HCG usage- on cycle, on pct or...never?
02-25-2008 01:22 PM
HCG usage- on cycle, on pct or...never?
Ok for all the juicers out there , I would like to know what they think its best for a good rehabilitation after a steroid cycle.
HCG is nowadays a must have in all steroid cycles or post cycle therapy, but I believe that not everyone knows the danger of bad usage of this drug, high dosages shots or prolonged usage can lead to a desensitization of leydig cells turning the recovery even more difficult and maybe some permanent damage to the testicles.
I personally believe in the swalle`s protocol that advocates low dosages shots during cycle , and (this is only my personal opinion ) for no more than 6 weeks continuously beginning on week 3.
well bros I would like to see a good debate around hcg, here you go the Swalle protocol:
"I advise my anabolic androgenic steroids patients to use small amounts of HCG - human chorionic gonadotropin - (250IU to 500IU) two days each week, right from the beginning of the cycle. This serves to maintain testicular form and function. It makes more sense to me to keep the horse in the barn, so to speak, then to have to chase it across three counties later on. I am also a big fan of maintaining estrogen within physiological ranges. Both therapies have been shown to hasten recovery.
Any more than 500IU of HCG - human chorionic gonadotropin - per day causes too much aromatase activity. Some feel aromatase is actually toxic to the Leydig cells of the testes. You are then inducing primary hypogonadism (which is permanent) while treating steroid-induced secondary (hypogonadotrophic) hypogonadism (which is temporary--hopefully).
If 250IU or 500IU on two days each week isnâ€™t enough to stave off testicular atrophy, then I recommend using it more days each week (as opposed to taking larger doses). In fact, I wouldnâ€™t mind having a guy use 250IU per day ALL THROUGH the cycle. Those that have tell me they thus avoid that edgy, burned-out feeling they usually get. They also say they simply feel better each day. Subjective reports, to be sure, but they are hard not to appreciate. Especially when HCG - human chorionic gonadotropin - is so inexpensive.
The testes are then ready, willing and able to again produce testosterone at the end of the cycle. lh - leutenizing hormone - levels rise fairly rapidly, but endogenous testosterone production is limited by lack of use. I also want to make sure a selective estrogen receptor modulator, such as Clomid or Nolvadex, is at effective serum dosage (around 100mg QD for Clomid, 20-40mg QD for Nolvadex) when serum androgen levels drop to a concentration roughly equal to 200mg of testosterone per week. That is when androgenic inhibition at the HP no longer dominates over estrogenic antagonism with respect to inducing LH production. Of course, if the fellow has been doing Clomid or Nolvadex all along the way (and I now prefer Nolvadex over Clomid, due to the possibility of negative sides from the Clomid), he is all set to simply continue it at the end (no need to switch from one to the other). BTW, I see no evidence of any benefit in using BOTH SERMâ€™s at the same time. I used to think a couple of weeks of the SERM was enough; now I like to see an entire month after the last shot of anabolic androgenic steroids (and migration of long to short esters as the cycle matures). Tapering the SERM is probably a good idea during the last week, as well.
I want my patients to stop taking HCG - human chorionic gonadotropin - within a week after the end of the cycle. The testosterone production it induces will further inhibit recovery, as will using Androgel, or any other testosterone preparation, while in recovery. There is no escaping this, as there is no such thing as a â€œbridgeâ€ť. Just because you are not inhibiting the hpta - hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis - for the entire 24 hours does not mean you are not suppressing it at all. IOW, you canâ€™t â€œfoolâ€ť the bodyâ€”it is smarter than you are.
I like Arimidex during the cycle (in fact, consider use of an aromatase inhibitor while taking aromatisables a necessity) but it ABSOLUTELY should not be used post cycle (even though it has been shown to increase lh - leutenizing hormone - production) because the risk of driving estrogen too low, and therefore further damaging an already compromised Lipid Profile, is too great (this also drives libido back into the groundâ€”and we donâ€™t want that, do we?).
All this is meant to get my guys through recovery as fast as possible (the real goal, yes?). So far, all of them who have tried it have reported they are recovering faster than when they have tried other protocols."
02-27-2008 11:36 AM
man , i have to bump this cause I believe this is a very important discussion regarding steroids recovery, c`mon bros post your opinion
03-06-2008 07:44 PM
Never EVER use hcg during PCT.It shuts you down,therefore keeping you shutdown.Only use it during cycle to keep the boys full and hanging IF you notice major shrinkage.
03-07-2008 01:11 PM
for what I `ve read I agree but have you already tested hcg on cycle ?
Originally Posted by 305Rob
03-09-2008 07:20 PM
Not me personally.I've never touched AAS.My comment comes directly from an IFBB Pro.
Btw,the average joe running 6-8 week cycles doesnt necessarily need the use of hcg.Hcg is more commonly used for long cycles 12+ weeks or those who stay on months and months at a time.
03-17-2008 06:16 PM
That's good postin' nunes and a good read. I personally have not utilized AAS (yet) but when/if I do I will be using this protocol. Probably would start 2-3 weeks into cycle along with the minimal dose of A-dex.
03-18-2008 10:40 AM
thanks mattikus, this issue is not very explored but I think that hcg is very important to all AAS users, the correct usage of this compound can make all the difference on a success of a cycle(people how want to avoid test in their cycles also have in a hcg a chance to avoid sides of test suppression such as lethargy) and post recovery, I really would like to know the opinion of people how already used it but I`m still waiting...
Originally Posted by mattikus
03-18-2008 07:21 PM
swales' protocol is well proven (results) from what I have seen and heard. and like mentioned above HCG not ideal for PCT. Swales’ is the single best protocol (simple one, that is) that I have seen. They have lots of others but for me this would be the most effective / basic one
04-03-2008 01:00 PM
very good information nunes, a great help for all juicers...
04-19-2008 10:21 AM
some people are asking me how to dose hcg , there you go a little more hcg information:
CONCENTRATIONS, STRENGTHS. Suppose you have a 5,000U vial of HCG powder and you want to inject 1ml to get your 1,000U HCG. All you have to do is add 5ml's of bacteriostatic water to the 5,000U powder. 5,000U/5ml's equals 1,000U/ml. Once reconstituted, you will withdraw 1ml and inject. When you add the water to reconstitute, you now have a concentration (U of HCG per ml water). Suppose you have a 10,000U vial of HCG powder. How many ml's of water need to be add to the powder to create a concentration of 1,000U/ml? My goal is to inject 1ml to get 1,000U. Do the math; feel free to discuss. Reconstituting HCG and HGH are critical exercises; you make a mistake and you could be underdosing or even overdosing yourself.
05-16-2008 12:30 PM
ok just to make this the complete hcg guide , here you go this wonderful study that proves the swalle protocol:
05-27-2008 10:20 AM
do you guys think that a short 6 week cycle needs hcg also?
05-27-2008 02:30 PM
if long esters are used , yes cause that will be equivalent to a 8-9 week cycle, if only short esters I believe you can live without it...
Originally Posted by xtgear
09-18-2008 02:26 PM
I meant to vote on cycle...whoops.
09-18-2008 02:38 PM
Never...although it certainly has its benefits, I think its overkill for the majority of "recreational" steroid users.
09-18-2008 03:16 PM
Holy what about using it on longer cycles whilst waiting for esters to clear? For example:
Originally Posted by holyintellect
1-16: Test E
17-18: HCG (250iux2)
(Or something along those lines)
09-18-2008 05:27 PM
this hcg article is very good, thanks PP:
HCG - Unraveled
By Eric M. Potratz (Email)
Eric M. Potratz has developed his education in the field of endocrinology and performance enhancement through years of research, counseling, and real world experience. Over the past five years he has been a private consultant for hundreds of athletes and bodybuilders alike, and is the founder & president of Primordial Performance.
PCT is a must upon cessation of steroid use. Many great PCT protocols have been outlined over the years, and many individuals have had success with following such protocols. Nevertheless, what works can always work better, and I intend to show you the most effective way to recover from AAS. This is especially the case for those that have had a lack of success following popular advice. In this article I will address the misunderstanding and misuse of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) and show you the most efficient way to use hCG for the fastest and most complete recovery.
HCG unraveled –
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a peptide hormone that mimics the action of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the hormone that stimulates the testes to produce testosterone. (1) More specifically LH is the primary signal sent from the pituitary to the testes, which stimulates the leydig cells within the testes to produce testosterone.
When steroids are administered, LH levels rapidly decline. The absence of an LH signal from the pituitary causes the testes to stop producing testosterone, which causes rapid onset of testicular degeneration. The testicular degeneration begins with a reduction of leydig cell volume, and is then followed by rapid reductions in intra-testicular testosterone (ITT), peroxisomes, and Insulin-like factor 3 (INSL3) – All important bio-markers and factors for proper testicular function and testosterone production. (2-6,19) However, this degeneration can be prevented by a small maintenance dose of hCG ran throughout the cycle. Unfortunately, most steroid users have been engrained to believe that hCG should be used after a cycle, during PCT. Upon reviewing the science and basic endocrinology you will see that a faster and more complete recovery is possible if hCG is ran during a cycle.
Firstly, we must understand the clinical history of hCG to understand its purpose and its most efficient application. Many popular “steroid profiles” advocate using hCG at a dose of 2500-5000iu once or twice a week. These were the kind of dosages used in the historical (1960’s) hCG studies for hypogonadal men who had reduced testicular sensitivity due to prolonged LH deficiency. (21,22) A prolonged LH deficiency causes the testes to desensitize, requiring a higher hCG dose for ample stimulation. In men with normal LH levels and normal testicular sensitivity, the maximum increase of testosterone is seen from a dose of only 250iu, with minimal increases obtained from 500iu or even 5000iu. (2,11) (It appears the testes maximum secretion of testosterone is about 140% above their normal capacity.) (12-18) If you have allowed your testes to desensitize over the length of a typical steroid cycle, (8-16 weeks) then you would require a higher dose to elicit a response in an attempt to restore normal testicular size and function – but there is cost to this, and a high probability that you won’t regain full testicular function.
One term that is critical to understand is testosterone secretion capacity which is synonymous to testicular sensitivity. This is the amount of testosterone your testes can produce from any given LH or hCG stimulation. Therefore, if you have reduced testosterone secretion capacity (reduced testicular sensitivity), it will take more LH or hCG stimulation to produce the same result as if you had normal testosterone secretion capacity. If you reduce your testosterone secretion capacity too much, then no amount of LH or hCG stimulation will trigger normal testosterone production – and this leads to permanently reduced testosterone production.
To get an idea of how quickly you can reduce your testosterone secretion capacity from your average steroid cycle, consider this: LH levels are rapidly decreased by the 2nd day of steroid administration. (2,9,10) By shutting down the LH signal and allowing the testis to be non-functional over a 12-16 week period, leydig cell volume decreases 90%, ITT decreases 94%, INSL3 decreases 95%, while the capacity to secrete testosterone decreases as much as 98%. (2-6) Note: visually analyzing testes size is a poor method of judging your actual testicular function, since testicular size is not directly related to the ability to secrete testosterone. (4) This is because the leydig cells, which are the primary sites of testosterone secretion, only make up about 10% of the total testicular volume. Therefore, when the testes may only appear 5-10% smaller, the testes ability to secrete testosterone upon LH or hCG stimulation can actually be significantly reduced to 98% of their normal production. (3-5) The point here is to not judge testosterone secretion capacity by testicular size.
The decreased testosterone secretion capacity caused by steroid use was well demonstrated in a study on power athletes who used steroids for 16 weeks, and were then administered 4500iu hCG post cycle. It was found that the steroid users were about 20 times less responsive to hCG, when compared to normal men who did not use steroids. (8) In other words, their testosterone secretion capacity was dramatically reduced because they did not receive an LH signal for 16 weeks. The testes essentially became desensitized and crippled. Case studies with steroid using patients show that aggressive long-term treatment with hCG at dosages as high as 10,000iu E3D for 12 weeks were unable to return full testicular size. (7) Another study with men using low dose steroids for 6 weeks showed unsuccessful return of Insulin-like factor-3 (INSL3) concentration in the testes upon 5000iu/wk of HCG treatment for 12 weeks (6) (INSL3 is an important biomarker for testosterone production potential and sperm production. 20)
These studies show that postponing hCG usage until the end of a steroid cycle increases your need for a higher dose of hCG, and decreases your odds of a full recovery. As a consequence to using a higher dose of hCG at the end of a cycle, estrogen will be increased disproportionately to testosterone, which then causes further HPTA suppression (from high estrogen) while increasing the risk of gyno. (11) For example, high doses of hCG have been found to raise estradiol up to 165%, while only raising testosterone 140%. (11) Higher doses of hCG are also known to reduce LH receptor concentration and degrade the enzymes responsible for testosterone synthesis within the testes (12,13,19 ) -- the last thing someone wants during recovery. While these negative effects of hCG can be partly mitigated by the use of a SERM such as tamoxifen, it will create further problems associated with using a toxic SERM (covered in another article).
In light of the above evidence, it becomes obvious that we must take preventative measures to avoid this testicular degeneration. We must protect our testicular sensitivity. Besides, with hCG being so readily available, and such a painless shot, it makes you wonder why anyone wouldn’t use it on cycle.
Based on studies with normal men using steroids, 100iu HCG administered everyday was enough to preserve full testicular function and ITT levels, without causing desensitization typically associated with higher doses of hCG. (2) It is important that low-dose hCG is started before testicular sensitivity is reduced, which appears to rapidly manifest within the first 2-3 weeks of steroid use. Also, it’s important to discontinue the hCG before you start PCT so your leydig cells are given a chance to re-sensitize to your body’s own LH production. (To help further enhance testicular sensitivity, the dietary supplement Toco-8 may be used)
A more convenient alternative to the above recommendation would be a twice a week shot of 200iu hCG, or possibly a once a week shot of 500iu. However, it is most desirable to adhere to a lower more frequent dose of hCG to mimic the body’s natural LH release and minimize estrogen conversion. If you are starting hCG late in the cycle, one could calculate a rough estimate for their required hCG ‘kick starting’ dosage by multiplying 40iu x days of LH absence, since the testes will be desensitized, thus requiring a higher dose. (ie. 40iu x 60 days = 2400iu HCG dose)
Note: If following the on cycle hCG protocol, hCG should NOT be used for PCT.
For preservation of testicular sensitivity, use 100iu hCG ED starting 7 days after your first AAS dose. At the end of the cycle, drop the hCG two weeks before the AAS clear the system. For example, you would drop hCG about the same time as your last Testosterone Enanthate shot. Or, if you are ending the cycle with orals, you would drop the hCG about 10 days before your last oral dose. This will allow for a sudden and even clearance in hormone levels, while initiating LH and FSH production from the pituitary, to begin stimulating your testes to produce testosterone. Remember, recovery doesn’t begin until you are off hCG since your body will not release its own LH until the hCG has cleared the system.
In conclusion, we have learned that utilizing hCG during a steroid cycle will significantly prevent testicular degeneration. This helps create a seamless transition from “on cycle” to “off cycle” thus avoiding the post cycle crash.
Proper use of hCG with Anabolic Androgenic Steroids - AAS
09-22-2008 03:05 PM
Enologist/Brewmaster/Damn good guy
09-26-2008 12:41 PM
Is Teslac a suitable substitute for HCG? As an estrogen inhibitor I know it is, but as a stimulant for LH remains unclear to me.
09-26-2008 01:11 PM
no it's not , teslac only works on pct , on cycle only hcg or possibly sustain alpha may help
Originally Posted by DetroitHammer
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