Training article for PCT?

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    Training article for PCT?


    I recieved this in an email, and I was wondering if it has any merit. For my PCT which starts next week I am basically going to use the same routine with just less volume. I am on a 5 day a week routine. This plans say 3 days a week. Which should I decide on?

    Coming Off A Cycle
    by Marcus Haidam

    Introduction

    A few minor inconveniences aside, the only really bad thing about steroids is
    that you have to come off of them. Technically, of course, you don't HAVE to,
    but this article isn't intended for those who fall into that category. Nor is it
    intended for the athlete who uses a gram per week for long periods and then
    typically uses insulin, DNP, prostaglandins, and other such compounds if they
    ever do actually come off (That topic, though quite fun to fantasize about, has
    nothing to do with most athletes). The recommendations in this article will do
    very little for maintaining the unnatural degree of muscularity attained with
    such methods. It's instead intended primarily for the moderate user, whom I'll
    (arbitrarily) define for our purposes as someone using 400-600 mg/week of
    steroids -- or very high doses of prohormones (1g/day of a topical, 100+mg/day
    intranasal). I don't recommend continuous lower intakes as suppression will
    still occur without the concomitant dramatic increases in LBM.

    To start, we should mention a little bit about the "on" part of the cycle. We'd
    like to maximize gains and, at the same time, put ourselves in an optimal
    position to keep them once the cycle is stopped. What to do during the cycle
    could be an entire article itself, so I'll merely cover the areas where what we
    do has a direct influence on the recommendations while coming off.

    Training

    Training during the cycle should be high volume because muscle contraction
    upregulates androgen receptors (AR), and with supraphysiological levels of
    androgens, it's in our best interest to have as many AR's as possible. It will
    be very difficult to overtrain while "on", assuming optimal nutrition and rest,
    so basically do as much volume as you can handle and still have energized
    workouts and muscles that are not sore. This might be as much as 2 workouts/day
    (of about 45 minutes), 6 days per week for the genetically gifted)

    We should avoid going to failure as it will ultimately limit our volume, plus
    we'll want our CNS fresh when we come off the cycle. So, no HIT ****, if you
    please. HIT type training is primarily effective in a situation where
    overtraining of the endocrine system has occurred (from 2 hour a day workouts)
    leaving the athlete with a poor testosterone to cortisol ratio. Again, we have
    supraphysiological levels of androgens, so that issue goes out the window.

    The eccentric portion of the exercises won't be overemphasized because steroids
    cause increased muscle protein breakdown/fiber damage (with an even greater
    increase in muscle protein synthesis), so the high degree of muscle fiber trauma
    inflicted by eccentric training isn't only unnecessary, but it's probably
    counterproductive.

    The preceding training strategies will not only maximize our gains while on the
    cycle, but as you will see later, will leave us primed for optimal retention
    when we come off.

    The HPTA

    Our other area of focus will be the hypothalamus-pituitary-testicular axis
    (HPTA). An 8-10 week, 24-7 cycle will almost certainly cause full suppression
    despite any strategies we might undertake, so it's a mute point in that
    situation, but with the 2 week mini-cycles that are becoming increasingly
    popular, it's likely that we can still have significant testicular function when
    our cycle is stopped.

    There are two mechanisms by which negative feedback inhibition of the HPTA
    occurs, estrogen binding to the estrogen receptors (ER) and androgens binding to
    the androgen receptors(AR), both of which occur in the hypothalamus. We could
    prevent binding to the AR by using a receptor antagonist, but it would also
    antagonize the AR in the muscle, thus defeating the purpose of taking steroids
    -- unless, that is, significant non-AR mediated anabolism occurs, as has been
    suggested by some.


    Editors note: I really wish someone would take 100mg/day of d-bol with
    cyproteron acetate (AR antagonist) and see if they Get Hyooge (tm) or not --
    that would go a long ways toward settling this dispute.


    Another option here is to be "on" only during the mornings, using either orals
    or intranasal (or possibly a fast acting topical when/if an effective one
    becomes available), leaving us with normal systemic androgen levels at night
    when LH release occurs. This has been found to avoid significant alterations of
    the HPTA, even with as high as 100mg d-bol/day.

    The final option is to decrease estrogen binding in the hypothalamus. This can
    be accomplished by lowering systemic estrogen with an aromatase inhibitor
    (and/or choosing anabolics that do not readily convert to estrogen) such as
    Arimadex, Cytadren, and perhaps high delivered doses of chrysin (whose in vivo
    potency equals that of Cytadren, but whose oral bioavailabilty is extremely
    poor, making sufficient delivery by that route basically unattainable for all
    practical purposes). We can also block access to the ER with an antagonist such
    as Clomid, Proviron, or Nolvadex (which, unfortunately, also interferes with a
    couple of enzymes involved in steroid production in the testes, thus canceling
    out its benefits on the AR, making it inferior to Clomid in that regard). Or, we
    could use a combination of aromatase inhibition and receptor antagonism. This
    strategy should prevent negative feedback to some extent, perhaps leaving us
    with testosterone levels of 400 instead of 200 (again, being rather arbitrary).

    We have done all we can during the cycle, and now we have stopped and must do
    all we can to preserve our gains. If steps have not been taken to reduce
    estrogen binding in the hypothalamus, that should begin immediately. Clomid is
    the preferred choice in this area at 50-100mg/day, but an aromatase inhibitor
    should be just as effective, but its use should begin a few days earlier as it
    won't do anything for estrogen that's already present. Ideally, both methods
    should probably be used.

    We must also now decide if we want to completely stop cold or use a morning only
    system in an attempt to maximize anabolism for as long as possible while still
    allowing HPTA recovery. If we choose the latter, it would probably not be a bad
    idea to time workouts to occur during this period - both for CNS effects and for
    anabolic effects. In deciding which is the best choice, the basic questions to
    be answered are: Does this method even provide significant anabolic benefit??
    How much, if any, does it inhibit natural testosterone production?? And most
    importantly, do the positives of the first outweigh the possible negatives of
    the second?? My guess based on the available data and anecdotal reports is that
    is does. I would recommend this strategy for 2-3 weeks. At that point either go
    off completely or start a new "on" cycle.

    Nutrition

    When we stop our cycle, androgen levels are going to be below normal. That is a
    given, even with the afore mentioned strategies. What we can do something about
    is whether the other anabolic hormones (insulin, IGF-l, GH, thyroid, etc.) are
    maximized or not. Being handicapped by the first, we want to make the second as
    optimal as possible (hint: DO NOT START A DIET AT THIS POINT!!). Overeating
    (editors note: gluttons "overeat", athletes "overfeed") has been shown in
    numerous studies to maximize these factors, so I recommend continuing with above
    maintenance calories for the first week of "off" time. This will result in a bit
    of extra fat gain, but I've found it (when combined with all the other
    strategies in this article) to allow for almost total retention of LBM gains
    (again this is on a "moderate" cycle). As testosterone production returns to
    normal, calories can be lowered to maintenance or below.

    Training

    During the cycle, we trained using a high volume approach. During the "off"
    cycle, we will change things up (which, in itself, will be helpful for growth).
    As much **** as HIT gets (and deservedly so), it does have its uses. This is one
    of them. As mentioned earlier, the primary benefit of HIT type training is its
    beneficial effects on the endocrine system, and that will be very helpful now,
    as we desperately want to maximize testosterone levels.

    Long workouts lower testosterone to cortisol ratios, so we are going to keep our
    workouts under hour, no more than 4-5 times per week. We are going to stick to
    heavy, basic movements such as squats, deadlifts, pullups, etc, which also tend
    to increase testosterone levels. We'll also make heavy use of eccentric training
    during this period, as it is the eccentric part of a lift that causes most of
    the muscle fiber damage of weight training (hence, most of the gains). I have
    had a good deal of success doing one set per exercise, 2 sets per bodypart of
    drop sets that consist of 2-3 eccentric reps at 110-120% of 1-RM, followed
    immediately by 2-3 eccentric reps at 90-100% 1 RM, followed immediately by 2-3
    full reps at 80-85% - taking 5-6 seconds for the eccentric portion on all 3
    mini-sets.

    Supplements

    Clearly, if you are doing the mornings only "off" cycle, then the appropriate
    prohormone or oral is a necessity. I think creatine and a protein powder should
    always be used, and glutamine or BCAA's in fairly high doses (20+g/day) might
    also be helpful, but other than that, I won't make any specific recommendations
    at this time. I have a few thoughts on a combination of supplements in
    conjunction with a specific training method that I think is very promising , but
    I think I will refrain from mentioning it until a bit of real world testing is
    done.

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    Bump

    Anyone want to comment on this theory of training post cycle.

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