PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) For Beginners
Everyone (well, steroid users) knows the benefits of using steroids to achieve gains. You get big and you get strong. But cycling off can cause a wealth of problems, and open up the door to many new questions and potential problems. This article is a ‘starter’ guide to post cycle therapy. Research each topic further, and always consult your doctor before starting any legal post-cycle therapy routine.
Why do we need PCT?
At the end of every cycle, the body’s cortisol levels spike and your body drops a lot of water. Estrogen levels spike. Without adjustments to compounds, diet, training, and cardio, muscular weight gained during the cycle will nearly or completely disappear. Depression, increased acne, and gynecomastia are also possible without intervention.
PCT is PCT
No matter what the compound used, and no matter how long, PCT is the same every time. Adjustments are made for availability and size, but a family of the same two compounds, AIs and SERMs, are used every time.
PCT will consist of one to two Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) and one Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). Their levels and function will vary based upon personal needs, and will require additional research based upon needs and availability. AIs include Arimidex, Letro, Aromasin and Proviron in various doses and timing. SERMS include Clomiphene and Tamoxifen in various doses and timing, which goes beyond the scope of this introductory article based upon many factors.
Coming off a cycle, it is essential to increase calories by 500 to 1000 per day. This might lead to a slight increase in bodyfat, but it is required in order to maintain the new muscle just added. Diet adjustments are often overlooked, and result in the loss of a great deal of muscle, unnecessarily.
Bodybuilders should keep cardiovascular work consistent in order to ensure bodyfat levels don’t jump significantly. Keep intensity and maximum of 60 to 70%, and limit cardio sessions to 3-4 per week at a 30 minute clip.
Most trainers quickly realize that during PCT, marathon training sessions do not lead to success. While there will be a drop-off in the weight used in workouts, intensity should remain constant. If using less weight, consider using less rest time between sets to compensate for any loss in intensity. Overtraining suddenly becomes a major concern.
It’s always a good idea to get blood work done following a cycle. There is a panel of liver value, testosterone levels, hemoglobin, and other listings that should be followed to maintain good health while “fudging” with the body’s natural levels.
PCT is essential for bodybuilders who use steroids, plain and simple. Many bodybuilders short-circuit their success by stopping cold turkey, and lose all the gains they made on cycle. Worse yet, they often end up smaller and weaker than when they started, and sporting a terrible case of gynecomastia that can last a lifetime. Always research post-cycle therapy and use it to ensure you keep as much of that hard-earned muscle as possible.
Dane Fletcher is the world’s most prolific bodybuilding and fitness expert and is currently the executive editor for BodybuildingToday.com. If you are looking for more steroid information or information on weight training, or supplementation, please visit www.SteroidsToday.com, the bodybuilding and fitness authority site with hundreds of articles available FREE to help you meet your goals.