What is the point in taking steroids, unless you’re going to keep the gains from your cycle afterwards?
Why look awesome for a couple of months if you’re going to shrink back to the size of your Nan post-cycle?
…and if you do get smaller, prepare for every one of your family/friends pointing this annoying fact out to you.
But do not fear young padawan; there are steroids which can give you permanent gains, even long after you’ve stopped cycling that compound.
ALL cutting steroids’ gains are 100% permanent. In short, with cutting steroids you’ll lose a tonne of fat and it will stay off.
Anvarol by Crazy Bulk
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Best Steroids to Keep Gains (After a Cutting Cycle)
(Winstrol is the only steroid in this list which’ll result in significant lean muscle gains)
The controversy over permanent and temporary gains generally falls on the topic of bulking steroids.
Many people use bulking steroids and look huge on-cycle, but shrink post-cycle. This is due to certain steroids causing water retention, meaning the muscles will temporarily fill up with water (making them look fuller than usual), which will diminish post-cycle.
So if you want to keep all your size and strength gains, you want to take ‘dry steroids’ – which are steroids that don’t cause water retention.
By taking steroids that don’t cause much fluid retention, you’ll know that if you gain 30lbs – you’ll be keeping most of this weight. Alternatively, if you take high doses of a ‘wet steroid’ like anadrol; you might gain 50lbs, but lose half of this weight after you stop taking it.
Best Steroids to Keep Gains (After a Bulking Cycle)
Testosterone will generally result in little water retention, compared to other bulking agents such as dianabol and anadrol. Similarly, trenbolone won’t cause you to hold any water weight, meaning you’ll nearly all of your gains when bulking.
Trenbolone is actually a diuretic, meaning you’ll lose water weight whilst cycling this steroid. So your strength and muscle fullness may actually increase after taking tren; due to more intracellular water retention.
Test and Tren are both very powerful bulking steroids, which can make you look super-aesthetic; as you can be ripped whilst adding size…instead of looking fat and puffy.
Which Steroids Will Keep you From “Shrinking” Post-Cycle?
Steroids that shut you down hard and cause you to retain huge amounts of water are the ones to avoid if you don’t want to shrink.
Here’s a list of the most popular steroids people use today and how good/bad they are for keeping ALL of your gains:
- Anadrol – Poor
- Dianabol – Moderate
- Deca – Moderate
- Testosterone – Good
- Trenbolone – Very Good
Although you’ll lose some obvious size/mass when taking anadrol, you’ll still gain a lot of lean muscle.
Tips to Keep Gains Post-Cycle
Taking a PCT (post-cycle-therapy) is a strategy some bodybuilders use to successfully retain gains from a cycle. A PCT is also incorporated to restore a person’s hormones back to normal, after their testosterone levels become suppressed.
Low testosterone = Catabolic
If a steroid-user doesn’t go on an excessive cycle with huge doses, they can get away with not running a PCT and retaining most of their gains. However, if you’ve run a very aggressive cycle with harsh steroids (tren, anadrol) – a PCT could be a good option.
A standard PCT protocol usually involves taking natty testosterone boosters, such as: d-aspartic acid, tongkat ali or/and maca. Bodybuilders take these in a bid to raise natural testosterone levels back to a normal range.
When your testosterone production is truly shut down you’ll often experience: fatigue, less energy, low sex drive and feel quite low on life.
Post Cycle Therapy (PCT)
If you’re thinking about taking prohormones or anabolic steroids, you need to know how to run an effective PCT (post cycle therapy).
What exactly is post cycle therapy? And why do we need it?
A PCT is usually incorporated after a steroid-cycle ends. The reason why this is a critical time for a bodybuilder is because anabolic hormone levels (such as testosterone) are usually shut down at this point. Thus the idea of a post cycle therapy protocol is to control estrogen levels and increase your testosterone production back to normal levels.
As you’re probably already aware, low testosterone levels can make it increasingly difficult to maintain gains in strength or size from your steroid cycle. Also low T can have a negative effect on your overall mood and well-being.
Failing to administer an effective PCT can result in less overall gains. However, running diligent PCT’s can help you retain the mass you gained from your cycle (for years to come). Generally the more you’re shut down from a steroid, the more challenging it is to hang onto gains.
What PCT Supplements Are There?
Any supplement that naturally increases your testosterone levels/decreases estrogen levels can be considered an effective PCT supplement.
Such supplements will improve: muscle recovery, estrogen balance, fat loss, your health, workout intensity and libido.
Natural Testosterone Boosters
Any supplement that contains D-aspartic acid or tribulus terrestris may help during a PCT. D-aspartic acid is an amino acid which has proven to increase natural testosterone levels in several studies.
Tribulus terrestris has also been proven to have a dramatic effect on DHT levels (which is actually more anabolic than regular testosterone).
Tribulus-users also report a noticeable increase in their libido when taking this herb. Studies show that tribulus also has protective qualities in regards to the kidneys and liver.
However, these test boosting ingredients may not work for everyone and thus some users may opt for more powerful drugs such as clomid or nolvadex.
What if I don’t run a PCT?
Some people can get away with not running a PCT and still keep most of their gains, but if you want to be as big, strong and healthy as possible, a PCT is essential. This also gives you better value for your cycle – steroids aren’t exactly cheap.
If you don’t run a PCT, your hormone levels may take several months to recover.
However, a well thought out and planned PCT can speed up this process significantly and restore your normal hormone function a lot faster.
That’s not to say running a PCT is easy, it takes much trial and error with different supplements to see how they affect your testosterone production, as everyone’s different. However, after a couple of PCT’s you should begin to get a feel of which supplements are working for you.
How to Plan Your Post Cycle Therapy?
The first thing you want is a SERM.
This is stands for selective estrogen receptor modulator and some good options are Clomid or Nolvadex.
These essentially are prescription drugs used to help restore healthy testosterone levels. You won’t make gains solely from taking Clomid or Nolva alone, instead these are taken to try and retain the gains you already have.
Don’t confuse the term SERM with SARM.
SARM stands for selective androgen receptor modulator. These are basically drugs which act like mild anabolic steroids and the reason you shouldn’t take these post-cycle is because they shut down your test production (contrary to what some people say).
A SERM works by stimulating the pituitary gland, which in turn releases more luteinizing hormone.
What this means is that your testes will start producing more testosterone.
Aside from an effective SERM, you may also need an aromatase inhibitor.
AI’s will block the conversion of testosterone to estrogen. This is key post-cycle when your estrogen levels are sky high and your testosterone levels have plummeted.
AI’s can be used during a steroid cycle, but they’re also effective PCT supplements too. In short, AI’s are the best way to keep your estrogen levels in check, so you can remain looking and feeling like a man. If you’ve experienced any gyno during your cycle, AI’s should be the first supplement on your PCT shopping list.
One of the better AI supplements is Letrozole.
Letrozole can decrease estrogen levels by 98%, which is quite incredible. It’s powerful impact on estrogen levels has resulted in it being a successful treatment of breast cancer.
Letrozole also happens to be pretty good value for money, with it priced at around $30.
After you come off AI’s, your hormone function will go back to normal, meaning estrogen levels won’t be shut down or rise to excessive levels. When taking AI’s, it’s best not to consume alcohol as this can raise estrogen levels, blunting the effects of letrozole.
PCT Health Benefits
A PCT isn’t just necessary for maximum gains, but also to restore your health.
A steroid-user damages their body with each cycle, so if they want to continue taking steroids for a long period of time, it’s critical that their body recovers inbetween cycles.
PCT’s can help a person’s liver recover, improve their immune system and help them remain fertile.
Failing to look after certain organs and processes in the body can result in liver failure, cancer or/and infertility later down the road.
Are ALL Post Cycle Therapies Safe?
This is a question you hear every so often.
The whole point of a PCT is to improve your health.
However, there will be some post cycle therapy protocol’s which aren’t safe, which means they aren’t good PCTs. Some guys use toxic drugs in a bid to continue making gains during a PCT and what ends up happening is their health deteriorates even more so.
However, if you stick to the supplements mentioned in this article, these will have a safe and positive impact on your health. For those thinking about taking pro hormones or any other harsh compound during a PCT, don’t bother. It’s not worth sabotaging your health in a bid to make some mild gains.