T Nation

Should I Cycle?

I don’t know how a cycle will affect my brain but a lack of consistency with either diet or training never happened to me the past 4 years. The first 2-3 years I just lacked information but I always went hard in the gym. I see a lot of guys lose their gains because they were never consistent to begin with.

To be honest I don’t know that much about the cardiac risks, I know you can get organ failures etc. But I feel like that only happens when you’re irresponsible with your cycles and such. Also the knowledge about AAS keeps expanding, 10 years ago there weren’t as much studies as there are now.
(Ofcourse it can always happen, but some guys run so much gear it’s a wonder they’re even alive)

Yes. Leave humanity behind.

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I personally think “traditional” squats and deadlifts are critical for plain old mass. Bench press can be either barbell or dumbbells. Of course there are supplemental exercises to target specific muscle groups but heavy compound, multiple joint movements are necessary to develop back, traps, legs, glutes, chest and really stimulate growth when combined with solid calories and rest periods.

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I think there are other ways, but I think these lifts are the most efficient, and in most cases most effective. I’ve hear about pros that don’t do either, but they are doing all sorts of other stuff (like heavy hack squats, leg press). I think for your average guy, they work best.

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IMO 27 seems to be when boys truly become men physically and mentally. They finely stop doing and saying stupid stuff. Of course there are always outliers that never grow up but in general 27 is what I have experienced.

On cycling at 23 and 7/8’s the real concern is your PCT. If you can’t get back to normal or something close because you shut your natural T production down for 8-20 weeks is you may have to spend the rest of your life injecting T just to be normal. It’s a big gamble. I was 59 when I started TRT and I am now 67 and 3/4. So I have been injecting 3 times a week for the last 7+ years. Not to mention my balls ache if I don’t also inject HCG. So that is 6 shots a week and I am sick of it. When I blast I have to add 3 additional shots a week and take anastrozole to control my E2 or I blow up like a puffer fish from water weight.

EDIT: Oh don’t tell any of your general practice docs or nurses about any of this. They will put your questions in your record.

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I might just switch to SBD when I’m done cutting and when my program from JM is done. Even though leg press really helps me build mass, squats didn’t do anything for me in my experience

Ever since my surgery (hernia op) I’ve lost a ton of muscle mass on my quads, hammies and glutes. Started squatting again last week. I typically kept in the 4-8 rep range for squats, I didn’t realise my leg mass was so dependant on them.

Since I’ve stopped deadlifting the only difference I’ve noted is that my lower back isn’t as thick.

For chest I like db chest press. Working muscles unilaterally can really hammer away at any imbalances present. It also think it carries over really well barbell bench. I increased my bench by like 15lbs… Without benching, just doing DB bench for like a month.

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I would urge you to reconsider. Squats can stimulate a ton of growth all over, stimulate the core, etc. At your age and level of development, you need to stick to the basics for now.

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Curious, I once saw a picture of you out in nature, you were shredded, solid, you looked like a brick shithouse (compliment)

My question is, how long did it take you to go from baseline to having that physique? What was the change year by year, when did you gauge the most progress?

image

This was 3 months of leg gains training it once a week without any focus on particular on squatting (first 8 weeks of gamma bomb were upperbody focused, then corona came around and I had to quit the program)
Sadly the lighting is quite different in both pictures

I began to like squatting but then I catched covid and after I got it my condition got wrecked so bad I couldnt even squat my normal work set for 2 reps anymore

I’ve had some unilateral issues back in the past (my left side always was later at presses than my right side), but I fixed it by doing unilateral shoulder presses. Now everything works fine together. Past months I haven’t had the opportunity to use dumbells/cable stations because of covid, gyms are open for like 2 weeks here right now. I’m just glad I can finally train normally again anyway hahaha

You got leg newb gains. One of the reason the squat is such an important lift is that long term progression is much easier than say a leg extension or leg curl. I can program all sorts of different variations, use different tempos, etc.

To me, it sounds like you haven’t pushed it enough to see the benefits of it. Get your squat up to a legit depth 400-450 lbs and compare the picture on the right to the new picture. I think you will see a big difference.

Same with deadlift. Get that up over 500 lbs, and compare your back / traps. I bet it will be a big difference.

Those numbers I recommended are possible for many natty lifters. I did them myself before blasting gear.

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I had a bigger back when I could only deadlift 315 for a few reps comparative to when it was 475. Deadlifts gave me mad spinal erectors and decent glutes… That’s about it

Squats on the other hand actually worked really well for my legs

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That surprises me a bit. It is possible, but not likely. You must have been doing some good back work before focusing on the deadlift.

At the time I was focused on very high volume workouts, hitting back 2x/wk. Proportionately speaking my back was getting far more volume/poundage that it did when I was focusing on purely increasing my lifts.

I did a lot of barbell rows alongside T bar rows, machine rows, lat pulldowns, pull-ups, chin ups, the occasional rack pull, pullovers etc.

The volume was insane. To note I was quite strong with quite a few of the lifts, particularly t bar rows. It wasn’t as if I was a huge weakling with a large back.

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Simple answer… NO. Why? See above. Strong guys are big, you don’t care about strength. Doesn’t seem to make much sense to me. Aside from that your lifts are rather weak especially for someone with years under their belt. This tells me you are not training right for strenght which in turn means you are not as big as you could be.

This is spot on.

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I read that statement as I don’t want to be that short fat guy, who has never seen his abs, in the gym who can deadlift 1000#.

Besides the kids who have no clue what they are doing at my gym their are two types of lifters. Powerlifters for strength and nothing more and bodybuilding for aesthetics. What I look like I the mirror is more important than how much I can bench.

Exactly, and I really only care about aesthetics, also I don’t think deadlifting is worth as a bodybuilder.

I think there are great ways to build mass aside of a deadlift. (I still do SDL/RDL’s though)
I’m still going to deadlift again when my bulk starts u guys convinced me none the less

For me it is way more important how I look in the mirror than how much I can bench, maybe sounds stupid to a few of you but as I said before pure strength training is not where my goals are at.

Also there are a few views on looking big. For example an eddie hall is big, but that’s not the big I want to be. I want to be the “classic physique” type big. Atleast that’s where my goals are at.

This is why I go to the gym. I like making hand holds for my wife for fun time in the sack. No better feeling than noticing she is checking out your tri’s or lats with a few long squeezes. Best turn on ever.

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Why my lifts are rather weak I can tell you that:
I started off at 45-50kg bodyweight and never got any instructions whatsoever so I did all my research online. I always went with a friend of mine who didnt knew shit either and then he got a spinal fracture or something like that because of deadlifting wrong, while I was training with him. So I neglected to squat and deadlift because of me being too noob for that (also NO instructor can to this day squat or deadlift properly at my gym, literally an hour ago an instructor was quarter squatting and all other instructors were hyping him up). Then 2 years passed by and I didn’t diet proper till my 3th year hit and I started dirty bulking + crash dieting. That shit didnt work out either so I decided to really study this stuff and since then i’ve been making good gains.

I wished I didn’t had to waste like 2-3 years of trial & error but well, I learned a lot and can help other people that are new to the gym with all the mistakes I made.

Also I don’t think my OHP/Bench Press are that weak, my deadlift & squats just are, but that’s because I never do them. And I do agree Barbell Bench Press isn’t that much of a good mass builder either in terms of what EMG studies show, but my chest is my best genetic. Even when I was 45kg I had some chest forming going on and it doesn’t even matter what I do for it, it just always has good proportional form imo.