T Nation

Keeping Strength after Becoming Clean?


#1

Currently I have no reason to take steroids, I remember asking about them a while ago and was flamed not to do it so I won’t (not for a long time), But this was the biggest reason why I didn’t is because of the fact that say if you took them on and off for a long period of time, did a couple shows etc then thought “I wan’t to come off” after coming off and being you’d gradually lose your “gainz” I believe this is due to hormones taking over the muscle building process instead of the resistance from training a.k.a (stronger muscle group = bigger muscle group) when natural (that’s what I believe anyway)…

Now to my question…
Say if I reached my natural limit in 10 or so years I’d be 28 years old trying to see results as they get slower and slower over time, I want to get much stronger so I decide to do a cycle of something that would help my boost my strength gains, I push past that barrier after the cycle I’m much stronger, I do a couple more until I think “that’s it I am happy with what I acheived” now a couple months after my last cycle I still have the weight I was lifting when I finished, Would doing it for strength be similar to doing it to muscle meaning you’d loose strength and I mean the strength you gained with gear as obviously as you age you’ll lose some strength

The reason I’m asking this is because I know a lot of competitive strongmen are probably on something and I’m really taking appeal to the sport so I’m weighing pros and cons for the future.


#2

Your natural limit is going to change over the years. In 97 I went from 175 to 195 in about 4 months after fixing my diet and lifting routine. Could not gain a pound past that for years, but would lose as much as 5 pounds over a weekend if my wife and I were just being lazy and I didn’t eat like normal. After sitting at 195ish for more than 5 years, around 03-04 I was able to get my weight up to 205ish, and keep it without losing pounds over a weekend. Stuck at 205 for several years again, then around 09-10 I was able to get up around 210 and stay there. Full disclosure: I am 41 and currently about 215ish, but have been on TRT for almost 3 years with the occasional mild cycle of tbol in that time. This will get me over 220, and I can usually keep that after cycling off (staying at TRT dose the whole time - ran out of tbol several months ago and haven’t gotten any since).

Point being, your natural ‘set point’ will change over the years. It was frustrating as hell and took me a while to learn, but that’s the way it is. Dial in your training, nutrition, and recovery as tight as you can and see what happens. When you stop gaining, reassess. There might be something you can change (ie, getting 8+ hours of sleep each night rather than 6-7), but it might simply be that you need to stay at that weight for a while before you try and gain again.

This is all assuming you are trying to stay relatively lean. If you want mass at any cost, then cut back on cardio and cram in the cheeseburgers and milkshakes.


#3

Like most young guys, it sounds like you are trying to get everything with the least amount of effort.

You want to cycle and quickly get to your genetic limit than just hopefully stay there for the rest of your days while you party, live it up and eat what you want?

It doesn’t work like this, even with roids. To hit your limit you will need to dedicate your life to improving your lifting. After awhile you will either fall in love with it and won’t consider anything else (natty or PED) or you will give up/slow down and fall into something else you love to do.

This ‘get huge quick’ scheme is just another fairytale that only works for less than 1% of the population.


#4

No… I want to know if when you come off does all the strength you’ve increased with PED’s go and you go back to what you were naturally, I’m asking for lonvgevity not because I wat to now, I know the more I research now the more I’ll know in 10 or so years…


#5

For the most part, yes, you will lose strength. Depends on how far above your ‘normal’ (bad descriptor in this case, since your strength levels will fluctuate some even with consistent training) strength level you get. If you use dbol for example, and are able to go 30 pounds beyond your best-ever PR on bench, then you MAY be able to keep some of that with smart and aggressive training. (these numbers are examples only, YMMV)

In my case, my bench 1RM has always stayed in the neighborhood of 3 plates. Don’t think I’ve ever gotten beyond 330 natty. On one of my short tren cycles, I got a good solid single at 370.
And have never gotten anywhere near that since.