Ancillaries

When we supplement with anabolic androgenic steroids, our natural hormone levels are altered. Most anabolic steroids suppress our natural testosterone production to one degree or another, and if we’re not careful our estrogen and progesterone levels can increase beyond a healthy range. Of course, estrogen and progesterone can both be controlled while on cycle with proper supplementation practices, but the testosterone suppression will remain. Then we reach the point where our cycle has come to an end; we have discontinued the use of all anabolic steroids, and as a result something must be done. When we discontinue our steroid use, our testosterone levels are still in a suppressed state, and it’s often recommended you stimulate natural production and let your body normalize. While testosterone stimulation is the primary purpose, the normalization factor of a post cycle therapy plan is greatly important. Of course, as eluded to early on, sometimes implementing a PCT isn’t the best idea, and will delve into that shortly.

Your body should always remain in a very balanced state – this situation of balance in the body of an athlete is called homeostasis.

After you take any external substances, it causes a significantly increase beyond the normal or homeostatic levels your body is accustomed to, generally your body will respond by reducing its own, internal production of those substances in an effort to re-establish the ‘normal’, lower levels to which it’s accustomed.

It should go without saying; the time to implement post cycle therapy is when all anabolic steroid use has come to an end; this is a given; however, it’s not quite that black and white. If you’re going to be off-cycle for only a short period of time, a PCT plan can be counterproductive and cause even more stress to the body. Remember what we said above; limiting stress is extremely important. If you’re only going to be off-cycle for a short period of time, there’s no reason to stimulate your natural production when you’re going to immediately shut it down again; talk about a shock the body does not appreciate. For this reason, a post cycle therapy period should only be implemented when we’re going to be off-cycle for an extended period of time; meaning, no anabolic androgenic steroids will be present in our system. Of course, the next order of business is to define an extended period of time, and twelve weeks is a good place to start. If you’re going to be off-cycle less than 12 weeks, while you will lose some of your gains they will come back shortly once you go back on-cycle. Conversely, if you’re going to be off-cycle longer than 12 weeks, it’s time for a PCT plan for the reasons discussed above. It must be noted; this time frame of “off-cycle” does not include the PCT period; off means off everything.

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