I would to thank TxLonghorn for inviting me over to this excellent board.
As many of you already know I have had decent success with short cycles. I, along with some of my friends and clients, have had good results with cycles as short as 14 days long.
I no longer do cycles longer than 4-6 weeks as I am simply sick of the sides that build up after 4-6 weeks and I no longer feel comfortable walking around with a shitty lipid profile for months on end.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS SHORT
"In my book" any cycle 6 weeks or less is a short cycle. Personally I now think that 4 weekers give the best gains to sides ratio.
You can do 2 weeks "on" 2-4 weeks "off"
You can do 4 weeks on and 4-6 weeks off
Or you can do 6 weeks on with 6-8 weeks off.
4 weeks on and 4 weeks off, year round, gives excellent results and you are only "on" half the year.
WHY DO THEM
If you are one of those bro's that does longer cycles, of say 10-12 weeks or more, and then wisely takes an equal amount of time off, and you are tired of loosing so much of your gains post cycle due to the length of the time off...the yoyo affect....then why not try doing shorter cycles with their corresponding shorter off times...... obviously you don't gain as much with a short cycle but then again you don't loose as much post cycle either due to the shorter off time.
Now... over say a year of doing 4 on 4-6 off you are gong to get very similar results as that seen from doing longer cycles of say 12 "on" 12-14 off but with less yo-yo affect and less sides. In fact most of my clients that do 4-6 week cycles tell me that they are actually getting better gains over a years use.
Do them to have less of a negative impact on ones lipid profile and to have less total time per year with a poor lipid profile.
Some of you may not know that androgens, taken at even newbie bodybuilding doses, alter everyones lipid profile. Everyone sees their hdl(good cholesterol) take a huge "nosedive" and most also see their ldl(bad cholesterol) go up to some degree but not to the same degree that hdl decreases. Generally hdl decreases 40-70% in as little as 2 weeks and ldl increases an average of 36% in 4 weeks. In my experience this reduction in hdl puts all bro's hdl WELL below the pathological minimum of 35. My ldl does not elevate above the pathological level of 160 but others see ldl's well above 160.
Lipid levels typically normalize within 3-10 weeks after discontinuation.
( details taken from article in Medscape)
Here are my "numbers" from the last long cycle of test 750mg/week and tren 75mg/day. A powerful stack but not a huge dose of gear. It's been as bad with less powerful gear and lower doses. Blood work done after week 7.
Total cholesterol 181...not bad.
ldl 160...not very good
hdl 11.6! CRAPPY big time
Cholesterol to hdl ratio 15.7 to 1...ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE! This is when my doc and I had a COW at the same time.
Here is my "baseline" without gear
chol to hdl ratio....3.16 to 1.....good
.As far as I and my endochrinologist are concerned this lipid altering side of gear use is the single worst side of steroid use.
In as little as a week hdl decreases. Personally my brother-in-law and I really see a huge decrease after about 3 weeks "on' cycle. The last time I did a long cycle my total cholesterol to hdl ratio plummeted to 15 to 1!...My doc had a cow and so did I!!
According to current medical thought ones total cholesterol to hdl ratio is the single greatest LIPID indicator for assessing ones chances of developing heart disease. Men with low total cholesterols but with crappy hdl have gone on to develope heart disease WITHOUT ANY OTHER RISK FACTORS such as smoking, or diabetes.
Ideally you want an hdl of at least 40 and a ratio of 3.5 to 1 or better.
My mentor, the late great MIKE MENTZER died of heart disease at age 50 and I know for a fact that ARNOLD had more than valve surgery(I am an operating room nurse as well as a trainer)
Do them to decrease liver stress.
Generally long cycles with non 17aa roids are not that hard on the liver but sometimes one can get into trouble. The short cycle allows for less total stress on the liver and the frequent "off" times allows the liver to regenerate very well.
Generally a healthy liver can take pretty big "hits" for short periods of time without any problem ...it is long term stress that cause liver damage(as seen with elevated GGT enzyme levels)
Do them if you want to "tone down" your use of steroids.
Do them if you do NOT want to use HCG during a cycle to prevent testicular atrophy. HPTA shut down will be complete in as little as a week "on" but testicualr atrophy is minimal due to the short length of this shut down. This then allows for better HPTA recovery post cycle.
It is small testes that makes HPTA recovery slow because GnRH from the hypothalamus and LH from the pituitary normally rebound pretty rapidly.
* There will be some testicular shrinkage in any cycle so if you do 4 "on" 4 "off" for several cycles in a row then it would be a good idea to use hcg at 500iu's every 3rd day while "on" to prevent testicular atrophy...the 4 weeks "off" may not be enough time to allow for complete testicular recovery and over the span of several cycles this may impact your HPTA recovery.
You certainly can use hcg while on any short cycle to prevent any testicular shrinkage if you like but it really isn't necessary.
Do them if you do not want to see much in the way of water retention and do not want to use an estrogen inhibitor or an ace inhibitor(diuretic)
Do them if you get high blood pressure and do not wish to use the above mentioned ancillaries.
8. Do them if you are sick of androgenic sides such as ance, prostate hypertrophy and hair loss(if prone to hair loss) etc etc.
Androgen sides come on for two reason...dose used and especially length of time "on". I do not get acne until after 4 weeks on and then I get hammered.....and I hate it.
Do them if you are tired of walking around with high estrogen levels for months on end and do not wish to or cannot afford to use an estrogen inhibitor. High estrogen levels are NOT good for the prostate at all!
You certainly can use estrogen inhibitors if you like if you want to keep estrogen levels down and experience very little water retention.
WHY NOT TO DO THEM
Obviously if you compete at a high level then short cycles are probably not the best for you, BUT I think they are the best way to use steroids for the vast majority of bro's.
Top competitors need to be "on" either all the time or most of the time....thats unfortunate but usually necessary in order to get freaky huge which is now needed to win big.
WHAT TO EXPECT
If one is not yet at ones natural maximum level of muscular developement then very good gains can be seen of up to 15 pounds and 10 pounds kept after a 4 weeker...as long as you train correctly as a natural post cycle.
If one is off gear and has dropped to ones natural max then a short cycle can add up to 10 pounds. If you take no more than 6 weeks off after each four weeker you will not loose much...then in each successive cycle you can still gain but the gains will be smaller the further you get from your natural max.
Those that are off cycle and have not yet shrunk down to their natural max can still gain well with successive short cycles but don't expect to win at the national level.
One of the things I like about short cycles is the short time "off" between cycles.......muscular atrophy is minimal during the off time and you are allowing for frequent bodily normalization after minimal time "on". LESS SIDES IN GENERAL, LESS TIME WITH A SHITTY LIPID PROFILE and LESS MUSCLE LOSS POST CYCLE.
NOTE: You cannot get "freaky big" in this way...that takes very big doses and spending most of the year, for years on end, on steroids as well as GH and slin, and that my freinds is simply not a good idea unless you plan to make your living as a bodybuilder.
Getting pretty darn big in small steps is a safer way to use gear IMHO...and it messes less with one head too. Some guys really get depressed during "off" times of 12 or more weeks waiting to start their next cycle.
GEAR CHOICE and RATIONAL
The idea behind short cycles is to "get in" quick, hit the androgen receptors hard, get some gains, and then get the hell out as fast as possible so as to minimize sides. So with this in mind one should only use orals and rapid acting/clearing injectables. The limited time "on' simply doesn't justify the use of the "slower" esterfied injectables like deca etc. Also, these same roids take too long to clear the system and that too goes against the philosophy of short cycles.
The gear choosen should be powerful for best results and doses need to be decent as well in order to get the most from the short time on.
You can use mild gear like anavar but your results will be reduced.
Personally I think d-bol/tren cannot be beat. There is only one roid that is better than testosterone, in the short run, IMHO and that is d-bol...too bad it's 17aa.
STACKS AND DOSE EXAMPLES
Tren 50mg/day for 4 weeks and d-bol 30mg/day in 4 divided doses per day(one right before bed) for 4 weeks.
Two days after last tren do clomid at 200-300mg on day one in divided doses and then 50-100mg/day for a week and then 50mg a day for 3 more weeks. OR...Nolva at 80mg on day one in divided doses followed by 40mg/day for a week and then 20mg/day for 3 more weeks.
Have nolva or clomid on hand for gyno protection.
More advanced...200 of tren on day one as a front load to get tren levels up pronto and then 75mg/day for 4 weeks. D-bol 50mg/day in 4 divided doses for 4 weeks. SERMS as above
Test prop 75mg/day for 4 weeks and tren 50mg/day for 4 weeks. Serms as above. Nolva on hand.
more advanced.....Test prop 300mg on day one and then 100-200mg/day for 4 weeks. Tren 75mg/day. An estrogen inhibitor might be needed.
MEGA STACK... ADVANCED
Test prop 300mg on day one and then 100mg /day for 4 weeks, d-bol 50mg/day and tren 75mg/day......LOOK THE HELL OUT! Have the nolva on the tip of your tongue he he he ...arimidex at 1-1.5mg/day would be wise even for the short 4 week period.
D-bol really is an unreal roid and as I said it is even better than test in the short run IMHO.
One can get very nice results from d-bol alone at 50mg/day for 4-6 weeks. Don't take it for longer than 6 weeks though as it is a 17aa roid and as such is somewhat hard on the liver.
D-bol for 6 weeks at a time was a favorite in the old days and produced excellent gains.
Test prop can be run all by itself at 75-200mg/day with great results too.
You might want to consider taking the worlds best hdl improver while "on" cycle...NIACIN!
Nothing even comes close to niacins hdl incresing powers. Personally it has not helped my hdl while "on' nor has it helped my brother-in-laws, but you might see some level of improvement(don't expect a great improvement though since androgens do such a great job of messing with hepatic lipaze)
Nicain comes in three forms...regular, extended release(Niaspan) and non flush niacin. Niaspan is the best and works well at 1500mg/day taken once daily. Regular niacin works well at 600-1000mg three times a day but it gives a nasty ichy flush for a while after taking each pill.
Non flush works fairly well at 2-3 grams a day but not as good as the others IMHO.
Use nicain while "off" for sure as it will rapidly improve your shitty hdl level.
NOTE*** niacin can be hard on the liver so never use it with acutane which is hard on the liver. You really should have liver panels done if you use niacin for more than 6 weeks and be followed by a doctor(Swale would be good) especially if you are on steroids as well.
I recommed that all be followed by a doctor while on steroids or at the very least educate yourself about the sides of steroid use and how to avoid the pitfalls by following yourself with blood work at labs that do not require a docs script(especially liver panels... and psa for us older guys) And guys at a minimum also watch your blood pressure while on gear at your local drug store monitoring station....keep the BP under 140 over 90 if you can especailly if you are "on" for months on end.
Best of gains and health to you all.