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Thread: Please critique my FIRST cycle

  1. #1
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Please critique my FIRST cycle

    Hi all,

    I would like some critique on my first cycle, I feel it is best to learn by bouncing ideas off of other people, especially experienced users as this will Be my first cycle.

    Weeks 1-12
    Test E - 400mg/wk - Monday & Thursday
    Arimidex - 1mg/wk - Monday & Thursday
    (Nolvadex on hand throughout)

    Weeks 8-14
    Hcg - 1000iu/wk - Monday & Thursday

    Weeks 14-18
    Nolvadex - 40mg/ed
    Clomid - 100mg/ed

    Now, I’ve also heard hcg runs well as part of pct, is it worth upping the dose for pct but discontinuing earlier than Nolva+clomid combo? E.g. weeks 14-16 1000iu/EOD?

    Please can you guys also suggest other supplements? I’m thinking bcaa,multi vit,fish oil,n-acetyl cystein so far

    Blood work to be done pre,during and post cycle

    Should I front load my test/run deca /dbol for the first 4 weeks?

    Will I ever stop asking questions?

    When critiquing please could you also suggest the reason for your critique too? E.g. 40/40/20/20 instead of 40/40/40/40 for reason XYZ

    Regards

    Miscdontfailmenow

  2. #2
    Ernst's Avatar
    Ernst is offline Borderline Personality
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    Stats?

    Age
    Height
    Weight
    BF%

    How long have you been training?
    What are your goals?

  3. #3
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernst View Post
    Stats?

    Age - 21 (will not be starting cycle until 22) I realise this is below the suggested 25y/o and I might delay the cycle until 23/24 if I do not feel mentally ready, just looking for critique
    Height - 5ft 10
    Weight - 194lbs
    BF% - about 10%, clear ab definition and arm veins but little oblique/serrattus definition

    How long have you been training? - 5 years on my 22nd birthday
    What are your goals? - bodybuilding is not a job to me, but has really shaped my life, I have competed natty before and would like to compete again, multiple times, and I do wish to lift for another 30 years
    ....

  4. #4
    Ernst's Avatar
    Ernst is offline Borderline Personality
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    Cycle is pretty decent. Natty base is good.

    At 21/22 there is some risk that your HPTA is not fully matured. You can read Marcus' sticky up top for details if you choose. Just giving you the info, you can make the decision for yourself, you're a grown-ass man.

    Stick with the test alone. No need to front load or stack here. Part of the first cycle is seeing how you react and how the test works for you. After all, that test will be the base of basically any future cycles you do. I assure you the results from that alone will be excellent if you put in the work. Consider the adex starting at .25mg eod, ramp up if and as needed. I would dial back PCT a tad; go 100/40 first week, 50/20 for the following 3 weeks. More is not always better here.

    If you read the literature the evidence shows that nolva will reduce plasma levels of adex (though perhaps not effectiveness) and they are not recommended together. Over here in real life bro-science land it is generally agreed that they work fine together if called upon. Studies show they are safe to take together as well.

    As far as supps... honestly the only thing I add is a multivitamin, a little l-arginine, and fish oil. I've come to thinking that food makes you grow and supplements make companies money.
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  5. #5
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernst View Post
    Cycle is pretty decent. Natty base is good.

    At 21/22 there is some risk that your HPTA is not fully matured. You can read Marcus' sticky up top for details if you choose. Just giving you the info, you can make the decision for yourself, you're a grown-ass man.

    Stick with the test alone. No need to front load or stack here. Part of the first cycle is seeing how you react and how the test works for you. After all, that test will be the base of basically any future cycles you do. I assure you the results from that alone will be excellent if you put in the work. Consider the adex starting at .25mg eod, ramp up if and as needed. I would dial back PCT a tad; go 100/40 first week, 50/20 for the following 3 weeks. More is not always better here.

    If you read the literature the evidence shows that nolva will reduce plasma levels of adex (though perhaps not effectiveness) and they are not recommended together. Over here in real life bro-science land it is generally agreed that they work fine together if called upon. Studies show they are safe to take together as well.

    As far as supps... honestly the only thing I add is a multivitamin, a little l-arginine, and fish oil. I've come to thinking that food makes you grow and supplements make companies money.
    Thank you for your feedback

    You suggest to use pct of 100/40 and dial back to 50/20, as more is not always better. While I fully agree with this ‘saying’, why, in this instance, is more not always better? Could I perhaps overdo it and de-sensitise the receptors/fully black estrogen?

    What do you think about running hcg as part of pct? Or should it stay strictly within cycle and the ‘cool off’ period between cycle and pct?

  6. #6
    Ernst's Avatar
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    Why do I suggest that PCT? Loaded question. Frankly what we see here is often a mix of studies (not always on healthy men either, mind you) and bro-science. There are multiple PCT protocols and probably more than one will work. This shared knowledge and the drugs available are constantly evolving.

    Basically, studies show that 50mg Clomid or 20mg Tamox had good results in raising LH or Serum T levels. From a study involving Clomid and hypogonadal males: "By the first follow-up visit, which occurred between four and six weeks of the start of therapy, the average testosterone level rose to 610 ng/dl, an increase of 146 percent compared with baseline. This response was seen in all patients regardless of age." For Nolvadex we see in one study that in 8 weeks, 20mg/ED of Tamoxifen increased LH from 4.54 to 7.73 and Test from 496.59 to 835.06. If the dose works then why bump it and play with sides like headache, blurred vision, hot flashes, etc, etc. Frankly you'd probably be fine on 50/20 the whole way, the 100/40 is already a bump up. Some old school pct's had you running way higher doses. Why run them together like that? Nolva studies don't always show it as having that same positive effect on Serum T that Clomid brings to the table.

    On to the HCG . There is another school of thought where you run hcg constantly at a lower dose throughout the cycle. Why do I not advocate this while some others do? Personal experience. In fact, I frickin hate the stuff and never touched it again after the first time. However, if it works for most people and aids in their recovery should I tell everyone to steer clear forever? It seems I'm a minority here, so the way I see it is that doing it at the end is one less thing you're taking throughout and can isolate in case any sides pop up. Now as for doing it through pct: no. At this point we don't need or want to use HCG as a stand-in to keep our testes plump and producing test, as our PCT will (should) restart GnRH from the hypothalamus and LH and FSH from the pituitary.

    If you want to know if your PCT worked... well, that is why people get blood panels done before and after! But I think the proof is always kinda there in how you feel.

  7. #7
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Thanks for your help so far Ernst. One last question, I am going on holiday with the guys in c. 16 weeks time. Its only a 3 day holiday (to Magaluf) but couple poor eating, with dancing and lots of cardio and I can easily lose 14 lbs/7kg in 3 days (I know, I've done it before). Would it be a waste to cycle now? should I try and plan my cycle so that I'm on say week 8 by holiday?, or should I just delay the cycle until after the holiday when I know i'll have at least a 20 weeks straight of perfect eating?

  8. #8
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Also, should I run Adex all the way from week 1-14 or solely 1-12? is it worth waiting some time before starting PCT to ensure that my Estro levels don't spike?

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    GearHeaded is offline BANNED
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscdontfailmenow View Post
    Also, should I run Adex all the way from week 1-14 or solely 1-12? is it worth waiting some time before starting PCT to ensure that my Estro levels don't spike?
    yes run your AI up until the day you start PCT.. going into pct with low E levels will help your natty test recover much quicker.

    having said that. I would not advise starting an AI from day one. your likely to get elevated test levels along side declining estrogen levels, which can cause a host of side effects like loss of libido, lethargy, impotence etc.. as your test levels go up, your E is SUPPOSED to go up too. thats how the body is designed to work. by taking an AI from day one, when the test isn't even in your system, you'll likely crash E, get negative sides and hinder your gains.
    just get blood work at week 5 then decide IF you even need an AI with that low a dose of test (of course either way I'd still run an AI at the end of your cycle going into pct)

    ^ thats just my approach which is different then a lot of other guys on here

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    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Thanks for your input GearHeaded, I really like your thinking here. Being that Test E has such a long half life and from my research it takes the best part of 4-6 weeks for any impact to really kick in, it seems pointless taking an AI from day 1 as for a good proportion of my cycle, even though I will be injecting, it will still just be my natty test.

    When would you suggest taking the AI? I suppose that would be purely shown from my bloodwork, if I get it back and it is super high compared to pre cycle bloods, start taking instantly, but if it is only partially elevated, maybe wait and say mimic the HCG usage (8-14)?

    What do you think about my cycle timing? should I wait until after holiday, during or before?

    Do you have any further suggestions of other items/supps I will need?

    Also, a further question for you both, come to think of it I think I may have partially damaged my HPTA system in the past, I competed natty a few years ago, came in over shredded and lower bodyfat than I probably should have. Had a blood test immediately after and found that my test levels were through the floor. Waited a month and got another test and it had recovered. However, I do occasionally have some troubles performing, but after recent developments I think this depends which girl I am performing with. with a previous girl I was unable to perform c.70% of the time, however with new bae I have 100% unbroken perfect performance record. Any thoughts?

  11. #11
    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    GearHeaded/Earnst And/or other’s, please can I have your thoughts?

  12. #12
    hollowedzeus is offline Productive Member
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    Your testosterone doesnt just jump from natty levels to 10000ng/dl at week 5. It is increasing slowly with each dose. It hits peak levels st week 4/5

    Do some research and consider running a small dose of ai

  13. #13
    GearHeaded is offline BANNED
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscdontfailmenow View Post
    Thanks for your input GearHeaded, I really like your thinking here. Being that Test E has such a long half life and from my research it takes the best part of 4-6 weeks for any impact to really kick in, it seems pointless taking an AI from day 1 as for a good proportion of my cycle, even though I will be injecting, it will still just be my natty test.

    When would you suggest taking the AI? I suppose that would be purely shown from my bloodwork, if I get it back and it is super high compared to pre cycle bloods, start taking instantly, but if it is only partially elevated, maybe wait and say mimic the HCG usage (8-14)?

    What do you think about my cycle timing? should I wait until after holiday, during or before?

    Do you have any further suggestions of other items/supps I will need?

    Also, a further question for you both, come to think of it I think I may have partially damaged my HPTA system in the past, I competed natty a few years ago, came in over shredded and lower bodyfat than I probably should have. Had a blood test immediately after and found that my test levels were through the floor. Waited a month and got another test and it had recovered. However, I do occasionally have some troubles performing, but after recent developments I think this depends which girl I am performing with. with a previous girl I was unable to perform c.70% of the time, however with new bae I have 100% unbroken perfect performance record. Any thoughts?
    you may not need an AI at all. an AI is a 'tool' to use when its needed, not something you take just for the heck of it (like a lot of guys parrot online). theres a time and a place to use an AI. for example show prep and trying to get dry as you can. also the end of a cycle for guys that do PCT. BUT if your trying to grow and build muscle and add size, you should avoid an AI as much as you possibly can. they hinder growth, insulin sensitivity, hinder sexual function, and negatively effect your lipid profile. if you want to grow, then your going to want you estrogen on the higher end, not keep it low with an AI.
    having said that. AI's are a great tool to have when needed. you just need to know for yourself when you need or should use one.
    a lot of people don't really know when its needed or not needed so they just take AI's for the fuck of it and tell other guys to do the same. I personally would rather take a more analytical approach before swallowing a bunch of female cancer drugs just for the heck of it.

    I personally do not require an AI for a 400mg of test blast. I'm also not gyno prone. but if I was I would rather run a low dose of Nolva during my cycles.

    go by how you feel and get blood work at 5 weeks and get a sensitive estrodial test along with total and free test. see how you feel, assess things, and make a logical decision. IF your going to be a guy that does PCT (which I don't always recommend but its totally fine for the casual gym rat) then you should run an AI at the tail end of your cycle. I may have already explained why.


    regarding screwing up your HPTA . going low body fat naturally is going to fuck your hormones up for sure. thats why natty bodybuilders look like aids patients on stage when they are super lean. but the HPTA is stout and usually recovers fine over time. if not then look into TRT or analyze wither blasting and cruising may be the best thing for you.
    as for your performance. I'm sure thats more mental then it is physiological. just hook up with hot chicks and you'll probably be fine. try some cialis , it has more health benefits then just raging hard ons
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  14. #14
    Ernst's Avatar
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    I stand by a recommendation for low dose AI. Let's look at Adex 1mg ed, with young men, stolen right off of rxlist: "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study enrolled 80 boys with pubertal gynecomastia aged 11 to 18 years. Patients were randomized to a daily regimen of either ARIMIDEX 1 mg or placebo."
    "Serum estradiol concentrations at Month 6 of treatment were reduced by 15.4% in the ARIMIDEX group and 4.5% in the placebo group.
    Adverse reactions that were assessed as treatment-related by the investigators occurred in 16.3% of the ARIMIDEX-treated patients and 8.1% of the placebo-treated patients with the most frequent being acne (7% ARIMIDEX and 2.7% placebo) and headache (7% ARIMIDEX and 0% placebo); all other adverse reactions showed small differences between treatment groups."

    We see here a safe and relatively mild AI. Adex is documented to be tolerated at crazy high doses we would never use in real life (60mg!).

    Now, I do wholeheartedly agree with GH that AI's should be approached with caution and are likely often overused. Crashing or lowering your estro too much will have crap sides in and of itself, not to mention hindering the gains you were taking the damn gear for in the first place. A thorough google search of people posting bloods from their cycles will reveal a lot of raised estro levels, though. I'm sure that he and I will both agree that being a first cycle you should be prepared for whatever may arise. For example: I personally could not run 400mg without some sort of gyno protection.

    Also, as hollowedzeus pointed out, your test levels don't just spike 4 or 5 weeks in on a long ester.

    Cycle timing vs a 3-day vacation? Meh. Don't overthink it. If you feel like you'll get more out of waiting 'til after, then wait.

    Screwing up HPTA? Cutting down natty like that will do it. Body is an amazing thing and it tends to bounce back. You're batting 100 today and that's what matters right now. If you try cialis as GH suggested you might, I suggest starting low there too. Anything over 1/3 gave me a wicked headache when I tried it.

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    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    Thank you hollowedzeus, gear and Ernst for your replies.

    I think it’s all about combining the best of everyone’s replies with what works for me... I agree that test levels don’t jump from natty to xxxxng/dl straight away on week 5, but also on the flip side they don’t jump from natty to xxxxng/do on day 1.

    I think I will need an AI as I am aware that I am Gyno prone (had pubescent Gyno that never went and was surgically removed, on top of this is was viscous tissue and not the fatty tissue that can be easily removed). Therefore I think I will need both Adex and tamoxifen on hand, although I completely agree with not starting Adex on day 1, I think I will definitely get blood work done on week 5 but consider implementing Adex earlier if necessary.

    Please could you enlighten me on the tell tale signs of Gyno/high E, is sensitive nips the give away? Or can they also be caused just by an elevated T and that actually the E isn’t that highly elevated??

    Obviously I don’t want to use the AI from the outset as I don’t want to hinder performance, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile etc.

    I think I also will be running an AI at the end of the cycle as I do plan on performing a PCT, I may have explained earlier that bodybuilding is not a job to me, only a hobby, I do take it seriously and have relegiously had training, diet and lifestyle (alcohol/drug consumption) on point for years now, and I do plan on competing in more shows. However I don’t want to be blasting and cruising for the next xx years, I plan to take it slow and steady, I may blast and cruise in the future but definitely not for my first cycle.

    Regarding my HPTA I think I may well have f*cked it up at the time, but that show was when I was 19 and I’m now nearly 22 so believe I have recovered fine, as mentioned by Ernst I’m batting 100 today and that’s what matters so I’m sure it is just paychological. I think i’ll lave the cialis for now until my performance changes and definitely get bloods done pre cycle in case I do actually need HRT and I can look into that another time.

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    Miscdontfailmenow is offline New Member
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    one last question, HCG ... for the entire cycle? or just the last 4 weeks of cycle + 2 weeks before PCT?

  17. #17
    fit_deskjocky's Avatar
    fit_deskjocky is offline Associate Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscdontfailmenow View Post
    one last question, HCG... for the entire cycle? or just the last 4 weeks of cycle + 2 weeks before PCT?
    I think you'll receive a couple schools of thought on this as well. For me I prefer HCG through the entire duration of the cycle. For me the psychological effects of turning my testicles off for a long duration screws with my head. Mine tend to be pretty sensitive and shrink when on cycle, I watch them come back by end of day from an HCG injection.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miscdontfailmenow View Post
    Thank you hollowedzeus, gear and Ernst for your replies.

    I think it’s all about combining the best of everyone’s replies with what works for me... I agree that test levels don’t jump from natty to xxxxng/dl straight away on week 5, but also on the flip side they don’t jump from natty to xxxxng/do on day 1.

    I think I will need an AI as I am aware that I am Gyno prone (had pubescent Gyno that never went and was surgically removed, on top of this is was viscous tissue and not the fatty tissue that can be easily removed). Therefore I think I will need both Adex and tamoxifen on hand, although I completely agree with not starting Adex on day 1, I think I will definitely get blood work done on week 5 but consider implementing Adex earlier if necessary.

    Please could you enlighten me on the tell tale signs of Gyno/high E, is sensitive nips the give away? Or can they also be caused just by an elevated T and that actually the E isn’t that highly elevated??

    Obviously I don’t want to use the AI from the outset as I don’t want to hinder performance, insulin sensitivity, lipid profile etc.

    I think I also will be running an AI at the end of the cycle as I do plan on performing a PCT, I may have explained earlier that bodybuilding is not a job to me, only a hobby, I do take it seriously and have relegiously had training, diet and lifestyle (alcohol/drug consumption) on point for years now, and I do plan on competing in more shows. However I don’t want to be blasting and cruising for the next xx years, I plan to take it slow and steady, I may blast and cruise in the future but definitely not for my first cycle.

    Regarding my HPTA I think I may well have f*cked it up at the time, but that show was when I was 19 and I’m now nearly 22 so believe I have recovered fine, as mentioned by Ernst I’m batting 100 today and that’s what matters so I’m sure it is just paychological. I think i’ll lave the cialis for now until my performance changes and definitely get bloods done pre cycle in case I do actually need HRT and I can look into that another time.
    Where did you get all this regarding AIs? It is nearly impossible to get insulin resistance due to an AI on cycle (you didn't even read the study). It won't affect your lipids (you didn't read the studies). A normal man produces 35-70mg pure test per week and that provides enough aromatization to keep estrogen within range. 500mg test enanthate or cypionate is 350mg pure testosterone , what do you think it will do in terms of aromatization? Where did you get the idea that proper dosing of AI can crash your estrogen on cycle?

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    Misc- i think one thing you have to continually keep in mind is that every person is unique, their reaction to compounds, ancillaries, meds, etc will be different than the guy next to him on the same protocol. Is there a safe way, sure. Is there a basic guideline, sure. But you have to see how these things affect you individually.

    I tell this scenario kinda often- a good friend and i are both runnin gear- he is runnin half the test i am, and cant go more than maybe a week without ai. He starts getting bloated, nips hurt like hell, etc. And he is only running 300 or 350 a week. I have my ai on hand but dont use. I dont have the issues with aromatization, sides, etc that he has.

    There are basic guidelines put in place to give safe guidance to new guys that dont have the knowledge or experience yet. Nothin wrong with that. There are other viewpoints based on the experience of some guys as well. Its really advisable to do your homework, read read read, learn as much as you can, and how you are affected by different things and changes, so you know what you need, dont need, react to different things, so you know for yourself.
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  20. #20
    Aerospace's Avatar
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    Test 500mg + dianabol 75mg/day
    Now that's a better first cycle

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