T Nation

The Cycle, PCT. What Now?......

O.K. We’ve got the PCT and the cycle mapped out. Our we finished with our homework yet? Absolutely not. We have just begun to touch the surface of our gains unless we incorporate the priming factor. Getting our body ready to respond to AAS to the fullest requires a bit more attention and detail.

Here are some high spots. I will let the elders fill in where I have come up short. Go easy on Bushboy and Rainjack…LOL. This is deffinately something that should be given more attention. Here goes…

Priming 101 - Preparing for an AAS Growth Spurt

Frequently people research how to better layout an AAS cycle, as well as proper post cycle therapy for making the transition back to natural. Unfortunately, many neglect another component for a successful AAS cycle - maximizing the time spent on - pre cycle therapy, better know as Priming.

What is priming?

Priming is a preparatory method used to better prepare the body before starting an AAS cycle. The goal of priming is to make the system very sensitive to a flood of androgens, food and intense training. Most advanced bodybuilders (especially those that compete) know how responsive the body can be right after leaning up - such as the growth spurts that are frequently experienced after a competition… with or without AAS.

If done correctly, priming will surprise you by very quick and dramatic results. In my opinion, priming should be done before every cycle - no matter the athlete’s previous cycle experience. Because of the quicker results, cycle duration could also be cut back to make coming off and restoring proper HPTA function easier.

The basic principle here is to create an environment where you body is very responsive to increased calories and your mind feels pent up and ready to move heavy weights.

How should you prime?

Priming involves the correct dietary and training techniques that get you to drop fat but no muscle. Basically, you diet down slow enough to simply lose some fat - no muscle should be lost. The training should not be so intense that you risk overtraining; in fact, a general maintenance routine would be best in most cases.

The diet should allow your body to become sensitive to carbohydrates and other macronutrients. Generally, a cyclic ketogenic diet (CKD) works wonders - staying low carb for 3-4 days maximum, then carbing up. Again, the goal is to lean up but preserve current LBM.

Here is an example split that I have used for successful priming:

Day 1: Moderate Carb/Cardio
Day 2: Low Carb/Upperbody Supersets
Day 3: Low Carb/Lowerbody Supersets
Day 4: Low Carb/Cardio
Day 5: Low Carb/Full Body Workout (begin carb load after evening training)
Day 6: Carb Load/No training
Day 7: Moderate Carb/Power Training (Squat/Deads/Bench)
Repeat

How much cardio you do and how low you take your calories, is determined by your LBM and what you have learned about your metabolism and personal limitations.

The last 4-5 days before the cycle starts should be low carb. On the day you carb up - you should begin the cycle. Testosterone and most of it’s popular deriatives will make this carb load very effective - and glycogen supercompensation should occur very quickly… especially if you use short esters or frontload longer esters - to get blood levels up quickly.

After this point your body will remain very responsive to the cycle and you should begin training hard - drop sets, rest-pause… go intense! You should feel ready for it. As always - keep a training log to maximize the growth window.

How long should the priming period last?

Proper priming should last about 6-8 weeks precycle. If done correctly and long enough, your body will be very responsive - you should feel physically pent up and ready from the priming period - you should be mentally and physically prepared to move some heavy weights and put in 100% effort in the gym.

This is for precycle - to prepare your body for packing on as much muscle mass as possible while you are on… maximizing this time frame.

Training cycles should change as goals change. The goal before you go on an AAS-assited training cycle should be orientated around getting your body sensitive for a growth spurt. It should get you physically prepared by making you senstive to incoming macros and androgens. It should get you mentally prepared before changing your training split to one that is intense and very progressive.

Just trying to shed some light on what I have learned. This is GOLD fellas!!! Don’t take it lightly…

Strength and Power,
Biscuite

Sounds like gold to me, any opinions from vets?

I have never taken the time to prime myself for an upcoming cycle. At least the way that was stated by the OP. I would like to hear what others have to say about the priming priciple, but it does make sense to me. I will have to do more research but will possibly put this into effect in future cycles and reply back to this post with my opinion.