Are You Ready For Your Next Cycle?
This is partly an extension of the article exploring why we cycle with the intent to give people a checklist to follow regarding their health and other factors to consider before starting.
Let's assume you have read the FAQ here, and have considered what is said about its legality and risk and are still planning on moving forward.
If this is not your first cycle, the oft touted time on = time off is useful, but only up to a point. If your health indicators are in range, there's no reason to stay off of cycle if you do not wish to be. This is true vice versa - if you have been off cycle for an equal or longer period of time but your blood work shows something is up, don't jump back on cycle just yet.
So with that said, let's get into the checklist:
- Is your T returned to baseline? (If you're on TRT you can skip this question) If this is your first cycle, get a baseline blood test. You can only ever get one, and you will compare your future blood tests against this one. If you've cycled before, is your test, FSH and LH all back within range and back to where it was originally? If not, depending on your compound you were running you may need to extend your PCT - you're not ready to jump back on cycle.
- Are your other blood markers within range? Specifically, BUN and creatinine (which shows if your kidneys are working optimally), and cholesterol. Is there anything else on your blood panel which may indicate a problem that PEDs may make worse?
- Are all other health considerations either non-existant or under control? Heart or lung disease would generally rule out most PEDs, but perhaps some SARMs might be beneficial in this instance. Thyroid disease can be made more erratic by PEDs use, but can be managed if user is in remission.
- Is your blood pressure within normal range? AAS use is associated with increased systolic hypertension risk (increasing at least 10mmHg). SARMs too can impact BP negatively. More here: https://www.reddit.com/r/PEDsR/comments/8dv799/blood_pressure_the_silent_killer_and_how_to_manage/
- Are you mentally in a good place? Trouble with the wife or at work already without adding in PEDs? You may not wish to add in PEDs to the mix, and certainly don't run tren. Make sure you are in a place where you won't be in high stress situations. Injesting unknown mystery goo could make your responses unpredictable.
- Can you financially afford a cycle? This may seem unfair to many, and I apologize if this seems patronizing or even elitist. If you cannot afford your PEDs, supporting drugs, any supplements you might need, along with two blood tests (one before, one post cycle recovery), there's no shame in continuing to read and planning your future cycle.
- Do you have your cycle planned properly? If your cycle is 8 weeks long, do you have 8 weeks worth of the compound and its supporting anciliaries? For AAS, that should be an AI, PCT (if not cruising or on TRT), alcohol swaps, drawing and injecting needles / syringes. For SARMs, you should consider if you are planning on PCT or not (I would argue not. And in both cases, you should also consider what is your exit strategy. What happens when you need to take that emergency trip away from home, or if the compound you get is not actually the SARM you ordered, and you start to develop a nice set of tits? Always keep PCT on hand, even if you are not planning on using it, as your back up.
- Is gyno non-existant or at least under control? Root causes, and addressing gyno are covered here and here. If you have pre-existing gyno, you should attempt to reduce its severity prior to your cycle.
If you've made it through this far answering yes to each question, you've considered the factors that commonly derail cycles. If there are things to work on, don't rush into a cycle underprepared. Being on cycle is a one way door - you can never un-take PEDs.
Edit 5/26/18. Dopamine sensitization may be a long term concern: https://www.reddit.com/r/PEDsR/comments/8md4te/dopamine_spikes_when_oncycle_and_desensitization/