Cycle Advice AAS Cycle Strategy: Tapering Up

TrenE

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Hello, as @CFC stated in some threads (also in the "Don't Frontload"-Thread) it is all about starting low and tapering up.

But this results in some unanswered questions:

1) When you should taper up AAS dosages?

For example starting with 250mg testosterone per week: For how many weeks should you stay at this dosage and when to taper to the next level like 500mg per week. And then again when to taper up to 750mg per week? How long to stay at the highest level? What does experience or scientific logic tell about that?

2) How should the steps look like when tapering? As small as possible (adding only 250mg per week) or adding a higher amount on each level?

For example on 1000mg per week adding 500mg instead of 250mg to get a more noticeable/effective difference/relative change?

3) After reaching the highest dosage, should you taper down again the same way or directly return to the lowest dose for example 250mg testosterone?

4) How long should you stay at that lowest dosage (cruise) to prevent homeostasis and reduce tolerance to high dosages?

Thanks.
 

Swim15

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I’m sure others will have their thoughts but personally I can’t see different strategies (tapering vs straight dose) making any measurable difference in terms of real world LBM added ime. There’s a lot of factors coming into play like how fast you’re gaining, how much mass your body wants to hold (‘genetic limit’), upregulation of muscle growth inhibitors, and various other pathways involved. Also depends on goals - when I run a given compound I’m generally going for the effects/look so I almost always front load if it’s a long ester to see those sooner.

Either way though, most coaches I’ve worked with, or seen friends work with, that do a lot of tapering generally increase every 4 weeks in 200-250mg increments and alternating compounds if there are multiple. 16-20 week runs typically unless it’s all short ester. Interested to see what others have seen/done
 

Serotonin101

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For me it's basically every 4 weeks if no changes have occurred. I'm on 375/week now and will probably bump to 750 when it's time to be on. Then to a gram 4-6 weeks after that. And so on and so forth til I top out. Then when coming back to a cruise usually I'll cut out extra compounds and run test at 500-750 for 4 weeks or so and then drop to a cruise.
 

Genetic Freak

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Hello, as @CFC stated in some threads (also in the "Don't Frontload"-Thread) it is all about starting low and tapering up.

But this results in some unanswered questions:

1) When you should taper up AAS dosages?

For example starting with 250mg testosterone per week: For how many weeks should you stay at this dosage and when to taper to the next level like 500mg per week. And then again when to taper up to 750mg per week? How long to stay at the highest level? What does experience or scientific logic tell about that?

2) How should the steps look like when tapering? As small as possible (adding only 250mg per week) or adding a higher amount on each level?

For example on 1000mg per week adding 500mg instead of 250mg to get a more noticeable/effective difference/relative change?

3) After reaching the highest dosage, should you taper down again the same way or directly return to the lowest dose for example 250mg testosterone?

4) How long should you stay at that lowest dosage (cruise) to prevent homeostasis and reduce tolerance to high dosages?

Thanks.
Don't you think that 250mg is a big increase.... Maybe you should start lower at 125mg and taper up by 125mg when gains stall.. Increasing food intake and training intensity rather than just relying on high levels of hormones..?
 

TrenE

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I’m sure others will have their thoughts but personally I can’t see different strategies (tapering vs straight dose) making any measurable difference in terms of real world LBM added ime. There’s a lot of factors coming into play like how fast you’re gaining, how much mass your body wants to hold (‘genetic limit’), upregulation of muscle growth inhibitors, and various other pathways involved. Also depends on goals - when I run a given compound I’m generally going for the effects/look so I almost always front load if it’s a long ester to see those sooner.

Either way though, most coaches I’ve worked with, or seen friends work with, that do a lot of tapering generally increase every 4 weeks in 200-250mg increments and alternating compounds if there are multiple. 16-20 week runs typically unless it’s all short ester. Interested to see what others have seen/done
Thanks for your answer. Tapering could also be more healthy as you keep total dosage of a cycle lower compared to straight dose.

Don't you think that 250mg is a big increase.... Maybe you should start lower at 125mg and taper up by 125mg when gains stall.. Increasing food intake and training intensity rather than just relying on high levels of hormones..?
Here in my environment guys cruise at 250mg to 500mg. But maybe it would make sense to start lower to make the body used to hold muscle mass at that low testosterone level and make higher dosages more effective again. And yes you are right, increasing food intake and training intensity should be aligned with tapering up AAS.

For me it's basically every 4 weeks if no changes have occurred. I'm on 375/week now and will probably bump to 750 when it's time to be on. Then to a gram 4-6 weeks after that. And so on and so forth til I top out. Then when coming back to a cruise usually I'll cut out extra compounds and run test at 500-750 for 4 weeks or so and then drop to a cruise.
Thanks, another question on cruise: Would it make sense to add HGH while cruising or is it better to cycle HGH on/off aligned to blast and cruise phases? Why?
 

Serotonin101

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Hgh can be used whenever. Granted on a cruise and not in a caloric deficit you're not getting much bang for your buck as its not aiding fat loss or growth in this environment to any significant degree.
 

Swim15

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I don’t think there’s any scientific literature to support this but it’s commonly talked about how growth increases utilization of AAS - basically you can get greater benefit from any given AAS dose and also use higher doses more effectively when combined with HGH.

This has been my experience personally when it comes to high doses and when it comes to any given dose, I’d take X gear + growth > 3X gear and no growth any day
 

Gearhead19

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The idea is tapering up (at least with testosterone) allows the user too get used too the increased level of aromatization that comes with dose increases thus mitigating side effects.
 

TrenE

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I don’t think there’s any scientific literature to support this but it’s commonly talked about how growth increases utilization of AAS - basically you can get greater benefit from any given AAS dose and also use higher doses more effectively when combined with HGH.

This has been my experience personally when it comes to high doses and when it comes to any given dose, I’d take X gear + growth > 3X gear and no growth any day
I support this statement. Especially HGH will help to stay lean while trying to gain muscles in a slight calorie surplus setting.

I’m sure others will have their thoughts but personally I can’t see different strategies (tapering vs straight dose) making any measurable difference in terms of real world LBM added ime. There’s a lot of factors coming into play like how fast you’re gaining, how much mass your body wants to hold (‘genetic limit’), upregulation of muscle growth inhibitors, and various other pathways involved. Also depends on goals - when I run a given compound I’m generally going for the effects/look so I almost always front load if it’s a long ester to see those sooner.

Either way though, most coaches I’ve worked with, or seen friends work with, that do a lot of tapering generally increase every 4 weeks in 200-250mg increments and alternating compounds if there are multiple. 16-20 week runs typically unless it’s all short ester. Interested to see what others have seen/done
Wanted to add this post from you @Swim15

i.e. Blasting and cruising or constantly blasting will put you in roughly the same place as cycling on and off except with blast cruise or only blasting you'll constantly be at the level you reach when you cycle back in from being off. It's just a question of whether you want your baseline to be, say, 225lbs @ 8% year around or if you want to yo-yo up and down.

I may be biased since I usually frontload and spend a lot of time blasting but that's been my experience. They're just different methods to get to the same place in different periods of time and should primarily should just be dictated by your overall long term goals.

I've had the privilege to talk to Dallas McCarvers old training partner and a couple of doctors that have worked with pros (Flex Lewis, Ronnie, Phil heath, Dexter to name a few) and some, Dallas especially, are hitting it hard from the start and never letting off the gas. Their goals dictate their approaches.
I think there is much truth in these posts. Thanks for that.

But as we are no pro bodybuilders and our genetic limits regarding gaining muscle mass are set much lower, I conclude that we have to do more against homeostasic processes which inhibit further muscle gain. Also as mentioned tapering up should be more healthy as you keep total dosage of a cycle lower compared to straight dose.
 

Chris42393

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Ill be bumping up my Test soon as well. Im at 500mg a week and will be going up to 750mg (this will be around the 6-week mark). Ive kinda reached a stalemate at this current dose. Im also adding 200-250mg of Tren at that time as well (a week).

Thought about getting some HGH, but ill probably save that for next cycle.
 
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Swim15

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Just keep looking at diet and training too since stalemates are just a time factor. I can gain more now off 300-600mg than I used to on 2000mg. Enjoy the run though and tren is fun so you’ll have a good time
 

Chris42393

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Just keep looking at diet and training too since stalemates are just a time factor. I can gain more now off 300-600mg than I used to on 2000mg. Enjoy the run though and tren is fun so you’ll have a good time
Oh wow, man that's awesome! Im trying to get my diet down right... but with my job, it's hard to stay constant (while at work that is). For example, the other day at work we left the Fire Station at 8:20am and didnt get back till 10:00pm. I was stuck eating hospital snacks all day... By the time we were done with a call, there was another one already holding. The entire county was busy as hell...

And yeah, cant wait for it! Should be arriving soon!
 

TrenE

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4) How long should you stay at that lowest dosage (cruise) to prevent homeostasis and reduce tolerance to high dosages?
Do you have any answer to this question based on experience or science? How long is your cruise phase?
 

Chris42393

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This question directed at me brotha? (if so) I wish I had the answer for you, but unfortunately, I dont have any experience with cruising. This is my first cycle in like 7-8 years. Ive always just ran my cycle and took PCT afterwards and waited a few months. I would also like to know the answer to that question as well. I MIGHT cruise after this cycle, but it will probably be the next one though.
 

Genetic Freak

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Do you have any answer to this question based on experience or science? How long is your cruise phase?
There is no one answer that would be appropriate for everyone..
You can cruise for as long as you wish..
As gains reduce from the previous higher dosage, increase the dose when losses become unacceptable..
I've cruised from 3 months to several years, I bump up the dose when I chose to add more size and strength..
 

TrenE

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I appreciate every answer, thanks.

@Genetic Freak
But what do you think about the shortest cruise which is still long enough to reduce or revoke tolerance to previous higher dosages? Maybe as a rough rule of thumb something like a minimum of 2 months as processes in this area take time?

Presumed blood work is fine and you want to keep the cruise time as short as possible to add more size but have to cruise for the moment as you have been on your highest dosage previously and further grow has stopped.

And as second question: Is it better to taper down also from a higher dosage (e.g. 1,5g) to the cruise dosage (e.g. 250mg testosterone) maybe within 2-4 weeks than directly reduce the dosage in terms of reducing side effects? Maybe the sudden drop of the dosage will result in a reduction of the libido as the body can not adapt that fast to the low dosage?
 
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Serotonin101

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I appreciate every answer, thanks.

@Genetic Freak
But what do you think about the shortest cruise which is still long enough to reduce or revoke tolerance to previous higher dosages? Maybe as a rough rule of thumb something like a minimum of 2 months as processes in this area take time?

Presumed blood work is fine and you want to keep the cruise time as short as possible to add more size but have to cruise for the moment as you have been on your highest dosage previously and further grow has stopped.

And as second question: Is it better to taper down also from a higher dosage (e.g. 1,5g) to the cruise dosage (e.g. 250mg testosterone) maybe within 2-4 weeks than directly reduce the dosage in terms of reducing side effects? Maybe the sudden drop of the dosage will result in a reduction of the libido as the body can not adapt that fast to the low dosage?
Shortest cruise is generally equal to blast length I'd say. To maximize the cruise of course. My shortest was like 8 weeks.
 

Genetic Freak

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I appreciate every answer, thanks.

@Genetic Freak
But what do you think about the shortest cruise which is still long enough to reduce or revoke tolerance to previous higher dosages? Maybe as a rough rule of thumb something like a minimum of 2 months as processes in this area take time?

Presumed blood work is fine and you want to keep the cruise time as short as possible to add more size but have to cruise for the moment as you have been on your highest dosage previously and further grow has stopped.

And as second question: Is it better to taper down also from a higher dosage (e.g. 1,5g) to the cruise dosage (e.g. 250mg testosterone) maybe within 2-4 weeks than directly reduce the dosage in terms of reducing side effects? Maybe the sudden drop of the dosage will result in a reduction of the libido as the body can not adapt that fast to the low dosage?
Unfortunately there is no one answer fits everybody, as previously stated..
Size, bf%,time on, dose, hormones used all play a role, so giving a general guide is impossible..
But given our understanding of drug metabolism, half lives, presence of metabolites, and natural hormone stabilization 3 months might be a safe statement to suggest..

Yes, taper down the dose end of cycle might be best protocol..
 
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