Q: “I’d like to do 2-on, 4-off cycles and add serious strength while improving body composition. My goal is to gain 25 lb of muscle and drop 25 lb of fat over the next 6 months or so. I’m new to anabolic steroid use. I have 5 years of strength training gains have been slow lately. I’d like a periodized program. Can you suggest an outline?”
A: Your goal should be obtainable. One suggestion is:
Weeks 1 and 2: No anabolic steroids, no PCT. Training is with relatively high reps, using weights of about 60-70% 1RM, with week 2 using more weight than week 1. Volume is what you’ve found suitable long-term for natural training at this rep range. Calories are at for example 12 cal/day per pound of lean body mass, with protein of about 1 g/day per pound of LBM. However, if you can lose fat at for example 2-3 lb/week with more calories than this, then allow more calories. You can consider having up to two non-consecutive days per week where calories are very low but protein remains close to the above, if needed.
Weeks 3 and 4: Short-acting anabolic steroids are used, with dosages typically at about 150 mg/day total use, except that a trenbolone/Dianabol cycle can use doses as low as 50 mg/day each. An anti-aromatase or a SERM is used to control estrogen, except if in the individual case this is known to be unnecessary. Training uses weights such as about 75-85% 1RM. Week 4 should be heavier than week 3. Volume should be about 30% higher than what you’d find optimal short-term when training naturally. Calories will be about 1000 per day higher than your maintenance, and protein will be about 100 g/day higher than your usual. Aim to gain one to two pounds of fat over these two weeks.
Week 5: PCT begins. Training uses same weights as week 4, but volume should be reduced by about 50% or even more. Many exercises can be just one set. Make the negatives easy. Leave at least one rep in reserve on all sets. You may drop various smaller exercises. If you have specialized techniques such as Westside-style speed work, this is a good week for it. Calories should be your usual maintenance.
Week 6: PCT continues. Training continues to use the same weights as week 4. You can however do maximal reps in your final work set each exercise, and if you like, re-introduce some smaller exercises. For volume, use your optimal long-term natural-training amount for this rep range. Evaluate whether you need to cut during this week or can afford maintenance calories.
For several cycles to come, following cycles typically can increase in weight by 5% or a little more, while maintaining same reps and sets. Later, increases could be as low as 1% per cycle. This may sound low, but the resulting about-8% per year is more than most do, once advanced.