It is quite common for substances which are very “dry”, that is, lower estrogen in the body, to cause a reduction in sex drive whereas those compounds which allow for some estrogen formation, tend to increase the prevalence of androgenic traits such as sex drive and aggression. Regardless of whether the user takes something that increases androgenic characteristics or not, ALL users of prohormones will expect to increase muscle mass via the anabolic characteristics of these compounds. So towards the end of a typical 4-6 week cycle a user will have gained considerable muscle mass and strength via the anabolic actions of these products while his male traits such as sex drive, and aggression will have varied depending on the nature of the supplement taken.
In most cases, the user will have congratulated himself that he has done very well from the cycle, assuming adequate nutrition and training. Inexperienced trainees tend to run a cycle of a powerful supplement like Nanodrol or Havoc, which will cause a great increase in muscle mass and strength, but not take into account what happens next. Once the cycle ends you may think your body will carry on like it was before you took the hormonal product. You may even be delusional enough to think the gains made while “on” were all down to you, but you would be very wrong indeed. After a cycle is discontinued, the exogenous substance (the prohormones used) rapidly leave the body, usually in 24-48 hrs at the most. At this point, you can no longer rely on them for either anabolic or androgenic effects. So this is where your body’s own testosterone production picks up the slack right? Remember, during a cycle your body will gradually shut down production of its testosterone to try to maintain what it considers a normal hormonal milieu.
The stronger the prohormone taken and the longer you remained on, the greater the degree to which normal testosterone levels will have been shut down. So when you come off the cycle your testosterone levels are very low. At the same time, estrogen levels tend to rise in response to low testosterone, so post cycle you are not in a very favourable place for muscle building and strength. Instead you are well placed to lose size, strength, gain fat, and, horror of horrors, if you do not take steps to counteract it, the estrogen could even cause you to gain actual breasts! During a cycle, levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol are reduced, but once the cycle ends, levels of cortisol slowly rise, usually after about a week or so. This cortisol rise will cause you to lose muscle and strength very quickly, as well as cause you to gain body fat. Clearly then, our novice user who failed to consider what would happen once he ended his cycle is in a very bad position of having low testosterone, high estrogen, and high cortisol levels. This is some place you definitely don’t want to be in for long, but without the use of ancillary supplements (PCT) it is something from which the body will only recover very slowly, at which point you may have lost all your gains from your prohormone cycle. Fortunately, we have some methods by which we can restore your body’s pre-cycle environment, while protecting your gains while “on”. Generally speaking for your post cycle therapy you need to consider the following factors: 1. Sometimes trainees may focus on only one or two of these methods, but a comprehensive approach will lead to far superior results than a narrowly focused approach. We will go through each in turn and explore possible options in each. This is the most important part in most peoples’ eyes and the one that most people will usually make some effort in addressing. A slew of products/ingredients are promoted to boost testosterone levels. There are far too many to mention but they include Anacyclus Pyrethrum, D-Aspartic Acid, Divanil, Icariin, Indole-3-Carbinol, Zinc, Resveratrol, Vitex Agnus Castus, Epimedium, and many, many more. We have noted that individual responses to testosterone boosting ingredients vary significantly so we would recommend finding an ingredient you respond well to and sticking to it and note that just because one test booster did not work for you, it does not mean none of them will. An important point which should be made is that while estrogen blockers will both reduce estrogen AND increase testosterone, the reason you would want to include a supplement which purely focuses on testosterone enhancement alone is that such products can help in areas such as increasing bioavailable testosterone in the body (free testosterone) as well as providing much needed support to mood and libido. Popular Testosterone Boosters Include: Activate Xtreme is our most popular test booster and increases both total testosterone and free testosterone for much improved results. Related to testosterone recovery, we must also look to drive down estrogen levels at the conclusion of our prohormone cycle. The sooner this is done the faster we get our testosterone levels back to normal, and the sooner sex drive rebounds especially if we combine an estrogen blocker with a test booster which is the classic way to maximise testosterone, free testosterone, mood and libido, as well as limiting the potential for any unwanted estrogenic effects caused by the rebound effect seen at the end of a prohormone cycle. This rebound effect can occur for example, when a non-aromatising prohormone is used on cycle meaning a compound that drives estrogen levels way down. However, once you remove the exogenous prohormone, the body has a tendency to overshoot estrogen production above baseline levels and if testosterone is also not recovered, this is a classic cause of post-cycle gynecomastia. A number of products have been specifically designed for the purpose of reducing estrogen, with some adding additional ingredients to facilitate other effects we desire such as not only increasing testosterone but variable such as controlling cortisol and bodyfat or increasing performance – all key facets of an intelligently constructed PCT regimen. Favoured ingredients include 7-hydroxy-4-imidazolyl-flavan, pZole , ATD, Formestane, 6-Bromo and Chrysin. Popular Estrogen Blockers Include: Driven Sports Triazole boosts strength, increases testosterone and lowers estrogen, all at the same time. Occasionally you hear reports of users reporting issues with gyno from compounds that do not directly agonise the estrogen receptor such as methasterone (super-drol), 19-norandrostenediol or dienolone focused products in particular.
In this situation the culprit is more than likely a related steroid hormone called progesterone. To inhibit progesterone during both the cycle itself and during post cycle therapy is therefore a wise move for people who wish to cover their bases during a prohormone cycle and afterwards. Compared to estrogen lowering ingredients there is a relative paucity of options for those seeking to control progesterone.
The primary ingredients used to lower progesterone include the herb vitex agnus, Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate and mucuna pruriens in the product. This is one case where propietary blends are best avoided in our view as the dosing is very important. Fortunately, both of the options include all three ingredients and disclose the dose in each.