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mid cycle plateau

shaker88

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hey everyone
i'm new to the forums,
pleas feel free to relocate the thread if it's not supposed to be posted here.

i had a technical question about bulking or muscle gain cycles for sometime now that needs an answer.

i'm 29 years old and been working out for more than 12 years now, been on and off gear for at least 6 years.

the riddle that i can never solve is that when i start a basic long bulking cycle for 12-14 weeks with orals as a kickstart for a couple weeks at start
eg:
test cyp 500-750 mg weekly
boldenon 400-600 mg weekly
dbol 30-40 mg daily

what happens is that i start gaining weight at fairly fast rate (and yes i know most of it is water due to dbol) for the 1st 4 weeks until i drop down the dbol or drol or even var ,depending on cycle structure ...then i plateau for a couble of weeks without the orals, that forces me to get back on another oral again or cut the cycle short ...i don't know is that suppose to happen and if i hang at it another week or two i would grow again or what ?

if anyone had tha same issue i would appreciate any advice

thanks in advance for any help and excuse my english
 

MyNameIsJeff

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Chances are you aren't actually plateauing/stagnating. It's just that the gains are too slow and incremental for you to notice, especially if you compare it to the water weight, fullness and cosmetic effects achieved with orals like dbol.

If you are an advanced lifter, you realistically can expect to add 1kg of muscle mass per month during a cycle. So that's 250g per week, not something that you would notice on the scale or when looking at the mirror every day.

Anyone who thinks you can gain much more than that should buy a 1kg package of chicken breast: it's a lot of lean tissue for your body to build up and it takes time.

This difficulty to assess 'real' progress in adding lean tissue is one of the reasons that many athletes (such as Jordan Peterson) focus on becoming stronger and judge the progress they make week by week based on those strength increases.

Progressive overload uber alles :star-:ars
 

jeroendebleser

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There's a lot less steroids in your system after the weeks of using orals so you can only expect it to plateau a bit. And as like Jeff said, gaining muscle tissue just takes time.
 

zacharykane

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Progress also won't always be a linear path nor necessarily be something visual. Sometimes it's muscle tissue your building, other times is neural adaptions, other times connective tissue. It all plays a part and just because the scale isn't moving or you aren't seeing changes in the mirror, it doesn't mean you aren't improving.

It can sometimes be frustrating when you're at a plateau, but just stick to your plan and you'll bust out of it eventually.
 

shaker88

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thanks guys for the answers, i appreciate your help

my old understanding of the process was that when i drop the orals my body will have less total AAS in the blood stream ...so i though maybe that's the reason to plateau as my body got adapted to the higher dosage of total steroids during the weeks when orals were present ...i don't know maybe i'm over analyzing ?

from your answers i get that i should stay on cycle and asses the results after a longer time frame as it's normal to show slowing progress but eventually it should happen, right ?

last question to wrap it all up
you usually keep growing during the last weeks of the cycle even after stopping the oral used in kickstart the cycle ? without needing to increase the dosage or adding another compound ?

thanks again for your input
 

MyNameIsJeff

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last question to wrap it all up
you usually keep growing during the last weeks of the cycle even after stopping the oral used in kickstart the cycle ? without needing to increase the dosage or adding another compound ?

thanks again for your input
Yes, you should still be growing, albeit at a slower pace due to lower overall AAS dose. But if you can't grow at all at 1g+ of test and bold, then you're doing something wrong. Try increasing calories a bit if your weight stagnates. Also, focus more on progressing your loads, read up on progressive overload. Lastly, consider the possibility of not using orals as a kickstarter, but instead use them in the last weeks of the cycle when you plateau/your progress slows down.
 

pickapeck

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A strategy I to add orals at the 6 week mark to push past the 8 week plateau. Myostatin any be the culprit to the stall. Possibly adding in an oral, many of which work through slightly diferent mechanisms i.e. anticatabolic through altered corticosteroid signaling. In graded testosterone treatment in men led to higher myostatin levels by week 8. See below.

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2009 Apr 10;302(1):26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2008.12.019. Epub 2009 Jan 21.
Measurement of myostatin concentrations in human serum: Circulating concentrations in young and older men and effects of testosterone administration.

Lakshman KM1, Bhasin S, Corcoran C, Collins-Racie LA, Tchistiakova L, Forlow SB, St Ledger K, Burczynski ME, Dorner AJ, Lavallie ER.
Author information
Abstract
Methodological problems, including binding of myostatin to plasma proteins and cross-reactivity of assay reagents with other proteins, have confounded myostatin measurements. Here we describe development of an accurate assay for measuring myostatin concentrations in humans. Monoclonal antibodies that bind to distinct regions of myostatin served as capture and detector antibodies in a sandwich ELISA that used acid treatment to dissociate myostatin from binding proteins. Serum from myostatin-deficient Belgian Blue cattle was used as matrix and recombinant human myostatin as standard. The quantitative range was 0.15-37.50 ng/mL. Intra- and inter-assay CVs in low, mid, and high range were 4.1%, 4.7%, and 7.2%, and 3.9%, 1.6%, and 5.2%, respectively. Myostatin protein was undetectable in sera of Belgian Blue cattle and myostatin knockout mice. Recovery in spiked sera approximated 100%. ActRIIB-Fc or anti-myostatin antibody MYO-029 had no effect on myostatin measurements when assayed at pH 2.5. Myostatin levels were higher in young than older men (mean+/-S.E.M. 8.0+/-0.3 ng/mL vs. 7.0+/-0.4 ng/mL, P=0.03). In men treated with graded doses of testosterone, myostatin levels were significantly higher on day 56 than baseline in both young and older men; changes in myostatin levels were significantly correlated with changes in total and free testosterone in young men. Myostatin levels were not significantly associated with lean body mass in either young or older men.
CONCLUSION:
Myostatin ELISA has the characteristics of a valid assay: nearly 100% recovery, excellent precision, accuracy, and sufficient sensitivity to enable measurement of myostatin concentrations in men and women.
PMID: 19356623 DOI: 10.1016/j.mce.2008.12.019
 

Bio

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Seeing water weight come and go isn't indicative of any progress slowing or stopping. You might be dropping fat and gaining muscle which may not correlate on the scale but the mirror won't lie to you. Like Jeff said, incremental increases in strength, whether it's adding more actual weight or increasing reps from the last workout will eventually cause growth. It's all about consistency and time! If you ever run into a true plateau then you need to assess what the reason is. Do you need more rest, can your macros be increased, is it genuinely time to bump the gear up, etc.

BTW, welcome to PM! This board has a great group with vast knowledge. Check out our sister board as well, AnaSci.org.
 

marssel

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When I hit a sticking point I'll up calories by 300-500 per day and change my workout routine.
 

TheOtherOne55

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I just think you need to take a new approach to how you are setting up your blasts.

1. Don't start your orals at week 1. Start with just injectables and when shit really hits the fan, throw an oral in. (Jordan Peters only uses orals offseason when trying to break through plateaus)

2. Keep orals at the beginning, but when you drop them, up your injectable dose. I honestly think you are plateauing, and that's it more of a psychological thing, "oh shit, i'm lowering my dosage. im done now." In order to fight this off, when you DO drop your oral, add an extra 100-150mg of more to your weekly injectable dose.

These are things that I do. I was just running 70mg of Var for 6 weeks. Great strength and fullness but my lower back had wicked pumps and I would die during leg and back workouts. I dropped the Var and sliiightly bumped up my test dosage...something like 50mgs.
 

shaker88

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Seeing water weight come and go isn't indicative of any progress slowing or stopping. You might be dropping fat and gaining muscle which may not correlate on the scale but the mirror won't lie to you. Like Jeff said, incremental increases in strength, whether it's adding more actual weight or increasing reps from the last workout will eventually cause growth. It's all about consistency and time! If you ever run into a true plateau then you need to assess what the reason is. Do you need more rest, can your macros be increased, is it genuinely time to bump the gear up, etc.

BTW, welcome to PM! This board has a great group with vast knowledge. Check out our sister board as well, AnaSci.org.

this board has some of the most experienced and knowledgeable members among all bodybuilding forums, honored to join the family
 

liv2pb

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I do what some others have suggested in this thread. I save my orals for the end of the cycle to: not fuck up my cholesterol right off the gate, lower myostatin when it becomes elevated 6-8 week mark, and to keep the drugs increasing as the cycle increases. Keep in mind that as you put on weigh you will require more calories to continue growing at a maximum rate. I also like to increase my injectables every two weeks. I never stall with this method.
 
Last edited:

shaker88

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I just think you need to take a new approach to how you are setting up your blasts.

1. Don't start your orals at week 1. Start with just injectables and when shit really hits the fan, throw an oral in. (Jordan Peters only uses orals offseason when trying to break through plateaus)

2. Keep orals at the beginning, but when you drop them, up your injectable dose. I honestly think you are plateauing, and that's it more of a psychological thing, "oh shit, i'm lowering my dosage. im done now." In order to fight this off, when you DO drop your oral, add an extra 100-150mg of more to your weekly injectable dose.

These are things that I do. I was just running 70mg of Var for 6 weeks. Great strength and fullness but my lower back had wicked pumps and I would die during leg and back workouts. I dropped the Var and sliiightly bumped up my test dosage...something like 50mgs.

2nd suggestion does work, i tried it a couble of times before and yes i keep growing but the thing is, if i did that every cycle i will be running 2 grams of test in no time, that's why i rather try other options 1st

i started to think it's more of a psychological thing now as you pointed and other members replies cuz my strength is always getting better (at a slower rate) and the idea of not gaining on a lower dosage fucks with my motivation so i resort to add different compounds or get back on orals for another couple weeks then go down to cruising dosage .

do you always bump the dosage after dropping the orals or does it depend on how you feel ?
 

shaker88

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I do what some others have suggested in this thread. I save my orals for the end of the cycle to: not fuck up my cholesterol right off the gate, lower myostatin when it becomes elevated 6-8 week mark, and to keep the drugs increasing as the cycle increases. Keep in mind that as you put on weigh you will require more calories to continue growing at a maximum rate. I also like to increase my injectables every two weeks. I never stall with this method.

i like that idea

do you increase from the 3rd week ,for example like this:
1st and 2nd week : 500 mg test
3rd and 4th week : 750 mg test
5th and 6th week : 1000 mg test and so on ,never mind the numbers

or do you wait till you hit the 6-8 week mark ?
 

liv2pb

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i like that idea

do you increase from the 3rd week ,for example like this:
1st and 2nd week : 500 mg test
3rd and 4th week : 750 mg test
5th and 6th week : 1000 mg test and so on ,never mind the numbers

or do you wait till you hit the 6-8 week mark ?
Yes, pretty much as you stated (except for doses) I've used countless methods over the years and this approach has never let me down.
 
Last edited:

shaker88

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it totally makes sense really
gonna try that my next blast, that's almost 2 weeks from now.

maybe tweak it a bit ,increasing the dose every 4th to 5th week,
as i try to keep the dosage reasonable as possible.
saving the orals for the last 4-6 weeks.
that should produce a longer more rewarding cycle (or blast) i hope

sounds promising
 
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maldorf

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it totally makes sense really
gonna try that my next blast, that's almost 2 weeks from now.

maybe tweak it a bit ,increasing the dose every 4th to 5th week,
as i try to keep the dosage reasonable as possible.
saving the orals for the last 4-6 weeks.
that should produce a longer more rewarding cycle (or blast) i hope

sounds promising

Saving orals for the end works well. Another thing you can do to kick start a cycle, if you are inpatient, is to frontload. Not the healthiest thing but thought I might mention it. You can double the long esters you take that first week and then drop down to your planned dose. Don't do it though if you are taking something really strong/harsh like tren.
 

joos23

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Saving orals for the end works well. Another thing you can do to kick start a cycle, if you are inpatient, is to frontload. Not the healthiest thing but thought I might mention it. You can double the long esters you take that first week and then drop down to your planned dose. Don't do it though if you are taking something really strong/harsh like tren.

I am going to have to try that with the orals. That's what I do when I cut, but never lean bulk which is what I'm doing now. I knew a guy that would front load 2cc of test eod for 2 weeks. I would bloat so fast. I always hold water on any type of long ester test, especially anything over 750. I'm at 500 now and still holding a decent amount of water even with low carbs. Some guys are just so lucky lol
 

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