Is PCT important?
Post cycle therapy (PCT) is perhaps the most important aspect of anabolic steroid use. It was understood since the beginning of anabolic steroid use that the injecting anabolic steroids resulted in endogenous Testosterone production being suppressed and/or shut down. Unfortunately during the early periods of anabolic steroid use (between the 1950s and 1990), there was limited access to any compounds or knowledge as to how to effectively mitigate this effect.
Today it is a very different story, where scientific and medical understanding of anabolic steroid use has soared exponentially since the old golden era days of bodybuilding and anabolic steroid use in athletics. With the proper knowledge of how to perform post cycle therapy (PCT), individuals can not only emerge from their anabolic steroid cycles while holding on to almost all of their muscle gains, but they can also increase the chances upwards of the 90% or higher range of emerging with a fully functional endocrine system.
Following the use of exogenous anabolic steroids, the majority of users will experience what has been dubbed a hormonal crash or post cycle crash, which is a bodily environment in which key hormones essential to the retention of the newly created muscle mass has been suppressed or shut down. The key hormones in question are LH (Luteinizing Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), and Testosterone.
Testosterone levels will be low, and most of the time Estrogen levels will be higher, and levels of Cortisol (a steroid hormone that destroys muscle tissue) will be at normal levels. With Testosterone levels low and Cortisol levels in the normal range, Cortisol now becomes a threat to the newly created muscle that was created during the recent anabolic steroid cycle.
The human body will normally restore this imbalance of hormones over time with no assistance, but studies have shown that this will occur over the course of 1 – 4 months. This is quite evidently enough time for the hormonal imbalance to wreak havoc on the body and result in any individual losing most or all of the newly gained muscle during this time.
Therefore, all anabolic steroid users should be concerned with the fastest possible hormonal recovery. It is therefore paramount that a proper post cycle therapy that includes multiple recovery compounds be utilized so as to not only restore the HPTA function to normal levels as quickly as possible, but to avoid any possible permanent damage, which takes priority over the concern of maintaining the recently gained muscle mass.
When Is The Right Time To Start Post Cycle Therapy?
After using a steroid, the levels of testosterone in your body increases. It doesn’t end here, the estrogens and progesterone levels also increase. Your testes may also shrink and decrease in size because of the inability to produce testosterone for a long time.
The BEST time to start your PCT cycle is 2 weeks after your final steroid injection.
The increase in the levels of the estrogen and progesterone can bring an adverse effect on the body which includes gynecomastia (man boobs), and water retention. High level of estrogen in the male body can cause logical unrest, like being too emotional, insecure and lack of sex drive.
If you notice any of this effect after your long-term use of steroid, you are suffering from low testosterone. A post cycle therapy is the best idea.
The Three Primary PCT Products
The three main Testosterone product agents include;
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
- Aromatase Inhibitors
- HCG( Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
SERMS (SELECTIVE ESTROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS)
Here is how SERMS works:
A SERM may alter the effect that estrogen has on certain tissues in your body. The effects can either be positive or negative.
For example; Nolvadex acts as an antagonist in the liver with a positive intent and purpose. This leads to a positive change in the level of cholesterol (something we all desire).
To most extents, all SERMs mitigate the effects of estrogen on breast tissues, limitingÂ gyno side effects.
When it comes to whether SERMs stimulates the endogenous Testosterone, yes they do! They act as an antagonist to Estrogen in the pituitary gland by speeding up LH and FSH release.
Drug dosage of SERM
According to many steroid users, Nolvadex alone is enough to aid their recovery process. Nolvadex is a more active agent when it comes to stimulating LH increase.
Also, some users also complain of certain sides effects of Clomid like mood swings and visual complications. Our advice is to use both to aid a full recovery, however we have provided dosage examples for both.
Dosages for Nolvadex only PCT cycle:
Day 1- Use 100mg
Next 14 Days use 40mg
The following 14 Days – use 20mg
Dosages for combined Nolvadex and Clomid PCT cycle:
Day 1- use Clomid 200mg + Nolvadex 80mg
Next 14 Days – use Clomid 100mg + Nolvadex 40mg
Following 14 Days – use Clomid 50mg + Nolvadex 20mg
These are compounds such as Arimidex (Anastrozole)and Aromasin (Exemestane). What Aromatase inhibitor do is to lower the estrogen level. This triggers the negative feedback loop in a positive way to release LH and FSH for testosterone production.
In other words, AIs reduces estrogens level by depriving aromatase (it is an enzyme found in fat tissues) the chance to change testosterone into estrogen.
Aromasin is very effective at reducing total Estrogen levels via the inhibition of the aromatase enzyme. The general range of Aromasin doses are 12.5“ 25mg daily. As with all aromatase inhibitors, there is always room for adjustment in relation to the users experiences at a particular Aromasin dose and dose frequency.
Often times, adjustment is necessary with a powerful and very potent aromatase inhibitor such as Aromasin. Aromasin dosages of 12.5mg every other day is enough for Estrogen control, which is commonly utilized among the anabolic steroid using community. Once again, adjustments are a normal part of aromatase inhibitor use.
It is very important to keep in mind that the use of an aromatase inhibitor is for the purpose of Estrogen control in order to restore circulating Estrogen levels back to normal physiological levels following an increase due to aromatization. Complete reduction and/or elimination of Estrogen levels often result in negative effects on the body.
And the last on our list, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (abbreviated as HCG) is a peptide hormone that assists bodybuilders suffering from testicular atrophy in their steroid cycle.
This PCT supplement is similar to the functions of LH in the body. It stimulates the Leydig cells to naturally produce testosterone in the testes. This can help to avoid or rectify the existing testicular atrophy. However, it should be used before starting the PCT to help the testes in the recovery process.
This will help them to perform better at producing testosterone. Make sure you use HCG a week before your PCT.
Use HCG in small but frequent quantity for two weeks to lower the side effects and for a better result. HCG should be combined with Nolvadex at 20-40mg every day during the two weeks duration.
Around 500-1000IU in these two weeks should be enough to prove effective results and lower the side effects of estrogen.
Benefits Of Post Cycle Therapy
So far we have determined that a steroid cycle shuts down your natural production of Testosterone. So emerging from a cycle when you stop injecting endogenous testosterone into your body you will naturally experience a dip in your testosterone levels.
According to experts, this low testosterone results in the following negative reactions, they include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of libido
- Loss of strength
- Loss of muscle mass
Following a good PCT cycle can help you hold onto all your hard earned gains but also prevents any long term negative effects that come from running a steroid cycle.