T Nation

Should I Cycle?

Hi Guys,
I’ve been training for 3-4 years now (always been very dedicated, I’m going to the gym 6 times a week, it’s my passion like most guys here :slight_smile: ), since a year i’ve been starting to track my daily intake + lifts and right now I’m cutting and following Project Colossus from JM (I know, it’s quite an intense program to run while cutting but I was getting bored of my own programs so decided to switch things up a little)
This is how my physique looked a month ago (I lost some bodyfat in this month though)
Imgur
Imgur
This is my current back:
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Current stats:
172cm
67kg
12ish % bodyfat I guess? I always find it hard to tell, inbody scan says it’s 10.9 but that shit aint accurate
(Imgur: The magic of the Internet)
Legs:
Imgur: The magic of the Internet
Current lifts (I really really really don’t care about strength, I’m not an ego lifter in any sort of way either cause I honestly dont give a fwuak about how much someone lifts lol, if u lift heavy, sick bro, but thats not where my goals are)
Bench: 110kg @ 78kg bw
Deadlift 140kg @ 60-65kg bw or so (havent deadlifted for over 2 years tbh)
Squat 5x110kg @ 78kg bw (only been squatting since recently, but for mass it’s not my go-to)
OHP 2x70kg @ no idea BW

I’ve been thinking about cycling for about a year now and I’ve done my research in the past year as well.
I was thinking about getting my blood work done and then hopping on a 12-14 week Test E or Test C 300mg cycle, injecting 2 times a week for stable blood work + also injecting HCG and doing a PCT of nolvadex. Maybe getting arimidex but idk about that yet

I would like to know your opinion on my physique (what should I focus on more?) and if I should cycle or not. I know natural I can still achieve so much but I actually have bodybuilding ambitions, my friends that dont lift say I dont need to cycle and that I look big enough.
I hope some guys of you will recognize themselves in this post, like for people that dont lift you’re always big enough. But for yourself you’re not big enough u know :stuck_out_tongue:
Supplements I take now:
Creatine Monohydrate
ZMA (I know zinc and magnesium do deny eachothers absorption)
Omega-3 (fish oil, 10 pills a day to reach 3 grams of EPA/DHA)
Vitamin D3 4000iu
My diet is just IIFYM, only things I care about is reaching my protein + fat goals each day and getting my calorie deficit (which is about 1900-2000 calories now)

How old are you

Almost 24

Seems like you are focusing on the “mirror muscles” (i.e. chest and biceps), I think you need to hit triceps, traps, and delts.

Also, you’re pretty young to start PEDs. You should have great test levels naturally now. You need to take advantage of that and just eat clean, high quality food with minimal processing, and focus on the 3 big power lifts.

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It would be a good idea to get baseline bloodwork done before you do anything else.
At 24 with your current progress, your natural T level might be above what 300T/w can give you and you would notice nothing for all the money and effort.
Plus should you do a cycle you need to know if your PCT worked. If you don’t know your naddy numbers you will never know if you made it all the way back.

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Thanks for the reply!
The reason my delts are lacking is because of the lockdown we had here and the lack of equipment for training shoulders. Even though I do think my delts are one of my better body parts

As mentioned I’m now following John Meadows his program, but there isn’t really a big focus on shoulders. Only like 8 primary sets a week or so, might add some more in myself I guess. Any good recommendations? Mostly the program says to do side lateral raises and shoulder presses. Maybe throw in something like a face pull or so for my rear delts?

With traps I 100% agree with you, I rarely train them to be honest
The volume I have for bicep isn’t that high either, I focus more on tricep than bicep tbh :smiley:

I might just get my bloodwork done so I know where my T-levels are now, I also do think I have got high T-levels because of the supplements I take (for example Omega-3 and Vitamin D3 that all “boost” your testosteron production"

I know to focus on the 3 big power lifts, but I honestly don’t feel that much for them. I made very shitty leg gains on squats past year, while I gained a lot on leg presses and leg extensions (I ran Gamma Bomb at that time)

I will 100% get my baseline bloodwork done. Even when not hopping on a cycle, I’m very curious about my T-levels, SHBG, LDL, HDL etc. Maybe even planning in 2 rest days before taking it to get more stable results and such.

I wanted to test myself on the following points:

  • Free test
  • Total test
  • FSH
  • LH
  • Estradiol
  • Prolactine
  • Progesteron
  • ALAT
  • ASAT
  • SHBG
  • CBC
  • LDL & HDL

Got any suggestions what to add/remove?

When I brought up my lifts I got a lot bigger with low t at the time. Now I’m doing blast and cruise (cruise at 200 mg/wk). Mostly I’m just leaner.

If you’re going to do the test do 500 mg/wk. I was underwhelmed with 325 mg/wk.

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well, it depends on if you care what others think… if your friends say you are big, then you are big, why cycle, right?
if you dont care then you wouldnt ask this in the first place.

anyway, its a choice…
my opinion is that if you have sport related ambitions then PCT is out, its BnC only, and with that comes the responsibility - are you ready to be shut down forever(if you care) and are you ready to be not able to have kids.
If you plan on fucking yourself up and then PCTing, i would suggest you start a family first, and cycle when you are older.
If you have real goals, and dont care then sure - BnC is the way, and go jab some test.

It all comes down to each of us and what we want and believe in. For one, i believe it is easier to NOT do it…

That is a very good idea. Also, hold back on your supplements. Biotin for example can really throw your lab work off.

Google? Biotin and blood test articles.
Biotin in blood or other samples taken from patients who are ingesting high levels of biotin in dietary supplements can cause clinically significant incorrect lab test results. The FDA has seen an increase in the number of reported adverse events, including one death, related to biotin interference with lab tests .

For 2 or 3 days just eat normal and drink a ton of water. This will really help you find your true natural blood levels and that is money well spent.

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I’m not advocating for OP to cycle, but this is unequivocally false and I dislike the disonnance and borderline dishonesty present within the PED community over just how strong these drugs are.

Statistically speaking, OP’s natty T level at its very peak MIGHT be around 650-700ng/dl with FT in the upper quartile of normality.

300mg/wk T generally drops SHBG to the low teens/20’s, statistical average pegs NADIR T concentrations at around 1350ng/dl (with FT presumably 2-3x the upper limit of normal), peak T would be closer to 3000ng/dl

In no, way shape or form can 300mg/wk be compared to natural status, even 200mg/wk is (typically) so far out of the norm the comparision can’t be made. Perhaps an average natty might have a T equitable to 75mg test C/E/W, 100-125mg at a push with very good genetics. Dose related response differs from person to person, I’m using the median response extrapolated through literature.

One might give me shit here for saying “this isn’t helpful, your convincing op to pull the trigger”. I’m not, AAS use has MANY potential complications/inherent risks associated with it; but giving dishonest info reminds me of that DARE campaign back in the 80’s/90’s that eventually and ironically appears to have led more kids into trying drugs as opposed to acting as a deterrent.

If someone figures out what they’ve been told isn’t true or is a MASSIVE exaggeration from the truth they tend to become disillusioned. As a result they may stray away from all advice, including advice associated with harm minimisation. I’d rather OP is informed of the sheer power/risk associated with PED use instead of the old “your natty test levels are already equitable to being on cycle”… Because they’re not, it’s not even close.

There are people who gain 10-15 lbs in a matter of months when they go to an anti aging clinic and are put on like 250mg/wk with a baseline of like 500ng/dl

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Yeah well I figured I can always up the dose if necessary. I’d rather start out low than starting out way too high and taking even more risk

It’s mainly because I don’t believe people when they say I am big. Also I don’t think I’m big myself.

Cruising at 200mg a week is still quite high right?

It really depends on the person. My free t is just barely above range. Some guys get there on less, and I’ve seen some need more and not even be above range. But the 200 mg for me is a performance dose. I feel good on it, and other blood work looks good.

Cruise is a bit different than trt for many guys. I try to keep it close to trt, but many guys run more, and some less. I know guys who run 500 for cruise. I find that a bit irresponsible.

I see, well I do find it helpful that a lot of u guys here think 24 is too young since I’m seeing guys running cycles @17-18 years old

The reason I want to run a cycle is to see if I even have it in me to compete with bodybuilding or not. If I run a cycle I can see how well (or not) my body responds to it since there are guys that are hyperresponders. Someone could be very big natural and won’t gain as much mass on a cycle. Past year i’ve been very active on dutch bodybuilding forums and have been reading courses from Henselmans and such to get a better idea of AAS. Also I like watching MPMD because his video’s are very informative + fun to watch as well.

Outside the idea of bodybuilding I think AAS are very interesting, that’s also why I want to start out with a low dose. I think Test E 300-500mg is the most safe cycle you could run, I heard some people say they didnt gain mass on 300mg but I just have to get my blood work done so I can get a better idea. Only thing is, should I tell my general practitioner or not if I want to cycle.

I heard some stories about general practinioners blaming every health issue on roids if you have them.

It happens frequently, doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go about things. Most 17-18y/olds barely have the faintest idea as to what they’re using/putting into their body to begin with.

Because roids cause a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot of issues. If you’re a 30 y/old otherwise healthy male who juices and it’s discovered you have heart disease… 90% of the time you probably have heart disease because of the steroid use. It’s easy to shift the blame on steroids because steroid use tends to cause a lot of problems down the line.

Is it always the steroids? No

Is it usually the steroids? Yes

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In my family blood pressure problems are hereditary, not everybody has it but most do. I don’t have issues with my blood pressure at this moment but if I would use shit like dbol I bet it won’t do me any good.

The hereditary problems aside, which age do you guys think is “responsible” to run a cycle at? Like after ur 30 or so? I thought after 25 your brain & body stop developing
Maybe hard for you guys to give a number but like a cbum is only 26 for example (I know he has top tier genetics), but seeing it from an ambition perspective to also step on stage I don’t think you want to start juicing at the age of 30 :stuck_out_tongue:

With a few outliers aside, the bigger you get as a natural, the less gains you will get on your cycle. The easy gains come even easier on cycle. That is why most guys who start out with gear when they get their gym membership blow up. The thing is, many naturals are bigger than they are, they just got their easy gains faster.

Just a sample of two guys I know who were very developed (one was already deadlifting 700 lbs as a natural @ 205 lbs, and the other was closing in on 700 at about the same weight). They both just thought the 500 mg/wk test cycle allowed them to recover faster. They put on like 5 lbs total (some of it water). These guys know how to train and eat. Many thought they were juicing already, prior to them using.

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A lot of them also tend to size right back down when they cycle off (not entirely true, but say they only keep 20-30% of what they’ve gained).

A lack of consistency with diet/training can wreck havok on the AAS mediated gains you’ve accrued.

I can’t answer this for you, everyone is different. I took my injectable shot of TRT at the age of eighteen. Took my first supraphysiological dose at the same age. Was I ready? Not a chance… was it a good decision to make? No… Do I regret it? Also no, in my particular circumstances I think it actually might have improved my quality of life… Though I certainly won’t stick to that stance if I’m dealing with like CHF or something five years from now (extremely unlikely).

“Responsible” as in “mitigates the most damage”, 25 and up is probably the reference. Brain development covers a spectrum, but the median age for development to cease seems to be around 25 for men.

Is there a difference between 24/25?? It’s probably marginal, rather I’d be looking into the risks (particularly cardiac risk) associated with AAS use. I’d you’d like I can line it out in detail.

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