An introduction to SARMs and PCT
Do you really need PCT after running a SARMs cycle? This is a very common question. It is a sad fact that there is so much information about the most powerful SARMs and the best SARMs vendor but very limited details on what PCT really is. PCT or Post Cycle Therapy is a vital part of any SARMs cycle. In as much as SARMs are marketed as a safer alternative to steroids and prohormones, they still affect our bodies in more way than we can imagine. Yes, they will help us gain all the muscle mass we need, shred all the extra fat and enjoy enormous strengths but all this is achieved by changing several key aspects in our bodies. For one, SARMs will affect hormonal balance in the body. While SARMs are not really synthetic hormones, they will still affect the amount of testosterone and estrogen levels in the body. Normally, users won’t see or feel much effect while on their SARMs cycles, but all hell starts to break loose when they get off the drugs.
In all fairness, though, not all SARM cycles require PCT. Some of these compounds are known to be mild enough to be used by some people for a complete cycle without interfering too much with their hormonal levels. Once the cycle is over, a break is usually more than enough for their bodies to restore optimal homeostasis without the need of using any additional medications. The problem, however, is that knowing whether you require PCT or not can be very tricky. Some people will rely on how they feel, but this is just not reliable. Also, just because someone didn’t go through PCT after a cycle with a particular SARM doesn’t mean that everyone can do the same. Remember, people react differently to these compounds. The only way to truly tell whether you need PCT or not is by getting blood work. By doing bloodwork before and after your cycle, it’ll be easy to tell whether your hormone levels are within the required levels or if you will need some medications to do the job. If you can’t afford the bloodwork, I’d advise you just to play it safe and run PCT regardless of how you feel, the SARM you used or the duration of your cycle. It’s better to be safe than sorry, right?
Why do you need PCT after a SARMs cycle?
To help you understand why you need PCT, let me just explain to you what happens to your body every time you are on a particular SARM.
First, when introduced in the body, the working mechanism of SARMs increases androgenic hormones such as DHT and Testosterone. It’s from the increase in the amount of testosterone that the body gets into an anabolic state which promotes the growth of muscle mass and cutting down of fat. All this is like a dream come true to bodybuilders but do you know what else happens? The production of natural testosterone is suppressed. That’s because when your body detects high t-levels, it reacts by slowing down the production of natural testosterone. Users won’t notice this, because the SARMs are still in their system, but once the cycle comes to an end, testosterone suppression starts to manifest itself in various ways including reduced libido and loss of muscle mass among others.
Something else that happens when you stop taking the SARMs is that the levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone will crash. As this happens, the amount of Sex Hormone Binding Globulin (SHBG) and cortisol will go up. SHBG, as you know, is notorious in reducing the amount of free testosterone in the body. It traps the hormone making it impossible for your body to utilize it for muscle building, strength, sexual activities, and other matters masculine. Meanwhile, cortisol will mess you up mentally, and Estrogen levels will go off the roof. You will notice the increase in estrogen levels in the form of fat deposits in various parts of the body. Now, take a moment and imagine having worked hard so much through an 8-weeks cycle only for the gains to disappear in two weeks or so simply because you didn’t bother to run PCT!
There are several PCT options out there. Most of these drugs can easily be purchased from online stores and even from pharmaceutical outlets. A few other drugs will require a prescription from a licensed professional, but the good news is that these are more effective in PCT involving steroids and not SARMs.
With that said, here are the common PCT drugs that you can use:
- Aromatase Inhibitors
Aromatase Inhibitors, as the name suggest, are used to inhibit the action of Aromatase, Aromatase is an enzyme that stimulates the conversion of androgens to estrogen. The perfect example of an AI is Arimistane. By using these drugs, you will counter the devastating effects of excess estrogen in the body, such as the infamous man boobs or gynecomastia.
SERMs or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators are the opposite of SARMs. These inhibit the impact of estrogen in the pituitary gland resulting in the release of more Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Luteinizing Hormone.
The most common types of SERMs available today include:
Nolvadex is also referred to as Tamoxifen Citrate or Tamoxifen. It was initially used in treating breast cancer, but in the bodybuilding industry, it is more popular as an effective PCT drug. It works pretty well without leaving the user nursing any harsh adverse reactions. The only side effects that one may encounter are stomach issues, headaches, and hot flashes, and these usually disappear with time.
A regular PCT involving Nolvadex should start two weeks after concluding your SARMs cycle, and it should run for four weeks. You can start with 40mg of the drug per day in the first two weeks and reduce the dose to 20mg per day for the final two weeks.
Clomid is also known as Clomiphene or Clomifene. It is another very effective PCT drug that blocks estrogen and promotes the secretion of testosterone in the testes. Unfortunately, it is also a very harsh drug associated with serious adverse reactions such as vision problems and mood swings. It’s for this reason that I believe you should only resort to using Clomid if you are coming off a powerful or prolonged SARMs cycle.
A typical PCT involving Clomid should run for four weeks. The exact dosages will vary hugely depending on how hormonal levels were affected but in most cases, 50mg per day in the first two weeks and 25mg per day in the final two weeks is enough to get the job done. Given the brutal nature of this drug, it is advisable to avoid going beyond the 50mg per day mark.
If you’ve gone through SARMs and bodybuilding forums, you must have seen people talking about using Clomid and Nolvadex together. This is a common practice which I don’t really recommend. I mean, if you are coming from a mild SARM cycle, a PCT with Nolvadex or even an AI such as Arimistane should be enough, and if you’re from using potent SARMs like say Ligandrol then Clomid should do the trick; so what’s the point of taking the two compounds together? For some reason, some guys still stack these two, and if you’re looking to go down that path then I’d recommend that you follow this guide:
Take 40mg per day of Nolvadex and 50mg per day of Clomid for the first two weeks and then reduce the doses by half for the next two weeks.