How Long Should Your Cycle Be?
One of the most common questions I get asked is “Derek, how long should your cycle be?” or “Derek how long should I run a cycle of _____ for” or “How long should my cut cycle be?”
How Long Should Your Bulk Cycle Be (or your bulk in general even if you’re a natural athlete)
One thing that needs to be understood about muscle building is it is a slow process.
You cannot build an appreciable amount of muscle in 4-6 weeks, so even if you are on boatloads of anabolic assistance, doing a 4-6 week cycle in hopes of gaining a substantial amount of muscle is wishful thinking.
A productive bulk (in my opinion) should be around 12 weeks, and should be longer for some.
But for the sake of this article likely being read mostly by newbies doing their first cycle, 10-12 weeks would be more than a sufficient enough time frame to notice a substantial amount of progress.
For more advanced guys, embarking on 3-4+ month off-seasons will likely be necessary at some point to be able to pack on an appreciable amount of new lean muscle mass.
Doing mini-blasts of Ostarine or LGD for 3-4 weeks like some guys are doing is almost pointless.
All you are doing is getting some glycogen and nitrogen retention benefits, increased blood volume, and a minor amount of muscle gain.
The compound will have hardly saturated in your system yet, and barely any hypertrophy will occur by the time you are going off cycle.
If you are bulking, your cycle length should be an appropriate amount of time for your body to actually accrue a decent amount of new muscle mass, and to build on your strength levels while you slowly taper up your calorie intake.
How Long Should Your Cut Cycle Be (or your cut in general even if you’re a natural athlete)
The cycle length for cutting on the other hand should be however long it takes you to get to your desired body fat percentage.
The point of SARMs or AAS during a cut is to retain the lean muscle you have, so it only makes sense that the duration of your cut cycle should be as long as it takes to reach your desired level of body fat.
For me nowadays that is typically around 8-12 weeks, but I stay fairly lean year round.
For you, that may differ substantially.
16 week contest preps are quite common place nowadays.
When I was younger and did full blown unhealthy “bulk” phases where I’d gain upwards of 40-50+ pounds, my cut phases were always around 12-16 weeks to get shredded again.
Now, keep in mind, if you are needing over 16 weeks to get shredded, your first major mistake was letting your body fat get so out of control during your bulk that you need over 4 months to get shredded again, OR you have something severely wrong with your diet/training regimen that is hindering you from making consistent progress.
Assuming you don’t have a hormonal deficiency, it should not take anybody longer than 16 weeks to get shredded in my opinion.
Running a 20 week cycle for example means you would be blasting anabolic compounds for 5 months straight just to have the assistance you need to retain your tissue all the way to the end of the cut.
This is putting your body in a potentially unfavourable position from a health perspective for far longer than should be necessary to get in shape.
Your cycle duration should be based upon your own individual goals and needs (as well as state of health) as opposed to having some arbitrary number of weeks predetermined by someone else on the internet who you may see as a credible source of information.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.