You have worked hard to reach your maximum potential. Whether that means your goal has been to put on slabs of muscle, or cut fat to become more athletic. However, you’ve hit a plateau that diet and exercise alone can’t overcome. If you have decided to start your first cycle with anabolic steroids, you likely have a lot of questions. Here is some solid advice for implementing your first AAS cycle and following it up with PCT.
Testosterone – Everyone’s First Steroid
Although you might be anxious to try compounds like Deca Durabolin, Trenbolone, or Dianabol to see massive gains, you should really start out slow and work your way up to stronger steroids. Testosterone is always a fantastic starter option since most people tolerate it well, it is easy to find, and it is affordable. Studies show that doses up to one gram per week (maximum recommended dose) are safe in performance enhancement environments, as well. Your cycle would look something like this:
- Weeks 1-5: 400mg
- Weeks 6-8: 600mg per week
- Weeks 9-10: 800mg per week
You can divide this weekly dose up into an every-other or every-third day regimen, if you prefer.
Don’t Start Your First Steroid Cycle without the Right Supplements
Perhaps the best piece of advice you could receive involves holding off on your cycle until you have everything you need to complete both your cycle and your PCT on hand. All too often, people who are new to anabolic steroids will dive right into their first steroid cycle, paying no mind to the fact that their SERMs have yet to arrive. Then, the cycle ends, they still have nothing for PCT, and the situation becomes dire. Never start taking any steroid – even ones considered “safe” or “mild” – without having everything you need on hand. You could end up with low testosterone, and in the long run, this might even lead to a significant case of gynecomastia and irreversible testicular atrophy. When you run your first steroid cycle, you must take this advice very seriously or face some potentially devastating side effects.
There are two reasons why PCT is mandatory, even after your very first cycle. In fact, before you even consider starting a steroid, you need to learn about post-cycle therapy. First, it helps your body reboot its ability to produce natural testosterone. Next, it helps you hold on to whatever you gained during your cycle.
Although some experts will recommend dosing with hCG or HGH after your first cycle, it is not necessary. All you really need is a good SERM like Clomid or Nolvadex for about 30 days after your cycle ends. You need to wait until your steroid completely exits your system (three days for testosterone propionate or 10 days for other forms of testosterone) before you start your cycle, too.
Before you start administering testosterone or other steroids, it is important to understand that you will also need an aromatase inhibitor. Testosterone changes over to estrogen (estradiol) in the body, and when too much estrogen is present in men, it causes side effects like mood swings, gynecomastia, and loss of libido. One of the best (and most readily available) aromatase inhibitors out there is Arimidex. Just take half a milligram every other day for the entire duration of your cycle to prevent the testosterone from converting into estrogen. Another option includes Aromasin, though Arimidex is the most popular due to its milder nature.
Other On-Cycle Supplements
When you run your first steroid cycle, SERMs are required. For most steroids, including testosterone, you’ll also need aromatase inhibitors. Aside from these, there are other supplements that you might consider. For the most part, these aren’t really necessary for everyone, but depending on your goals, they could be beneficial.
Supplement Dose Benefit
If you are going to add supplements to your first steroid cycle, these three are the most popular. Be sure to check your protein powder of choice, though, as this often includes at least part of your daily creatine dose. You may want to use a mass gainer protein powder with more carbs if your goals is to put on muscle, or consider a whey protein isolate and control your carbs if your goal is to cut. Again, these are optional supplements, but many athletes find that they help them reach (and even surpass) their goals more quickly. You could even wait with some supplements such as creatine until your post cycle therapy to help you better maintain your gains.
First Steroid Cycle Safety Tips
Before you start your first steroid cycle, understand that it is important for you to keep yourself safe if you want to avoid side effects. Using AIs and SERMs is a vital part of this, but there are other things you can do, as well.
- Never exceed recommended doses. Even with something as seemingly simple as testosterone, too much can have a devastating effect on your body. As a beginner, you should never take more than 500mg of testosterone a week for your first cycle. Later, as you become more accustomed to steroids and you know how they affect you, it may be possible to use a higher dose – as long as you stay within recommended limits.
- Take breaks between cycles. There’s a reason why athletes cycle their steroids, and it’s to help their bodies recover. If you use testosterone for 12 weeks, you should take a break for at least 12 weeks. This is true of all anabolic steroids.
- Be honest with yourself. If you’re experiencing side effects, especially low-T symptoms or gynecomastia, it is vital that you are able to be honest with yourself so you know when to stop. If you keep using steroids with these symptoms present, you may do irreversible damage to your body.
- Expect some side effects. Along those same lines, you should expect to experience things like steroid acne and maybe even some mood swings. These are normal; they are the result of hormonal fluctuations. For most men, they get better on their own during the cycle.
What You Should Expect
Chances are pretty good that you will not experience massive gains during your first cycle. In fact, you may gain only between five and 10 pounds, but remember that a test-only cycle offers you solid gains rather than mostly water retention. As far as side effects are concerned, as long as you use your aromatase inhibitor and follow your cycle with PCT, these should be minimal.
Mood swings, some libido problems, and acne are reported most often, although some men have difficulty tolerating high levels of testosterone and may experience feelings of nervousness and anger. If you want to find out whether anabolic steroids are right for you, it is important to try achieve your goals as naturally as possible beforehand. Then, your first cycle will consist of your favorite form of testosterone for 10 weeks followed by PCT. You should notice the results in just a few weeks’ time.