T Nation

Not Another First Cycle Help Thread


Well actually it is lol. Sorry if this is this the wrong place, this is my first thread and I'm new to this forum, but I plan to be a new frequent, some direction would be greatly appreciated. I used to be pretty overweight most my life (220 at 5'8") but was still active in sports, until I was about 22 when I started lifting. At my leanest I was 5'8" and 160 lbs with 10% bf, and now I'll be 27 in a few months, still maxed at 5'8" and weigh 190~ at 15% bf.

In high school I had a knee injury in karate to fix my ACL, MCL and remove half of my meniscus. I suppose those are my relevant physical stats, as far as weightlifting goes my Bench: 245 Squat: 325 Deadlift: 465. I've spent a lot of time on form but am still always working trying to fix butt wink on my squats (possibly not go past 90 degrees, and more leg drive on bench). I train more powerlifting style with some bodybuilding accessory work, I use Wendler a lot for this reason.

I've been stuck on my lifts for a while now and I feel it's because I'm getting older but 27 wouldn't be so bad if I had started lifting so late at 22. Been considering test-e 500mg a week with the usual clomid and nolvadex pct. I've done a ton of research on the cycle itself so my question isn't about how to do it or dosages. More so I'm wondering if this is a good time to do test-e? And if you were on test-e (in the appropriate situation given your opinion) what would be a good training routine if strength was the main goal with some size? Sorry for the long read guys, anything would be appreciated!


What is your goal? You mention stuck on your lifts, but you have been all over the place with BW and BF%.


Yes I left that out didn’t I? My goal is to become strong and bench well over 3 plates, squats over 4 and deadlift over 6, and have a nice arms and legs while I’m at it lol, but that’s secondary by a long shot. I should mention I’m a raw lifter except for chalk, never used a belt or straps. The bf% increase came with the bw increase due to a year bulk cycle which I feel was successful with an appreciable amount of strength gain and muscle. I intended to start my cycle in April, unless anyone can convince me that it’s a bad idea or wrong approach.

I’ve been leaning out since I’ve been eating much better (I’m knowledgeable enough about dieting) and I want to be lean as possible before a test-e bulk cycle. Currently at 180 < at 15% bf and I’ll be at probably 180 at 12% by April. Please don’t say I’m not big enough or whatever, at 5’8" I’m fine with being under 200 and lean but strong as as ox by the end of a test-e cycle. This is keeping in mind I train with strength in mind and muscle gain is my second priority. How much strength gain can I expect to see off a test-e only cycle? Was thinking of doing a homemade Wendler style program with more accessory work for aiding my lifts and some extra arm work and what not. Maybe tinker with the deloads. Ideas, input, advice are greatly appreciated. Does this forum have a rep system?


If I were you, I would bear with the current fustration and find a way to get past this plauteau. I would bring my bench up to AT LEAST 1.5x bodyweight and squat to 2x bodyweight before beginning a cycle. Reason being, what are you going to do when you stall on gear? Surely you don’t intend to just keep increasing the dosages and hope for the best, right?

It’s overcoming the really hard stalls that show how much we really know about our bodies, and once you succeed in doing that, you’ll be able to use gear to reach your full potential, not rely on it as a crutch while achieving mediocre results.


Very true, and I must say I agree with you. I may still take gear due to admittedly being impatient, but you make very valid points.


[quote]SuitedAces wrote:
Very true, and I must say I agree with you. I may still take gear due to admittedly being impatient, but you make very valid points.[/quote]

At least your willing to admit you are impatient.

I think you could get to a 500lbs deadlift unenhanced, from personal experience i noticed that once you break to a really stubborn plateau you ussually either lift a huge PR or slowly keep improving towards it


I wouldn’t deny it. I have been working on my form a lot, and have since stopped going so deep on squats and instead stopping at parallel, maybe slightly below for the haters heh. Squat seems to be going up immediately after this change as I feel like I’m quarter squatting but am going deeper than I think, just gotta fine tune it a bit. My deadlift should go up from this too. I can def pull 5 plates with a belt and if I used straps probably even more. Maybe I will hold off temporarily, but I feel like it’s just a matter of time before when I decide to gear up. Thanks for the responses, I’ll post back later if anyone is interested.


So the cycle was overall successful I feel. I brought my max squat from 325 to 395 at my peak. I can pinpoint the moment when I realized that this shit works, I had worked up to 315 doing anywhere from 5 to singles which is what I usually do, then attempt 315 for as much as I can get, usually 1-2. I pumped out a set of 10 and at that moment, the power of these things was realized. My bench went from 245 - 275. The reason it was so low was because I sustained a shoulder injury from doing weighted dips.

I know the exact set and rep that did it too. I had replaced bench with weighted dips temporarily to spur some new gains. I quickly got better at them again as I used to be decent at them using around 70 lbs when I was 160 lbs bw, but I had dropped them as an assistance move for a while. I was working up to a set of two cookies (90 lbs) for amrap getting around 3 at first and in a couple weeks 5-8. A week or two of using 90 lbs, I decided to try the 100 lb dumbbell. Well I got 3 and wanted to try for 5 but on the 4th one something happened in my shoulder and I stopped immediately.

Wasn’t a sharp pain so much as a stretched, tense feeling on my front delt to my collarbone and a little on the top of the medial delt. Shoulders haven’t been the same since and my bench and all push exercises are suffering for it. My deadlift also saw decent gains as well going from 465 to 515. Messed around with sumo for 4 weeks and that helped my conventional enough that when I switched back to it I was starting to see numbers go up again. Some form cues I picked up while researching sumo really helped my conventional.

Overall in my peak my raw total went from 1035 to 1185 and my bw went from 195-210. A 150 lbs increase to my total and 15 lbs of water, muscle and fat (in that order) in my first cycle of just Test-E, I think that’s decent. It’s good enough to make me want to try another cycle again, probably Test-E at a higher dose and Deca to hopefully help with recovery a bit