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Test/Deca Stack: Side Effects Supposed to Be This Tough?

Hey y’all, long time lifter but first time on a cycle. After researching and endless forum reads, I decided to go with a 500 Test e/200 deca admin’d once a week, with a daily of dbol. I’ve done the two needles in the thigh (left on week one and right this week), same day and relatively same location (2cc each).

I’m 50, 205, and 5’11”

Giving the needle isn’t bad but the soreness escalated all day and I can hardly walk by the evening and it lasts for 2 days before it’s bearable to walk (or workout)… Like one leg workout of the century kinda sore. It’s pretty swollen and a bit red but that also goes away after a feew days. Also, I’m getting very mild flu like symptoms (feeling weak, extremely tired, mild nausea, lost appetite and just all around feeling shitty).

Aside from trying another location like glute, what am I missing? Too much in one location? Is this side effect that common? It seems almost counter productive if taking gear levels me so much I can’t work out.

Any guidance is appreciated.

Quads can be painful, especially with virgin muscle.
Some labs use EO, ethyl oleate for the steroid solution/solvent which can cause very painful reactions in some guys.(might be a factor? Check the ingredients on your vials, not all labs print ingredients though)

Also for a first cycle you are taking 700mgs of injectibles, and probably at least another 200mg of Dbol. That’s a lot for a beginner. Should have started with just the test, to minimise variables. It probably is the test causing the flu like symptoms, but you won’t really know because you are taking 3 steroids. Ideally do one compound at a time, work out any issues with it, then you can add another compound in a subsequent cycle, and repeat the process.
The old Roman bodybuilders had a saying “The physique wasn’t built in one cycle”:slight_smile: Okay that didn’t have steroids back then, but I’m sure you get my drift.

Test flu usually disappears in a couple of weeks, take some ibuprofen until it goes.

Deca has a high risk for smashing libido, and causing erectile disfunction. Once again you won’t know if it will cause you a problem until you have been on for a while. It doesn’t effect some guys. I’d drop it for your first cycle, it could really complicate things. Search “deca dick” on this site to get an idea of how bad it can be.


Thanks BB

Yeah, in hindsight, simpler may be better. Dbol was a bit of a trip up- the plan was 30mg/ d (in 10 mg doses) but when the shipment didn’t arrive I ordered from another shop and it’s 25 mg/tablet so it’s just once a day.

With deca, thx for the warning. I’ve read some of the deca dick side effects, and provided it was a lower dosage, I ‘presumed’ it would be minimal or at least livable, and temporary. I’m 50 & MwK so I’m not worried about an over active sex life. How sad is that?

Both are cotton seed oil base (teragon labs)
If I drop deca, would you suggest adding anything or simply drop it from the stack? Also, should I adjust test e dosage?

Again, many thanks and appreciate the response!

Lol,I’m 49 so yes I know what your saying:) Still you want to be be able to get some once in a while.
For a first cycle just stick with test, no need to go too hard first. Just see how it plays out with your individual response. Less is better if you still get the results you are looking for.
Some guys really respond right away, others need a couple of cycles under their belts before they really dial in what’s right for them.

For me glutes and delts tolerate injection better than quads, in regard to post injection pain. Quads bear a lot of your weight when standing or walking , bending your knee, so you feel it more.
Also what gauge needle are you using?

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Well, I’m still learning. Lifting and diet while changing it up as we age all these years can be a challenge in itself. Now introducing gear…:roll_eyes:

I use a 20g to extract, and use a 23g to inject. The first week on the first shot, with all the fumbling and a triple injection into the vial, I Started second guessing, wondering if I didn’t switch the needle or something and it was due to a blunt needle end / larger needle but the second week reaction was almost identical to the first and the procedure was tight.

I’ve presumed I would do a quad/ glute location rotation. How do delts respond to 2cc injections? How long is the soreness for those? Given this experience, I’m not to keen to continue the quad injections. Pain / discomfort is one thing but I can’t even activate the quad muscle for a proper contraction and workout for about 3-4 days There’s a fair amount of edema as well.

Also, I’m starting to see blog Comments of injections twice/week? Thoughts and preferences?


I use the same gauge pins as you, but have some 27g on order. Smaller pins are less painful, and cause less scar tissue.

Delts can take 2cc, just take your time. Soreness if you get it, prob 3 days. Its all very individual, some people find delts painful, most don’t. Glutes tolerate injections the best, but can be a pain in the ass to do both literally and figuratively. Use a bathroom mirror and try not to wiggle the syringe side to side.

Virgin muscle can be quite painful, as can some steroids like test prop, and sustanon.

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Thanks again Beyond Beyond

As frustrating as the soreness is, I’m a bit concerned with these flu like symptoms. You mentioned circa two weeks for the test flu to away. My second round of two injections were Saturday and today (Wednesday) I’m still lethargic, nauseous/zero appetite and (a wee bit) short of breath. Slightly better each day but even today, if I get through an rx workout (which I highly doubt I could) I’m pooched for anything else. Needless to say I haven’t worked out since then. I need a mid day nap as it is already. Is this experience that common?


This used to happen to me at the beginning of every cycle. Like your body is fighting off the chemicals coming in. Last for a week or so.

Always so discouraging, cos you’re pumped to start lifting and gaining and then you start off sick.

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Thanks Swoops/ BB for weighing in on this.

I hate complaining and I think the bulk of my post probably comes off that way, but this was a real surprise for me given all the positive comments of this stack / individual products. If I have line of sight and just need to tough this phase out, I can ride it out. Thanks for assuring me it does happen to others. I’m
Good- Frustrated but good.

We will see how the next injection goes. :crossed_fingers:

Are you taking any AI to stomp gyno symptoms? AI can make you feel like shit, if you tank your estrogen. Fatigue, achy joints. 10-20mg/day of nolvadex on cycle works better for me than an AI, which always seem to tank my E2.

My first cycle was a nightmare. I was taking high mg/ml testosterone, that had ethyl oleate in it, I didn’t react well, and was in pain all the time. I learnt pretty quickly to avoid injecting the quads. Couldn’t bend my leg, no chance of squatting or other leg exercises, for nearly a week after injecting.

Ibuprofen will be your best friend for a week or so.

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No, I’m not taking any but have letrozole on hand if I start to show. That’s good info to know though. Several gents suggested it’s overkill to take unless you start to show so right or wrong, I chose that route. I also have clim/nov for the pct.

My test e and durabolin uses benzyl alcohol/ benzyl benzoate, so I don’t know if that’s the issue. Some articles mention test cyp as an alternative due to allergic reactions With test e(?). I’m spit balling at this point. As mentioned earlier, my body may be just acclimatize to it.

I should clarify, technically it’s NPP, not true deca.

Most of the pip is probably due to virgin muscle and injecting in the quad. I went through a period of pip when I switched to delts. Now it is mostly pain free with the same gear.

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They are standard pharma grade preservative/solvents. Some people put PIP down to high alcohol,ie anything over 2%. I have used gear with 10% BA, yet no PIP.

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Hard to say but I’ve never had PIP on long ester test of nandrolone decanote. I’m pretty sure that was also my first cycle but now knowing what I know… seems overkill. I’d run the test dbol only with the dbol as the finisher being wiser and of years. How far into are you?

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Yeah, hindsight, I didn’t really allow for troubleshooting by stacking right out of the chute. Rookie error. As noted earlier, this is all new to me- kinda wish I found t nation earlier.

I started 11 days ago, so I’m 2 doses deep with test e and NPP (taken Saturdays) and dbol has been daily.

I’m no expert, but if you’re administering all of that stuff once a week that’s a lot of stuff to put in your body all at once for a first time user, which takes you from high blood concentrations to very low blood concentrations by the time you pin again (at least for the NPP, not so much in the test, but it’s still very high to quite low). From everything I’ve read and understood on here, it seems that your test should be 2x/wk and the NPP should be EOD. I wonder if you’re feeling shitty because of the constant swing of the hormones. I am running test C and NPP and pinning them both EOD. The only real issue I’m having is finding new spots to pin but otherwise I’m feeling great

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2cc is a pretty good amount. How fast are you injecting? I take around 1 min. for 1cc. Also where on the thigh are you injecting? I was at first going in more from slightly outside/top and switched to more from the side and got a lot less soreness.
Check the link out and click on ‘Thigh’.

Sage advice wsmwannabe- I was wondering about frequency. There are about as many opinions as there are options on here but that makes sense. I appreciate all the input, including yours. Dialing in the right balance seems to be a bit of an art based on our own bodies.

So I accept that this stack May be aggressive. That said, Question- if I do an adjustment to increase frequency and location of NPP, and still have similar symptoms after week 3, and choose to remove NPP from the stack, is there any suggested adjustments to test e and dbol or just leave as is (500/wk & 25ED respectively)?

Trust me, no judgement here on your choice of compounds, just noting that it’s a lot if your body has never seen those levels… or any AAS before. If you decide to drop NPP, IMO the test and Dbol you are running will be a solid level. Generally, pinning more frequently decreases side effects, because it helps maintain more stable blood levels.

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Admittedly, I’m Injecting a lot faster than that. About 20-30 sec for each 2cc needle. With the thigh being 3 hands in length, it’s about the top of the bottom hand/first finger digit of the second hand ( bottom of the sweep) and in line just outside of the knee cap (or if you place your hand over the top of your thigh, the third/ring finger).

Thanks so much for the link. I’ll go over it to see if there is any difference to what I’ve reviewed for instructions from other sites.