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J2theZ

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Hey everyone,
Planning on starting my first cycle. I’m 28, 6’2” 190. Since it will be my first cycle I plan to keep it simple and see how my body reacts. Here’s my plan:

10 weeks
Test e - either 300 or 400/week

25mg anavar ed for first 6 weeks (can up it if I feel I need to)

.5mg arimidex 2x/week (prob injection days) starting week 2

10-14 days off

PCT
Nova 40/40/20/20

attached is a trt blood test to see my levels so it doesn’t have E2

Any feedback or thoughts? Do you think I will need the AI for such a mild cycle?

anavar better to start week 1 or week 4 and run 6 weeks?

Thanks guys!
 

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Type-IIx

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I'd recommend Aromasin/Exemestane instead of Arimidex and start it more like 4-5 weeks in. Be conservative in controlling aromatization rather than crushing your estro levels. There are some nasty sides with doing that, and you don't want low estro too early in the cycle. It's OK to have the Adex on hand in the unlikely event you get gyno sides easily and need to use it in case of an emergency -- i.e., sensitive/painful/puffy nipples.

Other than that, this is solid.
 

bad rad

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I'd move the Anavar to weeks 8-12 to let the ester clear while "solidifying" your gains. If you're on TRT just got back to that after completing your cycle.
 

J2theZ

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I'd recommend Aromasin/Exemestane instead of Arimidex and start it more like 4-5 weeks in. Be conservative in controlling aromatization rather than crushing your estro levels. There are some nasty sides with doing that, and you don't want low estro too early in the cycle. It's OK to have the Adex on hand in the unlikely event you get gyno sides easily and need to use it in case of an emergency -- i.e., sensitive/painful/puffy nipples.

Other than that, this is solid.
After doing some research it does look like aromasin is the smarter choice, however also easy to over do it. Would you suggest just getting my levels checked around week 4/5 and add it if I need it or feel gyno symptoms?
 

Type-IIx

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After doing some research it does look like aromasin is the smarter choice, however also easy to over do it. Would you suggest just getting my levels checked around week 4/5 and add it if I need it or feel gyno symptoms?
Yep! Bloodwork trumps adding any AI. Also, bad rad's suggestion of using Var at the end of the cycle is the logic I'd use too but I understand the psychological component of wanting to see gains quickly. I, however, don't think front-loading or using orals in the beginning of the cycle is as good as assessing tolerance and finishing with the var for more hardness, vascularity, etc. But it's physiologically OK to use the var early if the psychological aspects of seeing gains quickly suits you more.
 

Kaladryn

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All cycles should be progressive. Just because you are using a long ester doesn't mean it is automatically progressive enough. You will get amazing results from your first cycle, and you will get side effects to varying degrees. Start low and build up over time. I would start a little lower than your plan, like 200mg, this is going to be a lot at first because you aren't shut down yet and it is stacking on top of your natural test. After 3-4 weeks, kick it up to 300 and see how that goes, then finally if you still want more after 7-8 weeks, go up to 400. You will get better results this way, less side effects, and more room to make adjustments if something isn't going right.

You definitely don't want to do more than one compound your first time, because you want to see how YOU respond to that one compound, both positive and negative. You won't need a 2nd compound, it won't make things any different. Add in something else you second time around.

Here is my first experience, I had been bodybuilding for several years when I started on 200mg/week and gains were absolutely incredible, my doctor suggested I go up to 300mg after a month or so and I did, it was WAY too much for me at that point, I won't go into why but I definitely needed to go back down to 200mg and keep it there. My second time around I did 300 and it felt good. All cycles after that were progressive and started at 200mg, even when I got the point where I was playing around with much higher amounts, I would still start low and build up over time, often placing my buildup with how things were coming along.

This general idea of progressive cycles was very popular in the 80s and 90s and isn't so much anymore, but I think it can be key to both health and gains.
 

bad rad

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This general idea of progressive cycles was very popular in the 80s and 90s and isn't so much anymore, but I think it can be key to both health and gains.
I've been using for 20 years and this still works very well. The old school pyramid scheme has stood the test of time for a reason.

OP, are you on TRT? If so, what's your TRT dosage? You mentioned TRT blood work.
 

J2theZ

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I've been using for 20 years and this still works very well. The old school pyramid scheme has stood the test of time for a reason.

OP, are you on TRT? If so, what's your TRT dosage? You mentioned TRT blood work.
No I am not on trt. I went to a trt doctor to see if I was eligible since but more so to see my levels.
 

bad rad

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No I am not on trt. I went to a trt doctor to see if I was eligible since but more so to see my levels.
Ok, your PCT needs more effort for a cycle that long. I always had issues recovering without hCG.
 

J2theZ

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Ok, your PCT needs more effort for a cycle that long. I always had issues recovering without hCG.
How would you suggest using it? I’m reading a lot of differences in opinions. During cycle vs pct, time frame after last pin, amounts and duration. Do you think it is necessary if I only run 200mg for 10 weeks? If I’m reading right it acts as synthetic LH and clomid and nova boost the lh and fsh. Could I get away with a long pct (say 6 weeks) with clomid and nov combo?
 

pesty4077

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Kaladyn gave you the best answer. You are complicating things. Start out low.
 

J2theZ

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Kaladyn gave you the best answer. You are complicating things. Start out low.
I agree that’s why I said I am dropping it to 200 and cutting out the anavar... but I will still need a pct with that. Just try clomid/nova and see how I react?
 

Type-IIx

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All cycles should be progressive. Just because you are using a long ester doesn't mean it is automatically progressive enough. You will get amazing results from your first cycle, and you will get side effects to varying degrees. Start low and build up over time. I would start a little lower than your plan, like 200mg, this is going to be a lot at first because you aren't shut down yet and it is stacking on top of your natural test. After 3-4 weeks, kick it up to 300 and see how that goes, then finally if you still want more after 7-8 weeks, go up to 400. You will get better results this way, less side effects, and more room to make adjustments if something isn't going right.

You definitely don't want to do more than one compound your first time, because you want to see how YOU respond to that one compound, both positive and negative. You won't need a 2nd compound, it won't make things any different. Add in something else you second time around.

Here is my first experience, I had been bodybuilding for several years when I started on 200mg/week and gains were absolutely incredible, my doctor suggested I go up to 300mg after a month or so and I did, it was WAY too much for me at that point, I won't go into why but I definitely needed to go back down to 200mg and keep it there. My second time around I did 300 and it felt good. All cycles after that were progressive and started at 200mg, even when I got the point where I was playing around with much higher amounts, I would still start low and build up over time, often placing my buildup with how things were coming along.

This general idea of progressive cycles was very popular in the 80s and 90s and isn't so much anymore, but I think it can be key to both health and gains.
It's interesting, the pharmacodynamics, molecular weight, log dose/response curve all determine dosing frequency and should be considered, but even after the second shot of enanthate I can definitely "feel it" in my system. Someone posted a graph from a paper, 'Studies on the Nitrogen Balance in Humans with Long-term Treatment with Different Anabolic Agents...' and it showed that even with nandrolone decanoate and its long ester, nitrogen retention was substantial just 3 days after the first injection.

Basically what I'm saying, I agree with you. Front-loading is not optimal. The justifications made have nothing to do with AR upregulation and are always psychological in nature: people just want their gear to kick in immediately -- instant gratification.
 

Kaladryn

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Yep, I agree with you, there is a lot more to 'esters' than simple linear halflife.

I also think there is some degree of desensitization occurring over time, this could be at the receptor (involving co-binding factors perhaps) or maybe because of other factors such as metabolism of the steroid, but regardless, it definitely seems to be happening for sure.

Then there is receptor upregulation, which is different from sensitization, where the body is increasing the amount of AR receptors in the muscle. I don't think it has been shown if the increase is the same concentration and just more muscle mass, or an actually higher concentration of AR inside the cells, but one of the two for sure, I think actual higher concentration has been proven but I can't remember back to when I studied that stuff if it was conclusive or not.

There is good reason to believe that two forces are at play, receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization. Basically, I think we want to increase slowly to not outpace upregulation so we don't cause desensitization to occur at a faster rate, but fast enough to overcome the desensitization that does occur anyway and keep receptors saturated.

There is a lot complex science you could throw at this, but ultimately, there is a lot of unknowns still in how some of this stuff all interacts, and things like sensitization and utilization probably have many, many factors, both at the micro and macro level, but for practical purposes, I think this explanation fits.
 

Kaladryn

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I agree that’s why I said I am dropping it to 200 and cutting out the anavar... but I will still need a pct with that. Just try clomid/nova and see how I react?
There is no concrete evidence that PCT actually does anything, in fact, it seems to just keep people shut down longer, they get bloodwork 4-6 weeks after taking clomid and see good T levels, however, that T is still being stimulated by clomid metabolites after that long, there is literally ONE study/paper I know of on clomid PCT and it was done on ONE person and they only looked at 6 weeks after. The idea that you can "force multiply leydig cells" isn't proven and this is the only theory that PCT works with. It is more likely that you may be able to slow the decrease in leydig cells WHILE ON by using something like HCG, but this may just increase estrogen more than it helps.

Oh, also, I meant to put this in my original post, I would recommend going with at least 12-16 weeks on your first run, if not longer, I don't think there any real reason to cut it shorter, especially if you are coming off completely after. Staying on longer may help your gains 'stick' better and 10 weeks unnecessarily short IMO.
 

J2theZ

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There is no concrete evidence that PCT actually does anything, in fact, it seems to just keep people shut down longer, they get bloodwork 4-6 weeks after taking clomid and see good T levels, however, that T is still being stimulated by clomid metabolites after that long, there is literally ONE study/paper I know of on clomid PCT and it was done on ONE person and they only looked at 6 weeks after. The idea that you can "force multiply leydig cells" isn't proven and this is the only theory that PCT works with. It is more likely that you may be able to slow the decrease in leydig cells WHILE ON by using something like HCG, but this may just increase estrogen more than it helps.

Oh, also, I meant to put this in my original post, I would recommend going with at least 12-16 weeks on your first run, if not longer, I don't think there any real reason to cut it shorter, especially if you are coming off completely after. Staying on longer may help your gains 'stick' better and 10 weeks unnecessarily short IMO.
So how does the body start producing testosterone naturally again if lh and fsh levels could be completely tanked? You sound like you have don’t a few cycles in your day, did you do no pct on your first few and do you still not do them? Or the more you do the less likely your body to naturally rebound?
 

Type-IIx

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Yep, I agree with you, there is a lot more to 'esters' than simple linear halflife.

I also think there is some degree of desensitization occurring over time, this could be at the receptor (involving co-binding factors perhaps) or maybe because of other factors such as metabolism of the steroid, but regardless, it definitely seems to be happening for sure.

Then there is receptor upregulation, which is different from sensitization, where the body is increasing the amount of AR receptors in the muscle. I don't think it has been shown if the increase is the same concentration and just more muscle mass, or an actually higher concentration of AR inside the cells, but one of the two for sure, I think actual higher concentration has been proven but I can't remember back to when I studied that stuff if it was conclusive or not.

There is good reason to believe that two forces are at play, receptor upregulation and receptor desensitization. Basically, I think we want to increase slowly to not outpace upregulation so we don't cause desensitization to occur at a faster rate, but fast enough to overcome the desensitization that does occur anyway and keep receptors saturated.

There is a lot complex science you could throw at this, but ultimately, there is a lot of unknowns still in how some of this stuff all interacts, and things like sensitization and utilization probably have many, many factors, both at the micro and macro level, but for practical purposes, I think this explanation fits.
Yes, I think that AR is upregulated in cells and muscle fibers, ie there is a higher cellular concentration of AR in a dose-dependent and temporal manner that even persists post-cycle, for the life of the person. However, like you said, there is some downregulation of other factors: intracellular growth factors, intra- and extra-cellular binding proteins, and other hormones, even peptides - of which there are so many, with neural and endocrine functions. When it comes to the names and exact functions of these I can't keep track of it all, and there's a lot to be discovered and understood. While the AR upregulation is significant, it's definitely not the only factor at work, and what you describe as desensitization is probably at least partly explained by those other factors.

When it comes to esters, Kaladryn, do you have any good resources that explain the variables and useful conversions of molecular weight, coefficient of fat:water solubility, half-life, that kind of thing in a clear way? I read one Bill Roberts article on Anabolic Steroid Esters, but he's either way too damn smart, or I just wasn't fully knowledgeable about some of the stuff he was assuming the reader knew. Or even if you know someone on here or something who's probably a biochem person that can explain it well.

Good talking to you! And I've already learned from you on this thread. Appreciate it man.
 

bad rad

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So how does the body start producing testosterone naturally again if lh and fsh levels could be completely tanked? You sound like you have don’t a few cycles in your day, did you do no pct on your first few and do you still not do them? Or the more you do the less likely your body to naturally rebound?
LH/FSH recover fairly quickly after the cycle ends. This graph is from a study using 250mg Testosterone for 21 weeks IIRC. The unresponsive testes is what delayed recovery ie, signals sent but no reply. This is when smart administration of hCG helps speed up the process. I preferred using it low dose on cycle so my testicles never lost sensitivity to LH/FSH.
 

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J2theZ

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LH/FSH recover fairly quickly after the cycle ends. This graph is from a study using 250mg Testosterone for 21 weeks IIRC. The unresponsive testes is what delayed recovery ie, signals sent but no reply. This is when smart administration of hCG helps speed up the process. I preferred using it low dose on cycle so my testicles never lost sensitivity to LH/FSH.
So is the decline in test in weeks 1-5 the testosterone from the cycle leaving the body and the weeks after the natural levels recovering?
 

bad rad

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So is the decline in test in weeks 1-5 the testosterone from the cycle leaving the body and the weeks after the natural levels recovering?
That's my interpretation. The problem is I don't what the units of measure are. I can't find the study now but it's referenced in the Anabolics series too.

For a practical anecdote, when I did PCT I did all the normal Clomid/Nolvadex protocols and usually still crashed. About week 5-6 I'd take a single shot of hCG and be back to normal again afterwards. I then started using hCG in PCT before moving it to on cycle in a TRT support type protocol and did really well.
 

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