I would like to introduce you to a group of drugs that are near and dear to my heart: Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. This little article is going to give you a few ideas if you someday want to venture to the so-called “dark side” of bodybuilding. As a disclaimer, I am not recommending you break the laws of your respective country and use AAS if they are indeed illegal where you are. This may disappoint a few, but this is not going to be filled with references to a myriad number of studies. That just is not my style. I will leave that to the likes of Loki and Nandi. I am neither witty nor clever; so do not expect that from my writing. Nothing fancy, nothing sexy. The only thing sexy about this article is the author.
I am also not a writer by trade. So if you do not like my writing style, than I suggest you write your own damn article. Now, to what this article is going to be. It is going to be a basic outline of sample cycles pieced together from my experience with nearly every illicit anabolic steroid used commonly by bodybuilders. You can speculate what works by sifting through abstract after abstract on pubmed, but the vast majority of the time, “Real World” experience trumps science. I am also not going to lay out use of anti-estrogens or post cycle therapy, as that would warrant another article in itself. Now, let’s get down to it.
A Combo with Shades of Legality (But still Illegal)
Before I get into generic bulking and cutting cycles, I will offer a somewhat legal route many may choose to go. A cattle farmer can order Finaplix H or Synovex H cartridges without a prescription. But can Joe Juicer in downtown New York order them without a prescription? Yes, but being in possession of them opens yourself up to possible legal trouble. To date, I have not heard of anyone being arrested or charged with anything stemming from ordering Finaplix or Synovex carts. Turning them into injectables for human administration is definitely illegal.
2 carts of Finaplix H and a conversion kit will cost roughly $100, and it will yield 4 grams of trenbolone acetate at the usual concentration of 75mg/ml. 5 carts of Synovex H and a conversion kit will cost roughly $130, and it will yield 8 grams of testosterone without an ester at the concentration of 100mg/ml. A loss of mgs is inevitable in the conversion process—I usually guesstimate an 85% yield. One drawback of using these compounds in a first cycle is that you have to jump head first into everyday injections. With the testosterone having no ester, it needs to be injected at least every day, some may say 2 times a day. An example of a bulking cycle for your first time steroid user weighing 200 lbs:
Cutting cycles in my opinion should only use enough drugs in order to prevent muscle loss, so the dosages will be lower. Using our same 200 lb. bodybuilder:
After only a couple weeks of everyday injections even the most veteran steroid user will tire of the process. I myself have a weird fetish for needles and look forward to injecting, but that is neither here nor there. If you are looking to stay away from androgenic sides, then this combination is not for your. Both compounds are very androgenic. Testosterone will aromatize, so having nolvadex on hand is standard procedure. Trenbolone does not aromatize, but is progesteronic. Despite popular message board opinion, progesterone does not directly cause gynecomastia. But again, having nolvadex on hand is still key. Trenbolone and Testosterone are a very potent combination yielding some dramatic body composition changes in either bulking or cutting cycles and the duo offers great bang for the buck.
Now to the meat and potatoes of steroid use: The Bulking Cycle. If you have never touched a steroid, I would suggest you venture here first. As a general rule of thumb, your first cycle is the best cycle, so why waste all that potential lean body mass gain from your first cycle by using steroids to “cut”. Besides as we all know, cutting blows.
My first suggestion to a first time steroid user is a simple but effective cycle of just Testosterone with a long acting ester such as Enanthate (14 day half life) or Cypionate (12 day half life). Testosterone has a multitude of benefits, and it should be part of every cycle in my opinion. A dose of 500mgs will be plenty for any beginner or advanced steroid user for that matter. If you’re wanting to “kickstart” the cycle, I would suggest throwing in Testosterone Propionate (3 day half life) for the first week to get blood levels up immediately. A short ester such as Propionate is also helpful as the cycle winds down, as one is waiting for the Enanthate/Cypionate to clear for post cycle therapy. Again using our 200 lb. bodybuilder I would lay it out as follows:
A more advanced user or someone who is adventurous could stack another injectable in their first cycle. Both Nandrolone Deconate (aka Deca) and Boldenone Undecylenate (aka Equipoise or Eq) are relatively mild injectables that have fairly low side affects and are very anabolic. An example would be as follows:
I generally recommend that first time users stay away from orals, but some may choose to use them in their cycle More likely an advanced user will want to incorporate them. Check out Hepatoxicity: Fact or Fiction and decide for yourself what stance you wish to take on oral steroids. Methandrostenolone (aka Dbol) or Oxymetholone (aka Anadrol) are two oral steroids used for bulking. Water retention and estrogenic sides are very likely with these compounds, but the tradeoff is massive strength and weight gains. Using the base model cycles I have proposed, one would incorporate them as following:
The final bulking cycle I will propose will include a somewhat newer combination of an ester and hormone. Many underground labs have introduced Trenbolone Enanthate in the past couple of years. You get all the benefit of Trenbolone with the added bonus of fewer injections. This will be a 3 compound cycle, although advanced users may want to throw in an oral steroid in the beginning. If so, I would drop the Test Propionate.
The phrase “cutting cycles” is a bit misleading. Although some steroids have shown to help change body composition, steroids have no real thermogenic properties. Anabolic Steroids do however have a dramatic impact on your body chemistry, making altering body composition much easier. That being said, the amount of drugs in my opinion should be less than a bulking cycle. The main goal is to use just enough drugs to offset any diet induced muscle loss. Your diet and training are going to do the legwork when cutting. I also want to address the misconception that there are “cutting steroids” and “bulking steroids”. You can cut on Dianabol or bulk on Winstrol. But, some drugs might be considered more favorable towards one goal or the other because of their impact on water retention or lack there of.
Adhering to the K.I.S.S. acronym, the first cycle is going to be simple, but it is very effective. Dieting is not cheap, and by using an inexpensive compound like Testosterone only, you can save your money for other things such as food, thermogenics and appetite suppressants. Dieting tends to put one’s mood and libido in the toilet. A nice dose of Testosterone works as a mild anti depressant and makes the dog look sexy. What more could you want? Using our same 200 lb. bodybuilder as an example my suggested cycle would be:
The next suggested cycle is going to add a drug that is not my favorite by any means, but is very effective. We will add Winstrol to the Testosterone Propionate (Test Prop. from now on) at a mild dose. This drug is renowned for the hardening affect it seems to have on muscles, as well as generating increases in strength, even when dieting.
There are however a couple of reasons why I do not like it. After one week of use, all of my joints ache to the point that lifting heavy is not an option for me. Those prone to Male Pattern Baldness will notice some thinning of the hair as well (I fall into that category). But, take note that I was using 100mgs ed. People are different, so some may not see these side effects even at that large of a dose. A saner dose will minimize or eliminate those sides. Being orally bioavailable, one can skip injecting the Winstrol even if it is in a water-based suspension. Keeping moderation in mind:
The last cutting cycle I will suggest has been deemed by some as the ultimate dieting stack. I will not go that far, but I will say it is a very potent combination. Although I have touched on Trenbolone before in the first section, I am bringing it back for the last cycle. Some on the internet have reported Trenbolone’s almost “magic” effect of drastically altering body composition, even when not in a calorie deficit. Although all steroids will have an effect on body composition, Trenbolone’s seems to be the most pronounced.
The combination of Test Prop, Winstrol and Trenbolone is going to be the most potent stack of all, but with that, it will also yield the most side effects. There are no free rides when it comes to steroids: you have to pay the piper eventually. It is very androgenic, and the possibilities of hair loss, increased acne and prostate problems are the greatest on this stack. You have to make the intelligent decision regarding what you are willing to accept as consequences. I would suggest this to only the most advanced user, or one who is getting ready for a contest. If you are just in it for aesthetics, it is my opinion that you should not use this cycle. I am not one for moderation, but even I know what compounds I am just not going to stack. Do not get idea that this stack is going to make you die post-injection. I just do not want people blaming me for going bald in their early 20s. With the addition of Trenbolone the cycle will look like:
The Inclusion of Avant Lab Products
Unfortunately the bodybuilding community has a misguided mindset. For the most part, more is always better and if it is not illegal, it is not worth buying. I was once lost in this mindset for a few years. I have since seen the light. If you include one and only one legal supplement in your supplement arsenal while on cycle, I would suggest SesaThin. The informed bodybuilder should already be taking this on a daily basis 365 days of the year. For a further in depth review of all the benefits of using SesaThin while partaking in androgens, please read Par Deus’s SeasThin and Androgens Just a quick overview of its benefits on cycle: it reduces or preventing Visceral Adipose Tissue accumulation, exerts a positive effect on cholesterol levels, and protects the liver.
When bulking, I will suggest you use 1-2 servings daily. Someone who is cutting will definitely benefit from the recommended 3 daily servings. When bulking, fat gain is a necessary evil. I have experimented recently with 4 servings daily and have been pleasantly surprised to say the least. Let me set up the situation. I have been using a large amount of Testosterone and eating an upwards of 5100 calories daily. Since implementing 4 servings of SesaThin for roughly one month, not only has fat gain been significantly reduced, but my waistline has actually shrunk 1/2 an inch.
Before you call B.S., let me explain. My subcutaneous fat has not been reduced at all. But after measuring and re-measuring, the 1/2 inch loss is legit. This leads me to believe that I have experience a reduction in Visceral Adipose Tissue (VAT). So not only is there science to back up SesaThin’s benefits, I have experienced first hand evidence that it works well for reducing VAT. I can only imagine what it would do when I am dieting. As for the other Avant Labs products to use when on-cycle, they fall in the same recommendations when not using steroids. LeptiGen Mass and possibly PhenoGen are two worthy additions when bulking. When cutting, one could use LeptiGen Basic or Rebirth depending on body type and body fat level. Steroids cause some to have an increased appetite, so when cutting it would be prudent to use H.E.A.T. Stack as well as LeptiGen Rebirth.
Some Final Thoughts
Because this is very important, I want to reiterate that I am not recommending anyone break the laws of their countries and use steroids illegally. Even if they are legal in your country, I am not recommending you use them either. If you are already reading Mind and Muscle, then I will make the assumption you are an informed and intelligent individual. One must use his intelligence when deciding to use steroids. This article was intended to act as a basic framework for prospective developing prospective cycles based on different goals. Hopefully you do not use this as your sole base of research. It is definitely not an all-encompassing piece. Please do yourself a favor and put in time researching the possible side effects and how to counter them before making any decisions on steroid usage.