T Nation

Point of Diminished Returns Taking Anabolics?

At one point do you guys think there is diminished returns during an AAS cycle? You see crazy cycles like 1000 test, 500 Tren, 1000 EQ, 50 Anadrol ED, 100 Anavar ED, etc, at what point do you stop and think, couldn’t I get most of the gains from just the test and Tren? How much more are you really squeezing out with the other compounds (and or upping dose of compounds) is it 10%? More? Less? I haven’t had enough experience with AAS to really gauge this so I’m curious what you vets have to say about it. To me it seems like there quickly comes a point where the risk reward ratio skews rapidly

I have mentioned this a few times in posts recently. For me personally I was only willing to use a moderate cycling approach and reached a ceiling that I couldn’t push through. I’m certain by increasing anabolic doses or using more aggressive compounds could push me through. I’m just not willing to do so. I guess thats a personal choice and also depends on ones goals. I don’t have the genetics or desire to compete and the only reason I see to use high dosages etc is if one is a competitive stage or strong man athlete as a life’s goal.


Seems like you’re probably capped at your genetic limit, I could see why someone would have to use crazy doses to get past a huge plateau, it’s a shame though cause all the time on forums you see young kids that are 5’10 and 150 lbs on grams of gear when what they really need is a caloric surplus. You can grow so much on test alone, but people don’t know shit about training or nutrition (partly due to the exorbitant amount of misinformation everywhere) so they compensate with androgens.


I couldn’t agree more. We get a lot of that on here and I can only imagine what you see on reddit and meso which I’m not part of.

I think I could easily either gain 15-20 more lbs at current BF level or maintain weight and drop 5% BF with the right compounds and dosages. Its just to do that I would be taking 19-nors, orals, and bumping dosages. I’m currently about 204 at 5’7" ~16% BF and my frame could hold more I think. It naturally likes to sit at 190-195lbs though on just TRT alone so I may be wrong. I know that I respond extremely well to Deca and have never tried Tren but I can’t run Deca due to libido issues that make it a non starter for me.

1 Like

I’ve said it a couple times before (Blshaw and I have discussed), but to me it seems that if blasting and cruising that it doesn’t make too much sense to get a lot bigger than you can hold while on a reasonable TRT dose. So if I take a big cycle and get to 230 lbs, but then drop back to 210 after 3 months on 200 mg of test a week, I don’t see much point for most people. Just seems like too much harm done to the body for temporary gains.

Maybe doing a big cycle for a powerlifting meet or something could make sense, but at the same time it is a weight class sport, and a ripped 210 lb physique cut down to 198 with a water cut is going to be pretty competitive too.

If you are willing to cruise on 500 mg+ a week, I think big cycles start to make more sense. At the same time, at a certain point the returns diminish so much that it just isn’t worth it IMO.

One very jacked guy I know doesn’t blast at all. He just runs a very high (IMO) cruise. Last I talked to him he runs 500 test / 500 EQ as the cruise year round. Maybe he is just blasting year round? It works well, and he holds 230 lbs on a small frame at 5’10" with veins everywhere. I tell him to reduce the dosage, but I don’t think it registers.

I would love to grow bigger. One day I want to fill out the 265 strongman sub-class. But right now I’m competing under 231 so I don’t want to get too big, just strong as fuck. I think tren would be great down the road, but I’m not ready to take that jump yet. So for now it’s just NPP, test and oxandrolone. I guess I’m technically over a gram a week right now if you count the 350 mg/wk oxandrolone. but injectables I’m at 875.

When I do run tren, I’m gonna run a trial dose at like 175 mg/wk. If it seems good I’ll probably run a full cycle there. No need to go up if it works and risk are the cardio and neuro problems.

That’s definitely a blast dose. Another topic I find interesting is the differences between for example a 12 week super high dose blast vs 24 weeks at moderate doses, I’d be curious to know the differences in body composition changes and health markers

I’ve always been tempted to try NPP but the libido issues always scared me. Tren gives me so much libido that I’ll get a hard on when I see my pump in the mirror.

1 Like

I was INCREDIBLY leery of NPP before trying it (currently on my first cycle) because of everything I read about it on here. I think I started P5P at 200 mg/day about 3 days before I started NPP, and I started that at 245 mg/wk (1g/lb). Lucky me, I have had zero issues with it and I think I actually have more libido on it than off it (and I already have a high libido).

I know everyone is different, but lucky for me it works well. I’m not saying to do it or not to do it, just pointing out the obvious that you don’t know until you try.

1 Like

I’ve seen before/after cycle pics of kids on reddit that looked almost exactly the same after 16 week blasts at 500mg/wk test. I see these types come in the gym blown up with acne and looking like a water buffalo because they never bothered with AI. They mill about for 30 minutes with low energy and then leave.

1 Like

Sounds like the kids who are too scared to pin so they just take a bunch of dbol, make some wet gains and then 3 months after their cycle they’re smaller than before their cycle

What do you think their mistake was? Not training right (not enough volume, intensity)?, diet?

All of the above. Bad cycle, poor form and intensity, incomplete programming, bad diet. They expect AAS to be some kind of comic book hulk situation and they’re just not.

1 Like

People underestimate how much more you get out of androgens by having perfectly dialed in nutrition and training. The current blast I’m running I’ve had the best diet and training approach I’ve had for hypertrophy to date, and I’m making better gains than I ever have even on higher dosages, and thats not to say I had shitty diet and training before either. Optimization is paramount. The results will be greater than the sum of its parts.

1 Like

To add to your experience, I have been told by essentially everyone online (in other forums) that recomping is impossible without tren, and so is gaining muscle in a deficit. It’s now occured to me, 10 weeks in to a blast of 500/60 test/var (var is just on week 4), these people are not only dead wrong, but probably relying on the drugs for their strength and physique. They’re the same people that complain about losing mass post-cycle so they run high cruises instead of replacement. Granted, once you get to a certain leanness and strength I’m sure this is more true. But if you have fat to lose recomping is definitely possible in my experience, as is adding mass and strength in a deficit if your macros on point. It’s just that there is a lot of discomfort involved.


Isnt the ED and libido issues on nandrolone more dose dependant? I’ve also started low, though using deca 200mg/w and no issues to speak of. Libido is almost annoying at times. I do take 200mg b6 a day, that may be helping.

I think all sides are dose dependent. I’m currently running 350 mg/wk and there was no changes from running 245 mg/wk except maybe a stronger libido. Soon I am bumping up to 400 mg/wk so I’ll see how it goes from there.

It also comes down to individual body chemistry as well, so who knows if I would ever experience it before running into other issues that would cause me to back off. I also think that sides are heavily dependent on nutrition and sleep (similar to what @vacantgardener mentioned above). I am having less overall sides on 3 compounds than I did on test alone with a (very) clean diet and more sleep.

1 Like

I’m interested to hear how you go in regards to sides with the increase. I was also considering an increase, maybe 300mg/w now that I know the 200 isn’t causing any issues. It would have to be soon though to benefit anything from it as I’m 5 weeks in on the deca.

When on cycle I’m almost obsessive with my nutrition, I’ll sit there eating a chicken stir-fry while the wife and kids eat take-out or something similarly unhealthy. :joy:Biggest issue I have is eating 5k calories of good food.

Sleep is a bit hit and miss sometimes but I have a nap in the arvos on training days.

I guess we can never really know for certain. I’m just hoping there will be no issues with an increase and im one of the guys that don’t get significant sides from nandrolone.

1 Like

I am running NPP, so I’ll notice a difference in sides much quicker… I hate pinning EOD though… Next cycle will definitely be Deca.

I try to keep my nutrition the same on and off cycle. I think on cycle it’s important for reduction of sides and body composition, but off cycle it’s just as important, as it helps maintain the gains I earned.

Was there a reason you picked npp over deca for your current cycle?

I keep my nutrition on point on cycle for the same reasons you mentioned. Post cycle and during PCT my nutrition is the same. Although when not on cycle/PCT im not as strict. Still a hell of lot better then your average person but I do allow myself to have a few meals I enjoy.

I guess I get to the point on cycle that I think of eating as simply fuel for getting bigger/stronger and the training involved to get there, while staying healthy using compounds that can cause health issues. With the amount of healthy food i need to eat to do that, i dont really enjoy eating.