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There are many different bodybuilding pre-contest prep cycles out there.
Each one will vary significantly depending on your specific goals and experience.
But in general, you’re probably trying to cut out fat while retaining lean muscle to get that perfect body.
We’re going to go through some of the most common cycles below.
You have to be very vigilant when to it comes to using the right ones and sticking to the right routines.
Steroids can help you avoid losing muscle mass during your cutting cycle, but they can also be dangerous and illegal.
We’ll talk about how to take a contest prep steroid cycle safely, as well as provide you with some options for getting results without the use of illegal drugs.
Bodybuilding Pre-Contest Cycle
Pre-contest bodybuilding cycles can be pretty complicated.
Some can mix up to 10 steroids.
But you should only do that if you’re an experienced bodybuilder with years of steroid experience.
Most beginners are recommended to start with a testosterone only cycle to see how things go.
Though, cycles can get as complicated as this one for example:
Week 1 to 10: Test Enanthate, 750 mg per week
Week 1 to 10: Equipose, 800 mg per week
Week 1 to 10: Trenbolone Enthanate 600 mg per week
Week 1 to 8: Dianabol, 50 mg per day
Week 10 to 16: Test Propionate, 100 mg every other day
Week 10 to 16: Trenbolone Acetate, 75 mg to 100 mg every other day
Week 10 to 16: Masteron Propionate, 100 mg every other day
Week 10 to 16: Winstrol (Winny), 50 mg daily
Week 8 to 16: Cytomel, 25 mcg daily, increase dose if needed
Week 8 to 16: Halotestin, 20 mg daily, increase 10 per week
Well, before you jump into something like this, you need to know your steroids.
Types of Steroids
There are two main kinds of steroids: long-ester and short-ester.
Long-ester steroids take a while to make their way through your system, meaning you’re going to have to wait longer to see their results.
The most popular long-ester steroids include:
On the other end of the spectrum are short-ester steroids, which are fast-acting and can give you results within as short as 24 hours.
The most popular short-ester steroids include:
When it comes to steroids for pre-contest cycles, balance is key.
16-Week Contest Prep Steroids Cycle
Although there are 10- and 12-week contest prep cycles, a 16-week contest prep cycle is one of the most common.
During such a 16 week cycle, your stack will consist of longer-acting steroids like Testosterone Cypionate, Nandrolone Phenylpropionate (NPP) and Deca Durabolin as well as the fast-acting ones like Dianabol and Trenbolone.
Usually, the early stages of a men’s physique pre-contest cycle will focus on longer acting steroids and then cut them out at the eight-week point.
Then it’s time to focus on the rapid gains.
And it makes sense: the closer you are to your contest, the more you’re going to want to focus on faster gains.
Once you’ve cut out the longer-acting steroids in a bodybuilding cutting steroid cycle, you’ll focus on the fast-acting ones until the 16-week point, or whenever the end of your cycle is.
The end result? A ripped physique just in time to perform.
Some of the other steroids and ancillary drugs commonly used before a bodybuilding contest include:
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
While anabolic steroids are great for boosting your testosterone levels and getting the physique that you want, your body will also have to deal with an increase in estrogen.
It might, but the aromatase enzyme in all of our bodies creates estrogen from testosterone, and higher estrogen levels can lead to problems like gynecomastia as well as water retention.
In order to combat this, anti-estrogen drugs such as aromatase inhibitors and Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) can help you get your estrogen levels under control.
While aromatase inhibitors like Aromasin will prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme, SERMs like Nolvadex will bind to estrogen receptors and prevent estrogenic activity.
Typically, these will be used for the entire contest prep steroid cycle, but you should increase their dosages protocol around the six-week mark as needed following your pre-contest cutting cycle.
This will help to eliminate excess water retention, which can produce a bloated or puffy look. When that water is expelled from the body, it can improve the muscle definition and hardness of the physique, giving the body better vascularity.
Given what we’ve outlined above, you might think that pro bodybuilder steroid cycles are always based on synthetic drugs.
But that’s not true.
In fact, there are plenty of natural alternatives to most synthetic bodybuilding steroids and drugs, including:
Using natural formulations, they are designed to give you results as close to their synthetic counterparts as possible without the negative side effects and health risks.
They might not act as fast or be as potent, meaning you might have to plan your stack a bit longer than 16 weeks, but the results are still impressive.
These aren’t just minor results either: you can get some gains that are not only large in scale, but most importantly, high in quality.
And the best part?
You won’t have to worry about dangerous side effects like gynecomastia or liver damage.
Everything that these products are composed of is completely natural, so you can focus on your bodybuilding instead of combatting side effects such as high estrogen levels using SERMS and aromatase inhibitors.
Everyone’s pre-contest steroid cycle will be a bit different as there is no “best pre-contest steroid cycle.”
But ultimately, simplicity is key.
Focus on keeping your fast-acting steroids toward the end and your short-acting steroids near the beginning, and always adjust your dosages according to how your body reacts.
However, the best route with a bodybuilding pre-contest cycle is the healthiest route, so try out a natural stack and you’ll see why even professionals are beginning to use this kind of cycle instead of synthetic alternatives.