The Definitive guide to Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)
- 05-04-2009, 12:17 PM
The Definitive guide to Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)
Dear AM members,
I'm proud to present the official Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) of 2009.
If you're considering using pro-hormones, or even illegal anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS’s), then you should read this article before going any further.
Some information given here will be new, some will be old, but all of it is based off successful real-world protocols developed from the counseling of hundreds of athletes and bodybuilders worldwide. The information presented here will allow you to come clean from a cycle while keeping your gains, surging your sex drive, and making you feel healthier than you ever have before.
Before we get into the details I want to illustrate several major problems with the average PCT protocol -
Mega-Dosing of SERMs
There is no doubt that SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) such as Clomid and Nolvadex can stimulate testosterone production.
Unfortunately, these drugs can have a host of side effects including -
- Liver Toxicity
- Reduced Libido
- Ocular Toxicity/Blurred Vision
- Emotional Side-effects
Clomid in particular can lead to emotional side-effects and cause a man to feel like a weeping and emotionally distressed pregnant woman. This is because Clomid acts like an estrogen in certain parts of the brain and causes serious emotional episodes. To read more about the side-effects of SERM's, read this article.
In the “Perfect PCT” section below we will discuss the proper use of SERM’s for PCT.
Over Use of Anti-Estrogens
Aromatase inhibitors (AI's) such as Arimidex, Aromasin, and Formestane are powerful tools for reducing estrogen conversion from heavily aromatizing drugs such as Testosterone or Dianabol. While these drugs are sometimes useful during cycle, these drugs are often counter-productive to use during PCT.
More specifically, it is a common misconception that estrogen will be elevated post cycle. Generally, estrogen is below a normal level after a cycle, especially if the cycle consisted primarily of non-aromatizing (non-estrogenic) AAS's or pro-hormones. Additionally, if one uses proper anti-estrogen's during a cycle with aromatizing AAS's then estrogen will not be elevated in this scenario either. Therefore, assuming proper AI's are used during cycle, I can only recommend an AI be used for PCT if hCG is also used.
Using AI's when they are not needed can lead to extremely low estrogen, which can cause the following side-effects -
- Lower Sex Drive / Erectile dysfunction
- Joint Pain
- Lower HDL levels
- Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Ultimately, this hurts your long and short term recovery and does not benefit you. Don't forget, normal levels of estrogen are necessary to support libido, muscle recovery, and testicular function.
Improper use of hCG
Using hCG after the cycle is the least effective way to use hCG.
You see, when you're on steroids, your brain cuts off the signal to the testes, and your testes stop producing testosterone. Once this happens, your testes shutdown, start to shrink, and become unresponsive to stimulation from the brain (essentially, the testes become desensitized). This is the reason why alot of guys never recover from a steroid cycle even after using tons of hCG and SERM's -- because the testes have stayed inactive for too long and have become permanently desensitized.
Here are a list of problems you can have from waiting untill the end of a cycle to use hCG -
- High Possibility of Permanent Testicular Damage/Desensitization
- Higher hCG Dose Requirement
- Higher Conversion Rate to Estrogen
For a fast and quick recovery of testosterone production after a cycle, you must avoid the long-periods of suppression. Once your testes go unused for too long, it is virtually impossible to get them to come back full strength, no matter how much hCG you take. For more detailed information on testicular degeneration of testicular function during a steroid cycle, see this article.
hCG during cycle - The Proper use of hCG
For any cycle longer than 6 weeks, you need to get your hands on some hCG and use it during the cycle. A small dose will keep the testes running as normal during cycle, so they can jump back on track when the cycle is over. Plus, when you use hCG during the cycle, you don't need to use it for PCT.
On-cycle hCG forces your testes to continue producing testosterone as they normally would. The trick with on-cycle hCG use is to avoid using too much, too frequently (which can also desensitize your testes the same as not using any at all!). It’s important to use just enough to stimulate the testes to produce the same amount of testosterone they would normally.
Check out the simple hCG dosing guidelines -
* Every 4 days = Shoot on Monday, then on Friday, then on Tuesday, ect.
† AI - Aromatase Inhibitor (While taking 1000iu shots, I recommend 10mg/ED of Aromasin or .5mg/ED Arimidex to keep estrogen in control. Legal alternatives include and Arom-X which are also effective aromatase inhibitors. Discontinue AI 4 days after last hCG shot.)
If you are doing the on-cycle hCG protocol it is important to discontinue hCG 2 weeks prior to AAS clearance. Therefore, when you officially start PCT you will be clean of all AAS's and will be 14 days from your last hCG shot. This allows your testes to become re-sensitized to the body's LH signal from the brain, making for a quick recovery of natural testosterone production as soon as the steroids and hCG clear the system. This is another reason why on-cycle hCG is superior, because it allows you to start recovering as soon as PCT begins.
If you aren't doing hCG on-cycle, then use hCG according to the "last 2 weeks or after the cycle" guidelines, and start it 4-5 weeks before the AAS's are expected to clear the system (Or as soon as possible if you are already past this point).
For AAS clearance times, see the table in the last section.
The Perfect PCT
Since SERMs can help stimulate testosterone production, we will allow them in our PCT, but at a much lower dose that what most “forum gurus” suggest. The goal with SERM’s is to dose them for maximum benefit with minimal side-effects, and only use them when they are necessary. If your cycle is longer than 6 weeks, and you are not running hCG during the cycle, then I recommend a SERM during PCT in combination with the Testosterone Recovery Stack (TRS) -- A completely legal, natural, tried & true PCT stack. (about to be discussed)
I recommend the following SERM’s, in order of most to least desirable –
Toremifene – 40mg/day
Nolvadex (Tamoxifen) – 10mg/day
Clomid (Clomiphene) – 25mg/day
As I mentioned above, hCG should be used for any cycle longer than 6 weeks. If you follow the proper hCG protocol, then it will be much easier to recover for PCT, and the TRS alone will be sufficient for recovery. However, if hCG was not used, then you will likely benefit from stacking one of the above listed SERM’s with the TRS. (since you will need all the help you can get)
The TRS has proven to be so safe & effective, that guys are shunning Clomid and Nolvadex every chance they get and using the TRS alone for PCT. Hundreds of testimonials and dozens of blood tests from real life customers have proven the Testosterone Recovery Stack to be just as effective as a SERM for PCT, but without the side effects. For those that may want additional support for PCT, the TRS stacks synergistically with low responsible doses of SERMs. (Just checkout the PCT Stacking Guideline table below)
So what exactly is the TRS?
The main product in the TRS is the legendary Sustain Alpha -- a natural testosterone boosting topical cream.
It's no surprise that Sustain Alpha is the foundation of the TRS. It’s powerful active ingredients are pulled through the skin and straight to the blood stream with our advanced topical delivery formula. Once in the blood, they are carried to the brain – right where they start triggering the testes to produce testosterone like a fountain of youth.
Speaking of the triggering testosterone production; How does Sustain Alpha work?
The main ingredients in Sustain Alpha – resveratrol and 7,8-benzoflavone – are natural anti-estrogens. However, both of these compounds have proven to be more like estrogen balancers as blood tests have revealed that Sustain Alpha can raise estrogen if it is too low or lower estrogen if it is too high – therefore offering the ideal solution for virtually any individual.
You see, a little estrogen is a good thing. Too low of estrogen can reduce libido, inhibit recovery, and hurt heart health by raising bad cholesterol. (a typical side-effect of using pharmaceuticals like Arimidex or Aromasin which can overly suppress estrogen levels as I mentioned earlier)
So the question is…
If Sustain Alpha isn't significantly inhibiting estrogen, then how exactly is it significantly increasing LH, FSH and natural testosterone levels?
Before jumping into the science let me give you a brief background on hormone production -
Basic Hormone Production
The Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis (HPTA)
In a normal healthy male luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are sent from the brain (the pituitary) to stimulate the testes to make testosterone and sperm.
The release of LH & FSH from the pituitary is stimulated by Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH) from the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is stimulated to produce GnRH when it senses low levels of testosterone and estrogen. (hypothalamus [GnRH] --- > pituitary [LH & FSH]--- > testes [testosterone])
On the other hand, when the brain detects high levels of testosterone and estrogen it suppresses the release of GnRH, LH & FSH, and eventually testosterone production. This is called the negative feedback loop – the normal daily rhythm of hormone production.
Traditionally, boosting LH & FSH to stimulate testosterone involved the use of a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) to directly block estrogen at the receptor (eg, Clomid & Nolvadex) or inhibition of estrogen formation by blocking the aromatase enzyme with aromatase inhibitors (eg, ATD, 6-bromo, formestane, Aromasin, Letrozol, ect).
Now on to the science on what makes Sustain Alpha so unique...
Recently, it has been found that the main ingredient in Sustain Alpha – the naturally occurring flavone 7,8-Benzoflavone -- increases testosterone production by preventing the negative feedback of testosterone and estrogen on the hypothalamus through GABAergic modulation.
That's right, GABAergic modulation, but please let me explain before jumping out of your seat.
As you may know, γ-amino-butyric acid (GABA) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to play an important role in sleep, learning, memory and pain sensation. In fact, GABA supplements are often used to promote relaxation and sleep. However, the GABAergic system is a tremendously complex family of receptors which interact not only with GABA, but hundreds of other neuro-active chemicals all throughout the body.
The important thing to understand here is that GABA and GABAergic transmission are two separate things.
With that in mind, researchers are just beginning to understand how the GABAergic system regulates the hypothalamus and GnRH secretion.
So far, it's been established that there is no androgen receptor (AR) or estrogen receptor (ER) on GnRH releasing neurons. This is fascinating, because it means that steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen must communicate with GnRH neurons through intermediaries. Meaning, steroid hormones must signal the release of certain neurotransmitters to suppress GnRH secretion in the hypothalamus. One of the neurotransmitter systems involved in this communication process is the GABAergic system.
As you can imagine, if the neurotransmitters can be blocked or antagonized, then suppression from steroid hormones can be reduced or possibly eliminated. By blocking the suppression, this allows the hypothalamus to continue secreting GnRH, thus allowing the testes to continue pumping out testosterone like they never missed a beat!
7,8-benzoflavone is a neuro-active flavone that reaches the hypothalamus and binds to the GABAergic receptors that modulate GnRH release. In fact, animal studies have already shown 7,8-benzoflavone can prevent the drug related decline in LH, FSH and testosterone production. By interacting with the GABAergic receptors, 7,8-benzoflavone is able to offset hypothalamic suppression of GnRH from steroid hormones.
We realized the incredible potential of this flavone, and recently increased the concentration of 7,8-benzoflavone by 15% in the newest 5.0 formula. Now, Sustain Alpha is more potent than ever.
So what does this mean for a guy wanting to boost testosterone?
This means LH & FSH levels can be boosted quickly and effectively without overly suppressing estrogen and sacrificing overall health. This means Sustain Alpha is perfect for any PCT, or any male wishing to optimize his "male performance" with higher testosterone levels. This also means that Sustain Alpha is unlike anything else on the market.
Yet, there is one factor that will keep you from getting maximum gains from Sustain Alpha, and that is testicular sensitivity.
Let me explain…
No matter how much LH & FSH the brain secretes, the testes won't secrete testosterone if they are desensitized to LH & FSH. (remember, this can happen from too much, or not enough LH & FSH stimulation)
Therefore, maintaining testicular sensitivity is critical, and this is precisely what Toco-8 was designed for.
Toco-8 is a powdered tocotrienol supplement proven to increase testicular sensitivity. When taken with Sustain Alpha, a powerful synergy occurs. By increasing testicular sensitivity, Toco-8 makes Sustain Alpha 3-4x more effective, thus allowing the body to produce more testosterone than it ever could before. Research has also proven that Toco-8 can increase the effectiveness of hCG by the same mechanism. Consider Toco-8 the beginning of a great testicular awakening – critical for a strong testosterone response to LH & FSH stimulation.
The final piece of the TRS is cortisol control.
Cortisol is a nasty stress hormone that can breakdown muscle tissue and reduce the ability of the body to produce testosterone. This is especially bad during PCT when getting testosterone levels up as quickly as possible is the #1 goal.
For reducing the damaging effects of cortisol we created EndoAmp.
Each serving of EndoAmp gains a scientifically proven 800mg dose of phosphatidylserine (PS). This is the exact same dose used in human clinical trials to suppress cortisol, raise testosterone and prevent muscle breakdown. PS is a very important naturally occurring phospholipid which helps reduce stress related catabolism and cortisol release.
Take hCG during the cycle if your cycle is over 6 weeks (follow the guidelines above for hCG dosing).
For PCT, use the TRS, which includes the testosterone surging Sustain Alpha, the testicular sensitizer Toco-8, and the cortisol blocker EndoAmp. Stack this with a low dose SERM if desired (see stacking guidelines below).
To make things easy just follow the below table for when to discontinue AAS’s prior to PCT -
Then follow this table for PCT -
* Toremifene is the #1 perferred SERM, followed by Nolvadex, followed by Clomid.
Apply Sustain Alpha anytime of the day, after a shower. Use 5 days on, 2 days off.
Take Toco-8 anytime during the day with or without food.
Take 1 scoop of EndoAmp after workouts or in the morning on non-workout days.
Make no mistake, the TRS is one of the most powerful testosterone simulating stacks on the market, but don’t take my word for it. Jump on Google or any major bodybuilding forum and put in a search for the above products -- you will see they are the real deal, backed by thousands of positive reviews from actual users.
I’d like to thank you for reading the Official PCT for 2009 and supporting Primordial Performance!
Yours in health & fitness,
Primordial Founder & President
Phone – 1-800-568-2924
Email - email@example.com
Visit - Primordial Performance
- 05-04-2009, 12:20 PM
- 05-04-2009, 12:27 PM
Nice read w/ lots of good info. I am planning out my PCT now for a 1T Tren cycle I will start in July. Can't wait!
05-05-2009, 12:07 PM
05-05-2009, 12:13 PM
05-05-2009, 12:20 PM
One thing I will say is you make great ads with great information in your threads, its also because of this information you posted here and on your site I stopped my serm use and use yours and AI's products for PCT.
Applied Nutriceuticals Representative
FACEBOOK FAN PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Applie...ls/64122223218
05-05-2009, 01:48 PM
quick question why do u recommend waiting two weeks to start pct when using a short acting ester?
05-05-2009, 04:14 PM
05-05-2009, 04:21 PM
05-05-2009, 04:22 PM
05-05-2009, 04:59 PM
sorry i meant in between the cycle and pct. lets say for an 8 week cycle
05-06-2009, 06:59 PM
The table lists 1 scoop of EndoAmp, while the notes list 2. Which would it be?
05-12-2009, 01:01 PM
05-24-2009, 07:01 PM
05-25-2009, 08:55 AM
Great post Eric. This and your "dangers" thread on PP.com have been very informative.
05-25-2009, 05:58 PM
05-25-2009, 07:19 PM
That looks way more like a biased advertisement than any type of "definitive" guide. Especially since even the field of endocrinology itself has no "definitive" protocol. Very strange to say the least.
05-26-2009, 01:28 AM
a low dose serm wont have neg sides will it? im planning on useing 25 mg of clomi after the XHMS
05-26-2009, 12:52 PM
05-26-2009, 12:53 PM
Also, clomid wouldn’t be my first choice… I would go for toremifene or nolva over clomid if you can get them.
05-26-2009, 01:48 PM
05-26-2009, 02:00 PM
05-26-2009, 02:29 PM
How do you proposed managing/preventing gyno on cycle?
05-26-2009, 02:38 PM
05-26-2009, 07:52 PM
05-26-2009, 08:38 PM
05-28-2009, 03:09 AM
will vitex lower test? i use vitex p-5-p and bulk 1 carbox
05-28-2009, 08:03 PM
I would just use it during the cycle if I were you… Its reliable for that purpose atleast.
05-29-2009, 10:58 PM
makes sense what about during ptc? no need? same with the p-5-5?
also with 1-t tren and sustian a, how long does it take to fully absorb when applied? also does using it a few hours before working out benefit more than applying after i workout and shower? will the strength be increased by applying it before?
05-30-2009, 12:30 AM
Hey Fella's. I am glad to have found this site and glad to be a part of it. Just wanted some input. I just purchased SPAWN clone (REVAMP from APS), Novadex XT and Livercare from Myogenics. Planning on starting cyle beginning of next month. Any advise on this? From what I read here this should be enough. Any input on how to run cycle?? Can get in 3 solid workouts a week and ok diet. First cycle of PH ever. Thoughts and recommendations on this?? thanks in advance.
05-31-2009, 02:53 PM
I wouldnt use vitex for PCT, just during the cycle. The TRS is all you will need for PCT.
05-31-2009, 02:54 PM
06-01-2009, 01:50 AM
blood tests confirm, this is my health man, that the trs is 100% effective? i was considering adding 25mg of clomid thu the ptc. and keep it at that all 4 weeks. or even 1st 3 weeks of it. of XHMS- edit.
06-01-2009, 11:45 AM
To be honest, all I use for PCT from my 4 week cycles these days is the TRS, and I would have no problem getting any SERM I wanted.
06-02-2009, 03:53 AM
i hope that you honest but i believe you and love your company. i think ill keep the clomi on hand only. the trs alone would be a solid solo ptc for h-drol or epi cycle also?
would clomi wk 1 of the 4 wk ptc change anything or be a waste of 25mg per day?
06-02-2009, 11:20 AM
06-04-2009, 03:07 PM
06-05-2009, 02:35 AM
sounds complicated but deff wrong place to post
06-08-2009, 10:10 AM
what would you recomend for a nutra coastal monster pack PCT
sdrol 10 mg
trena 25 mg
saw palmetto 450mg
milk thistle 175 mg
c q10 10 mg
red yeast rice 600mg)
06-08-2009, 11:00 PM
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