What is Post Cycle Therapy in Bodybuilding (PCT Guide)

pct

Testosterone is the key to muscle growth. However, when you put chemicals into your body to boost your testosterone levels, your body will react by suppressing its natural release of the hormone.

Post-cycle therapy (PCT) allows you to normalize your body’s natural production of testosterone. In this article, I’ll provide you with an in-depth analysis of everything you need to know to make a success of your PCT cycles.

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TL;DR: What Is Post Cycle Therapy And Who Is It For?

Post Cycle Therapy

Post-cycle therapy is a course of chemicals that you take after you have been on a steroid or SARMs cycle.

The purpose of a PCT is twofold.

Firstly, it rebuilds your body’s natural release of testosterone, which gets suppressed when you take artificial forms of the hormone. Secondly, it helps you to maintain your steroid or SARMs gains after your cycle.

You do not have to go on a PCT cycle while you are actually taking a steroid or SARM because the other chemicals you are putting into your body are compensating for the drop-off in natural testosterone production. When your cycle is over, though, the natural testosterone levels will take quite a long time to normalize. Unless you do something about it, you will struggle to keep your gains.

When you go off cycle, you will inevitably see a drop off in terms of muscle and strength gains. With the right PCT, though, you should be able to retain 80 percent of your gains.

The specific type of PCT that you follow will depend on the type of chemical you are taking.

Best Post Cycle Therapy

The best post-cycle therapy will involve the use of a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM). SERMs stimulate the release of Luteinizing Hormone and Follicle Stimulating Hormone from the pituitary gland.

These two hormones then stimulate the testicles to produce more testosterone. The two best SERMs for post cycle therapy are Tamoxifen Citrate (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid)

Clomid vs Nolvadex

Both Clomid and Nolvadex are SERMs. They are the two most popular substances used for post-cycle therapy. Neither is better than the other, with your choice being dictated by the type of steroid or SARM you are taking.

The best option, however, is to combine both Clomid and Nolvadex in your cycle.

Clomid for PCT

Clomid, also known as Clomiphene Citrate, is a SERM that was first developed as a fertility drug for women. It does this by promoting ovulation and regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle.

When taken by men Clomid helps to arrest the drop off in testosterone levels, It also counters the estrogen effects that come with steroids.

How Does Clomid Work

Clomid’s mechanism of action is to increase the production of two hormones: luteinizing hormone (LSH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

These hormones help women to get pregnant. However, when men take it, their testosterone levels are boosted. That’s because LH and FSH stimulate increased production of testosterone by the testicles.

Clomid dosage

Your Clomid dosage should taper down from 50mg per day for the first two weeks down to 25mg per day for the female two weeks of a 4-week cycle.

When to Take Clomid

Clomid should be taken at the end of your steroid cycle. However, if you are going to be off-cycle for less than 8 weeks, then you will not get a lot of benefit from a PCT cycle. That’s because you will soon be depressing your testosterone levels when you go on-cycle again. Any loss of gains that you incur when you are off-cycle will be restored when you go back on the juice.

Clomid Cycle

Here is a typical Clomid cycle following a cycle of steroids or SARMs …

Week Clomid
One 50mg
Two 50mg
Three 25mg
Four 25mg

Side Effects of Clomid in Men

There are a few side effects when men take Clomid. These may include …

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Hot Flashes
  • Dizziness

Clomid Cost

A 35 ml bottle of Clomid will cost between $48 and $60, depending on where you buy it from.

Where to Buy Clomid

Clomid can be purchased from a number of online SARMs retailers. One of the retailers that we recommend is Swiss Chems, which sells a bottle of sixty 25mg tablets for $69.95.

Nolvadex PCT

Nolvadex, or Tamoxifen Nitrate, is a SERM that is popularly used as an alternative to Clomid for post cycle therapy. This is a selective estrogen receptor modulator that targets breast tissue and was created to treat breast cancer.

By binding to estrogen modulators, Nolvadex reduces the estrogen levels in the body, specifically in breast tissue.

How Does Nolvadex Work?

Nolvadex taken by men has a similar effect to women. It will reduce the levels of estrogen in breast tissue. This helps men to avoid one of the main side effects of steroid use – gynecomastia, otherwise known as β€˜bitch tits.’

When taking Nolvadex for the prevention of gyno, you should actually take it on scale, along with your steroid cycle.

Nolvadex is also used for PCT. As well as suppressing estrogen levels, it also increases the secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH). LH, in turn, stimulates the testicles to produce more testosterone.

When to Take Nolvadex

If you’re taking Nolvadex as a combination of a gyno inhibitor and PCT, you should take it during the second half of your cycle and then continue using it for a further four weeks. If you are using it solely for PCT, begin taking it when you stop your steroid or SARM cycle and continue for four weeks.

Nolvadex PCT Dosage

The recommended Nolvadex dosage over a 4-week cycle is 40mg per day for the first two days and 20mg per day for the final 2 weeks.

Nolvadex Cycle

Week Nolvadex
One 40mg
Two 40mg
Three 20mg
Four 20mg

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Nolvadex Side Effects

The side effects of Nolvadex include …

  • Acne
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramps

Although there are numerous reports of Nolvadex causing sleep problems in women, this problem does not seem to relate to men.

Where to Buy Nolvadex

PCT

Nolvadex can be purchased from a number of online SARMs retailers. One of the retailers that we recommend is Swiss Chems, which sells a bottle of sixty 20mg tablets for $80.00.

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HCG for PCT

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a natural peptide hormone that develops in the placenta of a pregnant woman to control her hormone levels. Since the 1930s it has been used as a fertility aid to help women get pregnant It stimulates luteinizing hormone (LH). These stimulate the Leydig cells in the testes to produce more testosterone.

HCG has been used for post steroid cycle PCT for bodybuilders and other users for decades.

HCG PCT Dosage

HCG is an injectable PCT. The recommended dosage is 1500iu three times per week over a 3-week cycle.

HCG and Clomid

HCG is often used in preference to Clomid or Nolvadex following a heavy, prolonged steroid cycle. It has the ability to restore shrunken testicles.

If you are affected with this problem after a steroid cycle, you should take HCG to restore testicular size before going on a 4 week Clomid cycle.

If you don’t, your Clomid enhanced release of testosterone from the testicles will be impaired.

HCG and Nolvadex

HCG is a more potent PCT agent than Nolvadex. However, many people prefer to use Nolvadex or Clomid because they do not require an injection. You can also take HCG for a couple of weeks at a dosage of 1500iu three times per week in order to reverse atrophied testes before going on a 4 week Nolvadex PCT cycle.

Where to Buy HCG for PCT

PCT

HCG is available for purchase from Swiss Chems. A 5000iu vial will cost you $33.95.

Take-Home Message

Following a Post Cycle Therapy course after your steroid or SARMs cycle will allow you to rebuild your testosterone levels and retain most of your on-cycle gains. Do not neglect this part of your overall steroid strategy. Follow the protocols outlined above to get the maximum benefit from your PCT.

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Contributors

Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen | Writer

Steve Theunissen is a seasoned fitness professional with 25+ years of experience. He has multiple certifications from the International Sports Sciences Association, including Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Certification, and Strength and Conditioning Certification. He's a knowledgeable and experienced bodybuilding coach, combining his passion for fitness with his writing skills to educate and inspire. Whether starting out or looking to take training to the next level, Steve Theunissen is the ideal coach to help reach fitness goals.

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