Post Cycle Therapy 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide

The bodybuilder's guide to PCT and how to effectively use popular ancillary drugs on-cycle to mitigate PED side effects.
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Disclaimer: The following guide is based on my personal experience and does NOT promote the illegal use of PEDs.

You probably think the thing I get asked about the most is steroids (which ones, how much to use, whatever). But it’s the topic of post-cycle therapy (PCT) that I get questions about most often!! And for good reason. PCT is often essential for recovering from a steroid cycle and getting your natural testosterone levels back to where they should be. But it’s not only needed for steroids… SARMs and other PEDs can also be suppressive and require post-cycle therapy and/or on-cycle mitigation for the nasty side effects they produce.

One of the confusing things (especially for newbies) is that you can’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach to PCT. Three critical factors can make all the difference in how, when, and even if you do PCT. These are:

  • Your genetics and age
  • How long your cycle is
  • Which steroids/SARMs/PEDs were used, and at what dosage

This point is vital to know as well: If you’re a young guy in your late teens or early to mid-20s, then you’ll probably recover pretty quickly, and if only a moderate-length cycle at low doses is done, you can usually get away with minimal PCT.

Do you know the good old days of bodybuilding decades ago? Well, those guys wouldn’t have even thought about PCT. They relied on their natural ability to recover and moderate their steroid use. But times have changed, and we now have access to good quality and relatively safe drugs for PCT purposes. On the other hand, you can do plenty of proactive things on-cycle to help your recovery later. These are just as important as PCT itself! But this is just the beginning…

Below is my ultimate guide to everything post-cycle therapy, PLUS effectively using popular drugs like aromatase inhibitors and SERMs on-cycle to mitigate side effects proactively. You’ll also discover essential anti-estrogenic, anti-androgenic, and anti-progestogenic ancillaries, and I’ve included some tried and tested PCT protocol samples to get you going. Read on to get started!

A Note About PEDs

The off-label use of PEDs is not regulated by the FDA and may or may not be suitable for you. Before taking any PEDs, consult your physician for a thorough evaluation. The reality is that PEDs are potentially dangerous, and studies and reports clearly show some severe and life-threatening side effects. The risks are not worth it, mainly when very effective alternatives exist. Without further ado, here are my top picks:

Best Overall: Crazy Bulk Gynectrol Chest Fat Burner

Crazy Bulk Gynectrol (Chest Fat Burner)

Why I Like It: I can use Gynectrol instead of SERMs or AIs (only on mild cycles) to reverse gyno while losing overall body fat and enhancing my chest aesthetics at the same time.

It’s Worth Noting: Total breast fat reduction can take three months or more of Gynectrol use, depending on how far advanced your gyno is or how much fat you want to lose.

Does anything strike fear into the heart of a bodybuilder more than gynecomastia? None of us want gyno to develop, but the fact is that most steroids and many SARMs do run the risk of breast tissue growth in men. Typically, you’ll use an AI or a SERM to combat gynecomastia on cycle. But these come with their own set of side effects and risks. Crazy Bulk Gynectrol is a genuine, non-pharmaceutical natural alternative to reduce and eliminate excess male breast and chest fat.

Though Gynectrol is not limited to on-cycle use, its benefits go well beyond being an anti-gyno formula. I like Gynectrol because it refines and enhances my chest area, mainly through its ability to boost my metabolism and make fat loss easier. Even a small amount of excessive chest fat will diminish your chest’s appearance and reduce the pecs’ muscle definition. What makes it all easier is how Gynectrol reduces your appetite – you will find it easier to diet and resist food temptations. Gynectrol claims to deliver a permanent reduction in breast tissue, making this a truly viable and safe alternative to traditional ancillaries and gynecomastia surgery.

Product Details:

  • Form: Capsule
  • Serving Size: 4 capsules daily (before first meal)
  • Servings per Container: 15
  • Active Ingredients: Vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Iodine, Chromium, Cayenne, L-Tyrosine, InnoSlim, Caffeine, Green tea extract, Piperine, Green Coffee extract
  • Dietary Considerations: Organic
  • Third-party Tested: Yes

Best for Gyno: Brutal Force GCUT Gynecomastia Reduction

Brutal Force GCUT Gynecomastia Reduction

Why I Like It: GCUT is a safer alternative to using aromatase inhibitors or SERMs to reverse or prevent gynecomastia. It can eliminate the need for expensive surgery or hormone replacement therapy.

It’s Worth Noting: Starting Brutal Force GCUT as soon as you notice gynecomastia or excess chest fat will give you the best chance of eliminating it quickly.

GCUT is laser-targeted to your chest area to reduce fat and prevent or reverse the signs of gynecomastia so your pecs and chest can be defined and prominent. Gyno is typically caused by increased estrogen, and the goal of Brutal Force GCUT is to restore the balance of your hormones so that testosterone takes its rightful place at optimal levels. In contrast, your estrogen levels are taken back to the low natural levels men require, where it can no longer act on the breast tissue and cause unsightly man boobs.

Increased chest fat is still distressing, even if you’re not a hardcore bodybuilder. The great thing about GCUT is that it’s effective for BOTH gynecomastia (breast tissue growth) and general chest fat reduction. To effectively lose fat, keep it off, and see increased tone in your chest area, you’ll want to build muscle while GCUT reduces fat stores. Thankfully, GCUT promotes muscle gain through naturally increasing testosterone (you should also notice a nice increase in your libido and energy levels).

Traditional aromatase inhibitor drugs often used for gynecomastia in male bodybuilders come with significant risks to your cholesterol and in crushing your estrogen levels. GCUT is essentially the opposite: it has no risky side effects and works to balance your estrogen and testosterone hormones to normal levels.

Product Details:

  • Form: Capsule
  • Serving Size: 2 capsules daily (before first meal)
  • Servings per Container: 30
  • Active Ingredients: Chromium, Potassium, Cocoa powder, Green tea leaf extract, Evodiamine, Gugglesterones from Guggul extract
  • Dietary Considerations: Organic, vegan
  • Third-party Tested: Yes

Best for Testosterone Support: Brutal Force PCT/Testosterone Recovery Stack

Brutal Force PCT (Testosterone Recovery) Stack

Why I Like It: The unique method of fast-acting drops for immediate benefit, followed by slower-release pills, makes for consistent and sustained testosterone stimulation.

It’s Worth Noting: Although both the pills and the drops will promote testosterone production, you won’t get the full benefits of this stack unless you take both forms according to directions.

Running a steroid or SARM cycle is only one part of the equation. Using one or more testosterone-suppressive compounds means you need to look ahead and plan post-cycle therapy (PCT) to tell your body to start cranking up testosterone production again. Without PCT, you’ll be waiting weeks or months for normal T function to restore, and that means low testosterone symptoms AND losing most of your hard-earned gains.

The Brutal Force PCT Stack is a natural and safe alternative to traditional SERMs and other PCT drugs that pose a risk of their side effects. The stack delivers everything we need in a solid PCT plan and ensures all the associated benefits of increased and sustained testosterone: you maintain muscle and strength gains, avoid putting on fat, and preserve your libido and sexual function. With your testosterone levels back to their optimal range, your sense of focus, mental well-being, and mood are all at their best. Don’t risk the tragic symptoms and consequences of low testosterone – the Brutal Force PCT Stack is safe, side effect free, AND gives me the peace of mind that if I don’t get the expected results, I’m eligible for their money-back guarantee.

Stack Details:

  • Form: Capsule, Drops
  • Stack Contents: Sbulk, Instant Testosterone Booster
  • Servings per Stack: 30
  • Dietary Considerations: Organic, vegan
  • Third-party Tested: Yes

On-Cycle Therapy

Mitigating side effects while you’re on a cycle should be a primary goal. Why?

  • First, it’s going to enhance your results and let you get the most from a cycle without side effects becoming the dominant factor
  • Second, it will make your recovery significantly easier and faster

So, what is on-cycle therapy? These are simply protocols you include in the cycle – alongside the steroids or other PEDs – to avoid, reduce, and reverse any side effects that those compounds could cause. You will focus on the significant areas where side effects can develop:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Testosterone suppression
  • Estrogenic
  • Androgenic
  • Progestogenic
  • Liver and kidneys

You might also need to consider plenty of other compound-specific effects. So it goes without saying: “Know as much as you can about the steroids and SARMs you’re taking so you can be prepared to implement the most effective on-cycle therapy.”

Anti-Estrogenic Ancillaries

Side effects that you can develop due to increased estrogen levels are rarely a serious health risk (with one exception). Still, they are tremendously annoying and unsightly and can put a roadblock to achieving the best possible results from a cycle.

So what can you do?

Combating estrogenic side effects while on a cycle is not only possible, it’s going to be necessary with a lot of steroids. We can do this with two primary categories of ancillary drugs:

  • AIs (Aromatase Inhibitors)
  • SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators)

We use these drugs for three purposes: “To prevent, mitigate, and reverse estrogenic side effects.” Both have their pros and cons that you should know about. Below, I cover all the most commonly used AIs and SERMs and point out any specific side effects to be aware of:

Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs)

Aromatase inhibitors were developed as a breast cancer treatment for women, and they’re still used for that purpose today. But they have great value for male steroid users as well:

AIs work by disabling or inhibiting the aromatase enzyme, which is responsible for the conversion of testosterone and other aromatizing androgenic compounds into estrogen – thus reducing your overall estrogen levels and the side effects that develop as a result of abnormally high estrogen in men.

Commonly used aromatizing steroids like testosterone and Dianabol can quickly raise your estrogen levels to bring on side effects like gynecomastia and water retention. Using an AI on the cycle can combat these effects.

But there’s more: All AIs are effective at boosting your production of LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). When these two hormones are increased, so too are your testosterone levels. This is something you need to think about following a suppressive steroid cycle.

Here are the main AIs that you’ll come across when planning your steroid cycle:

Arimidex (Anastrozole)

Arimidex is a very popular AI because, quite simply, it’s effective and has worked very well for steroid users for a long time.

Arimidex Aromatase Inhibitor
Arimidex Aromatase Inhibitor

When you use Arimidex on a cycle, you can take it every 2-3 days because of its longer half-life, and it’s very effective at preventing testosterone conversion to estrogen. Like all AIs, you need to make sure you don’t dose it too high, or your estrogen levels can crash too low.


  • Controls estrogenic side effects: gyno, water retention, and blood pressure
  • 2-day half-life allows 2-3 times weekly administration
  • Widely available and easy to purchase


  • Negative impacts on cholesterol levels
  • Will take estrogen levels too low at a high dose
  • It may reduce bone mineral content
  • It can be priced high in some locations


On-cycle use of Arimidex requires only low doses of no more than 1mg daily, but prepare to adjust the dosage according to your response. Many guys will find 0.5mg/day is more than enough or even lower than that. Remember: the goal is to reduce estrogen to a level that prevents side effects without taking levels down near zero.

Aromasin (Exemestane)

Aromasin is often a second choice after Arimidex, not because it’s less effective than that AI, but just because of its shorter half-life, which can make it a little less convenient to use. But if Aromasin is easier for you to obtain, then you can still trust it’s going to do what you need it to do.

Aromasin Aromatase Inhibitor
Aromasin Aromatase Inhibitor

Aromasin doesn’t just block the aromatase enzymes like Arimidex does but also destroys some of them and decreases their number. The result is reduced estrogen conversion. As with all AIs, you need to maintain a low to moderate dose to avoid a complete crash of estrogen levels, keeping in mind that Aromasin is a very potent AI.


  • Reduces circulating estrogen levels
  • Helps mitigate and avoid estrogenic side effects
  • Convenient 1-day half-life


  • Suppresses estrogen too much at higher doses
  • Joint and bone pain
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Possible adverse effects on cholesterol


On-cycle dosing is effective in the range of 12.5 to 25mg daily. But consider being flexible with your dosing and administration – if using milder steroids, an every-other-day administration can be sufficient. Alternatively, if you’re unsure whether you will develop estrogenic effects, you could choose only to start taking Aromasin at the above dosage range if adverse side effects begin to appear.

Letrozole (Femara)

You can think of Letrozole as being the most powerful of these three aromatase inhibitors. It’s widely available, with the most common brand name being Femara; however, there are many generics of this AI also.

Letrozole Aromatase Inhibitor
Letrozole Aromatase Inhibitor

Letrozole is a good option for reducing and controlling estrogen levels and the associated side effects on an as-needed basis when using anabolic steroids.


  • More potent than other AIs
  • Controls and helps reverse water retention, gyno, and other estrogenic effects
  • Increases LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
  • Increases testosterone


  • Adverse cholesterol effects when combined with anabolic steroids
  • Excessively low estrogen levels at higher doses
  • It may decrease bone mineral content


Because it’s a very potent AI, you only need low doses of Letrozole to get its full benefits while minimizing side effect risks. Sometimes, you might only want to take it for a week or so to eliminate early signs of gyno. Doses of 1.25 to 2.5 daily are more than sufficient to mitigate estrogenic side effects on the cycle.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators

Most steroid users prefer to use AIs on cycles to mitigate estrogenic side effects, with selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) being more of a PCT choice. However, it’s certainly possible to use SERMs on cycle as an anti-estrogenic ancillary, and they come without the risk of crashing your estrogen levels (something AIs are capable of doing when not used correctly).

While AIs reduce circulating estrogen, SERMs are able to block the effects of particular estrogen receptors selectively. SERMs are generally not as effective at preventing or reversing all estrogenic side effects in the way that AIs can, but if SERMs are all you have access to, they will still provide benefits.

Here’s a significant benefit of adding a SERM to your on-cycle protocol: Some are very good at preventing and reversing gyno – particularly Tamoxifen and Raloxifene. Instead of using the SERM for the entire cycle, though, it’s ideal only to start it if you begin seeing those early signs of gyno.

Let’s look at the two SERMs that can be useful for gyno mitigation on cycle:

  • Tamoxifen (Nolvadex): Nolvadex is well known for being particularly effective at blocking breast tissue estrogen receptors, making it an ideal anti-gyno ancillary. 10-20mg daily for the reversal of gyno symptoms is effective, and there’s no need to continue use once symptoms subside.
  • Raloxifene (Evista): Raloxifene is even better at managing gyno symptoms than Nolvadex. It will also reverse the gyno that has been there for several months. 30-60mg daily is an effective gyno mitigation dosage.

Keep in mind that Nolvadex is not useful for mitigating other types of estrogenic side effects besides gynecomastia. If longer-term use is required (2-3 months) to reverse more advanced gyno, Raloxifene is known to be safe for use over this period.


Gynecomastia (gyno) is a dreaded yet relatively harmless side effect of using aromatizing steroids. Harmless, though it may be, no guy wants gyno. The good news is it’s relatively easy to prevent.

Gyno can develop when estrogen levels are too high – and this happens when testosterone is being converted to estrogen during your cycle. Some steroids are worse than others, with Testosterone and Dianabol being some of the worst culprits with a relatively high rate of aromatization compared with other commonly used steroids.

Higher doses of any of these steroids will naturally raise your risk of gyno. A lack of SERM or AI in the cycle for mitigation is a sure certainty of gyno development. In other words, you don’t need to fear gyno if you’re willing to learn and just put in place some common sense measures that are tried and tested among thousands of bodybuilders.

How to Prevent Gyno?

Preventing gyno altogether is the ultimate goal. Once it starts developing, you’re then in new territory of having to reverse it (see below).

Let me tell you something:

With what we now know about gyno and how/why it develops, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to stop it from happening. Gyno is more likely to be a problem for new steroid users AND those who don’t bother to learn the basics of preventing it. So here are the basic gyno preventative measures that you will want to be aware of as a PED user: Use an aromatase inhibitor (AI) and/or SERM.

AI’s are preferable most of the time. It’s not just what you use but how you dose it in relation to your steroid dosage. In other words – there’s no one single dose I can give you that “works” to prevent gyno. You might have to experiment early on until you get the balance right. Arimidex or Aromasin are the two go-to AIs for gyno prevention. It doesn’t matter which one you use.

What matters is this: Maintaining proper estradiol levels for the entire cycle. Men need some estrogen, so you don’t want to kill your levels completely – that’s not your goal. As a starting point, here are the dosage ranges I look at for these AIs depending on your steroid dose and if you’re stacking:

  • 0.25mg – 0.5mg of Arimidex every three days


  • 12.5mg – 25mg of Aromasin everyday


You take the AI from the first day of your cycle. This is not PCT – it is proactive on-cycle gyno prevention.

How to Reverse Gyno?

If, for whatever reason, you’re starting to notice gyno symptoms developing (swelling and/or tenderness), you’ll want to get on to it quickly. The longer you let gyno progress? The more chance you won’t be able to reverse it.

There are a few reasons why you might be seeing gyno signs:

  • You didn’t use an AI on the cycle.
  • Your AI dose was too low.
  • You didn’t respond well to the AI, or it was a poor-quality fake.
  • You’ve suffered from gyno previously when you were younger.

Whatever the reason, at the first signs of gyno, you can start using either:

  • Tamoxifen 20mg/day, or
  • Raloxifene 30mg/day

Either of these go along with your chosen AI, which you can increase the dose of. This should work quickly and have those gyno symptoms reduced and reversed within just a few days. You can then stop the SERM but continue using the AI and feel confident that the gyno won’t rear its head again.

One exception is where you’ve had gyno for years already, in which case you will need to use Raloxifene because Tamoxifen or even Letrozole probably won’t be effective enough. One week of 60mg/day of Raloxifene, reduced to 30mg/day for another 12 weeks, will help reverse more established gyno.

If you still don’t see a significant improvement (ideally complete reversal) of gyno after three months, you’re probably in a position where surgery is the only way to reverse it. And that’s a timely reminder of why preventing gyno should be a top priority.

Water Retention

Excess water retention is a dead giveaway to anyone who is using steroids. It gives you that tell-tale, puffy, bloated look. Retaining water is a result of your estradiol levels being too high. It also raises your risk of high blood pressure, so it’s more than just an aesthetic nuisance.

If you don’t want to take an AI when using aromatizing steroids like Dianabol or testosterone at low doses, water buildup is what you will monitor closely. And if it does develop? Reach for that AI if you want zero fluid.

But don’t panic. What some guys don’t realize is that SOME water retention is not necessarily a bad thing. Joints, in particular, can benefit from some water, and if you want to add volume, then a bit of fluid is not always a negative.

But here’s the thing: Once water retention gets out of control, you’ll look like a puffed-up marshmallow with increased blood pressure on the side. Think about it: You want to balance the few benefits of controlled, minimal water retention with the serious downsides of severe fluid buildup. So, how can you stop water retention from getting out of control? Just like with gyno, it’s mostly about controlling estradiol levels. So, follow the same AI strategy for preventing gyno, as I mentioned in the previous section.

But keep in mind: An AI dose that’s too high can cause a drying of the joints from drying you out too much. It’s about getting the balance right, which can be trial and error if you’re new to it all.

It’s not only estrogen that’s responsible for water retention, though. You also need to watch your diet. Too many carbs and too much sodium will cause you to retain more water. Drink plenty of water and control your carb and sodium intake as much as possible to eliminate these causes of excess water retention.

Acne (Estrogenic)

Acne on a steroid cycle is so common and comes to be expected by anyone who has ever suffered from acne in life before steroids. While it’s harmless, being covered in acne (not just on your face, but body acne as well) kills your self-esteem.

DHT and/or high estradiol levels are the base cause of hormonal acne when using steroids, but your own genetic tendency toward acne plays a significant role, too. Put simply, you’re more likely to break out if you were burdened with acne as a teen. The fact that this can be caused by both high DHT or estrogen levels means you need to mitigate both unless you’re confident of one or the other being the main culprit.

So, what should you do to prevent or at least minimize acne? Again, it’s all about halting the rise of estrogen levels, but do so without excessive AI doses (if those are your drugs of choice). It’s known that AIs can be detrimental to your skin quality at higher doses.

Lifestyle factors can make or break the severity of your acne as well. Things like:

  • Stress
  • Diet (avoid greasy, processed, and high-sugar foods)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • If injecting, lower the dose per injection and inject more often to reduce sudden hormone spikes.
  • Moodiness

Mood changes, aggression, depression, roid rage are all things we associate with steroid use, but they’re not something you’re guaranteed to suffer with. These types of side effects are highly individualistic, some of which will come down to your mindset. The other aspect is the effect of raised estrogen levels on mood and mental well-being.

Increased estrogen is not likely to cause those stereotypical steroid-induced anger and aggression issues. Instead, you’re more likely to see changes relating to depression or lethargy – this is something to seriously consider as well if you have existing mental health issues. This is just yet another reason why preventing estrogen levels from increasing too much is essential, along with all the physical side effects.

To do this, you can follow the estrogen control measures I’ve shared relating to gyno and other estrogenic side effects – this will ensure your estrogen levels remain at a healthy level.

But let me tell you something: Guys who push estrogen levels extremely low through the use of AIs can also experience serious negative mood changes (and other effects). So your goal isn’t to get estrogen to zero, but just to a normal healthy level.

Sexual Dysfunction

Is there a more dreaded side effect of steroids than the fear of erectile dysfunction and loss of libido? Again, excessive estrogen levels can play havoc with both your sex drive and performance.

So what can you do? Two things: keep estrogen levels within normal range, and if things still get bad, consider ancillaries like Viagra and natural aphrodisiacs like Ashwagandha. But when it comes to estrogen, you continue following the same protocols as you do for mitigating all other estrogenic side effects.

SERMs and AIs are your friends, but if you choose to go with AIs, you DO NOT want to crash your estrogen levels with a high dose. That can make this particular side effect even worse than high estrogen.

Anti-Androgenic Ancillaries

When your dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels increase too much, you’re at risk of what we call androgenic side effects. These are mostly harmless in the short term and are more worrying for your self-esteem. But issues related to the prostate shouldn’t be taken lightly, and that’s the most serious area of risk in terms of androgenic sides.

Why would DHT spike? If you use steroids derived from the hormone DHT (Masteron and Proviron, for example), then levels can increase to the point of side effects developing. Testosterone can also convert to DHT through the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme – hence the use of inhibitors of this enzyme, as I outline below. That’s one type of ancillary. The other is a category of drugs called non-steroidal anti-androgens.

Here’s what you should know about how to prevent and, in some cases, reverse the appearance of androgenic side effects using anti-androgenic ancillaries:

5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors

The 5-alpha-reductase enzyme will bring about a conversion of testosterone to DHT. DHT is responsible for the side effect of male pattern baldness in men genetically predisposed to hair loss. 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor drugs will block this enzyme, reducing your DHT levels. Similar to how AI works to block the aromatase enzyme.

However, if you’re using a DHT-based steroid, then these drugs will not be of assistance because they’re not dependent on the 5-alpha-reductase enzyme to be an active form of DHT. So, 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors are only helpful when you’re using other steroids (like testosterone) that can convert to DHT.

Here are the primary 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor drugs that steroid users may include in a cycle:

Finasteride (Propecia)

Bodybuilders use Finasteride to mitigate or prevent male pattern baldness (hair loss). But it’s also valuable for preventing benign prostate hyperplasia, which can develop as a result of high DHT levels.

Finasteride 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitor
Finasteride 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitor

Finasteride can be used with minimal risk of side effects at moderate doses. But if you take doses that are high enough to significantly reduce DHT – keeping in mind that you need DHT to maintain ideal energy levels, mood, and sexual function, you could see negative impacts in those areas. So you only require very low doses of this drug to prevent those DHT-related side effects – typically, 0.25 to 1mg daily of Finasteride is adequate.

Dutasteride (Avodart)

Dutasteride is an alternative option to Finasteride. It’s a more potent drug but also works slower than Finasteride. It has a very long half-life (about five weeks), but you can still take it once daily.

Dutasteride 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitor
Dutasteride 5-alpha-reductase Inhibitor

Because you’ll be waiting two or three weeks to start seeing any benefits from Dutasteride, steroid users will rarely use this drug unless you can’t get hold of Finasteride (which is much faster acting).

There’s another downside to Dutasteride, too: It comes with a higher chance of side effects, including sexual dysfunction and lethargy. So, in most cases, Dutasteride won’t be your first choice as a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, but if it’s all you have available, then 0.5mg is ideal.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Androgens

NSAA’s can block androgen receptors so that both DHT and testosterone are unable to attach. NSAA’s do not reduce your overall levels of DHT as 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors do.

So why would you look at using an NSAA? Thanks to their ability to directly target androgen receptors, they can provide a more protective effect against androgenic sides like hair loss and acne.

In this category of drugs, there’s just one primary product that bodybuilders use for this purpose: RU-58841. Unlike most of the ancillaries you’ll use, RU-58841 has no official approval for medical use. So, how can you get your hands on RU-58841, then? It’s available as a research chemical, much in the way that most SARMs are.

You’ll use RU-58841 by applying it directly where it’s needed, and it works in those specific spots by blocking those androgen receptors. This allows you to target things like acne and hair loss as and when needed. The good news? You won’t get any symptoms of low DHT because your levels are not being suppressed when using RU-58841.

Hair Loss

While it poses zero harm to your physical health, thinning or loss of hair on your head can zap your self-esteem when you’re a young guy. Hair loss is, unfortunately, a well-known and often expected side effect when using certain steroids. If you’re genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness (check out your father or grandfathers), your chances of suffering this side effect are high.

Steroid-induced hair loss is a result of high DHT levels. Your hair follicles can shrink, thinning the hair, and the hair can stop growing altogether after some time. If you’re lucky enough to have no family history of male pattern baldness, then you’re not likely to suffer from this side effect. The problem is many of us have no idea if we have the “baldness gene” – until we use an anabolic steroid like Trenbolone or Primobolan, which have strong androgenic effects.

How to Prevent Hair Loss?

Because DHT is the culprit when it comes to hair loss, prevention involves either:

  • Reducing your levels of DHT
  • Directly blocking DHT from attaching to androgen receptors on your head

When you reduce your circulating levels of DHT too far, you’ll experience adverse effects (low libido, fatigue, depression, poor muscle mass). The two options we have to prevent hair loss on-cycle are to use a drug like Finasteride, which lowers DHT levels, or directly apply RU-58841 topically to your scalp. There are pros and cons to each option, and your choice will come down to personal preference and convenience:

  • RU-58841 benefits you by not reducing DHT levels, so it helps you completely avoid any side effect risks.
  • Finasteride is easier to take because it’s a pill, but it does require you to be very careful with dosing to avoid crashing your DHT.

And if you’re using any steroids that are DHT derivatives? Your only option for hair loss prevention will be RU-58841, as Finasteride will have no impact.

How to Reverse Hair Loss?

It’s always best to prevent hair loss than to try and reverse it. But what if you have started seeing hair loss on a cycle? Can you reverse it and grow that hair back to full thickness? It depends: A lot of it will again be genetic. How sensitive you are to DHT can determine whether your hair can grow back.

We now have access to a range of anti-hair loss products, but these can be hit or miss. Avoid falling for marketing claims because you can quickly lose a lot of money on these products and see little results. In any case, excessive hair loss will be VERY difficult to reverse for most guys.

Minor hair loss, on the other hand? You’re at least in with a chance to stop it and have most or all of your hair grow back. One drug I want to point out is Minoxidil. It’s a topical product that can stimulate hair growth. But if you try Minoxidil, you still need to use it alongside RU-58841 or Finasteride because it will not prevent hair loss.

Acne (Androgenic)

Acne is a horrible androgenic side effect that no one wants to develop. Again, genetics play a significant role. You might be lucky to have zero tendency to develop acne, no matter what steroids you’re using. At the other end of the spectrum are guys who start breaking out even at low doses of mild steroids.

  • DHT levels are one factor here. Increased DHT can increase sebum, resulting in acne development.
  • Poor diet and sleep can be other factors, so you should be taking care of those controllable variables anyway if you want good results from your cycle.

So, what else can you do to either prevent or minimize acne on a cycle? If your acne is likely being caused by DHT, reducing DHT levels is your starting point. See the medications above for suggestions on how to either reduce overall DHT levels by taking Finasteride at a low dose and/or applying a topical RU-58841 to target acne directly.

Prostate Growth (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia)

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is a condition that describes the enlargement of the prostate. Of all steroid side effects, this can undoubtedly be one of the most severe risks to your health if allowed to get out of control. While the growth of BPH is noncancerous initially, the more the prostate grows, the higher risk you will suffer with:

  • Bladder stones
  • Kidney damage
  • Urinary problems like incontinence or difficulty urinating

This is something many men still don’t realize: Males over 50 will often suffer from some level of BPH, even without any steroid use. However, younger men who use anabolic steroids are at risk of developing BPH much earlier in life. DHT and testosterone-based steroids are to blame here, but the mitigation methods are slightly different from how you manage the other side effects I’ve mentioned.

Here’s what is recommended for preventing prostate growth on cycle: PDE-5 inhibitors – that’s Viagra and Cialis. Yes, they are famous ED medications, but they’re also known to be effective at preventing BPH. And they don’t impact DHT levels. They can also improve blood pressure. 5mg every other day of either of these PDE-5 inhibitors is an excellent BPH prevention protocol.

Anti-Progestogenic Ancillaries

Side effects caused by progestin are a risk when you’re using Nandrolone and steroids derived from Nandrolone (also called 19-Nor steroids). These steroids can cause an increase in prolactin, which is considered a female hormone. The result? Side effects that are similar in nature to estrogenic side effects but which you need to tackle differently to how you deal with estrogen-related adverse effects.

Using anti-progestogenic ancillaries on a Nandrolone cycle will provide protection against these adverse effects, particularly gynecomastia and sexual dysfunction (see below). The main category of drugs that are effective here is called dopamine agonists. Vitamin B6 is also helpful and recommended to be included in your cycle.

Dopamine Agonists

Dopamine agonist drugs will stimulate the dopamine receptors and have the effect of lowering prolactin levels. While there are a high number of dopamine agonist drugs, there are two primary ones that bodybuilders like to use: Cabergoline and Pramipexole.


Cabergoline is probably the most used dopamine agonist among anabolic steroid users. There are good reasons for this: It works very well to stop prolactin secretion at the pituitary gland, so it is perfect for preventing the dreaded prolactin-induced side effects you want to avoid.

Cabergoline Dopamine Agonist
Cabergoline Dopamine Agonist


  • Effective at preventing lactation, gynecomastia, and sexual dysfunction.
  • Convenient half-life (3 days) allows twice-weekly administration.
  • It may improve mood and sexual performance.


  • Sleep disorders, nausea, and diarrhea were reported in some users.
  • High doses pose a risk of heart disease.


At the low recommended dosage that will be effective to stop your prolactin-related side effects, Cabergoline is very unlikely to cause serious side effects. Consider a dosage of between 0.25 and 0.5mg twice weekly during your cycle.


Pramipexole isn’t as widely used as Cabergoline, but those who use it find it very effective against high prolactin levels. More importantly, those cardiovascular-related risks that come with higher doses of Cabergoline are not known to exist with Pramipexole (nothing has come to light in any studies related to this side effect).

Pramipexole Dopamine Agonist
Pramipexole Dopamine Agonist


  • Works against high levels of prolactin caused by higher Nandrolone doses
  • Once daily administration (12-hour half-life)


  • No known cardiovascular risks
  • Rare side effects of nausea, lethargy or insomnia


A daily dose between 0.125mg and 0.25mg is effective at preventing gyno, lactation, and sexual dysfunction caused by high prolactin levels.

Vitamin B6 (P-5-P)

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin that you need for your health all the time, so why would we mention it specifically as it relates to prolactin? The active form of B6 (called pyridoxal 5′-phosphate or P-5-P) is known to decrease levels of prolactin.

Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6

If your steroid cycle includes only very low doses of Nandrolone, you might be able to use Vitamin B6 as the only anti-progestogenic ancillary. However, higher doses will still require the inclusion of dopamine agonists.


  • Natural method of reducing prolactin
  • It may improve sleep quality
  • It comes with the many other known health benefits of B6


  • It is only effective on its own with low Nandrolone doses


Take between 100mg and 200mg daily at bedtime.

Gynecomastia and Lactation

Gynecomastia is not only a risk from high estrogen levels but also high prolactin levels. So when you’re using a Nandrolone-based steroid PLUS testosterone or another aromatizing steroid, your risk of gyno is multiplied. Even without that additional aromatizing steroid, gyno can be even worse when caused by prolactin.

But here’s the kicker: It’s not just breast tissue growth you need to worry about with increased levels of prolactin. Breastfeeding women rely on prolactin for milk lactation. This can also develop to a mild degree in males who use Nandrolone steroids without adequate anti-progestogenic measures.

But you don’t have to suffer with either gyno or prolactin! It’s simply a matter of following the advice above and making use of dopamine agonists and/or P-5-P B6. The dosage guide above is suited for Nandrolone doses up to 200mg, but you may need to increase your dopamine agonist dosage when taking higher doses of steroids.

Sexual Dysfunction

High prolactin can impact your sexual health, most notably a significant decrease in libido and erectile function. So once again, when using a 19-Nor steroid, you should prioritize the control of prolactin, and you can then make this side effect one that can be avoided. Stick to the dosages above when using up to 200mg of Nandrolone weekly, but consider increasing your dopamine agonist dose at higher steroid doses.

Post Cycle Therapy

Post-cycle therapy (PCT) and steroid use go hand in hand. This is because most anabolic steroids will suppress your natural production of testosterone, often to the point of total shutdown.

The reason for this is simple: You’re providing an external form of androgens when you use steroids, so your body thinks you’re getting more than enough testosterone. The result? Signals from the brain stop test production in the testicles.

Without PCT, your testosterone levels crash at the end of the cycle! No more external testosterone coming in, and none (or very little) being produced naturally. PCT tides you over until natural test starts being produced again by getting the process happening faster than it otherwise could. Without PCT, you’re usually looking at months until full recovery while suffering horrendous low testosterone symptoms.

So, your overall goal of doing PCT is to restart your natural production of testosterone and sperm in the testicles after stopping the use of exogenous testosterone. There are a lot of ways we can implement PCT. Firstly, you have different drugs and compounds to consider, and then you need to decide which (if any) to combine and what doses to take.

Below, I’ll cover the role of HCG, how to transition to PCT from your PED cycle, and an overview of the all-important SERMs that are a central part of most PCT cycles.

Blasting and Cruising

You can think of blasting and cruising (or B&C for short) as being the opposite of post-cycle therapy. B&C is about maintaining a replacement testosterone dose (TRT) between cycles. So, you cruise through with TRT instead of doing traditional PCT after a cycle. The “blast” aspect is the cycle itself, where you go hard and fast.

The TRT cruise in between cycles is going to maintain your testosterone function. Most users find it easy to maintain gains when doing B&C, but it’s a long-term commitment. In fact, it’s often a lifetime commitment.

Why is that?

Because when you do B&C for several years, you run the risk of never regaining natural testosterone function at the level you had it previously. So you will be dependent on TRT potentially for the very long term. B&C is a strategy for the more experienced bodybuilders and steroid users.

For beginners? Don’t even consider B&C for your first few cycles. Do regular cycles and PCT, then think about how you’d feel about injecting testosterone to retain normal hormonal function for the rest of your life.

So, how do you do a B&C? It’s very simple – the blast portion (the actual cycle) will be any steroid cycle of your choosing. The cruising in between cycles involves reducing your testosterone dosage right down to TRT levels. Typically, this will be no higher than 250mg per week, but some guys go as low as 150mg weekly.

A good starting point for your cruising testosterone dose is to take 1mg per pound of body weight each week. One issue at doses above 200mg of testosterone is potential aromatization. You don’t want that when cruising because using AIs for the long term comes with its risks. It’s better to reduce your testosterone dosage slightly until you notice aromatizing effects subsiding.

Suppose you want to lower your risk as much as possible of impacting your natural testosterone in the future, including your fertility. In that case, HCG can also be used as a support compound.


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) are prescription medications that can bind to specific estrogen receptors, allowing different effects on different types of tissue (e.g., breast tissue or bone). As a steroid or other PED user, SERMs will become a part of your cycles. But you might be wondering: What’s the difference between SERMs and aromatase inhibitors?

The differences between the two are complex, but this point in particular is essential to know: SERMs don’t reduce your level of circulating estrogen because they are targeted. AI’s can reduce overall estrogen levels, and this has flow-on effects. The key is to know when you should be using a SERM and when an AI is the better option.

Below are profiles of the SERMs that you’ll come across when planning your steroid cycles and PCT:

Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)

Clomid is one of the most widely used SERMs among steroid users. It’s cheap and readily available, so it’s often the first one we turn to. But Clomid can come with some negatives that you need to look out for.

Clomid SERM
Clomid SERM


  • It helps restore natural testosterone production during PCT by stimulating the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Prevents the development of the effects of low testosterone level (low libido, fatigue, muscle loss, etc.)
  • It is inexpensive and widely available under different brands and generics


  • Side effects are uncommon and usually mild but can include hot flashes, headaches, nausea, and mood swings
  • In rare cases, Clomid might cause changes to the vision temporarily (blurred or hazy vision)
  • Acne during Clomid PCT is possible for some users


The average PCT cycle will last four weeks. If Clomid is being combined with other PCT drugs, then your dosage is likely to be lower than the examples below, which are based on using Clomid as the sole PCT compound.

Usually, you’ll want to start a higher dose to kick things off when your natural testosterone is at its lowest point, then decrease the dose for the second half of PCT. Just how high you go will depend on how heavy your cycle is. Here are two examples of a lower dose plus a higher dose of Clomid PCT:

  • Weeks 1-2 at 50mg daily
  • Weeks 3-4 at 25mg daily


  • Weeks 1-2 at 100-150mg daily
  • Weeks 3-4 at 100-50mg daily
  • Optionally weeks 5-6 at 25-50mg daily

Nolvadex (Tamoxifen Citrate)

Nolvadex is the second pillar of standard PCT cycles alongside Clomid. This SERM will stimulate FSH and LH release, which in turn increases testosterone levels. When Nolvadex is used properly, you can expect a full recovery from suppression post-cycle and the restoration of your natural testosterone functionality.

Nolvadex SERM
Nolvadex SERM


  • Stimulates endogenous testosterone production
  • It may reduce LDL and total cholesterol
  • Bodybuilders have long used it with no known complications


  • Reduces levels of IGF-1
  • Uncommon side effects, including mood swings, brain fog, and sexual dysfunction, are occasionally reported
  • Low liver toxicity risk


Nolvadex is often combined with other SERMs for PCT, but it is effective on its own for milder cycles. You can use a lower dose of Nolvadex if you’re combining it with Clomid or Enclomiphene, for example:

  • Nolvadex (standalone PCT compound): up to 40mg daily for 4-6 weeks (halve the dose for the final week).
  • Nolvadex combined with either Enclomiphene or Clomid: 20mg/day for 4-6 weeks (halve the dose for the final week).

Raloxifene (Evista)

Raloxifene is rarely used for PCT purposes because its ability to restore and increase testosterone is not as strong as other SERMs detailed here.

Raloxifene SERM
Raloxifene SERM

While Raloxifene definitely has some benefit when included in PCT after a mildly suppressive cycle, in most cases, this SERM would be more effective as one to use to mitigate gynecomastia.


  • Very effective at preventing and reversing gyno on cycle
  • Can reduce cholesterol levels
  • Unlikely to stress the liver


  • Not as effective as more established SERMs at increasing testosterone levels post-cycle, especially after heavy cycles
  • Reduces IGF-1 levels
  • Not ideal for most PCT purposes


Because Raloxifene is a weaker SERM for PCT, if it’s all you’ve got available, running it for a longer than normal PCT is the best strategy – this could be up to 12 weeks but as short as six weeks. Take up to 60mg per day for 6-12 weeks, and halve the dose for your final week.

Toremifene (Fareston Citrate)

Toremifene is not the most well-known or widely used SERM. One reason is that it’s a much newer drug, so it doesn’t have the longer-term following that Nolvadex does in the bodybuilding community.

Toremifene SERM
Toremifene SERM

Toremifene also has some negatives that can make it a less ideal option for PCT than Nolvadex but a more effective on-cycle anti-estrogenic. On the other hand, Toremifene has shown some promising signs that it could be even more effective at controlling and reversing gynecomastia than Nolvadex.


  • Stimulates natural production of testosterone
  • Some clinical evidence shows it may mitigate, prevent, and even destroy gynecomastia tissue more powerfully than Nolvadex
  • It has been shown to reduce prolactin levels (more data is needed to see if this could benefit steroid users)
  • Bodybuilders usually experience minimal or no side effects besides minor libido and mood changes in some users


  • It can raise SHBG, resulting in less free testosterone
  • Potentially less risk of liver damage with long-term use compared to Nolvadex (unlikely to affect bodybuilding users)
  • Just like Nolvadex, it is unlikely to restore the HPTA (Hypothalamic Pituitary Testicular Axis) function
  • Possibly less effective for PCT than Nolvadex
  • It costs more than Nolvadex


30-60mg per day for the prevention of gynecomastia. For PCT use, 120mg daily for the first week, then 60mg daily for another 4-5 weeks.

Enclomiphene (Androxal)

Enclomiphene has become very popular with bodybuilders, not least because of its superb ability to increase testosterone levels.

Enclomiphene SERM
Enclomiphene SERM

You might see this referred to as “super Clomid” because it’s somewhat based on Clomid, but Enclomiphene is considered superior to Clomid with fewer side effects.


  • Highly effective at increasing testosterone, sperm count, and fertility
  • Increasingly thought of as the best SERM now available
  • It may potentially help with muscle growth due to the testosterone boost
  • Increases the libido in some users


  • Reduces IGF-1 levels
  • Some individuals notice heightened aggression or anger
  • Some liver toxicity risks with longer-term use


PCT length on Enclomiphene should be 4 to 6 weeks. Dosage can be as high as 25mg/daily, but most users will find 12.5mg daily works well, with the final week of PCT dropping the dosage to half at 6.25mg/daily.


You will see HCG being used a lot by experienced steroid users. But it can be an excellent ancillary for just about any experience level, provided you understand it and know about its downsides!

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HCG is a hormone (specifically what’s known as a peptide hormone) produced in human females when pregnant, but it’s also essential for female and male fertility. That’s not what concerns us here. So why would you think about using HCG as a male bodybuilder?


Well, here’s one thing that’s important about HCG: It can mimic the effects of LH (luteinizing hormone) and FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) in men. This leads to the stimulation of testosterone production in the testes while and after you’re using suppressive steroids. We can now start to see how valuable HCG can be for PCT.

But these very benefits also result in HCG itself having suppressive qualities, with natural luteinizing hormone decreasing. This means the use of HCG on a PCT cycle needs to be followed by SERMs. The HCG replaces luteinizing hormone to get you back on track much faster following a cycle, while the SERM then takes over to stimulate (rather than replace) LH.


It can bring on some estrogenic and androgenic side effects at higher doses. So, if you need to take higher HCG doses, you should consider using an AI alongside it, with Aromasin being the superior choice.


When you use HCG on cycle, the typical dose is between 500iu and 1500iu twice weekly. Start at the lower dose, and only increase if you feel you need more support.

Transitioning from the Cycle to PCT

Moving from your steroid or other PED cycle into PCT should be planned in advance. You want to get this right to avoid two negative things from happening:

  • Suffering from low testosterone symptoms
  • Losing the gains you worked so hard for on cycle

This is a common mistake too many newbies make (in fact, even guys with more experience are known to STILL make this error): Starting PCT the day after your cycle ends. It just doesn’t work that way! You need to know your PED half-life before you can determine the best point to start PCT.

And if you’re using multiple steroids, SARMs, or other suppressive compounds in a stack, then you absolutely should know the half-life of each one, especially those that are used in the final weeks of the cycle. Steroids with a longer half-life can take several weeks or even months to clear your system. This means they’re still active well after your last injection and still acting to suppress your testosterone.

But you don’t need to (and should not) wait until your system is entirely cleared of all PEDs before starting PCT:

  • Starting PCT 2 weeks after your last injection is usually a good balance if starting with SERMs.
  • If you’re using injectables with a short half-life, you will still start PCT about one week after ending the cycle.
  • Very short-acting orals will clear your system fast; in that case, PCT can begin the day after your last dose.

But keep in mind:

Most oral cycles also include longer-lasting injectables, so your decision on WHEN to start PCT should be dependent on the longest-lasting compound in your cycle. The typical 2-week wait before starting PCT with SERMs is the ideal starting point; there are things to consider during that time.

If you start PCT while doing nothing at all during those two weeks while the compounds are clearing your system, you’re most likely going to experience the following:

  • Loss of muscle
  • Lethargy
  • Sexual dysfunction

Why would this happen? Due to low circulating testosterone. So, you want to get a head start in producing testosterone before your main SERM PCT starts. Using HCG is the ideal way to do this.

It’s very simple:

For the 2-week period between stopping your cycle and starting PCT, use HCG. This will put you in the best position to start a SERM PCT to maintain gains and restore natural testosterone. Start this HCG use on the day after your cycle ends. A standard HCG dose of 500iu every two days for two weeks is all that’s required to get these benefits.

PCT Protocols for Steroid Users

You should be flexible in your PCT planning and be prepared to adapt to what suits the type of cycle you’re coming off and how you usually respond and recover. The backbone of PCT has long been and continues to be SERMs. We know they work and can be relied upon to stimulate a full recovery of testosterone.

The three SERMs of choice for PCT are Clomid, Nolvadex, and/or, increasingly, Enclomiphene. What you use will depend on what’s available and how you respond to each one (you won’t know until you’ve done at least one PCT). So, I want to talk about an ideal PCT protocol for steroid users – and SERMs will always be the foundation regardless of which ones you use.

Let’s look at the basic PCT fundamentals, length, and dosage:

The 2 Most Important Things for PCT

I know PCT seems complicated. But it’s not! I want to point out the two most critical things you need for PCT. Ready? They are simply Clomiphene (Clomid) and Tamoxifen (Nolvadex). With those two, you can’t go wrong most of the time.

Yes, HCG can come in handy, but it’s unnecessary. If you can get it, then go for it, but you will do fine if all you have is the above two. In fact, if your steroid cycle isn’t that heavy, you can even get away with Clomid on its own.

But don’t take my word for it:

Remember those old-school bodybuilders I mentioned earlier? They weren’t using our modern-day pharmaceuticals for PCT. Not only that… Rarely would they have done any PCT at all! At least not in the way we do these days with pharmaceuticals.

But back to what I was saying. Some compounds are going to require you to be more vigilant with PCT and SERM use during the cycle.

As an example:

Nolvadex should be used during the cycle with compounds like Dianabol and Anadrol. But with milder steroids like Primobolan and Equipoise, you’ll rarely need Nolvadex on cycle and can do normal PCT afterward (unless you’re stacking with more suppressive compounds).

I want to touch on something that more experienced guys might have picked up on here already. It involves Enclomiphene. A newer SERM that more and more steroid users are turning to and using as a replacement for Clomid.


Clomid is not without risks of side effects like sexual dysfunction, mood issues, and even depression in SOME users. Enclomiphene seems to be a milder drug in terms of side effects but potentially even better at stimulating testosterone recovery.

Whether you use Enclomiphene or Clomid is a personal choice! There is no right or wrong. So feel free to swap out Clomid for Enclomiphene in any of the PCT suggestions I’m offering here.

PCT Length

How long was your cycle? That should be the starting point when you’re deciding on your PCT length. No, you don’t have to match the PCT cycle length with your steroid cycle length. Some general guidelines work well with the majority of cycles, although very heavy cycles can require longer PCT in some cases. Here are some suggestions:

  • Cycle length up to 8-12 weeks – PCT length: 3-4 weeks
  • Cycle length up to 20 weeks – PCT length: 6 weeks (HCG should also be used)
  • Long-term blast and cruise (months/years long) – PCT length: 8-12 weeks (or as little as six if HCG is used on cycle)

And a quick reference table:

AAS CompoundWhen to start PCT after the last admissionDuration of PCT
Test EnanthateTwo weeks3-4 weeks
Test CypionateTwo weeks3-4 weeks
Test PropionateThree daysThree weeks
Sustanon 250Three weeks3-4 weeks
Winstrol12 hours2-3 weeks
Dianabol6-8 hoursThree weeks
Tren AceThree daysFour weeks
DecaThree weeksFour weeks
Superdrol6-8 hoursThree weeks
Anavar8-10 hours2-3 weeks
Anadrol 508-9 hours2-3 weeks
Primobolan DepotTwo weeksThree weeks
Equipoise17-21 daysThree weeks

PCT Dosage

Complete recovery of testosterone function is your number one goal of PCT. And that means using the optimal SERM dose to get you to the point where your natural testosterone is back to functioning as it was before your steroid cycle.

Different people suggest different doses, and what’s right for one guy won’t necessarily be perfect for you. But you will learn what gives YOU the results and follow the basic starting points below on my suggested dosages. I’m going to include all three SERMs mentioned earlier with two different combinations. Adjust the PCT cycle length according to my suggestions above.

Clomid + Nolvadex:

  • Clomid 50mg/day. Drop to 25mg/day for the final week
  • Nolvadex 20mg/day. Drop to 10mg/day for the final week

Enclomiphene + Nolvadex:

  • Enclomiphene 25mg/day. Drop to 12.5mg for the final week
  • Nolvadex 20mg/day. Drop to 10mg/day for the final week.

As you can see, when we combine two SERMs into a PCT protocol (as is standard practice), the dosage of each one is going to be considerably lower than if you were to make use of just a single SERM – reducing potential side effects but also covering your bases better with the specific benefits of the two SERMs combined.

PCT Protocols for SARM Users

The great appeal of SARMs is that they can provide results similar to steroids but with zero side effects and no need for PCT. Right? No! This is THE biggest misconception about SARMs.

Some SARMs can be just as suppressive as anabolic steroids. They can stimulate the release of more testosterone and result in a drop or shutdown of natural testosterone once you stop using them – just like anabolic steroids.

Some SARMs are only mildly suppressive and, at low doses, might not even require PCT. But others will need a complete PCT cycle. Know the SARMs you’re using and know them well, especially how suppressive they’re going to be, and be prepared to run a PCT cycle just as you would when using steroids.

Mildly Suppressive SARM Cycles

SARMs that are minimal in their suppressive effects (like Ostarine and Andarine) can be recovered from quite well with the use of just a single SERM. Any SERM will do the job, but for the best results, I recommend either:

You should only need a low dose and a 3-week PCT to restore your testosterone function. Here are the PCT dosage guidelines for each of the above SERMs. Note the halving of the dosage for the final week.


  • Weeks 1-2: 25mg/day
  • Week 3: 12.5mg/day


  • Weeks 1-2: 10mg/day
  • Week 3: 5mg/day


  • Weeks 1-2: 30mg/day
  • Week 3: 15mg/day

Moderately Suppressive SARM Cycles

Many SARMs fall into the middle of the road in what we could call moderately suppressive to testosterone: LGD-4033 and RAD-140 are two examples here. You can do an effective PCT with just a single SERM following one of these cycles. The only differences are:

  • The SERM dosage will be higher
  • You’ll need to take it for longer than after a mildly suppressive cycle

Most SERMs will work well, but my two first choices are Tamoxifen or Clomiphene. Run this PCT for 4-6 weeks:

  • If using Tamoxifen, 20mg daily is sufficient. Halve the dose to 10mg for the final week.
  • Clomiphene dosage 25mg daily, halved to 12.5mg for the final week.

Highly Suppressive SARM Cycles

You will always need to do PCT with the most suppressive SARMs. Just consider them like steroids because they can shut you down as hard as any anabolic steroid can. Some examples in this category include:

  • YK-11
  • S-23
  • LGD-3303

You may need to experiment with different approaches for PCT here. In some cases, you might need two SERMs. But if using Clomiphene, you could get through with just that single SERM provided you also utilized it on-cycle to deal with suppression.

What I like is the dual approach of Tamoxifen and Clomiphene to cover all bases. Because of the increased effectiveness of combining these two SERMs, you can usually get by with a 4-week PCT:

  • Tamoxifen: 20mg daily for weeks 1-3, 10mg daily for week 4.
  • Clomiphene: 50mg daily for weeks 1-3, 25mg daily for week 4.

Is HCG Necessary?

HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is taken by a lot of steroid users both on cycle and as part of PCT. On-cycle HCG helps support testicular function. But when you use HCG as one aspect of PCT, you’re providing a lot of extra support for endogenous testosterone function recovery.

While HCG is beneficial when you use steroids, and when it comes to SARMs, it’s something to think about when you’re using the more suppressive ones, but it’s not likely to be needed on the mildly or even moderately suppressive SARMs.

Whatever you do with a SARM PCT, HCG shouldn’t be replacing a SERM. Why not? Well, even if you do use HCG, you will end up with suppressed LH, which will cause a testosterone drop. A SERM can clean up this negative effect of HCG while directly stimulating testosterone production.

Unlike HCG, a SERM will boost your LH, which will allow you to fully recover after a suppressive SARM cycle so you can keep your gains and not be weighed down with low testosterone symptoms (which are debilitating for any male). If you do go ahead with HCG, you’ll use it alongside a SERM and not as a standalone drug.

Final Thoughts on PCT

So, while you can (usually) recover from a suppressive PED cycle without PCT, you’re looking at weeks or months of suffering with low testosterone. In other words, PCT is essential almost all the time, and you should make it an equally important part of your planning as the steroid or SERM cycle itself.

At its simplest, PCT is a cycle that consists of using one or more compounds for 4 to 8 weeks (occasionally longer). The primary goals of PCT are to:

  • Stimulate and increase your natural testosterone production and testosterone levels
  • Reduce estrogen levels and prevent estrogen side effects from developing while your testosterone is recovering
  • Maintain the gains you’ve made during your cycle by preventing muscle loss and fat gain

There is virtually no excuse for not doing PCT when it’s needed – after all, most of the drugs required are readily available and low cost (especially compared to the cost of the steroids). A well-implemented PCT will make all the difference to how you carry your gains after a cycle and your entire physical and emotional health.


— Furious Joe

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Joe Robles a.k.a Furious Joe

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Furious Joe

What I talk about here is something I've done. From anabolic steroids to SARMs to peptides and ancillary drugs, I've done it at some point in my life, and I can relate.

6 thoughts on “Post Cycle Therapy 101: The Bodybuilder’s Guide”

  1. Hi Joe, and thanks for your insights. I have just finished my 4th cycle in 20 years. This last one was :
    – 12 weeks of 500mg Test E
    – Growth Hormone 6ius a day
    I used HCG (with good results) and Nolva/clomid in my previous cycles. Research I have done lately says skip the HCG. My balls have shrunk, and I want to get them back. It has been two weeks since the last injection, and I haven’t started PCT. I have HCG, Nolva, and Arimidex on hand… can you help with dosage and protocols? Thank you so much.

    • HCG is commonly used as a kickstart to your PCT cycle in preparation for using SERMs (Clomid, Nolvadex) afterward. I’ll start my PCT with 1500iu/e3d HCG, 40mg/day Nolvadex for weeks 1-2, then continue with 20mg/day Nolvadex for weeks 3-4.

      • You’re a stud. Thanks for the quick reply- what a fantastic resource you are. Starting your protocol today! Thank you!

  2. Hello Joe, any thoughts or research into HCG 500iu e3d + 250mg TestE e3d, with the HCG added to prevent ball shrinkage?

    • Sounds good to me, but I’ll stick to 250ui/e3d HCG for 4-6 weeks. Remember that HCG can cause gynecomastia, so I’d almost always advise using an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex at 0.5mg/day alongside HCG use.

      • Right, I meant also to add the Adex to the list. Math is hard, and I also meant 250iu HCG. Thanks for the help! Excellent writings.

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