T Nation

Starting Steroids At 18 & What Lead Me Into Taking Them


Hey guys, some of you might already know me from T Nation. If not though, My name is Martin, I’m 18 years old as of December 2018 and I’m a competitive powerlifter from Europe. I’ve seen many questions on many forums such as: “When is a good time to start steroids?”, “Is 18/19/20 too early to start steroids?” or “Is starting steroids at 18 too dangerous?”. The list goes on…

I do not condone the use of anabolic steroids to anyone my age or even above (definitely not below). This is a decision you have to make for yourself and take EVERYTHING POSSIBLE into considerations. Are you willing to risk your health, not having kids, being on TRT for the rest of your life, having acne, experiencing hair loss, erectile dysfunction, etc? If you chose to go the route I did, EDUCATE YOURSELVES on proper and safe use of AAS. This is a serious decision and I cannot stress this enough.

I started training at about 12 years old. All I did for about a year or 2 was calisthenics (bodyweight exercises, sometimes with added weight resistance for more strength increase) until I turned 14 years old and started visiting the gym regularly. I had to have papers signed by my parents (because I was too young) that they agree with me visiting the local gym and take responsibility. My dad was a bodybuilder (which lead me to believe I had potential in bodybuilding as well, before I found out about powerlifting and immediately fell in love) and he and my mom supported my dream. I started training the typical bodybuilding routine: Monday- Chest, Tuesday- Back, Wednesday- Legs, and doing high rep work.

Soon, after the noob gains past, I found myself hitting plateaus and changed my training split to something along the terms of push, pull, legs, and it worked great. But my rep scheme still looked something along the lines of 15 reps, drop set, 10 more reps, drop set. I was more into physique than strength, but that finally changed after stalling once again. I started lowering the reps and adding the weight and came to a point where I was doing no more than 8 reps ever and that worked out fantastic. I fell in love with getting strong. I still might have skipped leg day though, until one day I thought to myself: “I wish I could only squat in the 1-5 rep range and rather do many sets and stay in the squat rack for even an hour, but not do stupid leg presses and leg extensions”. I started googling to see if there was any similar program as to what I was thinking about and alas, I found Powerlifting. I was so happy my, so to speak, “plan” could work out and anything I could care about anymore was to get strong as hell. I was 1 day before 16, hitting 140kg for 5 reps happy I was doing what I loved. As time progressed, my obsession for powerlifting grew immensely.

I noticed I started to love squats more than any other exercise and I wasn’t even that good at them (max was 180kg). I told myself that I want to be the strongest squatter around here while being only 16. I was dead serious about it and was willing to do everything it takes (training wise). I found a topic on the internet named" Add 100lbs to your squat in 13 weeks!". Some of you might already know what went down. I opened the link and found something called “The BRUTAL Smolov Squat Program”. I quickly started doing all the research I could on it (browsing multiple forums of people who finished it mostly, giving recommendations and posting results) and decided this would be my squat cure. I read how extremely difficult it was to complete (and let me tell you, it was hell) and that you shouldn’t even do the intense phase if you are natural. So I decided to do the intro weeks and the base mesocycle.

I grinded every day through the program, with each day getting more and more difficult, but my drive never died and one day, I finally finished the program. After 5 weeks of hell, my squat increased 30kg, from 180kg to 210kg. I couldn’t believe what happened.

Fast forward one year and I set a squat world record for the category 16-17 (I was 17 already) @100kg with 230kg in knee sleeves with about another 5-10kg in the tank (for an absolute max out rep).

Before I ever touched AAS, my squat max was about 240-245kg (estimated, I regret I never tried a max before starting AAS), or 8 reps with 200kg for an amrap. I benched 145kg in comp and pulled 250kg off the floor, 240kg beltless (everything @100kg, 17 years old and as natty as it gets).

I studied AAS as much as I could and everywhere I could (at home, at the gym, at school on my phone, …) and gathered all the information I could and found out what info I could trust and was legit and what info was bullshit. I tried to do this as best as I could. I decided to go into this because I wanted (and still want) to give this my all. It’s not a smart idea and I don’t advise it. I’ve read all the benefits, the scary side effects of some drugs, how to properly use it, pct, on cycle liver support in case of orals, hcg, EVERYTHING.

I bought myself a present for my 18th birthday. I knew what I was going into, but I was very nervous anyway. I told myself that if I do this, I’m giving it 110% so I don’t regret anything. I knew this was a lifetime commitment, not a quick way to success. I’ve also decided to run the smolov squat program AGAIN, because of the crazy gains I got out of it, which was a good call, kinda. My main focus is another squat world record and I really did give smolov 110%.

Before my cycle I got blood tests done, my T levels were only 320ng/dl and my estrogen was high. I also had higher AST ALT levels. Other than that, everything was in the normal range.

If you are considering anabolic steroids, take everything I said into consideration and also do research of your own. Plenty of it.

Alright, so here starts the fun stuffright?

My cycle was only 8 weeks long (later as to why) and consisted of:

  • 500mg/week Test P
  • 30mg Dbol ED for the last 3 weeks of my cycle (not during the base meso)
  • .25mg or .5mg adex ED
  • 250IU HCG E4D
  • Liver support

Pretty basic cycle, as it should be. During my cycle, I’ve noticed 0 bad side effects. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any yet to come. Now onto what many of you probably want to hear.

After the base mesocycle, my squat max shot up to 272.5kg, that’s exactly 600lbs and also exactly what I was going for and had in mind. During the switching phase, my elbows and shoulders took a break from all the beating they took from low bar squatting, and my bench increased up to 170kg paused, with some kgs left in the tank. I was in disbelief and couldn’t imagine what I could get at the end of the intense phase. I was set on finishing smolov since the day I started and the only thing that could stop me was an injury.

Which, unfortunately, came on the 1st day of the 2nd week of the intense phase. I blame myself, because I only took 1 week to do the switching phase, because my cycle was squeezing me into a shorter timeframe than 13 weeks. I tried to cut 1 week off the intense phase, so that I’m still on cycle to when doing my new max. That fucked me up. I felt some sort of pop or tear while squatting 245kg during my third rep in my quad when coming out of the hole. I finished the rep and ran to the restrooms to check on my leg what happened. It was an extremely wierd, unpleasant feeling, but I couldn’t call it painful, yet… I was feeling tight the day it happened and before getting injured felt different than normal. It kept me away from squatting for a week and I had to gradually increase my weight. I felt stronger than I had when I did my max with 272.5kg and believe I could’ve already got a little more. If I got 5 reps with 245kg, it would put me at an E1RM of 280kg.

I finished my cycle that week and what was meant to last for 10 weeks lasted 8 instead. I am now on a cruise of 180-230mg of Test P EW and slowly losing weight. During the cycle, I weighed up to 117kg at night and now I weight about 104kg. I held some excess bf and I’m still feeling strong now, even after losing about 10kg.

It’s a big step for me to come out like this and share this experience with you guys. I want to say that steroids will not make you into a world class athlete, they are the tool you use to try to become one. You MUST put in the work. Insane amounts of work, hard work. If anyone is in a situation like I was, please take the time to reconsider everything and think if it would be worth sacrificing and if you have the willpower to do everything it takes to attempt to become one of the greatest and not pussy out, even when you feel like the world is against you. AAS won’t make things easy, they should make you want to work harder and they should not be thought of as an easy way out. DO NOT even consider them if you are unaware of your goals and what you are willing to sacrifice and work for. This is a BIG decision that might and probably will affect the rest of your life. And once again, educate yourselves on everything about AAS before touching them.

I hope I helped somebody today, stay strong guys! (Feel free to criticize me, leave any recommendations and share if you found this helpful in any way)

1 Like

Great write-up. Young guy myself that will cycle in the future, I’l be getting that same “18th birthday present”. I know its not the smartest thing to do but the gym is what I enjoy doing most, some people take cocaine, smoke cigarettes, or just plain eat junk food and sit on their ass all day but there’s no stigma with that.

I put in the work, I meal prep all my food, adhere to a strict diet and train HARD 6 days a week, go to bed at 8 have zero social life, cardio every day 30 mins upon waking.

Thank you for this, took a lot away

Very happy to help, even though it would be a much better idea to wait to at least 20, but what do I know about that lol.

And thank you too, I know exactly about missing out on all the social life, that one hit me hard. All I know is school, gym, home. But I prefer breaking records and chose this path and it seems by what you wrote you’re dedicated also! So if you need any help, shoot me a DM or ask any experienced user on this forum that has more knowledge on this topic for some help! I bet they’ll help.

Great writting, enjoyed it a lot, but you din´t mention if you got any of the quoted “sides” (or other), or these are “sides” you just read about?


Thank you very much! So far I haven’t gotten any sides, which I’m happy about, but some can show up later, so I’ll try to protect myself as much as possible, do things the smartest way even if what I’m doing is not haha.

how much did that basic cycle cost you, money wise?

About 340 euros, which I could now get cheaper because of better contacts and I’m saying to myself I was stupid to not reach out to them earlier, but we learn on our own mistakes, right? It’s just better to learn off the ones who did them before us so don’t get screwed over man.

Great write up… still, young ignorance with an explanation.


Good read, good job. So how do you for see your future. Did you fully recover. I’d like to know because I always thought that I should have started gear earlier.

1 Like

Thank you and yes, exactly what you’d expect from an 18 year old :smile:.

Thanks man! I’m going to have blood tests done, so I can post my results later, but I chose the BnC way, so my T levels aren’t as low as they were naturally now for sure.

Loved the write up and all but deciding to blast and cruise at your age is too far. I mean it’s one thing to start cycling at 18 but to make the decision to blast and criuise is fucking crazy. It’s your life so do as you please, this is just my 2c.

1 Like

Thanks a lot! And yeah, I saw this one coming. But no problem man, feel free to leave your opinion. Because it is a crazy decision and not in a good way.

1 Like

I did have low T levels at my age imo so I decided to go with TRT doses in my case (which I’m not glorifying and saying is the best idea) and to prevent hormonal rollercoasters and other things. But thanks for leaving your opinion and reading my post!

Those definitely are low T levels for you age though there are other options to be exhausted first before considering. Dont quote me on this as I may be wrong but from what I understand a particularly hard training cycle can wreak havoc on your hormones (by the sounds you’ve been giving you body a hell of a ride with your training). Someone else may be able to elaborate on this subject? Also higher body fat can mean higher aromatization of testosterone to estrogen, which then tells the pituitary to slow production of T. Could be a heap of things man. I must say from what you’ve said so far you do seem pretty mature for 18.

1 Like

Were you symptomatic of said low testosterone levels?


Yes exactly, but if what you said is true, I could see the problem and maybe some other factors could play a role, although it is said strength training increases your T levels and I was trying to do everything right, like sleeping enough, not eating too many garbage foods, even though I have pretty low apetite and it helps get the kcals in. With high E2 levels I agree, I’m more on the bulkier side, I don’t have defined abs, etc.

But as you said, it could be a lot of things. And thank you, I appreciate that!

Yes, I was experiencing many symptoms associated with low T. I’m not saying I’m certain it was due to low T, but the symptoms matched, unfortunately. To name a few:

  • low libido, pretty damn low sometimes and would even have small difficulties getting erections, almost no spontaneous ones (which should be the opposite for my age and is fine now)
  • loss of motivation, focus, not feeling like doing anything, not even training (still pushed through though)
  • very low aggression at the gym, no aggression outside of it, but I’m a pretty calm guy. (but I can finally get pissed now before I lift some heavy weights)
  • low energy levels which made gym very hard, especially if I wanted to compete at higher levels
  • I had terrible sleeps some nights and it was very difficult for me to fall asleep, took usually 30 mins and it was VERY frustrating (not sure if that’s associated with low T)

I want to say again that I don’t want to glorify what I did, but my symptoms went away, thankfully. It made training way more difficult than it should’ve been.

Your right strength training does increase t but I do believe it can have a negative impact when running yourself into the ground. You never know a month later your t levels could have been perfectly normal. Your definitely holding some body fat so that could contribute too.
In my opinion your simply too young to make the ‘stay on for good’ decision regardless of how mature you come across. At your age you just cant weigh the consequences with the positives, its not you its just the way a young males brain works man.
It’s your life though, everyone on here will give you their opinions and advice, just expect a bit of a grilling too haha

1 Like

Yeah, you’re right about that.

And I know, I don’t even have the life experience to weigh out the pros and cons. No hard feelings, I accept your opinion man. That’s why I came to T Nation, for the raw truth lol.

1 Like