Wasted Cycle, Where Should I Go from Here?

I only have one cycle under my belt which was extremely successful with 500mg test e only for 12 weeks followed by standard Nolvadex PCT protocol but upon deciding it was time to cut, I wanted to keep it simple and familiar and decided to go for another 500mg 12 week test e only cycle followed by a reduced dose of 250mg a week for an additional 7 weeks. While I lost weight, I achieved pretty much no satisfactory results in terms of aesthetics with minor strength gains in some particular lifts; I honestly looked better being off the gear at the same weight last year.

I know it was ignorant to cut with 500mg and my test levels were insane at times which I’m sure lead to catabolism. I am in week 4 of PCT but my mind is stuck between a rock and a hard place now to determine where to go from here. With my test being tanked after such a careless cycle, I am hesitant to keep cutting after PCT and am discouraged by regression in progress after working so hard to put on muscle.

I’m honestly already thinking about starting another cycle in a few months after I’ve recovered but am unsure which way to go or what the cycle should consist of. I guess I’m looking for the best approach to achieve a respectable physique once again.

Height, weight, approx bodyfat %, age, training age, what are your best lifts on bench, squat, deadlift, ohp? post a physique pic.

what is your goal?

5’7, 151 lbs, approximately 15% BF, 32 years old, been training for about 7 or 8 years. I couldn’t tell you what my best lifts are as I do not ever max out. I can tell you that I am a naturally thin person with an insane metabolism and it is very easy for me to lose weight and hard for me to gain healthy weight without it being too much fat. I can consume upwards of 3200 calories a day to lose .5 lbs a week if that information gives you any insight into my physiology. My goal is to achieve the physique I had last year and continue to stack muscle onto that frame but with my test levels being tanked, I am fearful of cutting as I do not see myself obtaining anything close to that physique naturally while I’m waiting for my body to recover. I will post pictures of myself at what I believe to be my healthiest along with some of the progress I made to give you insight into what I’m currently dealing with until I can take a recent picture tomorrow as I’m currently traveling. The first set of photos will be from October 2019 at 133.4 lbs and the next set will be from February 2020 at 141.6.

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I forgot I took a picture last week, here it is at 151 lbs with extreme PCT bloat, not much has changed so this will be the newest photo I will be uploading. The gyno is from being almost 200 lbs 9 years ago

I’m sorry if I missed it but how do you know your levels are tanked? Got Labs?

You don’t look too bad my friend. Looks like the same amount of muscle as the Feb 2020 pictures at 141 pounds but just with 10 pounds of fat and water covering you up.

You mention PCT bloat. I think you’re on track. It looks like estrogen rebound to me. I experienced it myself when I had to suddenly come off Test to get labs a couple weeks ago. Is there a reason you did not put any AI in your PCT? It may have prevented your current situation.

But who am I? You don’t have to take my word for it. Read about estrogen rebound, and when/why to use an AI for PCT,

As for where to go from here. I think you need labs before you make any decisions. You mentioned you can slow cut on 3,200 calories. I’d eat 3,200 a day, train hard, get labs ASAP, and then reassess. You need to know if your Test is recovering properly and if your E2 is actually high. You don’t want to start messing around with things during PCT unless you absolutely have to. But if you insist on tinkering, please get labs first and have an accurate picture of what’s going on before making changes.

Of course you could skip the labs and just let your body work things out over the next couple months. I’d be willing to bet that if you are a clean diet in a very slight deficit, trained hard, and waited it out, you’d be recovered and most of that unsightly water would be gone. E2 just takes FOREVER to come down on its own. But it does eventually come down in the absence of excess Testosterone or excess body fat.

Best of luck to you!

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How, exactly? High TT and sensitive AR would help you keep muscle, not destroy it.

Each def don’t go right into a cut after a cycle or during PCT. maintain for a month or two and let your body balance again. Then you can go into a cut

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Thank you for taking the time to comment and thank you for the link. I do not know for sure that my test is tanked; I just assumed, based on my limited experience, that a 20 week cycle would be pretty hard on the body. I had labs done in the very beginning of January and my test was in something like the 1600 range and my e2 was slightly elevated; that’s when I dropped the test dosage and things seemed to sort themselves out. Aromasin has been very effective for me during both cycles but I have determined I am an over responder as I have definitely diminished my E2 levels in the past with as little as 12.5mg (dry eyes, dry lips, achy joints, etc.) Considering the symptoms I am currently experiencing, I believe you are right in that I am experiencing estrogen rebound so I think I will take 6.25mg tomorrow and I will definitely get labs done in the coming days.

As I mentioned in my latest reply, my test was around the 1600 range (I do not have the labs available to me at this moment). During this time I was having severe hot and cold flashes during the night and was insomniac due to feeling sudden bursts of energy during the night; these issues were rectified when I dropped my test dosage. Also, thank you for commenting and giving me some insight.

Trt could be in your future. For what you want and the lifestyle you’re looking to maintain it’s probably inevitable.

As an aside, you look really good, man. You clearly know how to train and eat. If all you’re looking for is some weight loss I think you can do that naturally without losing too much muscle. But the truth is that in the future you would be well served to cut on trt doses (that’s more than enough for 99% of us) and you’d bulk on higher doses. You could safely do one blast a year and then cruise the rest of the time. It’s where you’re going to end up anyway, so start thinking about it now and learn all you can. It’s a commitment.

Thank you for the feedback and encouragement. Just out of curiosity, do you think there are any potential repercussions such as catabolism when cutting on 500mg of test opposed to 250mg or would the higher dosage simply contribute to a longer recovery period? I know 250mg is ideal and that is the dosage I will be using in the future but I’m just trying to gain some insight into any potential issues I created for myself during my cycle.

This is backwards. You will recover faster on 500 than 250mg, and you will build more muscle, or lose less with the test being higher.

In your case it isn’t necessary to run higher test while cutting. The difference in muscle loss in a cut won’t be significant between the two.

Make sure cutting with test is what you want to do though. It is less reward compared to risk when looking at cutting with it vs bulking with it. What I mean is that if you are doing both, you are going to likely want to be on more. More likely that you end up on trt. If that’s okay, then at least for me, I just went on trt (started on it), then did blasts. I actually had pretty low t, and I’m older than you, so it was a bit easier decision.

If you were going to only do one cycle, you would very likely look better cutting a bit naturally and using the cycle for bulking (and I would use 400-500mg/wk)

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I’d be interested in hearing your opinion of my 7 week PCT of Nolvadex at 40/40/20/20/10/10/5. I get labs done tomorrow but I probably won’t have my results until Monday because my doctors office is closed Fridays. I’m hoping I’m just experiencing some estrogen rebound and I can take some Aromasin to combat it, I always feel better afterwards as it is so effective for me.

I think I will simply bulk with gear and then maintain during recovery, transition into a natural cut and then reintroduce gear when I’ve plateaued to get really shredded. I’m not ready to commit to any sort of TRT right now as I still feel very novice about how my body even responds to these compounds and how it recovers. I should have been more specific when mentioning “recovery” with 500mg compared to 250mg. What I was asking was since I chose to run a higher dose, will my post cycle recovery take longer considering I introduced more test into my body than needed? I know the last cycle I ran of 500mg for 12 weeks followed by 7 weeks of 250mg was irresponsible but is it even considered that wreckless? How long does one typically take to recover from such cycle? Also, do you think a 7 week pct with Nolvadex only at 40/40/20/20/10/10/5 is sufficient enough for recovery? PCT has gone pretty smoothly but some of the mental side effects are becoming more pronounced such as brain fog and anxiety, accompanied by some occasional headaches and blurry vision. Sorry for all the questions, I’m just trying to gain as much insight as I can into all of this.

No, almost any amount of test will shut you down completely, and fairly quickly compared to a typical length cycle (full shutdown in a couple weeks). Because of the higher dose, you might wait one additional week before starting a serm PCT, but IMO one week is pretty insignificant.

I only waited 2 weeks instead of 3 to start PCT and am already in my 4th week so it’s too late now but I appreciate your advice and input. I think I’m just looking for a bit of peace of mind right now lol

Everyone should wait three weeks. Nobody does. It only really affects recovery marginally. The difference between optimal (three weeks) and good enough (two weeks) is fairly small.


I see my link to good PCT practices that I posted above got removed :roll_eyes:.

So, my opinion is still that you didn’t do it correctly if you’re truly wanting your nuts to recover and didn’t want any PCT bloat. You didn’t run Clomid or HCG for your nuts and didn’t run an AI for the E2 rebound). If I read all your posts correctly, all you did was block estrogen at the receptors with Nolvadex and nothing else.

Let me be clear before I get flamed here: I AM NOT SAYING YOU MUST RUN THESE OTHER THINGS TO RECOVER. You could run no PCT at all and still recover, eventually. They are just very effective at waking the nuts back up and stopping you from looking like a water balloon when you suddenly stop Test.

No worries, though. By now, your test is surely starting to recover and your E2 will come down on its own, albeit slowly. And the water will go away.

I still say don’t mess with anything at this point and wait for labs. Even then, probably don’t mess.

I’m willing to bet your test it just now starting to recover and you’ll be in the 3-400 range and your E2 is prolly still disproportionately high, around 50 or more. If I were you, id keep running the Nolvadex until that E2 comes down naturally. You’ll know it’s come down by:

  1. Your labs come back
  2. All that puffiness and water in your last pic has gone away.
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With short esters like Ace, Prop etc PCT can start around 2 days after the last shot.

You’d feel like shit if you ran say… test P + Primo Ace for 6-8 weeks then waited 3 wks before starting PCT. You’d also probably lose more muscle mass comparative to immediately starting PCT

Right, but since most people are using test c or e the advice is generally geared towards to majority.