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Thread: Testosterone cycle design (first cycle and PCT updated)

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Default Testosterone cycle design (first cycle and PCT updated)

    Testosterone cycle design



    Almost weekly someone posts on the Chemical Enhancement forum asking about first cycle advice. The most common questions are; “what steroid should I take?” “How long should I take it?” and “What will the effects be?” There are literally dozens of steroids available and that makes it difficult for a first time user to choose. The following information will attempt to provide enough information for a first time user to make an educated decision about anabolic androgenic steroid use.
    Testosterone is one of the most effective, safe and available steroids today, therefore I believe Testosterone is the best first cycle choice. The following text outlines the benefits and risks of Testosterone administration based on a clinical human trial of 61 healthy men in 2001. The purpose of the trial was to determine the dose dependency of testosterone’s effects on fat-free mass and muscle performance. In this trial 61 men, 18-35years old were randomized into 5 groups receiving weekly injections of 25, 50, 125, 300, 600 mg of Testosterone Enanthate for 20 weeks. They had previous weight-lifting experience and normal T levels. Their nutritional intake was standardized and they did not undertake any strength training during the trial. The only two groups that reported significant muscle building benefits were the 300 and 600 mg groups so any dose lower than 300mg will not be considered in this essay. 12 men participated in the 300 mg group and 13 men in the 600 mg group.
    600mg of Testosterone a week for 20 weeks resulted in the following benefits. Increased fat free mass, muscle strength, muscle power, muscle volume, hemoglobin and IGF-1.
    The same 600 mg administration resulted in 2 side effects. HDL cholesterol was negatively correlated and 2 men developed acne.
    The normal range for total T in men is 241-827 ng/dl according to Labcorp and 260-1000 ng/dl according to Quest Laboratories. The normal range for IGF-1 is 81-225 according to Labcorp. Total T and IGF-1 levels were taken after 16 weeks and resulted in the following;

    Total Testosterone
    300 mg group-1,345 ng/dl a 691 ng increase from baseline
    600 mg group-2,370 ng/dl a 1,737 ng increase from baseline
    IGF-1
    300 mg group-388 ng/dl a 74 ng increase from baseline
    600 mg group-304 ng/dl a 77 ng increase from baseline

    Body composition was measured after 20 weeks.

    Fat Free Mass by underwater weighing
    300 mg group-5.2kg (11.4lbs) increase
    600 mg group-7.9kg (17.38lbs) increase
    Fat Mass by underwater weighing
    300 mg group-.5kg (1.1lbs) decrease
    600 mg group-1.1kg (2.42lbs) decrease
    Thigh Muscle Volume
    300 mg group-84 cubic centimeter increase
    600 mg group-126 cubic centimeter increase
    Quadriceps Muscle Volume
    300 mg group-43 cubic centimeter increase
    600 mg group-68 cubic centimeter increase
    Leg Press Strength
    300 mg group-72.2kg (158.8lbs) increase
    600 mg group-76.5kg (168.3lbs) increase
    Leg Power
    300 mg group-38.6 watt increase
    600 mg group-48.1 watt increase
    Hemoglobin
    300 mg group-6.1 gram per liter increase
    600 mg group-14.2 gram per liter increase
    Plasma HDL Cholesterol
    300 mg group-5.7 mg/dl decrease
    600 mg group-8.4 mg/dl decrease
    Acne
    300 mg group-7 of the 12 men developed acne
    600 mg group-2 of the 13 men developed acne

    There were no significant changes in PSA or liver enzymes at any dose up to 600mg. However, long-term effects of androgen administration on the prostate, cardiovascular risk, and behavior are unknown. The study demonstrated that there is a dose dependant relationship with testosterone administration. In other words the more testosterone administered the greater the muscle building effects and potential for side effects.

    Given the results of the study and based on years of personal experience I believe the first time user can safely use between 300-600 mg of testosterone enanthate or cypionate per week for 8-12 weeks. Because it is desirable to have even blood androgen levels I advise at least 2 equal injections per week. The following graph demonstrates that testosterone cypionate peaks within 1-2 days after injection and falls off to almost baseline by day 10. Therefore waiting 7 days between injections of cypionate would cause wide fluctuations in blood androgen levels.

    Pharmacokinetics of Testosterone cypionate Injection



    Figure. Pharmacokinetics of 200mg Testosterone cypionate injection. Source: Comparison of Testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle-stimulating hormone in serum after injection of Testosterone enanthate or Testosterone cypionate. Schulte-Beerbuhl M, Nieschlag E. Fertility and Sterility 33 (1980) 201-3.

    If a first time user wanted to use 600 mg of cypionate or enanthate per week he would inject 300 mg on Tuesday and another 300 mg on Saturday each week for 10 weeks. When injecting long heavy esters like cypionate with this frequency I tend to have less acne then 1 injection per week.
    There are a number of esters which provide varying release times. Acetate or propionate esters extend the release time of testosterone a couple of days. In contrast, a deconate ester prolongs the release of testosterone about 3 weeks. Testosterone enanthate and cypionate are almost identical esters. The use of an ester allows for a less frequent injection schedule than using a water based testosterone like suspension which has no ester at all and is rapidly in and out of your system after injection. The published release times are not exact and are many times based on a single injection not many multiple injections which can delay the release of the hormone. Other factors affect release times of esters such as scar tissue and the muscle group injected. Only a blood test can confirm when the active hormone has cleared your system.
    Esters not only effect release times but also the potency of the Testosterone as esters make up part of the steroid weight. This must be taken into account when calculating dosages. The longer the release time the less free hormone. For example propionate is about 15% more potent mg. for mg. then enanthate so 500mg of propionate would equal about 575 mg. of enanthate. The following chart illustrates the free base equivalents for several compounds.


    Although it was not indicated in the trial, during or after the steroid cycle some men are prone to gynecomastia which is the formation of female like breast tissue. This is due to excessive estrogen as the body tries to balance out the sex hormones. A selective estrogen receptor modulator or S.E.R.M. such as Tamoxifen can be used effectively to combat gynecamastia in an emergency as it competes for the estrogen receptor which in turn inhibits estrogens effects. It is highly recommended that a S.E.R.M. be available during treatment of Testosterone. 10-40mg daily is an effective dose however dosage is dependant on how much testosterone is administered as well as the individual himself.
    The decision to use steroids should not be taken lightly and should be the last consideration after implementing a solid nutritional, training and recovery plan. It is advised to get blood work when using these medications.

    Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men;
    http://ajpendo.physiology.org/cgi/content/full/281/6/E1172



    Ancillaries during the cycle



    Aromatase Inhibitor


    I briefly wrote about using Tamoxifen above for emergency gynecomastia treatment however I am convinced that there is a better strategy for controlling estrogen during a steroid cycle. Rather than waiting for the side effects of estrogen to present an aromatase inhibitor like Arimidex or Aromasin should be used on cycle to control Estrogen and keep free testosterone levels high. 0.5mg-1mg Arimidex daily OR 10-25mg Aromasin daily. Start with the lower dose and then see how that controls water retention, blood pressure and libido and make adjustments as needed. A blood test would be the most ideal way to determine the dosage of the AI. Free T needs to be in the high range and estradiol between 10-25 pg/ml.


    Human Chorionic Gonadotropin


    Testosterone-Induced gonadotropin suppression tends to cause atrophy of the testes and decreases intratesticular testosterone. In other words, when a male administers testosterone his testes shrink because they are suppressed. A simple way to restore ITT levels and maintain the mass of the testes is to administer HCG during testosterone treatment. During a study it was determined that HCG is dose dependant and that approximately 300iu HCG taken every other day restored ITT levels. This is 1,050iu HCG weekly. I recommend 500iu twice weekly while on testosterone treatment. HCG will not only keep ITT levels and the mass of the testes normal but will also aid in keeping the male fertile.


    Sample cycle with ancillaries


    Sunday 10mg Aromasin
    Monday 10mg Aromasin/500iu HCG
    Tuesday 10mg Aromasin/300mg Enanthate
    Wednesday 10mg Aromasin
    Thursday 10mg Aromasin
    Friday 10mg Aromasin/500iu HCG
    Saturday 10mg Aromasin/300mg Enanthate


    For all you guys who want to add multiple compounds to your first course I advise against it because if you have side effects then you will not know which compound is causing the sides. I have gotton a ton of PM's over the years and there is always some reason that I am given for using multiple compounds on the first run but there really is no need. However my cycle sample above may not be for everyone so I am offering an alternative to the flat cycle design. If you want to run a first cycle with a little more horespower than you may want to consider a modified pyramiding cycle. I have done over 20 pyramid courses and must say they are my favorite way to run aas. The human body is always fighting for homeostasis so the concept is to increase dose before gains plateau. Based on the 2009 myostatin study we can design a cycle that is effective for 10 weeks using this strategy. The following first cycle is for men that want a little more performance with added risk while only using Testosterone. The first 5 weeks a standard dose is administered to evaluate how your body responds and to determine if sides are manageable. If sides are manageable then increase the dose.

    Sample first course #2

    Week 1-5 600mg Testosterone weekly
    Week 6-8 800mg Testosterone weekly
    Week 9-10 1 gram Testosterone weekly

    10 mg Aromasin daily with the goal of keeping Estradiol between 10pg/ml-25pg/ml. Only blood work can confirm if you are in this range.

    500iu HCG twice weekly.


    Post Cycle therapy


    I strongly believe that an AI should be used as long as there is an aromatizing compound being administered. In this case Testosterone and HCG aromatize therefore using an AI until these meds clear and a few weeks longer is what I am recommending. There is some evidence that adding Nolva to an AI does not increase the effectiveness of estro control therefore Nolva has no real advantage alongside an AI unless one is experiencing gyno. Additionally Nolva has been shown to reduce IGF-1 and GH levels when used alone. This is not a big deal on cycle as testosterone increases IGF-1 in a dose dependant relationship. However off cycle this is a problem. PCT is a fragile time and lower IGF-1 and GH levels is not desirable. I am recommending an AI that is specific to men that can be used on cycle and during PCT. It is my conclusion that Aromasin is the obvious choice.

    I recommend the following PCT protocol for esters like Cypionate and Enanthate;

    While the aas ester is clearing : 2500iu HCG every third day for 2 weeks. (You may use less HCG if your testes are normal in size AND you have been using HCG on cycle, i.e. 1,000iu HCG etd.)

    100/100/100/50 Clomid (50mg taken twice per day weeks 1-3)

    20mg/20mg/20mg/10mg Aromasin (20mg daily for 3 weeks, 10mg daily in week 4)

    3g Vit C every day split in 3 doses

    10g creatine daily

    The HCG is administered BEFORE the aas ester clears to increase the mass of the testes and bring back ITT levels. This will allow the testes to sustain output of testosterone sooner.

    Clomid is universally accepted as THE testosterone recovery tool. It blocks estrogen from the HPTA and stimulates the production of GNRH then initiates the production of LH, which in turn signals the testis (if not atrophied) to produce testosterone.

    Aromasin or a similar aromatase inhibitor is for testosterone recovery and it is used to keep the testosterone/estrogen balance in favor of testosterone. It is also helps to keep any additionally occurring estrogen from HCG low to none.

    Cortisol is catabolic. It is the enemy of all anabolism and must be kept in check. While it is blocked when under the influence of AAS, it is free to attach to the Anabolic Receptors (AR) once the steroids leave. Due to this blockage Cortisol tends to accumulate and increase when on. A low level is desirable however since it is important for other vital functions such as control of inflammation. Balance is the key. Vitimin C keeps the exercise induced rise of Cortisol in check.

    The use of Creatine has shown to increase ATP metabolism and cellular water storage among many other things. This is beneficial because it provides for heightened nutrient storage and a slight increase in anabolism as well as workout stamina.

    References

    Testosterone dose-response relationships in healthy young men;

    Pharmacokinetics and Dose Finding of a Potent Aromatase Inhibitor, Aromasin (Exemestane), in Young Males

    Low-Dose Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Maintains Intratesticular Testosterone in Normal Men with Testosterone-Induced Gonadotropin Suppression

    Use of clomiphene citrate to reverse premature andropause secondary to steroid abuse.

    Changes in the Endocrinological Milieu After Clomiphene Citrate Treatment for Oligozoospermia: The Clinical Significance of the Estradiol/Testosterone Ratio as a Prognostic Value

    Testicular steroidogenesis after human chorionic gonadotropin desensitization in rats.


    special thanks to those men and women who have influnced my thinking over the years in regards to aas use.

    Written by heavyiron
    Last edited by heavyiron; December 29th, 2010 at 05:32 PM. Reason: restore chart
    All posts are for entertainment and may contain fiction. Consult a doctor before using any medication.


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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    The HCG is administered BEFORE the ester clears to increase the mass of the testes and bring back ITT levels. This will allow the testes to sustain output of testosterone sooner.



    Here is my question Heavy, how soon before the ester clears should you start HCG?

    -Sayajin
    Currently: 6'2 215lbs 10% BF ; Goal: 6'2 250lbs 8% BF.

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sayajin View Post


    Here is my question Heavy, how soon before the ester clears should you start HCG?

    -Sayajin


    The chart above shows a single depot of testosterone Cypionate or Enanthate releases for about 10 days and then Total T reaches baseline, however after many multiple injects you likely won't be at baseline Total T for around 16 days due to many multiple depots and scar tissue from a standard cycle which likely delays the release, therefore I start my larger doses of HCG the day after my last inject of Cypionate or Enanthate.
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    Behemoth stiliftin's Avatar
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    great post heavy, I hope the NOOBS read it before putting up dumb ass posts
    "Of course I can lift it"

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    Freak of Nature USEALITTLE's Avatar
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    there have been a lot of dumb ones in the past 2wks.....

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    Beach Body columbo99's Avatar
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    this is great.

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    answers all my questions, thanks

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    how much should I pay for for a bottle? first time user, what is the market for test?

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerichopaulino View Post
    how much should I pay for for a bottle? first time user, what is the market for test?
    It ranges widely, $30-$150 a 10ml vial.
    All posts are for entertainment and may contain fiction. Consult a doctor before using any medication.


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    Amateur Threat
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    It ranges widely, $30-$150 a 10ml vial.
    I've actually heard of it being sold for much higher, and unfortunately there are those that will pay it without knowing any better.

    Heavy, any reason for the change in PCT from A-dex to Aromasin? I have both available to me and intend on getting a stout supply for the future, but was curious as to whether one was preferred to the other. Also, where does letrozole fall into this? For your money, which would you prefer?

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gmedic100 View Post
    I've actually heard of it being sold for much higher, and unfortunately there are those that will pay it without knowing any better.

    Heavy, any reason for the change in PCT from A-dex to Aromasin? I have both available to me and intend on getting a stout supply for the future, but was curious as to whether one was preferred to the other. Also, where does letrozole fall into this? For your money, which would you prefer?
    Aromasin has been tested in men and it permanentaly deactivates the aromatase enzyme where adex does not therefore estro rebound is likely with adex. Aromasin is my first choice.
    All posts are for entertainment and may contain fiction. Consult a doctor before using any medication.


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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    Aromasin has been tested in men and it permanentaly deactivates the aromatase enzyme where adex does not therefore estro rebound is likely with adex. Aromasin is my first choice.

    one question: do you know what the turnover-time for p450 aromatase is, or whether aromasin bonding affects aromatase turnover?

    this would be critical in determining how long aromasin lasts.

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dianabol View Post
    one question: do you know what the turnover-time for p450 aromatase is, or whether aromasin bonding affects aromatase turnover?

    this would be critical in determining how long aromasin lasts.
    I have no idea but this is a good question. Since your body just creates more aromatase enzymes I imagine the active life of the drug would determine the lasting effects of Aromasin. However, I do not know how the scientists determined Aromasin's active life. If you find any data I would be very interested in it as I am sure many here would be as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by heavyiron View Post
    I have no idea but this is a good question. Since your body just creates more aromatase enzymes I imagine the active life of the drug would determine the lasting effects of Aromasin. However, I do not know how the scientists determined Aromasin's active life. If you find any data I would be very interested in it as I am sure many here would be as well.

    From what i know, aromasin cuts about half the estrogen down and no more with increasing dose (i'll check my facts); so the stuff it inhibits is permanently inhibited. If there is a calculated halflife to the drug, you are right, this probably reflects turnover of the protein, since inactivation is irreversable.

    i'll check some papers, you check some papers...

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dianabol View Post
    From what i know, aromasin cuts about half the estrogen down and no more with increasing dose (i'll check my facts); so the stuff it inhibits is permanently inhibited. If there is a calculated halflife to the drug, you are right, this probably reflects turnover of the protein, since inactivation is irreversable.

    i'll check some papers, you check some papers...
    That is exactly what it does. Most guys report a huge supression with Aromasin that simply is not true. I have seen about a 50% reduction in circulating estradiol with a dose of 50mg daily. That is a hefty dose. Why guys report higher supression escapes me because I can find no support for it.

    Pharmacokinetics and Dose Finding of a Potent Aromatase Inhibitor, Aromasin (Exemestane), in Young Males

    Suppression of estrogen, via estrogen receptor or aromatase blockade, is being investigated in the treatment of different conditions. Exemestane (Aromasin) is a potent and selective irreversible aromatase inhibitor. To characterize its suppression of estrogen and its pharmacokinetic (PK) properties in males, healthy eugonadal subjects (14–26 yr of age) were recruited. In a cross-over study, 12 were randomly assigned to 25 and 50 mg exemestane daily, orally, for 10 d with a 14-d washout period. Blood was withdrawn before and 24 h after the last dose of each treatment period. A PK study was performed (n = 10) using a 25-mg dose. Exemestane suppressed plasma estradiol comparably with either dose [25 mg, 38% (P 0.002); 50 mg, 32% (P 0.008)], with a reciprocal increase in testosterone concentrations (60% and 56%; P 0.003 for both). Plasma lipids and IGF-I concentrations were unaffected by treatment. The PK properties of the 25-mg dose showed the highest exemestane concentrations 1 h after administration, indicating rapid absorption. The terminal half-life was 8.9 h. Maximal estradiol suppression of 62 14% was observed at 12 h. The drug was well tolerated. In conclusion, exemestane is a potent aromatase inhibitor in men and an alternative to the choice of available inhibitors. Long-term efficacy and safety will need further study.


    full study;
    http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/con...ll/88/12/5951/
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    i dont understand what problem that consillyator could have with aromasin for pct...

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    Super Moderator heavyiron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dianabol View Post
    i dont understand what problem that consillyator could have with aromasin for pct...
    Thankfully he has not posted here in a long time. Undoing his damage is a chore.
    All posts are for entertainment and may contain fiction. Consult a doctor before using any medication.


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