T Nation

Message to Guys Who Want to Do their First Cycle


#1

I did my first cycle roughly a year ago and this has been my experience.

I started lifting when I was 16. Like many guys who embrace the gym culture, I constantly thought about doing my first cycle during my college years. Looking back now, I'm glad that I didn't. I didn't have the maturity to handle the ups and downs that naturally come with cycling.

When I was younger I lifted for sports and once the sports faded I looked for other ways to compete. I tried both Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting and came to love powerlifting. A few powerlifters introduced me into the world of gear.

I waited until I was 25.

At the time of my first cycle I was 5'10 185 lbs, 12% bodyfat, benching 335, squatting 405, and deadlifting 545.

I did 500mg of Test Enth per week for 12 weeks and 12.5 mg aromosin EOD.

I blew the fuck up. I put on 10 lbs in the first two weeks and all of my lifts were up. By week 4 I was feeling amazing. My gf commented on how my libido was through the roof (she never knew I was on). My bench was up 40 lbs, squat up 60 lbs, and deadlift up 60 lbs. I ended up straining my left pec and had to work around it for the remainder of the cycle.

By the end of the cycle I was up to 205 lbs (+20), 375 lb bench (+40), 515 lb squat (+110), and 645 lb deadlift (+100). Several people at work commented on how I looked like I had packed on 15 lbs of muscle over the winter. I had a few normal sides, like bloating and a little bit of increased acne.

Coming off is where it all started to go downhill. A few days before I began pct, I blew out my back trying to deadlift 655 (bulged disc). I continued to work other body parts, but it took 4 months before I was able to deadlift again. I was still recovering from my pec strain as well. I'm not sure if it was just a coincidence, but my gf ended up breaking up with me during pct.

To put it lightly, I was depressed. I'm glad I was 25 because if I was 18 or 19 I'm not sure how I would have handled all of the stress. I ate as much as I could but by the end of pct I was down to 195 lbs. As the months went on, I slowly reverted right back to where I started. About 185 lbs at 12%. Today, I'm lifting a little bit more than I was a year ago pre-cycle, but certainly nowhere near my cycle numbers. However I'm happy to be injury free and in the gym doing what I love.

I figured out the hard way that you can't keep any of the gains past your own natural limit unless you continue to stay on. There's really no point to using unless you are on for life.

As much as I loved the feeling of being on gear, I have decided to return to natural lifting for the foreseeable future. Well, mostly... I use a bit of clen here and there. But I know the sacrifices that geared lifters make and it's just not going to make me any happier. Deadlifting 700 instead of 600 isn't going to make my life any better. Being 200 lbs at 10% wont make me any happier than being 180 lbs at 10%.

You risk injury, extreme highs and lows, legal trouble, and spending a small fortune on these drugs. After every high comes the inevitable low. With your lifts, with your libido, with your mood, and with your life.

So my advice to anyone wanting to cycle for the first time is this: ask yourself these two questions.

  1. Why do you want to use steroids and do you think it will make you happier in the long run?
  2. Are you prepared, financially and emotionally, to continue using them for the rest of your lifting career in order to keep your gains?

If you answered no to either of those questions, you might want to rethink your first cycle.


#2

I am sad to hear that you got so injured during your cycle. It seems to me like I have read this story many times before. Increasing max lifts too fast is a common mistake when people start using anabolic steroids. Your muscles are getting stronger quickly, but your connective tissue is not. From what I understand, that is when injuries strike. Yours is one of the many cautionary tales for those who wish to cycle for the first time.


#3

Your strength gains were rapid and perhaps exceptional. But strength gains of connective tissue are slow as those tissues are not vascular. So you made a mistake there. We have many here who have torn tissues, many for the same reason. Too much too soon. It was not the cycle, but your intensity. Can’t blame the gear. [I will be the first to jump down a new guy’s throat for ill conceived cycles.]

We do see more sins of PCT than sins of cycle.

Thank you for sharing this. Unfortunately we do not have a way to keep this message upfront for new guys.

Did you have warning signs before the shit hit the fan?


#4

Truth. The post is a pretty fantastic perspective. With all the insane crap people do it can still be tough when you do it “right.”

Footnote to doing too much too fast, but in fairness that is really hard to know where that line is.


#5

Great post thanks for sharing. I’ve been lurking and pondering… I’m still making good if not great gains gains at 31yrs. I believe I have decided to keep on the Natty path for the time being.
I have had some people who thought I was enhanced but not yet. I feel like if I was they’d KNOW IT!

Current stats Are 6’4 290lbs Bench. 365
Squats. 405
Deadlift 465


#6

[quote]KSman wrote:
Your strength gains were rapid and perhaps exceptional. But strength gains of connective tissue are slow as those tissues are not vascular. So you made a mistake there. We have many here who have torn tissues, many for the same reason. Too much too soon. It was not the cycle, but your intensity. Can’t blame the gear. [I will be the first to jump down a new guy’s throat for ill conceived cycles.]

We do see more sins of PCT than sins of cycle.

Thank you for sharing this. Unfortunately we do not have a way to keep this message upfront for new guys.

Did you have warning signs before the shit hit the fan?[/quote]
Yes. For every injury I’ve had, there has always been a warning sign. I used to push through it but I’ve since learned that lesson the hard way.

My chest was fairly tight when I strained my pec. I was repping sets of 315 for 7 and I was grinding the last few reps really hard. It happened on one of those grinders.

My back was even more glaring. I had maxed the week before and I was having a little bit of low back the week before. The back pumps were insane on gear though. So much that the pain of the pump usually stopped my workout before my muscles wore out.

Now I know why Frank Zane was so injury conscious and frequently trained light.