T Nation

Help an Old Guy Dunk Again!


After lurking for a good while I've decided to join this forum with the hope of finding help in planning my first AAS cycle. I have been active most of my adult life, lifting and playing basketball. My sats are:
Age: 35
Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 192
Body-fat: aprox. 17% (guess)

All lifts without any gear or spotters and with good form:
Bench: 235 for 6 reps
Dead-lift: 319 for 6 reps
Squat: 225 for 4 reps (please refrain from laughing too hard . . . abdominal injuries may occur)
Vertical leap: 26 inches

I know my squat sucks but allow me to make some qualifications: I have only recently resumed squatting after giving it up years ago due to an injury resulting from bad form,

I have a build which is not conducive to squatting (long legs and narrow hips) , I squat very deep (ass about twelve inches off the ground) and my leg press ability is much better, leading me to believe my legs are not completely weak. Anyway enough of my excuses for a horrible squat. On to my cycle proposal.

I have never done AAS or any type of hormone in the past. I plan to utilize the two week cycle (at least initially) as maintaining fertility, minimizing sides, and maintaining good health in general are my main concerns.

My goals are to increase my big three lifts and vertical leap; I would also like to gain LBM and I hope to see a decrease in my midsection fat( which is basically where i carry all my excess fat). Currently I have in my possession 750 ml Trenbolone Acetate, 500 mg dianabol, Nolvadex, Armidex, and Clomid. This is what I was thinking:

Tren Ace @ 62.5 ml ED for 12 days
Dianabol @ 40 mg ED for 12 days
Armidex @ .5 mg EOD for 12 days
Nolvadex starting at day fourteen but not sure how much to run or for how long considering this is a short cycle

I am wondering whether my libido will be killed by the tren or not due to the short duration of the cycle? Originally I was going to run test prop instead of the tren but had trouble obtaining it. I have now been able to order some test prop but won't have it for probably three weeks or so.

I am anxious to start my experiment but do you all think I should wait for the test prop to start? If so should I keep the tren or drop it for now? After this cycle i was planning to take four weeks off but have heard conflicting opinions as to whether two weeks off would be sufficient? Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance.


Hahahahaha! Um...just...um...hmm. If you're serious, my advice is this; forget the AAS and bring your one rep max deadlift up over 400# and you will have your dunking ability.


Thanks for the response, W.H.B. , but I still think i want to run the AAS. I hardly ever dead-lift since it comes easier to me than the squat which I have been focusing on. I am well aware that my lifting ability is not anything special but then again those are real numbers that I posted not "internet" numbers.

Also when I was younger and did have the ability to dunk I never dead-lifted or squatted and if I had I probably couldn't have lifted much weight. Anyway the title was meant to be somewhat tongue in cheek, I want to improve my strength and athletic ability in general.


I'm pretty sure you'll be receiving helpful advice in no time from the knowledgeable, respected members. I always enjoy reading their advice even if it doesn't have a thing to do with me.


You may want to use AAS - and that is fine, but in order to increase your vertical jump at least, well that is going to be down to your training to a large degree.


Thanks for the reply Brook, I enjoy reading your posts-you are very generous with your time and expertise. I will take your advice and run a test only cycle and also order some HCG. After reading your post, I realize that I did not make my intention to run multiple short successive cycles ( 4 two weekers with 2-4 weeks off between each) clear. The dosage was roughly what Bill Roberts suggested for a beginner in another thread. Do you think it would be ok, if running the six week cycle, to start with test ethanate and faze in the prop toward the end of the cycle (to avoid injecting ED for six weeks). Or were you suggestion the prop because if I ran into problems and discontinued use it would clear my system quickly? Or is there another advantage to sing test prop over ethanate in this situation?

About the body fat: 17% is just a guess, it could be lower and I will look into getting a more accurate measurement. If you saw me playing ball or working out with my shirt on you would probably think I was only around 10% body fat, but i have some stubborn visceral fat that I am struggling to lose. After maintaining low body fat and a weight of around 180 for years I ballooned to about 220 a couple of years age. in the last year I managed to lose around 30 lbs; i would like to lose another 10-15 of fat but have stalled out at 190 lbs and have been struggling to lose these last pounds. I definitely realize that lowering my fat % would help my vert; the problem I am having is this: I am only eating about 2000 calories on rest days and 2500 on workout days and this maintains my current weight, when i further reduce my calories I start to feel weak and suspect i am destroying muscle. I have heard conflicting opinions on AAS effect on fat % but am hoping it may have a positive effect for me, although I do plan to increase my caloric intake during my cycle to around 3500-4000 a day. At any rate, while I am waiting for my next shipment to arrive I will try to lose some body fat, incorporate plyos into my workouts and order some blood work. Thanks again for your input.


This fall I am also planning on working on jumping. I have been focusing on other things for years, but use to be able to jump. One thing I started adding (just beginning today) is running stadium steps once a week and using some of Javoreks stair exercises : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aiu8n1ENaq4

Anyway, that is what I am doing - we will see. Because I have focused so much on lifting for years I am much heavier (about 6 foot 215 LBS 10% BF) - I have added about 30 LBS over the past few years. So I may not be able to dunk again - but I do want to just better.


Brook! You're getting soft in your old age. :wink:

Finn Mac,

I appreciate you keeping your composure after I laughed at your post. The combination of your one post, you saying "After lurking for a good while...", and your proposed AAS plan, all contributed to my lack of motivation in assisting you. You have a lot to learn about AAS before you venture down that avenue.

Your description of your body tells me you are built to deadlift. Your stated goals were to increase the squat, bench, and deadlift, while also increasing your vertical leap and/or athletic ability in general. Focusing on your deadlift will certainly help bring up your deadlift and bench press. To increase leaping ability and overall athleticism, one needs to increase posterior chain strength. That's the bottom line: Increased posterior strength = Increased athleticism.

Your squat deficiency seems to be technique related. This won't be solved with drugs. Spend a little more time researching technique and playing around with different stances and bars-and you will find what works best for you. I hope this helps.


OP, I understand the big lifts goals but not quite clear on your vertical leap goal. Do you want to be able to dunk? And if so, were you able to dunk regularly when you were younger?

If yes, then it's just a simple matter of dropping some bf.

If no, then do dig up some vertical leap programs (anyone remember Skybound?) and plyometric training as Brook mentioned. Dropping some bf would be mandatory for this route as well.


Thankyou - i do try.. :wink:




Let's not about AAS for a sec.

You are pretty serious about increasing your vert. And you mentioned that you used to be 180lbs lean. So before you touch any drug, i would have a good look at the diet first. Get your nutrition in order, and lose a couple of pounds. It shouldn't be hard.
Deadlifting is a great posterior chain excercise, but it doesn;t build a lot of explosiveness, especially if you life heavy. The reps are going to be very slow. I think you should include a coupld of OL variations to your training regime. Snatch grip high pulls, and Power cleans for your lower body, and some push press (optional). THe wide grip pulls would be a good subsitute to your squat. Subsitute traditioanl style deadlift with "clean pull" style deadlift, it's not that much diffrent, just a coupld of technique changes. And do more powercleans for sure, I think you need to PC at least 100kg/220lbs for a couple of reps, in order to dunk.
Those lifts focuses on explosiveness after the bar travels past the knee, i.e quarter squat position, which have very similar kinematics to a jump. So the carry over to real world performance is very good.
If you just want to improve your jumping ability, you don't need to do squats. Squats are benificial if you use full range of motion in your sport, sprinting, speed skate, etc. For basketball player, power cleans,high pulls, and lunges/split squats are sufficient. Basketball player tend to be very tall, so sometimes squat are not ideal anyway due to biomechanical limitations.


I'll agree with Brook's revised opinion in his second post---for multiple successive 2 week cycles, your original plan (tren + dbol) will likely be very productive.

I would look at diet and training first though. Particularly diet, as you should be consistently losing weight and "dialed in" before looking to AAS. Now, it doesn't have to be dramatic, but killing bad habits and bad/lack of diet planning will have a great deal of benefit to you getting to your "lean" old weight.

You don't even really need to get back to that old weight--if you get stronger and more explosive and end up at 190 lean pounds, or 200 lean pounds after a number of successive cycles, you're in great shape. But the diet needs to be kicked in the ass first. AAS benefits are only as good as your foundation--and foundation is training and diet.


Heavy Deads if lifted with max 'speed' sill improve this factor, even if they look slow.


Some simple training ajustments can do wonders to your performance. Wwhat about post cycle? You still want to dunk right?


The deadlift most certainly can and will build explosive power. What do you think the first part of an Olympic lift is?

My recommendation was for the OP to "focus" on the deadlift. This does not mean he may only deadlift and most certainly doesn't mean he may only deadlift heavy. Sub-maximal weights pulled with maximal effort or "speed" is a tremendous technique for building explosive power. Even a deadlift utilizing maximal weights is going to build power. It may "look" slow, but your intention is to lift the weight as fast as possible. Anytime you increase maximal strength, you increase explosive power at sub-maximal levels.

The OP may also do any exercise that he knows will build his deadlift. As I said, "focus" on the deadlift. I don't know what those are for him, but I would hope he does. This may include olympic lifts, plyos, kettle-bells, GHR, RDL's....whatever he thinks is best. My intention was not to claim increasing the deadlift is the only way to increase the OP's vertical. Though, for someone who is built to deadlift, it is most likely the easiest way. Maximal strength is the easiest athletic quality to improve.

I hope this makes sense. I typed it quite fast!


The first part of an Olympic lift is called "first pull". Some people pull it very explosively (bulagrian, turkish,greek), some people pull it slowly (chinese,thai,korean), each have its benefits. The first pull is followed by a phase of transition around the knee, where the bar trajectory shifts toward the rear, aka double knee bend. Then the third phase (second pull), where the lifter would explode up with maximum effort. Followed by the 4th phase, receiving the bar, etc......

It's is not an deadlift. The lifter will not complete the "rep" in the standing position (where a normal deadlift would finish). The aim is to set up the bar with the intent to clean/snatch it.

When people do heavy (92%+) deadlifts, the upperback is ususally round due to very high load, the hip is quite high and the lock out takes some time. Have you seen powerlifter DL 350kg? some takes 5 secs to lock out. That kind of deadlift is not very useful for the OP. So that's why i suggested clean pulls, with about 80% load for multiple sets of 3 reps, something like that. To some of you, that is a straight /slightly arch back "deadlift" with max effort and speed. See that's a lot word.

to me, deadlift = lifting dead corpse off the groud, that's where the name came from. Dead and explosive movment just doen't sound very compatible lol :))
Hope i am making this too complicated.

Lift heavyish, lift fast, that's the bottom line


Thanks for all the responses, they really help to motivate and focus my efforts.

On the weight/ body-fat issue: what you guys are saying really slams home what I already knew but was struggling with: losing those last ten to fifteen pounds. The struggle is not because I have a problem with restricting my calories but because i dislike the concomitant loss of strength. However, I have resolved to say fugh it and just lose the weight strength loses be damned; I won't run a cycle until I get down to at least 180 lbs. My diet is not so bad, although there is always room for improvement of course; I hope that by continuing to consume a great deal of protein I can keep strength loses to a minimum. (As an aside, in response to Brook's query about how I came to initially weigh 220: no it was not a "bulk" diet but rather was unplanned and happened around the birth of my son (about to years ago) when i had to curtail my physical activity quite a bit. I put on about as much pregnancy weight as my wife . . . sigh. But the little feller is worth it.)

On training: My reasoning for focusing on the squat goes like this: 1.) although there is hardly a consensus on the issue, many trainers believe that that the squat is the exercise with the most carry over to vertical leaping 2.) Since dead-lifting is relatively easier for me than squatting, I thought it best to focus on my weakness, squatting 3.) I read an article by Louie Simmons( hope I am recalling this correctly) in which he stated that his trainees almost never dead-lift but instead train with the box squat and the RDL; if you can increase your ability in those to lifts your max dead-lift will necessarily improve.

As I stated earlier I only recently started squatting and dead-lifting, previously I stuck to leg presses and various other leg exercises. I now that is heresy but here is why: about 13 years ago while attending a major university with a slew of NCAA division 1 sports I was "taught" to squat and dead-lift by a friend on the track team. The result was very painful hip bursitis and I concluded, incorrectly, that I just was not built for those lifts and or a limited flexion in my left ankle due to bone spurs made them contraindicated for myself. However, recently I took a second look at squatting and dead-lifting and gave it anther shot. I taught myself technique from various web resource, the foremost of which is the Squat RX videos.

My current training schedule is this: I lift every third third day, that is to say I take two full days off between lifts. I do a full body workout focused on compound movements. Within the full body workout I alternate my focus between upper and lower body; i.e. on one day I will do a majority of lifts for the upper body in a low rep range with heavy weights and one set of high rep low weight breathing squats, the next lift will focus on low rep "heavy" weight box squats, bulgarian split squats, RDLs, SDLs, and ab work with one set each of body weight dips and pull ups. After my lift, which last about one to one and a half hours I play basketball or work on skills for about two hours. Sometimes I play ball on my non-lift days but not that often as I am usually to spent/busy to do so. I am going to purchase Kelly Baggets e-book on vert training and see what I can incorporate into my routine including plyos. I love to lift and play ball, if I could I'd be in the gym five days a week, but with a full time job, wife, child, and school I am somewhat limited in my total training time.

At any rate tis is going to be a great experiment on aging, AAS and basketball. I have often wondered about the extent of PED in pro basketball . . . it might be more prevalent than most believe.



Not that AAS can't help, but it's not the right approach for you at this time. Drop the bf, as suggested previously, and train your vertical properly. If you've been lurking as you wrote, then hopefully you're aware that there are some TNation members with incredible athletic abilities. SquatDr for one, has a world class vertical. I'd be pouring through his old posts first and foremost, if I was you. I think he has his own website, too.

I bookmarked this link of his after seeing it here last year...


if your goal is to just jump higher lose a ton of weight/fat first, going from 17% to ~10% you should be much closer to dunking just from that

get on a program like stronglifts 5x5 beginners to get your squat up, and do some basic plyometrics (depth drops/depth jumps, knee tucks/split squat jumps) while practicing jumping

from your title im assuming you were able to dunk before so you are not genetically limited, or limited by height. I wouldnt think about juicing up at all if I were you.