When it comes to bodybuilding, many people choose to go on a cycle of anabolic androgenic steroid supplements. It is a highly useful way to get the desired results from exercise in a comparatively shorter amount of time.
While it helps you add to your gains without sufficient nutrition or even with deficient training, there is a lot to consider before you start it. If you do not plan an effective post cycle therapy, your body will crash, and you will experience a setback on your gains.
Remember that starting a post cycle therapy restores your body’s normal homeostasis, without which your health will deteriorate. So plan now and prevent your body from weakening and also to make sure you keep your gains.
Hormonal Fluctuations – The Reason You Need PCT
Anabolic steroids work by increasing muscle mass in a very short period of time, and this is what attracts a large group of gym goers toward it. So what really happens to your body that is so damaging that you need to think of an effective post cycle therapy? While you are on the steroid or prohormone cycle, your body identifies a foreign substance, and it compensates by lowering the testosterone in your body. This is followed by an increase in estrogen and sometimes even progesterone levels.
When you stop your cycle, you expect your testosterone to increase on its own, and this is where you are wrong. If you have been using the steroids for more than 12 weeks, your body gets used to all of this, and your new hormonal levels become the new normal. This leads to many adverse effects including testicular atrophy, increased aggression, and low sex drive. It can also cause gynecomastia, i.e. production of actual breasts!
Alongside all of this, cortisol, a hormone released when your body is under stress, tends to rise dramatically. When this happens, prepare to say goodbye to your gains as it burns off not only the fat in your body but also breaks down muscle and makes you lose your strength.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) Goals
It is a common practice among bodybuilders because it is effective and offers a lot of benefits. An effective post cycle therapy aims for the following factors.
- Recovery of testosterone
- Bringing down estrogen and progesterone
- Enhancing strength and endurance for better workout
- Reducing cortisol
- Reinstate good health
- Correcting sex drive
- Weaning the body off of steroids
- Controlling fat levels in the body
3 Best Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) For You
Always include a SERM (Serum Estrogen Receptor Modulator) in your PCT. The most efficient ones are Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and tamoxifen (Nolvadex). The SERMS work by blocking estrogen production at the hypothalamic level, which in turn increases FSH and LH. These two hormones work together to stimulate the production of testosterone by the Leydig cells of the testes.
You can use both Nolvadex and Clomid together for maximum benefit. However, many people use Nolvadex alone as it is effective enough in causing an increase in LH alone, and does not have the added side effects of mood swings and visual impairment.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone helps prevent and correct existing testicular atrophy due to androgenic steroid usage. This is not used alone as post cycle therapy, owing to the fact that it can bring about increased levels of estrogen in the body. These days it is used for two weeks after stopping the cycle and is followed by the administration of SERMs a week after stopping it. This mechanism helps SERMs to ease into the body if you have been on the cycle for a long time, and begin working more ably.
Human Growth Hormone can be added to your post cycle therapy as it prevents the loss of muscle gains and also stops fat deposits from building up in the body. However, it takes a long time to work and there is no point in including it in the PCT if you were not already on it during your cycle, as you will not receive any benefit from it otherwise.
Anabolic steroids are very useful in reaching your desired muscle mass in a significantly less period of time, but you need to plan a post cycle therapy in order to preserve your gains and so that your body stays healthy. For women, it is easy to just taper off the steroids in their last week of the cycle, for men it’s a different story. So do not let your work go to waste or put your body through stress, and get started on your PCT right away!