T Nation

First Cycle Your Best?



I've considered AAS for quite a while now but have only recently decided to take the plunge.

I am 5'8" and weigh 220.
in addition to working out, I also box and do BJJ.
Stats are: Bench(375), Squat(425-crap I know), deadlift (450x7-unsure of 1RM)

However, while I'm not obese my bodyfat is quite high (dont ask me the % but I have love handles). This is probably due to the fact that I have consistently heavily bulked for about 1.5 years. (5-6000 cals per day). I look pretty big in clothes but when I'm "nekkid" I dont look great.

I have tried dieting (healthily, following Berardi's guidelines), and eat clean (dont ask me to detail it in this post, please just take my word for it). I took appropriate supplementation during dieting (creatine, BCAA'a etc) While I did get leaner, I also lost fairly large amounts of strength during the process. This resulted in me cutting my dieting phase short as I find losses in strength incredibly hard to deal with mentally.

Before you guys say that I whould be able to get down to 8-10% naturally without any muscle/strength losses, I have tried it several times and I ALWAYS lose unacceptable levels of muscle & strength. (say, 40Ibs on each lift - which I find unacceptable)

My question is to the vets out there. I have read differing opinions on whether your first cycle will be your best ever. Some say the first cycle should always be a bulker for the reason that you will get better strength/size/power gains from your first cycle than from any subsequent cycle.

I ask because before I embark on a good cycle I would really like to lose some fat (a good bit of fat!!) For this, I have planned strict dieting for 4-6 weeks(ie. velocity, or get shredded diet), to lose 20(+) pounds. However, I am concerned that the dieting process will reulst in unacceptable strength losses as it has done in the past. I would therefore really like to add in var at 30-40mg per day during the dieting to avoid the losses in strength and muscle which will inevitably come if I do not use it.I think var will be sufficient to offset strength/muscle loss since I have never used AAS before. I wish to get down to maybe 8-10% before I begin a proper bulking cycle. Proper PCT will, of course, follow the var cycle.

I would really like to add great strength/power and some reasonable (not massive) size gains for my boxing and BJJ, but I want to be fairly lean before I do it.
My concern is that, making my first cycle a cutting one intead of a bulker may be "sabotaging" my reults for when I do a bulker.

So, what do you guys think? Is your first cycle really your best and do you think me using a mild cutting cycle of Var will lessen the results in strength/size/power I may get in my second cycle, which will be a bulker?

thanks a million guys, all advice is welcome. (sorry this was so long!!)


with your goals in mind, i'd probably go with prop 150 mg EOD, Var 40 mg ED for 6-8 weeks. IMO, a true "cutter" needs to be longer, but you'll do fine as long as you stay strict with the diet, cardio, etc.

i think the "first cycle is best" notion comes from the fact that you have fresh receptors.....i highly doubt anyone considers their first cycle to be their "best" or most productive. the learning curve with AAS application pretty much dictates that....the more experience you have, the more effective/productive your cycles should become.

good luck


While I'm not going to discourage you from using steroids, I will give you some things to think about.

First, you said when you diet and lose weight you lost unacceptable amounts of muscle (around 40 lbs per lift.)
Judging by that, you're judging muscle loss by strength loss. They're different.

When you dieted, did you ever use anything like HOT-ROX? HRX will help you lose fat and keep LBM... plus, it has Carbolin 19 in it, which has the effect of anavar.


Yeah I have used all sort of fat burners, including HRX. While I found it did aid somewhat in the dieting process, it didnt change the fact that I was getting much weaker.

As regards judging muscle loss by strength loss, I probably didnt make myself entirely clear. I noticed a drop in strength but also muscle. I know this from the fact that areas where I carry very little fat (such as shoulders and arms) were getting smaller but certainly looked no leaner. This was more than merely a carb depletion/dehydration effect also. My measurments simply indicated that although I was losing fat, I was losing too much muscle for comfort.
I appreciate your point that loss in strength and muscle aren't the same, I also think they are linked and you can, to some extent, judge muscle loss by strength loss.

Thanks for your comments anyway bro, I appreciate it.

To Juice20: Its not really a "true cutter" that I'm after, just a way to get down to reasonable levels of bodyfat (8-10%, not a competiton 4%) without losing a large amount of strength in the process. For this reason, I dont wanna commit myself to a full blown cutter as I see it as unneccesary and so, I chose var. I know I can lose the fat through dieting, I just need to preseve the strength and muscle (I see a var cycle as sufficient for this) The reason I see Var as a good choice is its low shutdown and good rep strengthwise. A 4 week var cycle would not be a big commitment and would be quite easy to bounce back from.

I am aware of the receptor theory, although I'm also aware that some disagree wit it. However, lets suppose that is is true:
would it be a better idea to "save" my receptors for a "real" bulker cycle and not waste them on such a mild cycle?
Do you think doing a var cycle first would negatively impact on my second cycle due to the fact that I no longer have fresh receptors?