T Nation

Help a Grappler: Minimum Protocol Needed to Achieve My Goals?

Hi All,

Good to be back on the forum.

I am a grappler and achieving a specific weight is important. Weigh-ins are 5 min before the match so dehydrating then replenishing isn’t possible.

I am considering adding in the minimum amount of goodies needed to achieve my goals as I am concerned about my longterm health. Hair loss is also a consideration as I had a hair transplant but I understand some loss is to be expected.

Grappling and lifting don’t go well together and I made the choice to prioritise grappling, so I normally lift 2 to 3 times a week after grappling, focusing on the key compound lifts with accessory exercises after. My lifts have suffered as a result but that was to be expected as my body at present candle handle more training (feel exhausted at the end of the week before my rest on the weekend). I could add some cardio on the weekends.

Regular Training Regime:
5 days a week - Grappling
2 to 3 days a week post grappling- Lifting

During my 4 week vacation, ending in a few days, I was wanting to cut weight. I have lifted before grappling during this vacation period and am very surprised how my strength is coming back. My intention was to cut 10lbs in these 4 weeks, but I have only dropped 4lbs while adding over 20lbs a week to my squat and deadlift and 5lbs a week on my upper body lifts. Muscle memory? This reminded me of the type of strength gains I had during my one and only blast that was 1.5 years ago.

I now have only 4 weeks left (+1 week buffer) to achieve my short term goal of 202lbs and if that is unrealistic or will zap my endurance at competition then I can just work towards the higher weight class of 215lbs. Being in the lower weight bracket would be awesome as I am a bit tubby at the moment.

Please assume Pharma everything is available.

Goals:
Body Comp:
Short Term 92kg (202lbs) at 11% BF
Medium/Long Term 98.5kg (215lbs) at 11% BF

Current Strength & Physique:
98kg (215lbs) at 17% BF at 6ft tall

Lifts:
Bench:
225lbsx12 (don’t go heavy due to shoulder issue)

Overhead Press:
154lbsx8

Deadlift:
405lbsx8

Squat:
315x6

Long Standing TRT Protocol:
12.5mg / 0.1ml Testosterone Cypionate daily via subcutaneous injection (87.5mg a week)

110iu / 0.11ml HCG daily via subcutaneous injection

6.25mg Exemestane every 4 days (quarter tablet, take on empty stomach)

Current Bloods:
Please see attached screenshot.
Total Test 850ng/dL
Free Test 19ng/dL

Questions:

  1. Is my short term goal achievable in 4 weeks or could I achieve my medium/long term goal in 4 weeks?

  2. What compounds and dosage would you suggest in addition to my TRT to achieve my goals?

  3. If this time frame is just not realistic then what would be considered realistic?

Thank you all for the help
Please Note: I have 1 week buffer so 4 weeks +1. An endurance boost or the ability to train more is also a big plus.

This doesn’t add up. 17% BF is not “tubby”. Post a faceless pic for evaluation as most are not honest with their current condition.

Correct. You are not going to drop 6% BF in a month while maintaining same weight. Just think about it for a moment. That would require ~12lbs pure fat only loss while replacing the same with lean tissue.

I’d drop this, your low e2 could be holding back your fat loss.

I wouldn’t take anything known to increase water retention close to your comp

I’m guessing endurance is more important than overall strength?

@blshaw

Please let me point out a couple things.

  1. I used to be over 300lbs so I have some loose skin, especially on my torso. This makes guessing my BF% aittle tricky. My smart scale says 16.6% but maybe that’s off. This were my inbody scan results back in May 2021 when I was 106kg (233lbs) and 22.7% BF. This is 17.5lbs more than I am today which I hoped was mostly fat. The target weight of the inbody results said 96kg which I am not too far from. Maybe I lost lots of muscle? My strength is inline with what it was back in May.

  1. I figured achieving my goals of being the same weight at a much lower BF% was not realistic in the short term. Is dropping to 92kg at around 11% to 12% achievable in 4 weeks without losing much muscle or strength?

Here are some pics with no pump and having not lifted in 4 days. I know my physique isn’t great for how long I have trained and my loose skin doesn’t help.



Congrats on the huge weight loss from 300lbs. You’re prob not far off from your guesstimate although I’d say you are erring a little to the low side of where you are. So you have some muscle for sure but still need to cut more. IMO go on a 12-16 week cut tracking calories and macros. Shave off another 15 lbs and then run your cycle with the idea of maintaining body composition but cycling for overall growth.

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Thanks for chiming in @swoops39

Strength is important for grappling but so is endurance. I have extended my exemestabe by a day since my blood work under the advice of my doc. He too said it was a little low and was likely due to my bodyfat decreasing since I last saw him in May.

Thanks for the advice @blshaw. Here is a pic of me during my first and only blast. I was 220lbs and not sure on bf%. Maybe 14 or 15%?

  1. Would you recommend anything during cutting to minimise muscle loss and increase fat loss or nothing really worth it if long term health is a major considerstion? Clen etc seems to have heart implications especially if doing activities strenuous on the heart like grappling.

  2. What is the most aggressive amount of weight loss per week that doesn’t entail losing huge amounts of muscle? 3lbs?

  3. Any advice for the lean bulking cycle? Would doubling my dose by adding an extra 100mg test a week do much?

Thanks again

Yes. Cutting slowly as in 1-1.5lbs per week is what competitors do. That’s why I recommended 12-16 weeks. If you try to jamb it in faster you are going to lose more muscle. You could also consider bumping your TRT a bit to help preserve muscle without going full on cycle. Say 20-25% or something. You’re already at the high end of normal for a lowish TRT dose from what labs you shared.

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?? Yes it is. 17% is fluffy, by fitness standards 17%=/= tubby.

This is why I don’t do ‘blasts’… you lose too much

Granted you’ve actually done a really good job here. The main difference is that you’re at a higher bf% than you were during blast.

Minus the accentuated traps and shoulders, if you were leaner and you snapped a pic i probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference.

What did you take on blast?

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From personal experience (I don’t do high t anymore but) it makes a waaayyy bigger difference than you’d think.

For me… the difference between 100-200mg test/wk is substantial. Hell… the difference from 100-150mg is fairly obvious.

yes, but from my experience, difference from 200 to 300 is no longer noticable too much.

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agreed

100-200 is far more substantial than 200-300

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i believe 100 to 200 puts you over the normal range… anything after that is not such a big whoop anymore.
i dont really feel much difference between, lets say 300 and 750… there probably is… its just that i dont see or feel it.
thats why i am playing around with mild blasts that could go on for a while…
now im on 300 test and 100npp… bp is the same as on cruise, cholesterol is also the same as on cruise. will probably do this for a year at least, haha.

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And what does your schnoobadoodle have to say about this?

Does nandrolone affect your sex drive?

Thanks @unreal24278 @hankthetank89 @swoops39 and @blshaw for all the help.

My blast was 500 test and 8 weeks of Anavar to finish. I think I could have achieved the same with much less to be honest, but maybe not.

I am not sure if my recent strength gains were muscle memory from my blast 1.5 years ago, but the last few weeks felt like when I was blasting and to my great surprise this was without a caloric surplus, just very nutrient dense meals (real food and lots of fruit and veggies) and lifting before grappling vs after.

For ease of reference:
Current Protocol:
12.5mg / 0.1ml Testosterone Cypionate daily via subcutaneous injection (87.5mg a week)

110iu / 0.11ml HCG daily via subcutaneous injection

6.25mg Exemestane every 4 days (quarter tablet, take on empty stomach)

Bloods:
Total Test 850ng/dL
Free Test 19ng/dL

Questions Please
1) Duration of small blast phase?

  • So are you suggesting bumping up my test for the cut and leak bulk after or just for the bulk after?

  • Duration of small blast?**

2) Dosages?

  • Cut Phase:
    Should I bump up my TRT dose by 25% for the cut?
    Expected water weight gain?

  • Lean Bulk Phase:
    Double my test to say 25mg daily sub q (175mg per week) or is that overkill if my bloods are already at 850 total and 19 free? **
    Expected water weight gain?

3) Is the above better (healthier, better results and less hair loss) than using another compound like anavar with my TRT dose or a slightly increased TRT dose?

4) Will I likely see an increase in the amount of exercise I can do in a week or is the nervous systems capacity still unchanged?

I appreciate people’s advice may very but the advice and help is greatly appreciated. I believe in giving back and will keep and updated log so others can benefit from my experience.

My sex drive might have been a bit bit better… But if its better, its very very little bit better, altho extra 50mgs of test could be the reason, not the 100mgs of NPP.

On 175mg/wk I’d notice water retention + autonomic dysfunction and this would screw with cardio

I’ve done striking and grappling. Imo it’d be easier to work with grappling coupled with the deleterious effects AAS has on endurance.

Striking + a ton of water weight would be/is a disaster.

And yes… TRT or even 175mg/wk is a HELL of a lot healthier in the short term relative to anavar. Anavar isn’t mild… people say “oh this is mild” and end up taking like 100mg var/day… var kills lipids, and when using at high dosages it isn’t really mild anymore is it?

20mgs of var… that’s mild… but it’ll still wreck lipids

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Google male body fat average. Tell me what you find. You will see that 17% is still considered ‘fit’ by most standards and just below average. I would consider anything below average far from tubby. Anything average is tubby at best.

adjective. (pejorative, slang, often used teasingly) An overweight person .

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Why not opt for the Gold standard of 100mg/wk? Perhaps 125mg/wk

No need for high dosages when you’re focus is on combat sports.

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