T Nation

Help With Switch to Dark Side

I have hit 27years of age and I look back on a life of weight training that began when I was 14…and since the age of 18 I have wondered ‘when will I be ready to try AAS?’ Every year I have thought ‘I could do more first…’ and I have. Changed training, lifestyle, increased knowledge etc. I have been reading various sources of information on steroids for over a decade now, usually in 3-4month bursts (before I decide to leave it again for another year).

Well, I feel I have reached that time. I have gone from 6’2 55kg (seriously!) to a steady 6’2 81kg naturally and hover at 7-9% and i do not try to stay lean. However I just don’t seem to be moving again…for a long time. I have actually been significantly heavier but not quite as lean/athletic, often feeling sore joints or shitty little injuries etc.

After travelling (and dropping back down to 80kg) I re-focussed and now strength is better, flexibility and mobility is better (thanks to Cressey and Robertson!) and I feel healthier than ever before but I really want to hit that 88-90kg mark again whilst keeping my joint health and mobility this time.

So where do you all come into the picture?

[“Get to the point!”]

I’ve read the steroid forum over and over but feel i have analysis paralysis. I have lost the ability to keep things simple, and every time i think I have regained my logical side, the ‘weight’ of my first cycle messes with my head.

I have access to a great range of products… Test (Cyp, Prop, En) Boldenone, Tren, Primo, Stana, D-Bol, Deca & importantly Nolvadex, Pregnyl…and possibly proviron. All from a very reliable and long term medico-competitive bodybuilder source and colleague.

I am not asking the T-Nation community to make a cycle for me, but for every answer I get I seem to come up with more questions. I am hoping that some of the thinkers out there like Bill Roberts, Anthony Roberts, Sapasion etc can help answer my questions as i make my big step.

Part of me just says to run with ‘400mg week Test-E for 12weeks with 10-20mg Nolvadex throughout’ but then… the mind clouds and I think ‘too little?’ or ‘suppression?’ or ‘gyno’ etc. What about using HCG? Then i read one post suggesting ‘no need for HCG’ and then another saying ‘better to be safe’. I re-read the ‘Steroid for Health’ Articles and think ‘maybe 8weeks would be plenty?’… you get the point.

I know ultimately I have to take responsibility for my decision however I want to know i did everything possible to educate myself first.

I work as a physiotherapist & personal trainer (i hate that term)and am undertaking my Master of exercise Science (Strength and Conditioning) so feel free to use detail.

Given my occupation/goals I would like to add 8-10kg of mass however I need to avoid the skin/bloating thing as far as practical for cosmetic/detection reasons(i know you cant have it all). Though i don’t ever aim to be lean, it would be nice to maintain the sub-10%.

Please understand that I would like to not only create a cycle but further questions will pop up like ‘What if i get injured…do you continue with cycle?’ etc.

I am sorry to have written so much, I guess i just wanted you all to realise this is not just another 20yo with 1year of lifting wanting to get swole to pick up chicks. I don’t want to wait until I am 35 and then look back and wonder. It is an intrinsic desire I have to achieve, without compromise.

Enough.

I thank you all in advance.

The Bastardboy

400mg TE a week is not a bad start. i recommend arimidex or aromasin if you wish to keep bloating minimal along with the nolva.

also, i would use clomid for PCT for at least the first week.

I way over thought my first cycle and ended up going in the wrong direction. If I had my first cycle over again here is what I would do:

W 1-10 Test Enth or Cyp 400-500mg/w
W 3-11 Proviron 50mg/d
PCT
W 12 Nolva 40mg/d
W 13 Nolva 30mg/d
W 14-15 Nolva 20mg/d

Take the nolva during the cycle at 20mg/d if needed.

FG

Thanks for the posts, I can’t believe how quickly people are willing to help, it’s greatly appreciated ub10 and FuriousGeorge.

I have to train now but I hope I can get even more T-Nation members to chip in their 2cents.

I am sure to have a barrage of questions which, although I think I have the answers, I realise I don’t ‘know’ anything.

Thanks again,

The Bastardboy

If you are only 180 lbs at 6’2" you may want to explore eating first…

[quote]Bastardboy wrote:
Thanks for the posts, I can’t believe how quickly people are willing to help, it’s greatly appreciated ub10 and FuriousGeorge.

I have to train now but I hope I can get even more T-Nation members to chip in their 2cents.

I am sure to have a barrage of questions which, although I think I have the answers, I realise I don’t ‘know’ anything.

Thanks again,

The Bastardboy[/quote]Well, since you’ve called me out I suppose I should respond :wink:

First, let me commend you on doing this the right way. You’ve trained for more than a decade and seem to think you’re near your genetic maxim.

Based solely on your OP you seem to have a decent baseline understanding your gear knowledge and the gear lexicon.

I do have 2 questions for you based on your OP. [1]You mentioned mobility more than once. I wonder if joint issues are something you used to struggle with and now you have gotten on top of or if you struggle with it now and want to improve upon that? [2]You said you want to gain 8-10kgs and keep bf% under 10%; which of those 2 is the more important to you [if you had to pick one]?

As you seem to know 400-500mg’s of Test a week is an often recommended starter cycle. However, given your OP and dependent on your answers to my above 2 questions I might steer you in a slightly different direction.

Boldenone [EQ] is a close cousin of straight Test but generally is associated with less aromatization and thus less water retention and leaner overall gains and appearance.

If striving for leanness and/or strength Tren can be very beneficially, perhaps even stacked with EQ. I have only one experience with Tren myself and even then I did it sub-optimally. Bill Roberts has recently had some eye opening assertions about Tren.

Nandrolone [Deca] is your wildcard. Because you mentioned mobility I’d be eager to recommend this to you. Deca of course is a much debated product. Some use it to get big and stronger. A few claim they can get cut on it. The suppression issues vary so much person to person that you cannot judge based on others comments but only how you respond to it.

Based on the info you’ve given so far I’d hesitate to recommend you Winny or Dbol. Winny for potential joint mobility issues and Dbol for potential bloat.

Proviron would definitely be a good additional especially if you run test and/or Deca.

HCG [depending on your dosages] is probably not necessary if you run proviron during the cycle.

Get back to us with some answers and additional info and we can start fine tuning your plan.

[quote]arDieselar wrote:
If you are only 180 lbs at 6’2" you may want to explore eating first…[/quote]

I appreciate the comment but I can assure you I have been consistently following massive eating protocol and adjusting calories up and up.

Years ago I tried eating all clean and realised i just couldn’t gain on that so kept the clean food but added some ‘junk’ just to boost calorie intake. 3am feeds, bagels throughout day with peanut butter, a dozen boiled eggs a day, 400g pasta per day, 2 chicken breasts, veggies and fruit plus my staple dinner of bolognaise or tuna plus sipping protein shake blended in the AM with oats throughout the day and of course lashings of olive oil etc etc… just as JB advised.

I once tried eating all this plus Maccas every day for two weeks just to try and add some size…no luck and i just seemed to be on the toilet 4times per day. Admittedly when i used creatine and trib together i was able to reach my highest weight but i believe water to be a good part of that weight.

I know a lot of people jump on and query steroids without looking at diet, so trust me, i do appreciate the insight. However I am seeking information to clarify an appropriate first cycle, any assistance to the query at hand would also be appreciated.

Thanks,

The Bastardboy

Thanks a lot for your reply Sapasion. I have read many of your posts and value your input.

To answer your questions…

[1] I had previously had very minor but set-back type injuries quite often at lower back (SI joint and sometimes QL strains) and also right Levator Scap issues giving referred pain… nothing too crazy relative to some of the PL guys in here but I wanna be in this game for the long run. Since using mobility drills these issues have disappeared and I would consider my mobility a strong point now so i wish to merely continue with the current work.

[2] Definitely the weight gain for the simple fact that i never seem to gain fat, even when i have actively tried.It got to a point when i was about 20 when I was cutting off thick slices of butter to eat with every meal (6-7per day) just to try and put on some weight…stopped this years ago for health concerns but i cannot emphasise how easy it is for me to stay very lean…flip side is i easily lose my gains.

So that would probably clear up the options you laid out for me…

I thought I would steer clear of Deca cos no need for the joint assistance and I didn’t want the risk of such heavy suppression. No need for Winny cos I certainly am not looking to cut up. Wanted to avoid Dianabol cos of the skin and significant water retention issues.

I have done quite a bit of research on Tren and although I am amazed by its plethora of actions, originally thought I should stick to a simple Test based cycle and ‘leave it in the bank’ for future cycles. It certainly does seem to have a great potential though.

I looked also at boldenone as I saw it as the lesser of side effects compared to Tren…but again, seeing as i am not super fussy bout water retention/lean gains…i thought straight test.

Which leads me into another question… one aspect of AAS I admire is the satellite cell activation allowing for setting a new ‘level’ such that post-cycle, it is easier to maintain a higher weight. Do you know whether certain agents are better at maximising this pathway or is this something I should concern myself with further down the track?

With proviron, I had looked at using 25mg per day but couldn’t decide if i should run throughout or after 4weeks. Similar with Nolvadex… many suggest waiting to see if you have any estrogen issues first however… i tend to be the cautious side and was looking at utilising this too. Is this overkill?

I really want to thank you again for taking the time to help me and so many others.

The Bastardboy

[quote]Bastardboy wrote:
Which leads me into another question… one aspect of AAS I admire is the satellite cell activation allowing for setting a new ‘level’ such that post-cycle, it is easier to maintain a higher weight. Do you know whether certain agents are better at maximising this pathway or is this something I should concern myself with further down the track?

With proviron, I had looked at using 25mg per day but couldn’t decide if i should run throughout or after 4weeks. Similar with Nolvadex… many suggest waiting to see if you have any estrogen issues first however… i tend to be the cautious side and was looking at utilising this too. Is this overkill?

[/quote]
Scale weight maintenance post cycle is largely dependent on how much of the gains were solely water versus genuine tissue growth. Obviously half the scale weight gains of dbol or anadrol surges disappear almost as fast as they appear. I have always maintained a majority of my gains on TestC and Deca running proviron on cycle and 4-5 weeks of nolvadex pct. Eating and lifting well in the months post cycle is as important as on cycle for trying to keep the gains.

Regarding proviron I have always used 25mg’s ED starting maybe a week or even two after my first Test injection. Part of the reason I have held my dosage at 25mg’s is the first time I tried it it seemed to work fine and proviron is pretty damn expensive for me.
Finally for on cycle estrogen control there are 3 camps. Camp will use adex daily from day 1.

These guys seek maximum estrogen control and suppression. Camp 2 will use nolvadex daily from the start. Camp 3 [which I am in] as you said wait and see what’s necessary. For any individuals first cycle you sort of are a camp 3 guy. If you’ve never put exogenous testosterone into your body you don’t know how your body will respond or how much your own body will convert over into estrogen and how that will effect you. By all means, if someone has done a cycle[s] and they know they’ll need daily arimidex then prepare accordingly. Despite the good intentions and wisdom that might seem apparent with using adex from the start for prevention, I still say everyone must find out for themselves what they need and can handle.

Running proviron in a way acts as alow grade aromatase inhibitor; true its no aromasin, letrozole or adex but its better than nothing. If you do get issues from estrogen start running 20-40mgs of Nolva. If they don’t subside after 4-5 days then upgrade to one of the classic AI’s.

Thanks again Sapasion,

I am with you all the way with water gains versus lean muscle tissue gains however, and this may be a whole other topic, have you noticed that some products tend to leave people with a higher baseline. I only ask as a former training partner who had been lifetime natural made the switch and long after his cycle, was still able to maintain the noticeably larger delts, traps and quads that he just couldn’t achieve naturally.

We are talking two years after doing only 2X 10week cycles. Yet i have met others who trained well, ate well etc but just didn’t seem to hold things in the longer term. Is it possible that some agents are better at promoting new cell development vs plain hypertrophy and thus allowing for greater ‘natural’ ability post-cycle?

My source/colleague is currently running 350mg Test-P and 350mg Boldenone a week along with 25mg proviron ED for upcoming internationals (will add winny and swap boldenone for tren 4weeks out)…and he said much the same thing that proviron is expensive but necessary.

On the estrogen conversion, is there a benefit to waiting to find out if I have issues? I know estrogen is a necessary side component of building size but is there something i am missing in needing to know how my body reacts? I am probably just paranoid but I would have aways thought avoiding all negative effects is a noble cause rather than trying to reverse them afterwards…

can you please help me understand this better? Is it just so i can possibly reduce the amount of chemicals being used for future cycles or the economic benefit?

So to summarise at this point - as Furious George suggested (and with a little tweaking)

W 1-10 Test Enth 400-500mg/w
W 3-11 Proviron 25mg/d
PCT
W 12-14 Nolva 20mg/d

but IF needed then add Nolva during cycle at 20mg ED.

Reads well on paper to me, I just always wanna make sure I am thinking objectively, hard to do for myself on this topic.

Thanks for your time,

The Bastardboy

I agree with Furious, arDieselar, and sapasion. Personally, I’d run the Proviron from day; and that last paragraph by sapasion is golden.

I am still learning what works best for me, I don’t have nearly the experience as most other guys but I can say for sure I would have done my first cycle different.

If you are looking for a comparative chart for side effects vs gains etc here is a decent one:

It shows how keepable the gains are from each type of gear. How accurate this is I don’t know because like these guys have said there are a lot of other factors but I found it helpful.

Any gear that puts on a lot of water weight will not be totally keepable but that is not to say you won’t keep any of it (if you gain 30lbs and keep 10lbs it is the same as gaining 15lbs and keeping 10lbs in the end).

If you are hoping to keep maximum gains here is the advice I got:

  1. Keep lifting after your cycle is done - lift heavy but not to failure, don’t do a ton of sets.
  2. Maintain a hypercaloric diet and keep nutrition in good order so you don’t get fat
  3. Recover your endogenous levels of test as fast as possible, keep cortisol and estrogen low

I am trying out a test taper this cycle for PCT as I have heard nothing but good things.

Other options are Clomid, Nolva, and HCG. I used just Nolva for recovery last cycle and didn’t feel like it worked that well for me but it works well for others. If I was to go the nolva route again I would prob also stack in clomid. HCG has some very strong supporters and equal number that advise against it.

If I used HCG I would do it during a shorter cycle, during the cycle at levels that were just enough to maintain testicle size and give a fast recovery. I subscibe to the don’t go mega dosing camp because you are desensitizing the lydig cells and just delaying the problem.

More and more guys are starting to experiment with different things like LR3 IGF-1 to keep gains during PCT but there isn’t really enough history with their protocols yet to say that there is one best strategy or that there are no drawbacks. There is a lot of info on these protocols being tested out in www.anabolicminds.com.

If IGF-1 sounds a little too agressive you might want to try something like TRIBEX or Carbolin 19 to keep gains. Creatine has worked well for some also. Tribulus does nothing for me but Carbolin 19 and Creatine work very well for me. I am planning to use Creatine and Beta7 during my taper this cycle.

You are never going to keep everything from a cycle but if you recover well and do it right you can hope to keep most of your gains as long as it wasn’t all water to begin with.

FG

You work in the field of human service ? I personally think your not ready for steroids, from the symptoms of distrust and an unstable thought. Steroids are the point of no return, using gear will subsequently make it harder in the future to gain any lean mass without the use of gear. I get these assertions based on you contemplating this decision for almost 9 years is it ? Unless you reached your max natural potential, and this decision is morally and ethically right by you then go ahead. It just seems odd, someone who’s profession is giving motivation/educational advice is embracing on the journey of what you call " the dark world"

[quote]Bastardboy wrote:
On the estrogen conversion, is there a benefit to waiting to find out if I have issues? I know estrogen is a necessary side component of building size but is there something i am missing in needing to know how my body reacts? I am probably just paranoid but I would have aways thought avoiding all negative effects is a noble cause rather than trying to reverse them afterwards…

can you please help me understand this better? Is it just so i can possibly reduce the amount of chemicals being used for future cycles or the economic benefit?

So to summarise at this point - as Furious George suggested (and with a little tweaking)

W 1-10 Test Enth 400-500mg/w
W 3-11 Proviron 25mg/d
PCT
W 12-14 Nolva 20mg/d

but IF needed then add Nolva during cycle at 20mg ED.

Reads well on paper to me, I just always wanna make sure I am thinking objectively, hard to do for myself on this topic.

Thanks for your time,

The Bastardboy[/quote]
What you’d be missing if you ran say the equal of .5mg ED of adex is an undefined quantity of your mass and strength gains from a test based cycle. I’m going to completely make up these numbers just to illustrate a point. Pretend you could gain 20lbs from a 10 week cycle of Test. By throwing in an AI into the mix lets say you’ll gain 10lbs. Now some will say hey that’s a 10lb gain. But for my money if I have the chance to gain 20 why would I want to gain only 10.
Your concerns over gyno, et al are legit. Remember though that proviron to a lesser degree will provide a moderate amount of estrogen control as well increasing androgen reception and binding to SHBG.
Having said all that its of course your body and if you choose to run daily AI in addition to proviron then so be it. For me, proviron as always been enough.

Also for your pct above 3 weeks is shorter than you should go. It can take up to two-three weeks for that last shot of enan to clear your system. Thus, many people wait 2 weeks before starting nolvadex. I recommend starting at 40mg’s ED rather than 20mg. Also run at least 4 weeks total

If having access to everything and if cost isn’t a problem, it’s a very legitimate question, which ordinarily doesn’t get the thought it should, as to why use testosterone at all. (As heretical as that may sound particularly on this site.)

The synthetics were developed precisely to have generally less side effects for given anabolic effect than testosterone; in many cases to avoid testosterone’s problem of conversion to estrogen; and in almost all cases to avoid the steroid becoming more potent in the skin and scalp, as testosterone does via the 5aR enzyme.

Probably the reason many think one “has” to have testosterone is because synthetics alone generally don’t cover all bases.

However, for example using trenbolone acetete plus oxymetholone, and appropriate HCG such as 100 IU/day avoids all the estrogen problems, the skin/scalp potentiation problems, and it takes a whole lot of testosterone to equal a stack of typical doses of those two synthetics in terms of true retained gains. (If estrogenic bloat is counted then the weight increase can be higher with the T, but of course it shouldn’t be counted.)

Given your philosophy of it being better to avoid problems in the first place rather than try to reverse them later or to patch them up, it might suit you.

Once again, thanks for the advice T-Nation members.

So running Nolvadex throughout cycle is kinda like putting 300kg extra large brake calipers on a motor bike…sure it offers extra protection but you are potentially slowing the bikes speed performance when the brakes it already had may have been fine to stop it. Is this a fair analogy?

Thanks to Bill Roberts for jumping on this post and it demonstrates the exact reason I wanted everybody’s advice. You see here is a completely different cycle which would apparently also give great effects whilst minimising sides. Using a different approach but I can see the logic in it.

To christianbb I appreciate the concern however THIS is the reason I am posting. I am not afraid of my choice. I am concerned I am not able to objectively look at this information as it relates to MY health. I can easily look at this info when it relates to others and see the pros/cons but I always think it best to seek external/unbiased info when trying to look at oneself.

Bill given my complete lack of exposure to AAS would it be reasonable to assume i should leave chemicals like tren for ‘later’? Also, could you recommend a possible cycle using your combination… i had always thought novices should avoid anadrol?

So running PCT for at least 4weeks and starting 40mg Nolva (as Furious George had originally posted). TRIBEX was mentioned as a suitable conjunct, would this be something to being at the end of PCT or at the start…just not sure how effective these supplements would be given the scope of suppression? Curious to hear from any experience.

I know i keep saying this but i really do appreciate that people would take the time to think about and help a complete stranger.

The Bastardboy

Basically it’s a question of there being a lot of “conventional wisdom” that either really isn’t so, or has validity in some regard but not in what’s relevant.

Yes, it’s common wisdom as you suggest that “stronger steroids” should be saved for later rather than used by a novice, but there’s no truth to this. Where this may have come from is way back when, people actually thought that the androgen receptor downregulated with exposure to androgen; that this downregulation was perhaps permanent; and that this was a serious issue users needed to plan to avoid or minimize. None of that is true. The only regard that using a stronger stack now could lead to less gains later is by getting more results the first time out thus leaving slightly less room, but overall if viewing any number of cycles, the end result will be as good or better with the first cycle having been “serious.”

20 mg/day Nolvadex is fine postcycle. Not that 40 will hurt, and as response to drugs does vary with users there may be some it works better for, I don’t know.

There’s nothing wrong with these compounds for first time users. The prejudice against Anadrol I think comes from those that have combined with stacks that are producing too much estrogen and found those problems worse (particularly bloating, and gyno.)

50-75 mg/day trenbolone would be a good amount; some individuals do better with 100. On oxymetholone, it’s something I need to do but have not as yet with regard to determining what point gains aren’t any better with more. Personally I use 200 mg/day (50 mg four times) but I haven’t in fact established that for example 100 mg, in combination with the trenbolone, might not do as well. Certainly nothing wrong with 100 mg in divided doses for a first cycle.

No need for Nolvadex or Clomid during the cycle as neither converts to estrogen. HCG really should be used for the purpose, besides testicular function being maintained throughout the cycle, because otherwise estrogen levels would drop below normal which is not good. The HCG is best stopped at the end of the cycle as the testosterone it caused to be produced is itself inhibitory.

Nothing complicated needed on the cycle: no point in using one dosage one week and another in another, unless it’s because of learning something and thus adjusting plans. E.g., if based on success many have had with 50 mg/day Anadrol you decided to start with that (probably better to use in divided doses) but you really weren’t satisfied by the end of the second week, it would make sense to change. But if a given dose is more suited overall, the best thing to do is use that throughout, rather than use less or more at various times.

On the TRIBEX it’s not necessary if using the Nolvadex, and as to whether it gives an improvement that one would want to pay for probably depends on how much TRIBEX helps someone in normal conditions. If they’re a very good responder to it then it would make sense.

OK so i had a chat to my source and now I definitely understand the ‘if cost isn’t a problem’ comment.

After sorting out the cost of the Tren/Anadrol with HCG PCT I now know it would be a bit out of my price range. One could argue you should never put a price on health but when it appears there may be two roads that lead to a very similar end point…i guess i know which i will take. I will certainly take the info on board though, especially as I had often wondered about the ‘stronger steroid’ factor. Never made sense to me given my brief research into pharmacology during university, but it’s hard to question something if you have never been in the trenches yourself.

So I guess I have come back to Test-E. I would certainly have a look at Tren in the future when not living the work/study life.

Given I am would be purchasing 75mg/ml Test-E would it be best to inject say 3cc Mon and 3cc Thurs to avoid large injection at one site? I trust this would also provide more steady blood hormone profile. I understand with long half lives this isn’t necessary but would this situation be applicable?

I know this must seem like the minutia of detail to many, and i accept that, but this is a big step for me personally.

The Bastardboy

I gotta say that’s quite a low dose of Test E most of them are dosed at 200-250mg’s/ml. Meaning you’d only need 1cc twice of week. Double check with your source as 75mg/ml would be the least concentrated Enan I’d ever heard of

True on both the concentration not sounding right, and on multiple injections for steadier blood levels.

Personally I’d prefer 1cc six days per week with a 1/2 inch insulin needle/syringe than 3 cc 2x/week. Less site damage really. If injecting 3 cc – for that matter if injecting 1 cc – inject slowly. There’s no superconduit or anything to carry the oil away: either it can seep through muscle fibers, which isn’t going to happen super-rapidly, or you’re going to be opening a cavity in the muscle that size. The first is preferable.

Trenbolone is ridiculously priced these days from price lists I’ve seen – back in the Ttokkyo (or however it was spelled) days the price was reasonable. On the other hand if making an injectable oil solution oneself from Finaplix-H it’s very cheap. Something like 35 bucks per 2 grams.