T Nation

Prolonged Cycle

Background: 37 years old, 230lb and have been strength training for 5 years. I am currently on my second cycle. This is the 9th week of my cycle listed below leading up to a powerlifting competition.

Test E 250mg E3D
Adex 0.5mg ED

Last 4 weeks of cycle I will add in Dbol 10mg 3x/d (I donâ??t mind the water retention)

***I have a script for HRT so after the cycle I will go back down to 150mg of Test E3D and 0.5mg of Adex E3D.

***My sides are just some moderate acne on the back and shoulders and that has been semi cleared up by the recent addition of Nizoral Anti-Dandruff shampoo.

Issue: This was supposed to be a 12 week cycle leading up to the competition. Due to unforeseen issues, I changed to a different competition three weeks out from the original competition date. That would make my cycle 15 weeks long. Now because of other issues, I cannot commit to the new date and the next competition that is semi-local is another three weeks out, which would make my cycle length 18 weeks.

I have searched on here for long cycles and have seen for example that a 20 week cycle is excessive but most of the examples of long cycles had other ancillaries involved such as deca. I have also read FuriousGeorgeâ??s sticky regarding Long Cycles (3-9 months) and nothing there scared me away except for more pronounced sides, but I think I have that under control (unless there is something that I am missing).

Based on the circumstances, is 18 weeks too long for this cycle? I can stop at 12 weeks, go back to HRT and then still do the competition but that wouldnâ??t be optimal from a strength perspective. Comments would be appreciated.

The reasons one would avoid extended periods of use commonly include;

Reduced ability to recover natural T
Cholesterol, BP and other health factors.
Diminishing results
Reduced collagen Synthesis

Now… the first point has no relevance to you as you never will come off test’rone till you are old as the hills.

The second wouldn’t be an issue so much if you were coming off at 20 weeks OR you were dropping to physiological levels, but your TRT dose is… well, kinda excessive to be honest.
This is a higher level than what men produce naturally (as a average sure, but i would speculate that it is possibly higher than any men can produce at all) - at 350mg a week.

The third point is down to a few theories i believe - but it is a real occurance nonetheless. The longer you stay on the less effective that same dose of AAS becomes. Changing the drug and/or having breaks from use - even periods of low dose ‘maintenance’ (blast and cruise) steroid between higher dose cycles works wonders.

The fourth is a very very significant point IMO WRT you. You are a strength athlete which does mean you will have strong connective tissues too… BUT it also means that they undergo massive loads frequently.
Testosterone (forget the other AAS for the time being though i suspect you may be using some in the near future!) at doses above ~200mg has a negative effect on collagen synthesis, this means that while the muscles continually get stronger, bigger and tighter - the comparatively avascular tendons and ligaments have a lesser regenerative capability.

Now, if you were on regular TRT then after the cycle you would have a sufficient break allowing you to spend some time building up your conn. tissues… but as you seem to range from 350-600mg only… this may at some point (no, i doubt this soon, unless you have an injury in the post…) cause ‘issue for your tissue’!

I would suggest you do the following as a minimum (assuming you have 9 weeks before the meet):

Drop to ~150-200mg/wk and do some conditioning work for 4 weeks.
Then go onto your effective cycle dose… 600mg (583mg) for the 6 weeks upto the meet.

Then drop back to 150-200mg for another 2-4 weeks, then 350mg for a few weeks then another cycle!

I suggest dropping down to TRT now as then you will have time to recoup, improve the effects of the drug by the time the meet comes PLUS the period of lower dose T will allow you to make sure you are conditioned for the work to be done (ie. Psyched max-effort) in the near future.

I think that during your TRT ‘runs’ you should make sure to incorporate some 150-200mg weeks to make sure you are not neglecting your conn. tissues over time.

IMO, if you are not cycling high doses, then 200-300mg of T is a very nice level to use… but for someone who is also running blasts, then it is really using quite a lot of T.

Regardless - i hate to see some very beautiful(ly toxic) steroids be ignored for just a moderate dose Test run at a PL meet!




Nice post JJ

Theloneous to add to the quality words above let me say that speaking as a fellow 35+ powerlifter that I just ran a 18 week cycle myself so don’t get overly worried about duration in your case. Also I must vigorously concur with JJ’s recommendation to expand your arsenal to include tren. There is nothing, especially in a test/dbol stack that enhanced my PL than that triple-combo. When you train as a PL, when you hit 1RM weekly a la the westside protocol tren really is untouched for strength increases. You probably wont even need that much. If you can get Tren Ace 50mg ED is the standard starter dose and it produced very very tangible results for most. If you can get Tren Enanthate 300-400mg a week is the same thing. I use 400mg a week myself. That’s in the presence of 1G a week of test and 40-50mg of dbol on training days. More is definitely not necessarily better with tren. But rest assured especially as a PL get some in your system. After just 1 month you’ll be measureably stronger.
Also one thing I’ve found from personal experience is taking all my dbol all at once [and not spreading it out in divided doses] gives me more of a boost during my training/workouts. Use your injectables to keep your blood levels consistent and use the oral dbol for a boost pre training. It might be unconventional but it works.