Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is probably the part of steroid use that confuses the majority of users more than anything else. However, it doesn't have to be complicated or difficult; in fact, PCT can be pretty simple and straightforward if you know what to do beforehand.
The point of this article is to give a basic rundown on how PCT works, why it's necessary, and a general guide for those who don't have much experience with it.
One question invariably comes up for many people using steroids: "When should I run my post cycle therapy?" While each cycle can vary from person to person depending on their goals, experience level, and personal preference, some fairly universal guidelines can be followed.
What is Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)?
Simply put, it is the procedure used to restore your body to normal after utilizing anabolic steroids. This involves a series of supplements that are intended to keep your natural testosterone levels at their peak while also restoring any changes done to your hormonal production due to the use of anabolic-androgenic steroids or other drugs.
How does this help?
PCT allows you to fully recover from the damage caused by steroid use without having to go through another complete cycle again; it will also ensure that you have no estrogen-related gains, especially if you're using aromatizing steroids during your cycle. What will be discussed?
In this article, we will discuss every aspect of PCT and the available supplements to keep you healthy and make strong gains.
How Does Post-Cycle Therapy Work?
Well, first off, your natural testosterone levels may have been brought down due to a few factors. Your body is now going into what's called a "negative feedback loop".
This means there are now more estrogens than Testosterone in your body which causes an inhibition of Luteinizing Hormone and Testosterone production. Because of this, your body will be unable to restore to normal, so you need to use a supplement that can aid in the process. Your goal is to keep your natural testosterone levels as high as possible, which aids in optimal gains and avoids the dreaded gyno.
This is achieved by consuming certain supplements during PCT while also ensuring your diet is perfect and that your training regimen doesn't involve any excess cardio or calorie deficit.
The supplements in question include Arimistane (Arimidex), Tamoxifen Citrate (Nolvadex), Proviron (Mesterolone), Clomid/Clomiphene Citrate, HCG & others. Other compounds have been known to aid in recovery, but they are rarely used, and the chance of experiencing positive effects is very slim.
We will go into detail regarding each compound and how it works later on in this article.
How Do I Know When it is Time to Start PCT?
Although it varies from one individual to another, most anabolic steroid users should start a practice regimen of PCT about two weeks before they plan on using their next cycle.
The reason for this is because post-cycle therapy begins in between cycles. Stopping steroids cold turkey will result in numerous nasty side effects and make you feel like crap, and most people don't want to feel like crap.
Therefore it is best to slowly lower your dosage of steroids instead of stopping entirely.
How Long Does PCT Last?
The length of a post-cycle therapy regimen will vary from person to person. Some users might only need a couple of weeks, while some might need two months or more depending on the extent of damage and the type of steroid used during the cycle.
The decision as to how long you should continue with your post cycle treatment regimen is entirely up to you. Still, typically, this time should be determined by how severe your side effects are and whether or not you have made noticeable gains that can be maintained without additional cycles.
If so, then you're good!
What are the Benefits of Post Cycle Therapy?
The benefits of post cycle therapy are found in its ability to help you quickly restore your testosterone levels to normal, lower estrogen levels, and eliminate excess water from your body while allowing your natural testosterone production to increase.
Also, the recovery can reverse any negative changes made on a genetic level so that you no longer have to worry about permanent damage caused by steroids.
These benefits make PCT one of the most important things that all steroid users should consider before their next cycle.
ALSO READ:- DOES RELEASING SPERM AFFECT MUSCLE GROWTH?
What are some of the Negative Effects of PCT?
Many steroid users who try to stop their cycles cold turkey and don't use post cycle therapy often find that they have debilitating fatigue, muscle losses despite not having lost any weight, loss of sex drive, erectile dysfunction, low libido, irritability, difficulty in concentrating (ADD), lethargy, depression, and these are just some of the physical effects.
Steroids also dramatically increase estrogen levels in men without using a drug like an aromatase inhibitor or SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator), which inhibits the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.
What Factors affect Effectiveness of PCT?
1) Diet: A Macro/Micronutrient intake is crucial when recovering from anabolic steroid use, especially during post cycle therapy.
If you're not willing to make drastic changes to your diet, chances are you're going to have problems with your recovery.
2) Exercise: Compound exercises are known as being more effective than isolation exercises in maintaining a better hormonal balance within our bodies after using steroids.
These exercises are also known to positively affect the cardiovascular system, which plays an essential part in our body's natural ability to recover.
You may be surprised by how much your heart rate improves after just a few weeks of working out using heavy compound movements!
3) Sleep: Avoiding sleep and overtraining both plays a vital role in your post-cycle therapy as well. For some, increasing their dosage of sleep can have direct benefits when it comes to recovery.
Some users find that they can recuperate faster when they increase their intake, while others experience adverse effects such as lethargy and fatigue.
Overtraining is a heavy-handed approach at best because if you're constantly exceeding the amount of stress you put on your body without giving it adequate rest time, you're only delaying your recovery further.
What Supplements Should Be Used For PCT?
There are two different forms of anabolic steroids, oral/injectable as well as transdermal creams. The only difference between these is the way it enters your body.
Oral compounds offer instant results because they are absorbed directly into your bloodstream, while transdermals must be applied topically. Transdermal do not produce immediate gains; therefore, they take a longer time to build up.
On average, 2-3 months from many testimonials with Trenbolone Acetate. Now, let’s speak more about each compound and how to optimize effects by choosing the best PCT options available to you.
NOTE: Please note that there are many different opinions across the board about what is considered "optimal" for a cycle; it all depends on your goals, your ability to tolerate compounds, and whether or not you have prior knowledge of anabolic steroids.
Therefore these recommendations are just our opinion based on testimonials from customer experiences; they may differ from individual-to-individual, but please don't take offence if any other experienced steroid user has a differing view than mine because that is their right.
Oral Steroids: During PCT with oral steroids, it's necessary to use an aromatase inhibitor to keep estrogen levels as low as possible. Our recommendation for this is Arimistane (Arimidex). This compound comes in a 25mg tablet and should be taken once daily with breakfast.
The reason for taking Arimistane orally is because it works by inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, which converts your testosterone into estrogen, more specifically, estradiol. You can control how much estradiol is present in your body as you want, so if you know that your natural levels are high, then it is better to take less of it since any excess will go towards other compounds that are present within the body.
Also Read:- 5 BEST MUSCLE RECOVERY SUPPLEMENTS FOR SAFE GAINS
For example, if you were running 200mg Test E per week and had high estrogen levels, then taking 25mg of Arimistane daily would be great for controlling those problematic body fat gains that we all hate.
Or if you were running 500mg Test E per week, then 50mg per day of Arimistane would be optimal to entirely prevent the side effects of excess estrogen from occurring.
Alternatively, there is a more potent form called "Arimidex-L", which comes in 10mg tablets. This isn't necessary because it's just as strong as the standard form, but you consume this to save some cash since it's cheaper than buying the 25mg tablets.
ANOTHER NOTE: Some people may have problems when using Arimistane during PCT; these symptoms may include: kidney problems, swelling in the ankles, pain in the joints, and even more severe problems such as liver damage.
This is extremely rare, but there are reports of these symptoms occurring within some individuals who have been using Arimistane for PCT.
It must be noted that once you stop taking a compound like Dianabol or Anadrol, then estrogen levels will rise back to their normal level, provided they were high before beginning your cycle since it isn't readily stored in your body.
However, when taken at high doses, especially orally, Estrogen can become stored within the fat cells.
This process will take longer if you are running oral compounds because testosterone boosters do not bind to SHBG immediately upon consumption; it takes around 14 days for most oral compounds to be fully stored within SHBG; therefore, estrogen levels will remain low during this period.
If you are running a transdermal compound, then your estrogen levels will rise more rapidly due to the immediate effect of them being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, they still won't reach their highest peak if you're using an aromatase inhibitor.
This means that the PCT process will take longer. It is recommended that you have at least 8-10 weeks of pure testosterone before going off, or else you run the risk of entering into another cycle too early, which results in higher estrogen levels.
Therefore, if you were running 500mg Test E per week and had high natural estrogen levels, then you would take 50mg of Arimistane per day for 8-10 weeks and then leave it off for 2-3 weeks before taking another cycle because if you take it for longer than nine weeks, then estrogen levels will end up being too low after the PCT process is complete.
The length of time that you'll need to run Arimistane during a standard PCT process with transdermal compounds is relatively short, but it depends on your dosage amounts.
If running 200mg Test E per week, then you can go ahead and stop Arimistane 2-3 days before beginning your next cycle; testosterone levels should be back to normal within 3-4 days of getting back on.
If you were running 400mg Test E per week, then you should stop taking Arimistane for a minimum of 8 weeks.
If using an antiestrogenic compound like Nolvadex (tamoxifen citrate), then running it for 6-8 weeks will suffice; if not, then it’s recommended to continue running Arimistane during PCT so that estrogen levels remain low.
Don't get confused and think that you have to take Arimistane throughout the entire portion of your PCT process; by doing this, your body is never given a chance to return to normal levels, which may be detrimental in the long run.
Steroids are harmful to your health and body, especially when taken in excess. PCT is the one-stop solution to help you avert the problems emanating from the damages caused by steroids.
However, the availability of PCT shouldn't be a scapegoat to take steroids. It's vital to conserve your body as is to stay healthy. If you have any complications, consult your physician or doctor before deciding to commence on your PCT.
Also Read- STEROIDS FOR BODYBUILDING: ARE THEY WORTH IT?
For interesting Fitness Posts, follow us on Instagram.