The ANABOLIC SERIES: Part II
Post Cycle Therapy For Prohormones The What’s, The Whys and The How’s
By Rick Miller, BSc.(Hon), MSc. NS.
Elixir Health Sense, Lead Nutritionist
Using prohormones and designer steroids to help induce faster lean muscle mass gains as part of a muscle-building regime, can be a reasonably safe and very effective method of reaching your physique goals.
In this article, we’ll investigating post cycle therapy for prohormones and what we need to do to help recover the hormonal aspect of our bodies. This is an absolute necessity to restore the body and help protect the precious muscle mass gains you’ve worked so hard to produce whilst on-cycle.
post cycle therapy for prohormones
All prohormones and designer steroids are derived from testosterone, one of the most anabolic (muscle-building) substances our bodies produce. During a cycle of prohormones or designer steroids, the trainee is adding exogenous (external) testosterone to their body to help increase muscle mass and by doing this, it signals to the body to stop making it’s own testosterone, this is sometimes called ‘negative feedback’.
So at the end of a prohormone cycle (typically 4-6 weeks), we’re hopefully left with a happy trainee who’s gained a good few pounds of solid muscle but it’s time now to ‘kick-start’ their own testosterone production again as they discontinue their use of the prohormones or designer steroids otherwise they could be left with a variety of symptoms such as: a low sex drive, testicular atrophy, depression, easily lost muscle mass and fat gains.
By conducting a short post cycle therapy, also known as a PCT, you can maintain the majority if not all your muscle mass gains and cycle safely again after a period of time off.
Why do I need to conduct a PCT?
Many people do not see the need for post cycle therapy for prohormones, as often they feel ‘fine’. This is a common situation, as the body is very good at ‘masking’ the side effects of prohormones and designer steroids. For example, a user with severe liver damage would not notice ANY symptoms until the liver has lost 80% of it’s function. So for your own safety and likelihood of maintaining gains, conduct a comprehensive PCT!
Traditionally, for a post cycle therapy for prohormones, users would use pharmaceutical grade compounds such as: Selective Oestrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) or Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HcG) to force the body to produce testosterone again. This would be conducted for a set number of weeks, before either taking some time off their anabolic compounds or starting another cycle.
However, these compounds are not without their own side effects, SERMs in particular can produce serious additional liver stress, induce eye damage and reduce growth factors in the body, whilst HcG must be injected and can cause desensitisation of the testicles if administered incorrectly.
These compounds are also controlled substances and cannot be obtained legally without a doctor’s prescription, hence we do not recommend people attempt to purchase or locate such substances.
So How Should You Conduct Your Post Cycle Therapy For Prohormones?
A great PCT should consist of the following products:
1. Oestrogen blocker or modulator
2. Cortisol reducer
3. Natural Testosterone Booster
4. Natural Sports Supplements
After a course of prohormones or designer steroids, oestrogen levels may have risen on-cycle or will rise off-cycle (depending on the compound used) to counterbalance the changes in testosterone level in the body.
We can do this in two ways, cutting oestrogen off at it’s source (by using an aromatase inhibitor such as Reversitol, or Novedex XT) or blocking it at receptors where it can cause damage (oestrogen modulator and testosterone booster such as: Testo Plus). In this way, we prevent suppression of our own production and unwanted side effects from high oestrogen levels (e.g. gynecomastia, water retention, fat gain, loss of libido).
We recommend using both products together for best results, although trainees may choose to run either product separately.
Cortisol, a catabolic (the opposite of anabolic) hormone, is reduced whilst on-cycle and is part of the reason why such dramatic gains in muscle mass are seen with prohormones. If not addressed during your post cycle therapy for prohormones (when levels of cortisol begin to rise) then muscle mass losses can be very evident.
The use of ingredients such as 7-OH, Phosphatidylserine, 5-AT, Vitamin C and Glutamine are typically used to address the problem of high cortisol, and are very effective in helping to preserve your precious gains.
We encourage using Cortisol reducers during the entire duration of a PCT regime and the following product is recommended:
Primordial Performance: EndoAmp Max
Natural testosterone booster
Natural testosterone pills augment testosterone production by stimulating your body to produce more, they can safely be used year-round without risk of suppression and are particularly valuable during post cycle therapy. There are many different natural testosterone boosters available and trainees should pick those that they feel produces the best results in terms of libido, aggression and intensity in the gym (all signs of increased testosterone):
Anabolic Innovations: Stoked
Driven Sports: Activate Xtreme
4. Natural Sports Supplements
Whilst natural sports supplements can be very beneficial on-cycle in helping to augment the gains in muscle mass accrued, they have a real role to play during a post cycle therapy for prohormones when strength can start to drop and recovery in the gym is reduced.
We advise that the following products are part of every trainees’ PCT regime to help maximise the retention of gains post cycle:
• Creatine Monohydrate
• Beta Alanine
• Nitric Oxide Supplements
• Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) or other ‘peri’ workout beverage
• Whey Protein
For further information about how to construct a tailored post cycle therapy for prohormones regime or Prohormone Cycle, feel free to give us a call here at Maximum Sports Nutrition for FREE professional advice.