TSP Q/A – What is the Best First Stack Design

Q: What considerations should be made before starting your first AAS experience and what is
the best first stack design?

Before we dive into the portion of the article where we talk actual stack designs, I would be remiss if I
didn’t talk about the thought process behind the actual decision to begin using AAS. I want to be very
clear about a few things…

– AAS should not be used as a crutch in the place of any lifestyle variables which are lacking…
– AAS are illegal in many countries around the world so please familiarize yourself with local laws
regarding AAS and the consequences of ordering, possessing, and using them (I do not condone
illegal activities)
– I do not support the popular “cycle / PCT” baloney preached on many internet based AAS
boards. Once you decide you are ready for AAS then my stance is that this becomes a life-long
commitment, barring health complications

Let’s dive a bit deeper on these key points.

I feel it is very important to understand key lifestyle variables and work on mastering them before
considering the use of AAS. Some of these variables are going to include dietary design, proper training
knowledge, stress management, regular sleep, etc. With only very few exceptions, hopping on AAS too
early is analogous to trying to put on the roof of your house before the walls are in place. Sometimes
you may see guidelines that provide mandates such as you must train naturally for five years. I refrain
from these types of matter-of-fact proclamations because I have worked with many athletes over the
years that have a solid understanding of these variables within much shorter time-frames than that.
Conversely, there are some who just never get it, and are probably are not good candidates to consider
exogenous hormone use.

And, I do not support the “cycle/PCT” methodology preached frequently around the Internet. I feel very
strongly that once the decision to use AAS has been made, this is now a lifelong commitment for the
individual. There may be reasons why an individual needs to come off, however this should be the
exception and not the norm. Once exogenous hormones reach supra-physiological levels, the
endogenous production of certain hormones becomes completely suppressed. When coming off of a
cycle, the body must restart these endogenous processes. As you can imagine, it is not beyond reason
to hypothesize that this frequent hopping on and coming off can be very stressful on the endocrine

When not actually on a blast (i.e. using supra-physiological doses of AAS to assist with a growth or
leaning out phase) then the individual should be switching over to either a bodybuilder TRT or true TRT cruising
period. The only difference between the two being that bodybuilder TRT cruises will be a bit higher (e.g.
250mg-500mg/week TestE) and only designed for very advanced-level individuals who are well beyond
natural limits. Just about everyone else should be using true TRT cruising methods (e.g. 75-150mg/week
TestE based upon serum blood test results).

Now, let’s assume the individual in question has gotten this far, and passes all these key points.
Wanting to begin their first AAS blast – what exactly is the best first stack design? Of course, in my eyes,
there is never going to be a singular best design so instead we will talk about some considerations that
should go into the stack design planning process.

I don’t like for someone’s first AAS experience to be during a period of dieting. Anecdotally speaking, I
feel that an individual’s greatest response is going to come during their first blast and using this during a
diet is largely a waste of exogenous hormones. I’m not suggesting that AAS cannot assist during a
period of dieting, but rather diets can be done fairly easily while in a non-enhanced state. And, going
back to the talking points earlier, if someone cannot diet down to a state of visible abs, then they very
likely have no business using AAS anyway. So plan your first AAS experience following a natural dietary
phase, where already in a state of leanness, and ready to grow some quality lean tissue.

The first AAS experience will also be quite overwhelming. Over time, and with experience, it becomes
second nature – but this is going to be the first time many folks will ever inject themselves with a needle.
It will also be the first time feeling testosterone in a supra-physiological dose. For this reason, there is
going to be a steep learning curve. And, for this reason, I highly urge folks to keep their first stack design
very simple – to limit the amount of variables in the event unexpected things happen and
troubleshooting is required. Much like we did earlier, let’s list some key points to consider at this

– Start your AAS phase in a lean state and do so in such a way that the blast can be used for
hypertrophy and not lipolysis
– Keep the amount of compounds used to an absolute minimum
– Have AIs on hand, but never proactively run them from the start of your blast

Although going a bit beyond the scope of this article, just understand that there is some evidence to
suggest that AAS response is improved somewhat in a physique carrying less adipose tissue.

The logical compound for a first growth blast is going to be testosterone and the enanthate ester is
fantastic for a first-time AAS user. Not only is there more active testosterone per mL than other
testosterone esters but it can be dosed quite effectively in a bi-weekly manner, which can be a blessing
for someone who has never injected themselves before. I never advocate going less frequently than bi-weekly
with long ester compounds though.

Now, due to the fact it is a long ester, it can take 2-4 weeks for some to feel the full impact of
supra-physiological TestE doses. Some want instant gratification and like to add an orally administered
AAS (e.g. anadrol/dbol) as a kick-start to their blast. Oral AAS can be felt within the first few days,
particularly if dosed in a pre-workout fashion, and are often dropped after a few weeks in order to let
the TestE take over.

It is also worth mentioning masteron. Masteron is a DHT derived androgen that works very well with
estrogenic compounds such as testosterone. Running a small amount of masteron alongside your
testosterone based stack can put androgen:estrogen (A:E) ratios into harmony, often negating the need
for any estrogen control. There are other DHTs that can be used for this purposes as well such as winstrol,
primobolan, and proviron. However, masteron is a very cost-effective and mild first-time option.

And, speaking of which, I am not an advocate of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and particularly not for first time
users of AAS. I think it is a wise strategy to have suicidal AIs (e.g. aromasin) on-hand, in case they
are needed, but never proactively take them because it can take weeks for testosterone to reach peak
aromatization rates so there is a very high chance of crashing estrogen by using this strategy.

Crashed estrogen is not fun. There are also a whole slew of other issues by becoming dependent upon AIs such as
significantly suppressing your entire GH/IGF axis, but this will have to be an article for another day.

Instead, consider using the masteron approach for A:E ratio purposes and have aromasin on-hand for
emergencies only. Suicidal (non-reversible) inhibitors are preferred as they can be used in an ad hoc
fashion instead of the need to run them regularly, as would be the case for reversible inhibitors (e.g.
arimidex, letrozole).

Now, I won’t go so far as to provide dosing recommendations because I don’t find AAS to be a “one size
fits all” proposition. This is loosely analogous to asking someone what a doctor prescribed them and
then prescribing yourself the same dose without understanding the entire picture. However, what I will
say is that for most individuals 100-125mg/week of pharmaceutical grade TestC or TestE will put them
into the 800-1200ng/dL range, which is right on the upper reference range limits. So, this can be used as
a general template for deciding how high one wants to go. Blood tests are always preferred though, to
have the actual objective data, instead of using templates such as these.

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