bodybuilder steroids supplements prohormones pct guide

PCT: Your Best Guide to Post Cycle Therapy (2024)

Post-Cycle Therapy, or PCT for short, is essentially the process of levelling your body’s hormone levels after a SARMs, steroid or prohormone cycle. Simply put, your body may cease to produce or at least lower your natural hormone production when subjected to significantly raised levels of exogenous substances.

To run the most effective PCT, there are 5 goals we want to achieve:

  1. To restart HPTA
  2. Prevent catabolism as our cortisol level rises
  3. Prevent fat gain while retaining enough calories to maintain the muscle
  4. Minimise the loss of strength
  5. To balance our hormones in order to reduce potential negative effects

HPTA Restart Protocol

The HPTA (Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular Axis) restart protocol is a method used to help restore natural hormone production in the body, specifically testosterone, after it has been suppressed due to the use of anabolic steroids or similar substances.

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.

Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland: These are parts of the brain that control the production of hormones. When you take steroids, your body senses the extra hormones and signals the hypothalamus and pituitary gland to stop producing certain hormones, including testosterone.
  2. Testicular Function: Testosterone is primarily produced in the testes (testicles). When external hormones are introduced (such as steroids), the testes can stop making testosterone because they’re getting enough from outside sources.
  3. Restart Protocol: The HPTA restart protocol aims to kickstart the natural production of testosterone in the body by using certain medications or supplements. This typically involves taking substances that mimic the action of natural hormones or that stimulate the production of hormones in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
  4. Timeline and Monitoring: The protocol usually involves a specific timeline of taking these medications or supplements, along with regular monitoring of hormone levels to ensure that natural production is being restored effectively.

Overall, the HPTA restart protocol is a way to help the body recover its natural hormone production after it has been disrupted by the use of steroids or similar substances.

When should I Start PCT?

The timing of PCT can vary depending on the specific compound and cycle length. As a general rule, it’s best to wait until the exogenous compounds have cleared your system before starting PCT. This can range from  1 day to several days, depending on the compound and dosage used. It’s important to do research on the specific compound you’re using. For SARMs and prohormones, you can start PCT after 24 hours since your last dosage.

How Long Should PCT Last?

The duration of post cycle therapy (PCT) can vary depending on factors such as the specific compounds used, the duration and intensity of the cycle, and individual response to the substances.

A common timeframe for PCT is around 4 weeks, but it may need to be extended if recovery is slow or if more aggressive compounds were used during the cycle.

It’s important to follow a PCT protocol recommended by a knowledgeable healthcare professional or experienced user to ensure proper recovery and hormone balance.

Do I Need to do PCT if I Use Natural Supplements?

No. PCT is typically only necessary if you use exogenous compounds such as steroids or SARMs that can impact your body’s natural testosterone production. If you’re using natural supplements, such as Epicatechin or Laxogenin, you won’t need to do PCT.

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 low dose at 10mg of Ostarine (MK-2866) 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

Although some supplements and SARMs do not convert to estrogen, you will still get the odd one or two guys who experience estrogen-related side effects during their cycle. In such cases, a mild over-the-counter PCT supplement with an aromatase inhibitor is ideal. Mild suppression of testosterone will throw 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 or 6-OXO.

What is 6-OXO?

6-Oxo in Pumping Iron Pro PCT is used to block the conversion of testosterone to estradiol. When the body has more testosterone, the anabolic potential is significantly increased. This will help to build more lean muscle and increase overall body strength.

By having more testosterone, not only will you have increased muscle mass but there is a greater capacity to decrease body fat. Favourable testosterone to estrogen ratio is critical for achieving optimal body composition.

Pumping Iron Pro PCT (6-OXO)
Pumping Iron Pro PCT (6-OXO)


  • 6-OXO is the strongest legal aromatase inhibitor on the market
  • Increases lean muscle mass
  • Reduces conversion of testosterone to estradiol
  • Supports muscle retention
  • Increases testosterone:estrogen ratio

What is Arimistane?

Arimistane is a powerful Aromatase Inhibitor (AI) and cortisol blocker 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.

Enhanced Athlete Arim-RX
Enhanced Athlete Arim-RX


  • 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

What is Blue Ox?

Enhanced Labs Blue Ox is a natural test booster supplement for men that supports a balanced mood and optimal strength. Blue Ox is often stacked alongside more potent PCT compounds.

Whether you’re off-cycle or just pure natty, our Blue Ox booster is chock-full of essential ingredients that excel in boosting virility and libido.

  • 120 Capsules
  • PCT Regeneration
  • Boost strength and muscle
  • Maintain muscle mass between cycles
  • Increase libido and sexual performance
  • Support healthy energy levels
  • Mood support


Enhanced Athlete Blue Ox Test Booster
Enhanced Athlete Blue Ox Test Booster


  • Clinically formulated to naturally elevate testosterone levels
  • Contains 9 naturally derived pharmaceutical grade ingredients to increase the body’s own natural testosterone production through multiple different pathways
  • Contains natural anti-estrogen ingredients to regulate estrogen production and remove the metabolites that can cause health concerns like water retention and gynecomastia
  • All of the ingredients in Blue OX have been scientifically verified in human studies

How to do a SARMs PCT

PCT protocol is a highly debated and subjective matter depending on the individual so we can’t advise you on what you should/shouldn’t do but we can give you some guidance. In general, a person cannot be sure which option is best for them unless they do blood tests before and post cycle. Every individual is different and the many factors that will affect your requirements include:

  • Your starting point/baseline
  • Any previous supplement/cycle history
  • Your predisposition/genetics
  • Your age
  • Which compound(s) you are using
  • The dosage(s)
  • The length of your cycle
  • How your body reacts to the compound(s)
  • Side effects encountered – if any

There are some options you can look at:

  1. Aromatase Inhibitor: Suitable for Ostarine and (for some people) potentially other SARMs (such as LGD-4033, LGD-3303, S-4), and/or shorter cycles up to 8 weeks): A mild over-the-counter PCT stack that includes an aromatase inhibitor (Arimistane) such as Arim-RX combined with a high-quality natural testosterone booster such as Blue Ox.
  2. SERMs: For potent compounds (such as RAD-140, YK-11, S-23), advanced stacks and long cycles: A full PCT which includes a SERM (selective estrogen receptor modulator, not to be confused with SARMs), such as Nolvadex and Clomid.
  3. 6-OXO – A very potent aromatase inhibitor that is effective for most people and most compounds including prohormones and SARMs, often combined with a natural testosterone booster such as Blue Ox.

A SERMs PCT protocol for an advanced cycle may look like:

  • Nolvadex (Weeks 1-4): 40mg/40mg/20mg/20mg
  • or Clomid (Weeks 1-4): 50mg/50mg/25mg/25mg

Preparation is key. One thing we can recommend is always having both options on hand in case you find that you need to run a full PCT, even if you haven’t anticipated this possibility.

A proper PCT is equally as important as your cycle. Don’t wait until near the end of your cycle to find the products that you need.

You can also make a judgement on the signs of testosterone suppression if you experience any of these (low energy, low libido, sadness, loss of strength and motivation, chronically poor performance in the gym) after finishing the cycle which will give you an idea of how suppressed you are. This also applies after you complete your PCT to assess the indicators of a successful PCT. Always ensure to take enough time off between cycles to ensure adequate recovery; listen to your body and if in doubt, take more time off.

Read more about Bridging Prohormone Cycles with SARMs to get the most out of your PCT protocol.

1 Comment

  1. If I take a prohormone cycle, can it be combine with tbt 500 or should this be avoided? I ordered probormones and a PCT through Steel before hearing mixed reviews about their quality. Where could I get quality prohormones? Lastly, should I be taking something for my liver? If so, any recommendations?

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