What’s the Ideal Length for a Steroid Cycle?
Anabolic steroids used to increase muscle mass, endurance, and physical strength are taken in cycles. It means that there are “on” and “off” periods. To begin with, the question arises that why not to take them continually? Well, there are at least three reasons for not doing that.
- Taking steroids continually reduces the production of natural testosterone and leads to testicle atrophy, due to negative feedback.
- Taking steroids continually increases stress on various organs and thus increases chances of side effect like liver damage, harm to the cardiovascular system, and even psychological changes.
- Taking steroids continually also reduces their effectiveness due to the formation of certain substances like increased levels of myostatin.
Thus for optimal results and health, it is vital that steroids are taken in cycles. Which means that periods of use should be followed by periods of rest, thus providing the body a time to recover. Moreover, it should be understood that steroids would only help well if they are used along with training, diet, and supplementation.
Ideal length of steroids cycle
Theoretically, there is no such thing as the perfect length of steroids cycle . Therefore, no surprise that some sportsmen may take them continually, and they may keep on increasing the doses. Although some may do well with such system, most would develop adverse effects.
More than half a century of experience with steroids indicates that “on” period of the cycle should last between 8-12 weeks. For optimal benefit, it should be at least 6 weeks long. However, research indicates that effect starts peaking at about 8 months. Few sportsmen may go up to 12 weeks; they would do so by either increasing the dose or adding a new type of anabolic steroid.
Thus every cycle has “off” period (else it won’t be a cycle, rather a continuous use). However, duration of rest varies. When taking steroids aggressively, length of rest has to be about half of the duration of the “on” period. It means that 8 weeks of the on-steroids should be followed by 4 weeks of rest (not taking steroids). A balanced approach is of having equal “on” and “off” periods during the cycle. While the conservative approach is doubling the rest interval, that is 8 weeks of on-steroids-period is followed by 16 weeks of rest/ “off” cycle.
What else to know when starting steroids?
If you are thinking of using steroids for increasing performance, apart from cycles there are other things to keep in mind. Usually, it is not recommended to start steroids before the age of 25, as till that age natural production of testosterone is increasing. Taking steroids at a very young age may cause more harm than good and person may not develop masculine features sufficiently.
Another thing to know is that not to mix steroids from the day one. It is always better to start cycles with testosterone , rather synthetic analogs. Some people may be sensitive to high levels of testosterone, and experience shows that adverse effects are less common with testosterone injections.
Finally, for optimal results pay attention to diet. Have food that is balanced, rich in vitamins and minerals. And do not forget to keep a check on your health. If needed, do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
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