After lots of reading, contemplating and consideration I decided to try out a Super DMZ 3.0 stack. One of the reasons I chose to try this stack is because I'm a bit of a boy scout and wanted to stay in the 100% legal realm. Also IronMagLabs seems to have a good reputation. I'm doing the stack exactly as suggested by IML:
1 cap each AM & PM: Super DMX 3.0, 4-Andro, Advanced Cycle Support
Adv Cycle support, Ultra Male and E-Control as directed
This is my first time trying any kind of AAS or PH, so I'm not 100% sure what to expect, but I am 110% committed to getting the most out of it. I've been through multiple cut and bulk cycles, so I'm in tune with nutrition and how my body responds. I just finished a cut and I'm currently 190lb and around 10-12% BF. I'm 43 yo BTW. I started this cycle to coincide with switching back over to a bulk. This time around I plan on bulking to around 205lb then re-evaluating. I want to keep the bulk to .5-1lb per week if I can. That's what I've done in the past to minimize fat, but I'm not sure how the stack will effect that. I'll continue to use my 4x per week Upper/Lower split.
I'm hoping the cycle will bias more of my gains to muscle rather than fat. I'm also hoping to break through a plateau on my bench press. I've always struggled with progress on BP.
I actually started the cycle on 4/30, so this is day 3. Probably too soon to notice anything. I'm not sure if its my imagination, but I feel hungry as all hell. I've significantly increased my calories switching from cut to bulk, but I don't recall feeling this hungry on previous switches. I also slept really well the last two night. Maybe just coincidence?
4 days in and I had an amazing workout. I added a little extra volume to my normal upper workout. Overall I'm feeling great and my mood is very good. I'm sleeping like a baby at night too. It's still early in the process, but everything seems positive at the moment.
I had a good lower body workout on Sunday. Added weight to both squats and RDLs and seemed to have less DOMS the next day. I moved up in reps on most of the other exercises too. Monday was a rest day and I'll be hitting upper body tonight.
I've ramped my calories up to 3000. I was cutting on 2000 calories. My maintenance is somewhere around 2700-2800. In the first week my weight jumped 4 pounds, but I'm sure that is mostly water weight from the increased calories. My main gauge is how my pants fit, lol. If they don't tighten up, but my weight keeps going up then I know I'm doing good. I'll stick to 3k for a couple weeks then re-evaluate.
Here's the basic run down of my routine. I start at the bottom of the rep range and when I can do all sets at the top of the rep range with perfect form I add weight and drop back down to the bottom of the rep range. Pretty straight forward.
Bench Press - 3 x 8-10
DB Row - 3 x 10-12
OHP - 2 x 10-12
Reverse Flys - 2 x 12-15
Incline DB Press - 2 x 12-15
Pulldowns - 2 x 12-15
Lateral Raises - 2 x 12-15
Rev Grip Pushdowns - 2 x 12-15
Poundstone Curls - 1 x 40-70
Squat - 3 x 6-8
RDL - 2 x 10-12
Leg Extension - 2 x 12-15
Leg Curl - 2 x 12-15
Hack Squats - 2 x 10-12
Calf Raises - 3 x 15-20
Abs - 3 sets of various exercises to failure
I normally alternate chins with pulldowns and deadlifts with squat, but I just recently got over a forearm/bicep tendon strain. That's also why I'm doing the high rep poundstone curls. I should be going back to something more "normal" in a couple weeks once my forearm is closer to 100%.
One full week complete and all is going well. In fact I've felt great. My mood has been exceptionally good. That could be from the stack or it could also be feeling good about the progress in the gym. No major side effects other than seeming to be a little more tired than normal at the end of the day.
I got in my upper workout on Tuesday. I got all sets with max reps on BP so the weight will be going up next time. This will be a weight that I've stalled on previously. I have a good feeling about breaking through that sticking point. I also added weight to DB rows, incline DB press and pushdowns. Here's the routine:
BP - 3 x 10
DB Row - 3 x 10
Incline DB press - 2 x 12
Rev Flys - 2 x 15
Wide grip pulldowns - 2 x 13
Rev Grip Pushdowns - 2 x 12
Poundstone curls - 1 x 55
Also did some forearm work and rehab (pronation and supination) for my right arm issues
Did lower body last night. I worked deadlifts back in for the first time since I had hurt my arm playing softball. The physical therapist gave me the all clear for everything except unassisted pull-ups. After a warm-up I did 3 ramped sets. I was only working with about 80% of the weight I was previously using just to get back into the movement.
Deadlift 3 x 5 ramped
Hack Squats - 2 x 10
Seated leg curls - 2 x 15
Calf raises - 2 x 20
Weighted crunches - 2 x 20, 1 x failure.
Real happy with everything so far. I weight in at 195 this morning, which is quite a jump. I have to attribute most of it to water weight. I'm eating in a surplus, but certainly not enough to gain that much in true weight.
In for this bro. This is a well thought out stack, and the 4 andro makes it all smooth out. SuperDMZ 3.0 works very fast and its definatley a fun ride. Have a great cycle bro, I will be following along! KILL IT!!!
Over the past week I've average 2900 calories. I took a day or two to step up to my bulking calories. For macros I'm shooting for 200 protein, 90 fat and 350 carbs. I'm not quite there. Over the last week I averaged: 185 protein, 108 fat and 290 carbs. Not bad, but could be better. I'll work on getting the tweaked in.
Couple other notes. I heard increased blood pressure could be a possible side effect. I check my BP today and it was 110/80. That's a typical value for me. I found a nearby place that does Bod Pod. I'm going next week to get a more accurate picture of what my BF% really is.
Had the two days of rest in my workout cycle and then hit the weights last night. I was on the road so had to use what was available in the hotel. It was actually a pretty descent workout. They had a full set of dumbbells and a pulley machine. I was able to find a suitable replacement for all the exercises in my normal upper routine. Some of the weights were on the light side so I upped reps and sets. I got a very good pump. My vascularity is through the roof. My arms and calves are always pretty vascular, but they well beyond my norm. I'm even starting to see some in my quads, which is definitely new.
I'm still very impressed with my mood and intensity in the gym. Sides are very minimal. On my two days rest I got a very little feeling of some like anxiety in my chest. Not sure how to describe it. It was the feeling I've experience the first day or two on an EC stack, that stim effect I guess. It never got bad, but worth noting.
Got in a great lower workout on Sunday night. Been doing a lot of traveling so I can't always hit the exact same routine. That didn't stop me from hitting it hard. I'm still very impressed with how feel in the gym and progress is non-stop. Legs, chest, arms all feel significantly fuller.
I'm coming up on the end of two weeks on the stack. Side effects appear to be minimal at most and tons of up side so far. I'm up 6.8 pounds and no sign of bloating or my waist increasing although I have to assume a good piece of that is water weight, food in transit, etc. Over the last 7 days I've hit 2950 calories with a target of 3000. Close, but not quite. I'll stay focused on hitting those last few calories. Macros average are 175g protein, 285g carbs and 125g fat. I need to shift some of that fat to protein. I want 200g protein.
I had a truly awesome Upper workout tonight. Everything felt so perfect. I hot top of the rep range on most of the exercises, so weights will be advancing next time around on many of them. My bench press is in new territory at this rep range.
Here's tonight's routine
Bench press - 3 x 10
DB Row - 3 x 12
OHP - 2 x 10
Pull downs - 2 x 15
Incline DB Press - 2 x 15
Reverse Flys - 2 x 13
Lateral Raises - 2 x 14
Rev Grip Pushdowns - 2 x 15
Poundstone Curls - 1 x 65
I felt supper pumped after the workout. Now I can't wait for the next workout.
Diet is looking good. Over the last week I averaged 2995 calories, shooting for 3k. Macros: 176g protein, 115g fat, 315g carbs. Very close to what I'm shooting for. Now here's the part that has me a little confused. I'm up 12lbs in a little under 3 weeks. I'm not really worried since there is no sign of piling on fat to my gut, no bloating, etc. I just can't get the math straight in my head for this. 3k should be about 300 calories over my maintenance. Under most circumstances I would expect that to have me gain between .5 and 1lb per week. I also can't believe that I've got 10lbs of water weight either. I genuinely look bigger and better in the mirror, so I guess I can't complain.
I've done a lower and an upper workout since the last log. I still can't get over how well I'm progressing and what I see in the mirror. I'm seeing veins in places I've never seen them before even though I'm gaining weight and in theory should be putting on some fat. But I don't seem to be putting on any inches at the waist and some areas are looking leaner and more pumped at the same time.
I broke through a plateau on bench press and I've continued to add weight and reps with no sign of slowing.
And as I said before nothing really going on for side effects. Blood pressure is good, good to slightly increased appetite and sleeping well at night. Libido is solidly intact too, lol.
I'm coming up on the end of 30 days, so I'll be switching over to the PCT on Friday. I'm actually sad to be coming to the end. The progress over the past month has been amazing. I'm already planning on the next cycle. At the end of PCT I'll take a full week off then do the same cycle over again. That will bring me to the end of a 4 month short bulk cycle and I will probably do a cut.
At the end of week I'll try to fully quantify the results, but as of right now I see an obvious difference in the mirror, I'm in new territory on my bench press and I've put on 14.2 pounds! Yet I've only added maybe 1/2" to my waist. It is very hard for me get wrap my mind around those numbers.
Yesterday was the last day of the SuperDMZ 3.0 stack and started PCT today. As I said before I'm kind of sad you can't run it for longer, but I'm sticking to the IML recommended cycle. It would be hard for me to be more satisfied up to this point. My progress over the last month has been great and there has been little to no side effects. So here are the highlight of progress over the last month. Within a week of the start I had a BodPod done so I know where I started. For this update I'm just estimating BF% change based on that starting point and the standard tape measure method. I can tell you the results in the mirror are very, very satisfying.
Total weight gain: 14.5lbs
Fat mass gain: 4.5lbs
Fat Free mass gain: 10.0lbs
Keep in mind I came off of a 4 month cut then jump to a bulk with SuperDMZ 3.0. These gains just blow my mind really. Its almost hard for me to believe, but that's what the numbers are.
I also made progress on all exercises in my routine. Here are the increases in work set weights on a few lifts.
Bench Press: +28%
DB Row: +16%
My goals were to bias gains to LBM more than fat and improve my most lagging lift, bench press. The combo of lifting hard, eating right in caloric surplus and SuperDMZ 3.0 certainly seems to have pushed me in the right direction. I've done this before without the SDMZ and I would say I was successful, but not to this extent. So now the plan is to run the PCT for a month, take a week off then do it one more time before going on a cut. I plan on getting a BodPod measurement done again at the end of that cycle and that should give me a more accurate number for the gains.
4 days into PCT now and everyone seems to be holding steady. The only change I really notice is I'm not as hungry. I was almost ravenous while on the stack. I am still hitting my calorie goals and so far my weight is holding steady. I've had a couple good workouts too.
One week into PCT and as of a few days ago I started to have issues with feeling extremely bloated and abdominal cramp. Just not feeling too good down there in general. It seem to start a couple days into PCT and was getting progressively worse. Because of that I decided to back off the PCT stack for a couple days. Yesterday I only took the Advanced Cycle Support. I took that throughout the cycle and had no issues, so I left that alone. I actually feel quite a bit better already today. I'll wait another day then I'll try adding back in one of the other parts of the PCT stack for a day or two to see how it goes. I should be able to figure out which one is the problem or I'll find out it was none of them and just coincidental that I had some digestive system issue at the same time I started up PCT.
Other than that doing great. Workouts still going well and my weight has been stable since stopping the PCT while hitting the same calories and macros.
Added the Ultra Male Rx back into the PCT stack. I run with that for a day or two to see if anything changes. I suspect if anything was the issue it would be the E-Control Rx. Something I found interesting is both the E-Control and the Adv Cycle support contain N-acetyl cysteine. 250mg in E-Control and 400mg in Adv Cycle Support. So following the stack you taking 1550mg per day. I don't think it is an issue, just an observation.
I've finished two weeks of PCT and everything seems great. After doing some research on DMZ stacks and seeing many that are much more aggressive than what I was doing I'm going to try another cycle, assuming blood work looks good. I'm going to continue taking the ACS and Ultra Male for another week. I'll be getting blood work done next week. If all is good I'm going to do another 4 weeks of the Super DMZ stack. I've still been doing good in the gym while on PCT, although I can feel the difference compared to while on the stack. I felt much more unstoppable. Not sure how else to describe it. I've also stopped gaining weight even though my calories and macros have remained the same. I want to get another month of that same kind of progress.
It has been a while since I logged my progress, but rest assured everything is still moving in the right direction. I'm on my second cycled of the Super DMZ 3.0 stack. My weight is up to 208. That is a gain of 20lbs since the end of April. I've added maybe 0.5" to my waist in that time, so I don't think much of that is fat. I will be getting another BodPod test done at the end of this cycle so I will be able to put a good number on my body composition progress. I've been sticking to the same Upper/Lower split and progress has been great there too. I'm at all new highs in all of my lifts. Once I finish this cycle and PCT I'm planning 1 more cycle during a cut. Once I'm done with the cut I'll post up some before and after pics.
I got my 2nd BodPod measurement done today. The results? InFuknCredible! I knew things were going well due to the fact that my weight was going up at a consistent and rapid rate with little to no change in my waist measurement, but this is well beyond my expectations. Over 3 months and 3 cycles here are the results
Total body mass: 208.7lbs
Fat free mass: 172.6lbs
Fat mass: 36.1lbs
Total weight gain: 22.6lbs
Fat mass gain: 3.0lbs
Fat free mass gain: 19.6lbs !!!!!!!!!
I don't know how I could be any happier with the results. Next up is I plan to keep calories where they are for the rest of PCT then I will be cutting. I want to get sub 12%, which by my calculation will require a loss of about 13 lbs. Not a big task. Now I have to decide what stack I'll use during the cut