A Bulking Cycle That Works
A bulking cycle seems to be the end all to getting big. Guys ask me almost daily, “what's the best bulking cycle?” “What's the bulking cycle that works? The problem with most of these dudes is that a bulking cycle that works is the last thing they need, literally, the last. That's not to say a bulking cycle that works isn't for them, it's just not what they need now. For most of these guys, a bulking cycle is putting the cart before the horse.
So, what comes before the bulking cycle that works? Two things: Diet and training. Oh, wait, you already haver those two things dialed in right? I mean you eat “clean” and train like a dog. You're ready for a bulking cycle that works, right? Absolutely, if the foregoing were true. But, I can tell you, based on 30 plus years of performance coaching, most guys starting out in the muscle game are delusional. Their “clean diet” is poorly calculated and really not as clean as they think. And, their training? If I had a dollar for every time a guy told me how hard he trains, who in reality trains all wrong, I wouldn't have to be writing this right now; I'd be in a high-rise in Miami beach drooling over my wife's latest lingerie purchase. Even the Cross Fit guys I work with are astounded at the fact that they're crushing PR's every single week, just by following my diet. So, before you even dream about a bulking cycle that works, make sure your diet and your training are dialed in. If that bedrock of muscle building is solidly in place you'll get better results on your bulking cycle, with less drugs.
Now, assuming that your diet and training are on point, the bulking cycle that works is the one that is going to take full advantage of your perfect diet and stellar training effort. A bulking cycle that works will accomplish two things: growth and repair of muscle tissue. Of course there may be ancillary benefits to body composition and other health markers, but we don't employ bulking cycles for any other reason but to get big. So, here's the secret: A bulking cycle that works (for adult men) is broken down into three facets. Not necessarily equally important, nor, depending on the individual, necessary. The first is the sex hormone stack, the second is the peptide hormone stack, the third is insulin. In that order.
Lets take the sex hormones first. The original steroid guru, Dan Duchaine famously once said, “if you don't grow on testosterone and Deca, you're not going to.” It's been almost 40 years since he made that statement and, so far, no truer words have been spoken.
Sex hormones are categorized in terms of their anabolic and androgenic characteristics. Anabolic refers to their ability to affect anabolic activity (growth) in muscle. Androgenic refers to the secondary sexual characteristics of a male. Using testosterone as a baseline, those compounds that are more anabolic and less androgenic than testosterone are deemed “anabolic.” those that are more androgenic and less anabolic than testosterone are considered “androgenic.” in order to build significant muscle, a bulking cycle that works would include a sex hormone stack that is both highly anabolic and only mildly androgenic.
Any decent description of steroid compounds will disclose both their anabolic and androgenic rating. While testosterone and Deca are indeed a benchmark stack for a bulking cycle that works, there are certainly other stacks that accomplish the same thing. What the user is looking for is a stack that is only mildly androgenic and concomitantly highly anabolic. Choices are usually made based on availability, toxicity, propensity to aromatize, ester length, price, etc. but, at the end of the day, the Occam's Razor of a bulking cycle that works could easily echo those above mentioned words of Duchaine; it is, without a doubt, the simplest answer: testosterone and deca. Of course you could add to that; anadrol or dianabol for the first few weeks of the bulking cycle is a popular addition, but for the most part, testosterone and just about any other steroid on top of it is the backbone of any bulking cycle that works.
Peptide hormones such as HGH (human growth hormone) or IGF-1 Are usually part of a bulking cycle that works. While peptides are deemed by some as not packing enough effect to be worth their expense, by today's standards, a bulking cycle that works will contain at least growth hormone, if not growth hormone plus ancillary peptides such as IGF-1, IGF-1LR3, etc. These stacks can get very very expensive and are usually reserved for elite level athletes. However, it's not to say that 4 – 6 IU of HGH a day wouldn't be highly effective in creating a strong anabolic and fat burning synergy when stacked on top of the testosterone plus a steroid bulking stack to construct the ultimate bulking cycle that works.
The final element is insulin. I'm only brining it up because so many people bring it up online and discuss it's use, usually littered with errors and dangerous practice. While insulin is considered perhaps the most anabolic hormone on the planet, it's use is not always recommended. Certain body types don't respond well to it, it's difficult to manage and if you screw up you can fall into a coma and die. If you're a hard gainer and are one of those guys that stays lean eating burgers and fries, then you're probably a good candidate for insulin. If you get fat easily, you're not. You also have to remember that insulin and growth hormone pretty much cancel each other out. So, you have to space out your use of each. Insulin is tricky to use, it can kill you, make you fat, or help you add slabs of muscle. My position for most users is that adding insulin to you bulking stack is probably not a good idea. However, with all the bro science available on line, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how, or even if, insulin fits into a bulking cycle that works. Because of it's deadly component, I'm not going to outline how to use it here. If you don't know how to use it you need to hire someone who does. Insulin can be incredibly effective for the right kind of user, and incredibly problematic for the inappropriate user or the uninformed.
Now that the components have been listed what does a bulking cycle that works look like? For a 200 pound bodybuilder with fairly low body fat, it should look like this:
Week 1 -20:
1,000 mg testosterone cypionate + 400mg Deca once weekly
4iu growth hormone per day
Week 1 – 8
50mg Anadrol + 20mg Dianabol per day
Obviously your diet must be dialed in to provide adequate nutrients to build muscle and fuel your intense workouts, but, as the original Guru said, if you don't grow on this, you're not going to. I'm purposely leaving out insulin, but will say that elite bodybuilders routinely use 10 – 20 units a day in conjunction with an exact protocol for its use.
The final component to a bulking cycle that works is routine blood work and post cycle therapy (PCT). Blood work is vital to knowing what's going on in your body as it reacts to the hormones you're pumping in. A baseline blood panel should be run before you start your bulking cycle. It should include not only a CBC (complete blood count), but also free testosterone, prolactin and estradiol. Another similar test should be run midway through your cycle at week 10 before deciding if you need an anti-estrogen, and another one at week 20 before running PCT, and another one 30 days after PCT. These blood panels will indicate important items affected by steroid use such as hormone levels, cholesterol, kidney and liver function as well as red blood cell activity, triglycerides and other markers of health. A good coach should know how to read your blood work and advise you on how and what to run for PCT, if anything, and to keep you apprised of any potential problem that could develop and what to do about them.
Employing the foregoing under the care of a sympathetic physician, clinician or knowledgable coach will help you add a good amount of muscle to your physique with the least insult to your body.
- Posted on January 8, 2017