Steroids Side EffectsUsername or Email Address. This leaves you questioning: Was it through hard work, a rock-solid diet and the right supplementation plan? Or tesyosterone it through the means of illegal practices, such as steroid use? Well, the former is a equipoise bristol approach and the latter is not. Steroids throw the natural workings of your body totally out of whack.
The Ultimate Guide to Post Cycle Therapy
The amount of careful forethought and planning that a person needs to apply before starting to use steroids is the same amount of forethought and planning that needs to be applied before coming off steroid cycles. Knowing about post cycle therapy is important because everyone has to stop their steroid cycle sooner or later, and they need to know how to adjust their body to this change.
Some people think that post cycle therapy can do miracles for them when they want to come off the cycle. But this is not true. Limited knowledge about post cycle therapies cannot do much good.
This is why any person should be fully equipped with proper knowledge about post cycle therapy before starting one. When an athlete is on a steroid cycle, the testosterone or other anabolic steroids that are administered to him make his body retain more nitrogen and use up the ingested protein more effectively for creating muscle mass.
This process affects many anabolic activities like increasing IGF, decreasing cortisol, increasing RBC count, and protein synthesis. When an athlete is on cycle, the anabolic steroids in his blood increase the levels of androgens in his body. This is similar to the androgen increase in boys during puberty. There is another factor that needs to be focused on before you can fully understand what happens after the end of a steroid cycle.
This factor is called the negative feedback cycle of testosterone, and this is what controls the HPTA or the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Testicular axis. When testosterone is generated in the body, it undergoes some processes that tell the pituitary gland to signal the production of testosterone to be stopped. When testosterone is not being produced, however, the pituitary goes back to its normal functioning and generates signals to start its production again.
This goes on in a loop so that testosterone levels never rise above a certain limit. This process is called homeostasis. When the athlete is taking steroids, he breaks this cycle by increasing testosterone and androgen levels by too far above the limit.
This causes the pituitary gland to stop the endogenous production of testosterone completely. And in this way, homeostasis ends. Being on a cycle, the athlete will never lack the androgens needed by his body because he is supplying them externally. The problem starts when the cycle ends. The pituitary cannot immediately understand that the external intake of the androgens has stopped and it needs to signal the start of the internal production.
The pituitary eventually does understand this, but it takes longer than what the body can survive on healthily. This is called the lag time, and it is extremely catabolic. It makes the athlete lose out most of what he has gained through the use of steroids.
As discussed before, natural androgen production of the body is restrained during a steroid cycle. On the other hand, the hormones provided from outside the body create changes in the levels of the other hormones. For example, when the testosterone levels in the body of a person increase due to steroid use, the levels of estrogen and progesterone also increase. But the steroids suppress the natural production of testosterone. So when the steroid cycle is discontinued, the testosterone production still remains suppressed.
The high levels of estrogen and progesterone can meanwhile bring adverse changes to the body like water retention and gynecomastia enlarged breasts. High estrogen levels in a male body can create psychological unrest as well, like insecurity, being too emotional about everything and no sex drive or energy. This calls for the need of a way to make the natural testosterone to be brought back to normal.
Even if a post cycle therapy is not followed, the body will return to its normal ways of working, but that will take a lot of time — close to a year. Meanwhile, the catabolic time lag makes the athlete lose his steroid gains due to altered hormone levels. This is because of the following reason. Testosterone ensures that the body does not lose much protein. If it is not present, the muscle mass that was built during the cycle will be burnt away. Apart from being stressful for the body, it is also extremely unhealthy.
The time it takes for the body to naturally regain its normal functions depends upon the amount of time that the athlete was on the steroids, as well as the strength of the steroids he was taking. Leaving the body to naturally regain its functions may be dangerous, because the longer it takes the more muscle the athlete will lose.
Following a post cycle therapy ensures that the body regains its normal production of testosterone quickly, and the gains from the steroid cycle are retained. The correct supplements make a post cycle therapy easy to follow and gain the correct results. There are two phases in which a post cycle therapy works.
First is boosting the levels of testosterone, and the next is controlling the levels of estrogen in the body. The drugs used for a post cycle therapy first bring back the testes to the normal size and proper functioning. After that the hypothalamus as well as the pituitary gland is blocked from the influence of estrogen, because estrogen inhibits the normal production of testosterone. Athletes should always remember that they should not expect a post cycle therapy to miraculously return their testosterone levels to what they originally were, before using steroids.
They should also remember that in case they had injured their HPTA beyond repair, then no post cycle therapy plan can help them. If the athlete followed a steroid cycle responsibly, only then will a post cycle therapy reap him any gains.
Generally, a post cycle therapy should only be implemented when the athlete is completely out of the steroid cycle and is not using any anabolic steroid at all. Also, a post cycle therapy can help an athlete if he plans to stay out of cycle for a long time. The athlete should be planning to stay off the cycle for at least 12 weeks, excluding the therapy period. If the athlete plans not to take steroids for a time period, that is shorter than 12 weeks, then he better not use a post cycle therapy.
No doubt he will lose part of the gains that he achieved during the cycle, but he can gain them back when he has started the cycle again. Unless there has only been a minor inhibition of the HPTA, implementing a post cycle therapy for a short period of time can in fact cause more stress to the body.
This is because it will stimulate the natural testosterone production only to stop it shortly again. Minimizing stress during a post cycle therapy is extremely important, so a short-time PCT can produce adverse results.
It will create an unnecessary shock for the body. The post cycle therapy schedule should be maintained for about one month. Most products for post cycle therapy will last only this long, anyway. The average time frame that athletes need to be off the cycle after the therapy depends upon how long their cycle was.
On an average, athletes should take a month of the therapy, and then stay off steroids for another month. After these two months, the athletes can go back to their steroid cycle.
A good way to do this is by following the instructions from the manufacturer of the PCT products. The products that will best help an athlete get back to normal bodily functions is one that has the correct combinations of the estrogen control and testosterone boosting abilities.
Using dietary supplements during a post cycle therapy is not a bad idea. In fact, by using the appropriate ancillary supplements, athletes can ensure that they maintain the gains that they have achieved during their cycle, as well as stay healthy. The D-Aspartic acid is one of the amino acids that can raise the levels of testosterone in the body.
It works through two mechanisms. First, it stimulates the pituitary gland to release the luteinizing hormone. This hormone then connects itself to the receptor cells in the testes to make them produce testosterone.
After this, the second thing it does is, it increases the levels of a protein called the StAR Steroidogenic Acute Regulatory protein.
This protein is a limiting factor in the production of testosterone. Elevated StAR levels means increased production of testosterone. A point to note, however, is that this compound should be administered in adequate doses for appropriate results to be achieved. Next, the use of the ZMA is also for increasing testosterone levels. The last compound, Tribulus Terrestris, is a plant extract that not onlyhelps the body regain its normal hormone functions, but also boosts levels of energy in an athlete.
It works by causing the luteinizing hormone to be released, boosting testosterone production. Next comes the phase of controlling estrogen levels. This can be done by 2 compounds — Trans-Resveratrol and Agaricus Bisporus. Trans-Resveratrol controls aromatase, which is the enzyme that makes estrogen out of testosterone. This way, the compound keeps a tab on how much testosterone is broken down and converted into estrogen. Agaricus Bisporus is found in button mushrooms white.
This compound not only inhibits the production of aromatase, but can also play a vital role in controlling breast cancer. For the inhibition of progesterone levels, the best compound to be used is any that includes the Vitex herb in it. In fact, if Vitex is used during the cycle itself, then it can prevent likelihood of creating gynecomastia through progestogenic pathways.
Creatine and beta-alanine supplements are good for increasing bodily strength. To restore the health of the athlete, substances like Milk Thistle and N-Acetyl Cysteine can be used. SHBG binds itself with testosterone and renders it useless.
Unless the released testosterone remains free, it cannot be used by the body in functions like building muscles, providing energy, etc. By suppressing the levels of SHBG, Vitamin D ensures that the testosterone that is released is free for use by the body. Also, it is common for athletes to overlook the danger of testicular atrophy in their need for building muscles. Incorporating a plan to prevent atrophy inside the steroid cycle, rather than after it, is a better way to make the post cycle therapy a success.
Incorporating about a weeklong administration of compounds that stimulate the testes would help prevent atrophy. The compounds that can help during a cycle to prevent atrophy include not only HCG, but also compounds like bromocriptine, arimidex and Clomid. While arimidex and Clomid prevent unnecessary atrophy by working on several characteristics of the HTPA, bromocriptine keeps a check on prolactin and keeps erectile function and sperm production healthy.
Care should be taken while using bromocriptine because excessive use of this compound can create loss of appetite and reduced sensitivity of the receptors. Post cycle therapies are different for every different individual, and this difference arises out of a number of factors.