Post cycle therapy is a method of employing drugs which work via various mechanisms to go about trying to stabilise and restore a user’s hormones back to normal once a suppressive anabolic androgenic steroid cycle has been ceased.
Once a user has ceased use of anabolic androgenic steroids they are left in a situation where their natural testosterone production has been suppressed, sometimes severely. Furthermore, the levels of steroids are forever diminishing in their system, leaving the user in a very catabolic state post cycle, which may reflect in their ability to maintain muscle mass gained whilst on cycle. With this in mind, it is easy to conclude that we would like to find a way to restore ones natural testosterone production to bring about a better environment for overall health and to maintain muscle tissue.
Clomiphene citrate (clomid) and tamoxifen (nolvadex) can be employed post cycle to help restore the users’ natural testosterone production. Because both are able to block oestrogen at the hypothalamus and pituitary, thus ceasing negative feedback inhibition, we have drugs that can successfully increase FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone) in the male body. Increased LH can help to stimulate the Leydig's cells in the testes to produce more testosterone.
Many find just using nolvadex on its own efficient enough to recover from their cycles. Some, however, prefer to use both drugs to cover all angles. It is worth noting that nolvadex is more profound in stimulating an increase of LH, on a milligram to milligram standpoint, compared to that of clomid. Also, many users complain of side effects from clomid such as visual implications and mood swings.
When analysing the methods in which both drugs work to bring about raises in natural testosterone production it is easy to conclude some old-school approaches are flawed. Many users would use a burst of clomid mid cycle in the hope of it causing an increase in testosterone production to minimise shut down. The only use of clomid during a heavy androgenic cycle is as an anti-oestrogen, not a mid-cycle aid against shut down, because the heighten levels of androgen will cause a feedback to the testes to cease production of testosterone regardless. Therefore, if androgen levels are high clomid will do very little in aiding production of natural testosterone. It will a lot more effective starting a PCT protocol when the androgen levels of the steroids drop, and this will be dependent on the half-life of the compounds the user used during their cycle.
Due to the half-life of clomid and nolvadex there is little need in splitting the dosages of the drug, just take when it’s most continent.
Dosages of nolvadex for PCT protocol:
|Following 10 days||60mg|
|Following 10 days||40mg|
The above is a sample protocol which could be employed. Obviously the cycle and other parameters may alter the dosages and duration of your post cycle protocol.
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||Clomid 250mg + Nolvadex 60mg|
|Following 10 days||Clomid 100mg + Nolvadex 40mg|
|Following 10 days||Clomid 50mg + Nolvadex 20mg|
This method should prove effective. That said, as with the nolvadex only protocol, it is not set in stone. More suppressive cycles may require higher doses or longer duration of use to bring about the desired effects.
When you start the PCT protocol will depend on the compounds that were administrated in the cycle. Look up all steroids you used during your cycle in our table below, and take note of the drug which has the longest start date after last admission. This is so that we do not start a PCT protocol when there may still be potentially high levels of androgens in the system, which would make the PCT be a waste until the levels dropped.
See below for when to start your PCT protocol after ceasing your cycle:
|Steroid||When to start after last admission||Length of PCT|
|Testosterone Enanthate||2 weeks||3 weeks|
|Testosterone Cypionate||2 weeks||3 weeks|
|Testosterone Propionate||3 days||3 weeks|
|Testosterone Suspension||6-8 hours||3 weeks|
|Sustanon||3 weeks||3 weeks|
|Winstrol||12 hours||2/3 weeks|
|Dianabol||6-8 hours||3 weeks|
|Trenbolone||3 days||4 weeks|
|Deca durabolan||3 weeks||4 weeks|
|Primabolan depot||14 days||2 weeks|
|Anavar||8-10 hours||2 weeks|
HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, is a peptide hormone which can be useful to bodybuilders who suffer from testicular atrophy whilst on cycle.
It was once commonly used during PCT in the belief it will aid testosterone restoration, however this is flawed due to its mechanism of action. The drug mimics the effects of LH in the body, stimulating the Leydig cells to produce testosterone in the testes. This can be fruitful in rectify existing, or avoiding testicular atrophy on cycle. It will not aid the process of recovery in the post cycle phase however, as the drug will bring about heightened oestrogen levels due to the greater aromatising of the testosterone being produced in the testes, thus bringing about greater inhibition of the HPTA.
It is therefore wise to use HCG for rectify existing, or avoiding testicular atrophy on cycle, and possibly prior to PCT to help bring the testes back up to condition so they are more effective at producing testosterone. HCG use should be ceased about a week prior to PCT.
It is wise to use HCG in small but frequent amounts over the course of two weeks to help minimise side effects and give more fruitful results. This is usually accompanied by nolvadex at 20-40mg each day to avoid oestrogen related side effects becoming pronounced due to the greater aromatisation occurring. 500-1000IU over a two week period should prove effective in terms of results and minimising oestrogen related side effects.
HCG can be administer either intramuscularly or subQ. See injection preparation and execution.
HCG comes as a temperature sensitive powder which needs to be mixed with sterile water prior to injection. It is common for there to be three ampoules per kit, alongside the water which needs to be added. The video above shows the mixing of the powder and water, and then two syringes made up from drawing the mixed solution. These have to be kept refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks. Care should always be taken to keep the environment sterile during the mixing, and after. The above video is for entertainment purposes only.