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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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After dedicating over 8 years to extreme self-improvement, I have created "More Plates More Dates" as a one stop shop for helping you to get yourself on the right path to the "best you" possible too.


36 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.

      1. Ty Christopher

        Derek, thanks so much for the wealth of experience and info shared. I’m 50 and recently started TRT. I like to be informed so I began researching it before along with the use of peptides and SARMs to get back what I imagined I had before. What I quickly realized was that the doctors in the “health clinic” knew less than zero and we’re experimenting on me. I need guidance specific to me. What should I look for in my area. I’m considering pelletized TRT at 100 mg average delivery, Nandralone therapy for joint issues and muscle development(200 mg wk) with tamoxifen as PCT.
        BUT I don’t want to experiment I want to know. This may not be the best regimen for me Please tell me what to look for in a local guide(type of doctor or expert)

  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

    1. At around 10-11% body fat.

      If you have thick bones and large frame add 10lbs, if you have thin bones (wrist below 7 inches) (ankle below 9 inches) subtract 10lbs. Once you are at least within 95% of this chart below should you consider it. If you have poor muscle bellies-insertions genetics on top of small bones even 90% of the below chart could work.
      Also make sure you add the extra fat into the calculation if you are over 10-11%. Most people get the body fat estimate wrong. They think they are 12% but they are really 15-17% for example.

      5’10 – 185lbs
      5’11 – 190lbs
      6’0 – 200lbs
      6’1 – 210lbs

  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.


  10. Hi Dereek,
    My name is Ephraim and i am 32 years old, and i am in south africa.

    I recently started my cycle, which is 250mg test and 350mg of deca. I have reading and watching and investigating, and i foud that when there is too much deca that test you run the risk of deca dick.

    Please help.

    I am also your subscriber on youtube.

  11. Hi Dereek,
    Thanks for your brilliant information.. But I did not find any data about what you experienced after first cycle, means that conventional PCT woreked for you to maintain some(??) of your gains back then ?
    Also It would be appriciated to make a video concentrated on PCT , as a controvertial issue for those who want to blast once or twice per year, do not know the best approach and dossage, if there is one!!! … I’ve watch those about trick the brian with anti-androgen or proper time for PCT and others, but they are not that PCT-related ones

  12. Hey Derek,

    I’ve been going to the gym for 4 years now, I have the knowledge and proper practices when it comes to dieting and training, but I want to push the limits of my genetic potential past what they are at the moment. Would 125-150mg of test a week be a good start to test the waters and see how my body reacts to it before heading face-first into bodybuilding? Why would you take 300mg of test for your first cycle if you could go back, when you can achieve close to the same progress in a longer time frame with less?

  13. Hi Derek,

    Starting my First cycle soon. Planning on doing 350mg Test E per week, pinned with 29G IM every other day for 16 weeks. After watching some of Vigorous Steves videos, ive decided to add 25mg of Proviron to the first 3-4 weeks to reduce my SHBG. What are your thoughts on this cycle in general? Specifically, the efficacy of Proviron to promote lean tissue growth/kickstart the cycle.

    I also have Turinabol on hand incase my progress slows towards the end of the cycle. Would take 25mg per day.

    Looking forward to your reply!

  14. Hey Derek,
    Currently running my third cycle, ive run Test before but its my first time running test prop, tren ace, and mast prop. first time running tren and mast in general. Im already at 7 weeks and the gains have been steady but nothing godly, im keeping all the compounds at 250mg each, now i know thats pretty low but its my first go with tren and mast. my concern is im going to be dropping the Tren and Mast next week at my 8th week, now, can i run the Tren and Mast a little longer? or just drop them and raise the test a little the last few weeks, it would be a 12 week cycle.

  15. Hi
    I’m on test enanthate 300mg/week
    It’s been 3 weeks. But I’ve not seen any changes.
    May i know how long does it take minimum to see results.

  16. Hi Derek,

    About 3/4 years ago I ran Anavar at 20mg a day and stenabolic and cardarine (minimum dose, can’t remember exactly how much). Anyway, I realised something was wrong when I was experiencing symptoms of hypogonadism. I went to see my endocrinologist and my test levels were in the gutter, im talking around 200ng/dl and I am 26 years old. For the past year and a half, I have been on fertomid/clomid 150mg a week with an AI at 0.5mg every 3 days of the week (on my endocrinologist’s supervision and advice). I have tested my test levels over and over again but my free testosterone decreased despite my overall Test increasing a little bit, nothing significant. I have not done hardcore steroids or sarms, and I havent taken anything in over 3 years. Is this a sign that pct is not working and my natural production of test wont come within the normal range? Is TRT my only option? Is there anything I can do to get my test levels up naturally, and if not is TRT the only solution? Thanks.

  17. The best! Happy you share stuff like this for free other people wants money to share this kind of knowledge.

    Thanks Derek!

  18. Hi Derek,

    I am planning on doing my first cycle of Testosterone Cypionate. I am planning on taking 500mg per week. Do you still recommend the PCT that is outlined above with Nolvadex and Clomid. Also, do you think I need to take an AI? Thank you so much for your advice and videos.

  19. Hey all, I absolutely love the content but had a question I would be open to having answered by anyone who can give me a straight answer. I am by no means a newbie to lifting. I am 22 years old and have been lifting regularly since childhood. I am currently 223 pounds (16% body fat) and am starting to try and learn about various types of gear the past few months. My current and outstanding question is now how one gets their hands on a quality product? I know many of these drugs discussed would never be prescribed by a doctor, so how do I get my hands on something legitimate and know it is actually what I paid for? Obviously third-party testing is great, but I can only find that for people selling SARMS. Thank you in advance for the help!

  20. Hey Derek.. for your cycle you “wished you did” 250-300mg test E per week. What would be your “IDEAL” PCT??
    Hope all is well

      1. Pretty sure Derek won’t be replying to this.
        I have followed Derek’s work for a while. And I honestly don’t think he would pct.
        blast and cruise is better. You would just lower the test down to 75 to 100 mgs per week for your cruise period.
        Or maybe even switch to a gel or cream which is less intense than injecting.
        Unless you hav reached your final physique the blast and cruise method will get you to your final goal faster because you will lose significant size once you come off cycle completely.
        Why exactly would you do a moderate cycle of test only and come off all they way what is the point?
        Do you compete in sports ? What is the goal of your test cycle?
        What are you looking for in the temporary gain you will lose eventually.
        A good dose of HCG should help you pct along with some gh peptides to help you maintain when you come off/ transition to natural are helpful. If you must.

  21. I recently took the dive! I was not comfortable following the bioscience of 500 a week. It seemed to much. I started on 250 a week and I definitely feel the difference and I haven’t had any issues with aromatization although my BP is elevated at the moment. I personally think 250 might be a little to much for me but will find out when I get my bloods back.

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