Your Very First Steroids Cycle
I've been getting a lot of questions about how to run a first cycle and instead of responding to everyone, I'm going to just post something here. First off, you should do research. Google search anything you can think of when it comes to AAS - first steroid cycle, beginner steroid cycle, test and dbol cycle, proper pct for first cycle, etc. This is by no means a be all end all guide to running your cycle, but I'm going to post some things just to get people started in the right direction.
Your first cycle should be a relatively simple and straightforward one, meaning one, maybe two anabolic compounds, the necessary ancillaries, and a proper PCT. Do not over complicate this one as test will be the base for all your future cycles. Its good to find out how you react to it alone before you add on extra components. I do think running an oral kickstart for a first cycle is acceptable, as using a longer estered test (enanthate or cypionate) will take around 4 weeks before the test is "noticeable" in your system, so you can judge the effects of the oral independent of the testosterone.
Can you run an oral only cycle? Yes you can, but its really really not worth, in most cases. Most people won't retain any of the gains they make off a 4-6 week dbol cycle - you'll blow up quick, but you won't have the extra time on cycle to get your body used to holding the extra mass while being in an elevated anabolic state. Also, all anabolic/androgenic compounds shut down your natural test production. Testosterone is a key component in your everyday functioning in life, and when you supplement your system with anabolics other than testosterone (that shut down your test production), you will feel the effects of the reduced testosterone.
Can I just run Deca or EQ or Tren by itself with no test for my first cycle - it will still be only one compound? No.... again, read above. Using these other anabolics still result in shutting down your natural production of testosterone and you will experience side effects of no testosterone - lethargy, depression, lack of libido, erectile dysfunction, etc.... not worth it. Yes, some people have run cycles with no test and have been fine, but that is generally the exception, not the rule. Much better to play it safe then "hope" you are the exception to the rule.
What's this about gyno? Testosterone (along with a number of other anabolics - deca, dbol) is an aromatizing compound meaning with elevated levels of it, you will have corresponding elevated levels of estrogen in your system. It is generally wise to combat these during cycle to avoid excessive bloating and the posisbility of developing breast tissue (gyno). Two ways of doing this: an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) or a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). In general, I think using an AI during cycle is better as it prevents the testosterone from aromatizing in the first place, whereas a SERM prevents the estrogen from binding to estrogen receptors. A popular and easily available AI for on cycle use is Anastrozole (brand name Arimidex)
SERMs are generally used if gyno is already an issue on cycle, or for PCT.
PCT - what's that? Post Cycle Therapy - this is a necessity and not something that is optional or can be purchased over the counter in your local GNC. So all cycle long you've been injecting testosterone and you have lots of it in your system, much more than your body naturally produces. So what does your body do ? - it stops producing its own testosterone. As the long estered testosterone wears off at the end of the cycle (roughly two weeks from your last injection), you body realizes that it no longer has testosterone in it and decides to try to make some of its own. At the same time, your estrogen to testosterone ratio is high, meaning you have a lot of estrogen, but very little testosterone, and whats worse, as your body tries to start making testosterone, it converts some of that to estrogen so you have even more estrogen (very simplified explanation of whats happening). Long story short, you need a SERM, peferably Tamoxifen (Nolvadex brand name) to combat these estrogen levels and help your body get itself creating enough testosterone again to sustain your new muscle mass. Yes you can use an over the counter testosterone booster, but you MUST always use a SERM. Always.
Lastly, HCG? HCG is not always a must on your first, or lower dosed cycles, but it is highly, highly recommended. So remember how the testosterone you are injecting is telling your body to stop producing its own testosterone? Well HCG tells you body through a LH signal (I'm not going to go into specifics) to your testes to keep trying to produce testosterone. This will not only limit the amount of shrinkage you will occur on cycle in your boys down below, but it will drastically aid in how quickly you recover post cycle. Now remember, HCG is suppressive as well, meaning it must be discontinued before PCT as well. So this is only used during cycle up until several days before PCT, but will definitely help keep you ready to start producing testosterone again post cycle.
So... how does this all translate into an actual first cycle:
Weeks 1-10: 500mg Testosterone Enanthate per week (2 injections of 250mg, Sunday Morning Wednesday night)
Optional: Weeks 1-4: 30mg of Dbol per day (split in two doses, one pre workout, one 12 hours later)
Weeks 1-12: .5mg of Anastrozole Every other Day (EOD)
Weeks 4-12: 500iu's of HCG per week (2 injections of 250iu's, same days as test, but not in the same syringe)
PCT starts week 12, two weeks after last test shot
Week 1&2: 40mg Tamoxifen (nolva) per day
Week 3&4: 20mg Tamoxifen (nolva) per day
And that's it. Simple, straightforward and a great first cycle. Remember, time on + PCT = time off before cycle. So this whole cycle would take you 16 weeks, so you need to wait 16 weeks before your next cycle so your body is fully normalized in its natural hormonal state before doing another cycle.
*Note: you could run the testosterone for two more weeks, Weeks 1-12, just move all the other times for the other compounds up by 2 weeks, so PCT starts week 14, HCG/Arimidex ends before you start PCT. Dbol dosage would still stay the same for 4 weeks. *
Now the second cycle.... you could run the same cycle again and probably have great results. But many of us are impatient, interested, and curious about the other compounds that exist. I recommend holding off till your third cycle to add something else, especially if your first cycle went well (or if you chose not to use dbol on your first cycle, use it on this cycle). The one main difference I'd suggest for this cycle is to try frontloading the testosterone.
Frontloading? Because your'e using a long estered test meaning it takes ~4 or 5 weeks to reach full blood concentration levels of your weekly dose, you can frontload it, meaning use a much larger dose during the first week to get your blood levels up quicker. A general guideline for this is the following: your first injection of testosterone is equal to your normal bi-weekly dose + you full week dose. So for example, if you're running 500mg of test again, split into two injections per week of 250mg, then your first injection would be your normal injection (250mg) + you weekly dose (500mg) = 750mg, then you'd continue with your normally schedule twice weekly injections of 250mg. This will get your blood levels up much faster and make for a quicker rise to optimum test levels in your system (also making for an overall longer cycle while at optimum levels).
If you did use dbol for your first cycle, and want to try it in another way, I'd suggest running it the last 4 weeks of your cycle, up until the day before PCT. This will keep gains coming as the test begins to wear down the two weeks from your last injection up until PCT. Another popular compound for doing this is Stanazolol (winstrol) or even Oral Turinabol. This keeps gains coming up until the very end of the cycle as you can run orals up until the day before PCT due to their short half life.
Week 1: 1000mg of test
Week 2-12: 500mg of test per week
Week 10-14: Winstrol or Dbol or Turinabol at 50mg/day
Week 14 (two weeks after last test injection, start PCT)
PCT and all on cycle ancillaries (HCG arimidex) are used the same as the first cycle.
Now you've got a couple cycles down, you know what test and dbol/winny/or tbol will do to you. You know how to use your ancillaries correctly, you know how to do PCT correctly. After using the time on + PCT = time off before next cycle rule, you can start your next cycle and get a bit more creative. This time, I'd recommend both kickstarting the cycle with an oral (dbol) for the first 4 weeks, and finishing off the cycle with an oral (winstrol) for 5 or 6 weeks, up until the day before PCT.
Instead of doing that, you could still kick start the cycle, but try another long estered compound. EQ (boldenone) is a good one for lean gains, Deca Durabolin is a good one for large mass. I'd still steer clear of trenbelone at this point (that will have to be a whole other post). Primo or masteron are weaker steroids compared to the ones listed above and are really more suited for those with a very solid, large base and low body fat. They will show their results much better with sub 8% bodyfat and need to be run at relatively high and expensive doses, not worth it for a majority of AAS "look good" users. So some sample third cycles (always run your ancillaries and PCT as outlined in the first cycle):
General Build and Solidify Cycle
Week 1-14 Test E 500mg/wk
Week 1-5 Dbol 50mg/day
Week 10-16 Winny 50mg/day
PCT starts two weeks after last test injection
Big Mass Cycle
Week 1-14 Test E 500mg/wk
Week 1-5 Dbol 50mg/day
**Week 1-13 **Deca Durabolin 400mg/wk
PCT starts two weeks after last test injection (3 weeks after last Deca injection - longer ester, takes longer to clear system)
Lean Mass Cycle
Week 1-14 Test E 500mg/wk
Week 1-6 Oral Turinabol or Anavar
Week 1-12 Boldenone Undeclynate (EQ) 500mg/wk
PCT starts two weeks after last test injection (4 weeks after last EQ injection - very long ester, takes very long to clear system)
FOURTH CYCLE AND BEYOND:
You've now experienced three good cycles and multiple compounds. You can choose to run one of the previous third cycles again, or choose a different one and run it, or you can start to up the doses or certain things. But don't up too quickly. There are diminishing returns in terms of large doses... i.e. 1000mg of test is not as much of a difference from 750mg/test as 750mg of test is to 500mg of test. Couple guidelines, keep test under 1000mg/wk, with 750mg being an ideal "high point". Generally don't run more than one oral at one time, with at least 4 weeks off between orals during a cycle. Generally don't go beyond 60mg/day of orals (Anavar can be run up to 100mg a day, but only after you've tried it at a lower dose). Generally always run more or equal test per week than any other compound, i.e. 750mg of test and 600mg of Deca, or 750mg of test, 750 mg of EQ. Generally don't up the doses of any of these compounds until you've run them at the dose listed under third cycle - that way you know how your respond to them and will reap the benefits from the lower dose before you "must" move to a higher dose to get the same benefits. **ALWAYS RUN PCT AND ALWAYS TAKE TIME OFF = TIME ON CYCLE + PCT EVERYTIME **- this ensure health and longevity. Also, generally don't run a cycle longer than 16 weeks, preferably 14 weeks being the max (this is the amount of weeks actually injecting AAS and do not count the two weeks before PCT from the last test E shot).
That's about it. There are all sorts of shorter estered cycles for those who don't mind pinning more often. These are generally better for cutting as the shorter estered compounds generally make you bloat less and leave your system faster. But again, testosterone is always the base for any cycle.
Weeks 1-8 Test Propionate, 75mg ED or 150mg EOD
Weeks 3-8 Winstrol 50mg/day
Weeks 1-8 Test P, 150mg EOD
Weeks 1-8 Anavar 60mg-80mg/day
Weeks 1-8 Test P, 150mg EOD
Weeks 1-8 EQ2, 100mg EOD - this is a short estered version of EQ
Weeks 1-8 Test P 150mg EOD
Weeks 1-8 Nandrolone Phenylprop - this is a short estered version of Deca Durabolin (aka Nandralone Decanoate)
You get the point, use short estered compounds with short estered test. Always run your ancillaries and PCT starts 4 days after last test injection when using test propionate.
Good luck and happy cycling.