Agree on your genetics.
You’ve got a tough choice to make. I’m not one to tell people “this is what you should do” because I’m just some random dude on the internet. We all are.
But Here are the considerations that come to mind when I look at your situation. Just some things I would think about, before you decide what YOU think is best for YOU.
Keeping in mind you favor strength over aesthetics….
If your T really is in the 400s, you could hop on 200mgs test right now and make the steady strength gains you are looking for a good while, while doing a slow cut in a slight caloric deficit until you get down to the 15% you mention. You’re over 30, and a family man now. Getting down to 15% would be really good for your health and cutting only gets harder from here on out. So better to get the fat off now, before it gets much harder.
Call that phase 1 (get as strong as possible on 200mgs/wk while in a slight deficit to cut down to your desired body fat)
Eventually, gains will dry up at 200/wk, while in a slight calorie deficit.
From there, you’ve got a lot of options for phase 2. Keeping in mind strength is your primary goal, you could…
A) be conservative and slowly, incrementally increase calories, and test dose to get gains going again. Example: keep test at 200 and increase calories to 500 above maintenance until gains dry up. Then, increase test to 250 for a few weeks. When gains dry up again, increase calories again. You’d repeat until you start to experience sides from the test dose. You’d discover your personal “point of diminishing returns”. This amount is different for everyone. Advantages of this method are:
- You would keep you making slow steady gains for a very, very long time.
- You would learn the max dose of Test you can handle before experiencing sides(priceless info if you are going to use AAS long term).
- This method is probably best for your health.
Disadvantages of this method are:
- It requires patience. Gains would be high quality, and keep able, but would come slowly over the next year+
B) your other option for phase 2 is to just jump right on a cycle. You said you’ve been reading for a while. So I’m sure you’ve seen tons of options. Just like everything else in the training realm, ask 10 guys and you’ll get 10 different cycle suggestions. This is primarily because there’s a HUGE variation in how we each respond to each compound. For your primary goal (strength), tried and true STRENGTH cycles that have stood the test of time (pun intended) are:
- 500 or more Test only
- Test + NPP
- Test + Anadrol
- Test + Tren
I won’t suggest amounts because I don’t want your thread to turn into a fight club.
The advantage of this method, over A), is:
- much faster gains. Many will say “why take over a year to gain would you could in 3-4 months?”
The disadvantages would be:
- Side effects
- Less chance of success. You don’t know how your body is going to respond to the drugs. You very well may end up having to ditch the cycle and start over, more than once.
- Lower quality gains. Generally speaking, the faster gains are made from AAS, the less keepable they are.
You’ve got plenty of time to decide what you wanna do for phase 2. Phase 1 will take you at least three months, probably more like 6. Still plenty of time to research drug fun and bounce ideas off of people.
There is an insane amount of experience on this forum. Sometimes asking a simple question can make a world of difference. For example I recently said that I get bad mental sides from NPP. A guy on here said I should try some P5P. That has turned out to be one of the best pieces of AAS advice I ever received. After months of trying to make that drug work for me, and failing, i am able to use it now, without issue. But I never knew to even google search P5P. I had never even heard of it. “You don’t know how much you don’t now” my grandpa once told me.
Best of luck to you on your AAS journey!