Table of Contents
New to anabolic steroids? Interested in starting a cycle? Here’s what you need to know!
Bodybuilding is all about progress. You lift more weight, run further, or get swole enough to make Jennifer Aniston look twice; either way, it’s measurable growth. The only issue with this is that, in many ways, it’s an endless pursuit. You never stop lifting heavy things, you never feel like your sprints are fast enough, and no matter how much weight you can curl, there’s always someone at the gym who makes you look like a total newb. As such, bodybuilders work their asses off in the gym, but they’re always looking to the horizon for some kind of new standard that will push them just a bit harder. In many cases this manifests as cycles of steroids – using and then stopping anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) or Human Growth Hormone (HGH), allowing the body to recover and come back stronger in time for their next run.
What are Steroids Cycles?
Steroids cycles are the act of taking AAS or HGH for an extended period (typically 6-12 weeks, sometimes longer) with breaks in between. This allows the body to come back stronger for each run.
There are a few reasons why one might want to do this:
- To avoid negative side effects. The body does not like hormones, and the introduction of foreign compounds to it will cause some pretty gnarly things to go down. This is why steroids are considered a controlled substance in most places – too many people were dropping dead from liver failure or suffering other negative health effects.
- To avoid upregulation. Upregulation is when your body gets used to the effects of steroids so that they stop working. This is why people typically do “cycles” – they aren’t taking enough AAS or HGH at one time to cause marked changes in their appearance (this can be done with insane doses, but this most often causes negative health effects), but they’re taking doses that are enough to cause changes. These changes include cell multiplication and other cellular changes that can be dangerous or even deadly if not monitored carefully.
The success of a cycle is judged by how well the user responds to the drugs – do you gain muscle? Lose fat? Do your joints stop flaring up? What’s your endocrine system like after you’ve stopped using (check out the HPTA recovery timeline)? These things make or break a cycle, and it’s up to you to find what works for you.
This is why we suggest cycles for beginners – more experienced users can make do with longer stacks and extended periods without breaks, but new users often don’t know how their bodies will respond and want to limit the damage.
As such, this guide is designed for those who’ve never used AAS or HGH before. The stacks are simple – they’re basic compounds that are well-tolerated by most users with a low risk of negative side effects. It’s short, sweet, and to the point – it gets you on your feet and running as quickly as we can. As we go along, we’ll cover how much of each compound to take and why we’re taking them, potential side effects that users should be aware of (serious and otherwise), and general recommendations for those trying to decide whether they should run a cycle at all. Let’s get started, shall we?
Why Should I Run a Steroid Cycle?
Like the title says – why would you want to do this? There are lots of reasons, really – here are just a few:
- To learn how your body responds to hormones. If you’ve never used AAS or HGH before, it’s hard to know how your body will respond when introduced to them. Will you get acne? Gain 20lbs in two weeks? Lose all strength and mass?
- To build muscle (almost) effortlessly. One of the most popular reasons to do cycles is to build muscle. No, you will not look like Ronnie Coleman at the end of the cycle – but even if you gain a pound or two of lean mass, that’s still something worth bragging about!
- To improve your physique. As with building muscle, this can show you just how much your body can do with the right hormones. It will be rewarding to see yourself get leaner, stronger, and feel better in general.
- To prolong your results between “official” cycles. Many users take breaks between their official cycles so that they have time to recover before starting again. However, with a bridging cycle in place in between, you can prolong the life of your gains and slow down muscle loss in between official cycles.
- To maintain a plateaued physique. Plateaus suck – but they happen to everyone eventually. While it’s true that some people never have them (I’ve yet to hit one myself), most people do. Taking a bridging cycle can help you maintain your physique and keep making progress for longer than you normally would be able to.
What kind of results do you expect for doing the Steroids cycle
Everyone responds differently, but this is what we typically see: Gain 5-15lbs of lean mass and drop 5% body fat. This number can be higher or lower depending on other factors – we’ll get into those later.
List of essential drugs for Steroids Cycle
For beginners, we typically recommend just using three compounds:
- Testosterone Suspension: as this is the most effective compound for gaining mass and strength, we’re going to use it as a base. You can think of Testosterone Suspension as the foundation of your house – without it, you have nothing. It is often considered “trenbolone light” because of its extreme effectiveness at building muscle and destroying fat cells.
- Trenbolone Acetate: Because Trenbolone is considered one of the best mass-building drugs around, we want some in our cycle. However, if we use Testosterone Suspension alone, it can be a little risky – even for advanced users – because testosterone aromatizes fairly easily and is a progestin. Fortunately, we can easily avoid this risk by stacking it with Trenbolone Acetate, the most powerful non-methylated steroid available on the market today.
- Winstrol: Finally, since Testosterone Suspension and Trenbolone Acetate are both highly hepatotoxic (i.e. hard on the liver), we want to add some ancillary protection. Winstrol is our pick for this task – it will protect you where other drugs fail, ensuring that your gains are not marred by any damage inflicted upon your liver.
Different types of Steroids Cycle
There are lots of different types of anabolic steroid cycles. Many people decide to run a bulking cycle, a cutting cycle, or a lean mass cycle. What steroid you use will determine how your body adjusts to the hormones and what results you can expect from them. A bulking cycle, as its name implies, is meant to bulk you up. Bulking steroids are often high androgenic compounds such as Testosterone Suspension, Sustanon, Trenbolone Acetate, or even Dianabol. These types of compounds generally stimulate a lot of growth in the muscles – however, they also tend to produce a lot of androgenic (i.e. male pattern fat/acne) side effects. That’s why we pair them with other ancillary drugs like Winstrol and Clenbuterol – to offset their negative effects and help preserve our gains!
A cutting cycle is meant to get rid of excess body fat while keeping your new mass. This is why we see so many cutting cycles – the main steroid used in them, Trenbolone Acetate, often has a strong androgenic component and is an extremely powerful fat burner. Hence its popularity with competitive bodybuilders and athletes who need to get lean while keeping their strength up.
Finally, a lean mass cycle is designed to build up new muscle without putting on excess body fat. Good choices for these cycles are Testosterone Enanthate or Cypionate since they have a long half-life and may provide gains over months instead of weeks.
Sustanon VS Testosterone Suspension (for steroid cycle)
Sustanon is a blend of four different testosterone esters: 30mgs of Testosterone Propionate, 60mgs of Testosterone Phenylpropionate, 60mgs of Testosterone Isocaproate, and 100mgs of Testosterone Decanoate. The thing to remember about Sustanon is that you will always take it as an intramuscular injection (must be injected, cannot be taken as a pill). This means that one shot contains four separate esters – and the molecules inside each ester are all active at different rates. While Testosterone Propionate and Phenylpropionate will work fairly quickly, Testosterone Isocaproate and Decanoate will work more slowly – which means that a single injection of Sustanon will provide a synergistic effect from all four esters. In plain English, this means that you don’t need to take as many injections with Sustanon as you would with Testosterone Suspension.
Testosterone Suspension VS Testosterone Cypionate (for steroid cycle)
When you compare Testosterone Suspension versus Testosterone Cypionate, you will notice that the Suspension has one very distinct advantage – it is faster acting. However, Cypionate lasts much longer than Suspension so it gives you a more constant blood plasma level. Many people like the ‘peak’ feeling associated with using Testosterone Suspension (it feels good to be amped up on pure testosterone), but it can be a little too fast and furious for some people (injecting every other day). Conversely, Testosterone Cypionate works very well for people who get the jitters from suspension or just like to get their workouts in before they’re totally amped up on testosterone. The problem with Cypionate is, as you can see from the chart, that it’s half as fast-acting as a suspension so only every third-day dosing is possible.
Oral and Injectables Steroid Cycle for Beginners
Winstrol is generally considered to be the best cutting steroid. It’s also considered to be one of the few anabolic steroids that women can use safely; however, it will make most women look like men (which is why it’s not often used by female bodybuilders). Winstrol will give you a hard, ripped physique and increase your strength significantly.
Clenbuterol is one of the few cutting steroids that doesn’t cause much muscle loss (it doesn’t aromatize into estrogen or have progestogenic properties – both of which cause water retention and fat gain). Clenbuterol is a good choice for the final four weeks before you want to peak for a photoshoot or bodybuilding competition.
*Plasma levels will tell you nothing more than what your true dosing schedule is (they assume that every shot is 100% absorbed, which is not the case). Percent absorption rates can vary between different people based on how acidic or alkaline their blood plasma levels are. There’s no way to tell exactly what your body will do with a compound – so stick with the dosing schedule below if you want to know what it’ll do for you.
Testosterone Suspension: 200mgs/week – split into two equal doses of 100mgs/week (morning and night). If you use Testosterone Cypionate, take it at 100mgs every third day rather than 200mgs every week.
Winstrol: 20-30mgs/day for 6-8 weeks. If you use Stanozolol, take it at 50mgs/day for the first three days and 25mgs every day thereafter.
Bad effects of a steroid cycle
The side effects of a steroid cycle depend on the drugs that we use, but we can group them into four main categories: 1. Androgenic (i.e. male pattern): Gynecomastia (man boobs), increased body/facial hair, and acne.
- Hepatotoxic: The liver is the main organ that gets damaged during a steroid cycle, but thankfully we can reduce this risk with proper supplementation and care. 3. Cardiovascular: This category includes all of the effects on the cardiovascular system such as high blood pressure, increase in bad cholesterol, and decreased good cholesterol.
- Hormonal: This is the category of side effects that include all of the effects on your endocrine system – for example, testicular atrophy (shrinking).
Positive effects of a steroid cycle
- Increased muscle mass and strength: These are the most obvious benefits, but not everyone knows that steroids also help you recover faster after workouts – which can allow you to grow even bigger (but this is an advanced topic).
- Increased bone density: Since testosterone helps maintain bone density and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, this is an excellent benefit for people who may be otherwise sedentary.
- Increased sexual performance: Steroids increase libido and sex drive in all users – which results in more sex at any age (with your partner or on your own)
- Decreased fat mass: Steroids have anti-catabolic properties, so they can help you burn fat even while at rest.
How long should a steroid cycle be for beginners?
The length of your steroid cycle depends upon two things: 1) the length of time it takes to finish the esters in each compound, and 2) the number of compounds you are using. For example, if I was running Testosterone Suspension (which is just pure testosterone), it would take me only 5 weeks to finish all of the esters – but I would probably run this steroid at a fairly low dose (100mgs/week). If, on the other hand, I was running Testosterone Cypionate (which is long-ester testosterone), it would take me 8 weeks to finish all of the esters – but this time I could run the dose much higher (400mgs/week). Alternatively, if I was using Sustanon which contains four different esters, I would only need to run the steroid for about 6 weeks – but I could run a much higher dose (1000mgs/week).
12 week beginner steroid cycle
- Testosterone Suspension – 100 mgs/EOD, 200mgs/ED
- Nandrolone Decanoate – 350 mgs/Week
- Dianabol – 20mgs/ED
In terms of drugs, this steroid cycle would be considered anabolic and androgenic overdrive. The doses are very high – you cannot miss a single injection or else the results will be greatly diminished (when using testosterone esters). If you were to use Testosterone Suspension plus Nandrolone Decanoate plus Dianabol, you would find your strength and gym performance to be stellar. Your muscle growth (and fat loss) would also be excellent – however, there is a downside: These drugs can cause serious side effects such as cholesterol issues (which may lead to high blood pressure), liver damage, and potential organ shutdown. It’s simply not worth it to push your luck with such high doses. If you want to max out your cycle, I would recommend the following:
- Never use more than one injectable at a time and
- Always run Cardarine and N2guard (these are liver support supplements).
Is doing a Steroid cycle safe?
The short answer is yes – if you plan your cycle correctly and use proper supplements to mitigate the side effects. For example, I already mentioned that Cardarine can help protect your heart and N2guard can protect your liver. Another great supplement for bodybuilders is Multi-enzyme which contains a full blend of digestive enzymes including lactase to protect your stomach from the catabolic effects of anabolic steroid use. These three supplements can seriously help you improve your results and reduce your risk of side effects.
Warning and precautions before doing Steroid cycles
If you plan to do an anabolic steroid cycle, it’s important that you understand the risks and warnings associated with such a decision. Remember: The more compounds/drugs you use, the higher your risk of side effects – so if I were you I would pick just one or two compounds and run them for 8-12 weeks (that’s the average length of time it takes to finish an ester). If you want to take a bulking steroid cycle for 12 weeks, then I would just pick one injectable and use that drug at a maximum dose of 400-600mgs/week. In terms of oral steroids, I would just pick one and run it at a maximum dose of 100mgs/day. If you decide to go with Anavar as your only OTC product, then keep in mind that it’s basically useless unless you’re on a calorie-restricted diet – so I would combine the drug with Cardarine and N2guard for best results.
Remember, you don’t have to use a lot of different drugs in order to see results. The right amount is the amount that gives you the best gain for your time and effort, so if I were doing a 12-week cycle, I would just pick one injectable drug (400mgs/week) and two OTC supplements – that’s it. That would give you great results without any of the side effects that I mentioned earlier.
Frequently Asked Questions about Steroid Cycles
What is a steroid cycle?
A steroid cycle is any period of time in which you’re taking anabolic steroids, typically for the purpose of bodybuilding (bulking and cutting phase). An actual cycle consists of using one ester (injectable) at a time – this allows you to minimize your risk of side effects.
What does Roid Rage mean?
When an individual is “roid-raging,” they’ve become extremely aggressive and angry. This is what happens when you take too much testosterone or Deca Durabolin, and it can be very dangerous for your health.
How many weeks should I run a steroid cycle for?
Typically, a steroid cycle will last 8-12 weeks. This is because it usually takes about 6-8 weeks before you start seeing any results from taking steroids. After that time has passed, your gains “plateau” and the only way to continue growing is to increase your dose – this is why you need to cycle off before your gains stop. More advanced users may be able to take as much as 12 weeks, but I would never recommend pushing past the 12-week mark for your first cycle.
How many steroid cycles should I do?
When you’re just starting out and learning how to do a proper anabolic steroid cycle, I would recommend that you do no more than 1-2 cycles. For example, if you’re running a test e cycle at 400mgs/week then after 8 weeks it’ll be time for your first PCT. I think it’s a good idea to allow 4-6 weeks between each steroid cycle so that you have enough time to recover before you begin another one. That’s how I did it and that’s what worked for me, however, if you’re a more advanced user then feel free to do as many steroid cycles as you wish.
How long should I wait between steroid cycles?
At least 4-6 weeks is a standard practice between steroid cycles, but I advise that you wait at least 6-8 weeks before beginning your next cycle. This gives your body enough time to recover and begin the post-cycle therapy necessary for all anabolic steroids users.
Can I go off of birth control in order to do a steroid cycle?
No way Jose! If you’re a girl and you want to do a steroid cycle, then the absolute worst thing you could ever do is go off of your birth control. In fact, even if you’re not on birth control I would never recommend going off of it in order to run a steroid cycle – that’s just asking for trouble.
Can I take over-the-counter supplements with anabolic steroids?
Yes, you can. In fact, I would actually recommend it – especially if you’re planning on doing a 12-week cycle. OTC supplements are much safer than pharmaceutical drugs and they’ll help your gains while keeping your costs down.
What is post-cycle therapy (PCT)?
Post-cycle therapy is what you need to do after your last day of using anabolic steroids in order to restore your natural testosterone production. We call this “re-starting” your endocrine system because it needs time to heal itself before producing the amount of testosterone that you need for daily living.
Can I take an alternative drug instead of a post-cycle therapy supplement?
No. Aromasin, Nolvadex, and HCG are the only pills that you should be putting in your mouth when running a steroid cycle – anything else is just unnecessary and will probably get in the way. On top of that, most OTC supplements are completely useless – the best thing you can do for your body is to eat healthy food and lift heavy weights. If you follow this advice, then you’ll see results regardless of what you take.
What are “beginner cycles?”
A beginner steroid cycle consists of taking an injectable ester at a time (long entered testosterone) and an oral steroid at a time. In other words, you will only be doing 2 different types of drugs throughout the entire cycle.
Summary and conclusion
In conclusion, if you follow the tips outlined in this article, then you’ll have nothing to worry about. Steroids are no big deal if you know what you’re doing so don’t be afraid of them!
This was an extremely short guide for beginners that just wanted to cycle once or twice. It’s not meant to be used as a template for future steroid cycles – rather, it’s meant to show beginners that they don’t need to do more than 1-2 cycles in order to see results. A lot of people think they need tons of steroids and tons of drugs when the truth is all you really need are basic supplements like fish oil or multivitamins.
The most important thing to consider is your diet – if you eat healthy foods, lift heavy weights, and take supplements, then you’ll be fine. It really doesn’t matter what anabolic steroids you use or how much of them you take because that’s just a myth that people have made up. The only truth is that if you stay healthy, have a good mindset, and exercise hard then you’ll see results regardless of what steroid cycles you do.