Different Approaches To PCT
Old-school approaches to post-cycle therapy have been fairly successful in restoring hormone levels and keeping gains made during cycles. Such drug therapy often includes Clomid, Nolvadex, and human chorionic-gonadotropin (hCG) in addition to various supplements. Since these drugs are only FDA approved for treating breast cancer and fertility problems, physicians are reluctant to prescribe them for PCT.
Post cycle your body is producing very little testosterone, and you are likely figuring out what to do to avoid a nasty post-cycle crash that could potentially strip away some of your hard-earned muscle. What option is best? Without an understanding of exactly what is going on in your body, and why certain compounds help to correct the situation, choosing the right post cycle program can be quite confusing. Post cycle therapy and supplementation is something that should be considered a part of the cycle because if you ignore it you will have pretty much wasted the last few weeks.
Anabolic Xtreme PCT / Designer Supplements Rebound XT
This is a hormone optimizer whose manufacturers claim it can increase your natural testosterone production by as much as 400%, while combining a new powerful anti-aromatase that decreases estrogen levels in males an average of 50%. There is also a new and highly aromatase inhibiting compound that binds to aromatase more tightly and prevents estrogen conversion.
This supplement suppresses extra estrogen and gives your testicles a jump-start. Some bodybuilders take Nolva for the same purpose. If you avoided prohormones in the past because you were afraid of the potential side effects – testicular atrophy, adverse blood lipid changes, and liver dysfunction, the makers of 6-OXO want you to rest assured that you have nothing to fear from their product – they claim that 6-OXO usage does not result in any of the aforementioned effects, and that they have the science to prove it.
DHEA, i.e. dehydroepiandrosterone, is a natural steroid hormone produced from cholesterol by the adrenal glands. Some bodybuilders use it for PCT because it gets the libido back, and some studies suggest that it is effective in regenerating atrophied testicles. It is also said to give you a better sense of well being, restore natural test production, and is not suppressive.
Clomid is simply a brand name created by Aventis for the drug clomiphene citrate. This drug is typically given to women who require aid in ovulation but many men take it as it causes an elevation in natural testosterone production. Clomid seems to be the anti-estrogen of choice for improving recovery of natural testosterone production after a cycle, improving testosterone production of endurance athletes, and it is also said to be effective in reducing risk of gynecomastia during a cycle employing aromatizable steroids.
Nolva is also an anti-estrogen, and HDL (good) cholesterol supporting drug, and a testosterone-stimulating compound.
Your PCT supplement arsenal should also include cell volumizers. There are a dozen or so "Creatine cocktail" products on the market for this purpose. One thing to note about using Creatine post-cycle: low-dose brands may not be as effective during PCT as good old Creatine monohydrate. This is because the newer products don't seem to cause as much inter-cellular water retention and bloating, which, post-cycle, is desirable in order to keep as much muscle as possible.
Keeping Your Vital Organs Healthy
A post-cycle blood work is very important. Indeed, PCT is a crucial time to baby your body by returning liver and kidney function and rebalancing blood lipids. Milk Thistle, at 500mg/day along with n-acetyl-cystine (NAC) at 1500-2500mg/day is a good starting point towards liver and kidney repair. Essential Fatty Acid blends, which contain a broad spectrum of EFAs from a variety of fat sources are the best choice for lowering blood lipids and general heart health, and should be used at 8-16g/day.
It is quite common to put on muscle after cutting, or at least the appearance of it through glycogen re-compensation. Though short-lived, this effect comes in handy for the first two weeks of PCT, as it aids in keeping up strength and workout intensity in the absence of anabolics. The best nutritional approach post cutting is an isocaloric diet, utilizing a 40/30/30 macronutrient ratio.
Plan on losing between six and ten pounds of water if you're all swollen up from aromatizing compounds. The supplements mentioned in this article will prevent water loss to some degree, but it will happen. A hyper-caloric diet is obviously a necessity here. Calorie increases along the lines of 10-15% for endomorphs, 15-20% for mesomorphs and 25-30% for ectomorphs are a good starting point.
Dietary principles are pretty much the same for all phenotypes, whether after a bulking or cutting cycle. There are a few tricks that make preparing the requisite five-to-six meals a day easier: for example, cottage cheese and boiled eggs are easy to prepare ahead of time, have a decent shelf life, and make a convenient high-protein breakfast. Besides expediency, some foods can actually help with PCT in more ways than one. Avocado is loaded with phyto-nutrients shown to lower cholesterol, protect the prostate, and reduce body weight and hepatic fat, thus improving liver function.
Post-cycle motivation is perhaps the most difficult aspect of PCT training. Push yourself to workout when you don't feel like it, or when you feel tired, and see if you don't leave the gym feeling 100% better.
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