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My First Steroid Cycle | What I Would Change If I Could Go Back In Time

My First Steroid Cycle

Most of you guys know I use a high-normal dose of TRT.

I try to keep myself right on the cusp of supraphysiological Testosterone levels.

In the past I've blasted with supraphysiological amounts numerous times, and the first steroid cycle in particular is what I want to delve into today.

My first steroid cycle was the classic 500 mg of Test Enanthate for 12 weeks.

This is exactly how it was laid out:

That's the standard “go-to newbie cycle” that is talked about on the forums all the time, and is about as simple as it gets.

I didn't even use an aromatase inhibitor because I was so uneducated and haphazardly jumped into the cycle thinking I knew everything already.

Looking back in hindsight, that cycle was overkill.

I didn't need nearly that much gear for where I was at.

Even now, most of you guys know my TRT protocol is only 100 mg of Testosterone Propionate per week right now (at least at the time of writing this article).

It changes sometimes based on different experiments I'm doing, but that's roughly where it's at all the time.

My Testosterone replacement protocol has evolved over the years as I started to realize that I could get away with less and less.

It used to be 200 mg of Enanthate per week, then I dropped it down to 150 mg of Enanthate per week, and then I dropped it to 125 mg of Enanthate per week.

Then, I changed the ester to Testosterone Propionate, lowered the weekly dosage to 100 mg, and starting pinning micro shots every day with an insulin pin to try and replicate what would be closer to normal endogenous Testosterone production (this results in higher Free T and lower levels of aromatization).

Knowing what I know now, and seeing first hand how much size I can hold with only 100 mg of Testosterone Propionate per week, I brutally regret using 500 mg of Testosterone per week for my first cycle.

What I Would Change In My First Steroid Cycle If I Could Go Back In Time

If could go back in time, I could have gotten away with half of that easily, and still made significant amounts of progress.

I also should have waited until I had a more thorough understanding of diet.

I knew how to lift heavy and train hard, but my knowledge about dieting and learning how to prime my metabolism was not where it needed to be.

As a result, I spent a fair bit of time on hormones wasting muscle building potential, and getting fat when I didn't need to.

For the majority of men, you only have so many cycles in the tank before you get to a point where you either:

A) Have accelerated the miniaturization of your hair follicles and are forced to stop using hormones to prevent further hair loss

B) Have a health issue that forces you off hormones

This is why it is so incredibly crucial to fully understand how to diet, train, and how to milk the most muscle out of intelligent dosages as possible.

Even if you're side effect free, the higher your dosage is, the less potential muscle growth you will get out of each dosage increment as Myostatin will increase regardless to inhibit you from gaining too much muscle in the presence of supraphysiological androgens.

If you start at 500 mg and plateau, where do you go from there?

You either increase the dosage, introduce other androgens on top of what you're already using, or you have to come off/greatly lower the dosage periodically to reset Myostatin.

Using too much gear off the bat is a big regret I have, but there wasn't as much of information available back then as there is now.

There were forums, but it wasn't like it is now.

When I was a teenager, bodybuilding was cool and getting as big as possible was the objective.

As the years progressed and social media exploded, freak show bodybuilders started to look less and less appealing, and we all started noticing how many bodybuilders were actually dropping like flies from health problems.

To the average juice head, 500 mg per week is nothing.

This is partially because we have all been brainwashed into thinking that there is no ceiling on the returns from AAS, when in reality, once you hit a gram or two per week, the diminishing returns are so drastic that even if you tripled the dosage at that point, you would just end up with more side effects and no additional muscle gain.

If you're convinced every IFBB pro is using 5 grams per week, then 500 mg per week seems a lot more reasonable.

The reality is that 500 mg is actually a lot of gear.

I can sustain my current physique on 100 mg of Testosterone per week.

Maybe even less, and I will likely see how low I can get it before I start seeing muscle loss in the near future (androgens are one of the main roots of heart disease).

If I could go back in time, I would probably use around 250 mg of Testosterone propionate, or 300 mg Testosterone Enanthate per week for my first steroid cycle (depending on my blood work).

How Many Milligrams Of Testosterone Do Men Naturally Produce?

The average natural male produces 3 mg to 10 mg of Testosterone per day, with the average being 6-7 mg per day.

That is only 70 mg per week on the absolute high end of the genetic elite.

Keep in mind, there is no ester that needs to be cleaved from the molecule, so 21 – 70 mg is literally 21 – 70 mg when it comes to endogenous production.

When you factor in ester weight with Testosterone Enanthate, 500 mg per week might actually only end up being between 300 – 350 mg of usable Testosterone.

However, that 350 mg is still several times higher than the endogenous production of a genetic elite.

It is around 7 times more Testosterone than an average young healthy male produces per week (50 mg).

Personally, I don't see any justification to start at 500 mg for a first cycle, or a dosage that would then put someone in a position where there is so much aromatization occurring that they are forced to deploy an Aromatase Inhibitor.

If you are already on half a gram of gear and throwing back Aromasin/Arimidex tabs just to keep your Estrogen in check during your first cycle, you're way off the mark from smart bodybuilding practices.

Do you really need to increase your androgen index by 7-10x times higher than what it normally is just to push past your genetic plateau?


A much more reasonable dosage will still provide significant growth opportunity with a much lower incidence of side effects, while ensuring greater long-term growth potential, and I wish I realized this sooner.

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18 thoughts on “My First Steroid Cycle | What I Would Change If I Could Go Back In Time”

  1. Hi Derek,

    I recently switched from 2 x a week injections to daily injections. Went from 100 mg x 2 a week to daily 25 mg injections of test a week.

    I’m currently using test cyp, I noticed you switched from test ent to test prop, if I’m doing daily injections for a more stable level and less aromatization, is test prop better than test cyp / ent?

    Also does test prop have more pip than test cyp / ent, not that I’ve really gotten any pip from test cyp except the first time I injected.


    1. I have no PIP but I only pin 14.25 iu’s of oil per day. Once the hormone is saturated then daily dosing would lead to consistent blood serum concentrations regardless of the ester choice, there is simply a higher molecular weight with the long esters, meaning less active compound relative to the dosage on the label.

  2. Awesome info man. I see a lot of people recommending 500mg on the first cycle. Even to this day.

    I’m starting my first cycle and I’m going back and forth over if I should do 250mg or 300mg per week. I’ve been training for 2.5 years but have only gained like 20 pounds of newbie gains, I still look DYEL so I don’t think much is needed to see gains for me. My question is, the label for Test E says “250MG/ML” so that means only a quarter is actual testosterone right? So I’d be getting 62.5 mg of test if I do 250mg of test with the oil included.

    Sorry if it’s a dumb and obvious question.

  3. I was going to start my first cycle soon. Naturally I produce around 800 of testosterone ng/dl so all the forums have said 250mg/week is not enough, the sides will be high and the return will be low, and instead to do 500mg/week.
    Thus my cycle was gonna be 500 mg/week test and some dbol to kick start it.

    Reading your article has created doubts for me. Perhaps a longer Deca cycle would make more sense, as its long term and milder.

    Current weight is 165 lb at 6’0. Spent a couple years at a lean 150, but bear moding as lean bulk is almost impossible for me. Goal is to get to 180lb and then lean out. Perhaps on gear I can get to a lean 200lb.

    1. 500 test with dbol on your first cycle is major overkill. Stick with 1 bioidentical hormone at a reasonable dosage is my suggestion.

  4. Hey Derek, when you say you’re pinning 100 mg of Test Prop per week I’m assuming that’s not including the ester? You would technically be pinning 130 mg per week which would leave about 100 mg of actual testosterone. Is that right?

    1. Hi Derek!

      I totally agree with you. Instead of doing the standard 500 mg wiki cycle I will follow your advice. Could you tell me though what AI and PCT you would do? That’s the only thing I am missing in this article. Thanks a lot!

  5. What gauge and length do you use for pinning? Sub Q everyday of course, ever since I saw your vid on wasting that .1 ML I cant go back.

    Also, congrats on the 100K, time for a million!!!

  6. Just a quick question for you I was thinking for my first cycle 300 mg test cyp a week and I have some dbol. I was going to run that for my first 3 weeks just to see what it’s like… if that’s really stupid please do let me know. For my pct I have nolva.. is that enough normally. I’m 28 now and I’ve taken like rad140 before and yk11 so this would be my first time with the real thing. Thank you very much

  7. Hey Derek what are your personal weight/bf standards for a natty physique before hopping on? At 5’10, 5’11, 6’0, 6’1, etc. I ask because way too many people hop on too early in training and it backfires in terms of bad pct, injuries, sides, etc

  8. Hi Derek!

    I’ve discovered your youtube channel and website recently, and i’ve been reading and learning as much as I can, you have tons of info! Thanks for all that dedication.

    I’m just getting into the topics of PEDs and SARMS, and as many I guess, have tons of newbie questions. Maybe a complete “newbie Q&A” would be cool for your own peace, haha.

    Anyways, if you have to choose now, with all your knowledge, for a first timer looking to increase lean body mass, considering results, risks, side effects, PCT, etc. what would you recommend? a test cycle, like the one described in this article, or an Ostarine SARMs cycle, like the ones described in your Ostarine article?

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Thanks for the no bs posts. I’ve realised how much garbage is out there that is totally detrimental to a person’s health. Just started my first cycle, I kept thinking my doses were too low for progress (reinforced by too much nonsense info) and realise now they’re right in line with what you’re saying!

  9. Great Article! 500pw does seem like overkill…

    You mentioned “limited cycles in the tank” over your lifetime.

    How do you determine the number of cycles you should do in your lifetime?

    For myself I’ve run the following, 2019 was by far the best…

    2016 – 400pw Test-e for 10 weeks
    2017 – 400pw Test-e for 8 weeks
    2018 – 400pw Test-e for 8 weeks
    2019 – 250pw Test-e + 40 Var for 8 weeks

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


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