Let's also start by saying that you do not have to run post cycle therapy ……… you also do not have to wipe your ass after taking a dump: it's just a really really good idea to do these People
The first thing we need to understand is what is going on with our bodies when we're taking anabolic steroids:
Exogeneous anabolic hormones (or derivatives of anabolic hormones) are being brought into your system. This causes the body to take a number of responsive actions. The first and foremost (as you already know) is increased muscle mass. Unfortunately, other things are also going on that are not so great
When an enzyme or hormone is brought exogenously into the system, chemical balances shift around to attain a certain equilibrium. This is a chemical concept known as Le Chatelier's Principle of Chemical Equilibria. In a nutshell, your body will increase production of estrogen, cortisol, and other hormones in response to heightened testosterone levels, while simultaneously lowering (or completely stopping) natural production of testosterone. Biologist call this negative feedback ……. biology sucks does not it?
Le Chatelier's Principle for the scientifically impaired:
Let's pretend A and B react to make C (can not get much simpler than that).
A + B ——–> C
So we have a mixture containing A, B, and C. According to LeChatlier's principle, if we add more C to the mixture, the amounts of A and B will increase. If we remove some of the C from the mixture, A and B will decline. And if we were to add A, B, or a combination of the two, C will increase. Still with me here? Good.
What's going on when we come off a cycle:
Ok, so while we're on the cycle, are natural test production is going down to compensate for the exogenous test intake, and our production of other steroid hormones (ie Estrogen, Cortisol, etc.) is going up to compensate for the heightened Test levels. When we come off a cycle, we determine an intake of exogenous testosterone. In other words, we have very low test levels, and very high cortisol and estrogen levels: it's the EXACT OPPOSITE of what we had while starting our cycle.
REMEMBER Le Chatelier's Principle because this is where it gets really important. When we have an excess of one hormone, the others will start moving around, to attain a certain equilibrium. Ok, I'm gonna say it (and bold it) again because it's just that important. When we have an excess of one hormone, the others will start moving around, to attain a certain equilibrium. It is a very common misconception that we want to eradicate estrogen. High estrogen levels play an integral part in Post Cycle therapy. That's right, you want to welcome high estrogen with open freaking arms, but there's a trick to it. And that trick is the almighty SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator).
SERM's: the foundation of post cycle therapy:
Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators are (and damaged well should be) the foundation for any proper post-cycle therapy plan. A post cycle therapy plan without them, is not a PCT plan: it's a bunch of crap you decided to take after doing a cycle. The purpose of a SERM is to block the negative effects estrogen, while your hormone levels go back to equilibrium.
SERM's are prescription drugs, and are NOT SOLD IN SUPPLEMENT STORES. In fact, there are only 3 ways (can think of) in which you can obtain a SERM:
1) Through a Doctor's Prescription.
2) Through the Black Market (aka illegally)
3) As a research chemicals intended for use in lab rats.
The Different SERM's:
Reputation: Most popular SERM for post cycle therapy
Pros: Cheap. Effective for gyno prevention.
Cons: Heptatoxicity. Studies have shown it to lower IGF levels (I do not feel like citing, but it's about 20% decrease … IMO no biggie).
Popular Dosage (for a 4-week cycle): 40/40/20/20
Note: Tamoxifen citrate is less potent, and should be dosed at an extra 30%.
Clomiphene citrate (clomid):
Reputation: Second most popular. Usually taken the first week or so to speed up Testosterone recovery with Tamoxifen being taken the whole therapy.
Pros: Better than Tamoxifen for HTPA regeneration. Less heptatoxicity. IGF does not lower.
Cons: Less effective against gyno. Can cause emotional issues. May Cause blurred vision. Hot Flashes.
Popular Dosage (for a 4-week cycle): 100-200mg / 100mg / 50mg / 50mg
Reputation: Very popular on this board
Pros: Much less toxic.
Con's: $$$$$ expensive $$$$$
Popular Dosages (for a 4-week cycle): 120-240mg / 120mg / 60mg / 30mg
Reputation: Very effective against gyno
Pros: Strong protection against gyno. Less toxic than Tamoxifen.
Con's: Cost Restricting. Can cause abnormal blood clotting in the eyes, lunges, and legs. May also cause hot flashes trouble breathing, and blurred vision.
Popular Dosages: (for a 4-week cycle): 120-240mg / 120mg / 60mg / 30mg
Moving down the post cycle therapy Hierarchy: Cortisol Control
Excess cortisol can be damaging to your newly found muscle mass. Because of this, it is a good idea to use something to block or lower the excessive cortisol levels. Always start high, and taper your way down. Here's what we have to work with:
B-Androstenetriol (b-triol): This is one of the better cortisol suppressors. It has a serious oral bioavailability, and should be taken transdermally. Dosages range from 25-50mg every 12 hours.
Methyl B-Androstenetriol (mb-triol): This is an enhanced version of b-triol designed for oral use. Found in the following products: Retain (by Anabolic Xtreme), Restore (by ALRI), Thyrogen-X (by ALRI)
7-Hydroxy-DHEA: Another potent cortisol suppressor with great oral bioavailability. Found in the following products: Lean Xtreme (by Designer Supplements), Reduce XT (by SNS)
7-oxo-DHEA (7-keto-DHEA): Still a decent contender, this has a terrible oral availability and an even worse half life (2 hours). This is best taken transdermally, where such effects can by bypassed.
Cissus: Unlike the above, the components of Cissus do not suppress Cortisol, but rather block cortisol receptors (better than Nandrolone or Dianabol depending on some studies). Dosages vary significantly (pending extracts). SuperCissus by USPLabs is a high quality Cissus product.
Branched Chain Amino Acids: These should be a staple to begin with, but are a great anti-catabolic that mitigates the muscle-wasting effects of cortisol.
At the bottom of the post cycle therapy hierarchy there's AI's, Test Booster's, and other 'natural' anabolics
Way too many different things going on in here to go into too much detail. Just a word of caution (and this is my personal opinion), but if you're post cycle plan starts to look like a constitutional amendment: you're over-doing it. And the worst part is if something goes wrong, you will not have a damn clue what caused it.
Honorable mentions of this part of the hierarchy:
Jungle Warfare (by ALRI)
MassFX (by Anabolic Xtreme)
Hyperdrol (by Anabolic Xtreme)
Ecdysterone / Turkesterone
Can you tell I was bored after work today?