One term that you’ll often come across when learning how to use steroids is “cycle.”
So, what’s a steroid cycle? Well, steroid cycling is a technique used by body builders whereby they supplement on anabolic compounds for a given period.
This is then followed by a period where no steroids are used but normal exercise and healthy eating habits are continued.
Therefore, a steroid cycle in the simplest sense can be referred to as the time frame anabolic androgenic steroids are being used.
Sometimes this period is also referred to as “on-cycle.” On the other hand, “off-cycle” is the term used to describe the time when steroids are not in use.
Why Cycle Steroids?
Steroids are taken in cycles for the following reasons:
All steroids cause side effects due to prolonged use. Going off steroids for a period of time allows liver values to return to normal plus the body gets a chance to resume normal hormonal function.
Going off cycle also prevents major side effects or at least helps to control minor ones.
- To Achieve Different Fitness Goals
For instance, there are steroid cycles for bulking, cutting fat or gaining strength. Bodybuilders can run different cycles to achieve various fitness goals.
Tips for Selecting the Best Steroid Cycle for You
There are many things to consider before choosing a steroid cycle. Before going into that, it’s important to know what a steroid stack is.
When running a cycle, you can use multiple steroids together in a process that is known as stacking.
Combining different steroids to form a stack creates a synergy between these drugs to give a greater effect than the sum of the parts.
Whether you choose to use one steroid or a stack, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your cycle. These include:
If you decide to use steroids, ask yourself what you want to achieve with these bodybuilding drugs. Is it to pile on more muscle, enhance performance, or increase strength?
Steroids tend to elicit different effects depending on their strongest properties. Some are more anabolic in nature, which makes them good bulking agents.
Others are better at increasing strength or maintaining current lean mass. Once you clearly define what you want to achieve with steroids, choosing a cycle becomes easier.
There are many options to choose from when it comes to selecting a steroid cycle. However, your gender will also factor in the final decision.
If you’re female for instance, you should use steroids that have a low androgenic/anabolic ratio. Such steroids have a less chance of causing extreme virilization, the development of male sex characteristics.
In addition, women do not need to follow up steroid use with a post cycle therapy.
Post Cycle Therapy or PCT is a period of medication treatment that follows the use of anabolic androgenic steroids.
The main purpose of running PCT is to help the body resume normal testosterone production.
Men that use steroids with a strong aromatizing effect tend to experience increased estrogen levels during the off cycle phase.
This in turn can lead to an estrogenic side effect called gynecomastia, which causes enlarged breast male tissue.
If you are a male and happen to use steroids that cause gynecomastia as a side effect, then you will need to use Selective Estrogen Receptacle Modulators (SERMs) during the PCT phase.
Experience level also plays a big role in determining the length of a steroid cycle and dosage. For example, novice users are advised to keep their first cycles as simple as possible.
This involves sticking to the lowest effective dose and running a short cycle. With this approach, beginners can gauge how their bodies will react to anabolic compounds.
In contrast, intermediate and professional users can run longer cycles and take higher doses because their tolerance levels are better compared to that of beginners.
As the period of steroid use and doses go up, so does the risk for side effects.
Therefore, even if you’re not new to steroids, it’s still imperative to take doses that are still within the realm of safe and cycles for different steroids or stacks must be kept within the recommended periods.
- Learn About Steroid Esters, Half-lives, Doses and Cycle Lengths
Learning about steroid esters and half-lives allows you to schedule doses for your cycle properly.
Steroids that have a short half-life have to be administered more frequently because they clear the system quickly. Such anabolic compounds also tend to have short esters. An ester is simply a carbon chain on the molecular structure of any given synthetic steroid. The longer the ester group, the more time it takes for a steroid to act.
Injectables are the most common steroids with long acting esters. Blood plasma levels of such steroids build up over time.
As a result, steroids with long acting esters can be administered less frequently plus they allow you to run longer cycles.
When running a bulking cycle, it’s common practice to use a fast acting oral steroid in conjunction with an injectable anabolic compound that has a long acting ester.
The fast acting steroid is included in the cycle to bring about quick gains, while the latter acts as your base and allows you to maintain most of the gains made during the first few weeks of the cycle.
How long one should remain on-cycle not only depends on the level of experience with steroids, but also on the type of steroid or stack that you choose to use.
Different steroid websites provide tables and charts detailing cycle lengths for different steroids and stacks.
Some sites even recommend cycle lengths based on your level experience, with categories such as beginner, intermediate and advanced.
Once you have decided what cycle you want to run (that is bulking, cutting, or strength gaining), make sure to visit such websites to learn how long you should remain on cycle.
Where to Get the Best Steroids for Bodybuilding
Now that you know what to consider when choosing the best steroid cycle, the next step that follows is to know where to get these drugs.
Because of different laws of each country and issues with professional sports, steroids are bought in different manners all over the world.
In most states, steroids are not permitted for use without a doctor’s prescription and you can even be penalized for possessing them.
As such, most steroids are sold in the black market. You can find these drugs in the form of pills, injectable liquids, creams or powder.
Unfortunately, some suppliers distribute either fake or low quality steroids. Other suppliers sell steroids at exorbitant prices. So, how do you go about buying the best steroid cycle to support your fitness goals?
Well, one of the best places to buy steroids online. Most countries lack proper laws to regulate the online market place, which makes it easy to buy steroids on the Internet.
However, don’t just spend your hard earned money on the first online steroid store that you come across.
To avoid scams, make sure to deal only with online companies that have a proven track record.
You can find reputable steroid suppliers online by reading human testimonials or live reviews with before and after photos.
Another reliable way to get steroids is asking your gym trainer or training buddies for referrals. Most steroid suppliers tend to be gym rats that work closely with underground labs.
However, if you don’t know anyone that can vouch for a given supplier, then you should look elsewhere for someone who comes highly recommended.
When going about choosing the best steroid cycle for you, it’s important to keep in mind the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.
If you only take steroids and fail to work out and eat healthy, prepare to be disappointed. Steroids are not a replacement for healthy eating or exercise.
Instead, they play a supportive role to maximize your fitness training regimen.