by Christian Duque
Do I have a medical background? NO. Am I a certified personal trainer? NO. What are my credentials? Simply put, I’m a rational person with a decent amount of intelligence. I’ve trained off and on for twenty years, I love being strong, and I love taking supplements. I’m also a staff writer for Iron Magazine and I’m going to share some personal insights with you in my article. This is what works for me, but it may very well be totally different for you.
I have never had any adverse reactions from taking prohormone cycles, but I like to think that the reason I’ve had such a good experience is because I take certain precautions and I heed the warnings from the companies whose products I take. Take Iron Mag Labs, for example. IML has always been very proud of Advanced Cycle Support. It’s a product that’s safe for everyone, but more importantly, has standalone benefits. You don’t have to be on a prohormone cycle to take it, but if you’re on a PH or AAS cycle, it can really make a difference, especially with folks who are a lot more susceptible to some of the temporary side effects associated with many of these compounds. The company stresses that ACS should be included in any stack – whether it’s a natty one or a ph-based one. That said, a great many people often opt against including it. The primary reason being cost. Ironically, the MSRP is very agreeable and many times once discount codes and/or sales are factored in, it could come out to be a steal, but many people still won’t add it to their carts. Maybe they think they’re pulling one over the company by saving a few bucks? Maybe they legitimately don’t think they need it? Maybe they’re just cutting corners.
We all like to cut corners. If I’m at the supermarket, and I see the storebrand side by side with the name brand and they’re identical, why would I spend more money? Sometimes, the ingredients are identical, same macros, and sometimes even processed in the same facilities. You’d have to be a sucker to pay extra for a name – or – maybe you just have incredible brand loyalty. The fact is, cutting corners in that situation, as far as I’m concerned, is totally reasonable. When it comes to medication, people will do the same with generics over name brands. Provided the drugs are the same, as well as dosages, then that, too, seems appropriate. However, removing something that’s needed – or – which could be highly beneficial is totally different.
The folks who may buy an IML ph stack and who don’t throw ACS into their cart, aren’t looking for a cheaper version elsewhere; they’re simply not using any type of support. This won’t alter the benefits they’ll get from the hormonal side of their stacks, but it won’t do their bodies any favors, either. Not all PH’s are kind to the liver, sometimes holding excess water can be uncomfortable, and sometimes DHEA can enlarge the prostate. Herbs aren’t medications, but they have been known to help individuals who take strong supps, in a number of ways. This is why responsible companies invest the money into having a solid, natural product that should be taken with stacks.
In the spirit of cutting corners, an IML customer could opt against buying ACS and try to create their own version of it, in hopes of saving money. I’d invite them to try, only because, getting a collection of herbs on their own, at the designated dosages, will end up costing two or three times the cost per unit of ACS. Additionally, some of the ingredients may not be as readily accessible as a lay person may think. Assuming mainstream retailers carried the wide array of exotic herbs as standalones, many of them may have empty shelves. The fact is, a great many major and independent retailers continue reeling over supply chain woes. Although Covid is largely, controlled, many sectors of trade have not been able to recover fully, even two years after the market chaos. All that being set aside, most consumers would be stunned by how much they’d have to spend to make their own version of ACS. This should give prohormone-users even more pause. Support products are by no means a money grab for supplement companies. They serve a very important purpose and if someone is spending $300-$500 for a powerful PH Stack, it makes absolutely no sense to deprive the body of such a key component as a stack aide.
What’s equally disturbing, is that many people who skip support products, may also go off the cycle without using post cycle therapy (PCT). I always make a point to continue running my support supps plus a good PCT or two. The fact is, how you come off a cycle could have a direct impact on any benefits you got from the stack, itself. Expecting the body to bounce back on its own, is not only taxing, but it’s pointless.
Also, keep in mind that whenever you’re dealing with hormonal products, your natural testosterone production may shut down. There’s no guarantee that the body will resume normal production after any cycle – whether it’s a prohormone cycle or an AAS one – on its own. The fact is, you’re getting stronger, leaner, and recovering faster. These are differences a great many people experience. These benefits don’t come without strings attached.
Anytime you take supplements that allow you to lift more or that assist in body recomp, you need to educate yourself as much as possible. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do the same with natural, non-hormonal supplements, but especially with PH’s and AAS. I’d say with these, the stakes are considerably higher. That’s not to say that support products will work for everyone, but at least you’re taking some precautions. To skip over a product that could even offer minimal peace of mind, seems irresponsible to me. Plus many of the ingredients in ACS are taken by mainstream people and advocated by mainstream health advocates. Again, they’re not medications, but they may help the body and for that, alone, they’re worth taking, as far as I’m concerned. You may be different.
Supplements aren’t cheap – especially not the ones I take. I’m cognizant of the fact that the real work takes place in the kitchen and the gym; however, I take supplements because I want a little help. I’ll take a little help wherever I can get it, but I’m be smart about it. With that said, I can’t tell you what to do, and I understand that we’re not made out of money, but just ask yourself if removing support products and/or not doing a proper PCT makes sense. If it doesn’t make sense, then maybe cut corners on things that matter way less, like buying store brand potato chips or soda, maybe eat out less, but save money on more trivial matters.
Again, that’s just my two cents. I hope you enjoyed reading my article and I definitely would love to read your feedback in the comments. If you are interested in a quality support product, be sure to check out Advanced Cycle Support: https://www.ironmaglabs.com/product/advanced-cycle-support/