Post Cycle Therapies has been a popular practice among bodybuilders and athletes since the late ’80s. They’ve become very effective in helping bodybuilders maintain lean muscle mass, strength, and testosterone levels while taking steroids. After using steroids for an extended period of time, even experienced steroid users need help with their PCTs from time to time. This article will show you how to do this particular PCT, and what to avoid when doing so.
Post Cycle Therapy, also known as PCT, is a practice known to experienced steroid users to prevent the undesirable side effects of taking steroids. Steroids are known to shut down the body’s natural production of testosterone. The way Post Cycle Therapy works are by restoring the body’s natural hormone levels; it does this by boosting testosterone production after the use of anabolic steroids has ceased.
Post Cycle Therapies was first done in the late ’80s. Previously, there were no supplements that contained natural testosterone boosters to aid with restoring the body’s natural production of hormones after steroid use had stopped.
Anabolic steroids work by increasing hormone signaling proteins (called “steroid receptors”) on muscle cells. These steroid receptors are activated by binding them to anabolic (muscle building) steroid hormones.
After a steroid cycle, using Post Cycle Therapy can help prevent a low testosterone level and the undesirable side effects that go along with it. This is done by preventing the body from going into a hypogonadal state (state of diminished function), where there isn’t enough testosterone to carry out everyday bodily functions.
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For many years, Post Cycle Therapy has been widely used by bodybuilders and sportsmen to maintain their supply of hormones after steroid use. Some common examples are testosterone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), nandrolone decanoate, trenbolone enanthate, boldenone undecylenate, etc.
Bodybuilders have reported that using anabolic steroids can cause side effects such as gynecomastia (growth of breast tissue in men), hair loss, acne, erectile dysfunction (ED), reduced libido, fatigue, inability to focus on tasks at hand, inability to sleep well and anxiety.
Some bodybuilders use Post Cycle Therapy to prevent the body from going into a chemical state of shock after their cycle. This can happen when the testosterone levels fluctuate during the introduction of the exogenous hormone (steroid hormone) and then return to normal once it is out of the body.
Another reason that bodybuilders use Post Cycle Therapy is that it can also aid with recovery, making the transition from steroid cycle to off-cycle smoother.
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A Post Cycle Therapy for Experienced Steroid Users
For advanced steroid users, it’s suggested that they use Post Cycle Therapy to help the body recover better after high-dose steroid cycles. The longer the user has been using steroids, the more severe his withdrawal symptoms are likely to be.
Advanced users who use Post Cycle Therapy report fewer side effects compared to those who don’t do PCT at all. Although experienced users may not need PCT as badly as beginners, it is still an effective practice for preventing the effects of the shutdown.
Here is an example of a post-cycle therapy for advanced steroid users. But before we get to it, we must first identify which steroids and supplements are needed for this PCT.
The supplements needed for this cycle
There are quite a few products needed for this PCT. The list below are the supplements and steroids that you must first acquire before starting this PCT:
Clomid: This is a drug usually prescribed to women who are having fertility problems. It’s often used if the user is on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), because it can counteract the side effects of two common TRT drugs, namely nandrolone decanoate and boldenone undecylenate.
Nolvadex: This is another drug that is widely used in TRT. It works by blocking the estrogen receptors and shutting down the aromatase enzyme, which converts testosterone into estrogen. This gives it a very strong anti-estrogenic effect and this characteristic makes it an important part of any PCT or post cycle therapy for steroid users who use aromatizing steroids.
Arimidex: This drug is an aromatase inhibitor. It works by blocking the estrogen hormone from binding to receptors in the body, thus shutting down the estrogen receptor sites and stopping them from doing their job.
Testosterone Booster: Boosting testosterone levels is important when on a cycle because the lack of it can make you feel depressed. It’s also needed after the cycle to help your body recover faster.
How to do this particular PCT
Now we’ll dive into the proper way to do this PCT. The first thing you should do is stop using all steroids in your cycle at least two weeks prior to starting the Clomid. Make sure that it’s out of your system and that there’s no residual steroid hormone left for this PCT to flush out.
After two weeks, start taking 25mg of Clomid every day during your PCT period. Continue taking it for at least 4 weeks.
All the while, you should be using Arimidex whenever your body senses that estrogen is trying to breakthrough. Use this for another 4 weeks after the Clomid regimen.
The final component of this PCT is Nolvadex, which must be taken until your last steroid is fully out of your system.
It’s best to take a break from using steroids altogether for at least a week after this PCT cycle. And if you’re going to start another steroid cycle after this one, allow at least two weeks before starting it. This should give your body enough time to heal and recover from the Clomid.
Make sure that you also include a testosterone booster in your PCT. Since the body is going through a prolonged period of no testosterone, it will need something to help boost it back up again. This can help keep your libido high and improve your overall mood.
Possible side effects of this PCT
Even during post-cycle therapies, users must be careful. This PCT can still lead to some potentially harmful side effects that we surely think you would want to avoid. The possible negative side effects of this PCT include:
Fatigue: This can easily happen to anyone who has been on a steroid cycle for an extended period of time. The rest of the PCT allows you to recuperate from everyday stressors that may have somehow contributed to this fatigue.
Mood swings: This is another common side effect, especially if you are using aromatizing steroids during your cycle. These types of steroids can cause heightened emotional reactions. Make sure that you’re mentally stable before starting your PCT to keep yourself from doing anything you might regret later on.
Headaches: This is also a common side effect of using aromatizing steroids because they inhibit testosterone production. You can expect this symptom to go away as soon as the cycle ends.
Bloating: This is a particularly bothersome side effect of using aromatizing steroids because it can lead to water retention. The rest of the PCT will help you recuperate from this annoying symptom after your cycle ends.
Lessened levels of HDL: This is a side effect of taking steroids and can happen during your cycle or after, even on PCT. But it’s not as severe as the possible effects of taking steroids for an extended period of time.
Decreased libido: Steroids are notorious for causing this undesirable side effect. It happens whether you’re on a cycle or in PCT.
Insomnia: This can happen during your cycle or in PCT when you use high amounts of aromatizing steroids. Replacing the lost testosterone may help with this symptom, but it’s also just a matter of getting plenty of sleep and not stressing yourself out too much.
Breast development/enlargement in men: This one is a common side effect that happens to both men and women. You should stop using all steroid hormones at least two weeks before starting your PCT so the other components can flush them out.
Steroid acne: This might happen during your cycle or in PCT because of increased sebum production and blocked pores from taking steroids. It usually goes away when you stop taking them.
Steroid-induced high blood pressure: This one is a big concern when it comes to PCT because steroids can cause elevated blood pressure during or after your cycle. You should consult a doctor before starting any PCT regimen if this is a concern for you.
Excessive sweating: There’s no reason why you should be experiencing excessive sweating during PCT, but if you do, it’s likely due to using high amounts of aromatizing steroids. Talk to your doctor about this one.
There are also some things that should be avoided when doing post-cycle therapy. These include:
Stimulants: Avoid them because they are known to nullify the positive effects of PCT. These include ephedrine, amphetamines, or any other similar drugs.
Alcohol: This should be avoided because it can reduce testosterone and increase estrogen levels that will interfere with your PCT.
Fatty food: Eating fatty food during PCT will increase estrogen levels and make it harder for your body to create testosterone.
Corticosteroids: Obviously, you should stay away from these because they are steroids. If you’re taking corticosteroids for medical reasons, talk to the doctor who prescribed them before stopping or starting any treatment.
Sleep deprivation: Getting at least seven hours of sleep every night is crucial to the success of PCT. You can expect symptoms like mood swings and depression to become worse if you don’t get enough rest, so be sure to take care of yourself during this time.
Smoking cigarettes: This can nullify the effects of your PCT and reduce the ability of your body to produce testosterone.
Carbohydrate-rich foods: You should avoid these because they increase estrogen levels.
Soy products: They contain phytoestrogens that can further reduce testosterone production during PCT.
Fruit juices: This is an obvious one – avoid them because they increase estrogen levels.
Caffeine: Caffeine is an aromatase inhibitor and can reduce testosterone levels, so limit your intake of it during PCT and stop completely if you experience any negative symptoms.Excessive amounts of protein: Too much protein in the body turns into estrogen, which can lead to a loss of your gains during PCT. You should try to keep it under 1g/lb per day to avoid side effects.
During the PCT, you should eat a balanced diet.
When on PCT, the user must still maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This is because the body requires certain nutrients to function properly. Carbohydrates are known to spike insulin levels, so they should be avoided in large amounts when dieting.
Also, while steroids might suppress appetite it does not mean that you should neglect your food intake. You need to keep eating to help recover the muscles that were lost while on cycle.
There are many foods that you should eat while on cycle. The only problem is that some of the dietary requirements vary according to whether you are doing post-cycle therapy or not. Foods rich in proteins, fats, and carbs are advised for both types of cycles. These can be either eaten separately or included in a single dish.
Examples of foods that are healthy for both cycles include:
- Whole grains
- Meat, fish, and eggs
Steroids to avoid when doing Post Cycle Therapy
When doing this particular PCT, users must avoid some steroids such as the following:
Winstrol: This steroid has the ability to convert into estrogen. It is also very harsh on the body, so it can cause many side effects.
Stanozolol: This is another harsh steroid that can damage your liver and kidneys. It’s also known for increasing prolactin levels which may result in impotence and loss of sex drive.Turinabol: This steroid can cause side effects such as diarrhea and swelling of the liver and kidneys, so it must be avoided when doing PCT.
Summary and Conclusion
In conclusion, proper PCT is necessary for those who have used steroids and it will help with bringing their hormone levels back to normal. This combination of specific drugs and nutrients will boost the production of natural testosterone, which has been suppressed by heavy steroid use.
It is best to go through a PCT as soon as your cycle ends. For those that are just starting their first cycle, you should not worry about it. In time, your body will get used to the exogenous testosterone and when that happens, you can begin your PCT process.
There are many benefits in doing the post-cycle therapy besides just restoring testosterone levels. It also helps with boosting libido and stamina so users can enjoy the improved intimate performance as well!