Post Cycle Therapy 101: The Ultimate A-Z Guide (2022)
Are you using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) currently? Planning to start a cycle in future? If so, you might want to keep the gains you’d get or are have already acquired from PEDs, right? For that, it’s crucial that you know everything about post-cycle therapy.
When you consume performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids, your body either shuts down or reduces its natural production of the masculine hormone, as it is getting the hormone from the steroids. A reduction in its production is thus necessary to prevent overloading.
However, once you’ve completed your cycle, your body will stop getting the masculine hormone from an external source. Its own production system would then have to take over to make sure there’s no shortage. That is precisely what post-cycle therapy will assist your body with.
What is Post Cycle Therapy?
Post cycle therapy, referred to by its users as PCT, is a protocol that must be done after completing a cycle of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). That’s because it helps its users recover their body’s natural testosterone production suppressed during the cycle of PEDs.
PEDs suppress your body’s natural testosterone production by supplying the hormone on their own. There are various types of performance-enhancing drugs, including prohormones, anabolic steroids, SARMs, human growth hormone and stimulants, to name just a few.
Once you have completed your cycle of performance-enhancing drugs, your body needs to restart its natural testosterone production as it would no longer be getting that hormone from an external source. A proper post cycle therapy will ensure that happens within weeks.
Keep in mind that starting from the time anabolic steroids are entirely out of your system, the PCT drug program might last for anywhere between four and six weeks. However, the exact time depends upon which PED and how much quantity you consumed during the cycle.
Why Use A PCT?
A proper PCT won’t only kick-start your body’s natural testosterone production. It will also save you from experiencing low testosterone symptoms such as decreased muscle mass, mood swings, increased fat mass, fatigue, and more. These symptoms, if left unattended, might hurt your overall health.
Aside from that, you can count on post cycle therapy to counteract the side effects of performance-enhancing drugs. An effective post-cycle therapy will also enable you to keep the gains you’ve achieved from using supplements while you were ‘on-cycle’.
Here is why you should start using a PCT once you’re off the cycle of PEDs:
1. Kick-Starts Natural Testosterone Production
Testosterone is a naturally occurring steroid that helps the body grow, repair, and thrive. It is thought to regulate muscle mass and strength, increase sex drive (libido), fat distribution, and bone mass in males. Various studies have also linked testosterone to the production of sperm.
A proper PCT will help you achieve and keep all these benefits. It will kick-start the body’s natural testosterone production process previously suppressed by PEDs. It will do that in a matter of weeks instead of the months your body might otherwise take to regain its pre-PEDs testosterone levels.
2. Prevents Low Testosterone Symptoms
What happens if you don’t use post-cycle therapy? Your body would be on its own to recover its natural testosterone levels. That will be a slow-moving process. One that could go on for months, if not longer, as your body won’t have anything to assist it during the recovery process.
Worse, the recovery period won’t go smooth – you’ll experience various low testosterone symptoms. They include increased fat mass, decreased muscle mass, fatigue, mood swings, and more. All in all, it’s likely that you’ll end up losing all the gains you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
3. Counteracts the Side Effects of PEDs
Using performance-enhancing drugs to achieve your fitness-related goals might have become common. Relatively less known are the risks these drugs pose to your health. Some of the common side effects of performance-enhancing drugs include severe acne, high blood pressure and drug dependence.
Besides, men using PEDs might develop shrunken testicles, prominent breasts, and infertility. Females may develop an enlarged clitoris, increased body hair, a deeper voice and absent or infrequent periods after using PEDs for any length of time. A proper PCT might help counteract all these side effects.
4. Helps You Keep Your Gains
You have achieved a lot of goals during the steroid cycle. It would be a shame if all the hard work you put in ended up going to waste. Post cycle therapy will ensure you keep the gains you have made by maintaining the muscle mass you’ve built during the steroid cycle.
How will it do that? By helping your body quickly recover normal testosterone levels. This, in turn, would make sure that you don’t experience the side effects of PEDs which could end up annihilating all the gains you’ve made while you were on the cycle.
5. Gives You Time to Recover
One crucial fact most newbie fitness enthusiasts don’t know is that after completing an 8-12 week steroid cycle, you need to give your body some time away from steroids to help it return to functioning normally. This is known as the “post-cycle” period, and it’s crucial for your overall health that your body gets it.
Without post-cycle therapy, which could last anywhere between 1 and 1.5 months, you’d be tempted to start using steroids during the post-cycle period. Post cycle therapy, then, will give you something (the promise of keeping your gains) to keep your mind off steroids during that time.
Different Types of PCT
There are three types of PCT. They include Clomid Post Cycle Therapy and Nolvadex Post Cycle Therapy. Typically these two PCT’s are used in conjunction to achieve a full testosterone level recovery post cycle.
Technically – Nolvadex and Clomid – are both prescription-only drugs. That means you’d need to consult with your doctor before starting the cycle of either. Let’s look at the three different types of post cycle therapy in detail:
Clomid, short for ‘Clomiphene Citrate’, is a selective estrogen receptor modulator or SERM. It was originally developed as a fertility drug for females. It promotes female fertility by enhancing ovulation and regulating their menstrual cycle. So why do people take Clomid for PCT?
There are two reasons. The first is that Clomid prevents estrogen from coming into contact with the pituitary gland. If allowed to happen, this interaction will decrease the production of luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones. Both of which are crucial for testosterone production.
The strength of its ingredients is the 2nd major reason why people take Clomid for PCT. Clomid is much stronger than Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) and can restore hormones much faster, too. This, in turn, allows it to help users who have just gotten off a heavy and prolonged steroid, SARM, or any other PED cycle.
A typical Clomid cycle lasts four weeks. You’re suggested to stick to a 50 mg daily dose for the first two weeks, before settling on a 25 mg daily dose for the last two weeks. This might help you stay clear from this drug’s side effects, which include headaches, dizziness, hot flashes, and nausea.
Nolvadex, which is also known as Tamoxifen Nitrate, shares many similarities with Clomid. Both are SERMS, both are available as prescription-only drugs, and both were developed to treat female issues. However, while Clomid was created as a fertility drug, Nolvadex was developed to treat breast cancer.
Nolvadex works by binding to breast tissue in both males and females. This results in the reduction of estrogen levels in that tissue, helping men avoid one of the most dreaded side effects of steroid use – gynecomastia, a condition in which male breasts become larger than usual.
The utility of Nolvadex doesn’t end with preventing gynecomastia. Taking this drug will also boost your body’s secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH, as stated above, increases the secretion of testosterone in the body, letting you keep the gains you achieved while you were ‘on cycle’.
An average Nolvadex PCT cycle spans a month. Users recommend sticking to a 40 mg daily dose for the first two weeks, before halving the daily dosage during the subsequent fortnight. Common side effects of Nolvadex PCT include nausea, acne, and abdominal cramps.
PCT Cycles and Dosages
Both the length of the PCT cycle as well as the dosages of the drug you’ll be taking during the cycle depend on whether you’ve just completed a moderate or heavy steroid cycle. If your steroid cycle was moderate, we suggest using Testogen PCT as it’s relatively less potent than the other types.
However, if you’ve completed an extended and heavy steroid cycle, either Clomid PCT or Nolvadex PCT is your best bet. Both drugs work the same – they bind to estrogen receptors, keep them occupied, and boost testosterone levels in the body. So it’s your choice which of the two you go for.
Clomid PCT cycle
|Week One||Week Two||Week Three||Week Four|
|50 mg per day||50 mg per day||25 mg per day||25 mg per day|
Nolvadex PCT cycle
|Week One||Week Two||Week Three||Week Four|
|40 mg per day||40 mg per day||20 mg per day||20 mg per day|
If you’re using steroids, which are famous for suppressing your natural hormone production, you may want to start a PCT protocol only after the steroids are out of your system. For prohormones and SARMS, there’s no need to wait – you can begin the PCT cycle right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I start PCT?
It depends on the type of performance-enhancing drugs you took while being ‘on cycle’. If you used SARMS or prohormones, you could start PCT the next day after you finish the cycle. For steroids and AAS, it’s best to wait for a week after completing the cycle.
How long should PCT last?
A proper PCT lasts between four and six weeks. The PCT cycle depends on the performance-enhancing drugs the user was previously using and how heavily they suppressed his natural hormone production.
Post-cycle therapy is essential if you want to keep the gains achieved from using performance-enhancing drugs. That’s not all. PCT will also counter the side-effects of these steroids, hormones, prohormones or any other supplements you used to gain muscle mass and increase strength.
If you’ve already or are planning to run a moderate cycle, we suggest you consider a relatively gentle post cycle therapy supplement like Testogen. However, if your cycle was or is going to be heavy and prolonged, Nolvadex or Clomid are your best bets.
That is because both these supplements contain more concentrated ingredients than Testogen. Nolvadex, in particular, is incredibly potent, which is why we suggested you keep its daily consumption down to 40 mg, 10 mg fewer than that of Clomid PCT.