Post-Cycle Therapy, or PCT for short, is essentially the process of levelling your body's hormone levels after a steroid or prohormone cycle. Simply put, your body may cease to produce or at least lower the amount of hormones it produces when subjected to significantly raised levels of exogenous materials.
To run the most effective PCT, there are 5 steps we can take:
- We can restart HPTA
- We can prevent catabolism as our cortisol level rises
- We can prevent fat gain while retaining enough calories to maintain the muscle
- We minimise the loss of strength
- We can balance our hormones in order to reduce potential negative effects
HPTA Restart Protocol
Restarting the HPTA has been covered many times, a quick evolutionary search on SERMs and you will find many articles relating to the use of both Clomid and Nolvadex, these can be combined together or used solo.
To restart HPTA Clomid is a solid choice, but you can also use Nolvadex. Both are effective in aiding recovery.
The only concern here is the point at which your body switches from effective androgen overload to nil.
Ostarine Prevents Catabolism during PCT
At this transition point, your body will quickly begin to produce testosterone. It's here you must be careful not to allow excess cortisol from chewing up your hard earned muscle. At the same time, your body will have little to no nitrogen which will cause your muscles to crave nutrients that you don't have.
To counter these effects, prevent catabolism and lessen the amount of muscle loss, a sensible solution is to introduce a non-suppressive anabolic; and this is the greatest opportunity for SARMs to really shine. A small dose of 25mg of Ostarine (MK-2866) for example will help preserve your muscle gain and increase your nitrogen and IGF levels.
This will also help you continue smashing your workouts and even improve muscle pumps.
Cardarine Prevents Fat Gain during PCT
After you've dealt with your cortisol levels, you'll find that the excess testosterone binds with it, rendering it inactive.
To prevent fat gain yet keeping your calories up requires a PPAR modulator such as Cardarine (GW-50156). This will regulate the rate at which you burn fat. It does this in a number of ways but essentially it promotes glycogen retention in muscle tissue.
This allows the body to alter its metabolism and increase the amount of fat burned instead of using carbs or protein as fuel.
This is a true win/win and means your body retains muscles and yet fat retention is reduced. This, in turn, will give you more stamina and can have the added bonus of reducing cravings.
Balancing your Hormones during PCT
The drawback to most PCT is the potentially negative side effects. To counter these you need to ensure you keep your hormones balanced.
As testosterone levels rise, estrogen levels are also significantly increased and sometimes at a faster rate. Estrogen flooding causes skin problems and can even cause gynecomastia (swelling of the nipples).
To counteract this, Aromasin can be used to inhibit aromatase whilst only increasing your IGF levels by approximately 30%. Aromasin will also prevent estrogen rebound and therefore save you from developing man-boobs.
Taken on alternate days, a 12.5mgs dose of Aromasin is great for PCT. It helps up your testosterone levels by actually lowering estrogen.
Benefits of an Aromatase Inhibitor during PCT
Although some supplements and SARMs do not convert into estrogen, you will still get the odd one or two guys who experience estrogen-related side effects during their cycle. The main reason for this is the suppression of testosterone (even if mild), which ultimately throws your estrogen levels out of balance and therefore can cause side effects in those who are more prone.
The extent of these side effects will always depend on several factors:
- which compound you are using
- the dose
- the length of your cycle
- your individual predisposition to suppression
For most prohormones and SARMs, your best solution is Arimistane.
What is Arimistane?
Arimistane is a powerful Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) and cortisol inhibitor that effectively reduces circulating levels of estrogen in the body. It acts as a suicide inhibitor to decrease the number of androgens in the body that can change to estrogen.
Arimistane is a great compound to use for PCT after a prohormone cycle as it increases testosterone whilst lowering estrogen levels. This also means it's an effective natural muscle builder so you can expect a noticeable increase in muscle growth, strength, muscle hardness and definition.
Benefits of Arimistane:
- Blocks high levels of estrogen and cortisol
- Increases testosterone levels
- Increases muscle mass
- Reduces fat storage
- Improves recovery
- Improves vascularity
- Drying and muscle hardening effect
- Boosts libido
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