10-07-2009, 11:43 AM #1
Post Cycle Recovery - Clomid, Nolvadex, Pregnyl
What option is best? Without an understanding of exactly what is going on in your body, and why certain compounds help to correct the situation, choosing the right post-cycle program can be quite confusing. The passages below will therefore try to explain the role of anti-estrogens such as clomid and Nolvadex and also the use of HCG during this delicate window of time, while detailing an effective strategy for their use.
The use of Clomid
What is it?
Clomiphene Citrate or Clomid is an anti-estrogen commonly used for improving recovery of natural testosterone production after a steroid cycle and is also effective in reducing the risk of gynecomastia during a cycle employing aromatizable steroids . Clomid is a mixed estrogen agonist/antagonist (activator/blocker).
Why is it used?
For the steroid user clomid therapy is useful as a means of jump-starting testosterone production post cycle.The Clomid stimulates the hypophysis to release gonadotrophic hormones. These hormones are known as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones stimulate the testes to produce more testosterone. The results of this increase of the body's own natural testosterone production also causes blood levels rise which in turn compensates for the diminishing levels of the steroids and minimises any post cycle muscle losses.
Who should use it ?
Anyone who has come off of a cycle of Testosterone will certainly require the use of clomid or Nolvadex in their post cycle therapy but not all steroids will cause shut down. The length of the cycle and the dosage of the steroids being used also need to be taken into account when considering weather or not Clomid is required. Clomid is also used as an anti-oestrogen. It binds to oestrogen receptors on cells.This blocking of the oestrogen into the blood minimizes any negative oestrogenic effects such as gynecomastia and water retention which could occur if higher levels of oestrogen in the body were allowed to aromatize from the oestrogen.Clomid is infact a very weak anti-oestrogen. If the use of clomid is being considered soley for the purpose of an anti-oestrogen then nolvadex or Arimidex would be a farbetter choice. They are both far stronger and much more effective in use as an anti-oestrogens than clomid. Being such a week anti-oestrogen it should therefore not be relied upon as an effective anti-oestrogen when using steroids that aromatize at a rapid rate.
When should Clomid be commenced ?
The correct time to commence Clomid therapy depends on the length of cycle and also the type of steroids being used. The commencement of clomid use is determined by the half life of the steroids being used. As all steroids have different different half lifes the commencement time of clomid post cycle will also be different and dependant on the steroids used. If commencement of Clomid is started when the androgen levels in the blood are still too high it will be a waste. It is therefore important to know the halflife of the steroids being used so that the clomid can be taken when the androgen levels in the body have become low enough for the clomid to become effective. It is important however not to wait too long as this could then result in the loss of gains.
The list below displays the times that should be allowed for at the end of the cycle before commencing with Clomid therapy. The times are different for each steroid. So from the chart we can see that if we were cycling just Dianabol that the clomid could be commenced 4-8 hours after the last dose and continued for 3 weeks , But if the Dianbol was being cycled with Testosterone enanthate we would need to wait 2 weeks from the last shot and continue the clomid for 3 weeks.
Androlic 50: 8 - 12 hours / 3 weeks
Deca durabolin : 3 weeks / 4 weeks
Anabol: 4 - 8 hours / 3 weeks
Equipoise : 17 - 21 days / 3 weeks
Trenbolone acetate: 3 days / 3 weeks
Sustanon : 3 weeks / 3 weeks
Testosterone Cypionate : 2 weeks / 3 weeks
Testosterone Enanthate : 2 weeks / 3 weeks
Testosterone Propionate : 3 days / 3 weeks
Testosterone Suspension : 4 - 8 hours 2-3 weeks
Use of Clomid during a cycle
The use of clomid depending on weather the user is bulking or cutting is not really a factor although it is for the post cycle therapy .When we use anabolic steroids, the level of androgens in the body rise which cause the androgen receptors in the body to become more highly activated and ultimately cause the testes to stop producing testosterone. During a cycle the level of androgens in the body will normaly be so hgh that the use of Clomid concurrently will not result in keeping natural testosterone production up. It will be almost all but completely shut off although it is sometimes common for users cycling high doses of androgens to use a short burst of clomid mid cycle in an attempt to maintain natural testosterone production and hopefully aid the post cycle recovery/ muscle loss. But it would be almost impossible for the user to know with any real certainty if there was any effect due to high level of androgens in the body. So the only real purpose of Clomid for use during a cycle would be as an anti-oestrogen.
How To Take Clomid
Clomid need only be taken once a day due to its long half life. In general a dosage of 100mg a day for the first 10 days followed by 50mg a day for the next 10 days will suffice.
Post-Cycle LH Levels
Post Cycle Testosterone Levels
Figure I. LH and Testosterone measurements starting 1 week after the last injection of 250mg of testosterone enanthate (pretreated measures were 5 mU/ml and 4.5 ng/ml respectively). Note that between weeks 1 and 5, as testosterone levels are declining due to the cessation of exogenous androgen administration, LH levels are already rebounding. From weeks 5 to 10 testosterone levels are at or very near baseline, to spite the substantial LH levels by this point. No significant increase in testosterone is noted until after the 10-week mark.
The Role Of Anti-Estrogens
It is important to understand that anti-estrogens alone do not do much to restore endogenous testosterone release after a cycle. Normally they only foster LH by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens, and we now see that LH rebounds quickly without help anyway. Plus, post cycle there is not an elevated level of estrogen for anti-estrogens to block, as testosterone (now suppressed) is a major substrate used for the synthesis of estrogens in men. Serum estrogen levels will actually be lower here as a result, not higher.
Any estrogen rebound that occurs post-cycle likewise happens concurrently with a rebound in testosterone levels, not prior to it (note there is an imbalance in the ratio post cycle, but this is another topic altogether). We are seeing no mechanism in which anti-estrogenic drugs can really help here. We can see why this fact would not be difficult to overlook, however. The medical literature is filled with references showing anti-estrogenic drugs like Clomid and Nolvadex to increase LH and testosterone levels, and in normal situations these drugs do indeed increase endogenous androgen production by blocking the negative feedback of estrogens.
Combine this with the fact that just as many studies can be found to show that steroid use lowers LH levels when suppressing testosterone, and we can see how easy it would be to jump to the conclusion that post-cycle we need to focus on restoring LH. We would miss the true problem of testicular desensitization unless we were really looking into the actual recovery rates of the hormones involved. When we do, we immediately see little value in using anti-estrogenic drugs.
HCG ( Pregnyl )
So we now see, contrary to the dominating opinion of the times, that anti-estrogens alone will do little to raise testosterone levels in the early weeks of the post-cycle window. This leaves us to focus on a very different level of the HPTA in order to hasten recovery: the testes. For this we will need the injectable drug HCG. If you are not familiar with it, HCG, or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin , is a prescription fertility agent that mimics the bodies own natural LH.
Although the testes are equally desensitized to this drug as LH (they both work through the same mechanism), we are administering it as a measured drug and are therefore not constrained by the limits of our own LH production. We similarly can use HCG to provide a bolus dose of LH (of our choosing), which works only to augment the recovering LH levels we already have in the body. In essence we are looking to shock them with an overwhelmingly high level of LH activity, coming from both endogenous and exogenous sources.
We want it to reach a level far above what our body, even when supported by anti-estrogens, could possibly do on its own. The result can be a rapid restoration of original testicular mass and functioning, which would allow normal levels of testosterone to be output much sooner than without such an ancillary program. What we are looking at now is HCG actually being the pivotal post-cycle drug, while anti-estrogens are relegated to a supportive role at best.
Finalizing The Program
An ideal post-cycle recovery program will focus on two things really. The first is hitting the testes hard with HCG. It is important, however, not to overuse this drug. Taken for too long, or at too high a dosage, the LH receptor will actually become desensitized to LH(2), which may further exacerbate our post-cycle problem instead of helping it (this is why I am not in favor of regular HCG use on-cycle). My experience with HCG has led me to feel comfortable using it for a course of three weeks, at a dosage of maybe 5000-7500IU weekly.
Often the last week I limit the dose to 2,500IU, unless the cycle has been particularly long or potent. This is timed so at least half of the total administered drug dosage will be given when there is still exogenous steroid in the body. On our graph above this would be at about the 3-week mark after the last injection of testosterone.
This will give the testes some time to get back into shape before the baseline is actually hit with T levels. Secondly, Anti-estrogens are used to play a supportive role at the same time, so 20mg of Nolvadex or 50-100mg of Clomid would typically be added . This is to combat the suppressive effects of estrogen as testosterone levels start to go back up, as well as potential side effects (HCG has been shown to increase testicular aromatase activity as well (3)).
Although in the first couple of weeks the anti-estrogen does little, it may indeed be helpful when testosterone levels actually start to get back up near normal. To further stimulate the HPTA, and support continuingly high LH levels, the anti-estrogen remains to be used for 2 to 3 weeks after the HCG therapy has been stopped. A sample program, as it would be instituted in our sample post-cycle window, is provided below.
Sample Post cylcle Plan
5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
5000IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
2500IU HCG total + 20mg Nolvadex daily
20mg Nolvadex daily
20mg Nolvadex daily
20mg Nolvadex daily
We can see now that those advocating the sole use of Clomid post cycle are sorely missing the mark. The problem goes much deeper than just getting LH levels back.
In fact, we see that LH doesn’t even need much help kicking back into gear, and a drug like Clomid will do very little to help this anyway in the absence of significant estrogen levels anyway. HCG is a drug with undeniable usefulness during the post-cycle window, and many bodybuilders have been much too quick to abandon it. It is truly fundamental to an effective recovery program, and would not consider any dose or combination of anti-estrogens or aromatase inhibitors capable of doing the job without it.
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