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Insane In The Membrane: Anything And Everything's Fair Game

Lost In Limbo

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by , 11-27-2007 at 12:01 AM (1180 Views)

Most of the time, those of us who are nearing the end of a cycle shudder at the very thought of post-cycle therapy (PCT) looming over the horizon. The mood swings; the loss of strength; the erosion of muscle mass; the unpredictability of the libido; and the dreaded return of the flab; all these symptoms that are associated with PCT makes us anxious at the very thought of it. However, with a well planned PCT regimen and diet readjustment, the more experienced ones amongst us know exactly how minimize these negative consequences while simultaneously bracing ourselves for certain factors that cannot be controlled in this most trying time. For me, therefore, PCT is not what I dread; it's the period after it that gets all my neurons in a twist: I call it the Post-PCT blues.

Here's why. You see, when you're on a bulking cycle or a cutting cycle, you know what goals you're after; either you are striving to gain mass or lose fat. Even with PCT, there is that clarity that comes from doing what it takes to maintain what you worked so hard to accomplish. But after itís all over, when your natural hormone levels have been restored, for the most part, and your body composition has stabilized at a new equilibrium, where do you go from there? What do you do in this time off between cycles? What should be your goals? For me, and I am sure a lot of bros out there, coming up with a game plan can be difficult. Should you continue to gain mass in a painfully slow manner that cannot compare to the gains you make on gear, not to mention the fat that hops along for the ride because we lack the nutrient partitioning effect we get on cycle? Do you try to get leaner but risk losing muscle, now that you donít have the muscle-sparing benefits of steroids? Do you maintain what you have till the next cycle comes along? There are many directions to go indeed, and we could be caught in the crossroads. However, we have to make a choice, albeit a difficult one, if we are to continue on our quest, even though we feel like Popeye without his spinach. Our goals also need to be more realistic in terms of what we can expect.

I am ashamed to admit but after most of my cycles, I have usually failed to come up with the aforementioned game plan, and found myself caught in a vicious vortex down to Fatville. First, I lose the motivation to train because I donít know what I need to be doing. As a result, my routine unravels into irregular and listless training sessions (perhaps once a week, sometimes two or three) that are the result of guilt rather than the anticipation of a great workout. In one of my past post PCT periods, this situation snowballed into me falling completely off the bandwagon: I didnít train for six months! Secondly, as my routine goes, so does my diet. It starts off with a donut here or a bag of M&Ms there. Eventually, I'm pretty much on autopilot and eating whatever I want, whenever I want. As my pants become tighter and I'm down to the last 2 notches on my belt, I get even more depressed and pig out. Hell, if Iím gonna look like the Michelin man, I might as well enjoy the ride! Lastly, the feeling I get when I walk back into the gym and see all the big and muscular regulars, or when I browse a health magazine as see those toned physiques with their six packs, is just devastating! You realize how much you've lost and how much more you have to make up as opposed to if you had just stayed on course the whole time.

So, this time around, after coming out of my most recent cutter, I intend to have a game plan. I am doing PCT right now and haven't lost much strength or size. This is what I have in mind:

1. Since I'm lean now, I am going to keep it that way by going on a clean bulk after PCT.
2. I will be using hgh and slin in this off time to maximize my gains.
3. I will start the Slingshot Training system, which gives me something to look forward to.
4. Furthermore, my goals will be realistic: even gaining 5-7 lbs of LBM between now till my next cycle 5-6 months from now will be considered right on track, as long as my BF% doesn't go up that much.

In general however, I would say a person coming off a cycle needs to determine his goals based on the cycle he underwent. Like me, if someone was coming off a cutter, they would ideally opt for a nice clean bulk post PCT: On the other hand, someone coming off a bulker should focus on naturally shedding the excess fat (after PCT) for a couple of weeks, which would prime them for the clean bulk they should be doing next during their time off.

I am nearing 30 and I know with every year that passes, my body is less likely to respond favorably to fat loss. Furthermore, these extremes of eating like a pig for half the year and burning it all off the other half cannot be good on the body. It would be far better to keep as lean as possible with a good diet so that there won't be much to burn off next time, ensuring that I spend less time in a caloric deficit and more time on muscle anabolism. Also, I wait less in between my cycles because time off is commensurate to time on, especially when coming off a cutting cycle.

Over and out,

Updated 11-27-2007 at 12:05 AM by InsaneInTheMembrane

Do as I say not as I do