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How to Build Your Cycle
By: The Steroid Guru
For as long as steroids have existed there have been differing opinions on how to structure a cycle. Then enter in the internet and things really got confusing for athletes and bodybuilders. No worries, in this article you’ll learn how to properly plan your cycle based on your goal. This isn’t the end-all, be-all, however it is a great starting point for putting together a well-rounded cycle whether you’re bulking, cutting, or attempting a recomp.
Every steroid falls into 1 of 3 categories: Testosterone (and its derivatives), Nandralone (19-Nor and its derivatives), and Dihydrotestosterone (DHT and its derivatives). Popular steroids that fall under the testosterone umbrella are testosterone (and all accompanying esters), Equipoise, Dbol, and Tbol. 19-Nor steroids that are commonly used include Deca, NPP, and Trenbolone. And DHT compounds commonly used are Anavar, Winstrol, Masteron, Proviron, and Primobolan.
Without getting too sciency and putting you to sleep, it’s important to understand why certain steroids stack better than others. Testosterone and its derivatives all have the ability to aromatize into estrogen and as such an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex should be considered for use based on your bodies reaction to an abundance of the hormone. While many people strictly look at the negative side-effects associated with excess estrogen, for example – gynecomastia. Having too much estrogen in the body will limit the amount of free testosterone you have, and ultimately negatively impact your future muscle mass.
Using an aromatase inhibitor (AI) on a cycle will also reduce the amount of water retention you experience while on cycle. However, there are drawbacks to using them and a raise in total cholesterol is often experienced. Use the lowest amount of your AI to get the most benefit. Overdoing it either by dose or frequency will not only hurt your progress, but will impact your health at no additional benefit.
DHT hormones will not convert to estrogen and as such do not require an aromatase inhibitor. And 19-Nor steroids will not convert to estrogen, but instead bind to the progesterone receptors. Progestogenic side-effects often resemble those of estrogenic side-effects (water retention, gyno, and testosterone suppression), however, the ability to combat them is different. Aromatase inhibitors do not work against progestogenic side-effects (increased prolactin), whereas Cabergoline is a better solution, albeit with adverse side-effects of its own.
With all of that understood, no steroid or stack of steroids will directly bulk you or cut you up, but instead illicit more or less adverse outward side-effects. In the off season, holding extra water retention can come in handy when trying to add mass and strength. That’s why stacking testosterone with Dbol and Equipoise is a popular trio. The three compounds all derive from test and their side-effects can all be controlled with an AI. Your potential bulking cycle might resemble this:
Testosterone Enanthate – 500mg per week
Dbol – 30mg per day
Equipoise – 400mg per week
Arimidex - .5mg every other day
Using testosterone as a base is always a good idea. By not including testosterone in your stack you run the risk of a myriad of side-effects that are not only unwanted, but unnecessary. By simply controlling the amount of the chemical used, can you create a perfect anabolic environment to hit you closer to your long-term goals. Bulking cycles can benefit by using more testosterone, while cutting cycles often need the minimal dose to get the maximum benefit. Many users like to use faster acting esters while on a cutting cycle, for example testosterone propionate, as it will not accumulate or build up quickly in the body, and as such the total amount of the chemical being aromatized is reduced. However, your ester is not nearly as important as many would lead you to believe if your estrogen is being combatted with an aromatase inhibitor or if your dose is moderate.
A unique strategy when building your cycle is combining all three different categories of steroid into one unique stack. This guarantees you are hitting the body with structurally very different anabolic steroids, but in many cases, you can illicit much better results, using a lower dose, optimizing your hormones the most effective way possible. With testosterone as your base, a recomposition cycle can be administered. We then can add in a highly potent 19-Nor steroid like Tren, alongside a DHT compound like Winstrol for one of the most potent cycles known to exist. A recomp cycle of this nature might look something similar to this:
Testosterone Enanthate – 600mg per week
Trenbolone Enanthate – 400mg per week
Winstrol – 50mg every day
Arimidex - .25mg every other day
Bulking cycles can also use a similar strategy when stacking in this fashion. You can combine Testosterone, with Deca, and Winstrol for a very potent cycle that won’t leave you feeling like a water buffalo, but packing a major punch for mass and strength. Naturally, there are many ways to combine the various compounds, but this is just one example that is very effective for the user.
Many people don’t like the idea of using oral steroids with the cycles. They do cause undesirable stress on the liver. Oral steroids have been methylated at the carbon 17-alpha on its structure, often referred to as 17AA, or 17-alpha alkylated. While this can raise AST and ALT liver enzymes, in terms of performance enhancement, oral steroids release IGF-1 (Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1) which leads to increases in mass and strength. Only growth hormone can cause an appreciable rise in IGF-1 other than oral anabolic steroids.
For those looking to cut up, DHT steroids are extremely popular. They don’t convert to estrogen or progesterone, and give the body a hard and dense outwardly appearance. This is perfect for the already lean person looking to take his physique to the stage. However, for the person holding too much body fat, you will be often disappointed with the results from using compounds such as Anavar, Winstrol, Primobolan, and Masteron. Stacking these compounds for a cutting cycle, assuming you are lean enough to notice the effects will often look like this:
Testosterone Propionate – 150mg every other day
Nandrolone Phenylpropionate – 100mg every other day
Anavar – 50mg every day
Arimidex - .25mg every other day *or as needed
Clearly, there are hundreds of various combinations and factors to consider when programming your cycle. For the beginner, stacking is likely not even the best option until you have thoroughly practiced using the various compounds either as stand-alone cycles, or combined with just one other anabolic steroid. After all, your body will process the steroids different than your neighbor, and as such there is no such thing as a ‘one-size fits all’ stack.
For more advice from The Steroid Guru make sure to follow the expert on Instagram @TheSteroidGuru