Brandon Harding's Steroid Cycle
I've been asked to cover Brandon Harding's steroid cycle that he used in his last competition.
I found this video interesting because Brandon Harding is in the mainstream fitness industry niche.
He has a big channel and a big following, and he's probably the biggest in the mainstream to really break down what he's doing dose by dose, compound by compound.
I wanted to react to his video live and outline what my thoughts are on what he's using and the doses he's using.
This is Brandon Harding's Steroid Cycle:
- Testosterone Propionate – 150 mg per week
- Trenbolone Acetate – 300 mg per week
- Masteron Propionate – 150 mg per week
- Clenbuterol – 120 mcg per day
- T3 – 75 mcg per day
- Arimidex 1 mg every 3-4 days
- Anavar – 50 mg per day
- Winstrol – 100 mg per day
- Proviron – 75 mg per day
Brandon Harding's Oral DHT Derivatives
The first part of Brandon's cycle I'm going to touch on are the orals.
Here's what he said:
“Oxandrolone, this is essentially Anavar, and it's a hardening agent. I take 50 mg of this every single morning.”
“Next we have Stano. This is Winstrol. I take 50 mg of this in the morning, 50 mg on the nighttime.”
“Proviron – this shit is so strong. It really draws you out around the midsection and everywhere, especially on the legs. I take 75 mg of this in the morning.”
For somebody of his size and what he's trying to do, I don't really think he needs three oral DHT derivatives, being Anavar (Oxandrolone), Winstrol (Stanozolol), and Proviron, to be honest.
I think he could have easily gotten away with just Winstrol or just Anavar in that scenario.
I feel like all three of them in unison is kind of overkill.
Not to mention they're all going to destroy his hair.
He's still really young, so he probably hasn't lost 50% density yet, but it'll get there.
Once he notices it, he's going to regret having used unnecessary DHT derivatives for low level bodybuilding competitions.
“Clenbuterol, the fatburner of the natural world. I was taking 40 mg, then I was taking 80, and as of the past five days, I've been taking 120. It makes me feel like I'm going to a heart attack.”
120 mcg of Clenbuterol? God damn.
The common broscience limit of Clen is 120 mcg, where they say it starts becoming dangerous after 120 mcg.
Clenbuterol is so toxic to the heart.
It's probably the most unhealthy drug in bodybuilding.
Very rarely would you need as much as 120 mcg.
Typically when I ran it I would start as low as 10 mcg, and I would titrate up very slowly until I got to 80, to 100 mcg.
When I titrated up slowly, I never had to get it up to 120 mcg.
I probably would have stopped at 80 personally.
If you titrate slow enough, beta cell downregulation is not an issue during a contest prep.
T3 and Arimidex Usage
“T3 – this is to stop my thyroid from slowing down and to basically allow me to continue to burn fat.”
If you're using exogenous T3 (thyroid hormone), it doesn't stop your thyroid from slowing down like he says.
Rather, it actually further slows it down by suppressing natural endogenous hormone production, and you're now operating on exogenous hormone support at this point.
It doesn't slow down anything, you're actually shutting down your thyroid production when you use T3.
You're basically putting yourself into a supraphysiological state on purpose to burn higher amounts of fat.
“I'll take 25 mcg in the morning, 25 midday, and 25 on the nighttime. Arimidex, I'll take one of these every three to four days. This is to decrease side effects.”
25 mcg of T3 three times per day would flatten you out.
Anytime I went over 50 mcg, I started to get into catabolic territory, regardless of what I was running.
Most bodybuilders who've done this and know what they're doing would never cross 50 mcg of T3 unless they're on huge amounts of steroids and don't care.
With T3, there's definitely a threshold where more is not better, and it just really flattens you out.
Regardless of what people say in terms of anabolic support, T3 is going to rip muscle off of you like nothing else.
It doesn't care or distinguish between stored body fat or stored muscle protein, it'll just rip through your muscle.
When you get over 50 mcg, even if you're on Trenbolone and Testosterone, you'll start noticing you just get really flat.
I've never had good experiences with T3 past 50 mcg, personally.
I think 75 is overkill.
Regarding Arimidex, I guess it can decrease side effects like he says, that isn't entirely incorrect, but it is a bit misleading.
To clarify, it's aromatization induced high estrogen side effects that Arimidex will help alleviate, and it's dependent on what you're using.
If you're not using enough aromatizing drugs and you're on a myriad of DHT derivatives, using an AI would be nonsensical.
Testosterone Propionate Usage
“I'll be doing half a mL of this (Testosterone Propionate), Monday, Wednesday and Friday.”
Okay, so let's just assume it's dosed at 100 mg/ml, which most Test Prop vials are, so he's using 150 mg a week.
I'm not a huge fan of that frequency, doing Monday, Wednesday, Friday because there's that spare day where you're having some hormone fluctuation that's unnecessary.
But, it's kind of negligible, I guess.
150 mg if Test Prop is pretty reasonable.
I don't know how much more than that do you need when you're trying to cut for a competition and get as dry as possible.
I don't think it justifies any Arimidex usage though.
It's interesting that Arimidex is included at all in this cycle, especially with that many DHT derivatives to antagonize whatever potential aromatization you could have going on.
My TRT is 100 mg of Prop per week, and I don't even use an AI, let alone a really intense one like Arimidex at a full 1 mg dosage.
With all those DHT derivatives and with that low of a dose of Testosterone you shouldn't even need an AI at that point in my opinion.
I would bet his bloodwork would confirm that he didn't need the AI either.
“I'll be doing Masteron half a mL, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
I guess the Masteron is probably 100 mg/ml again, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Again, not a huge fan of the frequency, personally.
150 mg a week is responsible, but it's pretty negligible in my opinion for prepping for a show.
Masteron is very androgenic and it's great for drying out and hardening up when you're at low body fat percentage.
It's probably the best DHT derivative there is for getting stage ready dry.
I used to run Masteron at 400 mg per week to prep for competitions when I was younger, and anything under 300 mg per week I feel is a bit low for the purpose it is intended.
Trenbolone Acetate Usage
“Tren Ace is a fast-acting Tren, and I'll be taking 1 mL of this every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
I'm assuming his Tren is 100 mg/ml doing three shots a week, so that's 300 mg a week.
I'd probably run the Masteron higher and the Tren lower, personally.
Because at his size (he's probably around my size), you don't need that much gear, especially when you factor in the high doses of orals.
Brandon Harding's steroid cycle is a bit overkill in my opinion, and some of the ratios don't make a lot of sense.
If it were me, I would probably not even run the orals at all, and just run much higher Masteron.
Assuming I didn't care about my hair, I would do high Masteron and probably keep the Tren closer to what the Testosterone dosage was, and that would be it.
That would be perfectly sufficient for a guy our size.
People are quick to forget that Trenbolone is a drug made for cattle.
It's not made for humans.
If you go look at the efficacious dosage for a cow and compare it to how much a human is using to step on stage, it really highlights how absurd some of these broscience dosages are that are pulled out of thin air.
300 mg is not obscenely high in a traditional bodybuilding context relative to what most guys are using I suppose, but it's still high.
I'd probably do something more along the lines of this:
- Testosterone Propionate – 150 mg per week
- Trenbolone Acetate – 150 mg per week
- Masteron Propionate – 300 mg per week
- Clenbuterol – 80 mcg per day (after titrating up slowly over the contest prep)
- T3 – 50 mcg (after titrating up from 25 mcg)
Bodybuilders' Purpose For Taking Steroids Cliche
“Sometimes it's really freaking painful because you hit a nerve and you feel like you just got a butter knife and you stabbed it into yourself. You essentially feel like you're self-harming.”
“I hope that if anything, you can be convinced by this video to stay natural and to not do these things to your body because this isn't me giving you the knowledge to go do it. This is me telling you to not do it because it is not f*cking worth it.”
That's such a common cliche answer for guys on gear.
I'm pretty sure you'd be doing it regardless.
Let's be honest, there's a reason why I blasted AAS back in the day even when I wasn't trying to become a Mr. Olympia.
We both know that your genetics aren't going to get you to the Olympia.
Let's not pretend that you're doing this for competing purposes only.
It's totally fine if you want to get a better physique and get past your genetic potential.
A lot of guys try to justify their use of gear by talking about how it's only for competing and not for vanity.
I think 99% of bodybuilders would be doing it for vanity purposes and just don't admit it, so they use competitions as a cover-up.
A lot of these guys aren't getting to the Olympia stage and they know it.
Their genetics just aren't good enough, so they're blasting gear unnecessarily by their logic if its solely for competing purposes.
Most of those guys would probably be doing it anyway, regardless if they were competing or not.
Remember, you'll know after your first cycle if you have Mr Olympia genetics.
These guys are aware they're not going anywhere, but blast copious amounts of androgens regardless just to compete at low level shows.
Which is fine, I'm all for using PED's even if you aren't a high level competitor if you want to improve your quality of life, physique, or performance, but don't use a cop out like Brandon.
Brandon Harding's Steroid Cycle Is Overkill
I think the orals are over the top, unnecessary, and I'd probably not use any of them at his size personally.
I'd prefer higher Masteron in place of those orals.
Masteron is the most effective DHT derivative you can use for drying out, so I would just prefer a higher dosage of that instead of using 3 orals that will destroy your lipids, cause unnecessary organ stress, and are just not as efficacious anyways for the purpose they are intended.
Trenbolone at 300 mg per week I'd probably be a bit wary of, especially at my size or this guy's size.
I don't think we need dosages exceeding what they use for cows.
I also question the AI usage and the excessive T3.