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First Test Only Cycle. Critique?


Hey guys. So this is my first post, I’ve lurked for years but finally joined today. I’m going to do my first ever cycle and just want to make sure I’m doing things correctly.

38 years old
15 years lifting and exercise experience
5’11" and 170 lbs
10% body fat
Diet is very clean and on point

Goal with cycle: Not to gain mass necessarily (though a little would be fine), but to support my recovery and gain strength. My training is calisthenics/gymnastics, I can do several reps of handstand push-ups, perfect front levers, full front planches, etc. My goal is to perform more advanced moves but progress has been slow for the last year. I want to use a cycle to support a higher volume of training at greater intensity and hopefully break through my plateau.

Planned cycle:

Weeks 1-10:
Test e @ 250mg 2x/wk (mon and thurs)
AI (either adex .25mg, or aromasin 12.5mg) EOD for all 10 weeks

PCT starting at week 13:
Nolva 40/40/20/20
Clomid 100/100/50/50

From what I’ve read, this seems to be a pretty standard cycle and PCT. I do have a few questions though:

  1. Regarding the AI – is there a preference between adex and aromasin? I have both available to me. I’ve read somewhere that aromasin is better when Nolva is being used in PCT, but I don’t know if that’s true).
  2. Also regarding AI – my research tells me to go with a low dose EOD and adjust as needed, but I know other people don’t use the AI during cycle at all, they just keep it on-hand in case of gyno. Would you suggest using it throughout? Or is it better to just keep it on-hand?
  3. Regarding PCT – I’m a little confused about Clomid dosing. I keep seeing 40/40/20/20 for Nolva, but the Clomid recommendations vary a lot. I’ve also read that SERM dosages should be lowered if taking both together. So should I cut down on the amounts that I have planned?
  4. Last question: HCG – in your opinion,is it better/safer to include HCG? I’ve read that it should ideally be used during the last few weeks of the cycle and during the 2 weeks before PCT. So if I include HCG I’d probably use it weeks 8-12. Is this recommended and worth doing?

Looking forward to some advice. Thanks everyone!

  1. My doc uses adex. A lot of them do. I’m sure there’s a reason. I don’t know why, but that’s what seems to be more popular amongst endos.
  2. Half life is ~3 days, so dosing it twice a week should be fine.
  3. Skip the Clomid. Asymmetric risk. Nolva alone is sufficient for almost everyone and the side effect profile is much more tolerable.
  4. I’m an HCG evangelist, so don’t take my word for it. But I use it during trt because I would like to have another kid some day and I like the idea of my balls still working a little bit. But I’ve heard sound arguments for why it’s not necessary. So it comes down to personal preference. For you, on a 10 week cycle, it isn’t going to hurt, it’s cheap, and it could give you some benefits. So I say use it. But again, I’m an evangelist, so don’t take my word alone.


Awesome. Thank you for the quick reply and clear advice, iron!

1&2 – Okay, I’ll go with adex and take it twice per week during the 10 week cycle. (Unless someone else chimes in with a good reason that I should do aromasin instead)

3 – Perfect. I’m more than happy to skip the Clomid. If Nolva only for PCT is safe and effective then that works for me.

4 – Again, perfect. I was actually hoping that you guys would advise adding HCG. If it’ll help me recover faster and make the cycle safer then I’m all for it.

So the only thing left for me to figure out is my HCG protocol. This is the compound I’m least familiar with. How many weeks of my test e cycle should HCG overlap with, and at what dose? I was planning to run HCG for 4 weeks… from weeks 9-12 (test e ends after week 10 and PCT starts at week 13). Is this reasonable, or should I begin the HCG earlier in the cycle?


I dont use HCG myself but I’m pretty sure it needs to be reconstituted with BAC water. Dont forget this little detail. Some places sell the HCG with the water and some dont. Just an FYI.

Plus it will have to be refrigerated and has a pretty short shelf life once reconstituted. You will also need insulin pins


Piggybacking on what Stud said, make sure you get bacteriostatic water, insulin pins, and you’ll need one of your larger syringe barrels to recon the HCg. It’s easy and I’ll wake you through it once you’ve got it in front of you.

Take 250iu twice a week. That should be more than enough.


Perfect. Thanks Stud and Iron, that’s everything I needed to know.

My cycle won’t start until the end of next month, I was just getting everything in line ahead of time. I’ll do my labs later this month for a baseline before starting.

Iron, I’ll be sure to message you for instructions on reconstituting the HCG when the time comes. Thanks again!


From what I understand, Adex is much more popular for one simple obvious reason… cost.

Plenty of responses out there on google, but aromasin is considered to be superior as it is a “suicidal” AI vs adex which can cause and estrogen rebound if stopped abruptly.My understanding of this is pretty limited, so please do your research rather than taking my word for it.


Thank you for that, tb40.

I had read somewhere that aromasin was considered the better choice when Nolva was the intended PCT (which it will be, in my case). Unfortunately I can’t find the source of that information.

I have another 6+ weeks before my cycle begins though, so I’ll continue researching until then!


google “Adex vs aromasin” and you will get lots of good discussion. I like to use the advanced search tools to limit the search to the last two years, as schools of thought on steroid knowledge change over time.

or check out this thread: