Caring For Your Body Post Cycle: The Complete Guide
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If you dream of getting shredded or find yourself struggling to reach the level of muscle definition you desire, you may have considered supplements.
Anabolic steroids are not something to be taken casually but require discipline and structure. When you are post cycle from your latest dosing, there are steps you must take for the best results and to protect your health.
To learn more about post cycle treatment and how to care for your body, follow this guide.
What Is Post Cycle Therapy?
Post cycle therapy (PCT) is a treatment method bodybuilders, and competitive weightlifters use to balance their hormones. As the sport has increased in popularity, more science has gone into preventing any negative side effects like those when steroids first became popular.
PCT allows you to stay on top of your health and hormones, all while gaining muscle mass and achieving your desired fitness goals.
Steroid Cycle Basics
Cycling your body happens when you cut or bulk. A cutting phase involves calorie restriction to burn more fat. A bulking phase means higher caloric intake to feed muscle growth.
The steps in a steroid cycle impact your post steroid cycle. Understanding the basics of different cycles can help inform your post cycle planning and decision-making processes.
A standard cycle lasts 10 to 12 weeks for most types of bodybuilding and muscle growth. New users or those interested in hardcore gains are less likely to find this cycle suitable for their needs.
Standard cycles give you lots of time in-between steroid use for ample PCT. Your post steroid cycle will benefit from more recovery time and a closer return to full recovery. The important thing to do is ensure you take the correct supplements to maintain your gains.
In a standard cycle, you’re likely to use testosterone ester, HCG, and secondary bulking compounds.
A more uncommon approach for muscle growth, short cycles last two to four weeks. This cycle length is typically for a very targeted purpose, such as a slow and steady approach to muscle growth. Or, for those undergoing a blitz or blast cycle, this cycle length works, too.
Short cycles offer many benefits for your post cycle planning. Your PCT for a short cycle will deal with reduced testosterone shutdown and minimized side effects. It’s also cheaper and easier to maintain, but you do have a limited choice of compounds for your post cycle treatment options.
In a short cycle, you’re more likely to prioritize orals and injectables.
A medium cycle lasts six to eight weeks. When you want to cut and blast, a medium cycle is an optimal length for you. This cycle length offers limited side effects, quick hormone rebound, and high muscle gain opportunity.
For your PCT needs, you do have fewer compound options, but the diminished testosterone shutdown makes your post cycle planning easier. The required time for your post cycle treatment will be much shorter.
A long cycle lasts anywhere from three to nine months. The biggest concern for this cycle length is careful planning both pre and post steroid cycle. Poor planning in this type of steroid cycle can permanently damage your body and hormone production.
Your PCT needs will be at the maximum if you undergo a long steroid cycle. You will need both primary and secondary compounds in high quantities, which is expensive. You can explore a test taper or HCG or selective estrogen receptor modulation.
Why Do You Need Post Cycle Therapy?
PCT is not a casual treatment to undergo. You will have to take a variety of supplements to help your body recover. If you do not undergo PCT, your hormone production can suffer.
Several factors impact your post cycle treatment. For example, the type of steroids you have used, the length of your cycle, and your body’s natural cycles (e.g., hormone production) impact PCT.
The main goals of a post steroid cycle aim to detoxify your internal systems from relying on steroids. You want to restore natural testosterone production, maintain muscle growth, and return to your body’s natural, pre-cycle rhythms.
What Happens to Your Body Post Cycle?
When you elect to undergo any steroid cycle length, your post cycle planning has to match. You will experience a series of events related to hormone production.
- Your testosterone levels will increase as your body shifts into overdrive and produces more to compensate for the steroids in your system.
- Your body will cease producing testosterone. Post steroid cycle, your testosterone will entirely crash.
- PCT works to stabilize the hormonal decline and regulate cortisol levels while minimizing the rise in estrogen.
- With heightened estrogen levels, your muscle growth will diminish. You will also experience mental and emotional stress.
A well-developed post cycle treatment plan will help deescalate or prevent these reactions. Depending on your steroid cycle length, such as a short cycle, PCT may not even be necessary.
Compounds and Supplements Used in Your Post Cycle Routine
When planning your pre and post steroid cycle routines, you need to ensure you have gathered the right supplements for your PCT needs. These compounds and supplements exist to diminished the processes mentioned above, as well as regulate your body’s interrupted cycles.
There are two classes for the substances you will need to incorporate in your post cycle treatment.
Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators
SARMs are therapeutic compounds that differentiate between anabolic and androgenic activities. They impact androgen-receptor specificity and tissue selectivity.
Clomid is a SARM that synthesizes estrogen. During a longer cycle, this is a good substance to use for your PCT. It interacts with your hypothalamus to increase testosterone production in the pituitary glands.
This stimulation produces gonadotropic hormones, which boost your testosterone levels. As a substance, Clomid is one of the strongest SARMs available for your hormone needs. It should be used for about four weeks during your post cycle plans.
Often used in place of Clomid, Nolvadex produces similar results at a lower strength. It is as essential to post cycle therapy but has milder side effects.
Also known as Tamoxifen, Nolvadex stays in your bloodstream longer and takes around four weeks to complete during your PCT.
Aromatase inhibitors are vital to your PCT routine because of their effect on estrogen production. These inhibitors prevent estrogen production and lower circulation. There are three popular types used by bodybuilders.
A breast cancer treatment, this inhibitor helps with gyno and water retention. It allows normal testosterone levels to rise and has less of a negative impact on the body. It tends to be one of the more popular PCT compounds.
Side effects include hair loss, anxious or depressive tendencies, high blood pressure, fatigue, bone or joint pain, hot flashes, and headaches. This substance is best to take for the post steroid cycle.
Another treatment of breast cancer, this inhibitor also lowers estrogen production. It stops estrogen production and helps prevent gyno. It reduces the risk of acne, lowers blood pressure, and prevents water retention.
Side effects are mild if this substance is taken post steroid cycle. If taken during a steroid cycle, it will diminish muscle growth.
Another aromatase inhibitor, Arimistane, prevents testosterone from converting to estrogen. It increases testosterone production and has fewer side effects than other inhibitors. The only reported side effect relates to liver strain with heavier dosing.
It helps retain muscle growth and reduces estrogen production both immediately and for the long-term. It also prevents gyno and positively interacts with cortisol.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HCG is used in post cycle therapy to encourage testicular production of testosterone. It is used in PCT to return the testes to normal, pre-steroid cycle size.
Side effects include the potential for gyno and pain at the injection site. These are diminished when taken in conjunction with any aromatase inhibitors, like those described above.
Combining Compounds Post Cycle
Now you know which compounds to use post cycle, you need to understand how they work together. Your PCT will be most effective if you use the correct dosage and combination of these compounds.
These compounds work together to mitigate any unwanted, adverse reactions such as gyno, high estrogen, low testosterone, or water retention. Some of these compounds, like Arimidex and Nolvadex, cancel each other out.
The Ideal Post Cycle Schedule
Most bodybuilders struggle to obtain access to these compounds. If your options are substances that counteract one another, your post steroid cycle becomes even more challenging.
Your best solution means following a strict prescription and dosing schedule. Your schedule should account for rounds of the correct aromatase inhibitor, combined with HCG. You should take HCG, Aromasin, and Nolvadex for the first two weeks.
You should stop taking these at the end of the second week. Then, begin taking a SARM like Nolvadex for another two weeks, at a lower dosage than the weeks prior. It should total out your PCT from four to six weeks in total.
SARMs and Your Body Post Cycle
If you are a SARMs user, you need to show caution in how soon you take aromatase inhibitors. Although it seems tempting to partake of inhibitors during your bulking or blast cycle, you can counteract the testosterone crash another way.
Although you want estrogen levels to stay restricted, you must not take an inhibitor while taking SARMs. You can crash your body’s natural production of estrogen, sending it to a dangerous level. Immediate PCT can prevent the natural testosterone crash after SARMs use.
Your post cycle therapy can start right after you finish a SARMs cycle. Unlike other PCT, you can enhance your PCT best by testing your testosterone levels. This test can inform your testosterone suppression and the severity of your PCT.
Other Supplements to Consider Post Cycle
Depending on the intensity of your PCT, you will not need an intense supplement regimen to return your body to its natural levels. Your options also include natural post cycle therapy to help restart natural functions after an anabolic cycle.
You can receive support for your liver and retain muscle gains. Other post cycle supplements may help a return to normal hormone levels, but may not do so with organic materials. Your diet and lifestyle may demand organically synthesized compounds instead of those listed above.
How to Dose for the Best Post Cycle Therapy
To determine the best dosing schedule for your post cycle treatment, you need to consider several factors. The compounds you take during your bulking and cutting cycles, as well as the duration of your steroid cycle, are just two factors you need to consider.
You should also consider the side effects of not participating in PCT. Shortcuts will not take you very far. Not only can you lose your hard-earned muscle growth. You can also damage your body by reducing the natural production of certain hormones (both testosterone and estrogen).
The most important part of any PCT routine involves heavy research and careful planning. Do not purchase a round of steroids and start hitting the gym without preparing. Determining your dosage of SARMs and PCT compounds and supplements depends on your desired muscle growth, the time you commit, and your current health condition (e.g., weight, diet, exercise routine).
Where to Purchase Trustworthy Compounds and Supplements for Post Cycle Therapy
Today’s virtual storefronts provide unfettered access to all sorts of untested compounds and supplements. You need lab-tested, certified materials for your post cycle routine. The last thing you want are supplements that harm your body, often after you have put in the effort to prepare.
If you need access to high-quality, trustworthy compounds and supplements, do not hesitate to shop at our recommended sites. We also have more information you can use to help prepare for other health and wellness routines you may plan on starting soon. Check out our site today.