My First Steroid Cycle | What I Would Change If I Could Go Back In Time
My First Steroid Cycle
Most of you guys know I use a high-normal dose of TRT.
I try to keep myself right on the cusp of supraphysiological Testosterone levels.
In the past I've blasted with supraphysiological amounts numerous times, and the first steroid cycle in particular is what I want to delve into today.
My first steroid cycle was the classic 500 mg of Test Enanthate for 12 weeks.
This is exactly how it was laid out:
That's the standard “go-to newbie cycle” that is talked about on the forums all the time, and is about as simple as it gets.
I didn't even use an aromatase inhibitor because I was so uneducated and haphazardly jumped into the cycle thinking I knew everything already.
Looking back in hindsight, that cycle was overkill.
I didn't need nearly that much gear for where I was at.
Even now, most of you guys know my TRT protocol is only 100 mg of Testosterone Propionate per week right now (at least at the time of writing this article).
It changes sometimes based on different experiments I'm doing, but that's roughly where it's at all the time.
My Testosterone replacement protocol has evolved over the years as I started to realize that I could get away with less and less.
It used to be 200 mg of Enanthate per week, then I dropped it down to 150 mg of Enanthate per week, and then I dropped it to 125 mg of Enanthate per week.
Then, I changed the ester to Testosterone Propionate, lowered the weekly dosage to 100 mg, and starting pinning micro shots every day with an insulin pin to try and replicate what would be closer to normal endogenous Testosterone production (this results in higher Free T and lower levels of aromatization).
Knowing what I know now, and seeing first hand how much size I can hold with only 100 mg of Testosterone Propionate per week, I brutally regret using 500 mg of Testosterone per week for my first cycle.
What I Would Change In My First Steroid Cycle If I Could Go Back In Time
If could go back in time, I could have gotten away with half of that easily, and still made significant amounts of progress.
I also should have waited until I had a more thorough understanding of diet.
I knew how to lift heavy and train hard, but my knowledge about dieting and learning how to prime my metabolism was not where it needed to be.
As a result, I spent a fair bit of time on hormones wasting muscle building potential, and getting fat when I didn't need to.
For the majority of men, you only have so many cycles in the tank before you get to a point where you either:
A) Have accelerated the miniaturization of your hair follicles and are forced to stop using hormones to prevent further hair loss
B) Have a health issue that forces you off hormones
This is why it is so incredibly crucial to fully understand how to diet, train, and how to milk the most muscle out of intelligent dosages as possible.
Even if you're side effect free, the higher your dosage is, the less potential muscle growth you will get out of each dosage increment as Myostatin will increase regardless to inhibit you from gaining too much muscle in the presence of supraphysiological androgens.
If you start at 500 mg and plateau, where do you go from there?
You either increase the dosage, introduce other androgens on top of what you're already using, or you have to come off/greatly lower the dosage periodically to reset Myostatin.
Using too much gear off the bat is a big regret I have, but there wasn't as much of information available back then as there is now.
There were forums, but it wasn't like it is now.
When I was a teenager, bodybuilding was cool and getting as big as possible was the objective.
As the years progressed and social media exploded, freak show bodybuilders started to look less and less appealing, and we all started noticing how many bodybuilders were actually dropping like flies from health problems.
To the average juice head, 500 mg per week is nothing.
This is partially because we have all been brainwashed into thinking that there is no ceiling on the returns from AAS, when in reality, once you hit a gram or two per week, the diminishing returns are so drastic that even if you tripled the dosage at that point, you would just end up with more side effects and no additional muscle gain.
If you're convinced every IFBB pro is using 5 grams per week, then 500 mg per week seems a lot more reasonable.
The reality is that 500 mg is actually a lot of gear.
I can sustain my current physique on 100 mg of Testosterone per week.
Maybe even less, and I will likely see how low I can get it before I start seeing muscle loss in the near future (androgens are one of the main roots of heart disease).
If I could go back in time, I would probably use around 250 mg of Testosterone propionate, or 300 mg Testosterone Enanthate per week for my first steroid cycle (depending on my blood work).
How Many Milligrams Of Testosterone Do Men Naturally Produce?
The average natural male produces 3 mg to 10 mg of Testosterone per day, with the average being 6-7 mg per day.
That is only 70 mg per week on the absolute high end of the genetic elite.
Keep in mind, there is no ester that needs to be cleaved from the molecule, so 21 – 70 mg is literally 21 – 70 mg when it comes to endogenous production.
When you factor in ester weight with Testosterone Enanthate, 500 mg per week might actually only end up being between 300 – 350 mg of usable Testosterone.
However, that 350 mg is still several times higher than the endogenous production of a genetic elite.
It is around 7 times more Testosterone than an average young healthy male produces per week (50 mg).
Personally, I don't see any justification to start at 500 mg for a first cycle, or a dosage that would then put someone in a position where there is so much aromatization occurring that they are forced to deploy an Aromatase Inhibitor.
If you are already on half a gram of gear and throwing back Aromasin/Arimidex tabs just to keep your Estrogen in check during your first cycle, you're way off the mark from smart bodybuilding practices.
Do you really need to increase your androgen index by 7-10x times higher than what it normally is just to push past your genetic plateau?
A much more reasonable dosage will still provide significant growth opportunity with a much lower incidence of side effects, while ensuring greater long-term growth potential, and I wish I realized this sooner.
From Mr Average ... to superman
The needle is 21 gauge, 1.5in. A hogsticker. Forty of them arrived in a package from Greece. Ever received a package from overseas? You get that puff of air when you rip it open - air that's travelled thousands of miles. Foreign, like stepping into a stranger's house. The syringe wrapper has instructions in Italian, French, Greek and Arabic - not a word of English. But it's a needle. Operation is self-explanatory. I had put them out on my work desk a few days ago - an unignorable fact. An invitation. A threat.
Buck up, laddie. Fortune favours the brave.
What's inside looks like oily urine. 1cc of Equipoise - a veterinary drug normally injected into beef cattle - and 2cc of Testosterone Cypionate: 10 times the testosterone a man my size produces naturally in a week.
It was going into my backside; plenty of meat there. But the sciatic nerve radiates from my hips; plus, if I hit a vein I could go into cardiac collapse. I tucked a bag of frozen corn beneath my underwear to numb the injection site. The hash marks on the syringe were smudged away by my sweaty hands. That couldn't be a sign of quality medical equipment, could it?
What if I died in this shitty apartment in Iowa City? I pictured the landlord stumbling upon my body, rotten and bloated. The newspaper headline: Dumbshit Canadian Found Dead with Needle in Ass.
The needle slid in so easily I wasn't aware it'd broken the skin. I aspirated and injected into the deep tissue. When I pulled it out a pressurised stream of blood spurted halfway across the room.
A while ago I wrote a novel. A lot of first-time novelists don't stray far from home: their stories are drawn from their lives. This holds true for me: the main character is... well, me. That's not quite true: he's wealthier, pampered, more intolerant and dismissive. But his deep-seated fears, his inborn weaknesses - those things we share intimately.
My character goes down dark roads. For the sake of the book, I thought I'd travel those roads with him. He begins to work out obsessively. I began to work out obsessively. He joins a boxing club. I joined a boxing club. He takes steroids. I took steroids.
The thing is, I've never done drugs, so I lacked the ability to spot the dealer in a room. Such was my quandary when it came to steroids. Where to buy? Who to ask? I'd heard your local gym was a good place, but I didn't have a clue how to go about that. So I typed 'steroids' into Google, which promptly introduced me to an internet scam. I bought a bottle of what I thought was a steroid called Dianabol. But what I received was Dianobol, which, for all I know, were rat turds pressed into pill form. I won't go into detail about how I came to possess real steroids - or 'gear', as we 'roiders call them. The whole thing makes me look as stupid as I was. Suffice to say, the process involved an encrypted email account, a money order wired to Tel Aviv, and weeks of apprehension (had I been ripped off? Would agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration break down my door?) before a package arrived - pill and ampules and six vials wrapped in X-ray-proof paper.
Anabolic steroids hit US gyms in the early Sixties, courtesy of Dr John Ziegler, the American team doctor at the 1954 World Weightlifting Championships in Austria. He watched in horror as his athletes were decimated by a legion of hulking Soviet he-men who, he later found out, received testosterone injections as part of their training regime. Ziegler teamed up with a pharmaceutical firm to create the synthetic testosterone Methandrostenolone, better known by its trade name, Dianabol.
The biological function of anabolic (tissue building) steroids like Dianabol is to stimulate protein synthesis - that is, to heal muscles more quickly and effectively. New muscle is gained by tearing the long, tube-like fibres that run the length of our muscle; protein molecules attach to the broken chains, creating new muscle. While on steroids, your muscle fibres become greedy, seeking out every stray protein molecule.
At first nobody was willing to credit Ziegler's creation for the amazing gains glimpsed in the first test subjects. Nobody - not least the weightlifters themselves - could get their heads around the idea that a tiny pink pill could be responsible for their newfound strength: lifters added 30lb to their bench press and 50 to their hack squats virtually overnight. These lifters had been taking vitamins for years; they knew the value of pills was minimal. The only thing that convinced them was when Ziegler cut off the supply: the lifters surrendered all their gains and lost the feeling of euphoria experienced while on the programme.
As the Sixties progressed and the results became known, steroids made their way from the hardcore weightlifting gyms of North America into mainstream society, trickling down into baseball clubhouses, Olympic training facilities, and health clubs. Though Dianabol is still perhaps the most popular, today's users can choose from over 40 steroids in the form of pills, patches, creams, and injectable compounds from A (Anavar) to W (Winstrol). Illegal unless prescribed, it is still estimated that one in every 100 people in North America have experimented with steroids at some point in their lives.
I had a misconception that being 'on steroids' involved the ingestion or injection of a single substance, but that was quickly dispelled. Many steroids on their own are either singular of purpose or not terribly effective. This is where 'stacking' comes in: you can put on mass (75mg of testosterone), promote muscle hardness (50mg of Winstrol) and keep water retention to a minimum (50mg of Equipoise). This stack is injection-intensive: Testosterone and Equipoise twice weekly, Winstrol daily. Eleven injections a week.
But that's only steroids - you need other drugs to stave off the potential side-effects, which include: hair loss, gynecomastia (build-up of breast tissue due to increased oestrogen, aka gyno; aka bitch tits), testicular atrophy, cranial and prostate swelling, erratic sex drive, liver impairment, haemorrhoids, impotence, cysts, acne, abscesses, renal failure. Hair loss, gyno and testicular atrophy should be considered absolute rather than potential hazards: you simply cannot expect to alter your body's chemical make-up without your body reacting.
My own steroid cycle went as follows: Dianabol (10mg tabs, 3 per day for the first 4 weeks); Testosterone Cypionate (500mg per week, 10 weeks); Equipoise (400mg per week, 10 weeks); Nolvadex (anti-oestrogen drug; 1 to 4 pills daily, depending on week); Proviron (male menopause drug, 25mg daily); HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is derived from the urine of pregnant women; used during Post Cycle Therapy to restore natural testosterone levels - 500iu twice weekly, administered with an insulin needle).
Believe it or not, it's a fairly mild cycle. Including diuretics and cutting and hardening agents, professional bodybuilders may have 10-15 substances floating around their system at any given time. Like alcohol or drugs, a body's tolerance builds up over time; top pros need to inject 2,500mg of Testosterone or more, weekly, to receive any effect.
Three days into the cycle, my nipples began to itch: onset of Gynomastia. Dump enough testosterone into your body and your system counters by upping its oestrogen output, which leads to a build-up of breast tissue. After long-term use, it can get so bad that some users require surgical breast reductions. I woke up on the morning of day four and nearly had a heart attack at the sight of myself in the mirror. My nipples were the size of milk bottle tops, stretched smooth as the skin of a balloon. The skin had formed into swollen pouches that looked like the rubberised nipples on a baby's bottle. I appeared to have breasts. Pendulous, malformed breasts.
Or was I just chubby and still out of shape? I didn't know. I gave them a jiggle. I couldn't tell if it was fluid build-up or actual flesh. Could a person grow new flesh overnight? I didn't want tits - it went against the purpose of the exercise. I gobbled twice my daily allotment of anti-oestrogen medication. A week's worth of double Nolvadex doses got the gyno under control. But by then my hair had started falling out.
I have a scalp of unruly, bushman-like red hair. While I've never been keen on the colour and its tendency to coil into ringlets when grown out, there has always been plenty of it. Then one morning I was showering, I looked down at my shampoo-foamed hands, and saw dozens of red strands between my fingers. Soon they were everywhere: on my pillow, between my teeth, falling into the pages of books while I read. I became hyper-aware of the way wind felt through my hair: colder on the top of my skull, where there was less protection. And not just my head: the hairs on my arms and legs, even my testicles, were falling out. Not a single follicle seemed firmly moored to my skin.
Then, one sleepless night (the steroids also triggered insomnia) my testicles shrunk. Testicular atrophy is the most well-known side-effect of steroid abuse. It's an inherent irony: here you are trying to turn yourself into an über-man while part of the most obvious manifestation of your manhood dwindles before your eyes. Female users suffer the opposite reaction: their clitorises become so swollen and hard that, in extreme cases, they resemble a tiny penis.
Basically, you pump so much testosterone into your system that you rob your gonads of purpose, they lie dormant for the duration of your steroid cycle. And while I knew this would happen, the physical sensation was beyond horrible. I felt this rude clenching inside my scrotum, like a pair of tiny hands had grasped the spermatic cords and tightened into fists. It happened that fast - like a door slammed shut. 'No more testosterone!' my gonads cried. 'Closed for business!' I sat up, gasping, clutching my testicles to make sure they were still there. In a few days time they had shrunk to half their normal size: plump ripe grapes.
Another sleepless night, a week later, I felt a ridge on my forehead. Cranial swelling - most often a neanderthal-like ridge forming above the brow - is commonly associated with the steroid HGH, or Human Growth Hormone, originally made from the crushed pituitary glands of fresh cadavers. But cranial swelling assumes many forms: in addition to 'caveman brow', some users find semi-solid lumps forming on their foreheads. Some lumps grow to the size of hard-boiled eggs, at which point they require surgical removal.
The next morning, an inspection in the bathroom: was that a slight swelling across the top of my eyebrows? It seemed impossible - this only happens in extreme cases. My own perceived bulge wasn't altogether solid, sort of mushy, but as I smoothed my fingers across my forehead I had this terrifying sense that my bone structure had been somehow altered.
This was the primary fear I ran up against: were these changes happening, and would they subside once I quit 'roiding, or were they permanent? I could handle rampant hair loss, a caveman head, shrunken testicles, hell, even tits - so long as it was temporary. But what if it wasn't?
My sixth injection goes badly. I've been shooting my gluteus and while it's relatively painless the skin has gone tight and I'm thinking the oil hasn't quite dissolved. I elect to stick it in my thigh instead.
I get the needle in three-quarters of an inch before I hit a major nerve. My leg bucks uncontrollably, knee nearly striking my forehead. It takes a few minutes for the pain to subside. Blood leaks from the puncture wound down my leg. I decide I'm not a fan of thigh injections. So I try my calf. Sitting cross-legged, ankle propped on knee, I push the needle in. It goes in easy enough but when I aspirate the syringe fills with blood: I've hit a vein. I wipe the needle with rubbing alcohol and try another spot: again, blood. I boot the excess onto a paper towel, plug a fresh needle onto the syringe, and try again: more blood. It is coming out of my thigh and now from a triangle of holes in my calf. What, am I all veins?
I end up back at my glutes. But I soon regret it: I feel a perfect bubble of oil the size of a pearl onion an inch under my skin. When I massage it the bubble wobbles under my fingertips, all of one piece. It's still there come night time: in bed, I roll onto my side and feel it pressed against my hipbone, solid as a ball bearing. Like the princess with a pea, I have a hard time sleeping.
To embark on a steroid cycle is to devote yourself to rituals. Wake up, eat, medicate, work out, eat, work out, eat, medicate, sleep. Repeat daily for 16 weeks.
Eating becomes a ritual. To maximise muscle growth you must eat one gram of protein for each pound of your weight per day. But I pushed my target further, to around 1.5g of protein per pound - or 337.5g daily.
Consider that a great source of natural protein - a can of tuna - has 13g of protein. That means I'd have to eat 25 cans a day. The most I ever managed was 20, forking it straight from the can. Please believe me when I tell you it is sheer lunacy to eat 20 cans of tuna. Eventually I settle on six cans a day, supplemented with five to six protein shakes. I go through four 2.4lb tubs of protein powder a week, 158lb in all. I keep shovelling a limited range of foodstuffs - tuna, bananas, egg whites, boiled chicken breasts - into my mouth with the listless motions of an automaton. Thankfully the Equipoise, developed to increase lean body weight appetite in horses, gives my appetite a much-needed boost.
Injections become a ritual. Run the vials under hot water to warm the oil. Unwrap a fresh syringe. Draw 1cc Equipoise, followed by 1.5cc Testosterone. Tap the syringe to release air bubbles, push the plunger until a tiny bead forms at the pin-tip. Swab the injection site with alcohol and inject s-l-o-o-o-w, massaging so the oil soaks in.
It isn't much different from the way a heroin addict goes about things: mix the drugs, prepare the needle, find a clean injection site. I reached a point where the careful steps and resultant anticipation became as heady as the rush itself. Those last few weeks, I couldn't stop shaking as I prepared the needle.
The workout becomes a ritual. If the gym is a temple of the body, I went from casual worshipper to fanatical zealot. I pushed myself and found I possessed limits beyond all reckoning. But I'd push myself past the limit, too - twice I caught the smell of ozone, saw awful stars flitting before my eyes, and came to sprawled on the gym carpet. I'd lift until my arms hung like dead things from my shoulders. I took post-workout naps in the changing room, spread out on a bench, too exhausted to walk home.
The prostate is an organ I associate with old men. Surgical-gloved fingers. Not, in any way, an organ I should be aware of. And yet I was, because the benign little organ had swollen to the point where it felt like a fist-sized balloon pressed against my testicles. This is a fairly common side-effect; some professional bodybuilders get prostatitis to such an extent they require a catheter.
I was urinating 15 times a day. A swollen prostate cramps the urethral tube, making it torture to pee. It also presses against the bladder, making it feel as if you always need to pee, even if there's nothing to pass: I stood over the toilet for five minutes, coaxing, cajoling, only to produce a squirt. My urine took on a disturbingly rich hue, like cask-aged brandy.
I heard that 'vigorous manual relief' helped ease prostate pain. But when I tried this, it felt as though the pipe connecting the sperm factory to its exit had been clothes-pegged: nothing much comes out, and the little that does looks embarrassed to be there.
The key was continual application. I became obsessed with manual relief. Four times a day I was manually relieving myself. All that testosterone in my system, it didn't take much to get the motor humming. I was relieving myself to photos of muscle-bound woman gracing tubs of protein powder. I even relieved myself to a perfume sample in a magazine; I relieved myself to a smell - vigorously so!
Wake up, eat, jerk off, work out, eat, jerk off, eat, work out, eat, jerk off, eat, sleep.
The question most sane readers will be asking by this point is: why didn't he stop? Why, despite all the awful side-effects, did he keep plugging needles into himself?
I'm sure my answer is no different to that given by most steroid users: the results.
Once we pass that period of massive physical change - childhood through our teens, puberty and growth spurts - we settle into a sense of our bodies. We understand the parameters and capabilities, what it can and cannot do. And though it's disheartening to say, at 30, I was already finding evidence of a body on its downslope. While I worked out regularly, I hadn't made a sizeable gain in years. In gym parlance, I'd 'hit the plateau'.
Steroids shattered the limitations of my body. I first sensed their effects while bench-pressing dumbbells. I usually peak at 85lb each, or 170lb total. But after 10 repetitions with the 85s I was stunned: it felt like a warm-up! With a degree of trepidation - we're talking weights that, if mishandled, could break a wrist or some ribs - I picked up the 90-pounders, which I'd never attempted. They went up easily and I ripped out 10 reps. It was an out-of-body sensation: somebody else's arms were pushing those weights, someone else's pectorals flexing and contracting.
I went up to 100lb dumbbells - benching roughly my own body weight. I'd been locked at 160-170lb for two years and now, in the course of a single workout, I'd shot up 30lb.
My workout weights rocketed across the board. I was doing wide-grip chin-ups with a 35lb plate strapped to my waist; shoulder-pressing 75lb dumbbells; slapping 45lb plates on the biceps bar to curl 115lb. I was bottoming out Nautilus machines, lifting their maximum weights. My body exploded, 205lb to 235lb in the space of a few weeks - in 'roider vernacular I'd 'swallowed the air hose'.
I became a huffer, a puffer, a grunter, a screamer. Anyone who frequents gyms has seen those guys who make ungodly noises while throwing huge masses of weight around. I'd always found these displays childish and tended to look away, as I would from a toddler having a tantrum in a supermarket. So imagine my surprise to find myself bellowing, shrieking and groaning. It was like a silverback gorilla's mating ritual: I wanted to be seen lifting, wanted everyone to know I was the biggest, toughest motherfucker in the gym. 'Hoooo-aaahhh!' 'Eeeeeee-yahhh!' Look at me! I'm a big boy!
It was pathetic and I should have known better - actually I did know better, but I didn't let that stop me. The 'pumps' I'd get after a workout clouded all judgment. My glances at the gym mirrors were at first baffled: 'Is that me?' double-takes that soon mutated into looks of preening narcissism. I noticed how light played differently upon my chest and arms, the pockets of blue shadow filling my new contours.
The thing is, I knew it was all fake. I hadn't earned it; it was actually quite freakish. But it's like a woman with giant fake breasts: everyone knows they're fake, but damn it if they don't still draw attention.
That oil I shot into my hip weeks ago had not dissolved. The deep pain convinced me I'd developed an abscess. In effect, I've got a pouch of month-old oil inside my hip, walled off by my immune system. If I'm lucky it's sterile, but if not it is infected, the surrounding tissue gone necrotic.
I decide to drain it myself by injecting an empty needle and drawing out the stale oil. My hope is it's still liquid; if it's congealed and lard-like, I'll need medical attention.
The needle sunk into the pocket of infected tissue. The pain was expected and surprisingly bearable. I drew back the plunger and got only a few drops of clear broth. I disconnected the syringe and left the needle jutting out, applying pressure to the surrounding skin. Blood so dark it was almost black dripped down my thigh. Disgusting and more than a little scary, but the pressure subsided. When I'd squeezed as much out as I could, I filled another syringe with sterile water, attached it to the needle still stuck in my skin, injected it, then unclipped the syringe and squeezed most of the water out.
I figured it was a decent job for an untrained meatball like myself. And it did the trick: a week later I was sleeping on my side again.
Week 12, I peak at 240lb. I've packed on 35lb in less than four months. My body has gone through an extreme thickening process. My pectoral muscles are solid slabs of meat hung off my clavicles. My latissimus dorsi muscles flare out from the midpoint of my back: what bodybuilders call a 'cobra's hood'. My triceps and biceps have swollen so much my T-shirt sleeves bunch up at my shoulders, too narrow to fit over my arms.
But the list of physical ailments is mounting. Chronic back pain has set in. I can't walk more than a few blocks before what feels like a fist-sized stone settles upon my lower back. My flexibility has vanished. There are areas I can not reach due to my new size; if I want to scratch my neck I have to go to the cutlery drawer for a fork.
One night I was watching a legal drama on TV - one of those 'ripped from the headlines' type shows. A morbidly obese man was suing a snack company, whom he held responsible for his obesity. It was revealed that the main ingredient in the snack was high fructose corn syrup, a compound that inhibited the hormone leptin, whose function is to send a signal to the brain that the stomach is full - essentially, leptin tells us when to stop eating. But if this signal is never received, a person will go on eating past the point of reason.
Steroids are like high fructose corn syrup. Essentially, they fool a body into a sense that it is stronger and more resilient than it truly is. You accomplish feats that, in your heart and mind, you know are beyond your capacities - and yet you feel so good, so strong, that you convince yourself otherwise. But afterwards it is impossible to deny the toll these exertions have taken on you. After a workout my joints felt like they were hyper-extended. They popped and cracked, noises like wheel nuts rattling in a cement mixer. I felt calcified, hardened, and frighteningly old.
My cycle ends. I've swallowed every anti-oestrogen pill, injected every cc of Testosterone, Equipoise and HGC. By my best estimate, I've eaten 560 cans of tuna, over $750 worth. $1,280 on protein powder. The steroids themselves cost $600.
One morning I wake up and everything has changed. The first thing I notice upon waking is that I feel... well, good. No sluggishness, only minor joint pain. Genuinely refreshed. Then, on my way to the bathroom, I sense a new weight between my legs - my testicles! Fellas, where have you been? Great to have you back, boyos!
The feeling of elation lasts exactly 10 paces: the distance from my bed to the bathroom mirror. I'm staring at a human boneyard. Where are my pecs? I see two shrivelled bags hanging off my chest. My arms - dear lord, my arms! Shapeless shoestrings dangling from a pair of rotten-apple shoulders. My stomach looks like a deflated clown balloon. My legs belong to a coma victim. I step on the scale: 222lb! I've shed 13lb overnight.
Now I realise only the most deluded of 222lb men can stare into a mirror and see a skeletal horror staring back. But I'd become so used to my new body that I felt like a scarecrow with a tear in its belly, bleeding its stuffing all over a farmer's field. The fact that I'd packed on 12lb of raw muscle over four months, that my testicles were up and running again, that I'd woken up feeling better than I had in months - all of this was erased by what I'd lost.
It got worse once I hit the gym. Chest day, which meant dumbbell bench presses. I didn't even attempt to pick up the 105-pounders, which I'd been maxing out with. I settled on the 90s; if I could lift them, it'd be a 20lb increase over my pre-cycle max.
I could barely get the things off my chest. I struggled through a single rep, arms quaking, and halfway through the second the dumbbells crashed down and I rolled awkwardly off the bench, barking my elbows. I felt like a total fraud. Everyone who'd been watching me the past few months as I heaved massive weight about, bellowing like a steer in rut - all these knowing eyes now saw me as a charlatan.
I'd lost it. Everything I'd gained had been washed away. Popeye without his spinach. Weak and broken and utterly human. All the needles, the gallons of protein I'd chugged, pound after pound of tuna, the urine of pregnant women running through my veins, the fainting spells and sleepless nights, the muscle knots and bitch tits and shrunken gonads and the hair in my food and abscesses and caveman brow - every risk I'd taken, all that sweat and toil for nothing.
I fell into a week-long funk. I cleaned my apartment out: the unopened cans of tuna, the uneaten protein powder - all of it went in the bin. I ordered a large pizza, pepperoni and double cheese. I wolfed it down with gulps of Pepsi. I wanted to get fat and disgusting. I wanted to inflict damage upon myself. The rational part of my mind was going, 'You did the research - you knew this was bound to happen.' But the other part of my mind - the part closer to my body, the part now accustomed to the sly weightroom looks and the more defined, somehow burlier cast of my shadow, the part that relished how people ceded plenty of room as they passed me on the city's narrow pavements - that part of me was not to be consoled.
I headed to the doctor's. Though I felt much better now that it was over, I was still suffering aches and pains. The results: a partially herniated disc in my lower spine, the result of either bad posture or an accumulation of pressure due to excess body weight. A chiropractic visit was scheduled. An enlarged prostate. I was prescribed Avodart, which worked wonders.Fluid build-up on left knee - again, the result of excess weight. The doctor told me he'd get back to me with the blood test results.
I started out weighing 205lb and ended up at 208. My body looks no better now - if anything, it's worse. Bloated somehow, like I'd died, my body abandoned in a gassy swamp. The gyno has left nipple-nubbins that poke out when I wear anything tighter than a golf shirt.
Has it been worth it? The question presupposes that I expected to benefit from the experience. I embarked on the steroid cycle in order to bring a level of real-world verisimilitude to my novel. I wanted to feel what my character felt, experience a portion of his life, write with conviction about what he went through.
In a way, I am ashamed of myself. Was it worth it - all for a book? What have I done to myself in the long run? Jeopardised my chances of having a child, perhaps. I worry about that a lot. More than anything else.
Has it been worth it? Somewhere along the line I'd been let off the hook. My grandfather, father, uncles, men of generations past - they didn't get the free pass I did. Their lives were about poverty, warts, factory floors, untilled fields. They endured. What have I ever had to endure? I felt unworthy of all I'd been so carelessly given. And I loathed myself for taking it.
I currently weigh 170lb. The blood tests showed my liver values were totally out of whack. As I had never been able to convince a woman that I was a viable prospect to make a baby with before, I'll never know if an inability to conceive, should that be the case, is attributable to steroids or the innate decrepitude of my seed.
Did I take steroids to write a book, or did I write a book as an excuse to take steroids? Often, all you want is to step off the path you've carved. And when my body began to fall apart, when the drugs began to destroy me, I persisted in the belief that all suffering on my part was long overdue. I would endure. The eventual understanding that a certain nobility underlay my grandfather's suffering, whereas mine was not much more than a masochistic stubbornness - I'd like to think that stopped me. And when I'd stared at myself, naked and porcine, in the bathroom mirror, I told myself that if nothing else, I had suffered. I'm ashamed to admit, I took pride in that too.
'Mr Davidson,' the doctor asked over the phone, 'are you on any herbal medications or' - a pause - 'bodybuilding supplements?'
'I was on creatine,' I told him, creatine being a legal bodybuilding supplement.
'Mr Davidson.' Another pause, followed by a heavy exhale. 'Never, ever take creatine again.'
The doctor hung up on me.
· The Fighter by Craig Davidson is published by Picador on 6 June. To order a copy for £7.99 with free UK p&p go to observer.co.uk/bookshop or call 0870 836 0885
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Your First Steroid Cycle
21 Nov Your First Steroid Cycle
Posted at 19:36h in Steroids by jordanmason
If you’re contemplating starting your first steroid cycle, the internet can be a dangerous place. It’s hard to find the “right” information as to what you should use, how you should use it and what you should expect.
So in this article what we’re hoping to do is outline clear information as to what you need to do in advance of and for your first steroid cycle.
We are not advocating or encouraging the use of anabolics, merely giving information to people whom will have/are looking to make that decision. If you choose to use anabolics, you do so at your own risk and knowing the risks associated with doing so. Always consult with a registered physician before making any decisions that may be detrimental to your health.
When are you ready to start using steroids?
There really is no simple answer to this, some people get in the gym and then jump on gear almost immediately (which is dumb), some wait until they’re close to their natural limit, in reality, there is no right or wrong answer here.
What we would say however is you need to have all of your other variables locked down first, before taking the decision to use steroids.
By that we mean;
- Have you built a good foundation of base muscle tissue
- Have you been training for a good 5 years or so
- Is your nutrition nailed on
- Do you see good progress with your current training and nutrition
If the answer to any of these is no, there’s plenty of scope for you to build and grow naturally first, before taking the jump onto anabolics.
It takes a long time to learn your body, how to train effectively and nail nutrition, without those things in place, you’ll still not grow as effectively through anabolics, and will require significantly larger doses to reap rewards, which in turn comes with higher risks and side effects.
Preparing both your body and mind for the needs of anabolics is a key component to entering the steroid world.
Something that anabolics do, is to decrease your glucose sensitivity, if you’re at a high body fat %, this is already compromised to an extent, so you may want to lean up a bit first before jumping on.
Health markers are extremely important in the world of steroids. If you have any underlying health issues, we would strongly advise against the use of anabolics. The likelihood is, these will be aggravated by use.
We wholeheartedly recommend getting blood work and a routine medical check up done both before and during the use of anabolics. What you want to do is establish your baseline testosterone levels, blood pressure and also risks to your heart and lungs, hormone balance and even fertility.
If you’re based in the UK we recommend using medichecks sport hormone blood test. There’s more info there on the link attached, but essentially they test for every health marker (blood wise) that you should be concerned with. The rest you can do with regular blood pressure and heart rate readings, with the exception of things like an ecg which you’ll need to do through a medical practice.
I’m an avid believer of getting the most from the least in regards to steroid use. With higher dosages comes increased risk. So for your first cycle we want to establish your natural test baseline and go marginally above into an elevated TRT dose.
A lot of the first cycles you’ll see online will state 500mg/week of a long esther testosterone, but your natural levels will be somewhere in the 150mg range, so why take more than triple that for your first cycle?
I would advise on starting low, something like 250-300mg/week of testosterone enanthate or cypionate, you’re still well over natural testosterone and will reap great results from small doses.
Your next cycle would then be going 300-350mg/week instead of needing 550mg/week, you see the lower you start, the more you can taper up over time. If you start with 500mg/week, how long before you’re needing to inject 1g/week+ of gear to see a “novel” response?
When you first start using steroids, it’s a totally novel stimulus, so you will grow with anything over your natural baseline testosterone levels. Hence why lower doses are advantageous for longevity and decreasing the risk of side effects.
The reason we chose a long esther is because injecting every day and having more frequent foreign bodies within your body increases risk. This is the risk of infection, inflammation in multiple injection sites etc and quite frankly no one wants to inject more than they have to.
With testosterone enanthate, you’re looking at a half life of 5 days, so injecting every 5 to 7 days will more than serve purpose.
You’ll be most likely looking to run for an initial stint of 10-12 weeks and you’ll likely only need to buy one bottle of test to get you through the first cycle.
Your safest bet is the upper outside quarter of the glute using a blue 1.25” needle.
The reason for this is that it has very few nerves and blood vessels, so is a fairly painless and risk free injection site.
You can find plenty of videos showing how to inject correctly, and it’s really not as bad as you may think it is. If you’re apprehensive about injecting, then steroids really aren’t for you, as injecting is the least of your problems.
On Cycle Checks
We recommend that you regularly check bloods as mentioned earlier and have health check ups whilst on cycle to ensure that you’re being safe and have your health markers in range whilst on cycle.
The earlier you catch something out of range, the easier it is to change and get back to normal, so stay on top of your health for sure!
So you’re coming to the end of your first steroid cycle, now what? Well you have two options;
- Come off and go through PCT or post cycle therapy
- Stay on, but drop to a TRT (cruise) dose and enter into blasting and cruising
Ultimately what you chose to do here is entirely up to you, but essentially it should be driven by your goals and health markers. Remember guys, health comes first!
If you do decide to come off, a proper PCT is completely recommended, on the most part, it’ll ensure your body reverts to normal levels asap and kickstart natural test production so that you’re not off a cliff for a particularly long period.
In terms of PCT protocols, that’s probably for another post, but have it readily on hand either way. Drugs like Tamoxifen and Nolva are your friends here as well as HCG to give the boys a boost.
So I hope you’ve found this informative, it’s a lot to take in and definitely do your research as much as possible before making the decision. It’s not something to be taken lightly and you need to be as prepared and informed as possible before deciding to jump onto anabolics.
Steroid use can go sideways pretty fast if you don’t know what you’re doing. For this reason, it’s usually suggested that as a beginner you watch your steroid intake and start off with a proper first cycle. Even if steroids are a great way to get into shape, you’re still messing with your body’s natural growth mechanisms and this needs to be dealt with some care.
This blog is for anyone who wants to boost their workouts with steroids. We’ll tell you all about the best steroids for beginners and the appropriate doses for your first steroid cycle.
What are anabolic steroids?
The best steroids to start with
Recommended first cycles for steroid beginners
What is Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) and why do you need it?
Safer and legal steroid alternatives
What are anabolic steroids and why do athletes and bodybuilders use them?
Put simply, anabolic steroids are a synthetic version of the hormone testosterone. In men, testosterone is responsible for facial hair growth and muscle mass development that kicks in around the time of puberty. So it becomes pretty clear why we’d want more of it if we’re trying to bulk up and put on more mass.
Anabolic steroids can help boost muscle growth, healing rates and increase the intensity of your workouts. With these effects, you can work out longer, overcome injuries faster and there’s a significant increase in the effectiveness of your workouts. It’s the best of all worlds.
By now, it’s no secret that athletes and bodybuilders around the world use anabolic steroids to improve their performance. Especially competitive bodybuilders since they need to bulk up really fast and often the bodies you see aren’t even naturally possible. To be the best, you’re going to need some help; you can get this help with anabolic steroids.
Many anabolic steroids help increase your red blood count and increase the oxygen going to your muscles. Performance enhancement drugs are more often than not also anabolic steroids that give your system a major boost to improve athletic performance. So it’s understandable why athletes and bodybuilders would want to use these. It gives them an edge over other competitors when it comes to professional sports. With their boosted performances they can stake a claim to become some of the best sportsmen in the world.
The best steroids to start with
Steroids affect people in different ways. These differences depend on the age, sex, genetics and environmental factors for each user. Since there’s no way that you can tell how a specific steroid is going to work for you, it’s better that you start with some information beforehand to plan your cycles out.
Experts actually suggest that you test out different steroids across successive cycles so you understand how each affects your body. Some of the best steroids for beginners include:
Dianabol or Dbol is an oral anabolic steroid, that’s used as a supplementary steroid rather than on its own. You won’t begin to feel the effects of the steroid immediately, but in a few weeks, the effects will really start to kick in.
The daily dose of Dianabol for beginners is suggested at 15-30mg a day for a period of no more than 6 weeks. If you go beyond 6 weeks, this could have severe side-effects.
The benefits of Dianabol include:
- Improves muscle generation.
- Increases nitrogen retention and endurance.
- Increases red blood cell count for longer workouts.
- Especially effective for fat burning.
- Increases appetite.
- Increases Strength levels.
- Improves recovery rates.
The side-effects of Dianabol are:
- Gynaecomastia (Men can develop breasts)
- Your body will start retaining more water that might cause swelling in the feet and ankles.
- It can set off acne.
- Hair growth will significantly increase.
- It can also cause liver damage.
Want to know more about the side effects of Dianabol? Have a look at our Dianabol side effects post!
Nandrolone (Deca Durabolin)
Nandrolone is one of the most commonly used steroids for muscle growth. It’s also one of the preferred steroids of choice for female athletes. The steroid is injected directly in the muscle to achieve faster muscle development.
The dose of Nandrolone for beginners is usually set at 200mg per week. This starts with 2 injections of 100mg in the first week, then a weekly injection of 200mg straight is suggested. This steroid begins to take effect in the next 4-6 weeks.
The advantages of using Nandrolone rather than any other steroid include:
- It increases the appetite.
- Increased muscle growth compared to fat development.
- It can boost recovery rates.
- The steroid is great for cutting mass.
- It can increase red blood count to improve endurance.
- Will increase mineral uptake for the bones.
The side effects of Nandrolone include:
- It increases your chances of becoming impotent by reducing your sperm count.
- It can cause full-body acne.
- Many people also experience intense nausea and vomiting from Nandrolone.
- It can increase male sex characteristics in women. This includes excessive hair growth, deepening of the voice and enlargement of the clitoris among other side effects.
- It can damage the liver.
Want to know more about the side effects of Nandrolone? Have a look at our Deca Durabolin side effects post!
Always treat Winstrol very carefully because it has a very broad set of side-effects and the dosage varies depending on the extent of your bodybuilding goals. Always consult a medical professional before you begin using, they can give you much more accurate dosage for your ideal body.
The dosage for beginners is typically 50mg that is administered every other day, to a total of 200mg in a day. The steroid is slow to take effect so it’s usually stacked with steroids like testosterone for a much quicker effect.
The benefits of Winstrol are actually far greater than many other steroids on the market. These include:
- It doesn’t convert into oestrogen, so you avoid many side-effects like gynaecomastia (Breast development in men).
- Muscle development is far more rapid than with other steroids.
- It doesn’t cause any water retention or swelling.
- It doesn’t make for bulk. It helps create a lean look.
- It increases the production of red blood cells for longer and more intense workouts.
- You can use this with other steroids without enhancing the side-effects.
- It can be taken orally or injected without differences in effects.
- It doesn’t damage your liver or other major organs like most other steroids do.
The side-effects of the steroid include:
- It can set off acne.
- Changes in your sexual desire.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Might cause changes in skin colour or blotches.
Want to know more about the side effects of Winstrol? Have a look at our Winstrol side effects post!
Interestingly enough, Testosterone Enanthate is actually the first ever performance enhancing drug/steroid that was banned from professional sports. Despite that, it is still one of the most commonly used steroid amongst body builders and athletes.
The steroid is an absolute must for use in all anabolic steroid cycles since most of these suppress the natural production of testosterone. Testosterone Enanthate can help replenish this reduced supply of testosterone to eliminate the side-effects for men.
The dosage to Testosterone Enanthate is managed across cycles to help maintain the highest possible amount of testosterone in the blood. For beginners, the dosage suggested is usually 300-500mg weekly which can give some very apparent boosts in endurance and muscle mass.
The benefits of using Testosterone Enanthate include:
- Increased red blood cell count to increase your endurance.
- It is really effective for cutting weight and putting on muscle instead.
- It improves bone density and mineral uptake by the bones.
The side-effects for the steroid include:
- Breast Swelling in men
- Enlargement of the clitoris
- Mood changes
- Shortness of breath
Recommended first cycles for steroid beginners
It should be pretty clear now that steroids can have some very bad side-effects. Some of these can actually be permanent and require medical intervention to reverse through some very invasive procedures.
For this reason, any steroid cycles for beginners should be created with plenty of research unless you want to risk serious complications.
What is a cycle?
Before we begin describing the cycle itself, it’s only appropriate that we also define what a steroid cycle is.
When you begin using steroids, these aren’t to be used for regular periods of time. Injecting huge amounts of hormones and steroids into your body can also kill you if you’re not careful with your doses.
This is why athletes and bodybuilders use steroids in cycles, to wean off the effects of the steroids and to completely flush out the steroids from their system. It’s also better to go into Post-Cycle therapy to overcome the effects of any mood changes that come as a side-effect of many anabolic steroids.
Steroid cycles usually follow a 4-8 week periods, which can be resumed once you’ve normalized from the effects of the steroids.
We’ll now move on to describe some of the best beginner steroid cycles that will optimize the effects of your workouts and also reduce the intensity of the side-effects.
Dianabol only cycle
A Dianabol cycle lasts for 8 weeks, with the first 5 weeks you use 30mg daily and then go into Post Cycle Therapy.
Winstrol Only Cycle
A Winstrol cycle also lasts for 8 weeks, where you should use 50mg daily for the first 5 weeks and then go for PCT for the final 3.
Testosterone Enanthate Only Cycle
Testosterone Enanthate cycles last for 15 weeks, where you take 500mg of testosterone enanthate weekly till week 10, you do not take the steroid for week 11 and week 12. Then you go into PCT for the remaining weeks.
Testosterone Enanthate and Dianabol Cycle
Since Dianabol is a somewhat lighter steroid, many bodybuilders tend to stack it with testosterone enanthate to improve the efficacy. A typical cycle for Testosterone Enanthate with Dianabol last for 15 weeks.
In the first 4 weeks, you take 500mg of testosterone enanthate weekly and 30mg of Dianabol daily.
From week 5 to week 10, you just take 500mg of testosterone enanthate weekly. Then you take a break for weeks 11 and 12. From weeks 13-15 you have to go into Post Cycle Therapy.
Testosterone Enanthate and Nandrolone Decanoate Cycle
The Testosterone Enanthate and Nandrolone Decanoate cycle lasts for 17 weeks. For the first 10 weeks you take 500mg of testosterone enanthate weekly combined with 400mg of Nandrolone Decanoate weekly.
You go on a break for weeks 11 to 13 and then go for Post Cycle Therapy from weeks 14 to 17.
What is Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) and why is it needed after the steroid cycle?
When you go on a steroid cycle, it suppresses the production of naturally occurring hormones in the body. So if you take testosterone, your body realizes that there’s still a lot of excessive testosterone the system and it stops producing it altogether. This is the reason why people develop many of the side-effects from steroids like erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure and gynaecomastia.
Post Cycle Therapy involves taking drugs which induce your body to begin producing these hormones naturally to avoid the side-effects. Maintaining your muscle gains after the steroid cycle, also requires that you go in PCT. If the hormone levels drop so do your gains.
So PCT served two purposes, one to help prevent the side-effects from steroids and another to help you maintain the gains you’ve made during the cycle.
The drugs you can try out to help with your Post Cycle Therapy include:
Safer and legal steroid alternatives
Considering the whole range of intense side-effects of using steroids, it’s usually better to not use these steroids in the first place. If you’re considering using steroids, then don’t. You could try using natural supplements which are slower to act but don’t have the same side-effects that anabolic steroids do.
In addition to the health risk, these anabolic steroids are very strictly controlled substances that can only be used as part of medical treatments. With both the legal and the medical risk involved, it’s just unwise to go on steroids in the first place.
If you’re in the market for natural supplements, you can try out CrazyBulk’s selection of natural CrazyBulk supplements that can serve as substitutes for anabolic steroids. These supplements are made from herbal extracts that can boost your muscle gains, endurance and let you work out harder for longer periods of time. It’s all the gain, none of the drawbacks.
Some supplements you can try out include:
- D-Bal ( Dianabol substitute supplement)
- Anadrole (Anadrol substitute)
- Decaduro (Deca Durabolin substitute)
This blog has basically said everything you need to know for your first steroid cycle. You should always remember that steroid use is a very risky business, but if you still wish to use them, we’ve also spoken of the best body building steroids for beginners.
With this blog, you should now understand what the best first time steroid cycles are and what beginners should start their steroid cycles with. You might still want to try the Crazy Bulk natural supplements, for equally as great growth without the side-effects of conventional hormones.
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Cycle my first
First Steroid Cycle: The Ultimate Guide
Disclaimer: The following article is for educational purposes only and NOT to promote the use of illegal steroids. If you have any questions or concerns, Dr. Touliatos is currently available for consultations.
A first steroid cycle is often the most exciting one — with a man or woman set to experience the best gains of their life.
It’s easy to gain 20-30lbs of muscle during a first cycle, even if the person has limited knowledge of steroids, nutrition and training. This demonstrates the power of anabolic steroids.
However, with great power also comes great responsibility (as uncle Ben famously said in Spider-Man).
Thus, a person’s first steroid cycle should be as safe as possible, to minimize side effects; with the body being completely new to potentially dangerous compounds.
Although many anabolic steroids are banned by the FDA today, there are precautions a bodybuilder can take to limit the risks.
- Taking mild steroids (with lowered toxicity)
- Taking conservative dosages
- Running a cycle for a conservative amount of time
Thus, dangerous side effects often occur when highly toxic compounds are used straight away (such as anadrol, trenbolone, superdrol and others).
Also abusing steroids by taking high dosages and running the steroid for too long are big errors, that will surely lead to health problems.
The below steroid cycles are tailored for beginners, helping to maximize gains; whilst minimizing negative effects.
A testosterone cycle is by far the best protocol for a first time steroid-user.
Not only will testosterone produce the gains most beginners are looking for — such as 20-30lbs of muscle gains and incredible strength increases.
But testosterone also has no negative effects on the liver, and it only negatively increases cholesterol levels (to a small degree).
Thus, blood pressure won’t go through the roof when using conservative doses.
Therefore, for many users the heart can remain in good shape; whilst the liver remains strong and healthy.
There is no need to cycle testosterone beyond 7 weeks as a newbie, and to go above 350mg of testosterone per week.
Elite bodybuilders can take double this dose comfortably, however a beginner will be more susceptive to side effects (as they’ve had no time to build up a tolerance).
Users may use any testosterone ester and experience exceptional gains. The ester won’t determine your results as such, although they can make a difference to how fast you gain muscle in the early stages of your cycle (when using short esters).
Testosterone cypionate and enanthate are the most popular esters, as they aren’t typically troublesome to inject and they don’t need to be injected too often. They are also very affordable.
Note: Although oral testosterone is available, under the brand name Andriol (testosterone undecanoate) — it is predominantly taken in injectable form. Also Andriol is very expensive in comparison.
Those taking testosterone may want to run a PCT after their cycle, as endogenous testosterone levels will take a hit. Generally natural levels can return to peak levels several months after a cycle ends. However, when administering an effective PCT, this may only last 1-2 months before a person’s hormone levels are fully functioning again.
Although testosterone doesn’t provide a dramatic spike in blood pressure, users may still want to supplement with fish oil (taking 4 grams per day), to ease strain on the heart.
Testosterone does convert into estrogen, thus some water retention is to be expected. There is also a risk of gynecomastia, due to this female hormone rising. Thus, users may want to take a SERM or an anti-estrogen to prevent such estrogenic side effects.
However, a SERM is preferred to an anti-estrogen, as the latter can negatively affect cholesterol values. This is because they block estrogen levels, lowering good HDL cholesterol, whilst increasing LDL.
In contrast, a SERM can prevent gyno by specifically blocking estrogenic effects in the mammary glands; keeping blood pressure stable.
Acne and hair loss (on the scalp) are also common symptoms among users, due to testosterone having a moderate amount of androgenic properties.
Legal Steroid Alternatives That Work
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Anavar is another suitable first steroid cycle, common among men and women.
A man may take anavar for his first cycle if he wants to avoid needles (with anavar being an oral).
Also anavar may be chosen if big muscle and strength gains aren’t needed, but with the person preferring more fat loss and smaller gains in size and strength.
Anavar is one of the safest steroids a beginner can take, due to its mild side effects. Thus, it’s rare users will experience any complications on anavar (when taken responsibly).
Anavar Cycle For Men
Anavar Cycle for Women
Testosterone and many other steroids are unsuitable for women, because they can cause virilization effects — such as enlarged clitoris, deepened voice, reduction in breast size and an increase in bodily hair. However, anavar rarely causes virilization in women when taking modest doses.
An anavar cycle has the power to significantly reduce a person’s body fat percentage, whilst adding 10-15lbs of muscle mass. Its anabolic effects are considerably less compared to bulking steroids, such as testosterone, dianabol, anadrol etc; however the gains in size and strength aren’t to be scoffed at. Anavar is generally classed as a cutting steroid, due to its potent fat burning effects.
Anavar is an oral steroid, which are notorious for causing liver toxicity; however anavar is the exception. It is likely to raise liver values, however considerably less than anadrol, dianabol, winstrol and other orals.
This is partly because the kidneys work synergistically with the liver to break down oxandrolone, reducing its work load.
Anavar will raise cholesterol levels, contributing to an increase in blood pressure. This effect however is thought to be mild (like testosterone). However, users are still recommended to take 4 grams of fish oil per day for optimal cardiovascular health.
Anavar will also cause a dramatic decrease in natural testosterone levels, however it won’t shut them down entirely (like other steroids can). Thus, a PCT may be used, however it’s not compulsory. Those wanting to restore their testosterone sooner can take clomid post-cycle.
Women may also experience crash-like symptoms post-cycle, thus they can take DHEA to recover their natural test levels.
What about dianabol for a first steroid cycle?
Taking dianabol as a first steroid cycle is relatively common — although not optimal.
Beginners who do opt for dianabol generally do so because they want anting huge muscle and strength gains; but don’t want to take an injectable.
The downside to dianabol is it poses significant liver strain, whilst having a worse effect on blood pressure compared to testosterone or anavar.
Liver values will drop back down, as well as blood pressure post-cycle; however it’s not the most health-conscious compound for a first cycle.
If a novice did want to run dianabol, it would be wise to follow the dosing protocol below:
Beginners should also supplement with TUDCA when taking dianabol to limit liver damage. A dose of 500mg/day will help to keep ALT/AST levels from rising excessively.
A SERM such as nolvadex may also be taken during this cycle, to help prevent the onset of gynecomastia.
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