by 3Js, www.3jsdiet.com
So I’m going to make this article as simple and straight forward as I possibly can. This article’s purpose is to serve the mass population of amateur steroid users who lack the proper knowledge necessary to get the most out of their cycle and progressive instinct toward their individual goals. Having been on various steroid forums for years I have seen a countless number of members come and go asking the same questions; “I’m too skinny, what steroid can I use to get big?” or “I’m overweight, is there a steroid out there that can help me lose weight?”
There are no magic pills to bulk you up. Steroid cycles also require proper training and nutrition to gain and keep gains.
The notion that there is a “magic pill” has been grossly over popularized through a mixture of misconceptions leaked by the mass media and the flawed human psychological necessity that is instant gratification. Since there is great pressure applied socio-psychologically to have a certain “look” in our culture, many will resort to extremes without the proper knowledge of what, when, and why they should be taking steroids. What comes secondary to such goofs is the steroid “myth” that you cannot keep the gains that you make on cycle. We shall discuss and debunk such notions later in this article.
Having said all that, I am making a step by step program here with certain requirements that have to be met in order for one to move forward to the next step. If at any point you have not met a requirement, you’re not ready for steroids. Furthermore, once you are ready for steroids there will be certain requirements set for the cycle which I will discuss. Simply speaking, this is a step by step for the use of steroids and proper nutrition.
Table of Content
- Training Experience
- Nutritional Set Up and Experience
- Basic Steroid Knowledge (including compound knowledge and PCT)
The first and most important requirement of running a cycle is your age. Through my years as a nutritionist I have seen some very athletic young men with ages ranging from 18-23 who look more ready for a cycle then most who are at the proper age. Regardless, someone who is young has a very high natural testosterone level of 800-1000ng/dl. Getting to the root of the issue, there are two major reasons why running a cycle at a young age is unacceptable and risky. Running a cycle at that young of an age will only risk the recovery of those high levels of testosterone, even if the user runs a perfect PCT (we will discuss that later) one could end up with subpar levels of natural testosterone for life after the fact. Secondly, between the ages of 18 and 23 one still has room to grow in height. When a surge of testosterone runs through the body at a supra-physiological dose your growth plates fuse and you’re at the tallest you will ever be.
The worst thing someone can do is hop on a cycle when they have little training experience. Besides the obvious fact that you cannot learn how to properly train overnight (this includes form), it also means that you have not brought yourself anywhere close to your genetic potential. Simply put, someone who has been training for a little amount of time has not primed his body for what steroids will do. With that being said, many armature and first time steroid users bring upon themselves injuries due to the undeniable fact that joints and ligaments do not grow on cycle like your muscles will. As these users increase the amount of weight they can move in their exercises at an alarmingly fast rate, their tendons will start to wear and tear bearing a load that they are not used to. This causes many injuries that are usually not repairable without surgery. Separation of or degeneration of the cartilage in the acromioclavicular join (a.k.a the AC joint) is a perfect example of a very common injury that occurs to beginner cycle users who get bench press crazy and lift weights much higher than their body can handle. So, if you don’t have years of training under your belt stay away from gear. You simply are not ready.
Nutrition is the most important factor in how well a steroid cycle will work.
Nutritional Set Up and Experience
By far, the most important part of your struggle in reaching the set goals you have in mind will be your diet. Diet is everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING. It’s the deciding factor in whether your body will change or not. Anyone can get into a gym and, with a little help, get some type of basic training routine going on. Over the years in multiple forums I have seen the same thing over and over again. People seem to focus too much on anabolics and their training routines. I see skinny guys jumping on a 5×5 or 5/3/1 workout routine only to find out that they stall in progress in a very short period of time. The simple truth is that 80% of your goals will be met in the kitchen. It won’t be met in the gym and it won’t be met in the needle that you are filling either. Because of a lack of nutritional experience, a lot of people end up right where they started or worse after a cycle. This brings about the “myth” that you cannot keep your gains from a cycle. It’s not that you cannot keep your gains, it’s that you have not eaten the correct amount to keep your gains. As you grow, your bodies nutritional needs also grow. Nutrition is by far the most decisive factor in whether or not you really make the change your looking for. Now there are a lot of different types of dieting philosophies out there and it can be extremely confusing. People are using different weight to protein and carbohydrate ratios. There are fad dieting prospects like IIFYM and IF dieting (both of which I don’t personally condone). You can run a traditional bulk and cut or you can do more advanced dieting like carb cycling. Remember guys, being on cycle without proper nutrition is like sitting in a Ferrari without gas in the tank. It feels amazing to sit in the car, but you’re never going to get anywhere. My advice to those starting out is simple, keep it simple. Here is a basic way to get started with dieting.
You need to figure out your BMR (this is the basal metabolic rate of your body… which means if you were to do nothing all day, your body would burn these many calories. Once you’ve figured out your BMR, you need your TDEE (this is your total daily energy expenditure, it’s based upon your activity level). In order to figure out your BMR, you need to know what your lean body mass is, so, in turn, you need to know what your body fat percentage is. If you don’t know your body fat percentage, go to your gym and get tested (please don’t use electronic scales to get your body fat checked, they’re horrible. If you cannot find a gym to get tested at, please post up a picture for estimates on the forum.
- BMR (men and women) = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)
- Total weight x bf in decimal form = total bf weight
- Total weight – total bf weight = total lean body mass
If your total lean body mass is in lbs, you can divide it by 2.2 to get it in kilograms. For example:
- I am 6’4 and 275l bs at 14% bf… so I would multiply 275 by .14 (converted from percent to decimal)= 38.5lbs
- 275 – 38.5 = 236.5lbs lean body weight
- 236.5 / 2.2 = 107.5 lean mass in kg
- 370 + (21.6 x 107.5) = 2692 BMR (this is high for the average person, I’m a big guy)
Once you have you BMR, you need to calculate your TDEE, this is simply done with some multiplication. You can multiply it by an activity number to figure out your daily caloric expenditure, be honest here as this is the very cornerstone of your diet, if you are between two of the below activity levels then just multiply by a number in between them. To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:
- If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
- If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week): Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
- If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
- If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
- If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
Once you have your TDEE, we can make some simple choices. If you’re going to bulk start by adding 500 calories to your TDEE. So, if I had a TDEE of 3000 calories, I would start my bulk at 3500 calories. If you’re going to cut, you want to reduce your calories by 15 to 20 percent.
So, again if I had a TDEE of 3000 then I would start my cut at about 450 to 600 calories below my TDEE. Here are some simple tips for setting up correct macros. For bulking, you want to keep two things high, protein and carbs. For example, at a 3000 calories bulk I would personally have my macros look like this:
- 250-300g protein
- 300-350g carbs
- 70g fats
Now you have to fill out six meals a day. Divide the protein by 6 and average each meal to that number, at 300g 6 meals would average about 50g per meal.
Divide your carbs into 5 meals; at 300g carbs you would need 60g carbs per meal. The last meal of the day should never have carbs. It reduces natural growth hormone production as you sleep.
If you want to cut the ideal rule of thumb is to follow a PRN or as needed basis on the carbs. Carbs should be focused on breakfast, pre, and post workout. Ideally, your macros at a 2500 calorie cut should look like this:
- 300g protein
- 150g carbs
- 80g fat
Again, divide the protein evenly throughout the day. Divide the carbs evenly into breakfast, pre, and post workout. Fill the rest of the meals with fats to get the necessary 80g fats that you need.
Basic Steroid Knowledge (including compound knowledge and PCT)
Before you take any steroid compound, learn about how to use it properly.
Here is a brief understanding of a beginner’s steroid cycle. If you do not at the least have a basic understanding of how steroids work you should not be using them. Reading the hundreds of pages of info on compounds can be confusing, so we are sticking to the basics for first time users.
Your body naturally creates testosterone. Testosterone is the male dominant hormone. In a healthy young adult about 77mg of testosterone will be produced a week. As a steroid user, you inject synthetic testosterone into your system. When your system sees that there is an abundance of testosterone it simply shuts down your natural production.
Now here is where a lot of inexperienced people get confused. Testosterone is Testosterone. What is different is what ester or oil the testosterone is mixed with. For example, testosterone Propionate has a oil that breaks down faster in the body then Testosterone Cypionate. When you inject testosterone, a depot is created in your muscle. The half life of the ester that you inject will dictate the rate in which your body will absorb the testosterone from the depot. The term “half life” means the amount of time it takes for your body to absorb the testosterone. For example, if you inject 250mg of testosterone enanthate, in 10.5 days 125mg will be left in the depot (or injection site). The recommended frequency of injection is half the half life of the compound. For that reason, Prop is injected every other day, while cyp an enanthate are injected twice a week, about 3-4 days apart from each other. The list below gives the half lifes of the most popular blends.
- Testosterone Cypionate 12 days
- Testosterone Enanthate 10.5 days
- Testosterone Propionate 4.5 days
- Testosterone Suspension 1 day
As a beginning steroid user, Testosterone Cypionate or Enanthate is recommended to reduce injection frequency. A first time user should inject between 400 and 500mg of testosterone a week. Usually, the dosage is split up into two injections. 250mg on Monday and 250mg on Thursday is the most traditional injection frequency. The first time cycle should range from 10 weeks to 12 weeks. Running a cycle any shorter than 10 weeks will reduce benefits unless its propionate that you are running. Due to the half life of cyp and enanthate it takes about 4-5 weeks for testosterone to reach its peak levels in your body.
It is very important for a first time steroid user to start with just injectable test. Stacking compounds the first time around makes it much more difficult to figure out which compound is causing problems if problems were to arise. But, if you were to just start with test and see that the cycle went well, then you can add a second compound to your next cycle. If adverse sides arise you could be fairly sure it is the second compound causing it. Also, as a first time user your beta receptors are very fresh and the need for a second compound is not justified.
So you have completed your first successful cycle, now it’s time to recover. PCT (post cycle therapy) is one of the most important part of your whole cycle. In PCT, we provide ancillary drugs which promote the body’s natural testosterone production to restart. The ideal compound for restarting the natural testosterone of your body is clomid. If using testosterone cyp or e, you start pct 14 days after your last injection. If it was prop, it would be about 5 days. Refer to the half life chart to better understand why we wait that period of time. Pct with clomid is simple. You take 50mg of clomid daily for 4 weeks. While in pct, you must increase your calories above your TDEE by 200 calories at the least. If you have been bulking, increase your calories by 200 calories from where your last intake was before you start pct.
If you plan to do another cycle, keep in mind that time off equals time on + pct. So if you had a 12 weeks cycle, expect to wait at least another 16-18 weeks before you cycle again.
Keep in mind guys, if you want to take your body to the next level, consider 3Js Nutrition Network and my personal professional services as a coach in mind. If interested, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org