What Exactly is a PCT Plan?
When users begin consuming anabolic androgenic steroids, it’s natural that hormone levels will be affected. Anabolic steroids work to suppress and lower natural testosterone production in homes. Consumed incorrectly, anabolic steroids can lead to estrogen and progesterone levels increasing beyond a healthy range. Steroid users who are actively consuming are said to be “on cycle”, and it’s important to repress unwanted rises in estrogen and progesterone level while on cycle.
When switching off cycle, a proper PCT plan will help re-stimulate testosterone production so that levels can return to normal.
The principal goal of PCT is to promote testosterone production before returning to being on cycle.
What to Expect from PCT
PCT is an effort to help the total recovery system of hormone levels in the body, primarily the resumption of normal testosterone production. It should be understood, however, that even the best PCT plans cannot completely return natural testosterone levels to back where they were prior to using anabolic steroids.
Furthermore, it is extremely important to understand that if anabolic steroids were consumed improperly and severe damage was caused to the HPTA, no existing PCT plans will be able to provide effective relief.
A proper PCT, if used in conjunction with responsible anabolic steroid use, will stimulate the pituitary gland to release Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). As levels of these hormones increase in the body, the testicles will be encouraged to produce more natural testosterone.
Users who consume anabolic steroids but fail to adhere to a PCT plan could require a year or more before the natural levels of their hormones will return. While nothing can rapidly restore the body’s natural hormone levels, a proper PCT plan will ensure that the body has enough testosterone for important body functions. Foregoing a PCT plan means that the body will undergo lengthier stress periods, seriously compromising the gains achieved during the on cycle period.
When to Follow a PCT Plan
A good PCT plan will begin the moment that the “on cycle” of consuming anabolic steroids has come to an end. A good PCT plan is only effective for lengthier “off cycle” periods. Users planning for only a short break between “on cycle” periods will not see any benefit from implementing a PCT plan.
PCT plans should only begin when an extended off cycle period is about to begin, meaning no anabolic steroid consumption at all for 12 weeks or more.
It is absolutely imperative to understand that a PCT plan can only be effective, and not counteract the gains from the “on cycle”, when anabolic steroid consumption has come to a complete halt.
Options for an Effective PCT Plan
Now that you have a basic understanding of what a good post cycle therapy plan is and what it can accomplish, it’s important to understand how and when to implement it, and what options you have to choose from. Of course, how you have been cycling your anabolic steroid use will play an important role, but all PCT plans will begin with a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) and Clomiphene Citrate (sold under the name Clomid) or Tamoxifen Citrate (sold under the name Nolvadex). The SERM will work to increase LH and FSH releases through the body, and a wide variety of SERM options are available on the market.
Once a good SERM is chosen, it is possible to add other options to your PCT plan. One powerful choice is Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, commonly referred to as hCG. HCG is a strong peptide hormone that works as a catalyst to increase the efficience of SERM therapy thanks to hCG’s ability to mimic LH. As with all powerful hormone stimulants, it’s important to realize that hCG abuse can lead to long-term damage of your HPTA, as your body may become dependent on the substance to mimic LH.
Another common option for PCT plan is Human Growth Hormone (HGH), as this substance helps protect gains made while on-cycle and reduce body fat gain that can sometimes occur off cycle. HGH should only be used off cycle by users who are already consuming it on cycle, as it requires a lengthy period of continual use before it provides effective benefits.
All PCT plans begin with a good SERM, and many users choose to add hCG to realize additional benefits. Anabolic steroid cycles are categorized by esters, divided into large and smell. If your on cycle finished with one or more large ester anabolic steroids, SERM therapy should begin approximately 14-18 days following the last use of steroids. For users consuming only small esters, SERM therapy can begin approximately three days after the last use of steroids. For users implementing a PCT plan with hCG, it is recommended that hCG be administered three days after the last consumption of steroids, followed by 10 more days of hCG therapy, and then SERM therapy will begin.
The last important step is developing a proper PCT plan is to calculate the appropriate dosages. For users planning on consuming Clomid and Nolvadex as part of their PCT plan, it is essential to understand that Clomid is stronger on a per-milligram basis.
As an example, a 40mg dose of Nolvadex would offer the therapeutic equivalent of 150mg of Clomid. For hCG, it is recommended that between 500-1000 iu be consumed per day for 10 days. After hCG therapy is completed, the Noldvadex or Clomid will be used at the appropriate dosage for approximately two weeks. After two weeks, the dosage can be stepped down to either 20 mg of Nolvadex or 100mg of Clomid.
After two weeks at those levels, the doses can be reduced once again to 10 mg for Nolvadex or 50 mg for Clomid for an additional week or two.
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