I've posted this on my blog and at Meso, UGBB and TIP. I'm sure Heavyiron is sick of seeing it...sorry buddy! ;D Since most here don't know me let me explain that about once a year I write a PCT protocol thread and watch the forums start to disagree, and I always recieved some nice insults too! JK!...it's my attempt to simplify a topic that really doesn't need to be made to seem simple, but I wanted to keep the info basic...I love seeing how many different variations there are on an always heated topic...here it is...PCT....da-da-daaaaaaaaa! >
I think the most debated yet essential process we as "Enhancement Athletes" must endure is the conclusion of a cycle! Saying that, it?s no surprise then that we dread post cycle steroid recovery (PCT) not only due to association with cycle time ending, but also because of the loss in sex drive, energy, and sometimes...muscle mass.
PCT is often, I?m sad to say, almost an after thought to some newer AAS users. This is who I wrote this for?the newbie! AHHHHH!
I see more and more PCT forums with a few stickies and a question or two on start times or doses. PCT is not a formality unless you have a desire to live out your days on PDE-5 inhibitors and balls like BB?s in a rubber thimble!
I worry, I?m guilty too, that time on=time off + a few weeks is becoming a lost method. Guys, cruising won?t do you any good and staying on, well?seen Rick Flair topless since 84? Just sayin! To stay healthy you should run shorter (8-12 week) cycles at reasonable doses, running a solid PCT and time off exceeding time on when PCT is complete.
Why do we use gear? How is it good? How is it bad?
The good: treatment of andropause, TA, prevention of muscle wasting in AIDs victims, recovery from burns and injurys. The rec. user and athlete gain an increase in lean muscle mass, drop in body fat, and a sense of well being.
The bad: higher LDL, lowered HDL, hypertension, possible enlargement of prostrate and yes?addiction! I did say addiction so flame if you must, I stand by it. The most discussed bad side of AAS is shutdown which brings us to the topic at hand.
Gonadatropin releasing hormone (GnRH)is pulsated, which is a fancy way to say, released from the hypothalamus to maintain healthy sexual function between the axis?by the release of (LH) and (FSH). These two hormones work with leydig cells and a healthy hpta is the result due to mens testes actually working to produce sperm and testosterone. When an exogenous hormone such as testosterone is administered on a moderate scale, or dose, hypogonadism from lowered test levels occur (I can?t find a mg to shutdown ratio or dose) resulting in a drop in serum production and male estrogen dominance. When the exogenous test administration is moderate the problem can be remedied by dropping the estrogen levels. I do believe, however the longer the cycle and higher the dose recovery can be much more complex than 4 weeks of a SERM. I?ve flip-flopped ove the past 2 years on if shutdown is shutdown or if you can be shutdown more extremely depending on the cycle. I?m a believer in the ladder now. Saying that to say that I feel cycle choice determines the effort you use to recover.
Proper PCT method:
Remember that an effective PCT is always based on proper hpta maintenance during your cycle:
I like a 4 compound ?proactive? PCT. Since hcg mimics LH I use that on cycle at 250iu twice weekly begining week 4 of the cycle until the week of my last long estered "base" steroid injection, this is my first step. I now have 3 compounds left to use for PCT only (with exception of estrogen control during cycle).
My preference upon starting PCT is to use 2 SERMs and an AI. I?m older so I still use Clomid, Nolvadex and usually adex (letro sometimes). No 300mg Clomid frontloads for me though. I use Clomid weeks 1-3 of PCT at 50mg/daily.
Clomid is a weak estrogen so its only purpose is to block binding and trigger LH and FSH release. It?s the grunt clearing up some for the Nolvadex to drop E levels low enough that hpta begins producing again.
Oversimplified, yes, but I want a newbie to be able to get the gist of what we are trying to do here.
Don't worry, I remembered my 4th compound...my AI (I like Adex, but from time to time I use Letro)?imagine you have restarted test production naturally again by binding and manipulating estrogens. You are a little above your baseline T level and you drop the Nolvadex after 20mg/e.d. For 4-6 weeks. The excess estrogen made from elevated natural test levels will be able to bind at will. This is where you may hear the term "estrogen rebound." The last 2 weeks after ending all serms dose 1mg adex e.o.d. To keep too much E?s forming from aromatase, thus, combating etrogen rebound.
How bigrobbie's basic PCT would look:
1-5 Nolvadex-20mg/e.d./or Fareston at 60mg/e.d.
note: this is assuming I have used hcg on cycle with success.
Sometimes, if using heavy doses of Nandrolone-ie: Deca, Tren- and/or cycling for long periods of time-ie: 14-20 weeks- you may need a more advanced PCT. Below is an example of a PCT I used after a very taxing 18 weeks cycle I ran when I was less educated and much more "gung-ho" to cycle "hardcore!" I tried to run a simple 4 week Nolva/Clomid/Adex cyce-it wasn't enough so I ran the below...
How bigrobbie's advanced PCT would look:
3-5 Nolvadex-20mg/e.d./or Fareston at 60mg/e.d.
1-5 Clen-(begin at 25mcg and raise by 10mcg every 3rd day)
4-6* Adex- 1mg/2Xwk
note: this is for a heavy cycle after using Deca or Tren at high doses, the Adex should be on hand for the weeks following in case of estr. rebound.
I hope this helps someone sometime?to repeat myself PCT isn?t only the weeks after cycle, it really starts when you start proactive measures to shorten and ease recovery. I'd like any thoughts, or concerns with this post...I welcome a critic as eagerly as someone giving me a thumbs up...(I don't claim to know even half of what I should, so I welcome constructive criticisim )
Please note that I also believe in supplementing a B complex and a vitamin C regiment as an antioxident and also to help with hormonal control- estrogens (Vitamin C) and progesterone (B Vitamins, Bcomplex has all needed B vitamins) and vitamin D.
Some may not agree, but research this and you may find that 2000-3000mg of vitamin C and a B complex (sublingual) helps a great deal with sides, espically edema, gyno onset, and acne.