Thread: Muscle regain after cycle?
09-18-2004, 01:56 PM #1Anabolic Member
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- Mar 2004
Muscle regain after cycle?
I have experianced regaining muscle after a long layoff, or from after sever dieting from a cutting phase, much more quickly than gaining that mass to begin with. And studies have shown there to be a reason for this because of the muscle cells having been at a certain size, can go back to that size much faster because of "muscle memory".
My question is for more advanced steroid users. Can the muscle you lose after going off the juice be regained faster than if you had never gained it in the first place?
For instance, if i went on a cycle and gained a net muscle gain of appoximately 30 pounds, and then after the cycle, only kept 10 of tose pounds, would the next 20 pounds of muscle come faster through natural training than if i had never had those 20 pounds before? Or theoretically, what if i crashed and lost all the muscle of the cycle, would i be able to gain the 30 pounds faster than if I had never juiced?(assuming my natural test production resumed to normal levels)
09-18-2004, 02:02 PM #2
09-18-2004, 02:06 PM #3Anabolic Member
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- Mar 2004
i'm not desighning a cycle khurrams, but was just curious about regain.
09-18-2004, 02:18 PM #4
bump!! interesting question, I would like an answer to it
09-18-2004, 02:42 PM #5
you would think so,since the muscle fascia has already been stretched to a larger size during the cycle.but then again it may take the extra hormones to get it to that size again...i think it all comes down to genetics.plus the fact that most people mistake water weight for muscle gain.
09-18-2004, 02:43 PM #6Originally Posted by AnabolicBoy1981
09-18-2004, 02:44 PM #7Senior Member
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- Apr 2004
I dont feel that it will unless you do another cycle. Your body has natural genetic limits...
09-18-2004, 03:07 PM #8
this is a **** good question that I have been pondering due to muscle loss from my last cycle.
09-18-2004, 04:23 PM #9Member
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- May 2003
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This topic can only be answered properly with scientific research and data, but I will give you opinion from what I have noticed on myself.
I have noticed after every cycle (3), I tend to keep what I have. When work hits hard, and I have droughts (2 or 3 months) at the gym, I notice a difference in muscle tone, size, strength etc. When I finally have time to get back into the gym on a regular schedual, I notice I regain my strenth, size, and definition. Of course it was not at the level when I was "on," but I regained it back and much quicker than before I "plunged." I hit plateau, and now I can get over quicker.
09-18-2004, 05:23 PM #10
There is such a thing as genetic potential. Once that potentional is peaked through the use of Steroids , your own natural, low levels, of Test can only support so much of this muscle and its receptors(this is my hypothesis). In otherwords, if you have an increased number of receptors but not enough Test to bind to all those receptors it will still be hard to put more muscle than you are genetically predisposed to have. However, gaining muscle back would be alot easier than it would be if you never used juice. Again this is my hypothesis--it seems to make sense based on the articles below.
Rather than explain just read the concept for what muscle memory is and then read the studies proposed in the second study, put the two together and you have a fairly good answer to your question.
A Theoretical Concept Based on Athletes' Reports
It has been theorized that multi-nucleation might explain the longstanding anecdotal phenomenon most athletes call "muscle memory".
Muscle memory is recognized when someone who has had substantial muscular mass and then lost it due to injury or layoffs from training, returns to training and regains the majority of the mass in a much shorter time than was initially required to develop it.
What could be happening is that the specific muscle proteins in the muscle were cannibalized by the body for energy production during non-use. The muscle, however, retains a higher than average number of nuclei that the previous exercise stress caused the body to create.
When presented with exercise and proper nutrients, new protein synthesis can occur at an accelerated rate.
Title: Effects of anabolic steroids on the muscle cells of strength-trained athletes.
Researchers: Kadi F, Eriksson A, Holmner S, Thornell LE Department of Integrative Medical Biology, Umea University, Sweden.
Source: Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999 Nov;31(11):1528-34
Athletes who use anabolic steroids get larger and stronger muscles. How this is reflected at the level of the muscle fibers has not yet been established and was the topic of this investigation. METHODS: Muscle biopsies were obtained from the trapezius muscles of high-level power lifters who have reported the use of anabolic steroids in high doses for several years and from high-level power lifters who have never used these drugs. Enzyme-immunohistochemical investigation was performed to assess muscle fiber types, fiber area, myonuclear number, frequency of satellite cells, and fibers expressing developmental protein isoforms.
RESULTS: The overall muscle fiber composition was the same in both groups. The mean area for each fiber type in the reported steroid users was larger than that in the nonsteroid users (P < 0.05). The number of myonuclei and the proportion of central nuclei were also significantly higher in the reported steroid users (P < 0.05). Likewise, the frequency of fibers expressing developmental protein isoforms was significantly higher in the reported steroid users group (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Intake of anabolic steroids and strength-training induce an increase in muscle size by both hypertrophy and the formation of new muscle fibers. We propose that activation of satellite cells is a key process and is enhanced by the steroid use . The incorporation of the satellite cells into preexisting fibers to maintain a constant nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio seems to be a fundamental mechanism for muscle fiber growth. Although all the subjects in this study have the same level of performance, the possibility of genetic differences between the two groups cannot be completely excluded.
This study was trying to answer one basic question, "How do anabolic steroids produce muscle growth?" If you were to ask the average bodybuilding enthusiast I think you would hear, "they increase protein synthesis." This is not untrue, its just that it is only part of the answer. In fact, the answer must include virtually every mechanism involved in skeletal muscle hypertrophy. These include:
Enhanced growth factor activity (e.g. GH, IGF-1, etc.)
Enhanced activation of myogenic stem cells (i.e. satellite cells)
Enhanced myonuclear number (to maintain nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio)
Enhanced protein synthesis
New myofiber formation
You can read more about these mechanisms in my paper, Advanced Training Planning for Bodybuilders. Now, where do androgens fit in to this? Starting with growth factor activity, we know that testosterone increases GH and IGF-1 levels. In a recent study by Fryburg (Fryburg, 1997) the effects of testosterone and stanozolol were compared for their effects on stimulating GH release. Testosterone enanthate (only 3 mg per kg per week) increased GH levels by 22% and IGF-1 levels by 21% whereas oral stanozolol (0.1mg per kg per day) had no effect whatsoever on GH or IGF-1 levels. This study was only 2-3 weeks long, and although stanozolol did not effect GH or IGF-1 levels, it had a similar effect on urinary nitrogen levels. What does this difference between testosterone and stanozolol mean? In my opinion it means that stanozolol can increase protein synthesis by binding to AR receptors in existing myonuclei, however, because it does not increase growth factor levels it is ineffective at activating satellite cells and therefor may not increase satellite cell activity and thus myonuclear number.
Enhanced activation of satellite cells requires IGF-1. Those androgens that aromatize are effective at not only increasing IGF-1 levels but also the sensitivity of satellite cells to growth factors (Thompson, 1989). This action has no direct effect on protein synthesis. It leads to a greater capacity for protein synthesis by increasing fusion of satellite cells to existing fibers. This increases the number of myonuclei and therefore the capacity of the cell to produce proteins.
So it is not only that testosterone increases protein synthesis by activating genetic expression, it also increases the capacity of the muscle to grow in the future by leading to the accumulation of myonuclei which are required for protein synthesis. There is good reason to believe that testosterone in high enough doses may even encourage new fiber formation. To quote the authors of this study:
"Intake of anabolic steroids and strength-training induce an increase in muscle size by both hypertrophy and the formation of new muscle fibers. We propose that activation of satellite cells is a key process and is enhanced by the steroid use."
Just a note for those of you who will use androgens but refuse to use supplements. There is good evidence that creatine specifically stimulates the formation of myofibrillar protein in newly developing fibers (Ingwall, 1972; 1974; 1975; 1976). The effect is concentration dependent, maxing out at about 250 µM. Normal plasma concentrations are about 100 µM. In my opinion, creatine supplementation is certainly called for in athletes using heavy androgens.
A separate argument related to this study
I would like to quickly address a separate issue related to steroid use. Although I believe Bill Roberts has competently addressed this issue previously in earlier issues of MESO-Rx, I would like to make my own contribution here. It has been thought, and is still commonly believed, that using steroids decreases the number of "steroid" receptors. This argument is used to explain the fact that growth eventually stops while using a given amount of steroid. Once you understand all of the effects of testosterone on growth factor levels and muscle cells you come to realize that the opposite is in fact the case. Simply stated, supraphysiological levels of testosterone gives rise to increased numbers of myonuclei and thereby an increase in the number of total androgen receptors per muscle fiber. Therefor, the larger you get from using steroids, the more receptive your muscle become to the presence of testosterone. Keep in mind that I am referring to testosterone and testosterone esters. Not the neutered designer androgens that people take to avoid side effects (Fryburg, 1997). This is not an argument to rapidly increase the dosages you use. It takes time for these changes to occur and the benefits of higher testosterone levels will not be immediately realized.
Fryburg DA., Weltman A., Jahn LA., et al: Short-term modulation of the androgen milieu alters pulsatile, but not exercise- or growth hormone releasing hormone-stimulated GH secretion in healthy men: Impact of gonadal steroid and GH secretory changes on metabolic outcomes. J Clin Endocrinol. Metab. 82(11):3710-37-19, 1997
Thompson SH., Boxhorn LK., Kong W., and Allen RE. Trenbolone alters the responsiveness of skeletal muscle satellite cells to fibroblast growth factor and insulin -like growth factor-I. Endocrinology. 124:2110-2117, 1989.
Ingwall JS, Morales MF, Stockdale FE, Wildenthal K. Creatine: a possible stimulus skeletal cardiac muscle hypertrophy. Recent Adv Stud Cardiac Struct Metab 1975;8:467-81
Ingwall JS, Morales MF, Stockdale FE. Creatine and the control of myosin synthesis in differentiating skeletal muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1972 Aug;69(8):2250-3
Ingwall JS, Weiner CD, Morales MF, Davis E, Stockdale FE. Specificity of creatine in the control of muscle protein synthesis. J Cell Biol 1974 Jul;62(1):145-51
Ingwall JS, Wildenthal K. Role of creatine in the regulation of cardiac protein synthesis. J Cell Biol 1976 Jan;68(1):159-63
09-18-2004, 05:26 PM #11
These are the types of questions that make me feel angry because Einy had to turn Scum.
09-18-2004, 05:39 PM #12
very interesting stuff. What I don't understand is that if steroids produce new muscle fibers, then can these fibers dissappear due to non-usage? Is this what atrophication is? How long after a cycle could you take a two week rest period without having to worry about muscle loss?
09-18-2004, 06:05 PM #13Originally Posted by tallyjuice
Same goes for Fat cells. When your body grows new fat cells because you have grown fatter, but then lose weight, the new fat cells become smaller and have less fat. However, the new cells are still there so it is easier to gain back the weight.
I wouldn't take a two week rest period until my body's own natural Test production is in full swing. Anytime before this I imagine your muscle is too much of a liability to the body and if there is no signal for growth, the body will just catabolize it. Exercise too much and you also catabolize. It is fine balance and a critical period for retaining muscle mass.
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