If you're new to the world of steroid you've probably heard about the term or phrase steroid cycles.
The term cycle actually refers to the length of time a steroid or a steroid stack is being used. When a cycle begins the steroid user is on cycle and when the cycle comes to an end or when the bodybuilder is not using steroids this period is referred to as an 'off cycle'.
Nowadays there is a huge range of different anabolic steroid compounds to choose from. What's more, you also have prohormones, peptide hormones, AI's, SERMS, steroid alternatives to name just a few. With this amount of choice there are limitless ways that you can stack steroids to achieve specific goals from bulking, cutting to gaining lean mass.
In fact, because there are so many options available, each stack and cycle that you run can produce completely different results and potential side effects.
The top bodybuilders and weightlifters experiment with many different steroid stacks and cycles until they find the right one that they're comfortable and produces the results they need to achieve there goals.
The best bulking steroid cycle has its own unwritten rules created over many years of trial and error. For example, a successful and effective anabolic cycle has a strong and reliable compound as its base. The most common is that testosterone should be used as the base compound in most cycles, especially if you are a beginner.
Now, there are several different forms of testosterone, however, when starting out this is not really important. What is important is that there are sufficient amounts of testosterone in the body to promote muscle growth.
If you are new to the world of steroids the best way to begin is by keeping things simple. You must remember that anabolic steroids are chemical drugs that affect the hormonal balance of the body. They must be handled with care.
As a beginner, you will have no idea how you're body will react to steroids, so always start out slow and monitor closely how your body reacts. Do not fall into the trap that many do by throwing to caution to the wind by using powerful steroids to make them get big so they can impress their friends. That strategy is a fast track to a hospitals emergency ward.
In the beginning start off with a few testosterone steroid cycles and see how you go. As you gain more experience and understanding add another anabolic compound and monitor the effects.
Avoid adding several steroids together as your body will not be able to cope with the side effects. Also, if things do go wrong and you get a bad reaction it will become very difficult to isolate the steroid that is causing the problem.
So when it comes to beginner anabolic cycles start off slow and steady.
When you've had a few stacks and cycles under your belt and you have not encountered any serious side effects you can consider trying out a few of the more advanced stacks and cycles.
It's important to point out that its not compulsory to do this. Many steroid users are more than happy to stick with their original cycle and have no desire add more compounds, increase the dose or run a longer cycle.
In fact, a standard testosterone cycle is more than enough for most men and women.
But of course, as human beings we are also genetically engineered to want more, to get bigger and stronger.
Adding more steroids, increasing the dose or running longer cycles will help you achieve to a point.
There will be a tipping point when adding more will not produce more results or the side effects undermine progress and cause health issues.
Its important to understand that the results you get such as weight gain, muscle growth and strength have a flip side. With each reward there is a risk.
The level of risk and reward will be different for each person, that's why starting out slow and constant monitoring is critical. But you must bear in mind that as you experience more rewards you will also increase the risks of potentially very serious side effects.
Whether its a beginner or advanced steroid hormone cycle you will need to consider taking protective measures against steroid side effects. But even so, there comes a point when more will no longer equal better. The reward to risk ratio will eventually become heavily skewed towards increased risk to the point that it becomes serious.
There's no one fits all answer because we're all biologically different. The type of steroid, its quality, the dosage, duration of use and protective measures are just a few of the factors that determine were that line will fall.
However, there are basic guidelines that you can adhere to. For example, to experience the best results from testosterone most guys would require a minimum weekly dosage level of 300 milligrams. In many cases, a weekly dosage of 400 to 500 milligrams provides the sweet spot of maximum rewards versus risk.
When guys with more experience don't feel there getting the most out of testosterone unless they're taking upwards of 700 to 1000 milligrams a week. This is reaching the limit before the risks outweigh the rewards. Anything over 1 gram of testosterone a week and side effects, especially due to high estrogen levels becomes unmanageable.
As you now know, a cycle refers to the length of time a steroid is taken. So is there a minimal or optimal time period that can deliver the maximum rewards with the minimum side effects.
Again there is no one answer fits all, but there are guidelines that can help keep you safe and enable you gain the maximum benefits in terms of muscle growth, size and strength.
In most cases, an 8 week cycle is considered to be the minimum amount of time that is needed to experience the full benefits of the steroids that you are using. This is for reason, because the human body, by nature, resists change especially in the early stages.
Just think about weight loss diets. Most people fail at these because it becomes so uncomfortable. That discomfort is the body resisting change. For this reason, you need an 8 week period to create a new normal. In most cases an 12 week cycle tends to be the most effective period for the body to adapt to a new normal and create the anabolic environment steroids need to do their work.
However, beginners should stick with an 8 week cycle with the same period off cycle. With more experience, gradually extent the cycle to 12 weeks.
Steroids cycles that extend beyond 12 weeks are not uncommon, although these are the domain of elite and serious body builders who want to attain long lasting results. For example, 16 week cycles have produced amazing results for certain users with minimum side effects. However, these are highly experienced individuals that know what they're doing.
For the hardcore elite, 16 to 20 week cycle are run to achieve superhuman gains in strength and size. In most cases, these guys rarely go off cycle, but instead cruise with a lower dose until they begin the next mammoth 20 week cycle.
If you're interested in learning more about specific cycles then please click on the articles below for more details.