T Nation

Should I Cycle?

I just always feel like a gym bro saying I only care about aesthetics and not strength :joy:
Glad someone is with me on this

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I don’t feel or act like a Gym Bro. I just have nothing to prove at my age. No contest to win no goals other than wanting to look good neked and feel healthy.

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The biggest bodybuilders are also strong though. They maybe stay in higher reps, but they are moving big weight. Look up some Ronnie Coleman training videos. Dude was strong af. Arnold, Ronnie, and Franco Columbo all competed in powerlifting. That was their base when they started BBing.

Nobody ever has touched what Ronnie looked like in 03. He built that with heavy training. He paid the price too. His form was shaky for his strength level, but nobody looked like him in 03, ever.


This topic just reminds me of what EliteFTS posted on IG :
At 20 you want to be big.
At 30 you want to be strong.
At 40 you want to be healthy.

I am done with number one, i just started the 2nd… im pretty sure it will be exactly right also with number three.


Not stupid at all.

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Yes, yes it is, i just didnt want to say it. And its not an argument, it just is stupid because i said so.

Dont take this too seriously, i just couldnt NOT say it :smiley:


I think what I and a few others are telling you is that your aesthetics will be better long term if you get stronger.

If you spend the time to get where you can move heavier weights for higher reps, that is generally more size building than the guy moving lighter weights. The guy who is benching 315 for 10 if he is lean has better aesthetics than the guy benching 185 for 10. The guy doing 315 for 10 probably spent some time strength training. He didn’t just keep doing set of 10 until he got to 315 (I am sure outliers exist, but this is generally true).

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@Acnovate Acnovate when we were listing the do’s and don’t before getting your blood drawn for a male hormone panel I wanted to add no sex or masturbating for 2 days before you draw the blood. If you need a good place to get labs Google DiscountLabs Nelson Virgil is the owner. Good prices and he only uses the best labs. Hopefully, you live in a city his company covers.

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@Acnovate Yes, i have been there and done that. I am biggest i have ever been because i started to focus actual numbers instead of all that “feel the muscle” shit. Aesthetics are NOT measurable as one day you look better, next day - worse. Some time you bulk and think its muscle, but its not. Then you cut and lose more muscle.
Its very hard to actually track aesthetic progress. What helps is - actually pushing numbers and numbers do not lie. If you bench 50lbs extra, your upper body DID grow - no way around it.
Also most strenght training is still bodybuilding. You just do the big 3 or big 4 and then do your bodybuilding bullshit.
Trust me as i have been in both places, and one thing i regret in my life the most is that i DID NOT focus on strenght at the age of 20-30.
At least use big 4 as your hypertrophy test - just test your max at the start and at the end of a hypertorphy meso :slight_smile:


I for sure couldn’t do this while on test. Maybe half a day lol.

Hahaha well I live in the Netherlands but we do have cliniques here where I know a few bodybuilders get their blood tested. I also was planning on indeed not having sex/masturbating 2 days prior as well as gymming. Thanks though!

Yeah I’m going to try SBD out including isolations for a few months and I’ll keep you guys posted
I’ll start at the beginning of July

Maybe look into something termed powerbuilding. It combines some aspects of powerlifting and bodybuilding. I would say that is what I do (powerbuilding). You kinda get the best of both worlds. IMO, especially natty guys would make a lot more progress on a powerbuilding program compared to a typical BBing program. Things at the high level in BBing change a bit. It is more about perfecting things. Most of us just need big slabs of muscle though.

I do arms every training day, and try to stay lean (in a cut ATM). It doesn’t have to be only powerlifting or only bodybuilding. You can combine.

I did do some powerbuilding in the covid period, but I was very limited with my equipment
I couldnt deadlift because of the ground where I gymmed would break because of the plates and stuff. Also we didn’t have that much kg’s.
I also ran nSuns, but mostly for OHP, Bench & Squat and all was going well till covid hit me, I decided to cut since then.

Like covid didn’t do shit for me except absolutely wreck my condition. It took 2 months to get back at my current condition. But i’ve already lost 12kg since my cut, so I’m just going to start all this power stuff when I’m going to lean bulk. I think that’s the perfect timing, the program I’m following now also ends at the end of this month :smiley:

My recovery capabilities don’t let me train arms everyday sad enough :joy:

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Yes they are. They are achievable by most men with 6 months under their belt. And your squats and dead’s are pitiful. You may not think that they matter but they do. A strong balanced base will help build muscle EVERYWHERE. The good news is you are young and can learn this now rather than waste another couple years.

I’m not trying to put you down I’m trying to tell you that you still have room to grow before risking your health with AAS. Yes they will speed it up but if you start training right first you will reap even more benefits when you cycle.

As a quick disclaimer I’m not saying you need to be an elite powelifter on the big three I’m just saying get yourself well rounded it will help you tremendously.


I don’t disagree. In fact I haven’t benched in two years. I do extensive dumbbell work as I feel it’s better for pectoral development without compromising shoulder health. Still, you want to get more muscular you are going to need to get stronger.

Same here but the OP is trying to get his first naddy base hormone level blood test.

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To a degree, focusing on PL/doing starting strength or unmodified plain 5/3/1 isn’t optimal for aesthetics.

I agree partially. I think training for aesthetics should be broken down into bocks. I think a strength block is important so that when one does the hypertrophy block, they are pushing more weight in the higher rep sets.

I’ve seen people stay in hypertrophy mode, and they often don’t seem to progress like the guys adding in a strength block long term.

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Agreed. I mostly focus on hypertrophy/bodybuilding these days. I built my strength/size from a 5x5 and then 5/3/1 program though. Thats where I made the biggest gains in size and strength. I work that routine in for about two months here and there sparingly now.