T Nation

Need Help Making a Comeback

I’ll just jump right into it. I lifted from age 14 till age 24, it was my life. Never touched anything other than whey and creatine as far as supplements. I peaked my main lifts at
DL 545x1
squat 405x3 (never maxed)
bench 365x2 (never maxed)
Im 5’10" and WAS 195lbs @ about 16%
Then life happened, I got married, had 2 daughters, built a house myself, and worked my ass off. The gym took a backseat…a FAR backseat.
Im now about to turn 30 and when Covid “started” I saw my opportunity to recapture what i once loved. acquired everything I needed for a solid home gym and got to work…well, i tried. Felt something was up so I went to my Dr and got bloods. Forgive me for not having the full workup available as my life is hectic and i lose paperwork like it is a part time job, but my FT was in the 400’s which i thought was low but my Dr said im fine. Im now about 6 months into this and have decided i would like to do a round of test C. I have perfect if not slightly low BP always, and have never had a mood swing in my life short of pure joy at my healthy kids births. Im researching the hell out of this every day for 4 weeks now and think i have a solid (enough) understanding. just want some opinions as to how much i should do since I haven’t hit a plateau in any regards. my diet is finally on point and my current lifts are
DL 405x2
squat 225x15 (knee injury so can’t go too heavy)
bench 275x1
my body type now is old and fat (20-25%). just retained a lot of strength.

I already have test C, Hcg, clomid, nolva, and p5p. I also have tren A but im not touching that shit until i see how i react to this stuff (i have an extreme tolerance to ALL drugs if that makes any difference)

again in summary I just want opinions on how i should run this. Im trying to upload pictures of me at my peak and my current pic, but the edited pictures are not showing up.

If Your body fat is correct you’d be better off losing some weight before using the gear. Don’t waste your first cycle on a fat loss phase, get shredded then get jackedsss

If your natural test is already kinda crappy even with a PERFECT pct you’re just gonna end up back at kinda crappy. Have you prepared for the fact that you may be married to the needle for the rest of your life (TRT)?

please don’t use the tren right now lol. It seems most agree 500mg/week of test divided up into atleast two shots a week is a good spot to be while balancing quality gains and minimal sides for a first cycle. That’s where I’d start if I was in your shoes.

the body fat was an honest guess. just took a fresh pic and got it to upload. I could wait but im honestly at a point definition is less of a concern and strength is a priority. Im married, have kids, and already bald, so no impressions need to be made :sweat_smile:
I have accepted i may need to stay on TRT but i am adjusting my sleep schedule and stressors in order to hopefully raise them back after this cycle.


Finally one person who adds a pic.

Anyways, by the picture looks like you have a good base. I dont think you need to lose weight if that is not your goal. Just try not to overeat too much, but still gain weight(muscle) and your overall bodyfat % will get lower if it stays the same but you gain muscle.

Anyways, since you are ready to be on TRT, you could just start a cruise dose of 1mg of test per 1 pound of bodyweight. I would want you to be able to do your previous best maxes on a cruise dose of test with no sides. Then, after that we could think about doing a mild blast, and going far beyond what you could do before.


With a cruise dose (200mg per week) should I even bother with hcg or anything for that matter?

If it means anything, this was @24 years old lifting my heaviest. i have been leaner in the past but cutting was never anything i spent much time doing.

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Good pics(both) - they tell me you know what you are doing so you 100% qualify to actually try something. Most people on this forum who want to start steroids, cant even provide info or a picture of themselves - you are a standard of what i would like to see as a beginner in steroid field on here.

Lets say your cruise from now on will be 200mg… so you will be doing a few months on this and if you want or need to, you would be blasting double that with maybe some added oral or whatever(we can talk about that in 3-4 months)… so 200mg should be your comfort zone… if you want some more health you can play with lower doses(actual TRT) but a 200mg cruise is good - @mnben87 is on this much and he is making progress in strenght and fatloss.
Aaanyways, a bit of HCG will just keep your balls bigger if that is a concern. For some people they get really small, for some they just lose 20% size and stay that way. Since you have kids, fertility is probably no issue.
You can try a month or two on 200mg of test(E3D injections would be best) and just see how it goes… if your balls shrink and thats a problem - add HCG and it will fix em in a few days. After a month check your E2 - you can add anastrozole IF NEEDED.

Ideally, you should be able to get away with 200mg of test with nothing extra and not fucking up your bloodwork too much.


Thanks Hank i appreciate the input and will go with your advice. I will post updates after 4-6 weeks and see everyone’s thoughts on how things are going. Not gonna lie, dreading my first pin :rofl:

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It sounds like you’re all set to go, so this may just be semantics, but if this is FT, and if the units are pg, then it’s great. But, I’m guessing it’s maybe total test and 400ng isn’t awesome, but wouldn’t qualify for TRT for most docs.

Anyway, get some labs done about 8 weeks into your “TRT” and see where you come out. Should be fine

I have a feeling my current low T is due to my extremely stressful job, mixed with lack of sleep and stress at home. Hopefully after i run this test C and my confidence pushing heavy weight rises, so does my natural testosterone. Time will tell, on the bright side my sex drive is that of Casanova haha im just super lethargic during the day. which is a big reason im avoiding the tren, if i lose my sex drive, ill lose my mind.

Yes. It’s cheap and it works.


This would crush any man’s testosterone. If you are at 400 with this, I wouldn’t be surprised if you have 700 without these factors.

Seems to me like you are maybe giving up good natty levels just to get back faster. I understand but you may regret that decision.

Unfortunately I dont have much control over these factors aside from sleep which I am getting more of now.


You seem to have good genetics and a solid base. So, you’ve got those two things working for you, putting you miles ahead of most beginners.

Sorry if I missed your goals. Do you want to look pretty or get strong? Sure you can do both, but which is your personal priority? One will suffer at the expense of the other. I personally give zero fucks about looking pretty and walk around 18-20% BF and only train to get stronger. Others look like an anatomy chart but can barely deadlift 2.5 x BW. I ask because your goal will determine the plan. I’m sure you already knew this, though.

Id like to cut body fat slightly, id assume im around 22% right now and would aim for 15-18%. But my main goal is strength for sure. My genetics are pretty good. I ate nothing but gas station food and garbage for 6 years and what you see is as bad as it has gotten so when i get strong, i naturally get leaned out as well even on a shit diet which i don’t do anymore

I have actually gone to 50 EOD or 175 mg/wk. The M,W,F protocol just drove me nuts.


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:

  1. You would keep you making slow steady gains for a very, very long time.
  2. 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).
  3. This method is probably best for your health.

Disadvantages of this method are:

  1. 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:

  1. 500 or more Test only
  2. Test + NPP
  3. Test + Anadrol
  4. 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:

  1. much faster gains. Many will say “why take over a year to gain would you could in 3-4 months?”

The disadvantages would be:

  1. Side effects
  2. 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.
  3. 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!


How much HCg should I run? and i see most people measuring by IU’s and how the hell do i convert that to ML.

The HCG powder will be in iu, say 10,000 to make it easy. Then you mix it with BAC water to the desired concentration. In this case you could use 5mL, so each mL is 2,000iu, or .5mL is 1,000iu


thanks for the quick reply bro. i was struggling to understand this part