When administering steroid cycles, it is important to be as prepared as you can be. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of a cycle and discover you’re out of a certain medication, don’t have enough syringes or needles, or in a situation or location that prohibits you continuing the cycle normally. The thing to remember is that proper preparation and planning is what keeps steroid use from turning into steroid abuse. To that end, we’ve prepared a simple checklist to go over before initiating a steroid cycle to make sure you don’t get caught with you pants down as it were.
- Syringes/Needles – Are you using an injectable steroid? If so, make sure you have enough syringes and needles to last the length of the cycle. Remember when calculating this that a standard intramuscular injection involves two needles. One is used to draw the substance from it’s container, the second is used to actually inject the substance into your body. Never reuse a needle or syringe. It is also advisable to have spares in case one breaks or you have to change injection sites due to a nicked vein.
- Medications – Make absolutely sure you have enough of your steroid of choice to last the entire cycle. This applies to ancillary substances such as anti-estrogens or hCG as well. Pausing your cycle to wait for a new shipment or drugs can seriously effect your gains and your health. This applies to PCT as well. Post cycle therapy should begin very soon after the end of the cycle and you don’t want to post pone it because your PCT supplies are held up at customs.
- Supplies – Always make sure you have enough alcohol swabs, cotton balls, and other miscellaneous supplies of that nature prepared ahead of time. You don’t want to find yourself in the middle of an injection and discover you can’t properly disinfect the injection site. Avoid cutting corners by avoiding the need to cut them in the first place.
- Schedule – Take the time to ensure your cycle fits into your upcoming schedule. Timings are important when using steroids and you don’t want to find yourself suddenly out of town, or in a situation where it isn’t possible to administer on schedule. While it seems minor, properly scheduling yourself can be the difference between massive gains and a minor boost.
- Blood Work – Set up your appointments ahead of time. Many independent labs have wait lists to get work done and you cannot always be guaranteed to get in if you just walk in off the street. A pre-scheduled appointment can be the difference between a quick in and out and having to spend hours waiting for the technician to see you. It also helps you gauge your progress to have appointments set up for the start, middle, and end of your cycle.
- Fitness Level – It’s vital to have a clear understanding of your current fitness level before beginning a cycle. The rule of thumb is to have at least 5 years of natural, non-enhanced training before initiating your first cycle. If you can’t confidently say you’re at the peak of your physical abilities then you should reconsider employing steroids. While steroids are generally safe when used responsibly, the risk is still greater than zero. If you can still make quality gains without steroids, why risk it?
- Overall Health – Steroid use places a strain on your body and the way it functions. Before initiating a cycle, take the time to make absolutely sure your body can handle the changes it’s about to experience. It is a good idea to get a quick checkup just to make sure you’re not exacerbating a previous condition you may not have known about. This is one of those situations where an ounce of prevention is absolutely worth a pound of cure. Age is a factor here as well. If you’re under 25, you should not be using steroids at all as they will negatively effect your physical development.
- Groceries – Go shopping and make sure you’re pantry is filled. A healthy diet is just as important as steroids to getting the gains you’re after. Make sure you’ve got enough protein, vitamins, and minerals in your diet to support the gains you’re looking for. Especially if you’re using some of the more powerful steroids, it’s important to make sure you have the proper building blocks available to support the growth of more muscle. In some cases, a detailed, pre-prepared meal plan can really boost your results.
- Disposition/Attitude – One of the oft overlooked effects of steroids is what it does to your mental health. Steroids have been known to cause users to become overly emotional or aggressive as a result of fluctuating hormone levels. If you’re at a point in your life where you’re under a lot of pressure, or more prone to anger or frustration than normal, you may want to put off initiating a cycle to avoid exacerbating that. While there’s only so much you can do to control these factors, common sense should prevail. If you’re going through a messy divorce, changing jobs/careers, or dealing with any other emotionally weighty time, you may want to consider postponing your cycle.
Like mos things in life, there is only so much anyone can do to be prepared. There will always be unexpected turns or chance happenings and nothing will stop that. The key is to make sure that you have the support, tools and infrastructure available to combat as much as you can. The biggest risks in using steroids come when corners get cut and users ignore the proper level of care. If you follow these preparation tips and use good common sense, you can greatly minimize the fallout from most any unforeseen event.
Remember, your health is all you really have. Don’t leave it to chance because you got lazy when planning your cycle.