T Nation

Keeping Gains After Cycle and Beyond


Im currently on cycle, doing my first cycle, and ive been reading up on how to keep gains. I know how to keep gains but just reading up to make sure. Alot of the stuff ive been reading is saying the typical you keep around 15-20 lbs (test cycle) losing around 10-15 lbs.

MYquestion is, lets say i do this 1 cycle, put on around the typicl 15-20 lbs of muscle and decide to never do a cycle again...will i keep these gains forever or will they eventually disappear even i keep lifting and eating great but dont do another cycle?

Also, ive read in some places that if you exceed your natural limit then any gains beyond that gained with steroids will be lost if one does not do another cycle even if they keep lifting/eating right purely for the fact that the body will not natrually produce enough test to sustain the muscle...is this true..because im pretty sure that with this cycle i am far exceeding my natural gains and do not plan on doing another cycle and will pretty much make this cycle obsolete if it is true...please let me know, thanks alot

5'6, currently 200 lbs on 3rd week of cycle at 8% BF, been lifting hard and eating right for 8 plus yrs


It is very individual and depends on numerous factors - including but not limited to;

1) your genetics
2) Your recovery of your natural T levels (though I must add to this that I went through stage where I was shutdown for 4 months and lost no strength, gained no fat and lost a minimal quantity of muscle 2-3lbs)
3) Your diet and nutrition when you come off
4) Your training when you come off
5) How much of your gains are water
6) Your lifestyle (sleep, alcohol etc)


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Cymru is on the mark...good PCT, sleep, nutrition/supplementation, and training are all factors you need to max out

You cannot retain the extra weight from steroid induced water and glycogen retention...depending on how much of your weight increase is water and glycogen (about equal to the weight you put on in the first week) you will lose a varying amount after the cycle (test has a fairly high amount of water/glycogen retention, varying a bit with how much anti-e you are running, so you will def lose some weight no matter what you do)....

I find for me this usually equates to 5-10 pounds depending on the dose and type of cycle I am on...you won't keep this weight unless you are doing something else to induce water and glycogen retention (creatine might help).

From there you are left with trying to retain additional muscle gained:
...if you do a good job of PCT you will reduce the amount of muscle loss (faster you can get your natural test levels elevated the faster you stop losing muscle).

...if you do a good job of eating and training you will reduce the amount of muscle loss. You will obviously have to reduce training volume but it doesn't mean you need to train light. Pushing yourself to workout I find to be the biggest challenge just because there is no motivation when there is no progress, I am never excited about lifting 5lbs less than the week before but if you are now doing so "unassisted" you are making progress.

...if you add other performance aids which work on a pathway other than your endocrine system during PCT you can help reduce muscle loss a little more (peptides like IGF/HGH seem to help a lot, creatine supplementation, insulin if you are experienced with it...if not then maybe something like Surge that will just help make use of your own insulin).

After my last cycle i did a cycle of GH for this very reason and I liked it a lot...I lost weight still but I think it was mostly water/glycogen/fatloss, I looked to have retained most if not all of the muscle gained (judged by looking in the mirror and weight lifted), and I regularly was getting comments from people that I "looked bigger" even though I dropped down as low at one point to a very dehydrated 215lbs (my on cycle weight was as high as 245lbs and I looked way more jacked at 215-225lbs), this alone was motivating enough to keep hitting it hard in the gym when off.

Good luck with your PCT


Good thread. I am currently in my second week of pct of my first cycle, and while I have lost a little size, I have kept my diet and training spot on. I can definitely tell I have lost some size, but so far it has been bloat. It is discouraging to just not have the extra kick in the gym, but always keep in mind all of the time you have invested in training, eating, etc. and that should provide you with the motivation to keep doing everything right so as to ensure that you keep most of your gains. From what I have researched (most being on here), if you do everything right then you will be ok.


Here's how many guys I know who have done only 1 cycle......... 0


Truest statement I have heard!


Yep +1 on this... Thought I'd do just one... Now I am a lifer.

I honestly think when people figure out that it's not pure hell jabbing yourself, and that if you have some common sense and the ability to listen to your elders...... It's quite easy


man, would be nice to keep track about your cycle and how is it going, and the PCT an kept gains too. AS you know im interested in this thing too.
Thank you in advance.


I never thought about it that way, I like that.


You keep your mouth shut until you change your avatar to something that would not most commonly be found in a gay porn magazine! Fuckin homo.

(Sorry, rookie hazing, had to do it. But seriously, change the avatar)



Ive found strength to be the most reliable indicator and method of keeping gains.
Ive never been one of those guys that is satisfied to "stimulate" and "feel" the muscle and all that jazz. That works for alot of guys, it doesn't work for me.
For as long as I have been working out I simply try to workout heavier, end of story.

Sure there maybe more effective ways to grow quicker, but I have my reasons, and I feel they are pretty good ones.

Now that said, I focus only on get stronger on every cycle, I let the diet and the heavier training take care of the growing, but I don't specifically train for strength like most powerlifters would, aka in the lower rep ranges, training for max strength, I try to lift heavier all the time on everything. And this isn't very difficult for me personally, I gain strength fairly easily just straight up and from anabolics in general.

I simply stay in the 5-8 rep range, for 5-3 sets, so my volume is still fairly high. And let the anabolics quickly bring me strength gains.

After I come off cycle, I simply try to keep replicating the same workout, without the benefit of anabolics.
Its difficult, but if you can "force" your body to keep lifting the same routine as on cycle, you will keep almost all of the new muscle.

Your going to lose a rep or two, but fight it tooth and nail, keep the strength levels the same.

I simply use longer rest periods to try to match my on cycle workouts, and it does work.

Logically it makes sense to me atleast, if you built the muscle specifically to lift heavier weights, and even after your androgen levels drop you force it to keep lifting those weights, its going to have to keep that muscle.

I feel that the guys who use anabolics and "stimulate" the muscle and try to feel the contractions and all that, are growing new muscles that don't have a "purpose" in the body.

The anabolics put them in a state that allowed them to pack on alot of muscle, but those muscles dont have a "use", they didn't gain the strength that SHOULD have come with that muscle.

So after cycle, without the anaboilcs, the body simply has no reason to maintain it, and they have no method to force it to maintain it, as they didn't make good use of the gear's ability to produce strength gains. Use strength as the reason for the muscle to be there, not the drugs.

Muscle from strength gains is more important to the body and easier to keep with simple force of will.

That came out kind of rambling, and I didnt really say anything we didnt already know, but I still think it will help alot of guys make sense of the whole "keeping gains problem".


Westclock - that makes total sense to me and your philosophy seems to be in line with this article:


Where the author explains how to keep muscle while losing fat. I know we're not specifically interested in the losing fat part of the article in this thread (maybe the OP is - he probably should be) but the concept of keeping the muscle seems to be the same. You body must feel that it has a critical purpose. The purpose is - you will be crushed if you do not lift the weight (that's almost a direct quote).


Good post westclock.


Sory man as ive been fucking some hot brazilian models recently i dont have any problem with my sexuality/avatar, but as this is a bodybuilder forum maybe i upload my ugly face or my backne in order for you to feel more confortable.
What do you want me to upload anyway? its just my body man. If you give me some tips ill be able to shoot my back when it gets as big as yours, meanwhile, ill keep showing the best of my progess, isnt it what we all do?

Anyway, ill upload the original one where my girlfriend appears, so there wont be any confusion again :wink:



Good thread, Good responses, Good Info!

Keep it coming, I just passed my 3rd week and I'm fearing the worst when the cycle is over.


oh don't worry about him, he's just kidding.

but seriuosly, stop being a fucking queer


I literally laughed out loud.


Get the fuck out of the steroid section, army boy.


thanks for all the input, definitely helps out a lot, ill keep yo guys posted with my cycle since a couple of u were interested...also yeah, i didnt actuall think id only end up doin 1 haha it was more hypothetical