The impact of Post-Cycle Theraphy on harm reduction.
Post-cycling rehabilitation is important. I really doubt you have ever heard of it before. The Road to Recuperation. The last phase of your cycle, which begins immediately after the last steroid injection or tablet, is designed to restore your normal testosterone levels and to return your body to its natural condition. What on earth is the significance of this?
Without PCT, the process of testosterone restoration may take months, and in some cases, perhaps a year or more to complete. It would almost certainly negate all of your benefits. Athletes that do not use PCT are responsible for the majority of clichés that the general public has about steroids. You should be aware of the following information if you want to treat your body the way it deserves and avoid being a living social advertisement for mindless steroid addiction.
What Is the Importance of the PCT?
You would not leap out of an aircraft unless you were certain in the safety of the landing, would you? To your organism, coming off a steroid cycle is precisely the same as going into PCT, and PCT is the parachute. You need it in order to prevent a crash when your natural Testosterone levels are low and your Estrogen levels are high. The hormonal collapse that occurs as a consequence would have you wishing you had simply broken your legs instead:
- Severe gynecomastia;
- Suppressed state of mind;
- Strength loss;
- Abdominal fat growth;
- Low libido.
The above is only the surface of what’s to come. The whole list is dependent on the equipment that you have removed, and it may include a number of unpleasant surprises.
Surely you would not want to wake up in a week after finishing your 12–16-week cycle of Testosterone Enanthate and discover that your testicles are the size of peas. I know you would.
PCT not only aids in the restoration of your physical shape, but it also helps to avoid the psychological side effects of low testosterone levels from occurring. I would not advocate underestimating them since some athletes (to be specific, those who do intense cycles with little assistance) wind up in rehabilitation. That is another thing you have to contend with when dealing with PCT.
Stress, tiredness, superimposed mood disorders, anxiety, the development of mental chronic illnesses (manias, bipolar syndrome), and suicidal thoughts are all possible outcomes.
In a nutshell, appropriate post-cycle treatment helps you avoid the negative effects of cycling equipment while maintaining your results. While the substances used in PCT may differ, most of the advantages are virtually the same:
- The preservation of maximum strength and muscle mass;
- The minimization of the rollback phenomenon;
- The stimulation of testosterone production;
- The restoration of the natural hormonal background;
- The prevention of gynecomastia (and other aromatization side effects);
- And the reduction of the development of anabolic steroids’ side effects.
What Happens If You Do Not Perform Post Cycle Therapy?
Dropping an anabolic steroid cycle without PCT is like playing Russian roulette with your body, and the more youthful you are, the fewer bullets there are in the barrel of the gun. The following are the most important criteria that determine your chances of normalizing your hormone balance without the use of exogenous PCT compounds:
- Gear experience;
- Genetic testosterone production levels;
- Family history of mental illnesses;
- Cycle length and the strength of the substances used.
Let us have a look at two extreme life-like scenarios in order to provide you with a more relevant image:
The ideal candidate is a man in his thirties or younger who has only completed a handful of steroid cycles in his life. His endogenous testosterone levels are high, and he seems to be rather content with his life. In this instance, he may be the fortunate one to be able to totally wean himself off of PCT without experiencing even a hint of discomfort or misery.
For example, a man in his 50s who has been “on and off” for his whole life, blasting and cruising since high school is the worst-case scenario. In fact, his testicles have long since forgotten what the heck testosterone is and why they should be producing it in the first place. Most significantly, his life as a whole is a frantic jumble of events. He is going to have a difficult time coming off without PCT, no doubt about it.
Again, these are merely extreme possibilities that may occur, but which are really rather unusual in reality. You are most likely somewhere in the center, which means that PCT is either absolutely necessary for you or just beneficial to make the transition easier.
Components of PCT
PCT now comprises three primary components. When it comes to getting back on track, the most common and perhaps the most established method is the usage of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs), such as Nolvadex (Tamoxifen), Clomid, and the less popular, but still effective, Raloxifene. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, often known as HCG, is a powerful pre-PCT hormone that may be used in conjunction with other medications. Proviron (Mesterolone) is the third alternative since, on occasion, it is necessary to fight fire with fire in order to achieve success. Unfortunately, it does not function on its own, despite the fact that it was popular for a time. The next sections will examine each component in further detail, beginning with those that are most frequent.
Nolvadex and Clomid-examples of selective estrogen receptor modulators.
SERMs, as you may have guessed from the name, are drugs that specifically modify the action of your estrogen receptors in your body.
What SERMs Do and How They Work?
In its natural state, your body does not create substantial levels of the female sex hormone, estrogen. Aromatization, though, might provide you with a significant amount of it if you have an overabundance of testosterone in your body. Aromatherapy has absolutely nothing to do with this procedure. It is called after the aromatase enzymes that are found in your system. These tiny fellas are responsible for the conversion of testosterone molecules into estrogen. It occurs all the time in nature, but the consequences are so tiny that you do not even notice it happening. Due to the fact that anabolic steroids speed up the process, you will notice all of the adverse effects, such as developing moobs, sadness, and decreased sexual desire. You will not be able to stop the procedure itself, but you will be able to prevent excessive estrogen from being administered in your body. That is exactly what SERMs do.
The Methods by Which SERMs Work
Compounds such as Tamoxifen act as secret spies dressed in Estrogen uniforms that work alongside you.
Tamoxifen molecules seem to your body as though they were actual estrogen. They clog estrogen receptors and prevent them from functioning properly so that when actual estrogen arrives, it has nowhere to go.
Estrogen receptors respond in the manner of «sorry dude, I already have one of your friends here, maybe I will be available for you later». During your PCT, on the other hand, the phrase “later” never appears. Estrogen just floats about in your bloodstream, doing absolutely no damage, until you urinate it out.
Tamoxifen molecules act as a substitute for one another, reducing the number of actual estrogen molecules that your receptors may bind to. At the conclusion of the PCT, they simply withdraw from your body and allow estrogen to function as it did before, although at a more normal and safe level.
Now that you have grasped the fundamental concept, let us dive into the specifics of the most often prescribed medications. Each of them has its own set of extra advantages as well as, unfortunately, adverse consequences.
Tamoxifen is the active ingredient, while Nolvadex is just the brand name for the medication. “Nolva” is the earliest known medicine for post-cycle treatment, having been used since the 1950s. In other terms, it is the medicine that prevents you from growing moobs on your body. Another unexpected side effect of Nolvadex is that it has a beneficial effect on the liver since it helps to maintain a healthy balance between LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Nolvadex may be used both throughout the cycle to combat aromatization and during the post-cycle therapy period to restore estrogen levels. Without a doubt, the post-cycle activity is more popular.
Nolvadex was popular throughout the menstrual cycle 20-30 years ago. Now, the vast majority of athletes think that it is both virtually worthless and detrimental to their performance.
You do not really need to include it in tough cycles since it just would not be enough to combat all of the aromatization, but it pairs well with less androgenic drugs like Winstrol and performs well in combination with them.
Nolvadex has just a few adverse effects, and most of them are dose-related. Some sportsmen have reported impaired vision and elevated blood pressure. As a result, Nolvadex is an excellent PCT medication since its adverse effects are only noticeable at high dosages that are not truly necessary. More information about Nolvadex PCT may be found in this guide on the drug.
Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)
Clomid (also known as Clomiphene Citrate on the market) is a synthetic estrogen that was developed to address ovulation-related problems in women. Despite the fact that it acts in a slightly different manner than Nolvadex, it is classified as a SERM. First and foremost, it increases natural testosterone production by directly affecting your brain and testicles. Second, since it performs a specific job, it is far less harmful than other possibilities.
If you are taking Clomid during your primary cycle, I would advise against it. Instead, you should wait for your body to begin cleaning itself of all of the steroids and for a couple of weeks following your final injection before continuing.
Clomid is the lightest of the PCT medications, which means that side effects are infrequent and generally consist of small inconveniences like increased perspiration and blood pressure increases, among other things. Furthermore, because of this weakness, Clomid dosages are substantially greater than those of other SERMs — you may take up to 150mg of Clomid daily. For additional information, please see my entire guide to Clomid.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is unquestionably the most contentious of the compounds on this list. First and foremost, since it is only generated by pregnant women and so reacts with pregnancy tests, it is the substance to look for. In the male body, HCG functions as another natural molecule known as the luteinizing hormone, which increases testosterone synthesis by stimulating the creation of testosterone. Experienced sportsmen who suffer from a serious reduction in testicular function as a result of protracted injection cycles are the most likely to benefit from it.
Despite the fact that HCG is also popular as a “weight reduction aid,” this is a deceptive advertising outcome and just an incorrect use of the substance. The well-known “HCG diet” is based on just one research and is only effective when there is a severe calorie shortage. In the same way as all other popular TV dietary chemicals for bored housewives are victims of marketing “experts,” HCG is a victim of marketing “experts.”
HCG is incompatible with regular PCT in any respect. Attempting to do it on your own after coming off steroids would be a massive mistake.
Instead, HCG is an excellent chemical for preparing the body for post-cycle treatment. Make use of it to raise your chances of regaining control of your life and to accelerate the pace of the recovery process. The most important thing to remember about HCG is that it has a reversible effect — when you stop taking it, your testosterone levels decrease as well. To put it another way, it only increases testosterone production when it is present in your body.
In order to get the full effects of HCG, it should be used during the latter 2-3 weeks of the cycle in conjunction with the primary steroid. It may assist with «awakening» your testicles and preparing them for the remainder of the repair process. You may refer to it as a pre-PCT or the beginning of the PCT phase early, but the reality is that for certain bodybuilders, it is the only method to see their testicles in their full size again after a period of inactivity.
Mesterolone is another compound that has been overrun with unfounded assumptions (on the market as Proviron). The word “anabolic steroid” refers to the synthetic form of the hormone dihydrotestosterone, which is used in bodybuilding (DHT). Proviron is a weak androgenic agent, and it is completely ineffective as a tool for mass growth in a cycle – you would not even notice it if you were using more potent gear at the same time. It is also classified as an anti-estrogen since DHT has the ability to connect with estrogen molecules and render them inactive. Here’s why so many athletes are still willing to give it a shot:
Proviron and Libido Gains
Proviron allows you to maintain a decent erection even if you are inhibited by your partner. It is a medication that is legally provided to persons who have reduced sexual desire. You may utilize it to your advantage if other gear causes your libido to crash or malfunction. Proviron has also been shown in several trials to be effective in the treatment of depression and anxiety.
Proviron Against Water Retention
Proviron provides you with a drier appearance in general and makes your muscles feel tougher to the touch when you exercise. You may use it with so-called wet substances, such as Dianabol or Deca Durabolin, to reduce the puffiness associated with these anabolic steroids.
Now, I am sure you are wondering why the heck it is in the PCT section since two of its most important applications are associated with the cycle phase.
A long time ago, Proviron was thought to be an excellent PCT tool. This belief was proven wrong. It is therefore imperative that this massive fraud be exposed and exposed.
Proviron is not the most effective medication available for post-cycle repair. Yes, some athletes include it in their main PCT phase, but only – and only – in conjunction with Nolvadex or Clomid, and then only for a short period of time.
Taking Proviron will not restore your natural testosterone levels. When used in large doses, it might further depress your mood. Its only aim during PCT is to aid in the prevention of libido loss during the first two weeks of a Nolvadex or Clomid cycle. It is a personal preference, and you may or may not need it at all. However, you should be aware that there is a component that will make you rock hard even through the most difficult days of detoxification.
PCT Cycles FAQ
There really is no such thing as a PCT procedure that is universally applicable. It simply does not exist since each cycle needs to be performed in a unique manner, with a varied dose and time for each.
Here are some fundamental ideas, as well as some of the most often asked questions:
A Longer Cycle Means Longer PCT?
Isn’t it true that 12 weeks of Testosterone suppression is worse than 4 or 6 weeks? That suggests that 10 days of PCT would be insufficient, and you would need to continue it for as long as possible. PCT may also be used in the other direction; for example, following a mild and brief cycle, there may be no need for it at all.
Is It Possible To Combine PCT Compounds?
Taking Nolvadex with Clomid at the same time for the duration of your cycle is not suggested under any circumstances. Combining compounds makes sense when you are taking a large number of them simultaneously. If you take Clomid for the first two weeks and then switch to Nolvadex for the third and fourth weeks, you will have achieved your goal. Alternatively, you might start with HCG and then switch to Nolvadex for pre-PCT. Specifically, this is how it works in the event of dense and prolonged cycles. You are free to give it a go even if it is not a popular thing to do in the world nowadays.
Because many individuals feel that you should only begin PCT when all of the gear has been removed from your body completely, this is a tough question to respond to definitively. A significant drop in libido, mood and hormonal balance will be experienced for a brief period of time. This will be temporary. As a result of the vanishing of all of your injectable steroids, plus the fact that PCT has not yet started to alter your estrogen levels, you have the option to experiment with not taking any PCT for a few days. Starting PCT a few days before the expiration of your previous injectable or pill, whichever comes first, is the best time to get the most benefit from it. It might be as little as a day after the previous treatment with a quick compound, or as long as a week after the last treatment with a slow compound, such as Testosterone Enanthate, before the next dosage is administered.
It is determined by your cycle. In the case of light equipment, you would not require more than 2-4 weeks to recuperate entirely. The time may be extended to 6 weeks for more difficult compounds that inhibit you nearly to the point of complete shutdown.
Is There a Way to Make Post-Cycle Therapy More Effective?
A little more attention to detail is always beneficial, even though the majority of compounds are self-sufficient and perform properly without external assistance. You should pay attention to the following points:
Control Your Results
Make an appointment with your doctor to get your blood checked. Plan to see your doctor two weeks before the conclusion of your usual cycle in order to have certain tests performed. Replicate the test a week after you begin your PCT and compare the results. At the completion of your PCT, I strongly suggest you repeat the process a third time as a precaution. At this point, you will be able to determine if the experiment was a success or a failure and whether you should proceed.
Get Only Pharma Grade Compounds
Post-cycling therapy is quite inexpensive on its own. However, since it is so popular, some dishonest stores counterfeit it, offer tablets that are underdosed, or substitute the active component with a placebo. When it comes to natural testosterone recovery, you want to be sure that your supplier is a trustworthy one.
Set Your Diet Right
Nolvadex is a successful treatment for avoiding the development of gynecomastia on its own, but some dietary alterations may be advantageous as well as the medication. Reduce your intake of sugar and salt, and abstain from indulgent foods like fast food. If you don’t, you will run the risk of growing marshmallow nipples.
Is it True That PCT Is Effective?
That is, in fact, a big challenge for those who work in the field of medicine. The difficulty is that, at this point in time, there is no specific medical study on the subject of the requirement of post-cycle therapy in general that has been conducted. To prepare for market development, medical professionals and physicians at Harvard and California University are already undertaking extensive surveys and testing, but the results will not be accessible for some time.
So far, we have heard two very different points of view. On the one hand, a considerable number of studies have shown the effect of PCT compounds in isolation, which is encouraging. Example: This research shows that Clomid can help you restore your natural testosterone levels, and this study shows that SERMs in general, including Tamoxifen (Nolvadex), may be effective in preventing the development of gynecomastia in males.
Those who support PCT have recently come under assault, with studies like this one, conducted in Germany at the beginning of 2020, indicating that it does more harm than good and severely slows the mending process. The problem is that we have no way of knowing whether or not these new studies were conducted properly, with the right dosage, and with responsible folks as participants in order to draw conclusions.
My Personal View
Ultimately, I believe that science will remedy the issue at some time in the future. So far, I am certain that the only case in which you may validly opt-out of the PCT is… when the PCT would simply be inadequate to protect your interests.
The only option to preserve the lives of certain hardcore athletes who have a long history of using high-intensity equipment may be to continue on mild TRT permanently since no amount of Clomid or HCG will return them to their former selves. If you decide to quit using at that point, you should not even make the decision on your own — it is highly recommended that you seek severe medical attention immediately.
According to the surface of the story, this seems to be a tragic narrative, but trust me when I tell that some bodybuilding maniacs out there cannot imagine starting their day without an intramuscular injection, and they are quite fine with lifetime TRT. Following their suggestions, on the other hand, is not a strong motivation, and the risk that you may need PCT is considerably raised as a result. All you have to do is pick the most suitable chemical to guarantee that all of your goals are met.