In the world of bodybuilding, post cycle therapy (PCT) is essential for those who use anabolic androgenic steroids. Steroids are extremely helpful when increasing muscle mass and cutting the muscles into shape, but these can also be dangerous when used for long periods of time. The use of steroids is in cycles that normally last 8 to 12 weeks. After each cycle, a PCT plan needs to be implemented to help the body return to normal levels.
In order to fully understand the importance of a PCT plan, you will need to understand how steroids work and what they really do to the human body.
Why is proper Post Cycle Therapy needed
Steroids introduce testosterone to the body. The body naturally produces a certain amount of testosterone, but by introducing more of it, the body reacts by growing larger. Unfortunately, the body also detects that it already has high levels of testosterone and will stop producing the substance naturally.
In order for the body to resume its normal production of testosterone, the use of steroids must be completely stopped for a certain period of time. However, it is important to realize that once you use steroids, the body will never produce testosterone at the levels it originally produced before the use of steroids.
It will take the body a long time before it can go back to producing testosterone at an acceptable level. By implementing a PCT plan, the body is helped to quickly recover from steroid use so that another cycle can be started sooner without losing too much muscle mass.
When the body stops using steroids after a cycle, the testosterone levels in the blood start diminishing. Unfortunately, by this time, the body has already stopped producing testosterone and the body then goes into a condition called catabolism and it starts losing the muscles that were gained. In order to prevent this from happening, the body needs to start producing testosterone naturally. This is accomplished by implementing PCT supplements for a certain amount of time.
Time period of PCT
It is advisable that PCT be implemented for a period that is not shorter than 12 weeks. So, if you were using steroids on a 8 to 12 weeks cycle, you will need to stop using steroids for another 12 weeks before you resume another cycle.
You may be thinking that 12 weeks is a long time to go without steroids, but actually, 12 weeks is not nearly enough for a body to recover from the effects of steroid use. Fortunately, a PCT plan includes other substances that help the body to recover faster. No PCT plan will help the body recover fully but just enough for another cycle to be started.
A PCT plan should always include Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERM). Products of Clomiphene Citrate as for example Clomid and products of Tamoxifen Citrate like Nolvadex are the substances commonly used. What is the importance of these substances?
For the body to resume natural production of testosterone, the pituitary needs to be stimulated to produce more Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). SERM does this stimulation so that LH and FSH are produced.