When we refer to a steroid cycle it means the amount of time a user takes anabolic steroids. Many users refer to these steroids cycles as being “on-cycle” or more simply being “on”. Once the cycle ends there is a period known as post-cycle therapy, and this is then finished by a period of time when there are no outside hormones being ingested, known familiarly by users as “off-cycle” of more simply “off”.
During the on-cycle phase there are a wide variety of individual steroids that can be used for muscle gain, fat loss, muscle hardening, increased stamina and endurance, increased strength, and various other performance enhancements. No one steroid addresses all of these factors so gym goers and bodybuilders began to experiment with combinations of steroids, called steroid stacks, in an effort to find the best steroid cycle for each given goal.
There are so many different steroids, hormones and non-steroidal supplements used during a cycle that a person could create a different cycle every single time they decided to go on-cycle. That doesn’t happen though, because over the years users have identified several combinations that have qualified as the best steroid cycles for various goals such as bulking, cutting, overall weight gain, strength, etc. And since steroids act differently for different people, each individual user will typically find the best steroid stack for them personally and stick with that because it works.
There are some general rules that have developed regarding steroid cycles and the first and foremost is that every cycle should include testosterone in some form. It makes no difference if you use the cypionate form, the enthanate form or some other testosterone, what is important is that you provide your body with enough testosterone to maintain healthy function. Beyond that there are other generalizations and rules you should know about before venturing into the world of anabolic steroid use.
Your First Steroid Cycle
All too often new users get overexcited by their first cycle and they try to run too many steroids at once in an effort to create the very best steroid stack. At this point in your steroid use career this is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. The best thing you can do is to avoid a stack completely and start simply, with a hormone your body is already familiar with — testosterone.
For a new user it doesn’t take much to see results, so why not begin with a simple cycle of testosterone. A dose of 500mg per week will be sufficient for you to add 10-15 pounds in an eight week cycle without putting yourself in any unnecessary risk. Because your body is already familiar with testosterone there is little likelihood of strange side effects. And if there are you will know what is causing them. Plus you’ll get a good idea of how your body reacts to increased amounts of circulating testosterone, which will be useful in future cycles. If you throw several different steroids at your body right from the start and there’s a problem you’ll have no idea which steroid is causing the problem. Additionally you won’t be able to tell what effect each steroid has on your body and psychology. Start simple so you can learn not only about the steroids effects, but also about your body’s reaction to each different steroid. There will be plenty of time for creating steroid stacks in the future.
How Long Do Steroid Cycles Need to Be?
An obvious question when beginning to supplement with steroids is how long should a cycle last. How long do you need to remain “on” to see the best gains without putting yourself at increased risk. Like anything else when dealing with steroids, there is no set answer, but there are guidelines that have been developed over the years. You should consider that the body tends to try and remain in homeostasis and resists change. You see this easily in how your body adapts to training loads, and how difficult it can be to gain or lose weight. Just as with your normal training, when training with steroids it will take some time for your body to adjust and create a new normal.
In general it has been found that the optimal time for making gains without increasing risks is 8-12 weeks. Shorter cycles give up something in terms of effectiveness and longer cycles will continue to be effective, but the risk of side effects increases past the 12 week mark. Those who have experience with steroid cycles and understand how each steroid affects them can often get away with a longer 16 week cycle without dramatically increasing their risk.
In addition to the “on-cycle” time you should also consider “off-cycle” time. This should equal the amount of time “on”, so a 16 week steroid cycle calls for a break of 16 weeks once the cycle finishes. This is where many bodybuilders fall short. The body may have difficulty maintaining the gains made during the steroid cycles, not because the gains made aren’t real, but because the individual doesn’t adjust their nutrition appropriately for the new muscle mass.
Examples of Best Steroid Stack
As mentioned at the beginning of this article there are hundreds of combinations of steroids that can be put together in an effort to find the best steroid stacks. In the case of beginners a stack is not necessary at all, just simple testosterone can accomplish solid results. After the initial testosterone only cycle a user can move on to another single steroid cycle if they have a specific goal or wish to judge the effects of a steroid on their body in isolation.
Those looking for the best strength gains should try Trenbolone or Halotestin only steroid cycles. For fat reduction Trenbolone is also good, as is Stanozolol (Winstrol) and Oxandrolone (Anavar). Those looking for lean mass gains can try Oxymetholone (Anadrol) and Methandrostenolone (D bol), which is also an oral steroid. While this goes against the grain of the rule to always use testosterone in any cycle, these types of single steroid cycles can be very useful in gauging one’s own response to each steroid before putting them together in a steroid stack. Of course, gains are always better when testosterone is added.
Many of the best steroid stacks use testosterone as a base, but there are a good number that also use Methandrostenolone (Dianabol) as a base. A testosterone/Methandrostenolone (Dianabol) stack is one of the most famous and popular stacks. Nearly as popular is the Methandrostenolone (Dianabol)/ Nandrolone Decanoate (Deca-Durabolin) stack. It is best for mass gains with only moderate strength gains. If strength is what you’re looking for try a stack of Stanozolol (Winstrol)/Oxymethalone (Anadrol). This stack not only gives great strength gains, it also gives good lean mass gains while keeping fat gains at bay. One final stack I’d like to mention, which many report as the best steroid stack, is Testosterone/Trenbolone. This is the all around stack that will add muscle mass, decrease bodyfat, and give strength gains. Add in some Dianabol for increased weight gain, some Anadrol for even greater strength, or Anavar for increased fat metabolism. Just remember that as you add more steroids into the mix you increase the chances of side effects, so you need to balance your desire for results with some caution over the risks.