First Cycle Thoughts

I am planning on starting a cycle up soon (questions at bottom), and I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts, opinions, and suggestions before I get started. I have been reading around this site (cortes’ first cycle thread (very inspiring), and prisoner#22’s test tapering thread among other places) for the last few weeks now, and have picked up bits and pieces to incorporate into my cycle. Well, before I put you all to sleep with my endless rambling, here is what I am planning (drum roll noise):

Week 1-12___Test-E______250mgE3D
Week 1-4____Dbol________40mgED (10mg 4XD)
Week 1-12___A-dex_______0.25mgED

PCT (weeks 13 on up, but starting at 1 for convenience)
Week 1-6____Test-E____100mgEW
Week 1-3____A-dex_____0.25mgEOD
Week 4-6____A-dex_____0.00mg (nova on hand if needed)
Week 7-12___Test-E____80EW,60EW,40EW,50EW,30EW,20EW (mgs)

Priorities: Strength, size

Comments: I am looking forward to experimenting with my cycle once i get into the 8th week. Dependant upon my body’s rxn, I may up the test to (300mgE3D) along with upping the d-bol to 60mg/day… But, as I said, I will wait and see how things go.

Questions:

  1. I know prisoner, in his taper thread, talks about cutting back to 100mg at the end of the cycle because this allows most people to start regaining natural testosterone levels. Now, would it be easier on the body if one were to gradually cut down from 600mg to 100mg (instead of jumping 6 to 1)? I know natural testosterone levels would still be stagnant, but would it benefit in any way? Perhaps going 600mg to 400mg to 100mg or is this just being stupid?
  2. Does icing location before injection help at all? I was thinking more along the lines of numbing the pain (yes, I know i am a big sissy).
  3. In one article I was reading, it mentioned adding b12 to the injection along with vitamin E. Is this something i should neglect for my first cycle?
  4. After my PCT, how long should I wait before attompting second cycle?
  5. I am a big fan of KISS (keep it simple stupid), so I would like to live up to that. On the other hand, I want to be sure I am not neglecting anything. Any other suggestions that you think would help benefit me?

You look good to go man. That cycle served me pretty well. I am thinking now that I should have opted for a stronger AI, which you are doing, so I would say no worries. I can’t answer all of your questions, but I will take a shot at a few.

  1. Don’t worry about icing the injection site. Actually, I imagine that might harden up the muscle and make injection more difficult. I just shoot after a warm shower and, seriously, it is a rare, rare moment that I feel any sort of real pain. Injecting is not nearly as bad as it may seem.

  2. If you do P22’s taper the way you have it set up, you should be able to immediately go back on, as this is considered “off” time. After your last week you are good to go again.

  3. What are your intended diet and training going to look like? How old are you, weight, height, training age, etc and folks can give you better advice here.

Good luck. You’re in the right place to get good advice.

[quote]Jakebambeeno wrote:
I am planning on starting a cycle up soon (questions at bottom), and I wanted to get everyone’s thoughts, opinions, and suggestions before I get started. I have been reading around this site (cortes’ first cycle thread (very inspiring), and prisoner#22’s test tapering thread among other places) for the last few weeks now, and have picked up bits and pieces to incorporate into my cycle. Well, before I put you all to sleep with my endless rambling, here is what I am planning (drum roll noise):

Week 1-12___Test-E______250mgE3D
Week 1-4____Dbol________40mgED (10mg 4XD)
Week 1-12___A-dex_______0.25mgED

PCT (weeks 13 on up, but starting at 1 for convenience)
Week 1-6____Test-E____100mgEW
Week 1-3____A-dex_____0.25mgEOD
Week 4-6____A-dex_____0.00mg (nova on hand if needed)
Week 7-12___Test-E____80EW,60EW,40EW,50EW,30EW,20EW (mgs)

Priorities: Strength, size

Comments: I am looking forward to experimenting with my cycle once i get into the 8th week. Dependant upon my body’s rxn, I may up the test to (300mgE3D) along with upping the d-bol to 60mg/day… But, as I said, I will wait and see how things go.

Questions:

  1. I know prisoner, in his taper thread, talks about cutting back to 100mg at the end of the cycle because this allows most people to start regaining natural testosterone levels. Now, would it be easier on the body if one were to gradually cut down from 600mg to 100mg (instead of jumping 6 to 1)? I know natural testosterone levels would still be stagnant, but would it benefit in any way? Perhaps going 600mg to 400mg to 100mg or is this just being stupid?
  2. Does icing location before injection help at all? I was thinking more along the lines of numbing the pain (yes, I know i am a big sissy).
  3. In one article I was reading, it mentioned adding b12 to the injection along with vitamin E. Is this something i should neglect for my first cycle?
  4. After my PCT, how long should I wait before attompting second cycle?
  5. I am a big fan of KISS (keep it simple stupid), so I would like to live up to that. On the other hand, I want to be sure I am not neglecting anything. Any other suggestions that you think would help benefit me?[/quote]

Wow, that is an excessively long taper. And why are you intending on taking so much Arimidex during the weeks when you’ll only be taking 100mg of Test per week? It’s really unnecessary and will likely be dealing with an estrogenic loopback if you suppress it so much.

But I’m still baffled by the idea of a 12 week taper. If this really is your first cycle, you might be better off just going about it the old fashioned method and doing a regular Nolvadex and/or Clomid PCT for 6-ish weeks. Or at least cut down your taper to something like 100, 100, 100, 85, 70, 55, 40, 25.

Thought by cutting the arimidex dosages in half when I cut the testosterone down would do it… guess not (but what do I know). I also know that I am prone to getting acne if I don’t watch myself (never severe… but I wouldn’t like to have any if possible). After reading some people’s exp with clomid, I have been hesitant to use it. I still like the idea of the taper as it seems to make logic sense. So… here’s what I am thinking for pct…

—PCT—
Weeks 1-3____Test-E____100mgED
Weeks 4-7___Test-E____(taperEW) 80, 60, 40, 20 (mgs)
Adex on hand if needed (if I need it I will take 0.25mgE5D)

Let me know what you guys think about this. In addition, if anyone can help me with questions (1) and (3) in my first post, I would appreciate it. Thanks

[quote]Contrl wrote:
Wow, that is an excessively long taper. And why are you intending on taking so much Arimidex during the weeks when you’ll only be taking 100mg of Test per week? It’s really unnecessary and will likely be dealing with an estrogenic loopback if you suppress it so much.

But I’m still baffled by the idea of a 12 week taper. If this really is your first cycle, you might be better off just going about it the old fashioned method and doing a regular Nolvadex and/or Clomid PCT for 6-ish weeks. Or at least cut down your taper to something like 100, 100, 100, 85, 70, 55, 40, 25.[/quote]

Good question. For my diet, I am going to do carb alteration (what I am presently doing). I will have high carb days before such days as legs and back. During these days, I will keep fat intake to a minimum. On my low carb days, I will up the protein and EFA oils. (I will post this, but I need to write it up again. As for training, I am going to do:

Day 1: Legs/lower back
Day 2: Off day if I feel is needed (if not go to day 3)
Day 3: Chest/biceps
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Back/triceps/traps
Day 6: Off day if needed (if not go to day 1)

Currently I am 5’8" at 190 or so lbs been lifting seriously since I was 20. I will get more in depth later as I am short on time.

[quote]Cortes wrote:
5. What are your intended diet and training going to look like? How old are you, weight, height, training age, etc and folks can give you better advice here.

Good luck. You’re in the right place to get good advice.
[/quote]

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Does OP=operator?

[quote]Jakebambeeno wrote:
Does OP=operator?[/quote]

Original Poster (or Post).

[quote]Jakebambeeno wrote:
Good question. For my diet, I am going to do carb alteration (what I am presently doing). I will have high carb days before such days as legs and back. During these days, I will keep fat intake to a minimum. On my low carb days, I will up the protein and EFA oils. (I will post this, but I need to write it up again. As for training, I am going to do:

Day 1: Legs/lower back
Day 2: Off day if I feel is needed (if not go to day 3)
Day 3: Chest/biceps
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Back/triceps/traps
Day 6: Off day if needed (if not go to day 1)

Currently I am 5’8" at 190 or so lbs been lifting seriously since I was 20. I will get more in depth later as I am short on time.

Cortes wrote:
5. What are your intended diet and training going to look like? How old are you, weight, height, training age, etc and folks can give you better advice here.

Good luck. You’re in the right place to get good advice.
[/quote]

From a quick glance, I would say you need to be working out at least one to two more days a week. Because you will be taking AAS and your recovery will be significantly improved, you need to work out more often to keep stimulating your body to grow. The way you have it set up, unless your sessions are completely Mike Mentzer insane, you are going to be wasting some of your downtime. You can do a helluva lot more while using AAS, don’t waste it.

Waiting to see the diet and, when you have time, a little more detailed breakdown of the workout plan. Remember, the more information you give, the more you’ll get back.

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
I disagree with you Contrl.

Please outline why you think that the OP can use a ‘regular’ PCT with impunity, just because it’s his first time.

Why is it an excessively long taper? Surely the longer and more gradual the stasis and taper, the smoother the transition, no? Your suggested protocol of 100,100, 100, 85, etc doesn’t make much sense to me, sorry. The most important part of the ‘stasis taper PCT’ is (IMO) the stasis, as it allows the body to adapt to physiological levels of androgens once again. 3 weeks is not long enough to effect these adaptations, in my experience.

Of course there is a balance between convenience and optimium physiology, but if the OP is prepared to taper off over a longer period, then more power to him for not being impatient, and wanting the smoothest ride possible.

Of course, he may find (once he’s tried it) that the taper could be shorter :wink:

Bushy[/quote]

It’s not so much impunity as it is simplicity. While I do agree that a taper is a better approach, most first-timers tend to lack the patience or knowledge to pull off a smooth stasis (and gradual decrease) for a taper. Don’t get me wrong… if he’s more than willing to and capable, the taper would definitely be a better approach; and it seems now he meets that criteria judging from his current posts.

I would be inclined to think that three weeks of a 100mg stasis is long enough to commence a gradual 15% decrease. Certainly the stasis period is the most critical, but again with him being new at this, I don’t see his suppression being so severe that he would require what was his original length, also with a 10% decrease seeming to me unnecessarily slow (a certain MD I spoke with said 15% was more realistic).

I do, however, see your point in that I’m being biased in my suggestions; I’ve never felt my recovery requiring so slow/gradual a taper as the OP originally suggested. Perhaps he’s better off prolonging the stasis period his first swing at it; although I’m still stubborn and think he’ll find that a shorter amount of time will suffice in the future. :wink:

I will probably remove day 2 and day 6 for recovery. However, if I am feeling beat up, I will add those in (hopefully this won’t happen) as I feel off days are essential for growth. Also, along with the gym i go to, I have a home door gym that I can do pullups/chinups and rope dips on. I am also fortunate to have a barbell with weight and soon to be squat rack at my apartment. Also, 25lb dumbbells. This should help if I need to train more.

As for my training it will look something like this…
Legs:
Calves rest pause training 5-6 total sets 10-15. Then bw rep out to failure.
Squats (for 1 hour. As many sets/reps till I can’t stand. At least, that is the goal)
Standing EFS hack squats (4 or so sets. Might go high reps… might go low but usually 4 sets)
Rack or stiff leg deadlifts(standing on block)

I usually alternate rack deadlifts with stiff leg deadlifts to give my back a break (esp when I am hitting it hard every 5 days). On rack deadlifts I usually go heavy such as 4x3. Stiff leg DLs on block, i go till the bar hits my toes and usually stick with 315lbs for 3x12-15. Might up this to one more set.
Reverse hypers 4x10-12 w/ weight
Glute hams 4x15

Core exercise (roman chair situps, pull down adbs, reverse abs on decline)
Note: I want to start incorporating more single leg work in such as lunges and Bulgarian split squats. Also may take out stiff leg deadlifts for a time and add in goodmornings.

Chest/biceps:
Barbell bench presses (lots of sets)
Decline flys (4 sets 10-15)
Cable cross overs (3x15)
Preacher curl (lots of sets) wide grip elbows in to narrow grip elbows out
Reverse grip curl
Cable/band curls (4 sets 20+ reps)
Forearms

Back/triceps/traps
Bent over barbell rows (lots of sets)
Pullups/chinups (lots of sets)
Straight arm pull downs or maybe dumbbell pull over
Cable rows
Face pulls
Trap bar shrugs (5 sets
12-15 reps)
Triceps dips (lots of sets)
Decline hammer grip triceps extensions
Triceps push downs band or cable (4 sets high reps 20+)

Shoulders:
Dumbbell military seated (lots of sets)
Rear DB raise bent over
Hanging lateral dumbbell raise
Band pull aparts

[quote]Cortes wrote:
From a quick glance, I would say you need to be working out at least one to two more days a week. Because you will be taking AAS and your recovery will be significantly improved, you need to work out more often to keep stimulating your body to grow. The way you have it set up, unless your sessions are completely Mike Mentzer insane, you are going to be wasting some of your downtime. You can do a helluva lot more while using AAS, don’t waste it.

Waiting to see the diet and, when you have time, a little more detailed breakdown of the workout plan. Remember, the more information you give, the more you’ll get back.
[/quote]

[quote]Jakebambeeno wrote:
Day 1: Legs/lower back/core
Day 2: Off day if I feel is needed (if not go to day 3)
Day 3: Chest/biceps
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Back/triceps/traps
Day 6: Off day if needed (if not go to day 1)
[/quote]

Typo
should be:
Day 1: Legs/lower back
Day 2: Off day if I feel is needed (if not go to day 3)
Day 3: Chest/biceps
Day 4: Off
Day 5: Back/triceps/traps
Day 6: Shoulders
Day 7: Off day if needed (if not go to day 1)

I will post diet later. Still have to write it up again.

Here is a current high carb day (I am probably going to need to bump up the carbs a lot more in addition to the protein):
High carb day
Meal 1:
1 cup oatmeal
2 raw egg whites
Lots of cinnamon

Meal 2:
Pre workout: 60g wazy maize, 30g egg white powder, 10g bcaa 5g L-Arginine 3g Taurine

During workout: 40g waxy maize, 10g bcaa, 5g leucine, 5g hydro whey 5g L-Arginine 3g Taurine

Post workout: 75g waxy maize, 10g bcaa, 5g leucine, 45g egg white powder 5g L-Arginine 3g Taurine

Meal 3 (post workout 45minutes later):
4.5oz turkey breast (~30g protein)
80g carbs instant potato (1 and 3/4 cup)

Meal 4:
5.0oz buffalo (~30g protein)
1 and little less than 1/4 cup brown rice (little less than 1/2 cup cooked)(60g carbs)
6oz veggies

Meal 5:
5.7oz turkey breast (~40g protein)
Little bit more than 3/4 cup brown rice (~40g carbs)
6oz veggies

Meal 6:
5.0oz buffalo (~30g protein)
1 and little less than 1/4 cup brown rice (little less than 1/2 cup cooked)(60g carbs)
6oz Veggies

Meal 7:
5oz chicken breast (~30g protein)
1 and little less than 1/4 cup brown rice (little less than 1/2 cup cooked)(60g carbs)
6oz Veggies

Meal 8:
35g Gamma protein isolate
10g healthy fat

High fat day will follow

High fat/protein day:
Meal 1:
6 egg whites (25g P)
Whole egg or omega egg: (7g P, 6g F)
(1/2 cup) blueberries (0.5g P, 5.25g C)
(little less than 1/2 cup) oatmeal
16g Almond butter (3g P, 2.25g C, 6g F)

7 subsequent meals w/:
7.3oz turkey breast or chicken breast or 8.0oz buffalo
3/4 cup brown rice
6oz veggies
20g healthy fat

It’s never been clear to me why it’s so common for planned first cycles to be non-conservative with regard to length, but shy on the dosages.

I would rather see someone using more substantial dosage for shorter time (whether that is 8 weeks or yet less) than operate at lower benefit, but still absolutely 100% as much suppression, for a longer time.

Another factor is training. Twelve weeks really cannot sustain the same intensity, using the word loosely, as can say eight weeks.

Also, what the practical benefit is – as opposed to a theoretical one – of being an intermediate state of neither gaining rapidly because of dose being too low, but also being suppressed (100 mg/week is typically about 50% suppressive and 200 mg/week about 75-100% suppressive) and therefore still having reduced LH; as compared to gaining as rapidly as possible while gaining thanks to effective dose, then recovering as promptly as possible due to non-suppressive protocol and PCT, preferably with HCG having been used during the cycle or at least towards the end.

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
It’s never been clear to me why it’s so common for planned first cycles to be non-conservative with regard to length, but shy on the dosages.

I would rather see someone using more substantial dosage for shorter time (whether that is 8 weeks or yet less) than operate at lower benefit, but still absolutely 100% as much suppression, for a longer time.

Another factor is training. Twelve weeks really cannot sustain the same intensity, using the word loosely, as can say eight weeks.

Also, what the practical benefit is – as opposed to a theoretical one – of being an intermediate state of neither gaining rapidly because of dose being too low, but also being suppressed (100 mg/week is typically about 50% suppressive and 200 mg/week about 75-100% suppressive) and therefore still having reduced LH; as compared to gaining as rapidly as possible while gaining thanks to effective dose, then recovering as promptly as possible due to non-suppressive protocol and PCT, preferably with HCG having been used during the cycle or at least towards the end.[/quote]

Bill, I would be interested in hearing what you feel would be a good first cycle for someone who was “ready” for one (considering a reasonable age, training age, size, diet and workout intensity).

Moving into the ninth week of my own 1st cycle, I can certainly see much reduced gains at the 7th to 9th weeks compared to the 3rd to 5th. Another question I have is whether the extra month of sustaining gains or just improving very slowly wouldn’t serve to “train” the body into holding the muscle more readily than if the cycle was cut short and PCT were started at the end of the 8th week. In other words, would one not be likely to keep more if he had held more for longer?

I don’t think so and haven’t seen any evidence of it.

At this point, satellite cells have either fused with mature muscle cells adding nuclei to them in a given amount, or this has not happened; the amount of skeletal protein has increased by a given amount, or this has not happened; etc. If it has happened then long term “muscle memory” does not seem improved by having an extra week, or any period of time, of holding steady on the juice.

I can see where your idea has intuitive appeal but it doesn’t seem to happen. At least not in time frames as short as this.

I think it does happen though that holding a given muscle size for truly extended periods of time, on the order of a year or more, makes it easier to retain as a result of the body’s ability to reset setpoint of bodyweight, with this reset being a very slow thing.

But if a given amount of muscle is gained in a cycle, having held off post-cycle losses (which are mostly glycogen and water anyway) for a matter of extra weeks doesn’t seem to make a difference longterm.

If anything another factor is that the sooner off, then – for any sort of equal comparison whether it is of health or amount of steroids used – then the sooner back on again, enabling further gains sooner and so long term this can be faster.

As to dosage, while of course it’s a simplification as anabolics have some differences in potencies, a total usage (all androgens combined) of a gram per week is an entirely reasonable dose and not excessive at all. It is also very helpful to frontload the initial dosing so blood levels quickly reach the steady-state level. This is done simply enough: if the half-life is X days, on day 1 take X days’ worth in addition to the regular dose.

Much of the reason for many having little gains in early weeks is due to, in the first place, having a relatively modest total dose such as only 500 mg/week, and then not frontloading, which results in the effective dose being at first as if only 250 mg/week were being taken, only gradually ramping up to blood levels commensurate with steady state of 500 mg/week. So the result is very little progress the first two or three weeks, yet still 100% or near-100% suppression.

Based upon what you are saying, would adding 300-400mg of deca be such a bad idea?

Thoughts?