How Long Should Your Steroid Cycles Last?
Steroids are great for increasing muscle, but you have to be careful with how often you take them. Read on to learn how long your steroid cycles should last.
When trying to build muscle and bulk up, there are a variety of pathways to choose.
Above all, it’s important to eat right and exercise for muscle growth. You’ll need to boost your intake of protein supplements in order to gain muscle mass, and then find a fitness plan that targets the areas you want to build.
But to gain a lot of muscle in a short amount of time and get that bodybuilder physique, many people turn to anabolic steroids.
This can be risky if proper precautions aren’t taken, so it’s important to learn about the process fully before getting started with this type of plan.
In particular, it’s important to read up on steroid cycles to determine how long you can safely take the steroids in between rest periods.
What Are Anabolic Steroids?
Anabolic steroids are the synthetic equivalent of the male sex hormone testosterone. The hormone’s primary purpose is to promote sexual maturity and overall development in males. This is why the hormone level spikes during puberty.
As we age, hormone levels begin to taper off. It’s a normal process, and it’s often why people often feel less energetic as they age.
Anabolic steroids can counteract this drop in hormones by providing an alternative source.
How Do Anabolic Steroids Build Muscle?
Testosterone supports body development by triggering skeletal muscles to grow. Therefore an increase of testosterone in the body will allow for greater muscle mass.
While this isn’t the body’s natural form of testosterone, the synthetic version found in steroids is recognized by the body and functions in the same way.
For this reason, there are a number of effects in addition to muscle growth that can be experienced by steroid users. Potential side effects include lower cortisol levels (which can reduce body fat) and increased energy.
There may be other unintended effects to consider, including a deepening voice and excessive hair growth. Remember, this will be a similar experience to going through puberty, so the entire body can be affected.
Each person is different, so each person may experience different effects. It’s important to understand this before starting a steroid regimen, because muscle growth may not be the only result you see.
What Are Steroid Cycles?
To get the best muscle building results with anabolic steroids, you have to do some research.
Different users will have different dosage requirements and timelines for when they are “on” and “off” the steroids. This is referred to as steroid cycles.
Steroid cycles can be adjusted depending on how much muscle you want to gain in what amount of time.
There’s no set guideline since steroid cycle lengths and recovery time can depend on a few different factors.
But if you want to use steroids safely with minimal negative effects, it’s crucial to stick to a cycle.
Determining the Length of a Steroid Cycle
When figuring out how long your steroid cycles should last, consider your personal goals and timeline for results.
Steroid cycles generally last between 6 to 12 weeks, followed by an “off cycle” period. The main variables in determining steroid cycles are your goals and your body conditioning.
If you want to follow an aggressive muscle building strategy, you may be able to get away with being “off” the steroids half as long as you were on them.
So if you were taking the steroids for 8 weeks, an aggressive cycle may include a 4-week “off-cycle” recovery time.
If you’re not following such an aggressive strategy, you can do the same number of weeks “off-cycle” and “on-cycle.”
A safe estimate for this scenario would be 8 weeks on the steroid, followed by 8 weeks off of it.
Lastly, a more conservative steroid cycle would be twice as long “off cycle” as “on-cycle.”
So 8 weeks of steroids, followed by 16 weeks without.
The main way to ensure safe steroid cycles is to wait until natural testosterone levels return to their baseline numbers before beginning the next cycle. You don’t want to flood your system with testosterone without there being some break in between.
Considerations When Beginning a Steroid Cycle
To ensure a safer experience, consider these factors before taking testosterone boosting supplements.
Age Recommendations for Steroid Use
It’s recommended that bodybuilders and other athletes wait until they are at least 25 years old before they start taking steroids.
This is because testosterone levels peak during puberty and continue to remain high through the mid-twenties.
If younger people take testosterone supplements before their bodies have hit their peak, it can have the opposite effect the user is looking for.
Rather than growing big and strong, younger steroid users may end up physically stunted and bloated from water retention.
Whereas the intention was to create a lean, hard body, they may end up with less masculine features in addition to hair loss.
For young bodybuilders who want to gain muscle, the safest way is through a high protein diet and targeted weight lifting and exercises.
Once they’ve hit their testosterone peak and their levels begin to drop, it’s safe to begin supplementation.
When beginning a steroid cycle for the first time, make sure you’re starting with only testosterone – no other steroids!
You can continue testosterone-only cycles, following the necessary “on cycle” and “off cycle” protocols for as long as you want. But for the first cycle, in particular, it’s important not to mix other steroids.
This is because testosterone is already naturally produced in the body, so your body is used to having a certain level circulating through the bloodstream.
However, your body may have a negative reaction to too much testosterone at once.
It’s advisable to test your body’s reaction to an increased testosterone level. You can then see how much it can tolerate without negative effects.
If you included multiple steroids during the first cycle, it would be nearly impossible to know which steroid produced the negative effects.
In any case, it’s always a good idea to ease yourself into new habits gradually. Steroid cycling is no different in this respect. Keep your first few cycles low-dose and short and then work your way up from there.
Injectable Steroids Versus Oral Steroids
It may seem counter-intuitive, but when just starting out with steroid cycles it’s best to begin with injectable anabolic steroids rather than those taken by mouth.
Though oral steroids may be easier to come by, they can be difficult for the body to process initially.
Starting with injectable steroids means that you can avoid the digestive system, which will also be easier on your liver.
Oral steroids also don’t last as long in the body, so you’ll need to take them much more frequently (multiple times per day) to have the same effect.
Keep Your Health in Check
It can’t be over-stated – the key to fitness and muscle growth is a healthy diet and appropriate exercise.
Though you should focus on consuming a high level of protein to build muscle, make sure you’re not neglecting other food groups.
Carbohydrates will provide energy to sustain your workout. Leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables will provide balanced nutrition so you don’t suffer from vitamin deficiencies.
Nothing will derail your fitness plan faster than getting sick – so make a conscious effort to keep yourself healthy. This also includes regular trips to the doctor.
Before you begin steroid cycling, schedule a check up at your local doctor’s office to make sure you’re in good health. Have them listen to your heart and lungs and consider a blood test to make sure your baseline hormones and other vitals are in good standing.
You should also start building up your physical strength and endurance before starting a steroid regimen. This will help your body ease into the increased activity and reduce the risk of overexertion.
Your body will soon be working on a whole new level. Prepare for this change by getting yourself into a better state of fitness before adding steroids or other supplements to the mix.
Incorporating Protein Supplements
Protein is the main building block for muscle growth, so you must prioritize getting enough into your diet.
But it can be difficult incorporating enough protein into every meal, which is why protein supplements can help you reach your bodybuilding goals.
Whether or not you’ve begun steroid cycling, you’ll need a good protein supplement to support muscle growth.
Whey protein, in particular, is a popular choice for supplementation and is made from a byproduct of milk or cheese.
There are different types of whey protein to choose from. Do some research to determine which will be the best one to help you reach your muscle building goals.
The benefit of protein supplements is that they can be easily mixed into shakes and smoothies. Many people find this more appealing than eating grilled chicken every day.
You also have a better idea of exactly how much protein you’re getting by measuring out the supplement yourself.
Beginning Steroid Cycling
Step 1. Condition your body through increased training and protein supplementation.
Step 2. Perform adequate research on safe steroid cycling to determine your cycles.
Step 3. Begin the process and get the body you want.
If you have questions about choosing the right products to help you reach your goals, contact our team of experts for information. We have years of experience in bodybuilding and steroid cycles and are ready to answer any questions.