by John Connor
It is my belief that there’s a specific steroid cycle length that can offer maximum efficiency in adding lean body mass and or lowering body fat while at the same time offering a reasonably low level of risk to the steroid user. Historically, steroid cycles have generally ranged from being as short as four weeks ranging up to many months. In recent years the duration has trended to longer cycle lengths. Longer cycles may increase risk to the user due to prolonged stress on the body in the form of negatively affected lipids, blood pressure, HPTA suppression, and possible liver damage especially if some oral steroids are used. If oral steroids are not employed the risk may diminish to a degree however there will still be a point where the risk may outweigh the reward.
Myostatin is a growth factor that regulates the size of muscles and acts by inhibiting the growth of muscles, it prevents muscles from growing too big. This is obviously something body builders want to avoid however that is easier said than done. In 2009 a study was conducted that determined “in men treated with graded doses of testosterone, myostatin levels were significantly higher on day 56 than baseline in both young and older men; changes in myostatin levels were significantly correlated with changes in total and free testosterone in young men.” This may be a primary reason why most steroid cycles tend to stall out around the eighth week.
However we can “push” gains past the eighth week by adding more compounds and or increasing the dose of steroids. Essentially employing ever increasing dosages called a pyramid cycle design. This solution does cause additional stress on the body so the level of risk may increase to a degree. Therefore an eight week cycle may be the most ideal cycle length. During those first six to seven weeks gains come easily assuming proper nutrition and training are in place as there is little to no growth limiting factors. Interestingly myostatin did return to baseline when measured again at week 20 of the study. This may be a basis for staying on for very long durations if the user is so inclined to the additional risks involved.
Another approach would be to add a myostatin inhibitor.
Ace-031, also known as ACVR2B, is a soluble form of activin type IIB receptor, which is an inhibitor of myostatin and other naturally occurring proteins that limit muscle growth.
Follistatin is being studied for its role in regulation of muscle growth in mice, as an antagonist to myostatin.
Out of the various possibilities I think eight week cycles offer the most reward for the risk but depending on the risk threshold and goals of each individual I’m not opposed to properly timed pyramiding cycles. Myostatin inhibitors or long cycles.
Measurement of myostatin concentrations in human serum: Circulating concentrations in young and older men and effects of testosterone administration.
A single ascending-dose study of muscle regulator ACE-031 in healthy volunteers.
INHIBITION OF MYOSTATIN WITH EMPHASIS ON FOLLISTATIN AS A THERAPY FOR MUSCLE DISEASE