Your Cart is Empty

Back To Shop

What is post-cycle therapy (PCT), and why is it needed after the steroid cycle?

What is post-cycle therapy (PCT), and why is it needed after the steroid cycle?

Post cycle therapy (PCT) is an essential process that should follow each cycle of anabolic steroids to help recover normal hormonal function and retain muscle gains. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about planning and implementing effective PCT protocols after running cycles using compounds like testosterone or more powerful steroid stacks.

What is Post Cycle Therapy?


Post cycle therapy, post cycle after steroids,

Post cycle therapy (PCT) refers to the 4-12 week period immediately after a cycle of anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) where interventions are used to stabilize hormone production and regain health.

PCT involves the use of medications, supplements, and strategies to boost suppressed testosterone production after the exogenous hormones from steroids clear the body. This helps you adapt to normal hormone balance again and minimize loss of muscle gains.

Without a proper PCT plan after a cycle, you’ll struggle with low testosterone called hypogonadism along with its symptoms of loss of energy, strength, libido, lean tissue, and more. Estrogen may also rebound and cause side effects like gynecomastia as testosterone levels dip unless managed. A well-designed PCT helps counter this.

When is Post Cycle Therapy Required?

Here are some scenarios where implementing a robust PCT protocol after a cycle is crucial:

  • After any cycle of anabolic steroids like testosterone, Dianabol, Trenbolone, Anadrol, etc. These suppress natural testosterone production which requires restoration after the cycle ends through PCT.
  • Following the use of other hormones and performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) like human growth hormone (HGH), melatonin, thyroxine, insulin, etc. These affect endocrine function and hormone balance requiring normalization afterwards.
  • When transitioning from anabolic steroid use to being completely drug-free. PCT helps “bridge” you to full natural hormone production and reducing muscle catabolism in the interim.
  • To treat symptoms of hypogonadism when cycling off steroids. PCT will restore normal testosterone function.

The more potent and longer the duration of steroids used, the more crucial an effective well-planned PCT becomes to help the body re-normalize itself after being exposed to exogenous hormones.

Goals of Post Cycle Therapy


PCT, testosterone

Here are the main objectives to achieve with PCT after finishing any anabolic steroid or PED cycle:

Restart Natural Testosterone Production

The number one goal is bringing your body’s natural hormonal system and testosterone production back online in a reasonable timeframe after being suppressed during the cycle.

Maintain Muscle Gains

By normalizing testosterone, the catabolic state is minimized and much of the muscle mass built during the steroid cycle will be retained.

Restore General Wellbeing and Libido

With natural testosterone levels back, energy, mood, cognition, sexuality, motivation and other general health markers improve, compared to feeling lethargic and depressed with low testosterone.

Mitigate Side Effects

Proper PCT will help reduce potential side effects like gynecomastia which can flare up from hormonal fluctuations post-cycle. Estrogen is controlled.

Prepare for Next Cycle

An effective PCT primes your body with a “clean slate” to respond positively to the next planned cycle after you’ve fully recovered.

Thoughtful planning of a complete PCT makes all the difference between retaining your hard-earned muscle gains after a cycle versus losing many of the benefits.

When to Start Post Cycle Therapy

It’s important to begin Post Cycle Therapy at the right moment for maximum effectiveness:

Immediately After Ending Steroids

There is no benefit to waiting or taking time off after ending a steroid cycle before starting PCT. Begin your PCT protocol right away on the first day after your final steroid dose to start restoring your hormones.

Extend Post Cycle Therapy  Equal to Cycle Length

Run your PCT compounds or regimen for a duration equal to or ideally slightly longer than your preceding steroid cycle to allow sufficient recovery time. So 12 weeks on cycle = 12 weeks Post Cycle Therapy.

After Orals, Before Esters Clear

For steroid stacks with shorter acting orals and longer acting esters, begin Post Cycle Therapy when the orals clear first, not after the esters clear. This prevents crashing before esters are out.

Following these simple timing guidelines optimizes your hormonal recovery and stabilization.

Best Post Cycle Therapy Supplements and Medications

supplements to increase testosterone

Certain core compounds form the foundation of most effective Post Cycle Therapy protocols after anabolic steroid cycles:


Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators like ClomidNolvadex, and Toremifene all stimulate the HPTA axis to produce more LH/FSH and in turn endogenous testosterone production. They also control estrogen receptor activity.

Clomid is considered one of the most powerful SERMs, rapidly restoring testosterone levels. Nolvadex is likely the most widely used and well-tolerated SERM for Post Cycle Therapy.


Human Chorionic Gonadotropin mimics LH to stimulate testicular Leydig cell testosterone secretion. This directly signals the testes to start producing testosterone again.

Aromatase Inhibitors

AromasinArimidex, and Letrozole are examples. They prevent the conversion of rising testosterone to excess estrogen to control ratio and effects.


Dehydroepiandrosterone provides a testosterone precursor to amplify natural production. The adrenals secrete DHEA which converts into active sex steroids.

By combining a SERM, HCG, an AI, and DHEA, all mechanisms for restoring testosterone and regulating estrogen are covered. Additional supporting supplements may further aid Post Cycle Therapy.

Sample Beginner Post Cycle Therapy Protocol

Here is a basic sample Post Cycle Therapy plan for a beginner finishing a simple 12 week cycle of a single compound like testosterone cypionate:

Weeks 1-4:

  • HCG 500 IU every other day
  • Nolvadex 20mg/day
  • Zinc/DAA supplement

Weeks 5-8:

  • Nolvadex 10mg/day
  • Zinc/DAA supplement

HCG jumpstarts testosterone production while Nolvadex blocks estrogen receptors. Zinc and DAA provide testosterone precursor support.

Advanced Post Cycle Therapy Protocol Example

A more aggressive Post Cycle Therapy sample plan for an advanced user after a hardcore 16 week steroid cycle stack could be:

Weeks 1-6:

Weeks 7-10:

  • Nolvadex 10mg/day
  • DHEA 25mg/day
  • Zinc/DAA supplement
  • Continue lifting weights and cardio

This robust PCT regimen includes high dose HCG, the powerful SERMs Clomid and Nolvadex, the aromatase inhibitor Aromasin, and testosterone booster DHEA which covers all bases.

Designing An Effective PCT Protocol

Keep these factors in mind when tailoring your own PCT:

Match Length to Cycle

In most cases, run PCT for equal duration as your preceding steroid cycle length.

Begin With HCG

Start injecting HCG prior to the very end of your cycle to have it already stimulating testosterone before full suppression occurs.

Taper Doses Down

Don’t abruptly discontinue PCT drugs. Taper down doses at the halfway point to prevent hormone crashes.

Support Health and Wellness

Continue exercise, nutrition, supplements, restful sleep and stress control to support recovery.

Get Bloodwork Done

Get bloodwork during PCT to confirm your testosterone, LH, FSH and estrogen levels are normalizing.

Be Patient

It takes time for your endocrine system to fully recover and rebalance after being suppressed from AAS like testosterone. Persevere through any low T symptoms until PCT restores your hormones.

Post Cycle Therapy Mistakes to Avoid

Some common PCT pitfalls to be aware of:

No PCT Protocol

Not implementing any PCT plan after a demanding cycle is a sure way to lose most of the gains and struggle with crashing testosterone levels. Always run proper PCT.

Underdosed Compounds

Using mild OTC supplements alone instead of clinical serms, HCG and AIs is often not potent enough for sufficient recovery after harsh or lengthy steroid cycles.

Inadequate Length

Cutting PCT short by a few weeks risks natural testosterone production not having enough time to fully recover, compromising results.

Insufficient Diet/Training

Neglecting nutrition, training, sleep, and general health impedes PCT recovery. Support your body during this crucial time.

Starting Too Late

Delaying PCT gives your body extra time in an overly suppressed state losing gains. Start PCT immediately after your final steroid dose.

Avoiding these missteps helps ensure your PCT is effective. Seek guidance designing your protocol if needed.

Maximum PCT Effectiveness

To optimize results from PCT:

  • Use pharmaceutical quality drugs at proper doses. Beware underdosed or counterfeit products.
  • Split up doses evenly throughout the day to maintain stable blood plasma levels.
  • Have ancillary compounds like aromatase inhibitors on hand before starting PCT to control estrogen.
  • Continue lifting weights and nutrition to signal retention of muscle mass.
  • Adhere to a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, hydration, and stress control.
  • Be patient during this crucial hormonal recovery phase to restore optimal function and wellbeing.

Putting in the same effort planning and executing PCT as your steroid cycle itself ensures the best results long-term.

Maintenance Between Cycles

Here are some tips for the critical bridge time between finishing PCT and starting your next steroid cycle:

  • Avoid any other hormone-disrupting drugs, medications, or supplements.
  • Stick to a rigorous fitness routine to maintain muscle gains.
  • Follow a clean bulk diet high in protein with caloric surplus to support new growth.
  • Stay patient – give yourself sufficient time fully off in between consecutive cycles.
  • Use this opportunity to establish new strength and size PRs to make future gains.

Properly planned time on + PCT time off allows your body to sustain impressive enhancement long-term.

Expert Guidance For PCT?

Designing an ideal PCT protocol requires an understanding of which medications serve which purposes, proper dosing, timing of use, and mitigating side effects.

Having an experienced coach or doctor help tailor your PCT to your specific steroid cycle can make the difference in you retaining your gains or losing them after shutting down your natural hormones.

Do your research and seek qualified expertise. Hormone recovery after halting exogenous steroids demands intricate knowledge. Don’t leave your PCT up to guesswork or generic boilerplate plans.

Commonly Asked PCT Questions

Let’s explore some frequently asked questions about implementing post cycle therapy:

How Long Should You Take Off Between Steroid Cycles?

Time off between cycles should be at least equal to the length of your previous cycle to allow full recovery. So 12 weeks on cycle necessitates 12 weeks off before starting the next cycle.

Can HCG Be Used Alone Without A SERM For PCT?

While HCG alone stimulates testosterone output, it does not control estrogen feedback. A SERM is needed to re-regulate estrogen receptors – using just HCG is insufficient.

If I Don’t Cycle Again, Is PCT Needed?

Yes, even if you don’t plan to do more cycles currently, PCT helps your body start producing its own testosterone again. Remain on treatment until bloodwork confirms you’ve recovered.

Can Anabolic Steroids Permanently Suppress Testosterone?

In most cases, the testicular atrophy and low testosterone from AAS is reversible through proper PCT. But extended abuse without cycling off can potentially cause long-term impairment in some users.

What If My Hormones Haven’t Recovered Weeks After PCT?

Get bloodwork done to confirm you have clinically low testosterone. If so, extend PCT, adjust dosing, add additional medications like HMG, and monitor until your levels normalize again. See a medical specialist for evaluation if needed.

The Takeaway

Implementing an intelligently designed PCT protocol after each anabolic steroid cycle is every bit as crucial as the cycle itself when it comes to retaining your gains long-term.

Take the time to educate yourself on which compounds serve which purposes, dosing guidelines, and timing strategies. With a properly optimized plan customized to you, PCT can help you bounce back faster and stronger than ever.


Here is a conclusion summarizing the key points about post cycle therapy:

Post cycle therapy (PCT) is essential after any cycle of anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs to help the body’s natural hormonal system recover. The main goals of PCT are restarting endogenous testosterone production, retaining muscle gains, restoring wellbeing, and normalizing hormones to prevent side effects.

PCT involves using medications like SERMs, human chorionic gonadotropin, aromatase inhibitors, and DHEA at proper dosing and timing to stimulate testosterone output again and regulate estrogen levels. PCT should begin immediately after the final steroid dose and extend for the length of the full cycle.

An effective PCT protocol is meticulously designed to match the specific compounds, doses and length of the preceding cycle. Working with an experienced coach or doctor helps ensure proper recovery. With strategic planning, PCT will enable maintaining much of your muscle gains and prime your body for the next cycle.


Your Cart is Empty

Back To Shop