Hey, I’m Juice and I consider myself just a regular late-30s guy who happens to have a big interest in steroids and what they can (and can’t) do for us.
I’ve been involved in learning everything there is to know about steroids for most of my adult life, and my goal is to help others like you learn about your first steroid cycle.
As a beginner to steroid cycling, it’s critical that you’re well informed about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
Author’s Note: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of steroids (PEDs). I am currently using these steroid alternatives.
In this guide, you'll learn:
- Introduction to Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
- Injectable and Oral Steroids
- Cycling, Stacking, and Pyramiding Steroids
- Steroids Cycle Length
- Which Steroid Compounds to Use for My Beginner Cycle?
- First Steroid Cycle
- Beginner Steroid Cycles
- Advanced Steroid Cycles
- Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) After Your First Cycle
- Common Side Effects of Steroid Use
- Common Q&A Related to Your First Steroid Cycle
Introduction to Anabolic-Androgenic Steroids
Like most people, you more than likely think of powerful, muscle building anabolic steroids when you hear the word “steroid“. But there are many types of steroids – in fact, a steroid is just an organic compound that includes all different types of hormones and even one of the most well known vitamins (Vitamin D) is in fact a steroid.
When it comes to bodybuilding and athletic performance, we mainly talk about steroids in the form of anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS). These steroids include both natural and synthetic androgens which are derived from or based on testosterone.
The anabolic component relates to the promotion of muscle growth, while the androgenic aspect relates to the stimulated development of male attributes that testosterone is responsible for.
The elimination half-life of any drug or substance, including steroids, is a measure of how long it takes for a 50% reduction of the steroid concentration to remain in the blood or body. Knowing the half life of a steroid you’re taking makes it easy to plan your cycles, know which steroids to use and how long you should use them for.
It will also allow you to know what’s happening in your body if you’re faced with substance testing. The half life of a steroid remains the same no matter what your dosage is or how long you’ve been using it.
Half life length can vary considerably between different steroid types. For example, Deca-Durabolin has a long half life of 15 days, while Winstrol has a very short half life of just 9 hours. Steroids with a longer half life take longer to withdraw from compared to those with shorter half lives.
Author’s Note: For real, NO-BS information on cycling steroids be sure to check out Straight From the Underground (my recommended underground steroid handbook). Everything in this book is based on first hand experience, not theory.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for something effective but don’t want to use steroids, here is my list of supplements that will help you with your quest in building muscles and getting leaner.
Injectable and Oral Steroids
Some steroids come in an injectable form only, while others are available as an oral form. Very few, such as Winstrol, can be injected or taken orally.
Understandably, if you’re new to using steroids then starting with injections is going to seem daunting; you may even want to avoid it altogether and select only those steroids which are orals. But this does limit you to a small number of steroids like Anavar and Dianabol.
Oral forms are taken by mouth. The following is a list of the most popular oral anabolic steroids with their half-lives, detection times (in brackets) and anabolic-androgenic values:
- Dianabol (Methandrostenolone): 4.5 to 6 hours, (6 weeks), 90-210/40-60 – The primary areas where Dianabol excels is for mass and strength building. Dbol gives you the type of strength that is unreal. It’s often used at the beginning of a bulking cycle to bring about fast results early on.
- Anavar (Oxandrolone): 9 hours, (3 weeks), 322-630/24 – One of the best anabolic steroids for cutting overall. It’s known for its powerful effect on fat burning and metabolic activity, ultimately helping you obtain a lean, hard and ripped physique. Usually stacked with Winstrol or testosterone.
- Anadrol (Oxymetholone): 8 to 9 hours, (8 weeks), 320/45 – Anadrol is one of the most powerful steroids for raw strength and mass gains and quoted as having triple the anabolic power of testosterone. Most people will combine Anadrol with slow acting injectable steroids in a stack.
- Superdrol (Methasterone): 6 to 8 hours, (8-10 weeks), 400/20 – it is a versatile steroid that fits well into both bulking and cutting cycles, having great benefits for building muscle, cutting and toning, hardening the physique, and boosting strength and overall performance.
- Winstrol (Stanozolol): 9 hours, (3 weeks), 320/30 – Despite its negative effect on the liver, oral Winstrol is often the first choice particularly for those new to steroids. It’s a well known steroid for its ability to boost fat loss while helping retain muscle, and will also help you recover faster.
- Primobolan Oral (Methenolone Acetate): 2-3 days, (4-5 weeks), 88/44-57 – Unlike many other oral steroids, Primobolan doesn’t come with the high risk of liver toxicity and its mild anabolic effects make it an ideal choice for women who can see excellent results at low doses.
- Halotestin (Fluoxymesterone): 9.5 hours, (2 months), 1900/850 – The main use for Halotestin is to experience a substantial increase in strength. Halotestin excels at boosting strength significantly and for that reason it can be valued by competitive strength athletes.
- Turinabol (Oral Tbol): 16 hours (11-12 months), 100+/None – Turinabol is particularly beneficial for enhancing performance rather than acting as a mass gaining steroids, although it can provide some moderate clean gains in mass.
- Proviron (Mesterolone): 12 hours, (5-6 weeks), 100-150/30-40 – Proviron is rarely used to give you direct results itself, but instead to work with the other compounds you’re using. It is very useful as both a mild and effective aromatase inhibitor during a cycle, or to use as a powerful muscle hardener towards the end of a hardcore cutting cycle.
- Clenbuterol (Clen): 1.5 days, (4-6 days), N/A – Not a steroid but a stimulant, Clenbuterol has a reputation as one of the best fat burners around, so we know this is the main area it excels at. Used often by women.
- Cytomel T3 (Triiodothyronine): 2.5 days, (Cannot be detected), N/A – It is a synthetic form of a thyroid hormone called T3. Athletes and bodybuilders use Cytomel to promote fat loss by providing the body with an additional source of the thyroid hormone to stimulate the metabolic rate.
The following is a list of the most popular injectable anabolic steroids with their half-lives, detection times (in brackets) and anabolic-androgenic values:
- Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate): 15 days, (18 months), 125/37 – Perfect for bulking and strength, Deca is well known for its power in stimulating massive gains in lean muscle mass. The nitrogen retention from Deca is great and it gives your muscles a nice, full look. It also directly contributes to the repair and recovery of muscle tissue and joint pain.
- NPP (Nandrolone Phenylpropionate): 4.5 days, (11-12 months), 125/37 – NPP is considered an excellent mass building steroid. Although gains are not as rapid and extreme as some other compounds, they are slow and steady. NPP also helps you retain lean muscle mass when cutting and during the off season.
- Primobolan Depot (Methenolone Enanthate): 10.5 days, (5 weeks), 88/44-57 – Just like oral Primobolan, Depot isn’t a mass gaining steroid but provides the most benefit during cutting cycles where you need to retain maximum muscle while burning fat and eating a lower calorie diet. It is one of the best suited steroids for females.
- Masteron (Drostanolone): 3-4 days, (3 weeks), 62-130/25-40 – Masteron is put to best use in a cutting cycle. Masteron gives you a granite hard look, it’s very effective when getting ready for competitions and it’s something that is mild enough to be used in longer cycles.
- Testosterone (Cypionate: 12 days, (3 months), 100/100; Enanthate: 10.5 days, (3 months), 100/100; Propionate: 3-4.5 days, (2 weeks), 100/100; Suspension: 1 day, (1-2 days), 100/100) – Testosterone is considered the base of each steroid cycle, whether you’re cutting or bulking. It’s basic, it works, and it’s rarely faked. A great choice for beginners (first cycle).
- Sustanon 250 (Testosterone Propionate, Phenylpropionate, Isocaproate, Decanoate): 15-18 days, (3 months), 100/100 – Sustanon 250 is a group of both slow and fast acting esters and that makes it useful for contributing to muscle building, fat loss, energy and strength by providing critical testosterone support during a steroid cycle.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – not actually a steroid, HGH has been the hot topic for the past few years. HGH will reverse the aging process, improve sleep, build new muscle tissue, regenerate tissue, and heal the body.
- Trenbolone (Acetate: 3 days, (5 months), 500/500; Enanthate: 8 days, (5 months), 500/500) – considered a steroid on steroids, Tren will give you crazy strength and also help with getting harder. It’s something that can be used for building up or cutting down.
- Parabolan (Trenbolone Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate): 14 days, (5-6 moths), 500/500 – it is a versatile steroid that is useful for a range of goals but not surprisingly is prized for its mass gaining benefits and the fact you can gain mass without water retention.
- Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate): 14 days, (4-5 months), 100/50 – a very versatile steroid and can be used when bulking up or cutting down. It works extremely well for both. It’s slightly similar to Deca but it holds much less water and I get better vascularity from it. Usually stacked with testosterone.
- Winstrol Depot (Stanozolol): 1 day, (9 weeks), 320/30 – an oral and injectable steroid that works for both cutting and bulking cycles as it increases muscle mass and hardens the appearance of the body. Usually stacked with Deca, EQ, Primo, Anavar, testosterone, Trenbolone, and Masteron.
One of the big downsides to oral steroids is their toxicity to the liver. The level of liver toxicity differs between steroids, dosage, duration of use and your individual response.
Choosing injectable steroids opens up your choices to a wider range of products. Oral steroids are generally taken daily due to their shorter half life, while an injection might be once or twice weekly.
Cycling, Stacking, and Pyramiding Steroids
These are three of the usage methods or patterns that can be applied to steroid use. The one you select will depend on what goals you have, with bodybuilders and athletes requiring different methods to achieve the maximum possible effect.
Cycling is used by people who know exactly what they want to achieve and when, as well as when they want to be steroid-free when it comes to being tested.
Cycling is essentially an on-off strategy and one of the big reasons it’s done is to avoid the diminishing effects of steroids after they’ve been continually taken for around two months, where muscle gain can start to slow. Cycling requires a plan as you’ll be deciding how long you want to take the steroid for, and how long the break in between will be when you stop using it.
A cycle can range anywhere from a few weeks up to several months of usage, followed by a period of time with either no steroid use at all, or using at a lower dosage. Your cycle length will depend on your experience with steroids, which steroid you’re taking, and what goals you’re trying to achieve.
Bulking, cutting, strength and performance are the big reasons that anyone uses anabolic steroids.
You might have one or more of these goals, but ultimately what you want to achieve from your steroid cycles is going to determine what you take and how you take them. Bulking and cutting while retaining muscle mass are two areas I focus on below with these steroid stack examples.
As you would expect, added benefits like increased strength, endurance and performance are going to come with the use of these compounds which is ultimately what helps you break through all your plateaus and previous records at the gym once you’re on a cycle.
More experienced steroid users might try stacking and as you might guess, this involves using more than one type of steroid at a time. Combining two or more steroids that each have different actions or effects on the body is one way of attempting to achieve a much more powerful result.
One of the main steroid stacking strategies is to stack a short acting and long acting steroid, or to combine oral and injectable steroids in a stack. Stacking steroids comes with greater potential results but also with increased risks, and these also need to be considered.
Just like the shape of a pyramid, this method is centered on beginning with a low dose and gradually increasing your steroid dosage so that your peak dose is in the middle of the cycle. This is the top of the pyramid, after which you then begin gradually decreasing the dosage until you get back to zero.
Unlike cycling where you might abruptly stop using steroids completely at the end of a cycle, pyramiding allowed you to slowly taper off. One of the main reasons users choose the pyramid method is to help adjust to higher doses while trying to avoid overloading the natural hormone system of the body and giving it time to readjust when the dosage is lowered in the second part of the pyramid.
Steroids Cycle Length
How long should you run your steroid cycles for? This will depend on several factors but the main ones are going to be which steroid compound (or compounds) you want to use, and what your overall goals are (plus if you expect to be faced with any sort of drug testing at any stage).
Short Cycles (2-4 weeks)
Lasting just two or three weeks, a short cycle can be useful at two extreme ends – either for getting very rapid gains by essentially blasting the body with very high doses (not recommended for any beginner), or if you’re happy with some steady but slower gains without overloading your body with substances.
The benefit of the latter is, when done with 3 or 4 weeks off cycle, a short and steady cycle reduces health and side effects risks to the lowest possible level.
Medium Cycles (6-8 weeks)
A 6 to 8 weeks cycle is useful for gaining lean mass or cutting over a moderate period of time where you put in serious diet and gym work, while allowing to run around 3 cycles per year with adequate time during the off cycle period without the risk of diminishing gains which can happen if you’re cycle extends for too long.
This time frame also reduces side effects, although this will heavily depend on what compounds you’re using. Medium cycles do restrict you to making the gains you want during these few weeks so you’ll be fairly limited to faster acting compounds. Testosterone propionate injections are often the ester of choice for a medium cycle.
Standard Cycles (10-12 weeks)
Lasting from 10 to 12 weeks, standard cycle lengths are suited to new steroid users as well as those with more experience, with benefits for both bulking and cutting depending on you goals and which steroid compounds you’re using.
This period of time is considered optimal because it allows you to make gains for the longest possible time, until you reach the point where gaining muscle starts to diminish and plateau, and potentially stop altogether. This eliminates any wasting of time (and steroids) if your body is not going to make gains – instead allowing you to go off cycle and clear your system in preparation for the start of the next cycle.
Long Cycles (3-9 months)
This is only recommended for long-time, highly experienced or older users who have no concern about natural testosterone levels. Some people believe that very long cycles ranging from 3 to 9 months can bring about permanent gains.
Testosterone enanthate or cypionate are the compounds most commonly used in a long cycle. As expected, the heightened risk of serious side effects of these extra long steroid cycles makes it a strategy that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
For more information on how long you should run your steroid cycle as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different cycle scenarios, check out my in-depth steroids cycle length guide.
Which Steroid Compounds to Use for My Beginner Cycle?
Below are some of the most common anabolic-androgenic steroids you will come across which may (or not) be suitable for your steroid cycle:
Testosterone (and its Esters)
There are several testosterone esters including Enanthate, Cypionate, Propionate and Undecanoate. You don’t need a chemistry degree to work out which one is the best option for you, but it does help to know the differences between them.
Testosterone Enanthate is a hugely popular steroid and comes in dozens of brand names. It’s used for treating low testosterone and provides all the effects you’d expect from a test booster: muscle and strength gains along with enhancing male sex characteristics. Its use by athletes focuses on its ability to boost muscle growth, help burn fat and speed up recovery. Testosterone Propionate is ideal for shorter cycles as it is slow release with a short half life.
There’s little difference between Cypionate and Enanthate with the most notable being that Testosterone Cypionate has a longer half life. With such similar characteristics, both Testosterone Enanthate and Cypionate are generally considered interchangeable. All of these testosterone derivatives are injectable.
Testosterone only cycle will help keep your testosterone levels up if you’re going to be using other steroids in your cycle that can suppress test levels. This compound boosts production of red blood cells and gives noticeable gains in muscle mass and endurance.
The goal of using Test enanthate is to retain your testosterone levels at the highest possible level throughout your cycle, so dosage across the cycle can vary but as a beginner you’ll be looking at using up to 500mg each week. Check out my full Testosterone cycle guide.
Dianabol is the most well known of the Methandrostenolone group of steroids and was the first ever androgen and anabolic steroid to become available way back in the 1950s where it was used for increasing muscle mass and strength – just as it continues to be used today.
It is very effective for bulking and gaining mass during short time periods. Dianabol can also increase levels of estrogen because it can aromatize, which brings some potential side effects like gynecomastia (increased breast tissue) and fluid retention.
Dianabol only cycle is a common beginner choice because it’s an oral compound, so it’s simple to take and helps you avoid injecting. You’ll only be doing a 6 week cycle on Dianabol to avoid liver toxicity. You will also need to watch out for androgenic side effects and considering taking aromatase inhibitor drugs alongside it to reduce estrogen and minimize these side effects.
A big benefit to Dbol as a beginner cycle choice is its very short half life, so if you change your mind it won’t take long to exit your system. If you’re interested in running a Dbol cycle, take a look at my complete Dianabol cycle guide.
Deca-Durabolin (Nandrolone Decanoate)
Nandrolone decanoate is one of the most widely used androgenic-anabolic steroids. Studies have proven that Nandrolone brings about significant muscle mass increases in male bodybuilders.
Deca-Durabolin is the most well known brand of Nandrolone Decanoate and is used by intramuscular injection. Deca has relatively weak androgenic effects but very strong anabolic effects which gives it a reduced risk of side effects compared with some other steroids.
A cycle of Nandrolone for your first beginner attempt puts you in a class of steroids that are very popular but does require intramuscular injections. As a beginner cycle, you will want to start at a half dose twice a week, then increase the dose to the full level of 200mg as a weekly injection.
Beginners need to remember that steroids are not going to build muscle or give you massive strength on their own: your results will come down to your dedication in the gym, to your diet and how hard you’re willing to train to get the absolute maximum results your body is capable of with the use of steroids. If you’re interested in running a Deca cycle, take a look at my in-depth Deca Durabolin cycle guide.
Anavar is the well known brand name of Oxandrolone and is an androgen and anabolic steroid medically used for promoting weight gain after illness or injury, as well as for other conditions like osteoporosis and anemia.
When it comes to bodybuilding, Oxandrolone is popular because it’s highly anabolic and minimally androgenic therefore it’s often chosen by those not wanting to use some of the more powerful steroids out there, including by women.
Anavar does not require injections and is taken orally as a tablet, which is another attractive benefit for those new to using steroids. If you’re interested in running an Anavar cycle, check my full Anavar cycle guide.
Sustanon 250 (Testosterone)
Sustanon 250 is a popular synthetic testosterone androgen-anabolic steroid often medically used as an injection to treat the problem of low testosterone in men.
There are four testosterone ester compounds in Sustanon 250 (Testosterone Propionate, Phenylpropionate, Isocaproate, Decanoate) and all these active substances become testosterone once in the body once Sustanon 250 is injected.
Because testosterone is an androgen, this steroid brings about effects of increased masculinization but in men this can result in hair loss due to excess DHT. But it also stimulates red blood cell production which is a critical aspect of muscle growth.
Bodybuilders use Sustanon 250 to gain bulk and muscle mass, improve recovery, increase stamina and energy, and to retain a heightened anabolic state. If you’re interested in running a Sustanon 250 cycle, take a look at my Sustanon 250 cycle guide.
Trenbolone (Enanthate / Acetate / Hex)
This is an AA steroid that’s used in the livestock industry to increase muscle growth in cattle. Only some esters of Tren are available with Trenbolone itself not available. In veterinary use the ester Trenbolone Acetate is used, while other Trenbolone esters include Enanthate and Hexahydrobenzylcarbonate (Parabolan).
Trenbolone Acetate is considered the fastest acting form that is favored by bodybuilders with noticeable effects and progress coming on within days and with no fluid retention, compared with Trenbolone Enanthate which can take several weeks to start kicking in.
Trenbolone is considered one of the most powerful steroids which has shown to be up to five times stronger and more effective than testosterone itself. Click here for my full Trenbolone cycle guide.
Stanozolol is a synthetic AA steroid which is a derivative of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s notable for its power to increase strength, but it’s no slouch in the muscle growth department either and a benefit is that it doesn’t aromatize so is less likely to have you experiencing things like water retention.
The modified DHT that was formed into the synthetic Stanozolol has its anabolic properties increased – for muscle and strength gains, and it’s androgenic properties reduced. Winstrol is the most well known brand of Stanozolol and is used both orally and as an injectable. If you’re interested in running a Winstrol cycle, take a look at my complete Winstrol cycle guide.
Used medically to treat osteoporosis, anemia and wasting syndrome, Oxymetholone is also used as an AA steroid by bodybuilders for its ability to boost muscle growth and strength by increasing testosterone levels plus improving recovery and stamina by reducing or delaying fatigue as a result of increased red blood cell production getting more oxygen to the muscles. Its use as a treatment for anemia is a testament to its ability to improve red blood cell count.
Anadrol is one of the most well known brand names of Oxymetholone and is a popular oral steroid known for its ability to deliver hardcore strength and mass gains very quickly. Anadrol has a reputation as one of the most powerful and effective anabolic steroids with excellent anabolic effects and weaker androgenic effects. Click here to check my full Anadrol cycle guide.
Clenbuterol is a stimulant that has some similar properties to anabolic steroids and was originally developed to treat breathing disorders, but has become popular amongst bodybuilders and athletes to reduce body fat and grow muscle due to its similar effects to drugs like ephedrine.
It’s mainly used as a fat burner and to help increase muscle definition because of its potential to increase thermogenesis and metabolism. Clenbuterol is popularly used during cutting cycles to maximize fat loss. Check out my complete Clenbuterol cycle guide here.
Mesterolone, under the brand name Proviron, is a useful cutting steroid for those who know how to make the most of this unique compound. While it can be used for mass gains, this steroid is mostly used in cutting cycles. Proviron is derived from dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and is used as an oral steroid.
One of the downsides and reasons that this is not a widely used steroid is that compared with other oral compounds, Proviron has lower bioavailability. Proviron has relatively weak androgenic and estrogenic effects compared with other steroids, and can actually provide some mild anti-estrogenic benefits.
Mesterolone is unlikely to play a star role in any stack, but one big benefit it can have even in a bulking stack is to increase the amount of free and available hormones from other steroids in the stack because this compound binds strongly to SHGB which can boost circulating free testosterone.
Proviron is useful for cutting as not only can it help harden the muscles, but can also enhance that same effect from the other steroids in your stack. It also encourages fat burning thanks to its androgen receptor binding.
Being quite anti-estrogenic, Proviron discourages water retention. This steroid comes with low side effect risks, with some androgenic effects being the main concern including the usual culprits like acne and hair loss in some individuals. The most serious potential side effect of Proviron relates to cholesterol and those with high cholesterol are advised to avoid this steroid. For more information check my in-depth Proviron cycle guide.
Masteron (Drostanolone Propionate)
Masteron was originally developed as a breast cancer medication. Bodybuilders make use of the compound Drostanolone as a powerful cutting steroid, especially those people involved in competitions where it is very popular in preparation cycles. This is another DHT derived steroid, but unlike Proviron, Masteron is injectable.
There are two esters available, with propionate being more commonly used and more available than enanthate. As you might expect from a breast cancer drug, Masteron holds some valuable anti-estrogenic properties so estrogen related side effects are not a concern with this steroid. Without the worry about water retention, Masteron makes for an excellent cutting steroid with the ability to harden the physique.
While not considered to be a bulking or muscle gain steroid, Masteron can improve strength exceptionally well making this a popular steroid with athletes who want both the performance enhancement and fat cutting benefits without building mass. Masteron is a steroid made for people who have already done considerable work in getting lean and toned, with this compound aiding in the final stages before competition where maximum hardness and detailed fat loss is required.
Androgenic side effects like hair loss and acne are still possible with Masteron, but are considered mild compared with other steroids. Masteron is also usable by women when careful attention is paid to dosage to avoid virilization. The downside of Masteron also relates to cholesterol and the way this steroid decreases HDL and increases LDL, meaning your cholesterol levels must be monitored and maintained as well as possible through the diet and cardio exercise. For more information check my in-depth Masteron cycle guide.
Halotestin is a unique testosterone-derived steroid in that it is extremely powerful with a sky high anabolic rating, has had many medical uses from muscle wasting to breast cancer, but is not mainly used by bodybuilders or athletes for bulking or cutting. It is mostly valued for its ability to provide incredible strength increases mostly through its activity on red blood cells.
Despite the anabolic power of Fluoxymesterone, this is not known to be effective in humans and as a result we don’t get the muscle building effect from this steroid that you might otherwise expect of such a potent compound. What it can do however is boost fat loss and greatly increase performance.
Despite the potentially very powerful benefits, Halotestin is not a very widely used steroid and this is mainly because of its quite extensive side effects. Aggression is a real issue with this steroid, so for those men who have a tendency towards a short fuse this is a steroid to avoid completely. Other men might be able to channel the heightened aggression and energy into workouts but this is a serious side effect that needs to be considered.
For people who have a specific need for the specialized benefits that Halotestin can provide, it’s a steroid considered potent for short term use where you have a specific goal at the end, making it usable mostly by strength athletes and power lifters. There are no estrogenic side effects with Halotestin but strong androgenic effects are possible in men and the strong androgenic nature of this steroid make it unsuitable for use by females. For more information read my in-depth Halotestin cycle guide.
Primobolan (Methenolone Enanthate / Acetate)
Methenolone is a DHT derived steroid which is available in both oral and injectable forms, with the injectable known as Primobolan Depot. The injectable version is considered much more powerful than the oral form and as such is more popular amongst bodybuilders and performance athletes.
The most beneficial effects of Primobolan include its ability to boost nitrogen retention and keep the body in an anabolic state, but despite this it is not considered as a mass building steroid. Primobolan is at its most valuable when used in a cutting cycle with enhanced nitrogen retention helping to retain muscle, and the potential for excellent fat loss through the process of lipolysis.
One of the several medical conditions this steroid was used to treat was AIDS due to Primobolan positive effect on the immune system, making this a unique trait of this steroid.
Strength enhancement is another effect of Primobolan, making this steroid useful for athletes outside the bodybuilding sphere. This can translate into boosted speed and power, as well as endurance and muscle recovery. Male athletes can benefit from these positive effects without the concern of gaining excess muscle which may not be desired physically or aesthetically.
Primobolan is one of the few steroids that is highly usable by females in either oral or injectable form. While men are unlikely to see noticeable mass gains with this steroid, women will be more sensitive to the anabolic effects and can see some gains in weight.
There are no estrogenic side effects with Methenolone making it a good cutting steroid without water retention. However strong androgenic side effects are possible, and women are advised to retain a low dose and short duration of use of this steroid. Click here for my full Primobolan cycle guide.
Equipoise (Boldenone Undecylenate)
This is a veterinary steroid used on debilitated horses to increase appetite and improve body and muscle condition. It is an injectable steroid that is long acting, has excellent anabolic properties and low androgenic activity.
For the human bodybuilder, this is a steroid that provides great benefits in the areas of strength and lean mass, although mass gains can be slow and not at the level of more powerful bulking steroids. Those wanting moderate mass gains rather than extreme ones will enjoy Equipoise for this purpose.
Some users of Equipoise report an increase in appetite while others experience no change to the appetite, indicating that effect is highly individualistic. Equipoise excels at cutting and is excellent at helping retain lean muscle and provide a general improvement in body conditioning. Strength improvements is an area that Equipoise provides great benefit, as is muscle endurance and recovery.
While these are very useful for athletes, the downside of Equipoise is its long detection time of five months. Side effects to expect with this steroid include testosterone suppression, mild negative impact on cholesterol, and relatively low risk of androgenic effects in men like hair loss and acne.
Equipoise has a low level of estrogenic activity so these side effects should be easy to control, but can include water retention and gynecomastia particularly when the steroid is used at higher doses. Equipoise can be used by women at low doses with low risk of virilization effects. Check out my complete Equipoise cycle guide.
Oral Turinabol (CDMT)
This steroid is similar in its structure to Dianabol as it is a chemical combination of Dianabol and Clostebol. It is more mild in its effects than Dianabol. Also known as Oral Turinabol, this steroid has a low androgenic rating and does not aromatize.
This is a steroid that is not highly valued by bodybuilders, but more so by performance athletes thanks to Turinabol’s ability to enhance muscle endurance, strength and recovery. Noticeable gains in speed and power can be expected with this steroid, making it desirable for sports athletes which is why this steroid is notorious for its past use by East German Olympic athletes in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Turinabol provides its performance enhancing effects by increasing red blood cell count which gets more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles; further boosting their endurance and power. Increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention result in heightened anabolic activity so lean muscle is retained.
Side effects of Turinabol include a high risk of negative impact on cholesterol and suppression of natural testosterone production. Androgenic are unlikely but possible and can include acne and baldness. Water retention and other estrogenic side effects are not an issue with this steroid, making it useful as part of a cutting cycle. Check out my complete Turinabol cycle guide.
First Steroid Cycle
You’ll find some conflicting opinions about just what is the best way to get into your first ever steroid cycle. And just like with most things steroids, the answer will depend on you as an individual. But there are still two main approaches that are recommended and having it come down to two broad choices allows you to stop procrastinating and actually start putting a cycle plan into action.
One school of thought is to go all out in your first cycle because you know the gains are going to be amazing. This means taking relatively high doses mostly of testosterone and starting at 500mg but potentially rising to 1000mg a week, and also including other compounds like orals. But this approach comes with a big risk for new users, especially when it comes to side effects.
You’ve never used steroids before so diving in hard with big doses puts you at a high risk of things not going well. Unless you have total confidence in being able to control side effects and you know what you’re getting yourself into, this kind of hardcore first cycle is not likely one you’re going to confidently choose to follow.
The second option and one that’s definitely more moderate is to use testosterone in this first cycles at medium doses of about 500mg a week. No need to add any other compounds into this first cycle; instead you’re just evaluating exactly what testosterone will do for you without the influence of other compounds.
Then in future cycles you can add another compound to build upon the gains. While this is the more conservative path to take for a newbie, it’s one that comes with much lower risks. And since it’s only a first cycle it can be thought of as an introduction; you’re going to have a ton more chances in future to experiment with other compounds in more complex cycles.
Which one will produce better gains? It’s easy to think the higher dosed cycle will but if you’re battling serious side effects then your gains will suffer anyway. Any new user will still see substantial gains in a testosterone only cycle at moderate doses.
Below is a cycle that you can use straight up or to use as a base to create your own specific cycle:
- Week 1-10 – 500mg/week Test Enanthate (Cypionate) (250mg/e3d)
- Week 1-12 – 0.25mg/eod Arimidex (reduce it to 0.125mg/eod in week 12)
- Week 1-4 – 30mg/day Dianabol (oral kickstart)
- Week 1-8 – 300mg/week Deca-Durabolin
- Week 1-8 – 300mg/week Trenbolone Enanthate (150mg/e3d)
- Week 6-12 – 50mg/day Proviron
- Week 1-12 – 20mg/day Nolvadex to combat gyno symptoms (itchy/tender nipples)
- Week 1-10 – 0.5mg/e3d Cabergoline (if you are having prolactin issues)
- Week 3-10 – 250iu/eod HCG (prevents your nuts from shrinking and makes recovery easier)
PCT Option 1: SERM for PCT
- Week 13 – 40mg/day Nolvadex
- Week 14-16 – 20mg/day Nolvadex
- Week 13 – 100mg/day Clomid
- Week 14-15 – 50 mg/day Clomid
PCT Option 2: Test Stasis and Taper
- Week 10-12 – Off (if your cycle was Test Enanthate or Cypionate)
- Week 13-14 – 80mg/week (40mg/e3d) Testosterone Enanthate (stasis portion to mimic normal hormone levels)
- Week 15-16 – 60mg/week (30mg/e3d) Testosterone Enanthate (taper portion)
- Week 17-18 – 40mg/week (20mg/e3d) Testosterone Enanthate
- Week 19-20 – 20mg/week (10mg/e3d) Testosterone Enanthate
By slowly reducing the dose you give the body a chance to gradually return to normal function and become less dependent on the compounds.
Test Taper Protocol
You can go through a stasis period after the cycle which is like a waiting period and lasts about 4 to 6 weeks. The length of time depends which esters you’ve made use of, with 4 weeks being sufficient for any propionate based compounds, rising to between 4 and 6 weeks for enanthate and cypionate; with a greater benefit being seen closer to 6 weeks. Longer esters like decanoate require the maximum 6 week waiting period.
While in the waiting period of time you should be reducing the dose of aromatase inhibitors as well so that every compound or drug being used except for testosterone is being tapered off.
After the waiting period it’s time to slowly reduce the weekly dose for about 6 weeks until you’re completely off everything. Everyone will have a different choice of ester, with mine being enanthate because I can inject twice weekly. If using other forms like sustanon or propionate you can split the dose into three times weekly.
The beginning of the taper stage is also when you should begin using a SERM if you’ve decided to make use of one, however this is not a critical requirement so comes down to your own needs and preference. Studies either way have found that there’s no suppression of the HPTA when using a SERM with testosterone at low doses, or without using a SERM at low testosterone doses. Therefore tapering can be successful whether you use a SERM or not.
You might choose to include HCG in the cycle which helps retain normal testicular function and size; but HCG also needs to be stopped when the cycle ends and not used at all during the waiting period time.
With a cycle plan consisting of Testosterone enanthate where the dosage is split into two injections weekly:
- Waiting period – week 1-6 or 1-4: Test E 100mg per week (taper off Arimidex by week 3)
- Taper phase – week 1-6 (mg/week): 80mg/60mg/50mg/40mg/30mg/20mg. You can then start using your SERM of choice – either Clomid or Nolvadex – at the beginning of the tapering period.
If using Masteron then 50mg of that compound plus 50mg of Test E weekly. During the waiting period, use Test Prop which you now taper down with while maintaining the ratio at 1:1. Most users will start this phase at 100mg dosage.
For this mix you won’t require a SERM and you will probably find better libido health as well because Masteron encourages DHT which enhances the libido, but acting as an estrogen control. This makes Masteron a compound that really suits this strategy perfectly, perhaps more than any other compound, especially if retaining the libido is important to you.
During your post cycle therapy (PCT) there are some other drugs or supplements you can use to try and boost workouts and retain gains and these won’t impact your HPTA. Some considerations include HGH, Clenbuterol or IGF; you would want to be a confident beginner to give any of these a go.
Beginner Steroid Cycles
Remember, when it comes to steroids, beginners have one simple rule: KISS, or “Keep It Simple Stupid”. I believe KISS applies to all steroid cycles.
Selecting a shorter half life steroid as your first makes it easier to get over any initial side effects when the steroid eliminates from your system sooner. Striking a balance between effective results and mild side effects is important for a beginner. That means keeping the dosage moderate and carefully considering which compounds to use first.
The biggest factor you’re probably thinking about is “Do I go orals or injectables?“. Orals are no doubt much less daunting than injecting for the first time, but it does significantly limit the compounds you’ll be able to use, plus how long you’ll be able to use it. While orals are easier to take, they come with toxic side effects to the liver so.
Whichever form you decide to use for your beginner cycle, your next step is to figure out which steroid compounds you’re going to kick things off with.
The 1 Vial Steroid Cycle for Beginners
You can’t go past a 1 vial cycle as your very first steroid experience. Remember: steroids aren’t legal and can be harmful so you’re making a big decision if you decide to go ahead with your first cycle.
Where you get your gear is up to you, but make sure it’s a reputable source and it goes without saying when you start buying needles always buy more than you need (they are cheap!) and get the right ones: for this cycle you’ll need 23 gauge, 1″, 3ml syringes.
The syringe markings will say “cc” and your steroid doses will be measured in ml or milliliters. Don’t worry, cc and ml are both the same thing. The bottle of test you buy will say something like 200mg per ml. This simply means for every ml you take from the bottle, there will be 200mg of testosterone in it. This is where buying quality gear counts because you don’t want low quality stuff that’s under-dosed.
You will also want to get your hands on a prescription drug called Clomid for use after your cycle during a phase known as post cycle therapy (PCT). Because your testosterone will be suppressed, Clomid is needed to help it get back to normal. Try to get 20 x 50mg Clomid tablets at a minimum.
Once you’re ready to inject your very first steroid dosage, clean the top of the steroid vial with some rubbing alcohol so you can be sure its free of bacteria. Then turn the vial down and put the needle into it. Make sure you know what dose you’re pulling out, then pull the plunger back and extract that amount as it lines up on the cc lines on the syringe. Testosterone sits in an oil solution so you can expect it to be a little slow to fill the syringe.
Air bubbles must be removed from the syringe, to do that slowly push the plunger in until the solution touches the start of the needle and to remove any bubbles give the syringe barrel a few flicks with your other hand. You should see the little air bubble move and travel to the top of the syringe where it will disappear. You can push out a minuscule amount of solution from the needle just to be 100% sure there’s no small bubble sitting at the front.
Now take the next big step and put the needle into the upper half of a butt cheek, pull back on the needle a very small amount to ensure you’re not hitting a vein. If there’s any blood, it’s a vein and you need to try another spot. If no blood, steadily inject the solution until the syringe is empty. Do not go too fast but instead make sure its a slow and steady injection.
Once you’re done, pull out the needle and wipe the injecting site if there’s any bleeding, then gently massage the area to promote dispersion of the solution. Of course, every time you inject you MUST use a new needle.
Testosterone Dosing Schedule: This is a simple dosing schedule for your 8 week testosterone cycle. You should use either Testosterone Cypionate or Testosterone Enanthate and you’ll need a single 10cc bottle of either one. The injections are once weekly for a period of 8 weeks. Here are the dosages to inject each week:
- Week 1 – 0.5cc
- Week 2 – 1cc
- Week 3 – 1.5cc
- Week 4 – 2cc
- Week 5 – 2cc
- Week 6 – 1.5cc
- Week 7 – 1cc
- Week 8 – 0.5cc
Clomid PCT: When your cycle is finished, you have a two week wait and then it’s time to start your Clomid PCT to stimulate normal testosterone function. This waiting period allows the steroid to exit the body before starting post cycle therapy.
Everyday for 20 days take a Clomid 50mg tablet. That doesn’t mean you start another steroid cycle after these 20 days are done.
The body must recover, and that means waiting AT LEAST 8 weeks for a new cycle. But 12 weeks or more is even better. If you keep doing cycles with little time in between, you could permanently mess up your testosterone function for good and find yourself on TRT forever.
Testosterone Only Cycle
You know about the 1 vial beginners steroid cycle, now you’re ready to get into the beginner’s 500mg weekly testosterone only cycle. Either Enanthate or Cypionate are the best testosterone esters to use in this cycle, so you’ll need a two 10ml bottles of either one of these. These are great esters to use because you can get away with a once a week injection.
The best syringes to use will be 1″ 3ml 23 gauge which can you purchase online. The cycle runs for 10 weeks and your injections will be once per week, injecting 2cc each time. The best spot is one butt cheek, alternating sides for each injection. You’re unlikely to hit a vein here, but it’s still best to pull the plunger back just a tiny bit to check for blood before injecting.
Expect to wait at least two weeks and up to three weeks until the test really starts kicking in. Once it starts working you’ll see changes all round, including strength, stamina, mental alertness and sex drive. You might also start seeing some mild side effects like acne but not every guy will suffer with that side effect.
You won’t necessarily need an anti-estrogen in this cycle but it depends if gyno becomes a problem for you. If you’re worried about gyno and just want to play it safe then include 10mg daily of Nolvadex and you will be covered.
This is a simple to do and high quality beginner’s testosterone cycle that when combined with the right workouts and diet could see you gaining up to 20 pounds of muscle.
Dianabol, or just Dbol, is a tried and true legendary steroid that’s been used by hardcore bodybuilders for decades. Methandrostenolone will have you lifting heavier than you could imagine and once you start a cycle you’ll start seeing changes within the first week. Remember: Dbol and all steroids come with high risks.
Dbol Kickstart: Using this steroid to give a quick kickstart in a cycle where you’re also using slower acting compounds will have your strength well and truly up by the time the testosterone or other slower steroids start taking effect. Yes, Dbol gains can disappear as quick as they come on but that’s where your other compounds do their job and the reason why Dbol is such an awesome kickstart compound.
You will probably need to experiment with dosages but a good starting point 35mg daily. Some guys can go higher, up to 50mg but higher doses can have the opposite effect in some people – instead of increased strength and energy you find yourself feeling fatigued and lethargic. If that happens, just reduce the dose and adjust accordingly for best results.
Dianabol Only Cycle: Many guys will swear by not doing a Dbol only cycle and most will stack it with testosterone. Again this is personal preference and some guys will find they can handle a solo Dbol cycle very well, while others can’t handle the reduced appetite and blood sugar changes. For those that can cope well with Dbol only there are big rewards in fast strength and size gains, but you’ll need to put just as much effort into maintaining the gains.
Dianabol Cycle Length: Dbol comes with liver toxicity issues so you’ll want to keep cycles short, no longer than 8 weeks if it’s being used longer than a kickstart at the beginning of the cycle. Some guys won’t use Dbol for more than 4 to 6 weeks due to the liver risks. In general, the longer you plan to use it for the lower the dose should be to mitigate the impact on the liver.
Dianabol vs Anadrol: If you’re trying to decide between Anadrol and Dianabol, keep in mind that Dbol is a bit stronger than Anadrol at equal doses. But for most people the choice will come down to availability and your personal experience with each compound – you are likely to respond better to one or the other compound.
10 Week Dianabol / Testosterone Cycle
- Weeks 1-8: Dbol 35mg daily (spread dosage throughout the day)
- Weeks 1-10: Testosterone Enanthate 500mg weekly
Deca Durabolin Cycle
Deca (Nandrolone Decanoate) is a reliable, affordable and extremely effective steroid that’s been used for decades. All these reasons make Deca a steroid to love perhaps above all other compounds.
Muscle gains are full and fast, it promotes nitrogen retention amazingly well, and as a bonus you get all the therapeutic benefits you need for joint pain and recovery.
Deca is easy to use and you can get away with as little as 200mg a week with substantial results. You can even use it purely for therapeutic reasons requiring no more than 1/2cc a week.
Deca is versatile: run it long term at moderate or low doses alongside testosterone, or at higher doses for short cycles for massive gains in muscle and strength.
Deca Durabolin fact vs Deca Durabolin fiction
Fiction: Will I get “deca dick” by using Deca Durabolin?
Fact: Yes this can happen with very high doses and if you don’t use Testosterone with it.
Fiction: You should use more of Testosterone than Deca.
Fact: Testosterone is needed to prevent “deca dick” but doesn’t necessarily need to be ran higher than Deca. You need enough of it to do it’s job, with 200mg a minimum.
Fiction: Deca dick can happen at the start of a cycle.
Fact: No, this side effect takes at least 6 weeks to start showing up if it’s going to happen.
Fiction: There’s tons of water retention with Deca.
Fact: Moderate dosage and quality diet will reduce the risk of retaining water. Remember that old school bodybuilders had no anti-estrogens and still used Deca 2 weeks before a comp with no bloating, mostly due to diet choices.
Deca is a great all around compound: Deca works for strength, and it works for muscle retention while cutting and dieting. It’s a commonly used steroid yet still underrated because most people just don’t know how to get the most from it. Keep in mind that Deca will show in drug tests for as long as 1.5 years after use so competitive athletes need to be careful on this one, but amateurs and hobbyists probably won’t be too concerned about testing.
Deca vs Equipoise: Equipoise (EQ) is comparable to Deca and considered similar but most guys will find they get better strength gains using Deca. It can take two or three EQ vials to equal what you can get from a single vial of Deca so if cost is an issue then most will find Deca the more affordable option.
The best post cycle therapy for a Deca cycle: Your Deca PCT will be similar to what you do on a test cycle PCT, but adding Arimidex or Aromasin for progesterone is important for Deca as they work better at this job than Nolvadex. During the Deca cycle you should use Arimidex at 1/2mg daily. PCT should begin 2 weeks after the end of the cycle, using Clomid for 3 weeks at 50mg daily or up to 100mg daily if your cycle was a heavier one. In the 2 week gap before PCT, keep using Arimidex and then stay on it during your Clomid cycle plus an extra week after it.
You can consider adding HCG to your PCT for 2 weeks at 2500iu per week split into two shots. If you go with HCG then you’ll need an AI to combat gyno.
PCT, just like steroid cycles, are individual so you’ll want to tailor compounds and dosages to your requirements depending on how fast you recover.
Is Deca safe for a first cycle? The best first cycle is testosterone only so you get a feel for steroids. The second cycle stack is ideally Test and Deca for an awesome combination.
Anavar can be considered the best oral steroid for both high quality muscle gains AND muscle retention while you’re dieting. A lot of guys reach straight for Dbol because it’s cheap and delivers big gains very quickly. But Anavar is widely accepted as a much better, more effective and less harsh steroid than Dbol, and the good news is that the cost of it has come down in recent times so pricing isn’t such a big deal when you’re deciding between Anavar and Dbol.
Compared to Dbol, Anavar gives you steadier gains that won’t disappear like they so often do with Dbol. Sure, your strength gains will be a little slower with Anavar but you’re unlikely to get that severe impact on appetite that most guys get with Dbol. In short, Dbol is like a big shock to the system. while Anavar is the slow and steady compound that rewards those who have more patience.
When it comes to orals we worry a lot about liver toxicity. Dbol can only be run for short cycles if you don’t want to massively stuff up your liver. Anavar will still effect liver enzymes, but not to the level that Dbol and other harsh orals do. You can run Anavar for up to 12 weeks with much less concern for the liver. Anavar is also a compound that can be used by females at lower doses with much lower chance of virilization effects compared with other steroids.
The Biggest Benefits of Running Anavar
- Longer cycles between 8 and 12 weeks will have less impact on the liver compared to other oral steroids
- Unlikely to reduce your appetite.
- No estrogen conversion so you won’t need anti-estrogen drugs if you’re running Anavar solo.
- Excellent for muscle retention during a cutting phase where you’re on a calorie deficient diet.
- Stacks well with many injectable steroids
- No needles required – just a simple pill to swallow
- Boosts endurance to supercharge your workouts
- Decreases recovery time
- Increases the base metabolic rate to help you burn fat faster, and enhances muscle hardness
The Negatives of Anavar
All steroids come with some negatives, but Anavar is at the lower end of the scale when it comes to side effects and risks. And most of these will only be of concern if you’re using doses that are too high or using the drug for longer than recommended periods of time.
- Abdominal discomfort or nausea
- Acne or oily skin
- Possible mild loss of hair in men if you are genetically predisposed
- Altered liver enzymes (but not as severe as other oral steroids)
- Legal issues
Effective Anavar Cycle for Men
If you want a good cost-benefit ration using Anavar then you need to balance the dosage and cycle length as well as any choices for stacking. A common option is simply a testosterone and Anavar cycle combined with a solid workout plan and good diet. You can run these two compounds alongside each other for a 12 week cycle:
- Testosterone: Up to 300mg weekly for 12 weeks
- Anavar: Up to 60mg daily, either for the entire 12 weeks or the first 8 weeks only depending on your goals.
You can expect amazing results without water retention with this cycle. The best test esters to use are either Enanthate or Cypionate with once weekly injections.
PCT can be standard Clomid for 10 days at 100mg daily, beginning 2 weeks from the end of the cycle. Drop this to 50mg daily for the last 10 days of PCT.
Effective Anavar Cycle for Women
As I mentioned, Anavar is one of the few steroids women can confidently use. Cycles should be limited to 6 weeks, and the dosage at 10mg daily.
Some women might want to go further and add another 2 weeks to the cycle while increasing the dosage for those final 2 weeks up to 20mg daily, but monitor for any potential side effects.
For extra strength gains, combine with Ostarine at 12.5mg per day for the first 5 weeks, then increase it to 25mg a day for weeks 6-8.
Unlike men, women don’t need to do PCT so there’s nothing else to do once the cycle ends.
These are just two simple example cycles for men and women using Anavar and combining it with other quality compounds. Anavar is desirable for fat loss, so your diet is going to be a top priority when using this steroid and it will make or break your results no matter how effective Anavar is as a steroid.
Test / Dbol Cycle
It’s your first cycle and you don’t want to do test only. You want to do a stack as your first cycle. It’s not totally necessary to stack in your first cycle, but it’s possible and the best thing to stack with test is Dbol.
Get your hands on 200 5mg Dbol tabs. If you can only get 10mg tabs, you’ll need 100 and you’ll need to split them for each dose which isn’t always simple. There’s a risk of the higher dosage tabs being under-dosed as well so 5mg is always ideal.
Your daily dose of 5 5mg daily need to be spread out during the day for 40 days.
A single bottle of test is enough and you can use this for the 1 vial test cycle. The first 6 weeks will include Dbol and you can expect solid gains with that. 20 to 25lbs of gains is more than possible.
While you could use 500mg weekly of test, it’s not vital to pack on mass with Dbol able to bring quick results. 250mg weekly of test is more than enough for most guys in this cycle, and any more could be a waste.
Nolvadex at 10mg daily will give you gyno protection from the Dbol. Some guys won’t need it but many will choose not to wait and find out, instead being proactive and just using Nolvadex for peace of mind.
This 8 week cycle is simple: Dbol and test for the first 6 weeks, and the last 2 weeks is test only to finish up.
Deca / Dbol Cycle
You won’t find a more proven and time tested stack for gains than the Deca/Dbol cycle. It’s virtually impossible not to gain on this cycle.
There’s no testosterone in this cycle and that brings the cost down. You might hear negative things said about not using test in the cycle, but many guys do it and it’s not an issue if you keep you don’t go overboard with Deca.
This cycle requires 200 x 50mg Dbol tabs and 1/10cc vial of Deca. The Dbol dosage is 5 daily tabs broken up during the day. Dbol should be run for 40 days. Follow this up with the 1 vial steroid cycle for beginners but replace the testosterone with Deca. In total the cycle goes for 8 weeks.
Deca can deliver results in 8 weeks regardless of what you’ve heard. There’s no need to run it for twice that long. It’s been proven by bodybuilding greats that 8 weeks is more than enough to deliver results including lean mass maintenance pre-competition.
Advanced Steroid Cycles
A steroid user who can claim to be an advanced user is one who has achieved a very high level of both practical experience with using different types of steroids, and the knowledge of how the compounds work and exactly what benefits and disadvantages come with them.
It takes time to get to become a confident advanced steroid user, so if you’ve made it that far then you can consider yourself to be in the enviable group of high level steroid users.
At this point you’ll be looking to break outside of the standard steroid cycles and on to a more advanced and often more powerful steroid cycle plan.
Advanced steroid cycles often (but not always) involve stacking steroids, and often focus on the more challenging, risky or just more potent compounds that come with massive benefits. Examples include Trenbolone, Dianabol and Anadrol. Another strategy is to use much higher than average doses.
And just because you’re advanced user, it doesn’t mean you need to give up using basic testosterone compounds – it’s all about how you use your chosen compounds in a cycle, how you stack them, the dosages, your diet and your workouts.
Utilizing higher dosages of any steroid doesn’t automatically make you an advanced user – there is much more to it than that.
There are two main areas that will ultimately determine whether you can now consider yourself to be an advanced anabolic steroid user. These are:
- The experience amassed over time including different types of steroid cycles, training regimes, recovery and PCT, and theoretical knowledge of how steroids work. This is only possible with many years of experience in using anabolic steroids.
- A thorough understanding of your own body and what effects (both positive and negative) steroids have on you personally. How you respond to steroids can differ considerably to that of other people; so only first hand experience counts and this again takes a number of years to acquire.
All of these aspects combine to create an advanced steroid user.
Mistaking Oneself as an Advanced User
It’s not uncommon for intermediate and even some beginner steroid users to think they’re ready to jump into an advanced cycle just because there’s a few steroid cycles under the belt.
This is a potentially grave mistake though – the last thing you want to be doing is rushing into advanced steroid use when you’re light on experience.
It can (and should) take years to get to the point where you can be considered an advanced user, and this is a gradual process rather than something you suddenly achieve overnight.
Your goal should be to obtain slow and steady advancement through your experiences with each steroid cycle. There is nothing to gain by diving into an advanced cycle, however there are countless risks to doing that. Rather than trying to jump ahead into advanced cycles, take the time to earn an in depth understanding of beginner and intermediate cycles, as well as more research about steroids and how to get the most from them. Only then will you be ready to consider advancing to the next stage.
Every steroid cycle you complete will come with valuable lessons that will serve you well into the future. These will include positive lessons about the results you’ve achieved, but even more importantly is the way you’ll discover the negative impacts of steroids during and after each cycle. As time goes on, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t for you. While this might seem time consuming, it is in fact the one and only way to get yourself into an advanced steroid user category. There are no shortcuts, and you won’t become an advanced user by talking to other people about their steroid use because every single individual has a different experience with steroids.
Once you’ve truly reached the stage of advanced knowledge and advanced experience with steroids, you will be able to move to the highest and most advanced level of anabolic steroid use.
Advanced Steroid Cycle Protocols
Reaching an advanced level of anabolic steroid use can open new doors to you when it comes to steroid cycle protocols, and some of these can be difficult for lower level users to understand.
Over time as a steroid user you’ve accumulated the experience to work out how your body reacts to different compounds, cycle lengths, dosages and every aspect of a steroid cycle. This allows you to design an advanced steroid cycle protocol that will deliver maximum results for the specific goal you have.
While these are unconventional cycle protocols, and should only ever be considered by the most advanced users, they do offer a method of fast tracking results for someone who has a thorough understanding of the reasons why these advanced cycles might be used.
Two popular and effective types of advanced steroid cycle protocols are high-dose Testosterone cycles and high-dose short-term cycles.
High-dose Testosterone Cycles
This looks like a very simple cycle on first glance, as you are going back to basics with just a single testosterone compound.
But the key is the high dosage you’ll be using, in fact it’s considered an excessive dose and that’s why only advanced users should even consider this cycle.
Needless to say, you should be heavily experienced with using testosterone compounds before diving into this cycle. You’ll already have a solid foundation in what impacts testosterone steroids have on you, so you’ll have an idea what to expect at higher doses and how to cope with side effects.
Using 1000mg of testosterone each week comes with its risks, and as an advanced user you will be well informed on how to properly use SERMs or aromatase inhibitors to control side effects and manage other potential risks.
Because of this very high dosage of testosterone, rarely will any other compound need to be stacked with it in this cycle unless in specific circumstances, but for most guys just wanting gains you’ll find this cycle delivers the goods.
The popular Testosterone Enanthate is most commonly used in a high dose cycle. It carries a half life of around one week and makes it possible to maintain optimal blood plasma levels by administering just one injection weekly throughout your cycle.
High-dose short-term cycles
In this type of cycle you make use of very high doses of one or more compounds. This type of cycle is not for the faint of heart and users should be aware of the potential for higher risk of side effects.
Because of the short length of these cycles, typically no longer than 4 to 6 weeks, only short ester or fast acting steroids are used. These compounds begin working quickly, thus making it possible to achieve rapid gains.
The hormone enters the bloodstream much quicker than large estered steroids, so your blood levels of the one or more steroids will reach optimal levels quickly. This fast action also means the compounds leave the body in a short time, so when the cycle is finished you can quickly deal with any drop in natural testosterone.
The short cycle length naturally lends itself to minimizing or at least reducing the severity of testosterone suppression, making PCT a faster and simpler process compared with what’s required after a much longer cycle and one where slower acting compounds are used.
Another benefit of short cycles for advanced users is the possibility to recover faster following the cycle, and being able to start another cycle sooner; but this should only be done with consideration and caution.
You should not use any slow release compounds in a short cycle as they simply will not have enough time to start acting in the body. The propionate ester of Testosterone is often used for short cycles and gives that compound a half life of just two to three days, as is the fast acting Trenbolone acetate which comes with a half life of about three days.
Advanced Cycle Examples
There’s countless steroid combinations and cycle formats you could follow in advanced steroid cycles, but if you want a solid, established cycle to follow then any of these examples will place you in prime position for supreme results as an advanced steroid user. These example cycles cover both short and long cycle lengths so you can tailor them to your specific goals.
Advanced Cycle Example #1 (12 weeks)
- Testosterone Enanthate – 100mg weekly
- Trenbolone Enanthate – 800mg weekly
- Drostanolone Enanthate (Masteron) – 400mg weekly
Advanced Cycle Example #2 (8 weeks)
- Testosterone Propionate – 25mg every other day (100mg weekly)
- Trenbolone Acetate – 100mg every other day (400mg weekly)
- Anadrol – 100mg per day
Advanced Cycle Example #3 – High-dose Testosterone cycle (12 weeks)
- Testosterone Enanthate – 1,000mg weekly
Advanced Cycle Example #4 – High-dose short term cycle (4 weeks)
- Testosterone Propionate – 150mg daily (1,050mg weekly)
- Trenbolone Acetate – 150mg daily (1,050mg weekly)
Remember: these are some of the most advanced steroid cycles you can do. Beginners and intermediate users should never undertake any of the above cycles and all users should take care using compounds at high doses. For safest use, it’s always ideal to consult regularly with your health professional and consider undertaking regular blood tests.
Advanced cycles are only to be considered if you’ve been doing less powerful cycles for some time and have got a comfortable grip on what effect certain steroids have on your body, and have gained the confidence that you’re ready to move up the ranks to a more advanced user of steroid compounds.
A more advanced steroid cycle might consist of several steroid compounds; in essence a stack that is used on a cycle schedule. A common example of this could be combining Testosterone (cypionate or enanthate), Deca, Dianabol and Anavar.
Consider this an example of advanced bulking cycle: A 16 week cycle consisting of 1000mg of Testosterone weekly, 600mg of Deca weekly, 70mg of Dianabol per day for the first 5 weeks, which is then stopped and substituted with Anavar from week 6 to 16 at 100mg daily. As with all cycles, post cycle therapy is critical.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) After Your First Cycle
Beginners might overlook the necessity of PCT after a steroid cycle, but post cycle therapy is just as important as the cycle itself. Steroids cause havoc with the body’s natural processes, including testosterone and other hormone production, so once you come off a cycle you need to encourage your body to begin producing hormones naturally again, without relying on artificial steroids.
PCT is important both for preventing steroid side effects as well as for helping maintain the muscle gains you’ve made during your cycle.
PCT usually lasts between 3 to 6 weeks or a little longer. These are some of the most common PCT drugs people use for their post-cycle therapy:
- Clomid PCT: 50mg/day for 3 weeks (or 100mg/day first 10 days, then 50mg/day for 10 more days)
- Nolvadex PCT: 40mg/day week 1-2 and 20mg/day week 3-4
- Arimidex PCT: 0.5mg every two days while on-cycle, 0.5mg/day during PCT
Making PCT a critical part of every steroid cycle is a habit you will need to get into, starting from your very first cycle as a beginner. These and other PCT drugs come with their own potential side effects so always do your research before deciding which ones to use. Check out my full post cycle therapy guide to fully understand what is required for a productive post cycle therapy.
Common Side Effects of Steroid Use
There’s no denying that using any steroid is going to put you at risk of some adverse effects. You can reduce the risk of unwanted side effects by using steroids in lower doses, however there is no way to completely eliminate both the mild and potentially dangerous long-term risks involved in using anabolic steroids.
Some of the common side effects people experience include:
- Fluid retention – Due to the quick increases in muscle gain that anabolic steroids product, soft or bloated looking muscle can occur because of fluid retention. Water retention can also make your face look bloated.
- Acne and oily skin – If you were prone to acne before starting steroids, you’re more likely to experience this as a side effect in addition to acne related conditions like oily skin as well as noticeably more oily hair. The acne can become severe for some people. The skin’s oil glands are more susceptible to infection and inflammation because of the steroid’s effects on the sebaceous glands.
- Mood swings, irritability and anger – Heavy use of anabolic steroids is known to heighten the risk of negative emotional and behavioral changes like aggressiveness and mood swings. This has been linked to the term “roid rage” and can, in severe cases, has a disastrous effect on personal relationships, employment and other aspects of life.
- Sleep difficulty – Research has found that many people who use anabolic androgenic steroids reporting experiencing a sleep disorder, and one sleep study showed that steroid users are prone to reduced efficiency of sleep and alterations to normal sleep patterns.
- Premature baldness – Using androgenic steroids can induce male pattern baldness in young guys who are predisposed to it – so if your dad has a receding hair line then you’re at a higher risk of this side effect no matter how young you are.
- Gynecomastia – Otherwise known as the dreaded man boobs or simply as gyno, this is an enlargement of the breast tissue in males. A method of reducing or eliminating the risk of gyno when using steroids is to make use of anti-aromatase and anti-estrogen substances. Once gynecomastia is allowed to develop, you can’t reverse the effects except with surgery, so it’s critical you get on top of any signs of breast enlargement as soon as you notice it, including sensitivity and itching of the area which are usually the first noticeable signs.
- Testicular atrophy – No guy wants shrunken testicles, but this is a real side effect risk with some anabolic steroids because of the massive boost of synthetic testosterone you’re getting, which tells the body it doesn’t need to keep producing testosterone the natural way – via the testicles. So they start shrinking. It’s not just the size that reduces though, with sperm count also decreasing bringing about reduced fertility. This is one of the most dreaded of all side effects from steroid use.
The most severe adverse effects that heavy and long term users of steroids are at risk of can extend to liver damage, kidney cancer, stroke and heart attack.
If you’re a male in your late teens and early 20s who is still physically developing you have a higher risk of negative side effects like acne and scarring, stunted growth, stretch marks and aged skin.
Stopping the use of a steroid cycle or quitting steroids altogether can bring about depression, tiredness, weight loss and loss of strength while your body takes several months to build testosterone levels back to where they naturally should be.
When you’re new to steroids you are likely to have a lot of questions. Below are some of the most common questions I see being asked by people considering using steroids for the first time.
What are anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS)?
These are steroids which are synthetic derivatives of testosterone which give similar effects to that male hormone. Because testosterone is so critical in the process building of muscle and strength, taking AAS substances substantially boosts your ability to gain muscle mass, burn fat, and recover faster. The androgenic side of some of these steroids can result in masculinizing side effects which is why advanced users aim to use steroid types that have more powerful anabolic effects, and reduced androgenic effects.
Is it safe to inject steroids? Does it hurt?
Maintaining common sense hygiene and safety practices ensures you won’t be risking your health with any sort of infections when using steroid injections.
When it comes to the best location for your injections – as a beginner it’s often recommended to start at one of the biggest muscles – the buttock area. The top right or left area is the gluteus maximus muscle and is going to be the least painful location.
To avoid pain and irritation, rotate your injection sites each time and don’t inject into the same muscle without letting it recover.
For more information on how to inject steroids, including steroid injection sites, possible complications and injection procedures, check out my full steroids injection guide.
What age should I start using steroids?
Many people think it is a waste to begin using steroids use below age 30, and particularly below age 25 because natural testosterone levels are so high during this time that you should be making the most of it. Older guys who are seeing a natural decrease in testosterone as they age will often turn to steroids to maintain the positive benefits of testosterone – including gaining muscle, but most also note a significant boost in all over mental and physical well being so long as the steroids are not abused.
What should my diet and training be like when I’m on a steroid cycle?
Plenty of protein is a must while on a cycle since steroids boost protein synthesis which in turn is what builds muscle. You want to maintain your fuel and never allow the muscles to become depleted. The better you eat while on a cycle, the better your results will be.
The same goes for your training: while on a cycle your body is ready to be pushed to the maximum limit. Your gains will come on thick and fast, but only those who are dedicated to lifting the heaviest weights and pushing through the toughest reps until absolute muscle exhaustion will reap the maximum potential benefits that can be had by using steroids.
What is an ester?
Ester is a chemistry term relating to the modification of compounds. This gives us varying forms of similar steroids: for example, there are multiple types of testosterone esters which are very similar in chemical structure, but with slight differences which are enough to give each ester a different effect on the body. There are dozens of testosterone esters but only a few are commonly used by AAS users.
Should I take anti-estrogen drugs with steroids?
Some steroids can increase the female hormone estrogen by bringing about an imbalance in hormones that leads to the aromatase enzyme converting too much testosterone into estrogen, causing distressing side effects. For this reason, users of steroids that are known to have this effects will make use of anti-estrogen drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. Many of these are cancer medications made for women and are not always simple to get your hands on.
What is gyno?
Short for gynecomastia – male breast growth which is a common side effect of some steroid use. If too much estrogen conversion happens, gyno comes about and it’s not reversible besides with surgery like liposuction. This swelling of the breast tissue is one of the most visible and embarrassing potential side effects of steroid use and undoubtably one that guys to great lengths to try and prevent. Anadrol and Dianabol are two of the steroids known to come with a higher risk of gyno development.
Will steroids give me acne or make me bald?
Male pattern baldness and acne type skin conditions are certainly two possible side effects of anabolic steroid use. Out of the two, acne is considered the more common side effect, with baldness being higher risk if your male ancestors passed on baldness genes.
Acne comes about due to increased activity of the oil producing sebaceous glands thanks to the androgen effects of some steroids. One study found that over 40% of anabolic and androgenic steroid users experienced acne, particularly on the face and back. The good news is that acne can disappear once you stop the steroid, however baldness is more permanent.
Will steroids affect my sex drive?
A boost of the libido is common when using AAS compounds. Many guys notice a concerning drop in their sex drive after stopping steroids. This is due to the body’s natural testosterone production being significantly reduced or stopping altogether, which is why post cycle therapy is so important once you come off a steroid cycle as you aim to get your natural hormone levels back to normal. For more information see my erectile dysfunction treatment guide.
How fast do anabolic steroids work?
Every steroid is different when it comes to how quick you can start seeing results, and your training and diet regime will play a significant role in how big you’re going to get and how fast you’ll get there. Injectable steroids naturally work much faster than orals like Dianabol. For most steroids you are looking at a few weeks, which is why you need to stick to a recommended cycle length according to which AAS you’re going to use.
What happens when you stop taking steroids?
Although anabolic steroids are not drugs that brings about physical addiction, users can experience mood swings, anxiety, depression and other negative effects when stopping steroid use due to a sudden hormonal imbalance and low testosterone.
Steroids with a longer half life take longer to withdraw from. This is why it’s critical to work on restoring the natural hormone balance after using AAS compounds.
Author’s Note: I am not advising anyone to use steroids. I’d either pick staying natural or using steroids. There is NO in between. If your idea is to do just few cycles and never touch steroids again, you better don’t even start.
Fortunately, for those of you who are looking for something effective but don’t want to use steroids, here is my list of supplements that I am currently using and feel work to improve your results! For those who follow me, you know I’d never steer you wrong.
If you enjoyed this guide and would like more real, NO-BS information on using steroids, then pick up Straight From the Underground (my recommended underground steroid handbook). Everything in this book is based on first hand experience, not theory.