Jimmy has finished his first SARM cycle. His gains were great. But like everyone else who uses SARMs or steroids, Jimmy’s testosterone levels got suppressed.
Because of that, he wants to bring his testosterone back to normal.
That’s what Post Cycle Therapy — or PCT — is. You do a PCT to recover your hormone levels back to a healthy range.
In this post you’ll discover:
- Why anabolic steroids and SARMs lower your natural testosterone production
- Why that’s bad for you
- How you can get back to normal as quick as you can to feel good and maintain your muscle
Why Anabolic Steroids & SARMs Suppress Your Testosterone
It doesn’t matter what kind of anabolic steroid or SARM you take. They will all lower your natural testosterone production at some level.
When you take a steroid or SARM, your body will think it’s testosterone.
Since your body thinks it gets extra testosterone from an external source, it goes on holiday. Why would it need to produce testosterone on its own?
Your body stops producing as much testosterone as it did before. It starts slacking off.
The problem is that Ligandrol isn’t a replacement for testosterone. It only targets your muscle and bones — not the other parts of your body that need testosterone to be healthy.
With time, you may experience symptoms of low testosterone. Here are the most common signs of low testosterone:
1. Lost muscle mass and bone mineral density
That’s right — when you go off steroids or SARMs, you may lose muscle and get weaker bones. On your cycle, all those androgen hormones built your muscle… and when the hormones disappear, it’s a high risk your muscle will do as well.
2. increased fat mass
When you’re low on testosterone, your body prefers to store energy as fat instead of building muscle.
3. Decreased libido and energy
Your sex drive will take a hit. How much is individual — some people have a high libido even if their testosterone is tanked. Some completely lose it.
Expect a hard time getting it up.
But wait, there’s more…
Your energy will also disappear. You can feel exhausted and tired all day long, even if you rest enough at night. You may walk in a constant brain fog.
This one is a big problem for me:
I don’t think roid rage is a thing. When you take steroids you tend to feel pretty good and relaxed.
But PCT rage is a thing.
You know when your girlfriend’s on her period and really irritatable? And you need to make runs to the store and buy her chocolate?
Take that irritability… and multiply it by 10.
At least that’s the case for me. It’s different for everyone. It could be better or worse for you.
5. Dysphoria (what’s that?)
When you’re low on T, you can experience dysphoria. What’s that?
It’s actually a pretty descriptive word.
When you feel great, you can be euphoric. Dysphoria is the opposite — a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction
To sum it up, having low testosterone makes you feel like shit.
You’ve spent an entire cycle building muscle. You don’t want to lose it because of your shitty testosterone levels.
Your body is pretty resilient. It tends to get back to normal hormone levels by itself. But it takes a long time. If you let your body recover from steroids on its own… expect to get back in the healthy testosterone range after 6-12 months.
If you’ve taken a SARM like LGD-4033, it takes about 50 days to recover your natural hormone production.
That’s TOO LONG!
That’s why bodybuilders do a PCT after their cycles — they want to kickstart their hormone production and minimize the time spent with low testosterone.
Because that allows them to feel good again and keep as much muscle as possible.
How To Do A PCT And Regain Healthy Testosterone..
It’s impossible to give a one size fits all PCT protocol for everybody. But there are guidelines that you should follow. If you do, you’re likely to recover in a fine manner.
But here’s what you need to know:
Many times… what you take during your PCT might make you feel worse than the actual low testosterone.
Symptoms like depression, lethargy, lack of focus, dysphoria and weak joints. If they come up during your PCT… they could come from the drugs that are supposed to heal your hormone system.
So there is a golden rule you need to follow…
Use enough to recover, but not too much.
Post Cycle therapy is a science in itself. There are several ways to kickstart your hormone production. Which way you go depends on many factors:
- What compounds have you taken? Anabolic steroids like Superdrol, or SARMs?
- For how long did you take them?
- How many different compounds did you stack?
- How old are you? (And what genetics do you have, but that’s hard to answer)
What compounds have you taken?
Did you take Ostarine? It’s a mild SARM that only supresses you a little bit, even after months of use.
Did you take Ligandrol? It’s a stronger SARM that will supress you more.
Did you take anabolic steroids like Superdrol? Then your testosterone production won’t just be suppressed. It’s completely shut down…
As a rule of thumb: The more suppressive compound you take, the more intense PCT you need to perform.
For how long did you take them?
If you take Ostarine for one week, you don’t need a PCT.
But if you take it for a year straight, you definitely need one.
The longer you take anabolic steroids, the harder you need to go on your PCT. Simple, isn’t it?
How many different compounds did you stack?
If you feel like learning the crux of PCT from a video instead, watch this one from Dylan Gemelli:
Do you need a PCT For SARMs?
Do you really need a PCT after a SARM cycle?
It depends on you. Best case scenario, you should do bloodwork before and after your cycle to see how suppressed you are.
Is your testosterone fine? Maybe you don’t need a PCT. What would be the point of stimulating your testosterone production when it’s already running like normal?
Is it tanked? Do a PCT.
But the truth is that most people will NOT do bloodwork, no matter how much I or anyone else tells you to.
Because of that, Ostarine probably doesn’t force you to run a PCT. At least if you run it for the recommended cycle length.
But with any stronger SARM, like LGD-4033 or RAD140, you should probably perform a PCT.
PCT For Stronger SARMs
Even the stronger SARMs like S4, Ligandrol or RAD140, will only suppress your testosterone production. It will decrease, but not shut down completely as would happen with anabolic steroids. The only exception is S23, which is as suppressive as steroids…
Since they don’t shut you down completely, you can generally go with a milder PCT and be fine. You don’t necessarily need any prescription drugs. And since they can give you ugly side effects, you want to avoid them when you’re able to.
Perhaps you can recover alright with over-the-counter supplements and medications.
Your PCT should start the day after your last dose of SARMs. They have a short half-life and exit your system fast. You can start the recovery process after 2-3 days.
PCT supplements aren’t as powerful, but have milder side effects. You can use them on your own to recover from an Ostarine or Ligandrol cycle — if you’re not that suppressed — or stack them with other PCT compounds.
The All-In-One PCT Supplement
If you just want to keep track of one PCT supplement…
If you don’t want to calculate dosages and all that messy stuff every day…
I recommend RED-PCT 2.0. It contains 7 natural ingredients that promote balanced hormone levels.
Additional Supplements I recommend…
If you decide to take several PCT supplements, you get more control over the substances and dosages. You’ll be more able to optimize your recovery.
Here are some I recommend. Try to buy them individually — they’re cheaper that way:
DAA: DAA (D-aspartic acid) is the most well-studied testosterone booster out there. It works for normal men as a testosterone booster and is even more effective when used during your PCT. It’s an amino acid regulator of testosterone synthesis.
Ashwaganda: It relieves your symptoms of low testosterone, and has been shown to increase luteinizing hormone, which in turn increases testosterone,
Need A Stronger PCT After Your SARM Cycle?
Perhaps you’re very suppressed from your last run of SARMs. Then you need to perform a hardcore PCT with some more serious medication.
Keep reading the PCT guide after an anabolic steroid cycle, and use the same principles.
PCT After A Steroid Cycle
When you’ve been on a cycle of anabolic steroid cycle, you will need to perform a more intense PCT. You may need to use prescription drugs, research chemicals, and whatnot in order to recover as fast as possible. But I’m going to keep it simple in this guide and only go through the most popular compounds.
When you’ve done a steroid cycle, you probably injected something in your butt. Because of that, the anabolic steroid has an ester chain that slows down its release and makes it stay in your system for longer.
That means the timing of when to start your PCT will differ.
- Maybe you can start after a couple of days if you only used testosterone acetate — a fast-acting ester.
- Maybe you can start after two weeks if you used testosterone cypionate — a slower one.
There are two compounds that every bodybuilder uses after a cycle — Clomid and Nolvadex.
Clomid For PCT
The first compound that helps you get your testosterone levels back to normal is clomid.
Clomid binds to your brain. There it manipulates your pituitary gland into producing more building blocks for testosterone. It kickstarts your body’s own testosterone production.
The compound also acts as an estrogen blocker. The Clomid molecule binds to your estrogen receptors so your estrogen can’t bind to any cells. It’s rendered useless.
Sadly, Clomid can also give you some side effects — especially when you use it at high dosages. Some get mood swings, depression, loss of libido, and blurred vision. But the side effects depend on the individual, and as you remember from earlier in this article:
Use enough to recover, but not too much!
Don’t go apeshit on this stuff.
Clomid has a half-life of 6 days. That means you can take it every other or third day and keep relatively steady levels in your blood.
10-30 mg of Clomid per dosage is often all you need. Take that for 4 to 6 weeks and you’ve finished a pretty good PCT. But beware, Clomid is slightly liver toxic. So take the smallest dosage you can and restrict the duration of use.
Nolvadex For PCT
Nolvadex is in the same category of drugs as Clomid. It kickstarts your testosterone production in the same way as Clomid.
But Nolvadex is also more effective at blocking estrogen in other parts of your body. You can use it to prevent gynecomastia and other estrogen-related effects.
In my experience, it’s really effective at it. Whenever I take Nolvadex, I lose tons of water and my joints turn and weak like papyrus.
Nolvadex has similar side effects to Clomid. Mood swings, depression, loss of libido, blurred vision, dry joints and more.
Nolvadex also has a half-life of 6 days. Take it every other or third day.
10-30 mg of Clomid per dosage is often all you need. Take it for 4 to 6 weeks and you’re good.
Nolvadex And Clomid: Brain Damage?
Nolvadex and Clomid are meant to be used by women with breast cancer.
In a study, breast cancer-sufferers were treated with Nolvadex for an entire year. In the end, it turned out they had become less smart from it.
The researchers found that tamoxifen [Nolvadex] users had lower scores in verbal memory and executive functioning — which includes such things as being able to shift attention between two different parts of a task — than did women without breast cancer.
Turns out, the brain needs estrogen to remain healthy. However, keep in mind that the study was performed over a year, and a cycle of PCT generally lasts about a month.
4 weeks are piss in the sea compared to 52. But still, beware of the possible side effect…
Nolvadex VS. Clomid: Which One Is The Best?
Alright, so Nolvadex and Clomid seem identical. Is there any real difference?
Yes. There is. Listen:
Nolvadex is more powerful. Gram per gram, it’s more potent than Clomid in terms of how well it blocks female hormone in the body.
That’s why you often see normal dosages of Nolvadex around 20 mg, and dosages of Clomid around 50.
Nolvadex is much more effective at preventing estrogenic side effects as post-cycle gyno, water retention and more…
Clomid is more selective to the brain. That means, even though it doesn’t pack as much punch, it’s smart and targets the exact right place. The brain. That way, it’s more effective at kickstarting your testosterone production.
However, if you combine them… they work synergistically and produce an even better result.
Here is the most popular Nolvadex/Clomid cycle:
Week 1: Nolvadex, 40mg per day. Clomid, 50mg per day
Week 2: Nolvadex, 40mg per day. Clomid, 50mg per day
Week 3: Nolvadex, 20mg per day. Clomid, 25mg per day
Week 4: Nolvadex, 20mg per day. Clomid, 25mg per day
If you’re only interested in going for one of them, follow the same protocol with Nolvadex only. It gives you the most bang for the buck.
HCG For PCT
Another popular PCT compound is HCG.
When you’re on juice, your testicles shrink. HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is the fastest compound to regrow your balls. But it’s injectable and pretty hard to get your hands on.
I don’t have any experience with HCG because I simply don’t care about how big my balls are. They could be the size of peanuts and I’d still be a happy fella.
From the information I’ve seen, it makes more sense to use it during your cycle instead of after.
But if you’re interested in learning more about it, watch this quick video from IFBB Pro Greg Doucette:
Aromatese Inhibitors For PCT
Aromatase inhibitors prevent your body from converting testosterone into estrogen. That way, you lower your estrogen levels.
This can be beneficial during your PCT, to avoid an estrogen rebound…
Your testosterone is suppressed. Your estrogen has stayed at the same level. Now your testosterone:estrogen ratio is imbalanced.
The estrogen is simply too high compared to your testosterone. This gives you estrogenic side effects like gynecomastia, limp dick, and irritability.
Aromasin, Arimidex, and Arimistane are aromatase inhibitors. You can use them both during your cycle and PCT to avoid the estrogen rebound.
This is also where RED-PCT 2.0 is very effective. It has very powerful aromatase-inhibiting properties.
How Much Time Off Should You Take After Your PCT?
Because you want to jump back on the juice…
Normally, people say that you should stay off steroids for as long as you stayed on them.
If you did an 8-week cycle, you’d then stay natty for 8 weeks until your next run.
It’s a decent rule of thumb. But you should get bloodwork done. Make sure your testosterone, blood lipids, glucose, estrogen and everything else is in a healthy range.
If it’s not, you should stay away from the juice and fix your problems first.
If you use something that suppresses your testosterone production, you need a PCT. Unless you want to spend 6-12 months of agony getting back to baseline hormone levels.
What you decide to do depends on your circumstances. And how you respond to the different PCT compounds.
But the most reliable and efficient road will always be SERMs like Clomid and Nolvadex. Stay moderate to avoid the worst side effects, and you’ll be set for success.
I wish you good luck on your post cycle therapy. Until next time,
— Alexander Contrarian
PS. Have you done a PCT before? What’s your best advice to the other readers? Tell them in the comments!