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A post cycle therapy plan or “PCT”, it’s a phrase that’s often thrown around inappropriately on many steroid message boards. In many cases, people expect way too much out of post cycle therapy, and others won’t give it a chance based on a lack of understanding. With this in mind, we want to explain the purpose of post cycle therapy, what you can actually expect and the best way to implement it. Further, we want to discuss when it should be implemented; in some cases, a PCT plan will be followed when it shouldn’t have been; don’t worry, this will all make sense.
What is a PCT Plan?
When we supplement with anabolic androgenic steroids, our natural hormone levels are altered. Most anabolic steroids suppress our natural testosterone production to one degree or another, and if we’re not careful our estrogen and progesterone levels can increase beyond a healthy range. Of course, estrogen and progesterone can both be controlled while on cycle with proper supplementation practices, but the testosterone suppression will remain. Then we reach the point where our cycle has come to an end; we have discontinued the use of all anabolic steroids, and as a result something must be done. When we discontinue our steroid use, our testosterone levels are still in a suppressed state, and it’s often recommended you stimulate natural production and let your body normalize. While testosterone stimulation is the primary purpose, the normalization factor of a post cycle therapy plan is greatly important. Of course, as eluded to early on, sometimes implementing a PCT isn’t the best idea, and will delve into that shortly.
What to Expect
The primary purpose of post cycle therapy is to stimulate your natural production of testosterone and shorten or enhance the total recovery process. Understand this here and now; there is no post cycle therapy plan on earth that can return your natural testosterone levels back to where they were prior to anabolic steroid use. Further, if you supplemented with anabolic steroids improperly and caused severe damage to your HPTA there’s no PCT plan that will help you. In any case, assuming your cycle was of a responsible nature, a post cycle therapy phase will by design stimulate your pituitary to release more Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which will in-turn stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone.
When to Implement a PCT Plan
It should go without saying; the time to implement post cycle therapy is when all anabolic steroid use has come to an end; this is a given; however, it’s not quite that black and white. If you’re going to be off-cycle for only a short period of time, a PCT plan can be counterproductive and cause even more stress to the body. Remember what we said above; limiting stress is extremely important. If you’re only going to be off-cycle for a short period of time, there’s no reason to stimulate your natural production when you’re going to immediately shut it down again; talk about a shock the body does not appreciate. For this reason, a post cycle therapy period should only be implemented when we’re going to be off-cycle for an extended period of time; meaning, no anabolic androgenic steroids will be present in our system. Of course, the next order of business is to define an extended period of time, and twelve weeks is a good place to start. If you’re going to be off-cycle less than 12 weeks, while you will lose some of your gains they will come back shortly once you go back on-cycle. Conversely, if you’re going to be off-cycle longer than 12 weeks, it’s time for a PCT plan for the reasons discussed above. It must be noted; this time frame of “off-cycle” does not include the PCT period; off means off everything.
Post Cycle Therapy Options
Now that you understand what a post cycle therapy plan is and when and why you should implement it, you need to understand how to implement it and the options you have. How you cycled your anabolic steroids will play a role, but regardless of your steroid use your PCT plan will always include a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM), and Tamoxifen Citrate (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid) will always be your best options. Recall what we discussed above in-regards to LH and FSH stimulation; it will be the SERM you use that causes such an action. It really doesn’t matter which SERM you choose, both can get the job done equally as well; simply pick one.
Beyond SERM use, which is essential, we have a few additional options; primarily Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is an extremely powerful peptide hormone that can be used to prime the body for the SERM therapy to come due to its LH mimicking effect. Of course, hCG abuse can be very dangerous as it is potentially damaging to your HPTA if you use too much or for too long; if you do, your body may become dependent on the mimicked LH. Beyond hcg, another option can be Human Growth Hormone (HGH) as this will greatly protect your gains made while on-cycle as well as limit body-fat gain that can easily occur post steroid use. While HGH can be useful, you will only be using it if you were using it on-cycle; HGH is something that must be used for extended periods of time, and there’s no point in adding it into a PCT plan that’s only going to last a few weeks.
Now that you understand your options, you need to understand how to implement them. As for HGH, if you used it on-cycle, simply continue with it in the same manner post cycle; nothing changes. Then we have SERM’s which are a must, and the possible addition of hCG. This is where your actual steroid cycle will affect your post cycle therapy plan, and this affect surrounds what types of steroids you used; specifically large and small esters; let’s start with large esters. If your cycle ends with even one large ester anabolic steroid, if you’re only using a SERM you will begin SERM therapy approximately 14-18 days after your last injection. If you’re going to use hCG, you will begin hCG therapy 10 days after your last injection, complete it for 10 days and then begin SERM therapy. As for small esters, if your cycle ends with all small ester based anabolic steroids and you’re only using a SERM you will begin SERM therapy approximately 3 days after your last injection. Conversely, if you’re using hCG, you will begin hCG therapy 3 days after your last injection, complete it for 10 days and then begin SERM therapy.
Now you understand what you need to do and how you need to do it, but you still don’t have the proper doses or full time frame for your post cycle therapy treatment and that’s the final point of our discussion. While Nolvadex and Clomid can work equally as well, they will only work equally as well if they are dosed properly. This is where many fail when they use Clomid as Nolvadex is much stronger on a per milligram basis. For example, with 40mg of Nolvadex, for Clomid to match it you need 150mg. As for hCG dosing, 500iu to 1,000iu per day every day for 10 straight days is your plan and implemented precisely as discussed above. Once the hCG therapy is complete, you will start your Nolvadex therapy at 40mg per day or Clomid at 150mg per day; whichever you choose, you will continue it for two weeks. Once the two weeks is complete, you will complete two more weeks this time with a Nolvadex dosing at 20mg per day or a Clomid dosing at 100mg per day. No, you’re not done yet, you will complete one more week at 10mg per day for Nolvadex or 50mg per day with Clomid and add in an additional week at the same dose if you feel it is necessary.