- Jan 1, 1999
- Likes Received
- Victoria B.C.
Welcome New Monster . . .
-- Each and every one of us here at CJM had to start somewhere and for the vast majority of us that meant the basement, literally. Before you can run you need to learn how to walk. Steroids or PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs) are not the be-all-end-all when it comes to this thing we call bodybuilding BUT, but they can be a very valuable asset in your toolbox if utilized sensibly.
New members ('Monsters') are regularly pouring into CJM on a daily basis and need to have a focal point as to where to begin when tossing around the idea of starting a steroid cycle. I've decided to implement a 'starting point' for these new Monsters to research in the form of a thread; this very thread! New Monsters are encouraged to thoroughly read through its entirety in order to comprehend what a beginner cycle entails.
Read through the following information and if there's still anything that confuses you, or you simply don't understand, feel free to ask specific questions in the main forum. Plenty of good people are here to assist you along your way and to make your experience with steroids as pain free, lucrative, and enjoyable as possible.
Steroids are not miracle drugs:
Steroids have the ability to speed up protein synthesis, and allow you to get great muscle gains, however they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, miracle drugs. You still have to have a very good diet and training program to see results, as well as have a very good, well-planned cycle.
It's very important that you have a good grasp of proper diet, proper training, and have been training without steroids for at least a year. You shouldn't ever think of steroids as a quick way to get into shape, but more as a tool among many that you can use to help you achieve your physique goals.
Steroids are not for children or teenagers:
Steroids have very peculiar and most of the time dangerous effects on adolescents. Through aromatizing into estrogen, they cause the epiphysis (growth plates) to calcify (close) which will leave a person unable to grow any taller.
They also interrupt the hormonal balance of the body, and during puberty these hormones are very critical to proper body development, so please, if you are a teenager, especially one who is not yet done growing, please don't use steroids. Your natural testosterone production should be enough as to where you don't need it anyways to make good gains. Nobody under 21 or so should be using steroids.
You have to inject:
Though not all steroids are injectable, in order to run a proper steroid cycle you need to prepare to inject. There are multiple reasons for this.
The number one reason is that oral steroids are hepatoxic, they are not kind at all to the liver, since they have to be alkylated in order to avoid the first pass through the liver so that they are effective. Using only orals is a great way to destroy your liver for not very much gains. You can't use an oral for long unless you want health problems down the road. Some orals can actually cause health problems immediately.
Another reason is that you must include injectable testosterone as the base of your cycle. If you were to use only dht derivative or progestin steroids they would shut down your HPTA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Testes Axis) extremely hard, and you would not produce any natural test so you would need to use synthetic injectable test either in the form of propionate, cypionate, enanthate, or suspension in order to have testosterone in your system.
IM injection for steroids should be done with the Z-Tracking technique to prevent bleeding and the oil from leaking out.
Oral-only cycles are just too dangerous in comparison to the gains that they elicit, not to mention the gains are hard to maintain in some cases or happen to be water. That is why oral-only cycles are discouraged.
** Proper Injection Protocol can also be researched here >>> Steroid Injection Guide: The most up-to-date Info
You need to have a good diet:
Yes, food should be your main anabolic; not steroids, not supplements, just food. You need a great deal of calories from carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Diet can be adjusted based on you goals; Be it bulking, cutting or a recomposition.
You need to have a good training program:
It's probably obvious that you need to train in order for your muscles to grow, but you never know, it's always good to reiterate it. Remember that a training program that works for someone else might not work for you. Find or create a program that will help you reach your goal and that is suited specifically for you.
Beginners should not use machines they should use light free weights to develop proper form and motor skills, machines will only slow progress. They should focus mostly on the bigger lifts such as flat bench, squat, deadlift, overhead press, and rows. Olympic lifts are not beginner moves and really are not necessary. Typically a true beginner a good plan is 3x a week do exactly the moves I said above but with slightly varying rep ranges so weight used be changed, slightly, they should not lift near failure especially if under 5 reps, and gradually increase volume and intensity. After a few go throughs add in some slight accessory work and results will come fast.
You must be as lean as possible:
Being at 10% body fat or less is ideal for running a cycle. Not only does it prevent blood pressure but it ensures you body will respond better to steroids and side effects will be less pronounced. You will see greater definition, greater mass gain, and overall greater changes to the physique at a low body fat including further reduction of body fat.
You need to have ancillaries and PCT compounds on hand pre-cycle:
Ancillaries are compounds that are used to prevent the side effects of steroid use mainly by preventing aromatase or preventing estrogen from binding to it's receptors.
You should always have an anti-aromatase (or AI for short) such as Letrazole (Femara), or Anastrazole (Arimidex), or Exemestane (Aromasin) to prevent test from aromatizing into estrogen, even when using a SERM because estrogen has non-receptor mediated effects that can be undesirable.
You should not use these compounds unless it is necessary, as lowering estrogen levels too much can also have a negative outcome. Use an AI only when needed.
You should always have Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) on hand in case you start to encounter itchy nipples which is a sign of the early stages of gynecomastia ("bitch tits").
PCT is the abbreviation for "Post Cycle Therapy", which must be done in order to properly recover and keep the gains that you made while on cycle. Usually Clomiphene (Clomid) is used as the staple of PCT. It's important to always use clomiphene or tamoxifen also though because HCG can be somewhat suppressive of natural testosterone itself.
Other ancillaries may be needed to control prolactin, blood pressure, acne, water retention, sweating, blood pressure, cholesterol, and liver inflammation.
As you approach the start of PCT:
As your steroids dissipate you introduce an Aromatase Inhibitor. You do this to reduce the amount of estrogen conversion that takes place.
Your externally administered testosterone will drop to nothing and you will not be producing testosterone as you start PCT. So you want to make sure that you have reduced estrogen as well.
This is just going into PCT. You want to create a situation where both estrogen and testosterone will rise together. So the AI of your choice should be used in the last 2 weeks of the cycle and immediately discontinued at the start of PCT.
The choice of SERM and duration may vary but PCT should always start with Clomid. You do not need a huge dose in the first few days.
Here is what to do:
Start with Clomid for three weeks and reduce the dosage and overlap it with Nolva in week four. Dose Nolva for 3 weeks thereafter.
After 7 weeks in the last day of Nolvadex introduce an AI and run that by itself for three or four days.
Then introduce some lower/moderate Nettle Root extract. What you want to do is slightly increase the free test by occupying just a little SHBG. You don't want to do anything but make a very slight impact. You want to be able to use the Nettle Root for 3 months and have it be effective this entire time AND do not want it to cause shedding! A prostate pinch is not a good sign either.
If your hair starts to shed you either messed up or it is time to stop. See when you increase free test more test will be converted to DHT.
After 3 months drop the nettle root extract. The slight increase in free test helps support strength ever so slightly.
That's about it. PCTs as you can see are very long. But they are designed to recover from 6 month cycles. PCT is about as long as the cycle.
Then stay off and learn to be natural again for another 6 months or more.
Steroids will not work if you are abusing drugs:
Being addicted to opiates or other drugs and trying to run a cycle will result in miniscule gains. It's a waste of time and money. You will spend more time being high than lifting, and you will either end up not eating enough or eating to much junk food. If you are taking pain meds or anxiety meds as directed you are able to run a cycle and if you are taking methadone or suboxone for maintenance you are able to run a cycle. it's only when you abuse drugs does it become an issue and a problem.
You need to choose recreational drugs or steroids. Prescription drugs that you need are fine to use with steroids in most cases but you should research any possible interaction or health issues that could come up.
You need to have a well planned cycle:
12 week starter cycle
Weeks 1-12: 500mg Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate per week
Weeks 1-12: 0.25mg - 0.50mg of Arimidex a day or every other day (This is dependent on Testosterone dosage and how prone you are to estrogen sides, do not use unless you need to)
Week 12 Arimidex 0.5mg X3/week
Weeks 13-15: 50mg of Clomid every day
Weeks 15-18: 20mg of Nolvadex every day
Week 18 Arimidex 0.5mg X3/week
A SIMPLE TAPER-OFF ......................... NO NEED FOR PCT ON LOW DOSE TESTOSTERONE ONLY CYCLE PROTOCOL:
Some people can recover perfectly fine without the need for PCT if on a low enough cycle (generally testosterone only), this is person specific and might not work for some sensitive individuals...
If you are on a relatively low dose cycle 250-500mg/week you might be better off allowing your HPTA to return to normal without excessive use of SERM's and/or AI's . . .
This can work by reducing the weekly dose in the last few weeks to: 100mg/week then 50mg/week then OFF . . .
Week 1-10 500mg Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate per week
Week 11 100mg/week + Arimidex EOD
Week 12 50mg/week + Arimidex EOD . . .
It might be prudent to use an AI such as Arimidex at 0.25md EOD in the last few weeks to reduce higher levels of Estrogen as your exogenous testosterone reduces . . .
Continue to eat well, slightly lower intensity of training, Stay OFF hormones for a minimum of 3 months to allow blood pressure cholesterol and liver enzymes to return to normal . . . (plus the unseen cardiovascular damage due to long term anabolic hormone usage) . . .
This cycle is perfect for some jumping into AAS for the first time after doing their research, getting their diet and lifting routine hammered out, and being over 21. It gets you familiar with injectables and orals as well. All the compounds are typically free of extreme side effect and are at reasonable dosages which will provide gains while minimizing complications. This cycle is pretty versatile, the orals can be substituted with others or taken out all together. Other injectables can be added as well but remember that every cycle should have Testosterone in it, even if it's a low dose.
As one becomes more experienced the dosages, types of compounds, numbers of compounds, and cycle length can be adjusted. This cycle is modular, compounds can be added and swapped.
It is imperative that Testosterone be included in any cycle and orals should not be run more than 4 -5 weeks with a maximum of two oral types being run at once. However, there are some oral steroids that absolutely have to be run without others and can't be used longer than 2 weeks. Always do your research, better safe than sorry.
That's it! Good luck on your very first cycle and your journey to becoming a true Monster begins now . . .