Be sure to read my most CURRENT PCT article here: The Importance of PCT (Post Cycle Therapy)
I have been getting an awful lot of questions on Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) lately, so this article was much needed. I will explain everything I can about PCT to the best of MY KNOWLEDGE.
This has been strictly based on my own experience and research, but maybe I can explain it in a way some of you can understand. The first thing I want you to know is there are different types of PCT I would run, PCT for a heavy cycle and PCT for a moderate or low dose cycle.
Most of my cycles are low doses or moderate at best, and being that I'm on test replacement anyways, the way I do things now is a little different than the way I used to. Without getting into too much detail, the way I do things now is strictly HCG periodically and an aromatase inhibitor during cycle.
Using an AI is a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE addition to a cycle and makes a major difference in how you look on cycle.
I like using Arimistane the best, and 10 mg every other day is usually good enough to keep water weight off, keep me on the dry side, and keep me feeling good. Arimistane used during hormone replacement can be taken on the light side at 1/2 mg 3 times a week and for some even that would be too much. I've seen it prescribed as low as 10 mg before.
Remember, the trick is to compensate here, and keep things in the proper ratio hormone wise. It's not to overcompensate too much and throw things off. The larger the cycle, the larger the compensation needs to be.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that is strongly associated with luteinizing hormone in men. LH is what tells your nuts to produce testosterone, so taking HCG keeps your balls from shrinking or can bring them back to some degree of size.
HCG helps bring back testosterone production in men faster after discontinuing a steroid cycle. HCG is taken by men on hormone replacement as well, because it still stimulates the testicles by keeping you closer to a normal HPTA axis.
In layman's terms, it keeps your balls from shrinking and you're still able to shoot more normal loads. HCG is far superior to anything else when it comes to PCT, if there was only one product I was allowed to use for recovery it would be HCG.
Next we have Nolvadex. A lot of you are probably wondering what the difference is between Arimadex or Aromasyn and Nolvadex.
Well, Aromasyn and Arimidex are Aromatase inhibitors. That means they prevent any estrogen-like side effects from occurring due to TOO MUCH testosterone. Nolvadex works a little differently.
Nolvadex binds to the same receptors as estrogen but it sort of keeps them occupied and does not allow the estrogen to aromatize. This also keeps the testicles from shrinking because nolvadex prevents most interference with LH.
Nolvadex would be more of something to take coming off cycle, and an aromatase inhibitor is something I'd take while on cycle. The thing about it is this; you want SOME estrogen, just not too much. If you knock it down too much then you will short change yourself on strength and size gains. If you don't knock it down enough, you may get unwanted side effects such as bloating and gynecomastia (development of female-like breast tissue).
It all depends on how susceptible you are to gyno. I myself am lucky, I'm not gyno prone at all. I have run numerous cycles with no anti-estrogen at all, with no issues. Then there are guys who use 500 mg/wk of test and get gyno from that.
As a general rule, to be the safest this is what I would do; on any cycle that is under 1,000 mg/wk total, I would use 1 mg of Arimadex every other day. I would use 10 mg of Aromasyn every other day IF I was using that instead of Arimadex.
I would include HCG in my cycle at 250 iu 2 times/wk for 10 weeks (5,000 iu total), and if I did not have HCG in my cycle then I would at least use it post cycle at 2500 iu/wk for 2 weeks, started immediately post last injection. The difference in using HCG during cycle and post cycle is prevention versus repair.
I had a really good discussion on this topic with a guy online and he made perfect sense when he explained it to me that way. He said he didn't use HCG at all during recovery, because if he kept it during the cycle he felt there was no need for it.
But from my experience there is a difference in the amount of administration, where 2,500 iu/wk will overall stimulate you more than 250 iu 2 times/wk. So the answer is I run it both ways myself.
I use it in small amounts routinely or if I hadn't used any in awhile I'll take a big whack of it for 2 weeks and then keep going another few months, and then do it again. It's really whenever I feel like I need it. So I cannot give you really any ONE BEST ANSWER on how to use HCG. That is how I use it, and it works fine for me.
Now, on a heavier cycle that consists of more like 1,500-3,000 mg/wk total, I would use 1 mg EVERY DAY of Arimistane, or 10 mg EVERY DAY of Aromasyn (again, Aromasyn being my first choice) but my cycles are not this heavy. I stick to the old school ways, and I'm usually under 1,000mg/wk total, USUALLY.
I would take HCG during cycle if I could at the same dosages as above. When my cycle ended, I would most likely take a couple weeks of HCG at higher doses, say 1000 mg/wk for 2 weeks, just to be on the safe side. Most guys do not use enough HCG. Remember, being huge and ripped is nice, but we do want to keep some degree of normalcy in our lives here (like working testicles)!
Now for a guy who does not cycle very often, or is just starting out. I would not stress over not having HCG or an anti-aromatase in your cycle.
The 2 most important things for PCT
The 2 most important things would be Clomid and Nolvadex for after your cycle. If you could get your hands on HCG then get it, but if all you had was clomid and nolvadex that is fine. Even if all you had was Clomid that is fine if it's a lighter cycle.
Do you think the bodybuilders back in the day were using 2-3 different products for PCT? Hell no, most of them didn't use any PCT!
Now, of course we find better ways of doing things as time goes on, but I'm not here to tell you that you cannot run a bottle or two of gear just because you don't have all of this stuff. Having a few different products becomes more important when you cycle more often and/or use more.
There are always certain compounds that you want to take extra precaution with when on cycle. You need to research these things before you do them.
Steroids like Anadrol-50 and Dianabol I would probably not take without using Nolvadex THROUGHOUT the cycle. A steroid like Equipoise or Primobolan, you could probably get away with using nothing during cycle and just doing normal PCT when you are done.
When I say “normal PCT” I'm speaking in terms of 20 mg/day Nolvadex for 4 weeks post cycle, Clomid started at 2 weeks post last shot (if using a long chain steroid) and possibly 1/5,000 iu vial of HCG if you can get it. Clomid dosing would either be 10 mg Clomid the first 10 days, followed by 50 mg/day the next 10 days, OR just 50 mg/day for 3 weeks. You see it all depends on how heavy the cycle was.
Much of what is involved in PCT is based on how long a cycle was and how heavy a cycle was. This was one of the more difficult articles I've written because there is no one best way! It's based on so many variables; age, time on cycle, dosages throughout cycle, time in between cycles, and what you have available.
I'm hoping this helps some of you guys who have questions about PCT. There are a few products that I didn't mention in this article simply because I've never used them.
I only write about what I know about. For questions regarding Caber, Letrozole, or Femora, I would research that online.
Maybe someday I will use one of those, but for now I will write about what I know about.
Train hard! -JD