted at the same exact time so I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t say it clears it up but that’s ok :slight_smile:

I was more curious as 99% of users seem to recommend a test base to any oral. I know there are certain “maybe’s” with certain drugs (dbol), but generally it seems oral = add Atleast enough test to replace your OEM test lol