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Understanding PCT + Examples

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  • Understanding PCT + Examples

    PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) will vary on a number of factors, but on almost every occasion we use anabolic steroids, we will need to conduct some sort of PCT employing the use of SERMs, HCG and/ord AI's. After all, steroids are inhibitive of endogenous testosterone function to some degree. Some will merely inhibit or cause testosterone suppression and others will cause a total shutdown of natural hormones after a single small administration. Below are the factors which will determine which PCT protocol we wish to follow:

    - Age
    - Genetics
    - Anabolic Steroids Used
    - Duration
    - Dose
    - Past Experience

    Our PCT program will not be determined by one of these factors, but by all of them and eliminating those that are not applicable. This way no mistakes will be made (or shouldn't).

    1. Age

    The endocrine system does not fully develop until the ages of between 21 years and 25 years old. Prior to this pubertal males will go through a period of having the highest natural testosterone levels they experience. Which explains the onset of acne, gynecomastia, aggression, mood swings, increased sex drive, deepening of vocal chords, testes dropping and becoming full volume and increases in muscular size and bodyweight. Because our testosterone levels are at their highest point from 16 years old to endocrine maturity at 21 years+, its best to avoid steroids altogether during this time and make the most of thee high levels. Natural levels can actually exceed 1,000ng/dl, which is the same as most HRT doses of 100-200mg/wk of Testosterone depending on others factors also. So use what you have, dont damage what you have later down the line.

    That said, age plays a role in PCT programs. The general rule is that the older you get, its harder to recover and this is true. The HPTA will mature over time and weaken its hormone output, so if you're over the age of 35 years, it may be worth looking at PCT programs. However, what about the younger guys? This is a good question and there is no universal one size fits all answer. Some recover and bounce back well in there early twenties and some fail miserably. Key is to get BW (Blood Work) done prior to starting the cycle to see where baseline is. Then think about cycling. But even if you have a naturally high testosterone level, a PCT will always be required. More damage can certainly be done when cycling at a young age and when the HPTA is not fully matured.

    2. Genetics

    Genetics play an important role as not everyone is the same (unless you're twins) but even then, diet, social experiences, level of activity will all play a role on what your Testosterone level is prior to starting a steroidal cycle. Genetics will also play a crucial role on the ability your HPTA has to recover post cycle. Its speed of recovery and also if it maintains the level of testosterone at baseline or above, post androgen use. Genetics will play a role on not just recovery, but how the body reacts to the PCT medications, such as, Nolvadex, Clomid, Toremifene, Aromasin, Arimidex and other PCT supplements. It is impossible to predict how the body will restore endogenous hormone output post cycle, but if the user has a high level of testosterone, then genrally they will recover better than someone who has a moderate and low level of testosterone. It should also be stated that if the user does have a low baseline testosterone, using steroids will only do more damage.

    3. Anabolic Steroids Used

    If you have read all of our Steroid Profiles, you'll know that some anabolic steroids affect the HPTA t different degree's and will understand, 100mg of Dianabol is not the same in regards to HPTA suppression as 100mg of Deca-Durabolin. Compounds that will cause testosterone inhibition are listed below, but these are in moderate doses and not used for longer than 6-8 weeks without a break in use.

    Inhibitive/Suppressive Steroids

    - Dianabol
    - Anadrol
    - Winstrol
    - Halotstin
    - Anavar
    - Masteron
    - Primobolan
    - Equipoise

    These compounds when used alone, will not cause total HPTA cessation of natural hormones, but will impact the bodies own testosetrone. If the user has an extremely low baseline testosterone level prior to use, then they may reach hypogondal levels, but for the average joe who has a total testosterone level of around 400ng/dl+, shutdown will not occur when used alone, when the compound is not abused and used for longer than 6-8 weeks. Although there is always exceptions to the rule. Combining androgens, abusing them dosage wise and for extended period may eventually lead to hypogondal testosterone levels.

    A PCT protocol will still be needed for these compounds, but the length of PCT, PCT compounds will be determined by BW.

    Steroids that will cause Shutdown

    These steroids will cause a total "shutdown" of endogenous hormones, including LH, FSH and Testosterone (not zero but almost). All these steroids used for more than 1-3 weeks will require some sort of PCT program post AAS use. Below is a general list of which compounds will cause this cessation:

    - Testosterone (long/short ester)
    - Sustanon 250
    - Omnadren
    - Deca-Durabolin
    - Trenbolone
    - Parabolan

    These compounds will shut the HPTA down to varying degrees and at varying dosages and durations. A single shot of Test Enan will not cause total loss of natural hormone output, but will cause LH and FSH levels to decline for 2-3 weeks. Exogenous testosterone needs to be injected for 2-3 weeks at 250-500mg/wk for the bodies own hormone output to cease. But not all anabolic steroid are so forgiving and mild. Deca-Durabolin will cause LH and FSH levels and therefore testosterone to reach hypogondal levels from a single 100mg injection! So PCT is required after a single shot and precautions, such as, the use of HCG whilst on cycle is needed. HCG is needed when using any of these compounds for over 7+ week IMHO t a dose to maintain testicluar size and function - 500-1,500 ius 2x week will suffice.

    Because these androgens cause such a rapid/steep decline in natural testosterone an agressive PCT and pre-PCT program is needed... But more on that later.

    3. Duration

    The length of the cycle of steroids you're running will impact the inhibitive effect it will have on the HPTA. The longer you run a course of steroids the harder is is generally to recover post cycle. This rule does not always hold true as some users suffer for months and years from using a low dosage of a steroid that causes shutdown (above). This is why its important to limit the use of anabolic steroids to 10-12 weeks in most cases, then recover the HPTA, take time off and go back on if you feel the need or if your goals dictate.

    ALL steroids will impact the HPTA to varying degrees. Duration plays a role as the testes will lay dormant and testicular dysfunction will set in. This is when the testes become unresponsive to even direct stimulation, such as the use of HCG. The hypothalamus, which is the control centre for hormone output and regulation also does not have much stimulation, but studies state that the hypothalamus does not take very long to recover post cycle, the problem lies in the the testes and maintaining their function. This is why HCG use is imperative when on cycle and the risk of being shutdown is possible. 500-1,000ius injected 1-2x per week is enough to maintain size and function of the testes so is advised for ALL cycles using any of the compounds that will cause shutdown at all.

    Although we can limit the damage caused by steroids used for extended periods with the use of HCG, there is no substitute for - time off. Breaks should be used to give the HPTA a break and also the body from the toxins high doses of steroids can cause.

    4. Dose

    The dose of the said steroid used will also impact its nature on the HPTA. When we use steroids, they activate certain receptors in the hypothalamus and this causes the hypothalamus to inhibit or shutdown the bodies own testosterone level. When androgen receptors (AR), progesterone receptors (PgR) and estrogen receptors (ER) become activated, GnRH, LH and FSH will decline. This therefore reduces circulating testosterone levels. Different steroids will activate different receptors, some one group or family, some 2 and others all 3. The dose of the anabolic steroids will determine HOW MANY of these receptors are activated, impacting the amount it inhibits natural hormones levels.

    250mg/wk of Test Enan, will not cause as much of a rapid cessation of natural testosterone levels than 1,500mg/wk of Test Enan will. The same can be said for almost all androgens, so "Dose" is relevant in this mix. However, with compounds such as, Deca Durabolin and Trenbolone, even a small amount if enough to really impact testosterone production and shut the HPTA down hard, so does is not as relevant as a Testosterone based preparation or one of the less suppressive compounds mentioned above.

    5. Past User Experience

    This comes down to the fact that steroid cycles repeated for years and years will damage the HPTA. Users will find it harder and harder to recover from a steroid cycle. After conducting 10 cycles that cause shutdown of the HPTA the user will not bounce back as fast as when they bounced back after the second. More factors come into play here as well. The user is going to age, which means their HPTA is going to weaken. Larger doses are going to be needed in successive cycles and harsher androgens are going to be used, such as Trenbolone and Deca Durabolin.

  • #2

    So putting it altogether what are some PCT Examples?

    Example 1.

    Designger Steroid, Pro-Hormone PCT, Inhibitive ONLY Cycle

    wk 1-4 Tamox 20mg/ED


    wk 1-4 Clomid 25-50mg/ED

    Example 2.

    PCT for Steroids That Cause Shutdown (6 weeks+)

    wk 1-6 Tamox 20mg/ED (40mg/ED week 1)
    wk 1-6 Tore 60mg/ED (120mg/ED first 2 weeks) OR Clomid 25mg/ED (50mg/ED week 1)

    *Pick one SERM to front load for PCT

    *Aromasin 10mg/ED (on cycle)
    *HCG 500-1,000ius 1-2x week

    Example 3.

    Agressive PCT from HRT or Extended Cycle (24 weeks+)

    wk 1-8 Tamox 20mg/ED (40mg/ED week 1)
    wk 1-8 Tore 60mg/ED (120mg/ED first 2 weeks, 100mg/ED week 3)

    *Aromasin 10mg/ED
    *HCG 500-1,500ius 1-2x week OR 1,000-1,500 for 5 shots every 10 weeks, 3 days apart.

    Support Supplements

    1g Tribulus
    1g Ashwagandha RE
    300mg LJ100
    Omega-3 5g/ED
    Vitamin D

    Blood tests need to be carried out 4-5 weeks after ALL PCT medications have stopped. Then decide if another PCT is needed or time off.


    • #3
      When on cycle that HCG is used to keep testicles working a bit, is there any difference about injecting 1x1000ui weekly than 2x500ui weekly ? Just to see the possibility of reducing the pins... Next week will be my 2nd on cycle so will start with HCG because of this my question... Thanks


      • #4
        Originally posted by mpwlift View Post
        When on cycle that HCG is used to keep testicles working a bit, is there any difference about injecting 1x1000ui weekly than 2x500ui weekly ? Just to see the possibility of reducing the pins... Next week will be my 2nd on cycle so will start with HCG because of this my question... Thanks
        One shot can cause estrogen to spike too much, but its better than nothing. Twice per week is optimal, not more because of leydig cell refraction (not producing more T for 72hours after admin).