Athletes use performance-enhancing drugs for various reasons but primarily to increase performance. However, to curb the possible side effects of these compounds, one needs to undergo Post Cycle Therapy (PCT). If you are a novice athlete or want to achieve the fantastic physique of bodybuilders, you will realize you need more than gallons of calories and proteins and spending hours in the gym. Bodybuilders have used performance-enhancing drugs for many years to achieve their desired physical aesthetics. Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is an essential part of any cycle involving the use of performance-enhancing drugs. In our guide, we want to cover the necessary details about Post Cycle Therapy (PCT). Post cycle therapy sarms will help reduce the side effects.
What is Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)?
When using performance-enhancing drugs, which are exogenous testosterone, there is suppression of endogenous testosterone. The body triggers suppression of natural hormone production because it feels there is too much testosterone in the system. Therefore performance-enhancing drugs interfere with the natural production of testosterone in the body. Another reason one shouldn’t use anabolic steroids for an extended period is that it will cause several health effects.
When using performance-enhancing drugs, you must use them in cycles. The cycle prevents tolerance and allows the HPTA (hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis) to restore the natural production of testosterone to its normal levels. The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis regulates hormone production. When we use any performance-enhancing drugs, they throw the body off balance. Besides causing suppressed testosterone levels, post-steroid users are vulnerable to increased estrogen levels and muscle mass loss. Other notable side effects include:
- Deeper voice
- Loss of libido
- Increased breast size.
- Mood swings
- Water retention
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is a therapy that involves mitigating the possible side effects experienced after completing a cycle of using performance-enhancing drugs. It’s a pharmaceutical-based protocol that facilitates the transition and restoration of normal testosterone levels. The therapy involves using various medications recommended by a qualified physician to restore the user’s hormonal balance. During the therapy, estrogen levels are reduced, and normal levels of endogenous testosterone are attained. Most steroid users undergo this regulated and medicated treatment of the hormone system. Athletes and bodybuilders who haven’t used PCT after completing their performance-enhancing drug cycles suffer from low testosterone levels and sometimes even lose their gains.
Starting a Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)
When should you start your Post Cycle Therapy? If the performance-enhancing drugs you were using affected the natural production and levels of testosterone in your body, then you need to undergo a PCT. It would be best if you started your PCT after completing your cycle. If you were using prohormones and SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators), you could immediately start your PCT after completing your cycle. But if you were using anabolic steroids, it’s recommended for one to start their PCT one week after completing their cycle. During your PCT, it’s vital to have a qualified doctor to recommend the best treatment and monitor your progress.
Duration of Post-Cycle Therapy
The average period of Post Cycle Therapy is four to six weeks. The main goal of the therapy is to ensure the body is completely rid of any performance-enhancing drugs and that the hormonal levels are returned to their normal level. The duration of the PCT is also determined by the type of performance-enhancing drugs used, the dosage used, and the individual circumstance. Athletes who frequently use steroids will need a doctor’s guidance and prescribed medications to regulate their hormone levels. The doctor can recommend a more extended period of PCT when the need arises, especially when the body releases steroids slowly. When doing post cycle therapy sarms it is crucial to only do it for the right amount of time.
What Medications are used in Post Cycle Therapy?
The doctor will recommend the most appropriate medication during PCT therapy based on their analysis of the situation and individual circumstances. Some medications can be purchased over the counter, like estrogen blockers and testosterone boosters. But they need to be more vital for frequent steroid users. The stronger medications which are used in PCT require a prescription. The most common drugs prescribed during a PCT are:
- Clomiphene (Clomid)
- Tamoxifen (Nolvadex)
Clomiphene and Tamoxifen are selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). They block the adverse effects of estrogen on the body while regulating the post-cycle estrogen production in the body. When one completes their steroid cycles, the estrogen levels in the body can skyrocket, creating hormonal mayhem.
Clomiphene affects the estrogen receptors, facilitating the release of follicle-stimulating hormones and luteinizing hormones, which enhance fertility. Males need to have an average hormone balance to perform healthy sperm production. On the other hand, Tamoxifen prevents estrogen surges and increases the production of luteinizing hormones. The drug is very potent in reducing estrogen levels in the body and restores endogenous testosterone to normal healthy levels.
During PCT, steroid users can also be prescribed supplements like phosphatidylserine and acetyl-l-carnitine, which lower cortisol levels. Some steroid users can experience unhealthy post-cycle catabolism, which can cause muscle loss and excess fat gains. Additionally, uncontrolled catabolism can cause general ill health. Apart from restoring hormonal balance to the body, PCT is crucial in facilitating post-cycle healing and retention.
Training During Post Cycle Therapy
During the PCT, users can engage in mild training. However, overtraining during PCT is highly discouraged because the body requires time to restore and recalibrate to the state before the performance-enhancing drugs are used. Training will ensure you retain the gains you gained during the steroid cycle, but overtraining will make you lose the gains. During PCT, you should adjust your training routine, reduce reps, and avoid heavy weights. This makes sure that post cycle therapy sarms will work correctly.
You must undergo a PCT after completing your cycle if you are using performance-enhancing drugs to achieve various fitness and muscle-building goals. PCT ensures the body enjoys the hormonal balance it had before you started using the performance-enhancing drugs. It also helps avoid unhealthy post-cycle catabolism, which can cause you to lose the gains you acquire during the cycle. The recommended PCT varies from athlete to athlete and is determined by individual scenarios and the type and dosage of performance-enhancing drugs. Ideal, the recommended duration of PCT will be four to six weeks. However, sometimes, it can last longer until the target objective is achieved. Taking necessary precautions during the PCT will ensure the program is very effective and allow you to retain the gains you acquired when using the steroids.
Performance-enhancing drugs have plenty of benefits for athletes and bodybuilders, but they have serious side effects that must be mitigated. PCT is a critical therapy that helps steroid users retain their gains, restore hormonal balance and prevent unhealthy post-cycle catabolism.