Steroid Cycling in 2015- a newer perspective

anabolic steroid Cycling

performance enhancing drugs

I’ve (Glycomann) written something like this before but feel compelled to make an updated version. So to me cycling AAS (steroids) and other PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) is not really rocket science. There is a defined way to run these things. If you will, a sort of outline with some rules that make these endeavors effective and safe over the long term.

Every cycle after the first 2-3 years should have 4 components.

1) test base,
2) primary anabolic,
3) secondary anabolic (cycle booster anabolic),
4) Growth hormone axis compound (s).

First a word on dosages.

The effective dose is the target. Don’t get confused by internet cowboys that treat this enhancement endeavor like it’s a drinking game in sophomore year of college. It isn’t, More is not better. Crank things beyond you tolerance and you get side effects. Side effects mean you are not optimizing your cycle. Side effects, when bad enough, mean that you are toxic and cannot train optimally. So if you have anxiety, sweating all the time, leaking oil from your skin, bloated as fugg, out of breath going up 3 flights of stairs… you are fugging up your own game. The name of the game is to enhance your performance, not see who can tolerate side effects the best.

OK so the typical 12 week cycle should have the general form:

1-12 Test ester xxx mg/w
1-12 Primary anabolic xxx mg/w
6-12 Secondary anabolic xxx mg/w
1-12 GH axis compound(s)

Test base and why we use one:

Testosterone:

It is the androgen that every animal from frogs to man has evolved to make the male of the species male. It is necessary for proper musculoskeletal development and maintenance, neural development, proper functioning in the limbic system in the brain, reproduction, secondary sex characteristics, and many more functions. It interconvert to other hormones in target tissues providing proper signaling in the proper signal density and duration. Synthetic androgens do not perform all of these functions or interconvert to all the necessary compounds. Testosterone (T) is the king of male biology. Without it you cannot be male. Add it to your cycle in at least replacement dose, which is 100 mg/w on average. Typically on cycle I use 200-300 mg/w of a medium ester test. On TRT I use androgel at 2-4 pumps a day. On TRT injectable I use 100-150 mg/w.

Use of testosterone comes with some caveats. It readily converts to estrogens (E) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Either one gets to high and there can be problems. These two compounds can cause a lot of side effects. The reason I don’t go above 300 mg/w is because I tolerate that dose without conversion to DHT or E to far outside of normal range. To get more anabolic effect that’s where the anabolics come in.

Primary anabolic steroid:

This group of compounds mostly are derived or are produced to mimic testosterone except they are attenuated such that conversion to DHT and E has been reduced to lower levels than an equal dose of T. There are exceptions, like trenbolone, but the major push when developing these drugs in the 50s 60s and 70s was to make compounds that have reduced DHT and E like effects and maximize the anabolic component.

So the anabolics are great additions to crank up anabolism without adding a lot of DHT and E related side effects. Good compounds to choose from for the primary anabolic are Equipoise (boldenone undecylenate), Masteron (Drostanolone, propionate and enanthate), nandrolones (decanoate and phenyl propionate esters), and Primobolan (methenolone enanthate).each has a somewhat distint personality.

Equipoise is long acting and tends to add more red cells than other anabolics. In fact, tht’s why it works so well in horses since they have a spleen that holds a reserve of red cells for release during athletic stress for added oxygen exchange. Humans don’t have that adaptation so we can get a little to heavy in the red cells and need to give blood. Keep that in mind when the next internet moron says “EQ is useless unless run for 16 weeks or more.” EQ is a good steroid. It may be mild in some users. Personally, I always did well with it. I’ve used it solo to test it’s effects. It is a great hardener and volumizer. A good dosage range is 300 – 600 mg/w. If you are on the higher end of dose range you will want to give blood after 8 weeks on this stuff especially if you are over 40. if I want to dry out when lean I will drop test for a week or two when on EQ.

Masteron has a little more DHT activity than others in this category. In some ways it is similar to EQ except that it can lead to BPH symptoms. So your pecker might trickle a little into your underpants when using this compound. A counter for this is saw palmetto at a gram a day whenever on this stuff. It is an herbal and has no side effects. Masterone is great for filling in. It adds fullness to the physique without subQ water retention.
It has no conversion to estrogen. It can cause oily skin so frequent showering will help prevent acne. A dose of 300-600 mg/w is a good range for this stuff.

Nandrolones are good and bad. Probably about ½ or more users contract ED when on nandrolone and it lasts a long time after its use. Whether you are or are not susceptible to this side effect the drug itself is highly anabolic. You will add muscle mass with this drug. I don’t use it myself since I have this sensitivity. 400-600 mg/w is a good range for this. It is also very good for relief of joint pain. For this purpose even 200 mg/w can be effective.

Primobolan is about as close to a oure anabolic as there is. It is mild in anabolic action but gives a very nice slow accrual of new muscle mass. The look is generally full round and lean if the diet and training are proper. When I use this drug my test base is pretty low so as to take advantage of the dry full look. A weekly dose of 400-800 mg is effective. You particular biology will dictate the dose you need for progress as with all other PEDs.

Secondary Anabolic Steroid:

This drug comes in about 1/3 or ½ way into the cycle. It is added to activate further gains in mass or a certain look. I put quite a few drugs into this category. They are mostly fast acting highly anabolic drugs. They include Dianabol, Anadrol, Anavar, Turinabol, Winstrol, Epistane, Superdrol, and Trenbolone Acetate.

The first 2 are “wet compounds” meaning they produce estrogen like water retention. I say estrogen like because Anadrol does not seem to convert to estrogen but seems to bind directly to the E receptor or convert to another compound that does. Dianabol converts to 17 methyl estradiol which is much stronger than normal estradiol. They tend to add a lot of strength but also a lot of water retention.

Anavar, Turinabol, Winstrol, Epistane, Superdrol are all dry drugs. There is no conversion to estrogen. Anavar and Turinabol are very similar in effect, mainly providing lean dry gains in mass. Anavar can aid in fat burning. Winstrol is very drying. It increases C1 inhihitor production leading to a shift in water retention out of the subQ layers. In me it has been very anabolic and androgenic but this is sort of rare for this drug. Epistane is an exotic oral and has effects similar to Anavar or slightly drier like Winstrol. Superdrol is fairly dry but also toxic on the order of that of Anadrol. However it is very powerful and usually used in no more than 10-30 mg/d ranges. All others, other than Anadrol, are generally used in the 30-60 mg/d range. The idea is to add them 5-6 weeks in and they will add positively to the cycle. For instance if you want to push dry gains further add Anavar and maintain a clean diet. Chances are you will gain a few or more lean lbs and get harder, leaner and fuller. If strength is the aim then Dianabol or Anadrol can be the choice. Anadrol is generally used in 50-100 mg/d range.

Trenbolone acetate (TA) is one of the most powerful AAS made. It is used for beefing up cattle in the last 3 weeks before slaughter. That’s how fast it acts. It is associated with quite the impressive range of side effects including night sweats, tren cough, agitation, difficulties in interpersonal relationships, extreme aggression, paranoia, god complex, loss of cardiovascular performance and others. These side effects are, for the most part, dosage related. Lots of board warriors claim big doses like a gram a week. I’d like to talk to their girlfriends and wives and ask if they think 1000 mg a week was a good idea. TA is so harsh but SSSOOOO effective. It’s worth doing if you are responsible enough to dial in your dose and keep the use to short periods like at the back end of a cycle. Effects are fat burning, extreme strength gains and extreme physique transformation. Basically it carves you out while adding some decent mass and strength. You can mess it up with poor diet and training but if these are on point TA can be very effective. Doses range from 125 to 500 mg/w. At 500 mg/w, in 6 weeks, I would have one or more court dates, be in the process of divorce and probably set PRs in 2 or more exercises.

GH axis modifiers:

Androgens work in concert with growth hormone and its downstream signaling molecules. Synthetic GH is one of the key drugs responsible for the increase in mass of bodybuilders in the late 80s and afterward. The synthetic form is one of 5 that are naturally produced and released from the pituitary. There is a lot of faked and poor quality GH on the market and it is generally fairly expensive to find and obtain good Chinese UGL or other generic forms on the black market. Side effects can be joint pain, carpel tunnel syndrome, and water retention. Dosing is complex. Generally the user must taper the dose upward over weeks or months. Typically a dose of 3-6 iu/d will be effective. True US pharma grade GH is effective at the lower end or even slightly less. Doses of 1-2 iu/d can be used for anti aging. Higher doses can lead to increases in muscle mass and accentuated fat burning. Typically GH cycle will last for 6 months or more. Personally I stay away from GH since it is so often faked and is fairly expensive. Plus at 2-3 iu a day I really don’t get much more out of it than a good peptide regimen.

A good alternative in my experience is GHRP-2 and CJC1295 DAC. Doses are 100-300 2-4x a day for the former and 500-1000 mcg 2x a week for the later. These guys both work at the pituitary to release natural GH, that’s all 5 isoforms, but they work at different receptors so their action is additive. In my opinion they work better in older individuals and in those cases make AAS work better.

IGF-1 LR3 is another great peptide product, that is, if you can find the real product. I have used some very good LR3 and it made me pump like crazy and drop fat like crazy. Very visual effects are seen in 3 weeks. 6 week cycles with this stuff are great for a transformed look. It works great in PCT starting right after the last shot of AAS. I use it along side GHRP-2 since alone LR3 may diminish natural GH release. The GHRP2 should maintain the normal secretion pattern. Be careful with this stuff since it can lead to hypoglycemic like symptoms. Keep some cabs on hand for about 90 minutes after dose, 30-100 mcg per day is a good range with this stuff.

A word on ancillaries and dialing in your dose

The best thing to do is try to dial in your dose. Most of you should be able to remember what dose of your favorite compounds made you feel like shit. Well use less than that. Or, you can start from scratch. Start out conservative and re-evaluate every 3 weeks. If comfortable up the dose 50% and repeat the process one or 2 more cycles. At the dose you feel uncomfortable is when you are on too much and then the next lower dose is your sweet spot. You can exceed your natural limit for a particular compound with ancillaries like anti estrogens, blood pressure meds etc but I really don’t see the point unless you rare bound and determined to get over the 2 gram/w range to see where that will take you.

One can easily choose a set of compounds and doses that makes ancillaries all but unnecessary. Personally, I have made a spreadsheet that predicts the number of normal equivalents of estrogenic, androgenic, anabolic and progestogenic character a cycle will have. By normal equivalents I mean the amount of said activity produced naturally predicted by blood work and experience. Similarly, what the character would be on a TRT dose. For instance ~150 mg/w of Test C puts me at 1000 ng.dL of testosterone (this is the normal for androgenic and anabolic) 20 pg/mL estrogen, and 1 ng/dL progesterone. These are what I consider 1 normal equivalent. At slightly less than 3x normal equivalents based on testosterone is where I begin to need ancillaries. So I aim for estrogenic, androgenic, and progestogenic equivalents of ~3 or less. Anabolic equivalents can go as high as possible whilst keeping the others around 3, more or less.

When trenbolone is added it is difficult to stay under 3 for androgenic equivalents and that’s where saw palmetto comes in. In my scheme trenbolone has 3 times the equivalents of androgenic and 3 times the anabolic character as testosterone. You can see here that I don’t directly substitute androgenic anabolic ratios. Rather these numbers are based on my estimates. Trenbolone does not have estrogenic activity but some progestogenic activity, about 1 additional progestogenic equivalent per 175 mg. So you can see where adding 300 mg or more a week can have a strong impact on side effects.

Another example is Anavar. Per 175 mg, in my scheme it has 0.25 equivalents of androgenic, 1.75 equivalents of anabolic and no components of estrogenic or progestogenic character. You can see where adding 300-350 mg/w can add a lot of anabolic character whilst adding very few estrogenic or androgenic side effects. Anavar isn’t just for women. Primobolin is similar in character. Turinabol is similar to Anavar except that it is somewhat more hepatotoxic.

Equipoise has the following ratings per 175 mg: estrogenic 0.5, androgenic 0.5, anabolic 1.0 and progestogenic 0.0. So, adding 500 mg a week is similar to adding the same anount of testosterone with less than ½ the amount of androgenic and estrogenic components. The one major drawback is the high erythropoietic (red cell production) character discussed earlier.

So using the estrogenic, androgenic, anabolic and progestogenic equivalents for each compound in your cycle it is possible to dial in your effective dose while avoiding side effects. I do allow myself to tweak things around the edges with ancillaries. My favorite ancillaries are as follows:

Exemastane: suicide aromatase inhibitor. It has little effect on IGF-1 levels like other AIs. Also it has less impact on blood lipid levels as the others.

Saw palmetto: is an herbal DHT inhibitor that seems specific for the prostate. So it is very valuable for warding off BPH like symptoms when using things like Masteron or trenbolones or higher amounts of testosterone.

Cabergoline: is a dopamine receptor 2 agonist. It reduces prolactin secretion that are secondary to high progestogenic activity. It helps to prevent or relieve ED problems caused by such activities.

Cialis: long acting PDE5 inhibitor medication for ED. It can be active for many hours.

Viagra: short acting PDE5 medication. It is active for a few hours.

Example steroid cycles

Cycle 1
1-12 Test E 300 mg
1-12 EQ 400 mg
6-12 Anavar 350 mg/w
1-12 GHRP-2 300 mcg 3x/d
6-12 CJC1295 DAC 1000 mcg 2x/w
Androgen equivalent Estrogen equivalent Anabolic equivalent Progesteron
6.21 4.00 10.36 0.69
Saw Palmetto and/or a small dose of Exemastane may be needed.

Cycle 2
1-12 Test C 300 mg
1-12 Primobolan 500 mg
6-12 Turinabol 350 mg/w
1-12 GHRP-2 300 mcg 3x/d
6-12 CJC1295 DAC 1000 mcg 2x/w
Androgen equivalent Estrogen equivalent Anabolic equivalent Progesteron
6.50 2.86 11.64 0.69
Saw Palmetto may be needed.

Cycle 3
1-12 Test phenyl propionate 300 mg
1-12 Primobolan 500 mg
1-6 Turinabol 350 mg/w
6-12 Trenbolone acetate 150 mg/w
1-12 GHRP-2 300 mcg 3x/d
6-12 CJC1295 DAC 1000 mcg 2x/w
Androgen equivalent Estrogen equivalent Anabolic equivalent Progesteron
9.07 2.86 14.21 1.76
Saw Palmetto will likely be needed.

Cycle 4
1-12 Test C 300 mg
1-12 Primobolan 500 mg
6-12 Turinabol 350 mg/w
1-12 GH 2-4 iu/d
Androgen equivalent Estrogen equivalent Anabolic equivalent Progesteron
6.50 2.86 11.64 0.69
Saw Palmetto may be needed.

TRT to follow cycles
1-12 Androgel 4 pumps/d
1-8 hCG 500 iu M-W-F
9-12 Clomid 175 mg/w
1-5 IGF-1 LR3 50 mcg

PCT to follow cycles
1-3 hCG 500 iu M-W-F
3-6 Clomid 175 mg/w
1-5 IGF-1 LR3 50 mcg

Cycle safely and don’t forget to get your bloods checked and take time off or at least a responsible TRT. Time off/TRT should last at minimum of 8 weeks in my opinion.

Written by Glycomann (Moderator at WorldClassBodyBuilding.com)

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