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Test and Var 1st Cycle: Questions About Timing

Hi guys,

Long time reader of T-Nation and these forums, but never made a post.

I’ve been training pretty seriously for more than 5 years now. I’ve mainly trained for bodybuilding and never had focus on strength, but my lifts are: DL: 485, Squat: 350x6 (never done a 1rm squat), Bench: 310, OHP: 200.

I’m 27 years old, 6’1", 205lbs and i’m somewhere around 15-17% bf (cutting until the start of my cycle, hope to be at ~12% when i start).

I have the cycle almost complete in my head, but any feedback is much appreciated! I will eat at a tiny surplus and hopefully recomp quite a bit.

Week 1-15 : 400mg test e ew.
Week 9-15 : 50mg anavar ed.
Week 1-15 : Arimidex ,5mg e3,5d

Nolva and/or clomid for pct, hcg either throughout cycle or starting 6 weeks prior to pct (what do you think is better?)

Here’s my reason for posting: I’m quitting my job and going back to school this fall. I’ve always wanted to see how my body responds to a proper cycle, and now I’ve got the money and time for it. I’m also moving to a new town, and want to look and be my best when I get there. The thing is this: When school starts there will be a bit of partying the first couple of weeks, and I don’t want this to be when I’m on cycle and waste possible gains, but I also don’t want it to be just after the cycle is complete. I don’t know how hard / if the post cycle depression hits me. I also want my cock to work lol.

So my question is this: How should I time this? I have 2 alternatives that I’ve come up with my self, but all this is based on broscience and what I’ve read on the internet:

  • One idea is to finish both the cycle and the pct before school starts. But if I do this I’m worried that I’ll gain quite a bit of fat in the weeks between the cycle and the completion of the pct.
  • Another idea is to aim to complete the cycle the week before school, and switch to a 2-3 week cruise at ~200mg test e ew until I get settled in the new town, and then pct.

What do you guys think? Any help is greatly appreciated, so please point me in the right direction!

Arimidex I’d suggest to be used when needed and not particularly scheduled. Oestrogenic sides you’d want to look out for are puffy skin (water retention), puffy nipples, more than usual fatigue and some emotional issues, so I’d suggest taking it minimally to where these issues disappear (give time for the AI to work). Clomid is a good PCT choice in returning HPTA function and raising test levels back to baseline. hCG can be useful during the cycle, however it does increase the volume of injections (something to consider for your first cycle). hCG 6 weeks prior to PCT will be more than fine, it’s not necessary to run it for the whole cycle (especially your first, relatively low dose cycle). Potentially a couple of SARMs to help with muscle retention, lower fat accumulation and endurance. Along the lines of ostarine and cardarine.

Personally, I would stay away from orals for a first time cycle, and I’d focus a lot more on getting my first cycle as perfect as possible to get the most from it. Ideally, you want to have a minimum amount of drugs in your body to get the results you’re happy with, and throwing in anavar just makes the cycle a bit more complicated. See how you respond to a test only cycle first, then in future cycles consider adding in other compounds. Just my opinion, however, and you’re free to experiment to your heart’s content. I’d also suggest getting bloodwork done at the start, and every few weeks or so to see how your cycle is affecting you.

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I agree with arimidex not being scheduled. There is a good chance you won’t even need it at 400mg/week.

For pct I would Ditch the clomid and run nolva 40/40/20/20. The dual SERMs idea is slowly being phased out. Nolva can accomplish everything you need without the nasty sides clomid brings to the table.

Personally I would NOT use SARMs. They come with a laundry list of sides and IMO the benefits do not outweigh the potential negatives.

HCG in my opinion is just not neccary for people who cycle. It has a good place in TRT but iv seen it complicate more cycles then it has helped. Altho I will say some people especially some youtubers swear by it.

Ok let’s adress the main topic. Should you or should you not add var to a first cycle.

Heres is my position. I think the beginning of a first cycle should start off just test. This way you can get the feel for it and see how your body reacts. A lot of people run into problems with water retention (because thier diet might not be dialed in) or a host of other issues. Especially if you find you do need an AI then that’s a whole other beast trying to get right.

Now let’s say you start your test and by week 6-8 everything is going great no issues no AI needed you feel great gains are coming along and you want to add var for the last 4-6 weeks then I see no issue with this. Var is a great drug especially to finish a cycle with but don’t add more shit if you don’t have the first compound dialed in.


Thank you very much for your input!

I’ve read a lot about SARMs, and I’ve decided that to me they’re not worth the risk ( because we don’t really know the risks yet).

I’ll drop arimidex until I notice any sides.

About running anavar or not I’ll listen to you and zeek and at least wait it out. I’ll have it on hand, but if there are any complications at all along the way I’ll just drop it. If everything is smooth after 8-9 weeks of test only i’ll add Anavar at the end. I did chose Anavar for being one of the most side effect friendly oral, but I do understand your point of keeping it simple first time around.

But what do you think about my last part about timing? That’s really my biggest question still, and would love some thoughts from experienced people.

Thanks to you too, zeek!

I won’t be scheduling arimidex, but I’ll have it on hand and look for sides.

I’ll also drop Clomid and stick with nolva. Read multiple places that Nolva is enough.

I’m still not sure about HCG though, and i’ll probably get enough for the last 6 weeks either way and let my balls decide when the time comes. HCG can be injected subq, soI’m not really worried about that at all.

Like I replied to bigboijenkins i’ll wait it out like you advice. Hopefully I’ll respond good to 400mg test and manage sides well. If I do I’ll add Var at the end.

I want to ask you too, what do you think about my last questions in the original post? How should I time this around the start of school? Like I said I want to be able to join a few parties without either sacrificing gains or being depressed from being off cycle. Would cruising at 200mg ew for 2-3 weeks have any impact on recovery?

I personally don’t think cruising is a good idea for long term health. Your cycle will still have noticeable effects for a week or two after you’re done injecting (enth has a long half life), so you can finish pretty close to school starting and be fine. I would think that the healthiest option would be to finish your cycle and PCT before school starts, since alcohol/other drugs from partying will inevitably ruin your PCT and overall health. Finishing both before school will hopefully help you the most in having a good first cycle experience, since the cortisol levels will be through the roof after all the partying, which will make it awful during a PCT.

My suggestion for you is to finish both in as low-stress of an environment mentally (and to an extent, physically) as possible, and to make sure you don’t neglect sleep or diet in retaining gains and recovering optimal HPTA function. For pure partying purposes/having a good time during your first few weeks of school you could cruise, however I would strongly advise against it from a health perspective. Good luck on your first cycle!

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So the idea in this time frame to avoid fat gain is to stay at or slightly below maintenance calories and keep your diet protien rich.

Do not do this. Cruising isn’t something that’s done until your ready to pct. Cruising is essentially a term used for people on TRT in between blast. And TRT is considered a life long commitment.

If it’s partying that your worried about effecting your pct then honestly you shouldn’t be running a cycle. You need to make your blast and pct your number 1 priority. All the beer and shit can be put on hold. If that’s not possible wait til a time when you can do that.

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Alright, thank you.

I do know that cruising is used for trt, and that trt is a lifetime commitment. The thought behind my question was that it’s only 2 weeks, and it’s a pretty low dose cycle in the first place. After the first 2 weeks I won’t drink at all. I’m not really a party kind of guy, but I do want to get to know new people when I get there.

Thanks again for your input.

Thanks dude.

I’m not talking about cruising until my next blast, I just meant 2 weeks where I use 200mg ew just to have pretty normal levels. And after the 2 weeks, stop pinning, wait 2 more weeks and start pct. And then probably not touch any steroids for a loong time and focus on school.

I haven’t really decided yet, but thank you so much for taking the time to answer a random guy on the internet. I really appreciate the input.

Ah, I’d still be concerned about running what is essentially a 17 week first cycle. 2 extra weeks pinning 200 mgs wouldn’t be the worst thing you could do, but I’d still suggest my original choice of completing your cycle and PCT first. I think the main point in finishing your original cycle before doing any more drugs is a self-discipline and abuse prevention method. Even if 200 mgs for an extra 2 weeks isn’t physiologically too harmful, it’s the mentality of “I need test to function normally” or “it’s only 200 mg”. At the end of the day, you’re talking about taking potent drugs, and so it should be respected as such. Just my 2 cents, good luck on your choice!

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Alright, I get that, and I agree with you 100% on the mindset. I’ve never done any drugs at all, haven’t even smoked a joint. I don’t judge, I just have never had the need to try. The reason I’m doing this now is because I’m sure I would always wonder “what if?”. To me this seems like the ideal time to give it a shot, and I want to do it as “right” as possible. I also agree with 17 week being too long for a first cycle. Didn’t think of it that way. I might go with doing the lower dose for 2 weeks, but cut down on my cycle with a week or two. Or i’ll do the blast + pct in it’s entirety before school. Probably the last one, if I get my stuff in time. Thanks again!

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I must of read the original post wrong. If your talking two extra week of test then that’s fine. If that’s what you think will help you better accomplish whatever it is your trying to do then go for it it won’t make a bit of difference as far as pct is concerned.

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That’s my mistake my man. I meant 2 weeks, but i wasn’t specific enough so I edited my original post to clarify. But thanks again! Hopefully I’ll be able to start soon enough so that I can be done with both the blast and the pct before school, but now I know that this is an option that’s viable.

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I 2nd the following:

  • Don’t cruise, save this for later in life
  • Ditch clomid, run pct with Nolva 40/40/20/20

Thanks man. I’ll ditch clomid and probably pct before school.