Skinny Dude "Recomp" Questions

35, 157lbs, 6’1"

Hey all, I used to be active on here back in the day and had great results with numerous cycles. I stopped for a while (the regular life stuff and lost focus). Had a nasty motorcycle accident and all working out stopped for a very long time. Diet went to shit. Went from a nice 6’1" 195lbs (barely visible abs, but great everything else. I was a bit less cut oriented) down to an unfit skinny fat 178. Went into extreme cut mode as I was doing extended rehab (very little lifting). 20 hour fast, only ate in the evenings and got down to about 152.
Holy shit I lost all muscle I’m now hovering between 154-157 and it’s shit. Not even completely visible abs.
I’m lifting regularly now and I just started T again today. It’s through one of the prescription services and 200mg Test C per week. It’s not as high as I’d like at all, but I have questions about my situation and this dosage.

Some questions I couldn’t seem to answer by searching:

Do we only have two choices when we use AAS, caloric surplus/calorie deficit?

Depending on the answer to the above, with regards to a consistent lifting routine, is it possible to consume maintenance calories or slightly above with a modification of macros to perform a recomposition?

Again depending on the above answers, is 200mg even remotely enough to obtain much change?

I now have a focus on high elevation running/climbing/outdoor stuff (especially with Summer approaching). I’m looking to have that great, fit, lean yet built look. I hopped on Cardarine for the endurance aspect, and I’m taking Test C/hCG. I also was reading PubMed studies on hCG/Clomiphene combined. I swear I saw that was a no-no on here, but those studies seem to give a thumbs up to concurrent usage as being beneficial.

(Side note: I ran into some trouble in the current relationship with using unprescribed AAS. Partner is fine if it’s prescribed. I could supplement a bi with an outside source, but jumping in size would not be advisable in my situation.)

I appreciate input. As I said I’m out of the game and it seems a lot of info has changed up in the last few years. 7-8 cycles under my belt, but I’ve always been bulk cut bulk cut and never thought about recomps.

More questions, but I’ll start with those. Thanks for y’all’s time.

What is your goal? Are you trying to get back up to 195? If you are, you must be in a caloric surplus to grow.

Really, blood work is the only way of knowing for sure if 200 mg/wk is enough, but unless you’re a terrible under responder, 200/wk should have you somewhere in the ball park of 1000 ng/dL, more or less depending on genetics. Which is more than enough to put on lean mass, especially at your height/weight.

I wouldn’t recommend staying at 155 at 73". That just seems unhealthy skinny, or hardcore runner skinny

I don’t think you are asking the right questions, without trying to be condescending. But having been in a similar situation a few years ago (couldn’t eat and work out for a few months, dropped 30 pounds of largely muscle), I can tell you that you will gain back muscle extremely quick, even after years of non lifting.

If you don’t want to take up weight too fast, I’d advise to stay at maintenance. If you wanna gain back the muscle go to 3000-3300 kcals with 180 g of protein at first for a months and check how you look like afterwards. I be you look and feel way better.

200 mg will put you at roughly double the natural upper limit (very likely) which means that this will enhance the fast process of gaining back muscle even further. 200 mg in your circumstance is not little, it’s more like putting fuel on a raging fire (if you are training with weights several times a week).

Drop the cardarine. Super unnecessary in your situation. Endurance is the fastest of the sporting abilities to build. You will have it in no time without the risks associated with cardarine.

You can do both…as a PCT together. With 200 mg test per week, the Clomifen will give you nothing but side effects. Just take test and HCG and you’re fine. Since you are doing TRT, clomifen is not necessary anyways. If you want to come off some day, I guess the clomifen could help, but not very likely.

You’ll jump in size my friend. I can guarantee it. Except for when you severely limit food intake. Tell your partner that it is normal that gaining back muscle is super fast. Also, only my opinion but, she should be happy that you look better quick. If she’s fine with 200 mg, she’s already fine with a light cycle. I still don’t advise you to cycle now. 200 mg is more than enough for you right now.

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My belief is - yes. Its either one or another.
We could discuss an imaginary idea of using high doses of tren, GH and insulin, and MAYBE then we could come down to a theory that an noticable recomp is realistic, but not on 200mgs.
Altho since you are very undertrained and underweight, any weight gain will look as a recomp if fat gain is kept lower.

All this depends on your end goal. At your situation 200mgs would be a good improvement. If you want to look like you actually lift and use steroids, 200mgs are not even enough to maintain for a long period of time.

@lordgains I didn’t find your answers to be condescending at all and I really appreciate how much time you took in typing your response.

Upping protein to 1-1.4/lb (I think that was the Bill Roberts recommendation way back when) was 100% my first goal. Putting weight on slower than I used to with 750-100mg of Test and combos of other compounds is what I’m going for. I’ll go ahead and stay at maintenance +500 or so, change the macros, and continue lifting Glad for your affirmation on those.

What sides do you refer to with cardarine? The studies I’ve read were rodents and that still isn’t conclusive in humans, especially with the rodent dosages being at least twice or more of what humans use. But I digress, it’s still good advice if it’s not necessary to use. I’ve been on it now for two weeks, haven’t experienced any, and I can’t seem to find reliable information on the negatives of it. All good though, with or without is fine.

@hankthetank89 “undertrained”? Ah, cut me to the core! But 100% my dude. I have to view this like I’m a complete newborn all over again. Because I am. I’m humble, no problem. I figured as much, but I was always curious how much of a fatburn/protein synthesis effect that AAS has. It almost makes the mythical pure maintenance recomp seem possible. Thanks for the answer.

@wsmwannabe I sure as hell don’t want to be this light. I was wanting to shave off the grossness and start with a cleaner palette. Regardless if that was necessary, it’s done. I’d much rather be a fit 175 with low bodyfat. Nice and low for running and climbing but large enough for the looks and strength.

Bloodwork. 3 tests over the course of a month not on anything. Ranges were 411-459ng/ml Total. Free test hovering around 10-11.
Doc started me on Clomid-only right off the bat. Believe me, I tried to get him to prescribe Test/hCG but damn him, he would not. After reading PubMed studies I gave it a shot.

I went ahead and prepared and went through one of the services, so I now have a script for 200mg/wk Test C and the hCG on hand.

Bloodwork came back yesterday .
Total 883 Ng/ml
Free 14.8

The free still seemed a bit low, honestly, but I’ll roll with it. Still an improvement. Tbh I’m pretty impressed that the clomid did that by itself.

I went ahead and took the first 200mg shot after I got the results. Was reeaaaaally tempted to frontload 400-500 but resisted. (I once frontloaded 1600mg over four injection sites and that gave me a nice bout of anxiety/panic attack in the middle of the night)

You sure you need to shut yourself down with exogenous when you’ve got numbers like this off Clomid alone? Seems a bit unnecessary IMO.

I’m glad you are choosing a safe(r) route with AAS than you used to - I hope you continue on the path that provides the better health outcome.

You didn’t need AAS to get here, and you certainly don’t need them to get there again. Just because you’re lifting doesn’t mean you need to blast.

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Then that’s really your answer to the question you posed about calories. If you want to gain weight, you eat above maintenance, period. I’m one of the few people on here who regularly advocates for ‘recomp’ training/drug cycles, as it has worked for me, BUT if your ultimate goal is to end up heavier than you are now, that wouldn’t make sense for you. And really, you’re soooo underweight right now that I couldn’t imagine recommending anything other than weight gain immediately. Gaining the muscle WILL help you lose any excess fat you might still be carrying as well.

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There’s been whole threads about cardarine here. Type in cardarine and check the box for pharma section. I participated in them as well, IIRC.

I’m not typing out a complete answer with my cardarine opinion because it’s unnecessary here. Cardarine is simply not necessary for your goals. Like at all.

I agree 100%. I’m 6’0 and during my second natural bulk was up at 205 with barely visible abs. After the cut I was at 185 pretty lean. 195 lbs at 15% BF at your height is likely not even natural limit.

This is actually to be expected. 200 mg per week will put you at ~2000 I would guess. (Can differ quite a lot based on the individual)
Edit: I see @tareload just made a thread about this:
https://forums.t-nation.com/t/do-my-tt-levels-make-sense/277628/3

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Exactly so i would definetly push to gain maximum gains out of the minimum dose at start. When you stall then you can go for a blast.

On paper its one thing. In reality - its different. You have to understand that the best NOTICABLE recomps were done on elite genetics and on people taking 3+ grams of shit.
Me for example, i was around 260lbs on around 300mgs. I started a cut, lost like 20lbs, added tren, winstrol, anavar in high doses, upped the test also and now im around 253lbs much bigger with a lot more strenght… It does look like a recomp, but it is not REALLY a recomp, as if id go back to my cruise dose id probably be much worse than before i upped the drugs.

The benefits of AAS in low doses in the studies are not big enough to actually see in real life, compared to what we expect to see from steroids.
These lame ass studies saying how much pounds people gained from 400mgs, along side with pieces of shit like Jay Cutler, Doucette and his friends, and all the other fucking “TRT” liars create an ilusion that taking 1 gram of test will blow you up like Mr.O… when in reality a difference between 400mgs and 1 gram is very minimal, and all the good gains are made with mixes of different drugs on dosages around 700-1000 EACH and also not for 12 weeks but for 24-36 months non stop.

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Just to follow up, boosted protein to 1-1.4/lb.
Frontloaded 400mg TC.
200mg/week after.
hCG twice weekly.

Lifting harder.
Goal is better performance trail running/hiking/climbing. Lean 175 is a great weight for that.