People use steroids because they want to retain the gains they have earned during the cycle. For sure, you can already imagine how your family and friends will point at your shrinking physique after a cycle if you do not take steps to ensure that you keep your gains.
The good news is that there are certain types of steroids that can help make the gains you earned through your training more permanent even when you have cycled out of your steroid use a long time ago.
You can achieve this by using cutting steroids since they are known to be effective in retaining your gains up to 100%. Basically, with this type of steroid, you will ditch plenty of fat and keep it that way.
Recommended Steroids for Retaining Gains After Your Cutting Cycle
Most bodybuilders follow a cutting cycle since it is here where they burn excess fats while retaining their gains. This is why bodybuilders tend to look bigger and better because their muscle tone becomes bigger and more defined, while their waist shrinks. In order to prevent muscle loss, bodybuilders rely on the following:
This is possibly the best cutting steroid in the market and the most expensive one too. It is a type of anabolic steroid that will not only help you build more muscles during your cut, but it is also a useful tool in burning fat. Not only that, but it also helps increase your glycogen storage which helps you have fuller muscles and more pumps.
This steroid works the same as that of Anavar in terms of burning fats and increasing muscle mass. There are some who believe that this is better compared to Anavar, especially to those who are just starting out. But you need to keep in mind that there will come more side effects compared to the other. Those who cannot afford to purchase Anavar may find Winstrol a better alternative.
Clenbuterol is not actually a steroid but it does help with burning fat and cutting for bodybuilders. This is typically taken prior to a competition so that the athlete will be able to burn through their excess fats faster. There are no noticeable anabolic effects when taking this medication but your fat burning capabilities will be working faster.
Out of the three, Winstrol proves to be the only medication that boosts more lean muscle gains.
The debate surrounding permanent as well as temporary gains usually revolves around the subject of using steroids for bulking.
There are many bodybuilders who use bulking steroids who look huge while they are on cycle but then start shrinking after. This is not uncommon since some steroids cause water to be retained in the muscles. This causes the muscles to look bigger for a bit until the time the water is flushed out which can lead to muscle shrinkage.
This means that if you want to be able to retain your gains even after you finish cutting, you need to look for dry steroids instead. This is because they will not cause your muscles to retain water that much. When you do this, you will notice that you will be keeping most of the weight that you have achieved. On the other hand, if you stick with wet steroids and gain like 50lbs during the cycle, you will be losing half of it afterwards.
Recommended Steroids to Retain Your Gains After Your Bulking Cycle
As the name suggests, bulking steroids are designed to help you build more muscles. This is achieved through nitrogen retention, protein synthesis, and releasing free testosterone in the body. These steroids are also useful in enhancing your strength because of the muscles that you create.
To get the most out of your bulking steroids, it is recommended that you take it along with a diet that is high in calorie content. This type of diet will complement your gains. The best steroids that you can use in your bulking cycle are:
This is probably the most common bulking steroid in the market and one that is frequently used as the base for those who are interested in stacking their compounds. This steroid mostly comes in injectable form since it is more androgenic instead of anabolic.
The use of testosterone-only is recommended for those who are just starting out because of its mild nature but impressive muscle-building capabilities. What’s more, water retention is not an issue with testosterone which means that your muscle gains are purely muscle.
This is quite a powerful anabolic steroid that you can use for either bulking or, if you prefer, for cutting. If you are interested in bulking, this product is highly recommended for building up your lean muscle mass.
Aside from that, trenbolone is also considered as a diuretic meaning that it flushes excess water from your body. This means that it is possible for your muscles and strength to go up mostly because of intracellular water retention.
If you don’t want to end up looking puffy during your bulking cycle, you can use these two to achieve a more toned physique.
Prevent Shrinking Post-Cycle with These Steroids
Shrinking after you have gained muscles is something that you should avoid as it will negate all the hard work that you have done. This is why you need to be careful in choosing steroids for your post-cycle needs. That said, here are a few examples of the more common steroids used nowadays as well as information on how well they work when it comes to retaining your gains.
- Anadrol – Poor
- Dianabol – Moderate
- Deca – Moderate
- Testosterone – Good
- Trenbolone – Very Good
Anadrol may cause you to lose some of the muscles that you’ve wrecked hard on, but it does make up for it by helping you gain more lean muscle mass.
Helpful Tips to Retain Your Gains Post-Cycle
Most bodybuilders rely on post-cycle therapy (PCT) to retain the gains they made after their steroid cycle. This therapy has also been found to be useful in restoring one’s testosterone levels since taking steroids has been found to suppress them. And since low testosterone levels can lead to catabolism, your muscle mass will be attacked in order to supply you with energy which is exactly what you need to avoid.
Those who don’t follow a prolonged steroid cycle in high dosage can skip incorporating PCT in their training because you will be able to retain most of your gains at the end. Integrating PCT is highly recommended to those who are following a harsh cycle using high dosage of steroids to prevent loss of muscle mass.
A basic PCT plan will usually involve the use of natural testosterone boosters. Among these are tongkat ali, maca, or aspartic acid. The main goal as to why bodybuilders and athletes are using these products is because they want to bring back their testosterone levels at their normal amount or prior to their intake of steroids.
Take note that when your body’s natural testosterone production has been shut down, it is highly likely that you will experience fatigue, low sex drive, and even less energy levels too.
A Brief Look at PCT
It is understandable that you will be interested in taking performance enhancement drugs when training to become an athlete or a bodybuilder. But while you are doing your research about these steroids, you should also spare some time to learn about PCT.
If this is your first time to hear about it, PCT is a protocol that is usually taken once your cycle of steroid use is finished. One reason why this is considered to be an important part of your cycle is because the steroids you have been taking have caused your testosterone levels to go down considerably. A PCT helps boost your natural testosterone production by regulating your estrogen levels at the same time.
Having low testosterone levels can pose a problem since you will not be able to retain all the gains you have made while you are on steroids. What’s more, if you do not bring back your testosterone levels at the right number, you’ll most likely feel out of sorts and even low on energy.
If you do not follow a PCT protocol after you cycle, it will be difficult for you to keep the gains that you have worked so hard for. On the other hand, if you do stick to a PCT protocol as instructed, you won’t be subjected to shrinking muscles and other side effects.
Which PCT Supplement Should You Use?
There are several PCT supplements out there that you can take advantage of. Basically, any supplement that can help increase your testosterone levels naturally is already considered as PCT. Using them will lead to plenty of positive effects to your estrogen levels, intensity in training, muscle recovery, fat burning, as well as in your overall health.
Natural Testosterone Enhancers
There are plenty of testosterone boosters out there that can jumpstart your body’s natural testosterone production. However, it is always a good idea to look for those that contain D-aspartic or even tribulus terrestris.
- D-aspartic. Studies show that this amino acid has been found to boost one’s testosterone levels naturally.
- Tribulus Terrestris. Taking supplements containing this compound will have a better impact on your DHT levels. It appears that those who have been taking supplements containing this ingredient have experienced an increase in their libido. Additionally, this compound protects your liver and kidneys too.
Take note, however, that there are some individuals who may need stronger PCTs like nolvadex or clomid even.
What Happens If I Skip PCT?
There are some people who won’t need to follow a PCT and still keep their gains in the process. However, if you want to ensure that the bulk that you gained during your training will remain after your steroid cycle ends, then you definitely need to follow a PCT protocol so you will be able to get the most out of your investment in steroids since they are not cheap to begin with.
Let’s say that you skipped PCT. What happens is that it will take your body several months before its hormone levels go back to their normal numbers. On the other hand, following a PCT plan to the letter will not only help you retain your gains, but also speed up the process in which your body recovers from your steroid use.
Finding the right PCT protocol for you is easier said than done. There will be some hits and misses when searching for the right supplement for you. But don’t you worry. After using some PCT supplements, you’re sure to find the best one based on your body’s reaction to it.
Building Your Post Cycle Therapy Plan
There are two things that you will need when building your PCT and these are SERMS and Aromatase Inhibitors. Let’s take a closer look at these two.
SERMS or selective estrogen receptor modulator are prescription medications that are designed to help regulate your testosterone production. Among these are Clomid and Nolvadex. Though taking any of the two on their own will not cause you to bulk up, they are effective in helping you maintain your gains after your steroid cycle. This supplement works by stimulating your pituitary gland in order for your testes to start functioning once more.
NOTE: SERMS are quite different from SARMS or selective androgen receptor modulators. The latter functions like mild versions of anabolic steroids which is why they are not recommended for PCT. This is because they will cause your testosterone production to shut down which is the opposite of what you should be doing during PCT.
In PCT, you may also need to use an aromatase inhibitor (AI) together with your choice of SERM. The AI is designed to prevent your testosterone from being converted into estrogen which your body has plenty of at the moment. Keep in mind that the higher the levels of estrogen in your system, the lower your testosterone will be.
Although it is possible for you to use AI while you are using steroids, it can also be paired with a SERM during your post-cycle therapy. Basically, using AI while you are working out is a good way to maintain your estrogen levels as well as to keep your masculine traits intact. If ever you experience gynecomastia, you should look for an AI to incorporate into your cycle.
One of the best options here is Letrozole since it can reduce your estrogen levels up to 98%. Due to its impressive results, this medication has been recommended to those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The best part is that it is priced affordably too.
After you have finished your AI cycle, your hormone levels will already be back to normal without you having to worry about sudden drops to your estrogen and testosterone levels. A word of caution though. Avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages while taking AI because of the negative effects that can crop up.
What Health Benefits to Expect from PCT?
There are several health benefits that you can get when you do a PCT after your steroid cycle. Here are a few to get started with.
Hormone production goes back to normal
The problem with taking steroids is that it changes how your hormonal system functions. Doing PCT, on the other hand, helps bring back their normal function so that your estrogen and testosterone levels return to the way they were before.
Faster recovery time
There are side effects to taking steroids including liver problems, lower libido, and even infertility. These are all countered by a proper PCT plan where your body will be able to recover from your steroid cycle.
There is no doubt that you have gained muscles during your steroid cycle but the challenge is maintaining them post-cycle. Undergoing PCT is a sure way to retain the muscle mass you have generated.
Are All Available PCT Protocols Safe to Use?
This is one of the most common questions that people ask with regards to using PCT during the end of their steroid cycle.
The main objective of a post-cycle therapy is to actually help you stay healthy. However, there are some PCT plans that are dangerous because their users are still taking toxic compounds during PCT. One reason behind this is that they still want to gain more muscle during this phase. Unfortunately, this causes their health to be compromised further.
On a good note, if you do follow the suggested PCTs here, then you are in the best possible position to not only retain your gains, but also reduce the side effects of the steroids you have been using. If you are considering taking more hormones while you are on PCT, don’t do it. This is not worth putting your health in line for.